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Old 12-06-2009, 06:35 PM
 
1,592 posts, read 1,826,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseGoTo11 View Post
not to be a complete d-bag, but we don't put "the" in front of highway numbers as is common in California, people just say 7 or 66
LOL - that must be the Spanish influence in LA on the American English language b/c that's how you would say it in Spanish.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:08 PM
 
205 posts, read 264,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brymax View Post
We're kind of narrowing our searches into 2 areas.

1. The south side of Dulles airport. - Bristow, Warrenton, Gainesville, etc.
2. The north side - Leesburg, Potomac Falls, Sterling, maybe Herndon (although I hear gang activity is high there. Of course my B.I.L. being a cop always starts his opinion of an area with the crime rate).

Which way is better in & out of DC... Living along Rte 7 or the 66?
Just so you know, the commute from Bristow is the worst commute in the nation. 66 is bad.... very bad. You'll avoid a lot of bad traffic in the morning leaving early, but trying to return home at 5pm will be probably 90 minutes +.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I guess that was kind of lame with the "the".
I still would called you a D-bag for poking fun at it if it weren't for the Spinal-Tap ref in your handle. That S is money!

Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
Just so you know, the commute from Bristow is the worst commute in the nation. 66 is bad.... very bad. You'll avoid a lot of bad traffic in the morning leaving early, but trying to return home at 5pm will be probably 90 minutes +.
Alright, so I read the article linked and it states the drive average is 45 minutes. My wife and I laughed out loud at the same time.

I'm assuming for you to refer to this drive it's actually much worse than reported? Because 45min-1hr. to go 40 miles ain't bad in Cali time.

2 years ago I was driving from my home in Irvine to Northridge which is just a little north of LA. It's a total of 77 miles. How does 55 minutes at 4:50am and... 3.5 -to- SOMETIMES 4 FREAKIN HOURS home at 3pm sound? Does that sound like a nice cruise home?
Oh, just as a comparison, I was also working in Las Vegas... That's 270 miles from Irvine. Yeah that's about 3.5hrs as well.
Needless to say, I chose to self-terminate my employment with that firm.

Working for Clark, one of (if not THE) largest construction co.'s in DC, there's absolutely no guarantee which side of DC a project might be on from 1 year to the next. It's a crap shoot.

Last edited by brymax; 12-06-2009 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,085,187 times
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What are your thoughts on family friendly and school districts? Keep those in mind as you do your research. The Ashburn area is great for families but some of the communities have homes with smaller lots than others. In the $400k price range you may not get as big of a yard as you'd like. If you find a place closer to the Dulles Toll Road than to Route 7 it will make the commute a little easier.

I agree with the others that renting first might be a good idea. It may be an inconvenience to move twice but at least you'll have a better idea of your options and more time to make your decision.

Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (formerly Vienna, VA)
5,633 posts, read 5,438,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brymax View Post
Alright, so I read the article linked and it states the drive average is 45 minutes. My wife and I laughed out loud at the same time.

I'm assuming for you to refer to this drive it's actually much worse than reported? Because 45min-1hr. to go 40 miles ain't bad in Cali time.

Don't be so quick to laugh out loud. I guarantee that it takes much more than 45 minutes to get from Bristow to DC in rush hour. My husband does the reverse commute from Vienna (about 10 miles outside DC) to Manassas (near Bristow) and it takes 40 minutes. Traffic here is pretty horrible. There are several on this board from California who could probably do a comparison for you. Trust me it ain't pretty.

Having said all that, it's probably not too bad at 4:45 AM. It's the evenings that are much worse. Loudoun is a beautiful area; though. I'm sure you will love it.

And I "second" not wanting to sound superieor about not putting the "the" in front of the route numbers. But I was going to write the same thing after reading your posts. It just sounds funny to East Coast ears - not done here at all. Although, we do put "the" in front of "beltway" or "parkway," etc.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:03 PM
 
205 posts, read 264,519 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by brymax View Post
Alright, so I read the article linked and it states the drive average is 45 minutes. My wife and I laughed out loud at the same time.

I'm assuming for you to refer to this drive it's actually much worse than reported? Because 45min-1hr. to go 40 miles ain't bad in Cali time.

2 years ago I was driving from my home in Irvine to Northridge which is just a little north of LA. It's a total of 77 miles. How does 55 minutes at 4:50am and... 3.5 -to- SOMETIMES 4 FREAKIN HOURS home at 3pm sound? Does that sound like a nice cruise home?
Oh, just as a comparison, I was also working in Las Vegas... That's 270 miles from Irvine. Yeah that's about 3.5hrs as well.
Needless to say, I chose to self-terminate my employment with that firm.

Working for Clark, one of (if not THE) largest construction co.'s in DC, there's absolutely no guarantee which side of DC a project might be on from 1 year to the next. It's a crap shoot.
I assume you missed the anecdote at the end of the article where a woman said if she didn't leave by 7am it took 2.5 hours?

I don't know how they do the average... obviously it's for various distances for people leaving at different times. But, in the same study (done by the census), it reports Irvine as only averaging 22.5 minutes.

And by the way, unlike California, we have zero redundancy in our freeway system and poor secondary roads. If there is an accident on the highway, there is no alternate path.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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I like franklymls.com You can search by neighborhood, zip code, etc. It also tells you everything that has sold in the last year and houses currently under contract.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,192 posts, read 14,474,447 times
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66 would be fine in the morning, but in the evening, it can be horrible, especially if you're not in a carpool. Rush hour on 66 can start at 3:00, and traffic can build quickly, though inside The Beltway it empties out when the HOV restrictions are in place at 4:00. 66 gives fits because it's a road where the pace improves for a bit, but the traffic then builds heavily into Manassas and Gainesville. Part of the problem is an inefficient interchange at Route 29, where 66 exits to get to Gainesville and Warrenton, since the traffic backs up, and a flood of traffic getting off at Route 234 in Manassas. Add to that road construction, and inadequate roads per recent development in Gainesville, and it's a recipe for a lot of waiting at many times during the day. Oh, and if there's an event at Nissan Pavilion, traffic can be even slower.

Bristow is reached via secondary roads from either Manassas or Gainesville, with no direct highway access, so that's why the commute can be absolutely horrible. There is a VRE train at Bristow, but I don't think it would do much good for your commute, since I would imagine that it would be variable, based upon project assignment.

Herndon does have some gang activity, but it depends upon area, since there are nice places with Herndon mailing addresses that are in Fairfax County, and not all of the town, itself, is rife with problems. There's a large commercial area of Herndon as well, with office parks, and some apartments that are a bit derelict. Because the area used to be a bastion of traditionally affordable housing before the Toll Road and development spilled over from nearby Reston, there are areas that have not achieved economic parity with the rest of the region.

If you're looking at a house in Franklin Farm or Fox Mill Estates, for example, with a Herndon mailing address (aka Oak Hill to differentiate it from Herndon), it's perfectly fine. The commute would be much shorter for you from this area, but you would have more along the lines of 1/4 acre or less of land with the house. If you're south of Herndon, roughly between Chantilly and Reston and west of Oakton, it's a Fairfax County area with a Herndon zip code. The problem here is the prices are relatively high, hence you would have a very limited supply, if any, since some of the houses around that price point seem to be short sales. This is not an area where you will find foreclosures and abandoned property because it's very desirable, and people will buy into these communities, hence the competition for any short sale.

Gainesville has a decent commute to I-66, but you have to get through Manassas, and Warrenton is a bit further out, along Route 29 from Gainesville. Warrenton, however, is beautiful, and has many horse farms in the surrounding countryside. The DC-side of Warrenton, between the town and Gainesville offers the easiest commute. However, I would also check into Marshall and parts of Haymarket because they are directly along I-66 to the west of Gainesville. Basically they form a rudimentary triangle as I-66 diverges to the southwest, and I-66 continues west, with Marshall and Warrenton being about equal (give or take a couple of miles).

Another area to consider is between Manassas and Route 15 in Prince William County, the Catharpin area. Basically, the community surrounds Route 234 as it passes the Manassas Battlefield and heads northwest toward Route 15. Houses in this area are on larger lots, usually a couple of acres, though there may not be too many on the market at any given time. They would fall in your budget, however, for one of the older (1960s/1970s) more suburban style houses as opposed to some of the newer houses that can range up to $1.2M. You have the option of taking I-66 from Manassas, which is not going to be an issue early in the morning, but in the afternoon you can follow Route 29 from Fairfax to Route 234, or you can take Route 50 west to Route 15 south, although 50 and 29 do get their share of traffic too.

Manassas, Haymarket, and the Centreville area of Fairfax County are the closest areas to Catharpin, but there's no real town, just an area. 234 in Manassas is stip mall heaven or hell (depending upon whether or not you like them), and would remind me of Corona in your neck of the country, though like parts of Corona, there are nice houses/communities in Manassas. There is an old town in Manassas, too, but it's virtually surrounded by strip malls along the 234 corridor to I-66. Catharpin is spared this sprawl because the battlefield divides the area, and keeps the semi-rural neighborhood character.

You have a good handle on the area when you said that the morning will probably not be an issue for you, but the afternoon is where the delays mount. Most of the areas you're considering are between an hour and an hour and a half in the afternoon, depending upon route taken, but there will be those awful days when it can take two hours or more in a bad rainstorm or snow.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:34 PM
 
108 posts, read 144,441 times
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Well rest assured I did take the time to read your novel and it definitely helps.

I'm at the stage where I am seriously listening to anyone and everyone I can. I really want to make the best, most informed decision I can. I really pat myself on the back for having the testicular fortitude to hold off and NOT buy a house when F'n EVERYONE out here was.

Now I sit here in my condo with a teenager, a toddler and walls that continue to close in around me WAITING to take advantage of the good financial position I created. So I really do appreciate all of you providing all the info.

I should return such hospitality. So if any-o-yall are thinking about packing it all up and moving west to take advantage of the fabulous weather, let me give you some valuable advice.

DON'T!

Take away the GREAT weather and you have nothing out here.
I've lived here my whole life and I'll gladly trade the weather to move somewhere with a sense of history and community. A place where people know their neighbors and family values aren't just catch phrases.

WAIT.... It is like that out there right?

Oh yeah, and guns. Yall like your guns out there. Finally will get to shoot my AR without wondering if someone is gonna take it away. Can't wait!
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