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Old 04-12-2009, 12:41 AM
 
20 posts, read 83,137 times
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I should know better, I know. I originally came to the area three years ago and was making the commute from Baltimore to Bolling because of school. Actually, that commute wasn't bad (45-50 minutes) because we had to be to PT formation early in the morning so we missed a lot of the rush. Afternoon, was an entirely different story, but if you learn the side-roads, it isn't too bad.

I'm now in the process of taking a Fed job in downtown DC. Now that I know I'm going to be here awhile, I wanted to actually consider buying. I was really interested in the single family's instead of the condo's/townhomes, but the budget (less than 300K) doesn't play kindly for the area. On top of that, my mom and grandmother came to live with me and they wanted to be near stores, retails, and hospitals where they wouldn't have to learn a lot of roads or drive far. So I started looking at Fredericksburg and they really liked the area considering all the stores on rt 3. They have some affordable single family homes down there under 300K that we really like.

But the one thing stopping me is the commute. Coming from the Maryland side, I can tell you 95 on its worst day still moves faster than 10 mph unless there's an accident or something. But what transpires on 95 and Rt 1 southbound from Springfield to F'burg is just frighful. I remember coming home from school out of Baltimore city and the electronic warning signs that far north were warning people about the 40+ mile delays in Virginia.

If I drove, I could probably deal with the commute home, but I'm more concerned about the commute to work. If I leave at 5 AM before HOV goes into effect, how long will it take to get to the Springfield Metro? Or is VRE a better idea altogether?
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:34 AM
 
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If I were going to live in Fredericksburg, I wouldn't even consider driving unless I was going to work a 6:00-2:30 day. If that is the case, then you would need to leave your house (depending on where you are in F'burg) by about 4:45 a.m. Most of the people I work with who live in F'burg (and there are a lot), take the bus. They are very pleased with that. Those people seem to work 6:00-2:30 or 6:30 to 3:00. I'm sure there are later busses. You will do very well, on a bus, from Quantico up north and then the same in reverse. Once you lose the HOV lanes, that's where the trouble is.

I will tell you that the commute in the summer is BRUTAL because of the travelers on I-95. I live in Woodbridge and can escape much of the travel crap because I get HOV all the way. But you should see it. Heck, you should have seen it this past Thursday. There was 40 miles of backup. From DC right down to Fredericksburg. I was okay in the HOV but OMG the regular lanes were something.

I've always said that I would never, ever move farther south than I already am. I feel Woodbridge is too far. I know you are trying to be nice with your family, but you are the one that will be suffering day in and day out.

Obviously there are ways to get used to it as many people do. I know Woodbridge isn't the Utopia of the world, but there are plenty of SFH for 300K. I live in a pretty nice neighborhood and my model just sold for $325,000 (and not in a foreclosure situation). No, it's not a new home, but we have 4 bedrooms, all 1/2 acre lots, very quiet neighborhood.

I think if I were you, I'd be look a little harder up north before making that final decision.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:07 AM
 
446 posts, read 1,488,781 times
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I want to be honest with you and tell you this is not a good idea. The 95 delays are horrendous. Just look at 95 South from Springfield to Woodbridge on a Saturday even!

If you do decide on Fburg, I would NOT buy for a year so that you can truly see if this is what you want. The last thing you want to do is be stuck in a home you can't sell.

And just remember when you buy a home....try and put at least 20% down, get a fixed rate mortgage (15 year preferred) and have at least 6 months worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund.

Good luck to you!
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
38 posts, read 113,285 times
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Commuting from Fredericksburg isn't going to be fun, but it's doable. You mentioned leaving around 5am. If you do that then you should have no problem. My dad lives in south Stafford (takes rt. 17 exit to i95) and he leaves around 5ish everyday and gets off from work at 2 and it only takes him around 50 mins to get to Lee Hwy in Arlington. I also know some people who take VRE from the Fredericksburg Station or Leeland Station and don't mind it, but I don't know how long it takes them.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:43 PM
 
1,197 posts, read 1,869,974 times
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I have Another F'burg to DC Commute Question..."Why?"
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,323,028 times
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A colleague at work (Arlington) takes VRE to/from Fredericksburg every day and it works for him. I know that he often uses his BlackBerry as a modem for his laptop on the way home to get more work done.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,430 posts, read 3,492,034 times
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I would never recommend living in Fredericksburg and commuting to DC by car unless you have some very very non-conventional work hours. Interstate 95 is brutal year round but ESPECIALLY in the summer months. I've left town right after work on Friday evenings during this time and it has taken me three hours to get to Fredericksburg...I am dead serious when I say that. If you must live in Fredericksburg either take the VRE commuter train or find a carpool buddy but even that won't keep you out of I-95 delays between Dumfries (where HOV starts/ends) and Fredericksburg.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
3,872 posts, read 7,772,718 times
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we live in Freds. My husband does the slug lines. He leaves @ 6 am (has to be at work by 715) and gets there (GSA bldg) by 7. He leaves work @ 5 and gets home by 620 every day.

For him (us - I commute to GMU for school), the ride is worth it. I ADORE Fredericksburg. It's so beautiful and the prices for everything are cheaper. The people are nicer (we lived in Manassas for a year and HATED it). The schools (Stafford county) are GREAT.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,589 times
Reputation: 10
posted by Nicole: "we live in Freds. My husband does the slug lines. He leaves @ 6 am (has to be at work by 715) and gets there (GSA bldg) by 7. He leaves work @ 5 and gets home by 620 every day."

Where does your husband work? My husband works at NIH in Bethesda, Md. We are trying to figure out what city to buy a home in. There are some nice SFHomes in our price range (around 260,000 and under) in Fredericksburg, Va but the commute on VRE to Union Station DC is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. So I'm guessing I will have to add more time to ride the Marc train from Union to his office. Just don't know the amount of time (specifics) yet.

Right now we are considering Charles Town WVa,. It takes about 1 hour, 15 mins on the MARC train for that commute, and my husband doesn't think he will mind it because he can play on his IPad, work on his laptop, read. He will work at home 1 day a week, and He would no longer have to deal with driving in all the traffic as he has been doing for years. However, we want to live closer to our children in NCarolina and have warmer weather. Fredericksburg would meet that need IF we could find there is a way to match that 1 hour 15 minute commute time. I hate the idea of living so far away from the kids. But my husband plans to work for NIH until his retirement, so a move to some city within commuting distance is necessary.

Anyone actually ride the VRE from Fredericksburg (or a city with a similar housing market a little closer) to Maryland to work, or have a neighbor or friend who does?

Last edited by karin07; 03-23-2013 at 12:40 PM.. Reason: Left out some words
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: NoVA
160 posts, read 236,701 times
Reputation: 106
When I was at NIH, I knew a lady who commuted to work at NIH in Bethesda and lived in F'burg. She worked from 4am-12:30pm, so it wasn't too bad traffic-wise, except for Friday afternoons. It is still a ridiculously long commute mileage-wise at 63 miles each way. She got a Prius to save on gas, but, yuck. I wouldn't do it.
F'burg VRE to Union Station would be 90 minutes by itself, and then the metro ride from Union station to Medical Center is another 28 minutes.

From Charles Town WV, it may be a little better, but he will still have to transfer from the MARC to metro at Rockville, and then walk to his building on campus, which may be another 10-15 min walk depending.

What is your housing budget/requirements? What about Frederick, MD?
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