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Old 02-09-2010, 02:21 PM
 
28 posts, read 58,955 times
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Hello all,

I am relatively new to the DC area (6 months) and am looking to buy a starter home. I am married with a kid turning three this summer so I am concerned about finding good public elementary/preschools in the same area.

I am also concerned about resale value. I am not sure how long I will be in this area, and I figured that buying a place near a metro station with decent schools around it, plus rehabbing the place a bit would be enough to ensure the house would be marketable.

I work near the Gallery Place metro in DC, and cannot have a commute that exceeds one hour. We are looking for a *starter* home. I do not see being able to go over $250-275K and would be more comfortable a bit lower than that.

1. Suggestions?

2. I have found a few possibilities near the Huntington Metro and wanted some feedback on the neighborhood, elementary schools, and resale value.

List of schools near the Huntington metro (http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=sr/mr=5/zc=22303/so=1/sc=0/fp=1/fltr_nb=Elementary/p=1?ctxt=946934 - broken link). Does anybody know anything about Cameron, Mount Eagle, Clermont, Rose Hill, Douglas Mac Arthur, Lyles-Couch, Jefferson-Houston etc?

Thanks in advance -- I'll be active on this thread!
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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The first four schools you listed are in Fairfax County. You can see a complete profile of each school by going to FCPS Home Page Redirect Page and looking them up under "Schools and Centers" (near the top). Some or all of the others are Alexandria City Schools, I think?
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Huntington is actually pretty decent. I feel like home values here are priced right for buyers, especially if they are a handyman who can fix up an old worn down house. There are some sketchy sections, but overall it is nice. Take a drive through the streets and you can judge for yourself. We just moved next to the Huntington Metro, and we like what we have seen. The streets were plowed at 0530 on Saturday morning.. with 17 inches already on the ground! The neighbors have all been friendly, and it's very convienient for basic shops, restaurants, the beltway, etc. For the price I think its worth considering.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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$275K would be extremely low for this area, even for a starter home. That's more like a luxury 1BR condo or an okay 2BR. Granted, there may be fixer-uppers, foreclosures and short sales that you may come across. But even in a modestly desirable area like Huntington/Groveton/Hybla Valley, you may need around $400K for a small rancher.

However, you can find a plethora of what you're looking for out in Prince William County, particularly around Woodbridge and Manassas. A relatively high rate of foreclosures have pushed down housing prices there. I'm sorry to say that your commute will be over an hour. The good news is that your fellow commuters on the Virginia Railway Express or OmniRide bus will empathize.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
$275K would be extremely low for this area, even for a starter home. That's more like a luxury 1BR condo or an okay 2BR. Granted, there may be fixer-uppers, foreclosures and short sales that you may come across. But even in a modestly desirable area like Huntington/Groveton/Hybla Valley, you may need around $400K for a small rancher.

However, you can find a plethora of what you're looking for out in Prince William County, particularly around Woodbridge and Manassas. A relatively high rate of foreclosures have pushed down housing prices there. I'm sorry to say that your commute will be over an hour. The good news is that your fellow commuters on the Virginia Railway Express or OmniRide bus will empathize.
Tone, there have been a few homes sold near Huntington W/I the past year close to $200K.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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GUAMANIANS:
Is there any way I can see the information about homes previously sold in that area?

I want to have a realistic expectation of what I can hope will com eon the market. I am stretching the budget to get into this neighborhood and want to make sure that I am not wasting my time because what I need it out of my range.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:11 PM
 
28 posts, read 58,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamanians View Post
Huntington is actually pretty decent. I feel like home values here are priced right for buyers, especially if they are a handyman who can fix up an old worn down house. There are some sketchy sections, but overall it is nice. Take a drive through the streets and you can judge for yourself. We just moved next to the Huntington Metro, and we like what we have seen. The streets were plowed at 0530 on Saturday morning.. with 17 inches already on the ground! The neighbors have all been friendly, and it's very convienient for basic shops, restaurants, the beltway, etc. For the price I think its worth considering.
Would you mind giving a bit more info about the neighborhood and which part you live in? I can tell that this area is not very well developed and I don't mind something I can fix up so long as it is livable in the present.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:19 PM
 
28 posts, read 58,955 times
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Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
The first four schools you listed are in Fairfax County. You can see a complete profile of each school by going to FCPS Home Page Redirect Page and looking them up under "Schools and Centers" (near the top). Some or all of the others are Alexandria City Schools, I think?
Great link. Thanks.

Do you know if any of the public schools (magnet perhaps?) provide buses for transportation? Growing up I had one that did, but they no longer do so I am, again, hopeful.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:34 PM
 
7,970 posts, read 18,098,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamanians View Post
Tone, there have been a few homes sold near Huntington W/I the past year close to $200K.
Wow, that is truly amazing! Would you have any idea how many were sold by the owner rather than a bank? Seriously.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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We used to live in the area and moved because of schools. That said, Clermont (where we lived) is considered very good. The middle and high schools, however, are not great.
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