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Thread summary:

Relocation from Boston to Washington DC for work, thirty minute commute, Metro system proximity, townhouses versus single family home, townhome communities, Virginia and Maryland housing

 
 
Old 08-30-2007, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
7 posts, read 15,296 times
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My wife and I will be relocating from Boston to DC for work purposes. Our combined salary will be $200K+ and although we don't want to live in DC proper, we would like to stay in an area within a 30-minute commute, preferably close to the Metro system. We are also looking for a townhouse rather than a single family home. Can anyone suggests good areas in NoVa and Maryland that would fit those criteria? We are not looking for anything too extravagant, maybe 2-3 bedrooms. Townhouse communities are also an option we would like to explore. Any response will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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If you'll be living outside the District, keeping the commute downtown to no more than 30 minutes will be a challenge. Is there an area, address, or intersection where the office(s) will be? That would provide a feel for what sort of public transportation might work best, and that might determine the general area in which you want to live. On an income of $200K/year, you'll be able to pick and choose from many very nice alternatives in either VA or MD...
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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The office will be close to GWU. The 30 minutes that I was referring to also meant the time a train would take to get into DC. Although we do have a car, the Metro will likely be our mode of transportation. Even parking close to a metro station in either VA or MD could be an option.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chameleon17 View Post
The office will be close to GWU. The 30 minutes that I was referring to also meant the time a train would take to get into DC. Although we do have a car, the Metro will likely be our mode of transportation. Even parking close to a metro station in either VA or MD could be an option.
Excellent. Both the Orange and Blue lines serve the Foggy Bottom Metro station at 23rd and I (Eye) Streets, NW, which is at the western edge of the GW campus, across the street from the hospital. Foggy Bottom is a 25-minute ride from Vienna, so anywhere on the Orange Line in VA would be in play. It is a 31-minute ride from Franconia-Springfield, so anywhere on the Blue Line in VA would also be in play. Places to consider on the Blue Line would be Crystal City for a high-rise/urban feel, Old Town Alexandria for an artsy/historical/nautical/night-life environment, and Franconia-Springfield-Kingstowne if you'd prefer a shot of some of good old suburbia. Over on the Orange Line, you have the Ballston Corridor, which is everything around and between the Court House and Ballston Metro stations. Smart-growth, high-density development that is heaven for 20-something (and many 30-something) upscale urban professionals. Lots of night-life, everything is walkable, and off the mainline beaten path a bit are some very nice (and somewhat quieter) condo's, TH's and even SFH's. It's expensive here, but $2K per month will stand you in good stead. Further out are Falls Church, McLean, Dunn Loring, Vienna, and Oakton. These and their nearby neighbors are all upscale residential communities with the ultimate shopping and business hub of Tysons Corner in the middle. This area is very hard to beat. It too is expensive, but again $2K will get you in. Most of the area lies within a quick and easy drive of a Metro station, with parking at the station sometimes being a challenge to resolve.

Because GW is at the western edge of DC while Maryland is to the north and east, there are not so many MD areas that will come in at under a 30-minute Metro ride. Bethesda would just make it, including the time needed to change trains at Metro Center. Silver Spring (also requiring a change of trains) would be 30-minutes just about on the dot. Both of those have from something to quite a bit to offer -- there are just many more options available to look at on the VA side.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Saganista, thank you for your informative responses. It seems that Arlington and surroundings would be the better choice, based on your replies. Are there any areas in Arlington that you would stay away from? Also, is there a neighborhood within Route 495 that has more townhouse communities than others? Thank you again.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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I think there are a few townhouses located near the new Clarendon-Courthouse-Rosslyn corridor, though I thought most around there were single family detached or apartment/condo buildings. I think that would be a 'fun' area to live around with a bit of shopping and dining within walking distance.

How is parking at the Metro on the Orange line? I know at some stations on other lines they say 'in by 7:30' to get a spot or so.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chameleon17 View Post
Saganista, thank you for your informative responses. It seems that Arlington and surroundings would be the better choice, based on your replies. Are there any areas in Arlington that you would stay away from?
Not really. There are some spots in South Arlington down toward Four Mile Run in particular that I wouldn't actually recommend, but those areas aren't close to Metro, and aren't really relevant to your income bracket, so you're not likely to be considering them anyway. There is a great deal of North Arlington that is quite wonderful, but only selected areas are near the Metro, all of those being densely built up around the stations themselves. There is effectively zero parking at any of the Metro stations inside West Falls Church, so living beyond walking distance from these means that a bus or bike ride will be involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by movingtova View Post
Also, is there a neighborhood within Route 495 that has more townhouse communities than others? Thank you again.
Yes and no. Starting outside the Beltway, there are tons of townhomes around the Vienna station. They are very nice indeed and very expensive, but with the market being what it is, they aren't actually outrageous. Dunn Loring has all SFH's on one side, and apartments and condo's on the other. Once inside the Beltway, the area around West Falls Church is almost entirely SFH's (unless some developer has snuck something in there on me). There are serious townhouse clusters around East Falls Church. They are very nice and if anything, even more than very expensive. Then comes Ballston-Virginia Square-Clarendon-Courthouse-Rosslyn, all of which are high-rise, high-density areas, and then comes Foggy Bottom. Per <PenguinSix>, there are a few townhouse clusters not actually in, but just outside, the Ballston Corridor, which is long but narrow, being for the most part only 5 or 6 blocks wide. Older SFH's still dominate this periphery, but there are some TH's mixed in as well.

Along the Blue Line, there are plenty of TH units in the Franconia. Springfield, Kingstowne area. There are then many rather expensive urban rowhouses in Alexandria, and that's about the end of that. Crystal City and Pentagon City are predominantly high-rise apartment and condo land. You aren't allowed to live in the Pentagon parking lot nor in Arlington Cemetery, and then comes Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom again.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Fallsgrove
17 posts, read 69,178 times
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Default Friendship Heights

Might be worth a look. Metro (red line) access and small brick WWII type homes right off of River Road (Green Acres) in a really lovely community. (Hubby grew up there and family lived there until last year) A lot of DC commuting professionals like this area as it has a strong community feel, close metro access, hiker/biker access, and if driving, can zip onto Mass Ave, wiggle around and end up on Clara Barton Pkwy/Canal Road & into the city pretty readily.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:02 AM
 
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You should check out the three places with great townhouse choices yourself: Bethesda, Falls Church and Old Town Alexandria. They have very different characters, so what you would like depends on you.
Bethesda has more urban and upscale feel, very good schools (if you need those), townhouses are mostly new. Somewhat like Brookline, only new.
Falls Church has more suburban, even small town feeling about it. Schools are very good too in the town itself and to the north of it (McLean), but not to the east, south or west. Town itself is very small. Has somewhat cheaper options (older townhouses), as well as new and luxurious. Somewhat like Newton.
Old Town Alexandria is much more aestetically pleasing, "artsy" as saganista said. Lots of tourists. But schools are NOT good.

You do not want to use your car to get to the Metro in all three. Buses are available, but walking or bike is the best.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pvnova View Post
Falls Church has more suburban, even small town feeling about it. Schools are very good too in the town itself and to the north of it (McLean), but not to the east, south or west.
The Falls Church City school system is very highly regarded. East would be North Arlington. Also very highly regarded. West would be Dunn Loring/Vienna. Also very highly regarded. South would be the only direction in which things would become a little more iffy.
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