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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,994 times
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My husband and I will be moving very soon to the DC area. He is working in DC in the L'Enfant area of DC. We are considering homes in both Maryland and Virginia. Our budget is $400 - $500. We are in our 50's with grown kids so schools are not our first concern, the commute is however. Schools are only important from a resale value. My questions are...

1.) which state would you tend to choose and why?

2.) In Maryland we are looking in Montgomery and Howard county. Which areas would you recommend in both? Which areas would you avoid?

3.) About how long would the commute from these areas be?

4.)What are the pros and cons for these areas?

5.) I am a RN. Will it be difficult for me to find a nursing job in these areas?

thanks for any help and advice you can give us.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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3) Commute from Howard to L'enfant would be quite long IIRC.

5) I'm not sure about the job market for nurses 'round here, but I will say that we've got great medical facilities in the area. I think if you find a job you'll enjoy it quite a bit.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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Hi,
Since you would work in DC, I would suggest taking metro train rather than driving to work. Here is a map of metro DC area.
Metro - Rail - Maps - Rail/Google Map

L'Enfant Plaza is on orange, blue and yelow lines. All three go through Virginia. So I would think for you, VA or downtown DC is a better choice than MD. If you choose MD, then you will end up taking red line and then transfer to other lines which is more hassle.

For a rent of $400 ~ 500, I feel like it's very difficult to find anything that's closer to DC, even for a studio. You might find a room in a house. Maybe you want to check craiglist.

As for safe areas, any metro stations west or south of L'Enfant Plaza are all nice. Although I heard some bad things about Braddock Road metro station.

Chinatown, which is north of L'Enfant Plaza, is developing a lot in recent years and I see more people moving to that area.

Oh, actually east part of orange line goes to Maryland. I don't know anything about that area though.

Hope it helps a bit. Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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Given your destination of L'Enfant Plaza, your budget, and the fact that schools aren't a factor for you, I'd suggest looking at Prince George's County.

My wife and I were in a somewhat similar position recently, and after considering DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and parts of Maryland, we chose PG County (Fort Washington/Indian Queen). On the positive side, we found that we could get a lot of house for our money and a reasonable commute (by DC area standards). On the negative side, taxes are relatively high, crime rates are relatively high, and the school system is considered weak. For us, none of these negatives was a deal killer. The taxes are high, but the house cost so much less than the equivalent would have been in Virginia or DC, that we could accept it. Crime is largely a localized issue (and based on an individual's perceptions of acceptable risk). I think the crime statistics for PG county as a whole will be about as relevant to me in Fort Washington as the crime statistics for DC as a whole were for me when I lived near Dupont Circle. I don't have school-age kids, so the quality of schools is a non-issue. You are right to factor in good schools in terms of resale value, but I figure it is already discounted into the lower property costs. Some people will point out that PG County doesn't have a lot of high-end retail. This is true, but convenient high end retail just isn't important to me. Your mileage may vary.

I haven't moved in yet, so maybe I'll feel differently in a year. There are some very dramatic exchanges on this forum about PG County, but when I went and looked for myself, I decided that there was some great value and bought a house. You might want to have a look and make your own decision, too.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:28 AM
 
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sorry I wasnt clear..budget for a home is 400,000 - 500,000
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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lol, 400,000 - 500,000 will be a very different picture. You can buy a decent townhouse at nice neighborhood at that price range.

Still, I would suggest you check Virginia first, since it's on orange/blue/yellow line which go to L'Enfant Plaza.

I know there are nice townhouse by Vienna metro station. Or you may check Herndon or Reston area. I know a lot of IT professionals live there. It's rather further out and commute could be a pain. I think there are bus from Herndon going to West Falls Church metro station (orange line). You don't wanna drive from there to DC though. The traffic is horrible during rush hour.

Better find a real estate agent soon and he would know the area very well.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,232,718 times
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At 400-500 I'm pretty sure they could find a nice townhouse in DC near work.
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