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Old 05-29-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920

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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the ramifications of drinking and driving. How many nights per week do these 20 somethings go to bars? One DUI would just about make a down-payment on a condo. BTW, it is common knowledge that the declines in housing prices were far more dramatic in the exurbs, and the exurbs are the slowest to come back. Can you still get a house for 50 cents on the Dollar in PWC? Absolutely. Can you get anywhere near that in Arlington, or even Springfield?
Headed to .25 on the dollar as family formation declines, urban areas improve, the population continues aging, and gas goes to $10/gallon.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 30,937,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillabean View Post
The end result is I live where I live because it was the best economical option for me with all things considered (including walk-ability). I don't know how they could make where I live more walkable without eliminating housing (or just rebuilding everything). Both of which I don't see happening any time soon.
Great post, especially the quote above. There's a lot of truth to this (and also to your point that buying a house just to be walking distance from a job may be foolish if your job moves across town. Which happens a lot.). A lot of people write these wish lists that sound good... until they get serious about looking for a place and realize economic needs are going to mean sacrificing some of the things on the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
That's often the type of area older people like to move to with increasing frequency. They generally don't look anything like an outer suburb but fit more closely the walkable places described in the Atlantic article.
I agree that many people would like places like that, but as I said above, economic realities often get in the way. So does the need to prioritize and place other items from a wish list first.

Everyone's different, but for those who might be interested in the process of finding a retirement home, I'm happy to share our story--hope you don't mind reading a book, but our search took quite awhile. We've been in the process of looking for a retirement home for a little over a year now and are just about at the end (I hope). Let me tell you, it's an interesting process indeed. Your wish list has a way of changing when you actually start looking and the reality of getting older, a retiree's budget, and what you really need starts to hit home.

Ten years ago when we first started thinking about this, I assumed we would want a dense California beach town like Manhattan Beach, where everything is within a 5-mile radius. Or, if not that, then maybe one of those nice condos right in the middle of Reston Town Center. I had visions of an urban-ish town of some sort. You do start off thinking of retirement as a sort of permanent vacation and logically it does make sense that it would be nice to have everything you need within walking distance. Well, we looked at a lot of places in urban areas but they weren't good fits for a variety of reasons. Reston Town Center would have been fun, but it also would have destroyed our budget. A lot of places we could afford had crime problems. Others weren't near good medical centers or had buildings that required too much climbing. The neighborhoods we could afford often were hilly, or had broken, narrow sidewalks that are easy for a young person to walk on, but would be difficult as we got older. We considered some communities that weren't beach cities--but you know what, some of those weren't as walkable as you might think either. Some had streets that would be nice in the summer but problems with iciness in the winter. Many had stores within walking distance, but not the stores we would really need. Having gift shops, comic book stores, t-shirts and shoe stores within walking distance is fun but we couldn't always find grocery stores, pharmacies, or stores with things for seniors. Also, there's this thing about wanting a little more breathing room and greenery around you. We looked at this one place in Williamsburg called New Town. It seemed ideal--on paper. But when we actually looked at a few places there it seemed too crowded. There was a time in my life when I liked that feeling but when we actually toured places and thought about it we realized we a small living unit but a little more elbow room in the neighborhood, and a little more peace and quiet. I don't really want to be in an apartment with paper thin walls and people crammed together. That was fun in my 20s but not something I want now.

And Manhattan Beach? Even if we could find a place there that felt right, there's no way would it work with our budget. It's like thinking you'll retire in Georgetown. Sure, it's an appealing idea--until reality hits. So we started concentrating on other items on the wish list, and as much as I like walking, we put it near the bottom of the list. As we thought about it, we realized we could let it go because other needs really were more important. Plus the reality of getting older is we're going to do less and less walking. So we looked for a place with good transportation services for seniors, and stores/medical offices within a mile or two.

I highly recommend anyone who's considering retirement read the Retirement Forum for a few months. It's very thought provoking to follow people and see where they think they'll go when they start the process, and where they actually end up. Your idea of the ideal place can go through a lot of changes as reality sinks in.

Last edited by Caladium; 05-29-2012 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:08 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,747,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Headed to .25 on the dollar as family formation declines, urban areas improve, the population continues aging, and gas goes to $10/gallon.
So maybe 4000 sf in Bristow might not be such a good idea?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:17 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
So maybe 4000 sf in Bristow might not be such a good idea?
Incomes in Prince William have continued to go up and currently the median incomes are higher than, for example, those in Alexandria or Montgomery County. Many people who timed their house purchases in Prince William right, or just had good luck, probably are very satisfied with their quality of life.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Incomes in Prince William have continued to go up and currently the median incomes are higher than, for example, those in Alexandria or Montgomery County. Many people who timed their house purchases in Prince William right, or just had good luck, probably are very satisfied with their quality of life.
Is some of that because a lot of low income immigrants left due to the decline in construction jobs and the averse political climate in the county?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:29 PM
 
314 posts, read 398,534 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
This. At one point I lived walking distance to a grocery store (it was maybe a 5 minute walk to my apartment). I still drove, so I could load up on more than one night's purchases at a time. I didn't want to go to the store every day, and I definitely didn't want to limit myself to 2 bags at a time. I grocery shop approximately once every 2 weeks, and buy $150 worth of stuff at a time. Much more time savvy that way. Even if I had bought one of those little foldable carts you see in big cities, it would take 3-4 of them to do a shopping trip.
Not that savvy. Buying foods 2 weeks a time can't be that good. How fresh can the foods be?
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:24 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,747,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Incomes in Prince William have continued to go up and currently the median incomes are higher than, for example, those in Alexandria or Montgomery County. Many people who timed their house purchases in Prince William right, or just had good luck, probably are very satisfied with their quality of life.
There was a window, when people got some really good deals, they are by far the exception. You also have to contend with lower credit ratings living in those areas and a higher possibility of the credit agencies determining you are going to strategically default. Otherwise, if you don't have to commute, or have kids in school, and no desire to be a part of the culture of a world class city, then by all means, put your 3.5% down, select your favorite shade of beige builders grade carpet, and move right into the tool-shed, built to the lower standards of PWC, of course.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:34 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
Reputation: 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
There was a window, when people got some really good deals, they are by far the exception. You also have to contend with lower credit ratings living in those areas and a higher possibility of the credit agencies determining you are going to strategically default. Otherwise, if you don't have to commute, or have kids in school, and no desire to be a part of the culture of a world class city, then by all means, put your 3.5% down, select your favorite shade of beige builders grade carpet, and move right into the tool-shed, built to the lower standards of PWC, of course.
From what I can tell, people can get some good deals out there now, and they are are every bit, if not more, as happy with a Battlefield HS in Prince William as they would be with Wilson HS in DC, TC Williams in Alexandria, Wakefield HS in Alexandria or quite a few schools in Fairfax. The fact that Dominion Valley may not be as walkable as Old Town, or that someone has concluded their neighborhood isn't as valuable as Nauck really won't change their minds.

If you have to commute to DC, living in Prince William could be a challenge. If you're working in Manassas, along Route 28 or even the Pentagon, different story.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:45 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,885,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
It seems that, very often, those who have been unable to persuade others of the merits of their ideas are quick to claim, in frustration, that the system is rife with inefficiencies which, if only corrected, would produce a different outcome more to their liking.

Much of what one is seeing now does reflect the market at work.
So worth repeating.

Many of those who advocate for smart/dense/walkable development are simply annoyed at the apparently irrational preferences of so many of their neighbors, who stubbornly insist on single-family homes, yards, and 2-car garages instead of condos, balconies, and public transit. If only they could see the light and live like Europeans. For years, these advocates have been grimly predicting that gas prices and traffic woes would prod people out of their suburban castles and into high-rise nirvana. When that doesn't happen, they blame the developers and local politicians for stacking the deck against smart development.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:03 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,747,084 times
Reputation: 1183
only like the Europeans that live in stable world class cities and aren't 60 pounds overweight.
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