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Old 05-24-2011, 04:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,044 times
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Wife and I, and 3 kids, are getting tired of the Fairfax County scene. Lots to love, but high mortgages and congestion are getting old, especially as the kids near college age. We're considering a move to Berryville. But it seems like all I read are negative articles about the schools and about things such as the lack of broadband access. Am curious what life is like there and if there are other such transplants. What are the pros and cons of Berryville? I work in Ashburn half the year and at home the other half. Wife must work 1-2 days in DC. How treacherous would her commute be? Keep in mind it often takes more than an hour and we live near 66.
Basically, what we want are: lower mortgage, more elbow room, a real community, better opportunities for our kids.

Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: The South
3,887 posts, read 5,338,543 times
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First, depending on the age of your children, be prepared for major culture shock. We moved to Western Loudoun (quite a while ago) when my daughter was in middle school from a similar community to Fairfax. It was not an easy adjustment. At that time Purcellville was like Berryville is now. It is a very different life style. You'll find that most of Berryville/Clarke residents do a lot of thngs in Winchester -- movies/mall/entertainment/shopping etc.

While I love Winchester, it is very, very differnt from Fairfax. Berryville has basically nothing beyond churches, a library, a Food Lion and a small community pool. Be sure you spend a lot of time in Berryville before you buy there. The same is true for Winchester which has a lot to offer but it takes time to discover it.

I don't know much about the schools except they are building a new one in Berryville.

Regarding the commute: Weather Mountain might look like an innocent little hill with a beautiful view but it can be brutal in bad weather. Snow, ice and, especially fog, can be a major problem. Drive it a few times in bad weather. If your wife goes during rush hour, plan on one and a half hours, absolute minimum. Throw in an accident or bad weather and . . . well . . . good luck, especially into DC limits.

There are a lot of positives, if you really want a rural life. It's rural, small town America, that's for sure. But I think you'd find an easier life in Western Loudoun -- Purcellville and Round Hill. The schools are pretty solid and the commute more manageable (again, because of "The Mountain") Both are delightful small towns that have "caught up" in terms of shopping/entertainment. Purcellville is even getting a Harris-Teeter. Leesburg has most of what Fairfax has and it's only 15 minutes away.

This sounds a bit more negative than intended but you have to understand the Mountain forms a significant cultural divide.

Lastly, you posted in the general Virginia forum -- you might get more replies in the Northern Virginia forum. (Which is kind of funny because most Clarke/Winchester people do not consider themselves part of Northern Virgnia. It's sort of "another world" attitude)

Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:14 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,044 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you very much. Very informative and the sort of information we're looking for. My wife wonders if Purcellville is turning into a smaller version of what we have in FFX County. Will it stay small town?
Thanks again
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:51 AM
 
Location: The South
3,887 posts, read 5,338,543 times
Reputation: 2744
There really is no doubt that Purcellville has growing but there are a lot of restrictions about building. I don't think it will get Fairfax's density for many, many years. So many of the houses surrounding it are on 5+ acres and unless public water and sewer are extended west, there isn't the water availabilty to build too much.

Purcellville definitely has that small town feel but also has a suburban sophistication about it. Berryville is cute but it is definitely different. There are many large farms and wealthy people surrounding it but Berryville itself is of a lower socio-economic status. Keep in mind Clarke is very small and all the county's children come into Berryville to Clarke County HS. There are a lot of rural pockets where 4-H reigns. I'm not saying anything negative about 4-H. It is a wonderful organization and, clearly, farms are very important. But it is a different lifestyle than Fairfax County, particularly if you are anywhere close to I-66. That's a pretty urbanized area. Your children will have quite a culture shock if they are in middle or high school.

Western Loudoun is kind of a best of both worlds. A lot more rural, open-space, but still a semi-suburban feel.

Good luck.
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