U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-09-2010, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
300 posts, read 1,111,655 times
Reputation: 194

Advertisements

I would love to hear any insight from Southern Californians who have relocated to NoVA....

how is life the same/different?

is the traffic bad compared to LA/OC traffic?

how is the cost of living...where is it more and/or less? (I have done the calculators....but I would like real examples)

compared to CA public schools, how are the schools? I keep seeing that PW County schools aren't the best....but how do they compare to CA schools? (Im expecting them to be better! haha!)

what is the landscape like? (when I search photos...I don't get a lot! I see green trees....but what else strikes you?)

what do you miss most about CA that cannot be done/seen/etc. in the DC area?

how has your life changed for the better? (or worse?)

Weather? I looked up temps and humidity....but compared to CA, I would love to hear your take on the good and the bad.

People? They seem welcoming and friendly here on City-Data! In real life, are the people more laid-back, friendly, "proper" (seeing as how its the East Coast AND "the south" AND the DC area) in comparison to CA?

Does it seem like there are as many people there as in CA? Does it seem more spread out? Dense population? (Again, I have seen the numbers....but what does it *feel* like in comparison to LA/OC)

Do you like living there? Would you make the move again?

I'm looking for basic and general observations (as well as anything not asked or listed above! give me anything you got!).....real life examples that I can relate to. Thanks for any input you provide!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-10-2010, 01:52 AM
 
67 posts, read 158,265 times
Reputation: 39
I grew up in SoCal living in Playa del Rey, Altadena, Glendale, Culver City, Brentwood, etc. We sold our house post 9-11 and moved to NoVa and are much happier here. I wouldn't hesitate to move here again. I hated the "what car do you drive? what clothes do you wear?" mentality of SoCal. I absolutely do not miss it. Nor do I miss the traffic or the high prices. Living here costs less. Yes, NoVa can have bad traffic. As with all places, you need to choose where to live relative to where you will work. My daughters' schools have been fantastic. Much better than what I could offer them in LA. (FYI, if you want to compare schools across state lines, checkout the subscriber services at neighborhoodscout.com).

I miss the beach. In SoCal, I was always within an hour of the beach and the mountains. In NoVa, I can get to the mountains easily but the beach isn't really a day trip. I try to plan weekends at the beach but it's not enough. I miss being able to walk on the beach whenever I want to. It was my go-to place whenever I needed to think and the local lakes don't replace that for me. I love fall weekends in the nearby mountains. The scenery is stunning. Regular landscaped communities are also attractive here. It rains more so it's greener than SoCal. Older communities have lots of trees. Newer developments tend to clear cut.

I find the people here very friendly. My kids had tons of friends from the moment we moved in. I've, surprisingly, never gone back to work. Being a SAHM here is not isolating as there are lots of us in the area. Lots of homeschoolers too.

The other thing I miss is easy access to good entertainment. We live too far out (Fairfax Station), in my opinion, to easily take advantage of more densely populated areas like DC, Alexandria, Tysons Corner. My husband works in DC and spends 2-3 hours a day commuting (drive/metro/walk). It's ridiculous. But, it's our fault. We chose to live where we do. Had I known then what I know now, I would live much, much closer despite the homes being more expensive and less appealing (to me). Hope that helps!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 05:36 AM
k8p
 
141 posts, read 354,341 times
Reputation: 75
I moved from San Diego a year ago. Different from LA, but close enough.

Things I miss:
the weather. It rains here a lot, especially in the Spring.
fresh produce. I miss Henry's Market a lot.
laid back lifestyle. Cali living is just different.
being outdoors all the time. There's only a few great weather days here. And if it is nice, the pollen count is usually so bad that you can't be outside.
friendly neighbors. I live in a cul-de-sac of five homes and I never see anyone.
being 10 min from the beach, Sea World, Balboa park, etc. Having different landscapes within an hours drive.

I find the cost of living to be about the same, maybe even higher for us here since we can't do as many free/outdoor activities. We spend more eating out, going to movies, shopping etc because there isn't much to do when the weather is crappy.

Traffic is worse here than San Diego but I don't know about LA.

There isn't much I love about this area. I lived in Annapolis, MD before San Diego and loved it there. I assumed NOVA would be similar but it's not. I would move to Annapolis again but I would not move here again.

My 4 year old misses San Diego daily. She always asks when we're moving back
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,552,856 times
Reputation: 3656
I moved from Santa Barbara 6 years ago.

how is life the same/different? It's more uptight here. California had status and stress of course, but the undertone of all of it was a laid back mentality.

is the traffic bad compared to LA/OC traffic? It's pretty similar. I never lived in LA (just drove there for events or day trips), so I never learned the back roads and short cuts and such. I feel much more comfortable driving through DC because I know which roads to avoid, when.

how is the cost of living...where is it more and/or less? (I have done the calculators....but I would like real examples) Housing is a little less than Santa Barbara, but that's not saying much. Gas is slightly cheaper. Prices in the grocery store are noticeably higher.

compared to CA public schools, how are the schools? I keep seeing that PW County schools aren't the best....but how do they compare to CA schools? (Im expecting them to be better! haha!) I never had a problem with California schools. I went to public schools my whole childhood, and graduated with an excellent education. I will say that there are a lot of things that are taken for granted here in schools that California doesn't have--buses for all children (we only had them for SpEd kids), music lessons in elementary schools (we only had singing once a week, these kids play instruments), and small classes in all grades. The academics I received in California though were on par or above what I see here. I had far more AP courses available to me at my high school than the high schools I've done my student teaching hours at. I don't know anything about PW specifically though.

what is the landscape like? (when I search photos...I don't get a lot! I see green trees....but what else strikes you?) It is green, yes! It took me a long time to get used to all the trees lining the freeways! You can drive through towns and have no idea, thanks to all the greenery. That comes at a price though--it rains all year. I STILL don't understand rain in the summer! (We got rain a few times in the winter each year in SB, and that was it!)

what do you miss most about CA that cannot be done/seen/etc. in the DC area? Two things: Fruit & beaches. The produce here is a joke--my husband claims to not like plums or pineapple or strawberries, but that's because he's never had good ones. I miss going into my backyard and picking plums and apricots and oranges and apples off the trees in the summer time. I keep buying (expensive) unripe produce in the grocery stores, farmers markets, or roadside stands and HOPING for something decent...but 9 times out of 10 I'm really disappointed.

The beach is just not the same here. It's too far for a day trip, and if you want to go on the weekends it will take hours and hours to get there. (We just went this past weekend, and what should have been 3-4 hours took 6.5--and this is still OFF season!!!) The beaches aren't at all like the ones I had in Santa Barbara either--there's no naturalness to them at all. I've been up and down the coast in the area, from New Jersey to North Carolina and all the way in between, and haven't yet found a beach that is nearly as relaxing as the ones back home. If you go in the summer, be prepared to see beach towels 5-10 deep to get to the water. Boardwalks, high rise hotels, and mini golf line the streets by the beach. My beaches back home involved parking in a dirt lot, walking down a trail, and setting up shop in an area where no one else would be for at least 100 yards. I miss that.

how has your life changed for the better? (or worse?) I met my husband here, so that part is better, does that count? It's better in that I have a good job here. Santa Barbara has no industry, so it was hopeless for me there.

Weather? I looked up temps and humidity....but compared to CA, I would love to hear your take on the good and the bad. Every summer, it takes a few weeks before I get used to the way my skin feels like I've rubbed butter on it after being outside for 5 minutes. (Thanks, humidity). It can be brutal. On the other hand, there's chance of frost in May. The weather's pretty bipolar here. For example, I looked up the high temps for the next 4 days this morning:

Today: 66/37 (sunny)
Tues: 58/57 (rain)
Wed: 80/48 (thunderstorm)
Thurs: 69/56 (sunny)
Fri: 78/62 (sunny)

If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes...seriously.

The toughest part for me BY FAR though, are the winters. It took me a while to realize this, but I suffer from really bad seasonal depression. The cold and the lack of sun in the winter make me miserable. It's not Boston amounts of snow, but it does hover between 30 and 50 for 3-4 months each year (with the occasional "bipolar" day where it hits 0 or 65), and we'll get a handful of small snows that turn into slushy mud within a few days. To someone who grew up running around barefoot outdoors all year long, it's VERY difficult to get used to staying inside (or wearing every article of clothing I own to go outside).

People? They seem welcoming and friendly here on City-Data! In real life, are the people more laid-back, friendly, "proper" (seeing as how its the East Coast AND "the south" AND the DC area) in comparison to CA? The people are hard to put a finger on, because it's so transient. My neighbors on one side are suuuuuuper friendly, but they just moved from Louisiana a couple years ago, so it's not NoVA friendliness coming through. Neighbors on the other side have yet to talk to me, despite me waving my hand every time I come home from work. I find this area very busy and rushed. In California, I'd call up a friend or family member in the morning and ask if they wanted to get together for dinner. Here, I plan out my life weeks or months in advance to accommodate everyone's busy schedules.

Does it seem like there are as many people there as in CA? Does it seem more spread out? Dense population? (Again, I have seen the numbers....but what does it *feel* like in comparison to LA/OC) I can't compare it to LA. It feels much busier than SB, but that's no surprise.

Do you like living there? Would you make the move again? It's not horrible, but it's definitely not right for me. I'm here because my husband's family and our jobs are here for now. I am currently going to school on the weekends to get a different masters degree so that we can move to somewhere that is more relaxed and not as rushed, where we can go outside most of the year, because moving here showed me that those are the things I value.

I don't really feel like I fit in here, to be honest. I don't enjoy sports (which seem to rule the conversations around here), can't handle the winters like I thought I could, and don't want to be a part of the rat race that easily dominates your life here if you let it.

That said, there are some really great things about the area that I'm trying to take advantage of while we're here. There are a lot of great cultural things (theater, museums, concerts), neat weekend get aways (NYC, white water rafting in WV, fall foliage, etc), and educational opportunities. It's not a bad place, by any standard--it's just not right for this California girl
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 04:56 PM
 
822 posts, read 2,671,851 times
Reputation: 430
Hi, I sort of fit the description; my family is in Southern California (where I have lived, but not lately) and I lived in NoVA for 15 years. Both places are relatively open to newcomers, which is remarkable if you go somewhere "else" where you get asked a million times a day, with suspicion, why you moved there. I'll try to answer:

[quote=preppyglam;14107965]I would love to hear any insight from Southern Californians who have relocated to NoVA....

how is life the same/different? Educated, cultured population, large cities, lots of traffic, lots of commuting

is the traffic bad compared to LA/OC traffic? In my experience, about the same depending on your commute, etc.

how is the cost of living...where is it more and/or less? (I have done the calculators....but I would like real examples) Sorry I'm out of touch with CA prices aside from PV Peninsula; most expensive places in the area are Potomac, MD, McLean, VA, Great Falls, VA, and some parts of DC; prices just go down as you head away from the city - not perfectly linear, but more or less ...

compared to CA public schools, how are the schools? I keep seeing that PW County schools aren't the best....but how do they compare to CA schools? (Im expecting them to be better! haha!) I hated the hs I attended in LA, so don't ask me ... greatschools.org has numbers that might be somewhat comparable across states; it absolutely depends on the district and neighborhood though

what is the landscape like? (when I search photos...I don't get a lot! I see green trees....but what else strikes you?) ... you can find yourself in gorgeous lush forested areas quite close-in - Clifton, Great Falls, McLean, etc. Green, lush, at least some of the time.

what do you miss most about CA that cannot be done/seen/etc. in the DC area? The ocean and beaches, the great climate, the cool people, the relaxed atmosphere, the sense of broad acceptance

Weather? I looked up temps and humidity....but compared to CA, I would love to hear your take on the good and the bad. It's just so humid in the summers in DC! But I am not someone who likes the monotonous LA weather.

People? They seem welcoming and friendly here on City-Data! In real life, are the people more laid-back, friendly, "proper" (seeing as how its the East Coast AND "the south" AND the DC area) in comparison to CA? I wouldn't call it southern, pretty much eastern, at least culturally. Perhaps there is more focus in DC on job titles, salaries, schools, etc. My family members might say that in LA you are valued more for what you actually do, but I don't know how true any of that is. My family members also believe that LA is very "forgiving" - you can mess up somewhere else (divorce, bankrupcy, job loss), go there and be let in. I'm not sure I would say that or not say that about DC, not really.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 05:39 PM
 
3,552 posts, read 5,543,937 times
Reputation: 3461
It amazes how people will sacrifice their happiness for money
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:41 PM
k8p
 
141 posts, read 354,341 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamota View Post
It amazes how people will sacrifice their happiness for money
That's quite a generalization. Not everyone moves here for more money. We are here because my husband is in the military. I'm sure that i'm not alone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:59 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,859,475 times
Reputation: 3773
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8p View Post
That's quite a generalization. Not everyone moves here for more money. We are here because my husband is in the military. I'm sure that i'm not alone.

The military is a career choice just like any other....conscription ended many, many years ago...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,010,603 times
Reputation: 6824
Unless you're living right near the beach, it's actually much nicer here than the sterile desert suburbia that is Southern California. I lived in So Cal and now live here in Mount Vernon by choice. No sacrifice of happiness as this is a very nice place.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 08:25 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,117,893 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamota View Post
It amazes how people will sacrifice their happiness for money
That sounds like what people say who have no money with a job that pays no money. At least you're happy, huh? (Why do I suspect otherwise?)

People may sacrifice short term for money, to support their family, or to save for a house, or to save for a vacation, but few sacrifice their entire lives for money. Few people stay in a job they hate for a lifetime, unless they are trapped by family obligations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top