U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-17-2009, 02:22 PM
 
67 posts, read 297,761 times
Reputation: 38

Advertisements

We're considering a move from North Carolina to the DC area and noticed that the Fort Washington area in MD has nicer housing and more property for your dollar versus N.VA and even as far out as Manassas. For Potential commuter to d-town DC, is there anything wrong with taking a place in Fort Washington over someplace in N.VA? I'm familiar with N.VA and I know it's nice, but why aren't the 3000sq ft homes and 1/2 acre lots that are within 2 miles of the beltway being eaten up? Can anyone explain what's wrong with the Ft. Washington area?

Thanks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-17-2009, 02:25 PM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
Here goes:

Crime--located in Prince George's County, Ft. Washington has a very high crime rate, and petty crime is pretty bad. In general, it's just not a nice place to live. It is the MD ghetto. Sorry to have to say that but it is. My first few years of life where in Ft. Washington and it *was* a nice place. It is no longer the case. There are some nice "pockets" near the National Harbor area but that's it.

Also, most people don't realize but in P.G. County, when you buy into a new housing development you must now pay an approximate $15,000 sewage fee to help pay for new sewage lines. I know someone that bought there that had to do this. Kind of took away the perceived discount of living there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2009, 03:42 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,042,400 times
Reputation: 995
It's in PG County.
That's why.
The schools are dreadful, and the restaurant and retail options aren't nearly as good as you'll find in most parts of northern Virginia and in the nicer parts of Montgomery County.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,565 posts, read 33,287,625 times
Reputation: 32120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleonar1 View Post
We're considering a move from North Carolina to the DC area and noticed that the Fort Washington area in MD has nicer housing and more property for your dollar versus N.VA and even as far out as Manassas. For Potential commuter to d-town DC, is there anything wrong with taking a place in Fort Washington over someplace in N.VA? I'm familiar with N.VA and I know it's nice, but why aren't the 3000sq ft homes and 1/2 acre lots that are within 2 miles of the beltway being eaten up? Can anyone explain what's wrong with the Ft. Washington area?

Thanks
I think Fort Washington is nice but it does have serious drawbacks.

Crime- Fort Washington is located in Prince George's County which crime rates are the highest among the DC suburban counties. Fort Washington itself isnt bad but just North of FW, Oxon Hill has a very high crime rate. Generally the farther from DC the better crime-wise. That may explain the 2 mile thing.

Insurance- It is much more expensive to insure a car in Maryland than in Virginia due to higher auto theft rates and the craziness of Maryland drivers. I have heard that it is anywhere between a $400-800 difference.

Schools- Fort Washington may have a couple of respectable elementary schools but the Prince George's County school system is not very good. Only Baltimore City has a worse school system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 07:43 AM
 
72 posts, read 249,056 times
Reputation: 29
Um

Ft. Washington is basicly next to National Harbor, is it not?

Areas around national harbor are pretty nice actually, quite a few new developments there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 07:46 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRUD View Post
Um

Ft. Washington is basicly next to National Harbor, is it not?

Areas around national harbor are pretty nice actually, quite a few new developments there.
As stated, there are a few, very few, nice pockets. You still have to surround yourself with the neighboring crime, the **** poor school system, and PG County. The Harbor is a relatively new addition and, maybe in time, it will help the area but I think that's a long-time coming.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 698,376 times
Reputation: 220
Ah this gets exhausting...

Well I've lived there since 2003 when I purchased my home not far from the Harbor area. My hubby works in DC and has an 30 min or less commute into SW DC for work and I have a nice reverse commute against traffic into NoVa for work (30-35 Tysons to and hour to Sterling/Ashburn). I haven't experienced any major crime issues in my immediate community that isn't the comparable rate of petty stuff that goes on everywhere in this metro area and I am active in home owners association and community meetings where we go over the neighbor police reports, have our local police leiutenant come to meeting to discuss and generally discuss things going on around us regularly. As far as car crimes go...there are mainly single family homes over here with at least a 2 car garage so as our cars are generally always in garages haven't seen any theft issues in my community. PG does have a higher rate of car theft...at our last community meeting the police representative stated that the majority are from people leaving cars running with keys in the ignition. I have heard of a Garmin or Ipod being stolen out of a car but look at the crime reports and maps and that is common all over this area for those dumb enough to leave it in plain sight in your vehicle including the Fairfax and Loudoun County crime reports that I read since I work out there. I agree the further from DC generally the better the crime rate though I am technically on the Oxon Hill/Ft. Washington border...I can cross the street into either place and the Harbor is in Oxon Hill....my particular pocket hasn't seen the inside the betlway Oxon Hill crime issues...those are generally poorer neighborhoods with more multifamily tenant housing...my neighborhood is mainly families in homes and many are military families and retirees and fed workers. The county does have one of the highest crime rates in the area...most of this is concentrated in neighborhoods that border DC and are inside the beltway. Personally I would not recommend those areas either.

I haven't had a child yet (Jan 2nd I will though!) so schools were not an issue for me but if they do not attend Oxon Hill High which was to some's surprise on the top high schools in the USA 2008 list and is a magnet school that many seek to get into then the money saved on more affordable housing will be used to put them in Burgundy Farms private school across the bridge for which buses pick up quite a few students in the Ft. Washington area or one of the many in DC.

Car insurance....I moved here from Arlington, VA where I lived for several years and my car insurance rate did not increase on my Acura...I did save money on the personal property tax though that had to pay in NoVa.

We cook mainly at home and dining is not a high priority but when we desire to blow money on dining out on occasion we go to the Harbor, 5 min across the bridge to Alexandria or into DC for the real deal authentic non-chain restaurant stuff. There is some great barbeque over here, Filipino food (a very large Filipino community), Thai, Carribbean/Jamaican, Mexican and soul food nearby. We aren't big shoppers (especially not in this economy) but when we do we shop in Waldorf (20 min) and Alexandria (5-10 min), mainly buy things online as we prefer it (many of the unique things I like have to be ordered from NYC and LA and other major cities) and as I work near Tysons when I get luxury cravings from Hermes, Chanel and Christian Louboutins I buy it there (buying often just being having my personal shopper giving me a call about something I may like or that I inquire about and shipping items to me as they rarely have what I want in stock and have to ship it anyway). Maybe it is just us, but it really is not that inconvenient or that big a deal...even in the "preferred" communities not everyone lives around the corner from the store they want to go to and has to drive the same 10-20 min we do within their county to go to the suburbia strip mall of choice to buy what they want.

It is not the perfect utopia and it isn't the as horrible as those that are not recent/current residents make it out to be either. There are good and bad pockets in every county around here and in DC. Talk to local residents and real estate agents that specialize in the neighborhoods and know the good and bad parts well.

Last edited by TechlawyerinPG; 09-18-2009 at 09:52 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 698,376 times
Reputation: 220
Fort Washington spans from the north near Oxon Hill to south near Accokeek...that is a vast area that is a mix of rural with farms and suburbia and urban...depending on what you are looking for there as nice pockets all over the area and not just near the Harbor including Tantallon (central Ft. Washington) which was featured in Washingtonian magazine as one of the best places to live in the DC area....the entire town is certainly not the ghetto. I grew up in a real ghetto in inner city St. Louis and know what one truly is when I see it.

As there are many 1970 to 2008 construction preexisting homes on the market ranging from $300k to $1 million dollars, if one does not want a sewer charge if there is such a thing on new construction, then you have plenty of preexisting options to choose from that will not include it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 10:11 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
techlawyer--

Just a question. When you moved from VA into MD, did you notice more payroll taxes taken out? When I moved from MD (PG County) to Virginia, I got quite a substantial raise in my paycheck because the state payroll taxes were significantly lower. On a gross salary of $40,000, I netted an extra $170 per month in my paycheck by making the move. My company payroll officer told me this would happen. Nice surprise. Of course, I did have to turn around and pay personal property tax on my car but the payroll tax plus up more than made up for it.

I also wanted to add that I have many friends still residing in PG County (one couple in Fort Washington near the Harbor) and several others in Clinton. The main difference for them is that they have no children and I don't think they get pulled down into what is going on with the schools over there. Like you, they "travel" to go out to dinner and shop. My main reason for moving is that I had a 3 year old and one on the way. The public schools were out of the question, and I wasn't happy with the selection of private either. There were roving gangs of teens and the day one pulled out a gun in front of my house, I was done. We also had an incident of my husband reprimanding a child on the street for throwing rocks at passing cars. This escalated into a "racial" fight and the police became involved. YUCK, YUCK, YUCK....I now live in Woodbridge which has its own bad reputation and issues, but it pales in comparison to what I experienced in PG county (which, by the way I was sad to leave because I grew up there).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 698,376 times
Reputation: 220
Hi Christine

I think I got slightly more money in my pay...I do know some towns have local taxes which can effect the difference beyond just state taxes....I moved from Arlington so not sure if they have local tax or not as compared to other parts of Nova. Fort Wash is not an incorporated town so no extra local taxes. My husband moved from Capitol Heights (yuck) to Fort Wash. with me and he got more income because Cap Heights has local taxes. The tax bracket may have some impact also...at the time I moved I was over $100k. But I agree it is definitely something to consider...I think DC has the highest income tax rate in the area last I read in the Washingtonian.

Yes I do agree kids change your perspective about things. I think maybe because me and my husband both grew up in areas that were way worse than where we are now our perspective of 'bad' may be skewed somewhat. My husband also works in social services with a lot troubled/at-risk kids in DC. I can say the bad behavior of kids has been something I have seen in my local library, grocery store, on metro rides in DC, Montgom and in PG etc....the kids in my development are all well mannered which probably reflects on the fact that there are parents that don't condone that kind of behavior in my neighborhood. We get a lot of overflow from DC and inner beltway Forest Heights that shop and use resources in Fort Wash. so you often don't know if they are residents of Ft. Wash or not. I do think there is a mix of people who parent here and people who do not and people who share my values and those who don't but I'm not sure if we can ever totally escape that wherever we relocate. If I had the experiences you had I'd probably have concerns also...so totally understand where you are coming from. I haven't seen that kind of activity around me though (thusfar thank goodness ).

Last edited by TechlawyerinPG; 09-18-2009 at 11:31 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top