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Old 03-20-2010, 05:26 AM
Location: Ashburn, VA
987 posts, read 2,138,754 times
Reputation: 618


We traded the house and community for the commute (live in Ashburn, one works in DC, the other all over the NOVA area). Wouldn't have done it any other way. Worth it, in my opinion. I love my neighbors, my neighborhood, the amenities, the restaurant and shopping choices. I often joke that, if I won the lottery, I would still live here. We could not have come close to affording our house closer in. But that's okay.

BUT-my husbands schedule is relatively flexible. He can work his eight hours starting from when he gets in. So he is at work by 5:30am to 6:00am every day but is home by 3pm most days. He really doesn't have to contend with traffic. And my schedule is flexible. I can wait out rush hour, which I do most days.

The major, major, major downside of Ashburn is that, aside from the Greenway (which can cost upwards of $4 each way to drive 8 miles), there is only one road in and one road out of Ashburn-Waxpool Road. From my house, it is 3.8 miles to Route 28, which is a north/ south road that leads to the Dulles Toll Road. That 3.8 miles can take 25 minutes or more to get down, due to the volume of people. There are umpteen lights on the road (and more to come, from what I've read) and everyone who lives in Ashburn has to traverse this road to get to Rt 28. It SUCKS!!!!!

On a side note, we were down in Chantilly last night killing time waiting for a birthday party to end. Driving around looking for somewhere to eat... We drove through about eight strip malls before we finally settled, by default, on Glory Days in Stone Ridge. Which was packed! There just aren't the dining options there that Ashburn has but I never really realized it before.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:52 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 8,357,898 times
Reputation: 3594
Only you know how much a commute will affect your husband and your family. I know that when I had to commute from College Park in MD to Kingstowne in VA every day for my internship in college, that extra 75-90 minutes was miserable. I would come home tense and frustrated and exhausted.

Why I graduated, I swore I'd never have that kind of commute again. We've opted for smaller, older places that keep our commutes under 30 minutes each way. It makes me a much happier person in the evenings!

There are family friendly neighborhoods all over the place around here. I live inside the beltway (N Springfield) and this place is flooded with children in the evenings, riding bikes and playing in yards--so don't feel like you'll lose that if you move closer in. Your house may have smaller bedrooms or an outdated kitchen, but it's up to you if that is worth a larger commute.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:54 AM
389 posts, read 971,345 times
Reputation: 147
The major, major, major downside of Ashburn is that, aside from the Greenway (which can cost upwards of $4 each way to drive 8 miles), there is only one road in and one road out of Ashburn-Waxpool Road.
This is the problem with most of the area. On my side I-95 and US 1 are the only way to leave the county north and south unless you want to go waaaay out of your way. The area is landlocked between water and the marine base.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:55 AM
309 posts, read 671,828 times
Reputation: 99
As gas prices continue to rise (again) and the proposed hike in Loudoun's RE tax, the cost of the greenway.... I would seriously consider what are your deal breakers when it comes to a house? The school issue is a no brainer and of course the commute time factored into quality of life, but I would ask myself what I was gaining in Ashburn vs Burke? The spending of 100-150k additional to get a house you really like? I would evaluate how that would change your lifestyle and if having a garage (or whatever is on the list) is worth not doing trips, replacing that old car... (fill in the blank here) that the higher $ will get you in a house.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:22 PM
71 posts, read 157,784 times
Reputation: 20
If you husband can take public transportation I would consider living around the Burke or Manassas Park VRE Stations. I don't know why people drive. The train is so much nicer. The Metro is crap compared to the VRE.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:18 PM
Location: Fairfax, VA
246 posts, read 871,117 times
Reputation: 84
We're in a similiar situation, expect when we move I will have a 2 year old and a newborn. For now, we've decided to pick the location that offers the best commute for DH, and go with a smaller older house. Where we live right now, my DH has a 45 min commute, which can take an hour or more depending on traffic. By 6:00 I am pulling my hair out most nights after dealing with a cranky 2 year old. I'm dying for him to get home and help, and it kills me when he's sitting in traffic. We can get a much nicer house farther out, but we're really trying to evaluate what we need in a home. For myself and our familiy, I've decided having DH home an hour earlier is worth living in an older house.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:13 PM
15 posts, read 25,116 times
Reputation: 12
Being a SAHM and having lived in Loudoun county before and doing the 1 hr commute and my husband doing the same, I can tell you that yes, it is worth the 100+K more. My kids having time w/their dad is worth every penny (as well as me getting a break sooner because he is home rather than in a car) and the stress of a long commute is not worth the extra $$ you'd spend on major tolls to get home faster if you live out in Ashburn. The schools in fairfax county are top notch, no matter where in the county you live. I am not knocking Loudoun county schools. In the end it is all relative. Loudoun county schools are much better than many school systems in this country. yes, you get the nicer house with all the bells and whistles the farther out you go- they have to lure you with something. It is not just a prestige factor. Also, now is the time to buy in fairfax- prices are lower than they have been in years- we just moved back last summer and are living in a place we never though we could afford before.

I do understand the sticker shock but if you can afford it, live closer to his job and save up to do projects to the house- have some vision.

If your hubby is working in springfield, I agree that Burke would be a good place to look. You get fairfax county with lots of community ammenities and options for your husband's commute. You could also try fairfax area off of braddock road or 123 - no further north than George Mason.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:45 AM
Location: northern Virginia
204 posts, read 530,843 times
Reputation: 119
Also keep in mind that if you go back to work in the future, where will that be and what kind of commute will you be able to manage with your children?

I'm a SAHM in Bristow now for 9 years and will be working again in the near future, and do not want a job that will entail a long commute. So my options will be limited to my area, which is nice and suburban, great schools, etc, but not an abundance of job opportunities very close. I like living here, but if my husband was working in Springfield and we could afford Burke or something close I'd concentrate on finding the right home there. Good time to buy a home though, so good luck!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:58 AM
78 posts, read 202,541 times
Reputation: 33
We live in Burke. I love it! Burke Conservancy ensures that theareas stay nice with tons of pathways and little parks. The community is very family oriented. Lots of SAHM that get together often. You can buy a nice house here for the amount you are looking at without the ugly commute.
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