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Old 04-15-2010, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
300 posts, read 1,114,218 times
Reputation: 194

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We are interested in this area to rent a townhouse. Seems we can get more for our money, and its still within commute range to where we will work and sometimes play (DC).

I've been reading snippets here and there that Woodbridge is a bad area....but I can't find any specifics or any threads that really expound upon this. To further my confusion, it seems the Woodbridge zip code I should stay away from has the best looking rentals in the best looking planned communities (as far as I have researched, anyway....and I know no one there- so all my research is here, google searches, rental searches, mapquest, etc.). So far, I like Port Potomac (although it looks far away from Woodbridge "proper" on the maps), and Belmont Bay communities. When I search Woodbridge 22192 (Lake Ridge area), lower rent/older and more dated rentals come up in searches....doesn't seem as nice to me (again, this is from online research only...I've never even been to VA).

So....whats the deal? Tell me everything you know about Woodbridge. Why does it have a bad rap? Crime? Demographic? Socioeconomic status of residents? What the general vibe there? Who lives there? What happens there? Would you really be in danger if you lived there?

Of course I've read about the city on their website, etc. and I've searched threads.... nothing too specific came up and their website said (of course) its a wonderful place to live.
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,583 posts, read 10,890,459 times
Reputation: 5608
Was a cop for nearly 30 years working a good portion of the time in Woodbridge. Let's just say there are few places in Woodbridge I would live. Belmont is a nice area and is one of the places I could see me living. Port Potomac. Maybe and maybe not. It's proximity to some other neighborhoods would make me pause. As far as other info there are many posts here regarding Woodbridge and don't feel like repeating it all. I will say that if a large illegal population doesn't bother you then Woodbridge may be for you.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:31 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,134,907 times
Reputation: 6500
Whenever you see cheap, desirable rents, there is a reason for that.

I live in Woodbridge. I don't think it's as bad as you will see written about. I spend MUCH of my time working in DC and shopping in Fairfax and visiting friends in Fairfax. Really, I don't see many differences.

So, the cons of Woodbridge are the brutal I-95 commute and the economic "diversity" of the area. There is much more low-income households that you will find here and much less very high incomes. But I think there is a huge "middle" base. You won't find that much diversity in Fairfax. In some of the 22121 zip code, there are large immigrant communities. In many of those cases, you have several families living in one home. This causes a strain on neighbors surrounding those homes due to increased street parking, foot traffic, and general crowding in your immediate area. If you look at school demographics, you will see a very diverse school population at the high school level. Again, depending on your perspective, you are either looking for that or not.

Belmont Bay has been a "desirable" community since it was built. It has fabulous access to the interstate, walking distance to the VRE.

22192 has a real nice "community" feel overall due to the Lakeridge Association. Much of 22192 is a planned community and has held it's value well due to that; however, there are some run down, older properties that just don't have the flash of some of the new places being built off Rt. 1.

Port Potomac has a nice look but I just really dislike the general area that it is built in and I don't like your access in and out of the community (Rt. 1).
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:24 AM
 
389 posts, read 1,091,066 times
Reputation: 149
we had a 2 month temp apt in woodbridge that was set up by my husband's job and i hated every minute of living in woodbridge. i was so happy to get out of there and move down to stafford. once a man knocked on the apt door looking for someone, when we told him he had the wrong place we were certain he was there to buy drugs. i was approached in the parking lot at potomac mills in broad daylight by a weird guy asking me if i wanted to get the dent in my car fixed and he could take me somehwere to fix it right then. when i declined i noticed his license plate was stuck on sideways with a magnet. i think he wanted to steal my car or something else strange. i avoid woodbridge like the plague.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Woodbridge, VA
63 posts, read 199,634 times
Reputation: 35
Lets see, rented in Woodbridge for a year and a half, and then bought a townhome there, have lived here 5 years now.

I live in 22192 which includes the Lake Ridge area. Yes, there are older homes there as well as newer construction (my t.h. was built in 2003). I haven't been part of any crime and nothing out of the ordinary, other than someone asking for "gas money" in a grocery store parking lot or some other sob story. Then again, I have had that happen visiting my folks in small town Alabama, so it happens everywhere. There is an illegal population living here but after living in Nashville before I moved up here for 10 years, Northern Virginia doesn't know what illegal population is yet. Comparing the two cities, a whole lot less in the area I live in now. Prince William did crack down on the illegals a couple of years ago, in that if they were stopped by the police and were found to be illegal, they were detained, so there was a mass exodus of that population two-three years back, leaving a lot of foreclosed property behind. No big deal either way to me either way in regards to illegal population (don't want this to turn into a political discussion).

My neighbors are all professionals and work in DC, one guy is with the Secret Service, another is in the Navy, another works for the V.A., etc. So you never know who you have living beside you, especially in townhomes.

Commute wise, my wife and I drive to DC in the mornings, we work a compressed schedule that allows every other Friday off, so our work hours are from 7 to 4.30. We leave the house at around 6.10, pick up a slug, drop them off at the pentagon, and I am at my desk usually 5 minutes before 7.00, so about 45 minutes to commute, this includes the pick up and drop off of the slug. Afternoon commute is the same, just reversed. There are other commuting options such as the PRTC buses and the VRE if one is so inclinded.

Personally, I like Woodbridge, as it was a good balance for distance to and from work, cost of housing, things to do, shopping, restaurants, etc. Technically, my wife and I could live in the area without owning a car, or at least just one. We have grocery stores and restaurants across the street from us, the PRTC commuter bus stops in front of our development, etc.

We are very happy with the school system. Our 13 y.o. is in the 8th grade and participates in several different programs. They challenge him which is nice, much better than the schools in other places such as Tennessee or Georgia. We always are asking about any bad or illegal activities in school and he hasn't experienced any, then again, he knows to stay away from any trouble makers, etc.

It is ultimatly up to you where you want to live. If I was moving to the area, I would do a google search for police crime logs in the counties you are interested in living to understand the crimes in areas. Crime doesn't have borders. There are crimes in Woodbridge, just like Fairfax, Loudon County, Arlington, or Main Street, USA.

In terms of Demographics, it's a mix of everything in the area. In my townhome development (about 350 home), we have white, black, indian, no hispanic that I am aware of, european, asian, middle eastern. Don't know about people's income, but most of the people are two income families.

I think the vibe is pretty good. Sometimes I hear people say that sometimes people are rude, but it hasnt' been my experience. I am typically overly nice to people that I don't know and they are always polite in return. But as I tell my wife, sometimes you get cut off on the road by someone or whatnot, hey, everyone has a bad day, right?

Your questions "would you be in danger if you lived there?" is odd. Danger is a risk management process. Now would I go walking down route 1 at 1 AM in the morning on Saturday, heck no, nor would I let my wife or anyone I know do that, and why would I have business there anyways. I wouldn't do that in any town in America. Would I let my wife walk aroudn the neighborhood or along the walking path along Prince William Parkway after work for an hour or two--sure! She does it all the time. I have no problem with my wife going to Potomac Mills mall by herself. If someone stops to talk to her in the parking lot, she'll just ignore them and move on.

I am often perplexed by some safety questions when living in a town and am boggled. I remember growing up in a rural TN town (population 600) and a crime happened. Two women were walking along a road for exercise one afternoon, a drunk driver hit one of the women. He turned around and then murdered the other one so there was not witnesses. No one was an illegal alien, there was no population, no illegal drugs. It was just an accident and the guy was a moron for not accepting what he did and leave well enough alone. But if you go back to danger and risk management, the ladies would not have gotten hit if they were walking somewhere else other than the side of the road (no sidewalks in that rural town) and they could have went to a park instead.

I guess what I am saying is safety is a personal responsibility that is easily managed. That is why we bought in the 22192 zip code and avoided anything east of Route 1. While there are some nice neighborhoods over there (Belmont Bay for example), there are other areas I thought I could manage risk by staying out of. Common sense, ya know?

Good luck with your searching. Before I moved up here, I used HomesDatabase - Home for Sale and Rent in DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to do searching for homes in the area, so don't know if you have used that or not when looking for properties. They also have rentals listed as well. I used this site to find the rental and the home we purchased.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Northwestern VA
982 posts, read 3,106,432 times
Reputation: 560
I grew up in Woodbridge. To keep myself out of trouble, all I'll say is traffic is a beast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by preppyglam View Post
We are interested in this area to rent a townhouse. Seems we can get more for our money, and its still within commute range to where we will work and sometimes play (DC).

I've been reading snippets here and there that Woodbridge is a bad area....but I can't find any specifics or any threads that really expound upon this. To further my confusion, it seems the Woodbridge zip code I should stay away from has the best looking rentals in the best looking planned communities (as far as I have researched, anyway....and I know no one there- so all my research is here, google searches, rental searches, mapquest, etc.). So far, I like Port Potomac (although it looks far away from Woodbridge "proper" on the maps), and Belmont Bay communities. When I search Woodbridge 22192 (Lake Ridge area), lower rent/older and more dated rentals come up in searches....doesn't seem as nice to me (again, this is from online research only...I've never even been to VA).

So....whats the deal? Tell me everything you know about Woodbridge. Why does it have a bad rap? Crime? Demographic? Socioeconomic status of residents? What the general vibe there? Who lives there? What happens there? Would you really be in danger if you lived there?

Of course I've read about the city on their website, etc. and I've searched threads.... nothing too specific came up and their website said (of course) its a wonderful place to live.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Incognito
7,005 posts, read 18,626,015 times
Reputation: 5464
Woodbridge? I thought it was called Hoodbridge.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:41 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,080,462 times
Reputation: 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Cat View Post
Woodbridge? I thought it was called Hoodbridge.
Until citizens vote for an "official" name change, I think it will remain Woodbridge for quite a while.
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