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Old 08-17-2007, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17 posts, read 57,040 times
Reputation: 16

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Hello! I have been reading through all of the HELPFUL posts on this site while my husband and I make decisions about where to live in the NOVA area. I think we have narrowed our search area down to Bristow/Haymarket/Gainesville because we can get a newer detached SFH with some semblance of a yard within our price range ($450-550).

My question is re: commute times from that general area into Fairfax, where my husband will be working (most of the posts I have read discuss commutes into DC itself). When we were in Houston, he generally tried to leave the home by 6:30AM and leave work either before (4:30PM) or after (6:30PM) the main rush-hour time. Will this help him at all in NOVA? What are the commute times, in general, if he hits the main rush hours?

As an aside, it seems like so many homes don't have fences! Generally speaking, are building fences taboo?! We want to get a dog when we get settled!

Thanks for any help y'all can provide!
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:50 PM
LLD
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
654 posts, read 3,063,464 times
Reputation: 224
Fences are not taboo. My son just bought in Warrenton and they are putting up a fence. And I see lots of fenced houses.

When I was visiting, we drove from Warrenton to Fairfax (to the Fairfax County Parkway exit) in about 35 minutes I'd say but that was on Saturday morning. So you'd have to add some time for the rush hour. But he and his fiance tell me that the back up doesn't really happen until they hit the Vienna metro and that traffic is heavy but moves. They leave around 6:00 am in the morning.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,585,575 times
Reputation: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimboat View Post
Hello! I have been reading through all of the HELPFUL posts on this site while my husband and I make decisions about where to live in the NOVA area. I think we have narrowed our search area down to Bristow/Haymarket/Gainesville because we can get a newer detached SFH with some semblance of a yard within our price range ($450-550).

My question is re: commute times from that general area into Fairfax, where my husband will be working (most of the posts I have read discuss commutes into DC itself). When we were in Houston, he generally tried to leave the home by 6:30AM and leave work either before (4:30PM) or after (6:30PM) the main rush-hour time. Will this help him at all in NOVA? What are the commute times, in general, if he hits the main rush hours?

As an aside, it seems like so many homes don't have fences! Generally speaking, are building fences taboo?! We want to get a dog when we get settled!

Thanks for any help y'all can provide!
Welcome, in advance, to Prince William County!

Your commute times will vary *greatly* depending on whether it's before Labor Day or after Labor Day, when everyone comes back from vacation and traffic bogs down again. If your husband leaves from Bristow at 6:30am, he'll be in Fairfax by 7:30am, depending on where in Fairfax he needs to be. Factor in a little less than an hour to get home. If he's able to either have a hybrid vehicle or a passenger, he can take the left hand lane (HOV-2) and that hour will be cut in half. Hybrids in Virginia are eligible for HOV even if there's only one person in the vehicle. (This may change in the future, though.)

I should mention that leaving at 4:30 or 6:30 in the evening will generally have absolutely no effect on his commute times in the DC area. Too many people have had the same idea as your husband - during the school year, you really need to leave before 3pm or after 7:15pm or so to have the traffic be any different.

Brian

PS: Make sure to check out Manassas in the 20109 zip code as the prices are similar and it's 4-7 miles closer in to Fairfax...the tradeoff is that some of the properties are a bit older as Manassas is a more established town, and that some parts of Manassas are not-so-good - but they generally aren't in 20109.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:09 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,889,401 times
Reputation: 1003
Yesterday evening, we headed west on I-66 at Route 7 at about 5:30 pm. Even in the HOV lane, the traffic was awful. It took over an hour to get to Warrenton. And this is August....
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:15 PM
LLD
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
654 posts, read 3,063,464 times
Reputation: 224
Ouch..... oh yes I forgot to mention that my son and fiance take the HOV lanes.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,585,575 times
Reputation: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Yesterday evening, we headed west on I-66 at Route 7 at about 5:30 pm. Even in the HOV lane, the traffic was awful. It took over an hour to get to Warrenton. And this is August....
Before our new commuter friend gets too freaked out by this, Route 7 is Exit 66 off of I-66, which is approximately 10 miles east of roughly where the husband will be exiting to go to work (assuming Exit 57, though it could be 55 or 60). By far, the highest intensity of traffic that occurs on I-66 both inbound and outbound happens between Exit 60/Route 123 and the Beltway (Exit 64). Sounds like you hit the full brunt of it - although Route 7 / Exit 66 to Warrenton is about 39 miles - if it took you like 65-75 minutes to get there, I have horror stories a lot worse than that.

Brian
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
1,266 posts, read 5,593,985 times
Reputation: 735
Yeah, I don't see a lot of fences either. I came from NM where everyone had a fence. I think people run out of money once buying these big homes. lol We almost bought a house on a 1/4 acre, but once we added in the price for a fence and deck, we were having second thoughts. We went with the house that already had a finished patio and fence. I think a lot of HOA's are strict on the sort of fencing you can have.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17 posts, read 57,040 times
Reputation: 16
Default Wow - Thanks!

What a great resource! Thanks to everyone for their input and ideas. One hour + each way was pretty standard for his Houston commutes, so hopefully this won't be too daunting.

I guess we'll narrow our search for places with fences....between a future potential dog and a 2 year old, we'd feel better if we had some kind of enclosure (could use an invisible fence for the dog....but not for the kid ).
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
566 posts, read 2,975,615 times
Reputation: 152
I live in Gainesville and there is just no way it's going to take an hour to get to Fairfax from here. 45 minutes would be the most it would take. The good thingg about this area is that there are a ton a side streets and back roads that you can take to pick up 66 a little further east, so make sure you get out and learn those side streets and cut-throughs. I would also suggest living north of route 29. The traffic is substantially better and you have a few more options when commuting east. The houses are more expensive though.

Fences are definitely not taboo. I would say about half of my neighborhood has one and we're all on 1/2 or 1 acre lots. You will definitely be limited in what you can do though. I think we had 3 or 4 different fence styles to choose from.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17 posts, read 57,040 times
Reputation: 16
Default May I ask....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidS827 View Post
I live in Gainesville and there is just no way it's going to take an hour to get to Fairfax from here. 45 minutes would be the most it would take. The good thingg about this area is that there are a ton a side streets and back roads that you can take to pick up 66 a little further east, so make sure you get out and learn those side streets and cut-throughs. I would also suggest living north of route 29. The traffic is substantially better and you have a few more options when commuting east. The houses are more expensive though.

Fences are definitely not taboo. I would say about half of my neighborhood has one and we're all on 1/2 or 1 acre lots. You will definitely be limited in what you can do though. I think we had 3 or 4 different fence styles to choose from.
May I ask which neighborhoods you would suggest in Gainesville (if you know off of the top of your head)? We can go up a bit in price to get the commute time down and to get a fence .

Thanks! Aimee
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