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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 03-21-2008, 05:31 PM
 
162 posts, read 481,438 times
Reputation: 88

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I've been reading through hundreds of postings in the Maryland, Virginia and DC forums about where to move to this summer. It's a hard choice because we are both in the Air Force and this will probably be our last duty location. We are looking for a home to purchase that we can grow into over the next 5-10 years. We can afford to buy a home up to $600k and we have found plenty of homes to choose from (We are looking in the Fort Washington area). We have a 15 month old son that will eventually be going to school, so schools are important to us. Everything sounds great right? Here's the kicker...I'll be working in Chantilly VA and my wife will be working at Andrews AFB MD. Ultimately, I'm thinking it will be better to live in MD because I don't want my son sitting in traffic for 3 hours a day. Also, I think I'll have an easier commute (relatively speaking of course) because I'll be going against traffic for the most part.

So, I guess the reasons why I'm posting this is to get everyone's opinion about where I'm looking at living and to see if I'm thinking straight about all the issues involved. Here are the main issues:

- Home purchasing is more expensive because of higher closing costs and taxes.

- I hear Prince Georges County has bad schools.

- My commute from Ft. Washington to Chantilly VA would be easier than Chantilly VA to Andrews AFB MD.

- Day to day traffic in MD is better than in VA.

- Vehicle tax, and income tax is not an issue because we will still be residents of Vermont.

Please let me know what you think and if I am forgetting to take something else into consideration.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,573 posts, read 18,992,126 times
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If day to day traffic in Maryland is better than Virginia, it is not much better.

Commute from Ft. Washington to Chantilly is not a reverse commute if you use the beltway (which is probably the best way to go). It's a long way to Chantilly.

All PG schools are not bad. I don't know much about Ft. Washington area schools though.

That's about what I know.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:23 PM
 
162 posts, read 481,438 times
Reputation: 88
Thanks for the info. I knew the beltway part of the commute wasn't going to be a reverse commute, but I figured that was only a portion of the whole commute. What kind of timelines do you think we're talking here?

Does anyone know anything about the Ft. Washington schools?
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,573 posts, read 18,992,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moman1 View Post
What kind of timelines do you think we're talking here?
That's a good question. I used to live off Rt.1 south of Alexandria and it was a long drive from there. It's been a while, so I couldn't give accurate estimate now.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:46 AM
 
4,945 posts, read 8,281,738 times
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Moman,

You are easily looking at a 1-1.5 one way commute. First, you will have to use the beltway which is always backed up at all hours of the day. Second, Rt. 7 is a nightmare at all times, especially thru Tysons. The toll road is an option but it's busy as well. Ft. Washington is a great community but the schools are iffy!
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:56 AM
 
162 posts, read 481,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
Moman,

You are easily looking at a 1-1.5 one way commute. First, you will have to use the beltway which is always backed up at all hours of the day. Second, Rt. 7 is a nightmare at all times, especially thru Tysons. The toll road is an option but it's busy as well. Ft. Washington is a great community but the schools are iffy!
Thanks for the info. The more info I get, the easier my choices become. We've changed our minds so much in the past couple of months because we keep finding new factors that play a part. I just did a search last night for the Ft. Washington schools. I didn't like what I found. Every site I went to had them near the bottom of the list in the state, in a state that isn't exactly known for good schools.

We have about 4 more months to make a decision. We are probably going to go out there in May and try to make a decision but the decision must be made by August at the latest.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,573 posts, read 18,992,126 times
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Take a look at the Virginia side of the river. The area along Franconia Rd. is nice.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:40 PM
 
43 posts, read 151,698 times
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I personally would live in Virginia. Much better schools as a whole. PG county schools are horrendous for the most part. Overcrowded. The beltway is bad no matter where you're at, but I think you'll be headed through the mixing bowl, which is a nightmare(at least until they finish the bridge).
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:41 PM
 
43 posts, read 151,698 times
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Chantilly to MD during rush hour could easily take 2 1/2 hours.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:15 PM
 
162 posts, read 481,438 times
Reputation: 88
I just talked to a person that's on a business trip to my duty section for a couple of days. He lives about 4 miles SW of Woodbridge and commutes to Ft. Mead every day (56miles). He said he leaves at 4:30 am to ensure he's over "the bridge" by 5:00 and the whole trip takes only an hour. So I'm guessing, that from Woodbridge to Andrews should be even shorter at that hour. I'm not too worried about my commute from Woodbridge to Chantilly. That's not a big deal, especially if I work shift work and drive at odd times.
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