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Old 06-02-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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>>>In nearly every major city in America rent prices steadily decline the further and further you travel outwards from the downtown core. That's not the case here, and I still can't figure out why.<<<
If that's true, why aren't you living in DC or Arlington? If you could have the same rental space in Dupont Circle, for the same price, as you get in Reston, why wouldn't you live in Dupont Circle? Or Alexandria? Or someplace less horrible than Reston?

Of course rent is cheaper out in the suburbs, and farther out. You can rent a larger house or apartment in Ashburn, for a lower price than in Arlington or DC. That's why Winchester is SO cheap and Arlington isn't. duh.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:17 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,120,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
It probably is better than many parts of the country but the job market is still very tough. I'm just going by IT people that I know who are unemployed and talking about it. Haven't looked in that field myself.

When I have applied for fields that required security clearances, they wanted them already performed. It costs about $100,000 to do and takes a while. If you already do have a clearance, then I agree that you're probably in a pretty good place. Be able to be cleared is not the same. The jobs that mentioned them in my case wanted them already done. Sometimes, though, you can find a loophole and start w/o one while you're getting cleared. But if the job mentions security clearance, they are almost always looking for people who have them.
OR they are looking for people who will qualify for a clearance. Often they will take someone if they think they can get a clearance. There just aren't enough people with clearances for companies to always be that picky. The government does not require prior clearances nor do many of the defense contractors. Both of my sons got job offers shortly after college and got the clearances after they were on the job. A secret clearance requires citizenship and not a lot of debt. They do a background check, but it's not as involved as the top secret clearance.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:46 AM
 
8,468 posts, read 13,610,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayman1981 View Post
I can tell you that when you have a family sometimes this place can be a pain in the tail with the housing cost and the commute times. At this point in my life I would rather deal with Atlanta, cause at least I know I could probably afford a house closer to my job. That is not the case for a lot of people in D.C. area. Also consider the Maryland Suburbs as well. There is Montgomery county, Prince George's County and a host of other fine areas as well.
I've never been a city-dweller. But at the same time, I don't want to live in a suburb where it's nothing but families. The ideal would be a mix of the two, a place where you have both suburban and urban elements. You're close enough to the city where you can enjoy all that it has to offer, but still have stuff closer to home in case you don't feel like making the trip downtown. Being able to afford to live in such a place is another matter. That's where DC seems to come up short. I don't see a difference on the MD side either. When I see what I would probably make in DC and in Atlanta and look at the areas I'd like to live in, it's clear that I could get a lot more for my money in Atlanta than in DC. I don't need a big house, but I don't want to live in a tiny apartment either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
On the other hand, Atlanta is known as the "capital of the South" but once you get beyond the (even more) horrendous traffic, the attitudes are definitely more laid-back from my brief experience and anecdotal gathering.
More horrendous than DC? I've heard a lot of opinions. Some say DC is worse. Others say they're equally bad. Rarely have I heard anyone say Atlanta is worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
Perhaps I should clarify: I didn't mean to imply that IT jobs were a cakewalk around here. I mean more in terms of having a more relaxed dress code compared to most other professions. Granted, if you have face time with people outside the office, particularly if it's government-related, that could be another story.
When I say laid back, I mean more in terms of people's attitudes. I've worked in companies where you had to wear business casual and in companies where you could wear shorts and a t-shirt. While I'd prefer the latter, the former doesn't bother me. What does bother me, however, is being in an environment where people expect you to put in long hours, meet unrealistic deadlines, be on call, and where everyone is trying to climb to the top while scrambling up the backs of their coworkers and stabbing them in the back. A lot of companies just pay lip service to the whole work/life balance concept. I've been very lucky to have only worked at places that actually followed through. Obviously, a lot of that depends on what company you work for. But it's also true that the city you're in plays a big part in influencing what the corporate culture is like along with the people in general.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:40 AM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,048,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
More horrendous than DC? I've heard a lot of opinions. Some say DC is worse. Others say they're equally bad. Rarely have I heard anyone say Atlanta is worse.
I say Atlanta is worse because their mass transit doesn't have as much coverage as the DC metro. If that was never an option for you, then yeah I'd agree that they're about the same.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
I say Atlanta is worse because their mass transit doesn't have as much coverage as the DC metro. If that was never an option for you, then yeah I'd agree that they're about the same.
But that doesn't necessarily mean their traffic is worse. There are plenty of other cities that have no train system at all and they have much less congestion than DC or Atlanta. So obviously there are other factors. The fact that MARTA doesn't cover as much area as the Metro is a concern and would certainly influence where in Atlanta I chose to live just as Metro's coverage would be an issue for me in DC.

Judging by all the Top 10 lists I've come across, it's clear that both cities have awful traffic. But more often than not, DC ranks worse than Atlanta, though not by much.

I found this neat little interactive map that lets you see all the major bottlenecks in each state.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/22/tra...-jams-map.html
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,842,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
When I say laid back, I mean more in terms of people's attitudes. I've worked in companies where you had to wear business casual and in companies where you could wear shorts and a t-shirt. While I'd prefer the latter, the former doesn't bother me. What does bother me, however, is being in an environment where people expect you to put in long hours, meet unrealistic deadlines, be on call, and where everyone is trying to climb to the top while scrambling up the backs of their coworkers and stabbing them in the back.
It's not something you can generalize. It all depends on who hires you. I know some people here who work in stressful jobs with long hours. I also know plenty of people who work in very relaxed offices. They can take the afternoon off if their kid is in a ball game or they have a doctor's appointment, and they never work late.

IMO, a lot of the government offices are pretty laid back. You want a laid back place? Apply for a job with the Census Bureau. But some government agencies are really hectic, too. It varies even with the same company. Some projects at Northrop Grumman are go-go-go. Others have such a slow pace my friends are dying of boredom.

Nova and DC are simply too big to generalize when it comes to something like this. (I suspect the same is true for Atlanta.)

I wouldn't move to any city without a job right now, unless you can afford to coast for several months. Even though the economy is better here than in many other places, this is not a great time to just move to a new city and hope to find a job. I'd stick it out in Chicago at least one more year (unless of course you get a job offer, at which point the answer becomes move to whichever city that gave you the job offer.)
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,842,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Judging by all the Top 10 lists I've come across, it's clear that both cities have awful traffic. But more often than not, DC ranks worse than Atlanta, though not by much.
Neat map. But, to be honest, I think you're over thinking this. Unless you're a travelling salesman who literally must drive in every section of town every day, the traffic conditions of an entire metro area won't affect you that much. What matters is your particular commute, and that will be a matter of how close you are to where you work and what the conditions are like in your particular neighborhood (as opposed to the metro area in general).

I can see this might be a factor if the cities were wildly different (a small town vs. a big city, for example.). But if both cities are large metro centers with awful traffic, then it's a moot point.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I wouldn't move to any city without a job right now, unless you can afford to coast for several months. Even though the economy is better here than in many other places, this is not a great time to just move to a new city and hope to find a job. I'd stick it out in Chicago at least one more year (unless of course you get a job offer, at which point the answer becomes move to whichever city that gave you the job offer.)
I'm looking for jobs in both cities and will probably move to whoever makes the better offer. If I have to move without a job lined up, I've got a good amount saved up. I estimate I could last about a year in Atlanta. In DC, it would obviously be less.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Why exactly are you leaving suburban Chicago? The cold weather? And why have you picked these two cities? And why not, say Dallas or Denver?


Here it is in a nutshell. You're going to get a lot more for your money in Atlanta. No one will argue with that. However, there is more to do, lots of singles, activities, people from around the country/world in DC. Lots of fun and interesting experiences to be had. Have you ever even visited the two places?
You're opinions may change once you spend time in these places.

I've visited Boston. I know that it is very expensive to live there and that your standard of living is crap. But for the right person, it can be a great town with lots to do.

On the other hand the DC area is VERY expensive, you'll be much better off in Atlanta. But if you're looking for decent livable suburbs, DC has Atlanta beat. Areas like Arlington, Tysons, Rockville and Bethesda have suburban comfort with lots of ethnic restaurants, lots of singles, metro access, decent shopping, etc. Atlanta suburbs are other than the area near the Perimeter mall and Alpharetta are nothing special, not too different than most of suburban America, which may be exactly what you are looking for.

And finally, you really can't go wrong either way. Atlanta is a great town too. Plenty to do. And lots of stuff for a blue state type too.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:21 AM
 
8,468 posts, read 13,610,469 times
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BillH,

My main reasons for wanting to leave Chicago are the weather and the cost of living. The winters here are long and brutal and my tolerance for them goes down with each passing year. While there are plenty of jobs here in my field, they're all in the city. So unless you can afford to live in or near the city, a lot of those jobs aren't really accessible unless you're willing to put up with a long commute. I would love to live closer in, not only to be close to the jobs, but also to be around other single people my age. But because of the cost of living, I can't really afford to without making some pretty big trade-offs, some of which I'm prepared to do, but others not so much.

With the economy being the way it is, my biggest criteria is jobs. I started my search by compiling a list of all the major cities that still have good job markets in my field. From that list, I was able to rule out quite a lot of them due to cost of living and weather including Dallas. Of the ones that remained on my list, I visited all of them. Some were letdowns that I scratched off my list. DC and Atlanta were all that remained.

My biggest concern with DC is the cost of living. While it seems like it has more to offer in terms of singles and activities and definitely has more jobs, I'm not sure it's worth the price you pay to live there. Other things I know I won't like is the humidity, the traffic, the pollen levels, and the competitive atmosphere. Atlanta isn't ideal either. There aren't as many jobs, the traffic is bad, and outside of the perimeter, there really isn't much there. But clearly my money would go a lot farther in Atlanta than in DC. The winters are better, the culture is more laid back, and the pollen levels are better. No matter which city I moved to, I'd want to live close to downtown. In DC, that would mean living inside or very near the Beltway. In Atlanta, that would be inside or very near the Perimeter. But being able to live that close to the city comes down to salary and the cost of housing. Arlington, Rockville and Bethesda, etc. all seem VERY expensive. I doubt very much that I would be able to afford any of those places whereas in Atlanta, I think my salary would be enough to live close to or even inside the perimeter.
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