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Old 03-16-2010, 06:22 AM
 
53 posts, read 152,655 times
Reputation: 20

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We are nervously entertaining the idea of moving to the Bristow/Gainesville/Haymarket area this summer and would appreciate some help.

My children will be entering Kindergarten and 1st grade. We are moving from a Boston suburb. We currently love where we live, but my husbands office is in Springfield and I feel like we should move before the kids get any older. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Bristow/Gainesville/Haymarket look like the kind of places I'd like and have good schools. Our price range is up to 500,000, but I'd like to keep it closer to 400-450. We do need a yard (kids and 2 large dogs) and a good amount of space.

Does anyone know communting time to the Braddock Rd/Backlick intersection in Springfield?

What do HOA fees usually cover and how much are they?

Any neighborhoods where the kids all run around like a swarm of bees and SAHM's can easily make friends?

Anyone recommend one town over the others?

Thanks for you help,
Liz
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:20 AM
 
309 posts, read 829,450 times
Reputation: 99
[SIZE=3]I’ve lived in Bristow since 2003 and my husband commuted for a time to Alexandria (past Springfield) and depending on the time you leave, it could take up to 1 hour. Traffic here is horrible and you will see many, many comments about the horrors of I-66. 66 eastbound in the morning is usually fine until the Fairfax County Parkway (which is where your husband would exit). The 2nd widening of 66 westbound will be finished in August and one lane has already been opened and I already see a difference in my commute home. I will say the commute down the parkway can get really old – you have to drive it to appreciate what I’m saying. I don’t say this to necessarily discourage, but to be armed with as much information as possible.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I prefer Bristow over Gainesville and Haymarket for the simple reason of commute time. Most Gainesville addresses and Haymarket are located off Route 29 which is a major bottleneck and will be undergoing construction for the next 10 years especially if they put VRE in Gainesville. Haymarket to 66 is still a pain and again just adds more time. Linton Hall Road just off 29 does have a Gainesville zipcode but the further down you drive, it changes to Bristow. Anything located off 29 past Linton Hall Rd would add at least an additional 20 minutes.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]My street has about a 50/50 mix of SAHM vs Mom’s working outside the home. Based on my experience of the area I think you will find this to be true across most neighborhoods. A lot of families moved to this area specifically for the more affordable housing so a parent could stay at home.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]HOA fees are higher in the neighborhoods that offer internet access and basic cable in the package. Having lived in a neighborhood that didn’t and one that does, I would opt for the one that does not make this mandatory. Most dues are around $70/mo that covers trash, pool, etc.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]The elementary schools in the area are all top notch. A new elementary school is slated to open I think in 2012, and a new HS in the fall. There are some neighborhoods off Linton Hall Rd on Devlin and all of Victory lakes that feed to the HS in Manassas. This would not be my top choice of HS in the area.[/SIZE]
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:37 AM
 
71 posts, read 204,218 times
Reputation: 21
Look in the Burke area for housing...good schools....shorter commute. (VRE is also an option)
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:08 AM
 
509 posts, read 975,736 times
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My neighborhood in Gainesville does indeed have a lot of women who stay at home and don't work. Also, after school at least my block does have a lot of children playing (on the cul-de-sac I live on) and I'm fairly sure the same is true on other parts of the neighborhood.

A house can be had in the price range you are looking for (in my neighborhood) although you might be looking at a lot that is 1/5 to 1/3 acre in size. May not be as big as what you are looking for as far as lot size. Actually, my neighborhood is off Linton Hall Road and really just over the line from Bristow addresses.

HOA fee in my neighborhood is roughly $160/month - but that includes internet and cable TV, as well as things like garbage collection, a swimming pool, etc. So it's hard to directly compare HOA fees but that should give you an idea.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
142 posts, read 273,355 times
Reputation: 147
Sounds like you and I are in the exact same boat, except I have 2 getting ready for middle school.

Jen stays home, I'll commute to Springfield. I'm the one driving and I'd rather have a home I love than something I feel is a compromise.

We're making sure our kids are in Marsteller or Bull Run MS...Patriot, Brentsville, or Battlefield HS.

It's a shame New Bristow Village is zoned for Ellis Elementary. Nice neighborhood. Not so great school that's a long way away.

B
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:10 AM
 
509 posts, read 975,736 times
Reputation: 279
Commuting time is going to vary greatly depending on what time you leave the house in the morning and work in the evening. I can't really help you on that commute as mine is up to Reston.

As to Gainesville/Bristow/Haymarket each has things to offer. I don't know that I'd want to try and compare one to the other or recommend one over the other. I like Gainesville, as that's where I live, but Haymarket and Bristow are equally nice.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:45 AM
 
309 posts, read 829,450 times
Reputation: 99
There is a lot to be said of trying to live as close to work as possible and Springfield & Burke would fit that criteria. The biggest comparisons between living in these areas as compared to Bristow/Haymarket/Gainesville will be the amount of square footage and the age of a home. B/G/H homes have mostly been built in the last 1-12 years and a lot of the houses have significant sf. The lot sizes are not very big and in S&B you would probably find the lots larger but the houses smaller and older. The neighborhoods in S&B are older more established neighborhoods with beautiful treen lines and in my part of PW county you find that look. Obviously everyone decides what compromises will work for them.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
142 posts, read 273,355 times
Reputation: 147
Regarding New Bristow Village...Just saw that a new elementary school will be open next year along with Patriot High. That should alleviate some congestion of Cedar Point and Nokesville elementary schools and rezone New Bristow Village to closer schools. Good news for that community. I'm adding it to our list.

B
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:23 PM
 
845 posts, read 2,329,829 times
Reputation: 298
I used to get paid by the city to take a student to that exact intersection. His home was close to Sudley and Stonewall in the C of M. I was paid 25 hours per week for doing this job. We would almost always go 28 to Braddock. 2.5 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the evening. I think Bristow would be a bad choice.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:23 PM
 
509 posts, read 975,736 times
Reputation: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by adolpho View Post
I used to get paid by the city to take a student to that exact intersection. His home was close to Sudley and Stonewall in the C of M. I was paid 25 hours per week for doing this job. We would almost always go 28 to Braddock. 2.5 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the evening. I think Bristow would be a bad choice.
It depends on what time you commute. And, taking 28 out of City of Manassas is awful. I know, I used to live in the City, but never ever took Rt. 28 because of what a mess it is. It can easily take 15 minutes to go 3 or 4 miles on Rt. 28 at the wrong time of the day.

Coming from Bristow/Gainesville/Haymarket would not involve the use of Rt. 28, so really you can't draw any conclusions from that commute. Well, I guess some points in "southern Bristow" might potentially use Rt. 28, but I don't think that would be such a great way to go to points east from Bristow.

In fact, my commute to Reston actually in some cases takes less time than it did than my old commute from Manassas to Reston, even though it is longer in mileage. That's because there is no really good option on how to get out of Manassas from points within the city limits.
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