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Thread summary:

Moving to Virginia: buying a home, job market, townhouse, foreclosed homes for sale, traffic.

Old 11-28-2008, 01:19 PM
37 posts, read 101,221 times
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not too far from the Galleria. I have 2 daughters of which my oldest will be 5 next July and starting school. Obviously schools will be our number 1 priorty along with a safe/family friendly city to live in. I am looking to spend $250,000 to $300,000 on a home and do not want to drive more than an hour. My job has a free shuttle that goes back and forth to the local metro at West Falls Church. I would be willing to drive an hour or ride the Metro for an hour. I heard Leesburg is nice/affordable, but not sure about the commute.

Okay, where should I start looking to live??????? Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:59 PM
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It depends in part on whether you are looking for a townhouse or a single family house. You won't find much of anything in the immediate vicinity of Tysons/McLean for $250-300K, with the possible exception of some townhouses in foreclosure.

If you are looking for a single family house, I think your best bet is in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County. There are many young families and the schools are considered good. For example, you can find a house for less than $300K that is in the attendance district for Rocky Run Middle and Chantilly High, both of which are highly regarded. I don't know as much about the feeder elementary schools, but assume they are good as well. The main drawback is that Chantilly is suburban to the core; there are plenty of amenities, but you won't feel as if you are living in a city or a town with a downtown area.

Herndon and Reston are also possibilities, and the commute would be shorter, but my impression is that the schools in those areas vary far more widely in quality and reputation.

If you are looking for a townhouse, there have been a lot of 3-bedroom townhouses built out in Loudoun towns such as Ashburn and Leesburg that are within your budget and have well-regarded schools. The commute to Tysons/McLean would not be easy, but it would be well within an hour.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:56 AM
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Thanks for the info. I was hoping to stay away from a Townhouse, but does not look like that is going to happen. I found that Leesburg seems to have the most affordable housing for the money. How bad can the commute get during rush hour? What is the deal with the toll road that runs between Tysons Corner and Leesburg? How much and how much quicker can it be?
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:13 AM
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It's about 22 miles from Leesburg to Tysons Corner, but I don't know how long it would take during rush hour. I do know there is typically some congestion exiting the Dulles Toll Road onto Route 7 (west of Tysons). The combined fare on the Dulles Greenway and Toll Road to get from Leesburg to Tysons probably runs about $4.00 each way.

Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:52 PM
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How bad can the commute get? Uh, I don't mean to discourage you but the only word would be terrible. The poster above gave you very good advice. Be glad you will be at TC not DC and try to find a house close to it so you can watch your kids grow up rather than spend your life commuting like so many others who work far from home. Even if you have to get a townhouse, which is likely, it is better than spending two to four hours a day in traffic.

Chantilly is very nice. As for Herndon some parts are lovely but from what I read there has been a lot of tension over illegals. Reston is the local "planned community." I confess I cannot speak objectively about such places because I view their planners as utopian fools. Reston does now have some of the problems that these planned utopias are created in hopes of avoiding. (Apologies in advance to all Reston-lovers. I'm old and opinionated and I say what I think.)

Remember also, if it would cost you 100 bucks a month in gas from Reston but only 20 from a home close to work, you can add the difference to what you can afford in a mortgage.

It may take a little time to get used to the area, but as I tell everyone who asks, it is almost always the right move to make. Having DC experience on your CV is a plus.

Hope this helps.

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Old 12-04-2008, 12:40 PM
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:29 AM
Location: TX
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we lived in leesburg and my hubby commuted to TC.

It's brutal but if you vary your times ie go in early leave before 7:30am then it would take about 45minutes-an hour to get in. The even commute is always worse, more people will vary go in times but almost all want to get out by 6pm! If you can get out around 5pm (or after 6:30) it'll be an hour... bewtween 5:30-6;30 it'll be more like 90minutes.

The toll road is faster by about 15 minutes (20 during top rush hour times) but the cost of about 8.00 RT per day was too much for us. (for the 20 minute savings) They are getting rid of a bunch of lights on RT7 so traffic moves faster now than it did 3 years ago.

There is NO metro service to TC or Herdon, Reston, Ashburn, Leesburg etc... so since you are working in TC it's a moot point.

I would look in Sterling, you should be able to get a nice TH and maybe a SFH for around 300. Look in Countryside, Cascades(more $$) stay in the school pyramid for Potomac HS and you'll be good. Commute would be 45-60 minutes most days. (maybe even about 35-40 on really good day!!)

Ashburn you will probably only find a TH in your price, but schools are all excellent so no worries there.

Leesburg will have some bargins in sfh esp in some of the older neighborhoods. It was hit hard by the RE market. but it will be the longest commute for you.
(the only school I would say avoid is catoctin elem,) they are having some problems due to the high numbers of non english speaking kids. Loudoun county has targeted it so I expect to see a big turn around in another year or so. Good teachers,but test scores show a problem and LOTS of attention go to the under preformers etc...

(if seriously looking in leesburg let me know what houses and I'll let you know about the neighborhood best I can!)

I would NOT look out any futher than Leesburg, prices are tempting but the commute will kill ya!

TC is very congested area and just getting through 2 lights inside the beltway can take almost 20minutes! So look for back roads into your office, Lewinsville RD is a good cut through etc...

One thing to note, NOVA schools are great htere are only a handfull of underpreforming scholls and those are easy to avoid, the majority are far better than most schools in other cities.
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