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Old 03-15-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Northern, NJ
10 posts, read 50,707 times
Reputation: 15

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I have to get out of Jersey. For me, after spending 31 years here, I realize that it's no place to raise my children. Although the whole state is not bad, it's expensive and I'm ready to start over.

Anyhow, I realize that I'm doing it all alone with my 3 kids so where do I start?

Do I find a job first and then move?

Do I move first and work temp?

and what's a good cheap place in Virginia to start over as a renter and not a homeowner? I'm not concerned about an "urban area", what can be worse than Newark, NJ.....but I'm ready to go and July 1st is when I want to move.

Please help.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:18 AM
 
Location: SD, VA, West Texas--staying awhile
330 posts, read 1,092,068 times
Reputation: 172
Hi 6tttttt,

I think the job part depends on your financial situation and what you do for a living. I have moved without a job and have always found temp work right away but I didn't have children at the time and didn't need much to support myself.

I rent a 3 bdrm 21/2 bath house in Roanoke for $985. It's in the county and the schools are very good. But we needed a lot of money down to move in here. We had to pay a deposit, and then the gas deposit was $500 (they allowed me to pay it in two installments) I don't think we had to pay a deposit for telephone, cable and electric or water. The gas deposit was so high because the previous renters had left an unpaid bill. I wouldn't buy a house until I had lived in the area of awhile to learn about traffic patterns, noise, schools etc etc.

We usually have a place in mind because of dh's job but I come here and check the city-data facts for crime rate, cost of living etc whenever he's interviewing in a particular town. I then contact the Chamber of Commerce or realtor for a relocation packet. A realtor who also deals with rentals can also give you info on those, schools etc. I then ask people here on the forum for info about the town(s)

Then maybe you can visit the towns on your Spring break and drive around and spend a night.

You can also look in the Yahoo yellow pages for what kinds of shopping, restaurants, things for kids, exist in that town.

I love Roanoke but dh was unhappy with his job so we are moving to Texas but dh went first to make sure he likes it before he moves us AGAIN!

Good luck and if you want to know more Roanoke, just ask!!

Pam
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
566 posts, read 2,152,410 times
Reputation: 145
I wouldn't up and quit my job unless I had a 12 month reserve of cash in the bank. I also think you lose some bargaining power with the company you're interviewing with if you don't have a job at the time you interview.
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:22 PM
 
11 posts, read 46,213 times
Reputation: 19
Wink Start with prayer!

I am also a single mom of three, and know how you are feeling. I don't know what kind assets you have, but July 1 seems kinda soon for such a big decision. If you can do it, great! It's taken me 6 years (from research to decision), including quick visits to 33 states. Here's how I started: I got 2 part time jobs here in Calif. that can be transfered anywhere in the U.S. (Wal-mart and U.S. Postal Service). I am "low income" and qualify for housing assistance. I was on Calif waiting list 8 years. Michigan's list took me 6 months, New Hampshire was 1 year. You can apply to as many states you want. If you are a homeowner, finding housing should be easier for you, besure to check the different property taxes in each state. They differ by thousands of dollars. On the internet I've researched "Sperling's Best Places to raise a Family" for the past 5 years. Many of these places are great, yeah, but what single mom can afford some of them? So I checked out the nearby towns and cities. Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed Compare cities that look good to you. I got my kids involved in a similar (more fun, in my opinion!) quiz at Best Places to Live: Compare the Best Cities & Small Towns for You!. Of course, city data.com has lots in info too, I only wish I had discovered it 3 years ago! I planned brief, inexpensive trips to check out our favorite places, and started to investigate the job transfer process, as well as housing options. It's been a slow and careful process, but I have saved up $9,000, and plan to move this summer. Hope you can find something helpful in this long message. Good luck, God bless, and don't forget to pray!

Last edited by Yac; 01-08-2008 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Elkton, Virginia
7 posts, read 21,076 times
Reputation: 12
Towns in the Shenandoah Valley are nice. We live in a small town right out side of Harrisonburg, Virginia. The schools are pretty good here, low crime. (actually we hardly ever hear of any)
My husband and I take weekend trip to DC since its only an hour and a half away from us. And about 4 and a half hours from Virginia Beach

you can look for rentals in our local newspaper at dnronline.com

towns in our area are
Luray
Elkton
Harrisonburg
Staunton
Weyers Cave
Penn Laird
Mcgaheysville
New Market
Verona

Good luck!!!
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:24 AM
 
268 posts, read 1,236,681 times
Reputation: 73
The job market is much better in Northern VA than Roanoke. Basically the unemployment rate here is zero. Pay is better here too but so is cost of living. The best schools in the state are in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Also, plenty for kids to do and close to everything. What is your background? Do you have a degree? The Federal government is always a good option for anyone with clerical background and no degree. The pay and benefits are great especially for a single parent. I work for a Federal Agency and work with several single women with and without children who easily support themselves. If you have any contracts (especially Federal) background, there are tons of Federal contractors hiring on a regular basis. Another suggestion would be a college town, like Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Blacksburg where there are always job openings on campus and the local schools tend to be good also. Just remember, cheap place to live also means jobs pay less and more than likely less jobs available.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,429,258 times
Reputation: 534
NoVA and Roanoke are two different markets altogether and I'd hesitate to call one better than the other. On one hand there are more open jobs available in NoVA and a greater variety than can be found in Roanoke. On the other hand, if you have marketable skills and can find a job in Roanoke to your liking then it is a wonderful place to live. I won't say it would be more or less wonderful than in NoVA - I'm working on not harping on other places (part of my 12 step program don'tcha know) but I will say I know ALOT of people down here who are originally from NoVA who job hunted and moved to Roanoke the moment they landed work.

I have one personal story I heard last night that was actually quite moving. There was an open house at North Cross school in Roanoke last night for the lower school. As part of the intro, the 5th grade history teacher talked about his experience. He was fresh out of Washington & Lee and UVA and landed a job teaching in McLean, VA. He said his own personal experience living in NoVA and teaching in Mclean caused him to give up teaching altogether (he didn't go into details) and was taking time away from teaching when he was headhunted by the lower school director at North Cross. He moved down to Roanoke and he said the last 8 years teaching at the school (and presumably living in the Roanoke valley) have been the most emotionally rewarding 8 years of his life.

That there is plenty for kids to do is something that both NoVA and the Roanoke Valley share. While NoVA - as a massive metro area - has some things that the small Roanoke metro cannot offer, the opposite is true as well.

So to the original author I'd recommend looking at all of the areas that have been mentioned so far, both the smaller cities, big towns and yes of course the NoVA area.

Sean
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:33 PM
 
268 posts, read 1,236,681 times
Reputation: 73
McLean is a world unto itself. I wouldn't compare it to the rest of Fairfax or Loudoun. The kids there live in a completely different world than the rest of us. Here in Loudoun where incomes are high and homes are large doesn't begin to touch what McLean is. I've heard horror stories about the kids in the McLean area with too much money, too much time and too little parental involvement. Even though kids in Loudoun have a lot, they also tend to have their parents involved in their lives.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:07 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 20,160,510 times
Reputation: 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbrn4 View Post
McLean is a world unto itself. I wouldn't compare it to the rest of Fairfax or Loudoun. The kids there live in a completely different world than the rest of us. Here in Loudoun where incomes are high and homes are large doesn't begin to touch what McLean is. I've heard horror stories about the kids in the McLean area with too much money, too much time and too little parental involvement. Even though kids in Loudoun have a lot, they also tend to have their parents involved in their lives.
Horror stories are just that...horror stories. Beyond their potential for entertainment value, they have little value at all. McLean is actually all but indistinguishable from the communities that surround it...
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:18 PM
 
268 posts, read 1,236,681 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Horror stories are just that...horror stories. Beyond their potential for entertainment value, they have little value at all. McLean is actually all but indistinguishable from the communities that surround it...

Um, I disagree. I know someone who taught at Langley HS. McLean is well known for the drug problems of the very very rich kids that go to school there. You can have too much at a young age. It's far from the middle and upper middle class neighborhoods that surround it. There also was the issue of parents that thought just because they had a lot of money their kids should be treated totally differently. We are very well off and make well above the medium income for Loudoun, but it's still a very different life than most of the kids that live in McLean. I also have a friend who works for a well known individual that lives there and they have a lifestyle that few have and don't get how the rest of the world lives. It is different.
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