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Old 06-17-2008, 07:45 AM
 
8 posts, read 24,297 times
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Hello everyone,

I have been reading posts here as I contemplate a move and now that I have decided to make the move I was hoping I could get the benefit of some specific opinions on my planned move. Any opinions/thoughts are appreciated, here is the scenario:

I will be moving from MA to take a new job in Rockville MD in the next few months. I plan to move ahead of my family but we will all be settled by the end of August at the latest so our three children can start the school year on time.

I plan to rent a house in the area that we will eventually buy in but I canít buy until my MA house sells. When we buy we are looking for some privacy, a minimum of 1 acre of land, and a minimum of three bedrooms in a low crime area that has access to parochial schools K-8. I would like spend below $400K so I expect to have to live in WV and commute to Rockville MD in order to find a home that meets our requirements.

I currently commute 1 Ĺ hours each way per day so if the commute from say Charles Town, WV to Rockville, MD can be done in 1 Ĺ each way per day I think that would work. If that is an unrealistic expectation please let me know.

We lived in Northern VA about seven years ago so I know the Loudoun county area and how much it has grow as we have been back there many times since we moved.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Thanks.

Last edited by questionsfromme; 06-17-2008 at 07:47 AM.. Reason: Formatting
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: property tax hell
2,015 posts, read 3,993,730 times
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You'd have to have some REAL creative schedules to make that commute in that time frame. The traffic going towards DC from points northwest is pretty bad. I-270 is your main interstate....and it can take an hour simply from areas like Urbana or Frederick to Rockville... (we're talking about a 40 mile commute) - and I believe that's about the 1/2 way point for you.

There are a few people I know that work in the DC area and live out in WVA - they all take the MARC. I'd look into that option as well. Depending on where in Rockville, there are a few stops on the MARC Brunswick line.

Maryland Transit Administration (http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/marc/ - broken link)
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:26 AM
 
8 posts, read 24,297 times
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Thanks macroy. Any thoughts on other areas that might give us what we are looking for in terms of house and price range and keep the commute under 2hrs each way? I started looking in WV only because of more affordable housing; I would be open to MD or VA as well. Do you think the MD/VA housing market is stabilizing or not?

Last edited by questionsfromme; 06-17-2008 at 08:27 AM.. Reason: Formatting
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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QFM, there are many other areas that has your house hunting criteria. Frederick and Hagerstown of MD are good choices too.

If you are looking for more bang for your $$$, I would pick Hagerstown. You could get decent lot size house in good school area, plus the commute will not be as bad as some people described.

I have lived in Frederick and Hagerstown, and been commuting to DC, Bethesda, Baltimore and Rockville for work. I miss Hagerstown.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:11 AM
 
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Thanks lvmycj. That is great to know. Hagerstown is actually one of the areas that we are looking into but I was not sure that we could get an acre lot and reasonably sized house for a family of 5 and two dogs in our price range. What was your experience commuting from Hagerstown towards Rockville? Time it takes, peak traffic hours, etc…?

It looks like there is a ton of houses on the market and the supply is far ahead of demand. The number of foreclosures in Loudon County is amazing!
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:57 AM
 
Location: property tax hell
2,015 posts, read 3,993,730 times
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No problem. And I hope you didn't scratch out WVA on my suggestion. Its still very doable based on your requirements - and some employers may even offer incentives for public transportation. not to mention the savings on gas.

I'm not sure you are not going to see a lot of 1 acre homes for 400K without going a ways out. And simply put, with DC having the 2nd worst traffic in the nation, a 2 hour commute isn't that far away in terms of distance (50-60miles?). For example, I lived in Potomac and worked in N. Virginia. My commute in terms of distance was less than 17 miles... but it took me anywhere from 30 minutes to 1:15 to get to work. Granted this is across the most congested part of the area, but Rockville isn't far off.

As for the housing market - I would leave that for a real estate professional to answer. I would say that it really depends on the area.... some local areas were simply not as affected. So I'd think that a blanket statement may not apply...

A good website you can use just to see what's available is homesdatabase.com you can plug in your requirements and search by zip code.

This is just my opinion...but a 2 hour commute will be killer. That's 4 hours away from your day/family. And keep in mind, it most likely would not be a leisurely drive.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:38 PM
 
76 posts, read 185,690 times
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U r welcome, QFM.

From Hagerstown to Rockville on good days takes about an hour or a little less (leaving Hagerstown around 7 am). On a bad day, probably around 1.5 hours. There are many local routes that you can use once you reach Gaithersburg to get to Rockville if I-270 is bad.

There are tons of options for a budget of $400K home for the acreage you are looking for in Hagerstown. If you look around the Woodbridge community near the Robinwood medical center, it's a nice community on its own. You get neighbors, yet they are lots of space in between to cater for privacy and play areas for the children. I also liked about the school district this community belongs to. I wished we were in this community while we lived in Hagerstown.

Anyway, good luck and let me know if you need additional information, I'll be to help.


Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:44 PM
 
76 posts, read 185,690 times
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QFM, I'll do some research and ask some of my friends back there if they know anything more about certain communities or any changes since I left Hagerstown. It's a bad time now and you just need to be careful buying in certain communities.

I have benefited from the CF for our relocation and rely a lot on information provided by some very helpful localites. I would like to do the same for those who's considering the areas that I have used to live :-)
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:24 AM
 
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Thanks – Do you mean it’s a bad time because of foreclosures, etc…so you have to be careful to not move into an area that is about to go under? I appreciate the help, there is a lot of good data in these forums.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:35 AM
 
385 posts, read 1,232,964 times
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If you are thinking about Hagerstown, you also have the option of using 991 Commuter Bus that connects Hagerstown to Shady Grove Metro Station and other destinations in Rockville.
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