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Old 09-18-2010, 09:43 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,235 times
Reputation: 11

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My family (husband and kids ages 7 and 5) will be moving to Washington D.C. My husband got a job and will be working near DuPont Circle. We've moved around a lot and are looking to find a community in which we can settle.

We work in the nonprofit field. I hope to find a part-time job toward Baltimore and we aim to have a combined salary of ~$75-100,000. We home to find a decent home and community for our family (we have about $15K to put toward a down payment). We are also lucky in that our timing is flexible (e.g., move in swiftly or spend six - twelve months to locate a home).

These are the features for which we are looking (in priority order):

- a 3-4 bedroom home to buy (~1000 sq ft maybe?)
- decent public schools
- train (metro?) access - (ideally a 10-15 min walk to the train?)
- a bit of yard/grass for a mini garden and for kids to run/play (houses close to one another like in Takoma Park is fine/good)
- safe walking/biking
- cultural diversity
- ideally a 15 -20 min walk to shops/stores, bookstores/library, restaurants
- multi-family home (so we'd have tenants) could work too
- We'll have one car but appreciate some walkability.

I did not add the more subjective element of "a sense of community" as it is so relative and I don't expect folks could answer that for us....

Are these realistic features on our likely combined salary ($75-100K) with $15K for a downpayment? Any recommendations on towns/communities based on the above? Any other general advice?

We have been focused more suburbs - because we would like some yard space and we've heard that DC has high taxes and that schools can be hit or miss. We like the vibe of places that are kinda combination city/suburban (e.g., Evanston, IL; Montclair, NJ; or Brookline, MA).

We are more inclined to go north (MD) than south (VA) as we have family in DC's Cathedral Park, Ellicot City (MD), NJ and NYC and expect to visit family so less travel time is good.


For suburbs, folks have recommended Bethesda, Wheaton, Silver Springs, Takoma Park, which all look nice on Google Maps.





For some perspective: We lived many years in nicer and crappy areas of both Chicago (no kids) and NYC (with kids). But four years ago moved to a small town 1.5 hours from NYC. So we are used to having a tiny yard.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:02 AM
 
311 posts, read 744,092 times
Reputation: 364
I can't give much advice but I think a better thing to figure out to help readers is what would be your overall budget?

Also, If i were you...I'd take my time to find a House. It took me about 4-5 months to find my apartment/choose a neighborhood and I'm glad I waited so long or else I wouldve just gotten some overpriced place that I would have hated. It really gave me time to scope out places and I remember I visited 4-5 different neighborhoods during different times of the day(to figure out morning and evening traffic, commute, how it was at night, shopping options, etc.) until I decided
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,644,663 times
Reputation: 3181
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm62 View Post
My family (husband and kids ages 7 and 5) will be moving to Washington D.C. My husband got a job and will be working near DuPont Circle. We've moved around a lot and are looking to find a community in which we can settle.

We work in the nonprofit field. I hope to find a part-time job toward Baltimore and we aim to have a combined salary of ~$75-100,000. We home to find a decent home and community for our family (we have about $15K to put toward a down payment). We are also lucky in that our timing is flexible (e.g., move in swiftly or spend six - twelve months to locate a home).

These are the features for which we are looking (in priority order):

- a 3-4 bedroom home to buy (~1000 sq ft maybe?)
- decent public schools
- train (metro?) access - (ideally a 10-15 min walk to the train?)
- a bit of yard/grass for a mini garden and for kids to run/play (houses close to one another like in Takoma Park is fine/good)
- safe walking/biking
- cultural diversity
- ideally a 15 -20 min walk to shops/stores, bookstores/library, restaurants
- multi-family home (so we'd have tenants) could work too
- We'll have one car but appreciate some walkability.

I did not add the more subjective element of "a sense of community" as it is so relative and I don't expect folks could answer that for us....

Are these realistic features on our likely combined salary ($75-100K) with $15K for a downpayment? Any recommendations on towns/communities based on the above? Any other general advice?

We have been focused more suburbs - because we would like some yard space and we've heard that DC has high taxes and that schools can be hit or miss. We like the vibe of places that are kinda combination city/suburban (e.g., Evanston, IL; Montclair, NJ; or Brookline, MA).

We are more inclined to go north (MD) than south (VA) as we have family in DC's Cathedral Park, Ellicot City (MD), NJ and NYC and expect to visit family so less travel time is good.


For suburbs, folks have recommended Bethesda, Wheaton, Silver Springs, Takoma Park, which all look nice on Google Maps.





For some perspective: We lived many years in nicer and crappy areas of both Chicago (no kids) and NYC (with kids). But four years ago moved to a small town 1.5 hours from NYC. So we are used to having a tiny yard.

Thanks in advance!
Without knowing your price range (income is okay to know, but how much house can you afford is really going to give people on here a better idea of where to steer you to) it is hard to say where to go, but I think you should write Bethesda off your list, because even if you have no debt, it would be almost impossible to afford a place there on that income. I also think Wheaton and Takoma Park aren't really the greatest places for families. Silver Spring is okay, but it would, in the best case scenario, be in he highest part of your price range. It also cover a wide area so based on your criteria you would have to move further out in Silver Spring, but doing that would increase the time it would take to get to the metro station and trust me the traffic there is no joke. If I were to make suggestions just based off the information you have given already I would suggest Laurel, Bowie, Crofton, and maybe Burtonsville. Bowie and Crofton are the best fits out of those. But again let us know your price range.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:46 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,871,439 times
Reputation: 869
If DH is willing to sit on a MARC train then you can consider Baltimore City/County, or the suburbs thereof.

Howard County in general has the best schools but probably doesn't have as much character as Bawlmer or the safe and eclectic neighborhoods of DC.
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