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Old 02-26-2010, 05:18 PM
 
3,378 posts, read 3,237,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
George Mason HS is definitely more "sought-after," to use the real estate agent phrase, than schools such as Stuart, Annandale, and Falls Church. They are simply not in the same category with regard to the demographics they serve, and that fact is reflected in both test scores and housing prices.

The bottom line is that $500K will not buy an "upper-middle" class house in the City of Falls Church, North Arlington, or McLean. If the budget is fixed, and the OP wants a large home on a decent-sized lot with a 2-car garage and the usual amenities, then he might have to go with the longer commute. That gives him communities such as Burke and Springfield to consider as well. Most folks coming from other parts of the country aren't particularly impressed with what $500K buys in a close-in NoVa neighborhood.
But, he could possibly rent a nice place in those areas
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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"Moreover, some families ascribe less significance to school boundaries with gold-plated demographics than you do, and you'll find plenty of families who in many instances pay considerably more than $500K to live in homes in the Annandale, Falls Church and Stuart districts."

That is true. However, those who describe their current neighborhoods in other parts of the country as "upper-middle class" and who are looking in the OP's price range are generally not among them. They want a $500K house to look like their current house, not like the houses you can buy for $500K in the neighborhoods you are describing. That's why they end up living further out and putting up with a longer commute.
Since the OP is willing to accept an hour-plus commute, he'd probably be happier living in Burke than in Falls Church or Annandale.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
"Moreover, some families ascribe less significance to school boundaries with gold-plated demographics than you do, and you'll find plenty of families who in many instances pay considerably more than $500K to live in homes in the Annandale, Falls Church and Stuart districts."

That is true. However, those who describe their current neighborhoods in other parts of the country as "upper-middle class" and who are looking in the OP's price range are generally not among them. They want a $500K house to look like their current house, not like the houses you can buy for $500K in the neighborhoods you are describing. That's why they end up living further out and putting up with a longer commute.
Since the OP is willing to accept an hour-plus commute, he'd probably be happier living in Burke than in Falls Church or Annandale.
That could be - though the same thinking might well lead some to spurn Burke in favor of Ashburn or South Riding, where you can find newer and larger homes closer to what you'd find in the Ft. Lauderdale area than what you'd get in Burke for the same amount of money. These areas also are probably less than an hour than Seven Corners.

Of course, one thing the OP should consider is that the rush-hour commutes in this area are on congested roads, so a 75-minute bumper-to-bumper to commute may ultimately hold less appeal than a drive on an open interstate.

Last edited by JD984; 02-27-2010 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Smile Thank you all for your posts

Thank you all for your very specific and helpful information. Unfortunately the Florida housing market was hit hard in the crash. There are a lot of short sales and foreclosures in the current appraisals, taking away our selling power. I am a government employee and can deal with an hour commute, that is what I have now. We lived in the DC area 15 years ago (we were single and renting) so I have been exposed to DC/Beltway driving. Anything much over an hour gets to be tedious...We initially considered Centreville but we have been told getting to Seven Corners from there is a real task. My wife is a city girl so she needs her "shopping", I am from rural VA so I am happy with a nice house and some yard in the back. Schools are very important because my children (and wife) are most precious to me and I am dragging them away from a semi-paradise. Thank you all again and if any of this information generates more great ideas and suggestions it will be greatly appreciated....
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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Housing prices are coming down here, too, but it's not like Florida, which is why you keep hearing that it's going to be an adjustment.

Centreville is in western Fairfax County (it's actually not far from South Riding, which I mentioned in a prior post and is a bit further out still). For $500K, you can definitely get you a newer and nicer house than you'd find in places like Burke, Annandale or Falls Church. If you're willing to commute an hour each way, I'm not sure Centreville isn't a good suggestion - you would basically either (1) take Lee Highway to Route 50, and Route 50 directly to Seven Corners) or (2) take Route 66 to East Falls Church. Route 66 has lane restrictions in the morning, so you'd need to have another passenger or to drive a hybrid to travel east-bound in the AM or west-bound in the PM. You might be able to check at your new work-place to see if anyone carpools from the Centreville area.

The schools in the Centreville area are all fine - pretty much considered average for Fairfax County, which is a good system (although we're dealing with budget constraints and class sizes stand to increase). Sorry to tell you, but there will be plenty of shopping available at Fair Oaks, Dulles Town Center, Tysons that's not too far away.

One useful search tool for homes in this area is the www.franklymls.com site, which allows you to tailor your searches to reflect a number of criteria, including price and schools.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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JEB77, thanks for your input and information throughout. I will definitely be able to make use of the HOV lanes. I will be travelling periodically so being close to Dulles is a bonus. I have been using realtor.com to look at availabilty & price. I will try your link too...thanks again.
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