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Old 04-09-2008, 09:16 PM
 
91 posts, read 335,881 times
Reputation: 23

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Hi!

Any thoughts on Leesburg vs. Haymarket?

It looks like we can buy a 3/2 sfh in leesburg near the downtown area that is a brick bungalow type with schools ranked in the middle.

It looks like in haymarket we can buy a newer 3/2 sfh and the schools are upper-middle performing.

I am fine with either home option and either school scenario. My concerns are for commute time, activities for the kids, safety and a good community feel. A diverse community would be a big bonus!

Can you help me sort out the following...

commute differences to the Dulles area (Technology Drive in Herndon)?
things for the kids to do?
community feel?
accessibility to trails/outdoor activities?
rec centers?

If there are particular neighborhoods you'd suggest, I am all ears.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:57 AM
 
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It sounds like you are leaning towards Leesburg. It is an older community and with the growth of Ashburn next door, there are plenty of options the county does to cater towards families. Development in Haymarket is relatively new. Quality of life items such as parks and ammenities will come as more people demand them. If you want new, think Haymarket.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:34 AM
 
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Default Commute Times?

Thanks! I am feeling pretty open to either set up-but do have more concerns about the commute from haymarket to dulles area.

Anyone have rough estimates on the following:

Downtown Leesburg Area to Dulles Tollway/Technology Drive?

Central Haymarket Area to Technology Drive in Herndon?

I can see the time estimates on googlemaps, but know that real life exp. can be very different...
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,842,377 times
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Leesburg to Tech drive and tollway...on rt 7 would take about 25-30 minutes in commute traffic
on the toll (267) about 20minutes.

I lived near downtown in Exeter (off of Battlefield pky and rt15) and could make it the airport parking in 20 minutes.

Leesburg is a great town and has TONs of activites for kids. The schools are very good (I don't know where you are getting your "schools ranked in the middle" facts.

But 1 elementary Catoctin Elem has been struggling with ratings becuase of a high ESL kids. Loudoun county gave the option to partents to go another elementary (Evergreen I think)
Also Simpson middle school has had it's share of woes. (my kids went to Leesburg elem and Smarts mill MS BOTH EXCELLENT)
Heritage HS gets knocked more than County (county is thought to be the better of the two) but Heritage still is good.

What price are you looking at? because I know alot of SFH in Leesburg have dropped tremendously... Potomac Crossing is a great neighborhood with tons of families and Exeter is very good as well. (both have pool tennis courts playgrounds etc...)

Leesburg has Ida Lee rec center that is fantastic and alot of nice parks and bike trails. (you can bike on the WO&D it's paved and very nice)
The Historic downtown is great and very family friendly. The have First nights on the first friday night of every month and also in hte summer they have outdoor concerts on the courthouse lawn. It's a great town and I really miss it.

If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask me.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:37 AM
 
91 posts, read 335,881 times
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Default thanks

hi-thanks for the leesburg info. i appreciate it.
as far as schools go, on greatschools.net catoctin was rated a 5 and leesburg elementary a 6. i would actually be fine with either, barring some first hand knowledge that sways me another way. having a large pool of "esl kids" usually drops the test scores and that freaks folks out.

we are wanting to keep the price to around $350k-ish. don't want to be soooo tight on the mtg. that we can't eat out sometimes!

if you have any good suggestions on restaurants to try in leesburg or haymarket, i am all ears-as i should be coming out in the next 6 weeks.

thanks again for the info. it really helps!
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,842,377 times
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Catoctin was hit twice as not meeting the standards of No Child left behind. (like I said due largly with the high number of ESL kids) The teachers get very high marks from parents in the area and the Pricipal is trying very hard to assilmate some of these kids. But when neither parent speaks english at all it's hard for the child to pass a state test written in English.

Leesburg elementary (where 2 of my kids went) is great. It was a blue ribbon school and has a very strong teaching and administrative staff. Very involved PTA and lots of parent volunteers. Again it pulls the kids in from the low income housing apts . so you have that and some ESL problem that may bring scores down. But I think it's top notch (especially after leaving...Loudoun county schools really are TOPs)

resturants...downtown has quite a few and i can recommend the Leesburg resturant (dinerish food) FANTASTIC old fashioned malts!
The blue ridge grill (over by walmart on rt 15) has GREAT food..nondescript bldg, but don't let that fool you. Great Feilt mignon and Seared tuna etc...
Tuscaora Mill..very good a bit pricey and fancier but good.
Casa Gonzalas on Catoctin Cir has great mexican food (generous portions and good prices!)
There a few Itallian places on Catoctin cir that are good...can't remember the names though.

Read the online version of Leesburg today newspaper as well as the Loudoun county times you'll get lots of great local insight.

Good luck with your trip.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: NW Georgia
621 posts, read 3,197,469 times
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I recently moved to Haymarket and LOVE it. It's still very small, but they are developing it a lot, which now that I'm there I wish they wouldn't...LOL. But gainesville is right next door with every and any store you could ever want. I feel like I'm tucked away in a tiny town, but then I drive 5 mins and it's back to suburbia. If you do look in Haymarket I would look in the Villages of Piedmont, it's right off of 15. They have large townhomes and SFH. I live there and it's great. My neighborhood has some children, but the development is only 1/4 done so I'm sure there will be more. There are also many other established neighborhoods in the area if you would prefer that so I would just drive around.

I've only driven through Leesburg before and from what I've seen it's very nice as well. I haven't lived there or driven through enough of it to comment about it though. Good Luck!!
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:24 PM
 
91 posts, read 335,881 times
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Default hi

msjack-thanks for the input on haymarket. i do hear it is a nice place for families.

any info. on how long it takes to get from haymarket to dulles area of herndon??

any feel for the schools there?
is it a diverse neighborhood?

thanks again!
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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The problem with driving from Haymarket to Dulles is the limited number of roads available. If the major artery, Route 66 is backed up becuase of and accident, the alternative routes (Route 15, 29) will back up also. Leesburg has the advantage of have a toll road that goes from Leesburg directly to Herndon that is currently underused so it does not get as conjested.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Springfield
2,765 posts, read 8,296,562 times
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I live in haymarket, and it's quiet here. There's a mix of a lot of different people, races and classes. I think in Leesburg you are limited to Rt 7 and paying the tolls on the toll roads and starbucks at every corner. The house prices in Haymarket seem to be a lot cheaper and better deals. Personally I would stay away from Dominion Valley because it has high HOA fees and too big. My community has 50 houses and you know your neighbors, unlike some places where there is constantly people moving in/out.

Dont forget the VRE is going to build a station in Haymarket as well.
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