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Old 11-09-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Utopia
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My friend and I have been sitting around and pondering which area is cheapest to live in outside D.C.--but still on the metro route--Arlington County, Fairfax County or Montgomery County?
Which County has the lowest city, state and property tax rate, also, if anyone knows? We've gotten very confused as there are Sr. discounts for over 65, and she is nearing that.
Also, I have told her there are jobs there for seniors over 65, but she isn't so sure as I am. Can someone convince her? I know there are many opportunities in the DC region for aging boomers like us, but she seems hellbent on Florida (which I feel is a huge mistake).
In fairness, I told her I would post here for her and let her read it. So, am turning this over to more learned minds about the area than mine.
(I've even told her there are loads of single, senior boomer men for her there, too...okay, I made that one up, but I am trying to dissuade her from Florida, which, knowing her, I think she would just hate.)
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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Here is a link:

Study: Tax burden greater in Maryland than D.C., Virginia - Washington Business Journal:

HTH!
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Utopia
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Well, I'm making sure she sees this tonite. Thanks for that!
Do you happen to know any of the answers to any other questions posted?
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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The study noted above refers to overall tax burden, so that includes state/local/other taxes that you'd likely pay, and VA has been lowest on those rankings for years. VA also has much lower auto insurance rates if you have a car. In general, the cost of living is just plain lower in VA than in MD or DC, but it still isn't cheap. On the VA side, Fairfax would be a little cheaper than Arlington, over the long haul at least. There are a lot of 60+ people here and most work, but jobs would depend on what sort of thing you were qualified for. It's a big, complex area, and there is lot of money here, so there are things around. There's is also tons of stuff to do here. Arts, museums, theaters...all kinds of activities. All of the counties run extensive programs, many of which target seniors, including everything from birdwatching to bus trips up to Atlantic City. Costs are very reasonable. Did I mention world class shopping and dining?

Of course you could go to Florida. They have waterbugs. At least, that's what they call them. They are actually 4-inch long cockroaches that can fly. Disgusting. No state income tax in FLA of course...but my neighbors who moved to Kissimmee were disappointed to learn that they had to pay a $1.25 toll just to drive to the grocery store. If they don't get you one way, they get you another. Lots of nice beaches. Some good fishing. The occasional hurricane in season. Cheap baseball in March. Thunderstorms every afternoon at 3:00 in the summer. After that, not really so much going on.

Last edited by saganista; 11-10-2008 at 04:37 PM..
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Utopia
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Thank you so much, saganista, for all that information.
I agree that Florida is not too hot. And those roaches are called tree roaches in Houston. Pretty scary the first time you see them, huh?
This is a gal I worked with in outside sales. She wants a change--and I keep telling her Florida isn't for her--Delaware does nothing for her, and D.C. would be great for her I think.
Now you say there are jobs there for over 65 y.o. women? Great...so she should find something.
Who knows? She might just talk me into going to D.C. with her instead of Delaware, which has been my plan. We shall see.....
Again, thank you so much!!!! Sounds really positive!
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, Md.
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It's Prince George's County in Maryland. Opinions vary on the quality of life there (I went to UMD in College Park so I think there are definitely good areas, as well as bad ones) but it is for sure the cheapest suburb to live in with Metrorail access.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Utopia
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Now THAT was helpful, flamfives5. We were looking at the metro map last night in DC, and found that Vienna was cheaper in Virginia than Arlington or Alexandria (taxes are, anyway); but, neither one of us really knows anything much about the area now.
Are you saying, flamfives5, that College Park is the cheapest place to live in the DC metro rail area? She wants to buy a townhouse.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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I don't think College Park is the cheapest. Cheapest of the good areas, perhaps, but not the cheapest.

A note to OP: Cost of living is more than taxes. The difference in cost of living between Fairfax County and Montgomery County is not that big. I've lived in both by the way. I prefer Fairfax for reasons other than cost of living.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Utopia
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Can you give an opinion on Fairfax vs. Vienna vs. Falls Church? It would surely help. Know there has to be a metro at each, and is a big factor.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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No Metro stops in Fairfax City. The Vienna station is technically called Vienna/Fairfax/GMU, but those last two are a decent bus or car ride away. There are two stops that serve Vienna (Vienna and Dunn Loring), but neither of them is actually in the Town of Vienna. There are two stops that serve Falls Church (East FC and West FC), but neither of them is actually in the City of Falls Church.

All of which brings up the one thing these three places have in common, namely that they are all incorporated areas, so there is a local government (and hence more of a community identity, feel, and orientation) and actual Town or City boundaries. Most other areas in NoVa (e.g., McLean, Great Falls, Oakton, Annandale, Burke, etc.) are not incorporated. They are just areas in Fairfax County that go by those names. Usually, the most significant factor about being inside or outside a Town or City limit will have to do with schools, but since you're not likely bringing any school-aged children along, the more important issue might be taxes. If you live inside the Town or City limits, you will pay taxes to the Town or City. Sometimes those are in addition to County taxes, and sometimes they are instead of County taxes. Many of the services those taxes provide are more SFH than townhouse-oriented, e.g., garbage, leaf, or household junk removal, but it would be a good idea to know how much tax difference there would actually be versus what services you would or would not receive in exchange.

Otherwise, the three are different, but not all that much so. Most of Falls Church was built out by the 1950's...Vienna by the 1960's...Fairfax by the 1970's. So there will be some differences in the overall housing stock, but if you are looking for townhouses, all of them have some, and many of them are quite nice. Shopping-wise, Falls Church is right next to world-class Tysons Corner, while Fairfax is more oriented toward the also very nice Fair Oaks Mall. Vienna is in between, though closer distance-wise to Tysons. All three have a variety of interesting restaurants. Vienna and Falls Church have existing Community Centers that offer all sorts of classes, lectures, trips, activities, and so forth. Fairfax City does not, but it is in the process of building one. Fairfax County runs a network of very good Rec Centers, but the community level ones add a valuable extra layer of things to be involved in. There is also of course tons of stuff to do in DC. Falls Church will offer the quickest trip downtown at maybe 25 minutes. Add about 10 from Vienna, and maybe another 10 from Fairfax, all of course depending on where within those places one was.

Anyway, that's maybe an overview of sorts. Maybe others have additional insights to offer...
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