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Old 01-27-2008, 11:48 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,819 times
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I have received an offer to relocate to the DC area from Minnesota. While I am excited about the new position, my wife is somewhat apprehensive. We have 2 elementary-age children and have located 2 small parochial schools they may attend (Silver Spring, MD and Falls Church). I am wondering about the benefits/drawbacks of these areas and also whether my wife will easily find suitable employment. She has a BA and is currently taking graduate courses. Her experiences include non-profit and housing related areas. Are there readily available jobs in the area in these fields and any idea on the pay scales with 5+ years exp and 3 yrs management exp?

I should mention that the schools would either be located at 3233 Annandale in Falls Church or 1500 Brown Station in Largo. I have been checking craigslist and the real estate sites - it looks as though a 3br townhouse can be found in these vicinities starting at around $1800/mo. (we're trying to stay in the $1800-$2000 range). I keep hearing how expensive it is to live in DC, but we already pay almost $1200/mo. and with the pay increase and loss of a car payment my math is telling me we will actually come out ahead by moving. Am I missing something? Obviously, we will no longer have acreage and 2000+ sq.ft., but it doesn't seem that unaffordable to me.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I used to live in Minnesota, so I know where you're coming from

VA easily beats MD. Move to VA.

Again, Falls Church over Silver Spring.

Housing is expensive and crappy. Even though area prices fell 7% this year, it's still expensive, and construction quality is crappy.

For $2,000/mo. you might be able to buy a 2BR condo, depending on the condo fees. Look at [url=http://www.zillow.com]Zillow - Real Estate Valuations, Homes for Sale, Free Real Estate Information[/url], my new favorite website. And use the birdseye view, to give you an idea of how it looks.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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What do you like about VA over MD? I'm going to be making the same decision soon.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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VA police are more visible, fair and responsive than MD, it seems to me. I'm talking inside the beltway.

Otherwise, just a general overall feeling. Suburban MD seems overly divisive between two close-in counties. NoVa just seems to overall policed better, and more evenly between Alex. City and the close-in counties of Arl. & Fairfax.

That's just the general impression I get. They're both Southern, and they're both overly dependent on the Federal Goverment, so they're fairly similar, but it seems that the balance tips into the favor of NoVa. Also, NoVA has two airports, whereas Suburban MD only has one.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,425 posts, read 7,965,901 times
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In general, Maryland communities tend to be a older and have a greater variety of housing/building stock, while Virginia has a lot of homogeneity building-wise.

I'm also getting a new job in DC in the near future, and was just down in the DC area yesterday checking out various neighborhoods in Maryland (Bethesda, Silver Spring), Virginia (Ballston-Clarendon corridor, Old Town Alexandria), and the District itself (Friendship Heights, Cleveland Park-Adams Morgan corridor, Eastern Market, Convention Center area). My comments above are based on my impressions, which are actually consistent with the thoughts various people I know who live/lived inside the Beltway had told me previously.

Incidentally, my comments are about the locations near or between Metro stations.

Last edited by CHIP72; 01-29-2008 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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I wholeheartedly disagree about the policing issues. I live in sub. MD and love, love, love where I live. I will agree that Falls Church is considered a great place but Maryland is less expensive, closer to downtown than FC, and if you are choosing private schools it's a no brainer.

I do caution you against Largo, though. That part of the county is hit or miss. We live in a small town called University Park, very close to College Park and the University of MD. The public elem. school is great and there are several private schools nearby. We have a free town shuttle that takes you to the metro, so we never even use our second car. My neighbors brought me dinner for a month after I had my baby! You could find a small single family home for rent for about what you are looking at now. I'm going to be renting my 3 bedroom home on a corner lot in the summer for somewhere around that. So, no need to give up the yard, keep looking and don't listen to the PG county naysayers. I've lived here all my life and am soooooooo sad to be leaving.

Let me know if I can help out anymore, I'll be honest about the good/bad areas. Oh, I think your wife could get a job. I have never had a problem and my education and experience seem comparable to hers.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:20 PM
 
1,763 posts, read 5,274,091 times
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Default both are nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by minnesota04 View Post
We have 2 elementary-age children and have located 2 small parochial schools they may attend (Silver Spring, MD and Falls Church). I am wondering about the benefits/drawbacks of these areas and also whether my wife will easily find suitable employment. She has a BA and is currently taking graduate courses. Her experiences include non-profit...
Silv Spring and Falls Church are both nice areas, IMO. I think they're pretty comparable in terms of housing costs, job prospects and commuting. Both have access to metro, and if your wife's experience includes non-profit, there's a lot to choose from around DC metro. I would visit both if possible, and see which appeals to you more.
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