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Old 06-08-2010, 06:30 PM
3 posts, read 6,883 times
Reputation: 10



My company is relocating me to Herndon/Chantilly and I am looking to buy a low to moderately priced single family home on 1/2 acre or so, in VA. I would like to find some place decent for my husband and me within a half hour to 45 minute commute.

I make in the mid-40's so it can't be fancy; but decent with a some property for my garden would be nice.

Given my income and need to commute, where is the best place for me to look?

Thank you.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:56 PM
313 posts, read 460,973 times
Reputation: 348
Sorry to disappoint GreenMountainLady, but do you have savings for help with the down payment and another income? This area is extremely expensive and 40/year usually means renting an apartment in my opinion...unless you have some other source for the down payment. I would start looking in Leesburg and further west because I'm not sure you're going to find anything within a 45 min commute of Herndon/Chantilly with that budget.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:19 AM
Location: Ashburn, VA
989 posts, read 2,476,036 times
Reputation: 638
You would have to go out toward Winchester or West Virginia to possibly get what you're looking for, and that kills your 45 minute commute. What is your budget?
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:26 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
1,419 posts, read 3,021,189 times
Reputation: 434
I didn't want to be a debbie downer but I don't see how you can buy a house on that income in this area. I assume you are relocating from VT based on your username? It is QUITE a bit more expensive here (of course you are in a major city's metropolitan area). I would hope that if your company is transferring you that they may be offering a commensurate salary increase due to the cost of living. To be within 30 minutes of Herndon with a half acre....you're going to be at least $375K min, probably closer to $450+. Typically you'd need an income of closer to $100K annually to afford that price range.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:06 PM
3 posts, read 6,883 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all so much for helping me with this. I really appreciate it. Yes, I am originally from Vermont but reside in NJ now. I miss my Green Mountains but love the Blue Ridge Mountains, too! :-D I've been very happy with the idea of moving to Virginia.

OMGosh! I had no idea it would be that expensive. I thought it would be more or less about the same as NJ, maybe even a little less given how expensive it is to live here; but I had no idea!

My company hasn't said anything about a cost of living increase involve with the move, just asked me if I wanted to move with them and I said yes.

Is it customary for companies to give cost of living increases in cases like mine? They are giving me a relocation allowance to help with the move but haven't said anything about adjusting salary. Would it be wise to ask them? I just got the job a few weeks ago so I don't want to do anything to lose it. Should I ask or wait for them to say something?

I'm still going to move with them, though, so I guess I'll have to adjust my thoughts and extend my commute time. How long would a commute from Winchester be?

I'll have to adjust my expectations of buying a house as well; what about houses for rent? I can't look at apartments or condos; neither would work for us. I'm hoping to find something comparable to the house we're in now, a small, modular home, about 1500 -1800 sqft. What's the "houses for rent" situation like?

Thank you all again, very much.

Have a very good day!
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:21 PM
Location: Virginia
8,121 posts, read 12,696,220 times
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My guess would be that the commute would be around an hour from Winchester to Herndon,probably a little over. I was looking online at rentals in Winchester and you can get a pretty nice sfh for $1200-1400 a month. What would your rental price range be? Is it just your income?
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:50 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,831 posts, read 26,443,196 times
Reputation: 6902
Housing is going to be the budget killer, depending upon what part of New Jersey. Other things tend to be slightly less expensive, overall, though I would use a couple of online salary comparisons to be certain, since some areas of NJ could result in a lower salary in Northern Virginia, despite the housing costs. Compare work city to work city, not residence to work city, and then you can compare residence to residence in VA, though the commute might be longer.

If you want to look for a nice house, and could extend your commute to about an hour to Herndon, I would seriously consider Charles Town, WV. There are some houses and townhouses right around the $100-$150k price point, and while you might not be on half an acre of land, you would have room for a garden. You could, for example, find a single-family house on 1/4 acre of land for around $130-$140, which might be feasible if you are rolling over a downpayment from the proceeds of your current residence.

Winchester is also another good option to consider, as others have pointed out, though the commute would be around the same to Herndon.

For around the same money as Charles Town, and a bit closer to Herndon, I would consider Berryville, VA. There are some houses that might work, though the one listed on Realtor.com currently that has 1/2 acre for $110k is only about 1,000 square feet.

With regard to asking for an increase, I am not sure if I would do that at this point, since you are a new employee. Look at the relo package carefully, and see if there is an adjustment mentioned in the final documents. And, as I wrote above, be sure that there would be an increase in salary before asking for an adjustment, since you would not want it to go the other direction.

Good luck in making the transition. I am sure you will find a place that works for you here, striking the right balance between price/commute/amenities.

Oh, and I would also consider Frederick County, MD as it's across the river at Point of Rocks from Loudoun County, VA (north of Leesburg). Some areas have more reasonable prices, akin to Berryville, Winchester, and Charles Town. A plus is that the commute is not as long, though there can be traffic on Route 15 north to cross the bridge during rush hour, as it is only a two-lane road once out of the greater Leesburg area. It is a pleasant drive, though, and does feel as though you are in the countryside. You could also take Berlin Pike through Lovettsville if you were going to the Brunswick area.

Some of the houses might be handypersons specials, but there are some that might be decent, albeit a tad smaller than what you have in NJ, that are not going to be too far from the mountains, and from Herndon.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 07-05-2010, 05:21 PM
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,107,573 times
Reputation: 6826
Took me about 5 seconds to find a house for about $150K on a half acre within a 45 minute commute to Herndon. One of my relatives lives right by this place and works in Herndon. It's a really beautiful area too (right near a nice golf course - Evergreen Country Club) backing up to Bull Run Mountain about 30 miles from Herndon and an easy commute:

2031 Ridge Rd, Haymarket, VA, 20169 - MLS #PW7227869 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.com®

Some of the folks here haven't been in the market for a while and don't realize how badly pounded the outer exurbs have gotten from the real estate downturn. There are some real bargains out there. You might need to do a little fix up but you should be able to find something in your range if you look a little.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:11 PM
Location: Richmond va
1,542 posts, read 4,003,596 times
Reputation: 626
As the last poster said there certainly are some good deals out there.. but you have to look for them and be patient. Found this just listed (july 3rd) foreclosure for cheap! its an hour or so from here in Herndon in Warren County.. beautiful area not too far from front royal. 302 Parkside Rd, Linden, VA, 22642 - MLS #WR7371648 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.com®
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:56 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
1,419 posts, read 3,021,189 times
Reputation: 434
This is a really cute little house, with an emphasis on little...2 High St, Round Hill, VA, 20141 - MLS #LO7305126 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.com® but I still don't know if that's something you can afford. My husband commutes from Round Hill to Herndon and it takes about 35 minutes.
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