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Old 04-19-2009, 06:38 PM
 
125 posts, read 360,979 times
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Hi everyone,
We're relocating because of my husband's job (DC) and I'm hoping for a chance in NIH (fingers crossed xx). I was down last week and absolutely love the NoVa area. We looked at a lot of SFH and decided we like the Oakton/Vienna area the best. We are looking at houses that are in the 500k range and know the size house will not be what we have now-that's okay as there is just my husband, me and our 12 yr old and our dog.
We didn't look into TH and now are back online looking around. You guys have been such a great source of info so far, I thought maybe you could tell me the populations you see in THs. Are there many families or just singles/couples-which is what we find here in NY.
Would we find ourselves wishing we went to a SFH because of no other kids or no??
thanks in advance.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:43 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,367,337 times
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Some families like your size, or you may see about 30 illegal immigrants living in them.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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The people I know who live in THs are mostly singles or couples without children. I have a few friends who have had a child and stayed in the TH until #2 comes along and then they look for a SFH. BTW, Vienna/Oakton is a very nice area, if you choose to settle there. GL!
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:55 PM
 
482 posts, read 1,222,084 times
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Read the thread about the family in the Post article. What we have determined is their family of four sold their townhouse in 2004 to buy an SFH. Now their SFH is worth less than their TH was, and their about 200K in the hole, and their 8 yo wants a manicure. Families live in them all of the time. Drive by a TH Community one morning when the kids are catching the school bus. They are out like locusts.

Last edited by nwlv; 04-19-2009 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:18 PM
 
482 posts, read 1,222,084 times
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High rise and apartment style condos tend to be more singles and couple; much more so than the THs. The Th is a choice many families are forced to make. I remember a delivery job, and the drivers agreed that they liked the TH people--often better tips. Maybe they had been in the service sector, or maybe they had a much smaller mortgage, but I've been to Fairfax Station SFHs with 20000 USD worth of granite in the foyer and got ONE DOLLAR on a thirty Dollar order.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,757,263 times
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Of the friends I have in the area, with kids, I'd say about half of them live in townhouses. Even some families with 2 or 3 kids. Housing prices in the area are such that a SFH is out of reach for a lot of families, especially if they want to have a decent commute and/or stay in Fairfax County for the schools.

So if you chose a townhouse, you definitely would not be the only family there by far. It's really common out here. It's a matter of tradeoffs - with a SFH you'd have more of a yard for your dog and you wouldn't have to worry about living right up against your neighbors, but a TH would probably be much newer and might even have a surprising amount of square footage given the price point you mentioned above.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,757,263 times
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As for "30 illegal immigrants" in a townhouse, it does happen. It would be naive to suggest otherwise, though how much of a problem that is depends on your personal perspective. However, while it's always good to pay attention to who your neighbors are when you're living in close proximity, given the neighborhoods you seem to be looking at and the prices you seem to be willing to pay, I wouldn't be concerned.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:56 PM
 
482 posts, read 1,222,084 times
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A friend cut loose his TH in 22182 last July. They got 420K. There were illegals, for sure.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,703,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athousandlogins View Post
As for "30 illegal immigrants" in a townhouse, it does happen. It would be naive to suggest otherwise, though how much of a problem that is depends on your personal perspective. However, while it's always good to pay attention to who your neighbors are when you're living in close proximity, given the neighborhoods you seem to be looking at and the prices you seem to be willing to pay, I wouldn't be concerned.
Well, my perspective is: Who wants to raise kids in a home connected to a flophouse. I live in a great townhouse community in Fairfax county next to a townhouse that may have 6-10 men living in it at any one time. Who knows who they are or whether or not they are, or should be, on a sexual predator list? When I was looking at townhouses I looked at one in Kingstowne that had sleeping bags all over it. My guess is that there were at least 10 people living in it. The house smelled like it too. Fortunately I'm only here for a couple years and am renting, but I would be VERY hesitant to buy a TH since, as was mentioned earlier, they are often rented. Just think of it this way, when you go into the malls, supermarkets, and restaurants in your neighborhood, remember that all those people live somewhere and it would take many to afford an >$2,000 a month rental.

All of this area has almost unregulated commercial development. For example, the Kingstowne area just authorized the building of a massive new shopping complex. As I said earlier, those people have to live somewhere and I suspect that most will not be able to rent townhouses unless several chip in.

My advice, don't buy. Only rent where almost everyone else in your block owns the TH they live in. That will be very difficult to find.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,540,524 times
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Unfortunately, a SFH does not guarantee that the house next to you won't have an extended "family". The house next to ours, after being sold to an apparently very nice Latino family (mother, father, and two small girls), went from being a home to one family to a way station for an unknown number of apparently single Latino men. This lasted for several years. And one of the few good things to come out of this sudden and deep recession is that the house went to foreclosure, and was bought by a very nice couple expecting their first child. I have my fingers crossed that they will be in the house for a good long time.

Also, a TH does not always mean singles or people without children. The first house we bought was a TH. We had looked around, and it was the most house we could buy given our income at the time. We bought it as it was being built - it was in the last section of a new TH community. And shortly after we moved in, we found that our "block" had a really nice mix of people, with several families with children the same age or close to the same age as our two kids. We made many lasting friendships among our neighbors, and thoroughly enjoyed our five years there.

All this to say, you can't tell much from simply "TH" or "SFH" - it really depends on the specifics - where the house is and what the neighborhood is like. And renting is almost always a good option.
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