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Old 05-22-2009, 01:37 PM
 
7 posts, read 15,909 times
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Hi - I am researching neighborhoods in NoVa in anticipation of a possible transfer. We are an interracial family with young children looking for a friendly, vibrant and active community. Clarendon caught my eye, but hubby will be working at Quantico and it doesn't look like that is a commute-able distance (would love to be able to use public transport).

I would love an area with coffee houses, bookshops, good schools and areas for walking, hiking, running...(list of ideals here, I know I won't get it all.) I will be looking for work in education - middle school, high school, community college.

Mostly want our family to feel safe and accepted.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Hi Beachwoods!

With your husband working in Quantico, I would first look between Woodbridge and Fredricksburg. You did not indicate whether you are buying or renting, but either way your money will go much farther in that area. You can always travel up closer to DC for evenings or weekends.

Many inside-the-Beltway urban areas to pick from as well, but then schools become an issue, and it's a longer commute to Quantico.

What part of California are you coming from? I am originally from California.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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Santa Cruz - NorCal to NoVa. LOL! Thinking we would buy, but doesn't look a whole lot less expensive than here...

Hubby lived in VA Beach about 20 years ago and HATED it and is very worried about having to return to VA. I am hopeful that NoVa is more tolerant than the Southern area.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachwoods View Post
Hubby lived in VA Beach about 20 years ago and HATED it and is very worried about having to return to VA. I am hopeful that NoVa is more tolerant than the Southern area.
Big difference between the two. There really should be separate states!
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: east coast
250 posts, read 822,987 times
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well coming from cali, this place IS different. We're in fredericksburg and half the street is working up at quantico or north into DC. Its definitely not a bad drive. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a home? Its pretty cookie cutter here but I prefer that to old and attempts made to 'revive' but alot of people hate the cookie-cutters.
Schools will likely not be as good, Im actually quite disappointed with them but I believe its the state SOLs not necessarily the teachers. I just know when we transfered my son was about a grade ahead here with Cali standards (coming from san diego). I was told fairfax co was the best place for schools but if the state standards are low it doesn't matter that much.

In fburg you can find a cute downtown, lots of running trails (I run and its so easy here, mainly flat areas, LOTS of trees--My god the amount of trees is insane). People generally keep to themselves and can be seen as rude compared to what I was used to in cali. If you have military neighbors though likely you'll find that to be comforting since they do ackknowledge you and at least wave hello.
We were in nocal for awhile as well, near santa cruz while my husband was at school in monterey. It isnt much less expensive here however the utilties are. I almost peed in my pants when I got the water bill. I was used to paying $200/mo, the bill was $16! The gas is about the same, food is a hell of a lot cheaper, ALOT gas/electric is about 50% less as well. Homes are better insulated here and have basements so lots of storage options as well. Bigger yards too so some pluses.

Its nice here but we don't like it nearly as much as cali for a number of reasons. Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:56 PM
 
715 posts, read 1,869,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern435 View Post
Hi Beachwoods!

With your husband working in Quantico, I would first look between Woodbridge and Fredricksburg. You did not indicate whether you are buying or renting, but either way your money will go much farther in that area. You can always travel up closer to DC for evenings or weekends.

Many inside-the-Beltway urban areas to pick from as well, but then schools become an issue, and it's a longer commute to Quantico.

What part of California are you coming from? I am originally from California.
Well, the schools in Woodbridge/Fredricksburg aren't exactly known to be comparable to the top schools found in upper NoVA.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:09 PM
 
715 posts, read 1,869,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachwoods View Post
Hi - I am researching neighborhoods in NoVa in anticipation of a possible transfer. We are an interracial family with young children looking for a friendly, vibrant and active community. Clarendon caught my eye, but hubby will be working at Quantico and it doesn't look like that is a commute-able distance (would love to be able to use public transport).

I would love an area with coffee houses, bookshops, good schools and areas for walking, hiking, running...(list of ideals here, I know I won't get it all.) I will be looking for work in education - middle school, high school, community college.

Mostly want our family to feel safe and accepted.
I think you can find what you are looking for in the areas of McLean, West Falls Church, Falls Church City, and Vienna. Unfortunately, there's less diversity in those areas, although I've never known NoVA to be inhospitable to mixed couples.

Areas with more diversity include Springfield, Herndon, Reston, and Fairfax City, but the schools aren't as good and they are more like traditional suburbia.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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There are so many mixed-race families in Northern Virginia, that I don't think anyone will bat an eyelash at you. While my husband and I are both white, one of our children is Asian (adopted), and I paid close attention to my neighborhood in Vienna to see how she'd fit in. I saw so many mixed-race couples (white/black), (Asian/white), (Hispanic/white) in Vienna, Fairfax, etc. along with many white parents of children of a different race. My mixed-race family never gets a second glance. I don't think you'd have a problem here.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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thank you all for your helpful responses. Vienna and the falls church areas loook promising. What about Alexandria? Del Rey and Old Town? Looks about the same as Santa Cruz in terms of sky high housing costs, but property taxes look a little lower and with public transport available I wonder if we could get by with one car? Looks to me like nubby could take the train from ALX to QAN each day????

Thoughts? :-)
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:44 AM
 
385 posts, read 1,111,484 times
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Alex. has a little bit of style that you are looking for. That sounds like a harsh commute. I would start at Quantico and move out. Part of Quantico actually is in Faquier County, which is somewhat unique. Could probably steal a house out there. More fashionable urban neighborhoods are really going to require you to pay the piper--in terms of both Dollars and commute.

Consider Burke, Lorton, Hooes Rd. areas. Rt. 1 is seedy.
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