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Old 07-12-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
176 posts, read 270,691 times
Reputation: 218

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Alright, right now we're paying $1100 a month for a small basement apartment (albeit in a great location in NW DC close to U St/ Mt Pleasant, etc).

I just found a 4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage and 2,000 sq ft of space for rent for $1100 a month, BUT it's 28 miles away (it's in Fairfax/Chantilly).

I LOVE living in the District. Love, love, love it. I always said I never would ever dream of living outside DC in MD, or VA, BUT knowing what I could have is sort of driving me nuts.

I drive to and from Alexandria often for school but it's against rush hour traffic, and while I've dealt with my fair share of delays on 395, I've not dealt with it daily. I also don't know what it's like to live in NOVA.

Someone please weigh in with some opinions, pros, cons, etc.

Have a small decent place in the heart of the city, or get an huge comfortable dream home 15-40 miles outside of the city?


Last edited by caitlindwarf; 07-12-2011 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,396 posts, read 14,764,302 times
Reputation: 6254
Pros: plenty of house, plenty of space. I like that myself. I like having my own domain. You get more for your money and the schools are a lot better (in most cases).

Cons: having to drive everywhere. I love driving so it's not a huge issue for me, but it is for a lot of people. Can't just take a stroll down to the corner coffee shop (unless you live in one of those fake town center-type places or live in an older development). You also have a ton of traffic especially getting into DC. When it comes to NoVA, there's also tons of traffic within the VA counties. Going from Chantilly to Alexandria each day might take a while. There's also the fact that there isn't as much "authenticity" in the burbs for the most part. That is to say, your fine dining will be at a chain restaurant (albeit perhaps a pretty good one) instead of a local joint.

Overall I do like suburban living but I'm not sure I could stand more than a 45 minute commute each way. I'd also want to be near some nice restaurants and shops. That's probably the biggest thing that would keep me from living out in suburbia or even exurbia. I love all the unique restaurants in DC and Alexandria, they're hard to find out in the sticks
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
176 posts, read 270,691 times
Reputation: 218
Yeah that's my issue. The houses I'm finding are gorgeous and I don't know what I'd do with myself if I had all that space but I work near Chinatown and I love being able to bike there for free and it only take eight minutes.

I have had bad experiences travelling within NoVA before (1.5 hours to get from Alexandria to Dulles at 1PM). I like driving, that's not really the issue but I know it's expensive.

I just don't know if having a nice house is worth giving up living in the heart of everything.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,207 posts, read 39,527,844 times
Reputation: 9960
I think it depends on what else is going on in your life.

If you are single, and not into accumulating a ton of consumer items. Than it makes sense to live in city. Spending all your time shopping at malls and wal-marts to fill up a big place doesn't sound like much fun to me at all.

But, if you have a family, and kids, and you need space. They'll be accumulating stuff regardless if you want to or not. Than, the bigger house makes sense.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,396 posts, read 14,764,302 times
Reputation: 6254
I wish you could find small but pretty homes in the burbs. Preferably near water. I don't want a giant house, I just like the solitude and tranquility of the suburbs.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:38 PM
yrb
 
91 posts, read 209,216 times
Reputation: 44
Your commute will be 1-1.5 hours ONE WAY. You said 'I like driving', but rush-hour commute is not 'driving', it's a stop-and-go routine, you will not like it, you will want to kill yourself

You have to consider transportation and parking costs, also you have to consider utilities (heating etc) costs if you'll be paying and not the landlord, utilities alone could be up to $500 a month :-0 (as far as I know), plus a renter's insurance maybe required

It looks like you don't want to pay a higher rent, but if you consider other expenses, you might as well rent something a bit bigger in DC or near-by suburbs. Do you really need 4 bedrooms? Makes no sense to me.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Standing outside of heaven, wating for God to come and get me.
1,382 posts, read 3,503,869 times
Reputation: 518
I live in the city but shop in the burbs at Walmart and Costco's. Best of both worlds.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,593,987 times
Reputation: 345
I would be skeptical of that amount of house at that price in that location. $1100 is the price of a average (possibly below-average) one bedroom apartment in Fairfax or Chantilly, so I'm not sure how you could get a four bedroom house with a two car carage for that little. Most places like that would be $2000/month or more.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:08 AM
 
11,145 posts, read 14,819,946 times
Reputation: 4209
Just based on what you wrote, I think you'd get your big house and realize, once the thrill of having so much space wore off, that you're no happier even with more furniture. I've lived in that sort of situation and you might even find it imprisoning.

Remember it's going to cost a lot more to heat / cool it.

Also - there are a lot of scams on craigslist and such. This one sounds like a scam. If it seems like an incredible deal, it probably isn't real.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
2,010 posts, read 3,247,319 times
Reputation: 1372
You have the rest of your life to live in a house in the burbs. Enjoy running around the city while you have the freedom to do so.
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