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Old 09-26-2009, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
40 posts, read 236,884 times
Reputation: 23

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Hi,

I just got a very good job opportunity at Dulles Airport. I am a single female (never married, no kids), 34, and I am desperetaly trying to decide where to live. After reading on this forum, it seems that my best options so far are Reston and Arlington.

I am currently living in beautiful Santa Barbara, so I am used to a relaxed lifestyle with no commuting, sunny days all year long, and going to the ocean 3 days a week with my outrigger canoeing club. I currently live 2 blocks from the beach

I know the change will be huge, and that is why I want to carefully select the best place to live, so I will not regret it anyhow.
Reston has better renting prices, less commute, and a similar lifestyle to SB. Arlington is closer to DC (they have an outrigger canoeing club at the Potomac) and there is much more single lifestyle/activities.

Any advice would be great, and if you can tell me the name of a good apartment complex (in Reston or Arlington) that would fit me, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance,
Patricia

PS: Just a little bit more about me: I am pretty active (outrigger, tennis, salsa & swing dancing, hiking, jogging)... so any place with an active community, where I can have access to those activities would be perfect.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:27 PM
 
246 posts, read 1,213,033 times
Reputation: 89
Dulles to Arlington could be about a 30-40 min. commute....and you are doing a reverse commute. I moved from So. Calif. to NoVa to work for the govt. Things are very different here.....weather changes hourly and its way more green than SB.

I doubt Reston is like SB...Reston is not by the water. If you like active, then Arlington may be it for you. There is lots to do and plenty of singles in their 30-40's, so you would be right at home. See my other post
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:32 PM
 
330 posts, read 749,573 times
Reputation: 212
Go with Arlington. If you like canoeing, then Arlington will be much closer to doing that. I hear this place has some of the best canoeing places. Get rid of the good weather all year round mentality - because this place's weather sucks compared to socal. Best of luck.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:31 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,051,686 times
Reputation: 2588
I would also add Alexandria to that list, particularly the Old Town section whose eastern edge is on the Potomac. Lots of people like to jog south towards Mount Vernon (George Washington slept there) or north along the waterfront towards National Airport. However, I'm not knowledgeable about where you might be able to store your canoe. You'd probably be able to do more hiking along the Washington and Old Dominion trail (W&OD Trail) which starts in Arlington and heads west for about 45 miles.

One of the bigger upsides to living in Reston would be a short commute - a benefit not to be discounted in this area - as well as access to the aforementioned W&OD Trail. The Reston Town Center may have some of the amenities you may be used to in Santa Barbara.

I'm sure that you can find plenty of fellow tennis players as well as salsa and swing dancers around here. I'd also guesstimate that a fair amount may coalesce in Arlington, Alexandria and especially DC. But this is a spread-out area not unlike LA so outside of the aforementioned cities, it may be hard to pin down one part of the area that has everything you're looking for.

And yes, you will get all four seasons here, with a relatively humid summer.

Last edited by FindingZen; 09-26-2009 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:42 PM
 
316 posts, read 340,480 times
Reputation: 782
Default Reston

Reston would be my suggestion... fun things to do at the town center, there are some singles there and I've also heard there are a few places in Ashburn as well. Arlington would be a pretty long drive any time of the day, and from my experience, Arlington would be quite a shock to the system coming from SB - Arlington is city-like in many areas (in my opinion). Reston is more burbish, lots of trees and pretty scenery. I would assume that you would be boating on the weekends only, correct? Great Falls is nice for a hike. Sorry but the beach is not nearby.

Why not rent a place for a while get a feel for the area before actually buying? Just a thought.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
40 posts, read 236,884 times
Reputation: 23
Thank you so much to everybody for their replies and information. It is really very valuable for me.

I was thinking about renting first, but I need to make a good decision because from my research online it seems most places are on a 12-month lease term, and if it's shorter term, the same rental is higher.

If I can get into the canoeing club right away, practices are 3 times a week, although due to weather conditions I don't really know if they do it only during spring and summer.

I understand about the weather being different, and somehow I am looking forward to the changing of the seasons. I will miss the sunshine, of course, but I used to lived in a similar area when I was a child. I am looking forward to having rivers again!
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:29 PM
 
257 posts, read 498,813 times
Reputation: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by summersb View Post
Hi,

I just got a very good job opportunity at Dulles Airport. I am a single female (never married, no kids), 34, and I am desperetaly trying to decide where to live. After reading on this forum, it seems that my best options so far are Reston and Arlington.

I am currently living in beautiful Santa Barbara, so I am used to a relaxed lifestyle with no commuting, sunny days all year long, and going to the ocean 3 days a week with my outrigger canoeing club. I currently live 2 blocks from the beach

I know the change will be huge, and that is why I want to carefully select the best place to live, so I will not regret it anyhow.
Reston has better renting prices, less commute, and a similar lifestyle to SB. Arlington is closer to DC (they have an outrigger canoeing club at the Potomac) and there is much more single lifestyle/activities.

Any advice would be great, and if you can tell me the name of a good apartment complex (in Reston or Arlington) that would fit me, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance,
Patricia

PS: Just a little bit more about me: I am pretty active (outrigger, tennis, salsa & swing dancing, hiking, jogging)... so any place with an active community, where I can have access to those activities would be perfect.
Are you working for MWAA? If you want no commute, go for Reston. I can get to the airport in 10 minutes. If you'll suck up a commute in exchange for a better location, try Arlington. If you're working at the airport, you'll be able to use the airport only lanes of the toll road, which will be clear the whole way. If you're doing the 9-5 grind, even a reverse commute will hit traffic going into the city during the evening rush. There's a Metro Bus that runs from Rosslyn to the airport terminal, with two stops in between, so that may be an option for you.

I work near the airport and live in Reston. I decided its worth saving the money (my rent for a 1BDR is less than $1100/mo. You won't find that in Arlington) to stay out here and have a short commute, and instead, go into the city on the nights I need to.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
40 posts, read 236,884 times
Reputation: 23
Yes, the job will be for MWAA (I also responded to you on the other post, just in case).

I am also leaning towards Reston. I did an online "cost of living" comparison, and I need to make at least 20% more in DC than what I actually making in Santa Barbara to match the same living conditions. I am getting a 22% and losing my really good benefits at the University... So if I want to make it work, I cannot spend a lot more money on rent and gas... Reston seems my best option.

Any suggestion for a good apartment complex in Reston for somebody like me?
Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:00 AM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,051,686 times
Reputation: 2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by summersb View Post
Yes, the job will be for MWAA (I also responded to you on the other post, just in case).

I am also leaning towards Reston. I did an online "cost of living" comparison, and I need to make at least 20% more in DC than what I actually making in Santa Barbara to match the same living conditions. I am getting a 22% and losing my really good benefits at the University... So if I want to make it work, I cannot spend a lot more money on rent and gas... Reston seems my best option.

Any suggestion for a good apartment complex in Reston for somebody like me?
Thank you in advance.
Congrats on your pre-decision to move to Reston.

I'm not familar with the apartments out there as others might be... but I would suggest being as close to the Reston Town Center as possible, if only to be near the social hub of the town.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,849,198 times
Reputation: 42860
There are some good areas to canoe on the various rivers. But if you want to see the best parts of the rivers here, kayaking is really the way to go.

You're in luck if you're moving to Reston. Lots of good kayaking nearby, including the lakes of Reston and Beaverdam. My favorite place to launch is Algonkian Park, about 5 miles north of Reston. From Algonkian you can paddle over to Riley's Lock (an interesting historic site). Or you can head north and check out the backyards of some intriguing old homes in Countryside I think they were built as vacation homes long before the area was developed.

If you like birds, the best viewing spot on the Potomac is also near this launch. It's where Sugarland Run joins it, near Donald Trump's golf course. The geese are now arriving and I've also seen swans and plenty of ducks and courmorants. There are also some nice islands to explore.

In the spring you can kayak from Algonkian down to Riverbend. You go through the doggie splash, which is always fun. But the water's too low to try that right now.

You can rent kayaks at Riverbend Park for $15/half day. They also have rentals in Georgetown, and I think they rent kayaks at Fountainhead Park.
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