Author Topic: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?  (Read 14524 times)

Simple Abundant Living

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Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« on: September 25, 2014, 03:47:17 PM »
My DH's work wants us to relocate to No. Virginia for a couple of years(?)  We have a low-moderate COL here in UT, so I know that would be a huge shock financially.  I work part-time here, but would probably not work there, so we would also lose my ($10K) income.  His office would be in McLean.  Right now, DH has a 10 minute commute by car, we have a large six bedroom house in a great area near family and great friends.  I'm not afraid of relocating temporarily, but I do not see myself on the East coast permanently.  They are willing to give us a moving package and there would be a bump in pay (30K, and COL calculators say we would need $60K more to equal our income here).  I would not need the same size house.  I would probably just rent for the two years, unless someone convinced me it's a great time to buy.  I would need 4 Bdrms, 2 bath as a minimum with great public schools- high school down to elementary.  I would prefer something that is close to his work.  Where should I look to live to see if this is even a viable option?  Thanks in advance for any insight into this!

Angie55

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 03:56:27 PM »
In order to have a low commute you would have to live very close and will pay for it dearly. I used to live in Fairfax drove 7 miles to work (still in Fairfax) and it would take over an hour each way. This was stop and go never even reaching 25mph. I wanted to bang my head on the steering wheel the entire drive. Got rear-ended 3x in that crap too.

I would avoid DC like the plague. But it sounds like you've gone too far down the line with that. McLean is all million dollar houses and overpriced apartments for the most part. Be prepared to deal with lots of snoody people too!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 03:58:21 PM by Angie55 »

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 04:10:04 PM »
In order to have a low commute you would have to live very close and will pay for it dearly. I used to live in Fairfax drove 7 miles to work (still in Fairfax) and it would take over an hour each way. This was stop and go never even reaching 25mph. I wanted to bang my head on the steering wheel the entire drive. Got rear-ended 3x in that crap too.

I would avoid DC like the plague. But it sounds like you've gone too far down the line with that. McLean is all million dollar houses and overpriced apartments for the most part. Be prepared to deal with lots of snoody people too!

Yikes!  One hour for a 7 mile commute!  You might as well walk!  That is one of my biggest fears about this area.  DH's brother lives in Centreville, but with that kind of traffic, that would probably take a long time to commute from there as well.  We are by no means roped into this yet.  I'm just trying to come up with some actual figures that I could say, "They need to pay us x more to consider it".

sandandsun

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 04:15:44 PM »
Just got back from DC and that area- I visit there often for work... I park and almost never drive while there... I'd live within biking distance if at all possible... Most decent areas are incredibly expensive for housing...

VirginiaBob

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 04:21:29 PM »
I know a lot of people in Northern VA and it seems teleworking 2-3 days/week is the norm up there.  See if he can negotiate this and live out around Front Royal, Va for cheap living.

tmac

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 04:44:18 PM »
I lived there for a while and still have family. They thrive there by having a smallish place, even with three kids, and focusing on biking and public transport.

Josiecat

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 06:02:31 PM »
I lived in NoVa for 15 years.  I had to move because I couldn't take it anymore.  Lived in Fairfax and Chantilly area. I live in Kansas now and it takes me two minutes to get to work. 

McLean is one of the most expensive areas.  Centreville is pretty far out so it would take a long time to get to McLean with all the traffic.  Ashburn/Dulles area is lovely and nice.  Herndon, Reston would probably be a good location.  The toll road will be another expense for your husband as well. 

Your husband should negotiate a working from home scenario a few days a week in order to keep his sanity.

tmac

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 06:33:27 PM »
I lived in NoVa for 15 years.  I had to move because I couldn't take it anymore.  Lived in Fairfax and Chantilly area. I live in Kansas now and it takes me two minutes to get to work. 

McLean is one of the most expensive areas.  Centreville is pretty far out so it would take a long time to get to McLean with all the traffic.  Ashburn/Dulles area is lovely and nice.  Herndon, Reston would probably be a good location.  The toll road will be another expense for your husband as well. 

Your husband should negotiate a working from home scenario a few days a week in order to keep his sanity.

Reston is about to have (or has just had) a new Metro station come online. So there's that.

NW Girl

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 06:45:42 PM »
Hmmm…we lived in NoVA for seven years.  Not Mustachian at all.  To keep the commute short and avoid crazy toll expenses, I might look at rentals in Falls Church (not the city proper which is very expensive but unincorporated areas bordering McLean).  Overall the schools in Fairfax Co are excellent and competitive, so there shouldn't be too many worries there.  We lived in Reston and loved it…lots of diversity of housing options, great community and schools, and yes, the silver line into the city was just finished.  It's not the easiest commute to McLean, however. I would also strongly consider renting a townhouse, especially if you are going to be there for just a couple of years.  There is a large inventory of townhouses at many different sizes throughout NoVA and they are much more affordable than single family homes.  Also take advantage of all the awesome free museums and things to do in DC.  It is really a wonderful place.

PeachFuzzInVA

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 07:04:50 PM »
There's not enough money in the world to justify living up there. The traffic will make the sanest individual want to go postal. COL, as you said, is ridiculous, especially in and around McLean. The schools in the area, on the other hand, are top notch and considered to be some of the best school systems in the country.

chasesfish

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 07:07:26 PM »
I don't think 60k will do it with the type of house you want.  I think you need 100 to make it work


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Jacana

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 07:17:07 PM »
I used to drive all over Fairfax County for work. NoVa is crazy with rent, commute, construction, and COL in general. Your life quality would be very different. And your sanity will suffer.

Would your budget be able to cope with $3000-4000/month rent? Cause that's what you would realistically need to live close to his work in McLean with 4 bedrooms. Schools however are great and there are some lovely communities in that area if you can afford them.

What are the benefits to this move for his career and your family? It's not salary, because it sounds like any increase he gets will be eaten up by housing, taxes, etc. Will it get him training or experience he can't get in Utah? What will the family get out of this? DC museums are great, but you could just do a family vacation with the in-laws for that.

I would make sure there was some iron-clad agreement in there that guarantees his job back in UT in a set number of years. It would really suck if you go into this as a temporary thing but his job makes it permanent and his choices are suck it up or quit and find a new job back in UT.

arawlin2

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 08:22:13 PM »
I live in Arlington, VA which is quite expensive.  Depending on where he is in Mclean, he might be able to take the Metro to work.  With traffic in Northern Virginia, this is recommended.

I've seen 4 bedroom places for rent pretty close to West/East Falls Church Metro stations for around $3000/month.  I'm single with no kids and I have no idea where there are good schools.

I would also look around Reston, but I know even less about that area.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 10:09:34 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far!  I'm really considering your thoughts in our decision.  We haven't talked to the BIL (and a few other cousins) who live out there yet.  I think they would be biased and would minimize the negatives to get us to come. ;) it's good to get the unvarnished truth from folks who have been there. 

I feel like we could swing $3000/mo. In rent, but $4000 would be hard while meeting our FI goals. I'm not sure they could guarantee a job in Utah (or a reverse moving package). That's a big hesitation for me.  I don't have to live in UT, but my heart is in the west.  I think a job in San Jose might be a more for sure move- from one high COL to another.  At least No. California is somewhere I could see us long term.

As far as telecommuting, I'm not sure that's an option for DH.  He'd be putting together a sales team and would be very hands-on in the process.  I think we'd probably just get a smaller place instead of commute.  I'd like to get three bedrooms, but that would put three girls (ages 14, 8, & 6) in one room.

MicroRN

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 11:12:41 PM »
I grew up in Alexandria, and have no intention of ever moving back that way.  The thing that really kills me is the traffic. If you live near a metro station, it isn't as bad, and the buses in many areas are good too, but the traffic is truly sanity-destroying.  It takes a lot of time out of the day and saps your energy.  And, of course, housing prices really close to the metro stations are through the roof.  Cost of living overall is very high.   

Good things - living near DC is great.  Museums (most of which are free), restaurants of every nationality, arts festivals, Kennedy Center theater, there's always something to do.  Fairfax county schools were excellent.     

davisgang90

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2014, 03:30:10 AM »
The Silver Line (Metro) just opened in McLean, so that might be an option instead of driving.

DoNorth

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2014, 06:50:16 AM »
I live in Alexandria and most of what has been posted has some merit, but not completely accurate.  We bought a home in a decent middle class area of Fairfax county for ~400K with a total mortgage of ~$2K/mo so buying can be cheaper then renting and the property market here has been very strong with lots of demand.  You can also find very reasonable single family home rentals in good neighborhoods for just a bit more...about $2500/month

I used to work in Crystal City and took the Huntington metro or V. Dorn metro.  this was a 5 min bike ride + 15 min metro ride + 5 min walk to work; it was subsidized so very easy commute.  I retired from the military and took a job in Bethesda (huge mistake) so I wake up at 4:50am, leave by 5:50, take the beltway for 28 miles, arrive by 6:30 and leave by 3:00  (I go right by Mclean during this commute).  At pretty much any other time during the day, traffic is absolutely horrible which is why I'm leaving my job shortly and retiring completely. 

I think Metro will be your best best

zhelud

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2014, 09:34:23 AM »
Check if his new job is Metro accessible with the new Silver Line. Then you have more options- you can live out in Reston or Herndon (although the Silver Line stops in Reston, Herndon is close), where it is a little cheaper. 
As for school quality, I would not worry about that anywhere in Nova. In fact, if the schools my Utah friend's kids go to is representative (with 40 kids per class), you won't want to go back! (Not tryin' to bash Utah here, just sayin')

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2014, 10:16:32 AM »
From what I can tell, his office would be a 15 minute walk from the Tyson's corner stop of the silver line.  The Reston/Herndon area is intriguing to me because of that. 

What I told dh this morning is that I just want to make sure we know what we would gain by doing this.  It's obviously not money, which is fine.  His career supports us, and I appreciate that we need to sometimes sacrifice for it.  Our current house was bought in my pre-MMM days and I feel like we could downsize.   I can live anywhere and be happy, especially for two years.  On one hand, we have a great life here and our kids are settled in schools they love and with friends and etc.  On the other hand, change can be good for kids and adults alike and I would love exploring the history and museums in that area for a while.  I would be giving up my career ambition, at least temporarily, until we could make sure the family was settled. The masters programs out there also have different prerequisites, so I would have to take more classes before I apply. 


mlejw6

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2014, 10:29:27 AM »
I registered for a login so I can answer your questions. I grew up in NOVA and live here now, in Alexandria. I've also lived in Albuquerque, NM, and Columbus, OH. I much prefer Abq or Columbus. While you may earn more money here, it's not worth it. I only live here because my job is only in two places: here or CO. I would much rather be in CO, but this is the job I got, so I'm stuck here until I find another one.
I live in a 2-BR apartment for 1393/mo. That's the cheapest in this area; I've checked. McLean is a nice area, so you will pay through the nose to live there. If you do decide to move, I would buy. It's much cheaper than renting, because the rents are insane. Is the job in Tyson's Corner? [Never mind, just saw your post that it is.......] The metro did just open up there, and I'm not sure what that is doing for traffic, but before the metro, traffic was especially crazy (even for this area) in Tyson's Corner.
My recommendation is to live as close to work as possible, because the commute is what makes life hell here. Yes, housing is less expensive in Leesburg or Ashburn, but that's what everyone does, so everyone is on the road stinking up the air at rush hour twice a day. Avoid it at much as possible. Falls Church is a good recommendation because you will have a reverse commute. Reston would be fine, but it wouldn't be a reverse commute, so it may be crowded on the metro. I live 5.5 miles from my job and a car commute takes ~20 mins, which is fine (because it's a reverse commute on surface streets rather than the Beltway or other highway). Sometimes on Fridays (or other random high-traffic days), it takes 45 mins to get home.
Do you bike? Biking is pretty popular here, although the trails are spotty and not well connected. There is the W&OD trail that goes right through McLean, which is very popular. Buses are also a good choice, and less expensive than the metro.
Don't worry about schools. They are all pretty excellent here, especially if you are up by McLean.
If you have any questions, feel free to message me. Good luck!

scholarmage

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2014, 10:50:13 AM »
I currently live slightly south of the craziness that is NoVA in Fredericksburg, but a lot still applies. The CoL is high, though  less than NoVA, and is not really designed for non-car transportation, with some exceptions. There is the VRE which is a commuter train from Fredericksburg and Manassas to NoVA and DC, but unless you can get subsidies from work, it is kinda expensive, considering that you will likely have to have a car no matter what, plus long commute time. I do have friends who have taken it long term, and at least you can read/surf web/listen to music/play games/whatever on your way home, and not be stuck in traffic. Otherwise, you are looking at paying sky-high rents to get close to work, or a Metro station that will let you be Mustachian. Agreed on the go ahead and pay way more for a place within in Metro/bike/walk to work and telecommute if you can, in terms of quality of life. Good luck!

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2014, 02:22:22 PM »
When I worked in McLean, I lived in Reston (in the 2000s pre-Metro) and that wasn't bad at all. You could hop on the toll road and be in McLean in very little time even with traffic.  From there, I doubt the Metro would save much time, particularly with a 15 min walk. 3-4 bedrooms in Reston isn't going to be too cheap, but there are a lot of options depending upon how nice a place you need.  That's where I would look.

MandalayVA

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2014, 02:46:01 PM »
Pros:  very good schools, lots to do in DC.

Cons:  Everything else.  HELLACIOUSLY HIGH CoL, even in the less desirable areas.  The traffic is brutal.  The Metro has a bad habit of breaking down, trains AND stations.  Even the weather sucks--hot and humid in the summer, lots of snow because storms like to use the Blue Ridge Mountains as a zipline to DC.  I have a friend who lives in Springfield (in one of the few nice areas, the rest of the town's a hole) who told me she would sell her soul to get out of NoVA.    She was dead serious.

chasesfish

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2014, 05:34:29 PM »
I would actually second the recommendation to live in Falls Church - There are some nice renovated small houses in older neighborhoods sprinkled in the raise and rebuilds.  My friends rented one 5-7 years ago around there.  It would be a reverse commute to Tysons Corner and you have a metro stop you can walk or take the bus to and try to only own one car.


Josiecat

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2014, 05:49:32 PM »
I LOVED living in DC except for the commute.  It is a beautiful area full of history and activities. 

Now I live in Kansas and I make the same salary that I made in Virginia/DC.  So essentially I make an East coast salary and live comfortably in the mid-west. This reason alone would probably make it worthwhile to your family. 

Your husband can take the job, get a huge increase in salary, stay a few years and enjoy the local activities and then move.  Just an idea.

ela_va

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2014, 07:39:35 AM »
Hi there! Count me in as someone who registered just to answer this question. I bike commute 3x/week from Vienna into McLean and do the other 2 days by car (I know, facepunch, I'm working on it).

I'm not married, no kids, and I share an incredibly fancy 3BR townhouse with two roommates for $2700/mo total. If you're cool with renting, then definitely check out the McLean/Vienna/Falls Church areas! These would be close to your husband's job, the metro, bike trails, libraries, and many grocery stores. Despite what a couple posts upthread are saying, the bike trail system is awesome and super easy to use. McLean has designated street bike routes, if not always bike lanes, so depending on where your husband would be working there are definitely good ways to get there. I've found that Google maps for bikes is pretty reliable in this area, especially if you default select the route that involves a trail.

I don't have much experience looking for a single family home around here, but you could check Zillow. I recall when I was shopping around that there were homes with rental rates in McLean comparable to what I'm paying. You could also consider a townhome type option for lower rent. I'm originally from another state out west and there are many more townhomes here than where I grew up, as well as some very nice ones in McLean along my bike route.

If you did want to live in Reston, check out the W&OD trail, which runs directly from Reston to Falls Church/McLean, and then your husband could take some neighborhood roads to the office.

As for COL issues, you can totally have a high savings rate out here! I went from a high-for-standard-American savings rate of 25% to discovering this blog last summer and bumping that up to 60% without even trying hard. I am well aware that I am still a big wimp and a beginner who has many more improvements to make, so I'm just sharing the numbers for perspective. The awesome parts about this area are that the trails are beautiful and amazing, there are a variety of local hikes, the weather is great, museums in the city are FREE and the metro to get there is very convenient, and there are many cyclists as well as an active biking advocacy community (DC and Arlington have some protected bike lanes now)! The only people I know who don't like the area are basically people who want their smaller hometown lifestyle - traffic is predictably light always! bars have $3 beers all the time! there is no wait at restaurants! - which is totally cool if that's what they want, but I think that's unrealistic as an expectation for a major metropolitan area. (Also, you won't care about any of those things if you don't drive much or spend a lot of free time in bars and restaurants.)

Anyway, I'm happy to talk more about this area if you have specific questions. Good luck with your decision! I am sure that all your options are excellent and that you will make the right choice.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2014, 12:26:27 PM »
I've lived in different parts of NoVA for the last 20+ years, always inside the beltway.  You really have to take all the negative comments with a heavy grain of salt--this is actually a very good place to live by almost any measure.  If you have school-age children, we have some of the best public schools in the country--you should prefer Fairfax county schools and stick to the northern part of Arlington (Yorktown HS pyramid).  Falls Church city schools are also very good.  There is a lot going on here, the weather is quite reasonable except for maybe a month in Jan/Feb (though nothing like Utah) and maybe 2 months in July-August.  People love to complain, but it's as good or better than many places in the country. 

Saying your spouse will work in "McLean" is not enough info.  Is the location inside the beltway or outside the beltway in the Tysons Corner area?  He can minimize commuting time by not crossing the beltway if he drives, and biking across it is difficult/dangerous unless you use the W&OD trail because the bridges and underpasses are optimized for cars.  If his office has good metro or bus access, he will not need a car unless his work requires it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this area has a large economy, there is a lot going on.  Whatever is paying you 10k a year part time in Utah is probably worth more than that here and there are probably lots more options. 

Presumably your husband's opportunity here is a good career move.  Even apart from that, I encourage you to view this move as an opportunity and not something awful you have to suffer through for a few years.  Pay no attention to the haters, this is a good place to live. 

One neighborhood to look at is Pimmit Hills--most of it has McLean addresses and it has good access to Tysons and grocery stores.  The high schools serving it are good, the elementary schools are not in the top of county rankings, but are still better than most elementary schools in the country.  Pimmit Hills is likely the least expensive area within easy commuting distance of most of McLean. 

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2014, 01:57:42 PM »
I've lived in different parts of NoVA for the last 20+ years, always inside the beltway.  You really have to take all the negative comments with a heavy grain of salt--this is actually a very good place to live by almost any measure.  If you have school-age children, we have some of the best public schools in the country--you should prefer Fairfax county schools and stick to the northern part of Arlington (Yorktown HS pyramid).  Falls Church city schools are also very good.  There is a lot going on here, the weather is quite reasonable except for maybe a month in Jan/Feb (though nothing like Utah) and maybe 2 months in July-August.  People love to complain, but it's as good or better than many places in the country. 

Saying your spouse will work in "McLean" is not enough info.  Is the location inside the beltway or outside the beltway in the Tysons Corner area?  He can minimize commuting time by not crossing the beltway if he drives, and biking across it is difficult/dangerous unless you use the W&OD trail because the bridges and underpasses are optimized for cars.  If his office has good metro or bus access, he will not need a car unless his work requires it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this area has a large economy, there is a lot going on.  Whatever is paying you 10k a year part time in Utah is probably worth more than that here and there are probably lots more options. 

Presumably your husband's opportunity here is a good career move.  Even apart from that, I encourage you to view this move as an opportunity and not something awful you have to suffer through for a few years.  Pay no attention to the haters, this is a good place to live. 

One neighborhood to look at is Pimmit Hills--most of it has McLean addresses and it has good access to Tysons and grocery stores.  The high schools serving it are good, the elementary schools are not in the top of county rankings, but are still better than most elementary schools in the country.  Pimmit Hills is likely the least expensive area within easy commuting distance of most of McLean.

Thanks for the perspective, I appreciate all the answers I've gotten so far.  I've printed out a copy of this thread for dh to read, but I have to be careful because he has a chip on his shoulder about MMM.  ;) (bit too zealous, time suck).  But I feel like the comments have been really good and truthful.  I really am someone who can live just about anywhere and be happy, so I agree about looking at the positives of the area as well as negatives.  My job here is working as a medical assistant.  I do it because the grad program (PA school) requires paid work experience.  Part of the negative of moving is that I have acquired my prerequisites based on the program here in UT and the ones out there have different requirements.  Oh well, it's good for me, right?  As far as any decision, dh says they are still unsure when they want to fill the position.  I hope I can first find out if I got an interview at the University here.  If I have a chance of getting in this year, I may just shut down this idea altogether.

hdatontodo

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2014, 02:52:48 PM »
We live in Vienna, just outside of the Mclean/Tysons area,...

My brother lives in Vienna off of Nutley/I-66, in a house that cost $180K in 1990 and is now worth $800K. He said all the people from far out areas, like Haymarket, found the commute unbearable and moved closer and updated the houses.

He can take the Vienna Station metro to DC, but also frequently rides his bicycle. I think he said it's downhill into DC and uphill all the way home, but he might have been kidding.

He also had to testify at school redistricting meetings since the school folks wanted to move the districts and have his kids go to a far away stinky school so people who lived in stinky places could go to his school. This would have also meant his different kids, close in age, went to different schools. They relented temporarily. 2/3 of his kids are college age now anyway.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 08:42:13 AM by hdatontodo »

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2014, 08:25:24 AM »
McLean is all million dollar houses and overpriced apartments......
BULL.

Moved to McLean in 2012, and home prices in my neighborhood include dozens of homes for far less than that.  Yep, many homes cost much more than that, but there are many going for less.  Same thing for North Arlington.  Pros for the McLean/N Arlington area are the short commutes to most work areas like DC or Tysons Corner, and if you stay off I-66 and the Beltway, you won't deal with the traffic that the DC area is known for.  I commute to the Pentagon, and my car might get 4000 miles this year.  Schools are top-notch, and we are very close to everything.  I used to really like the Metrorail, but it has become expensive.  When the family of 5 wants to go down to the museums or a Nats game, we usually just drive, because even with parking it's much cheaper and quicker than taking the train.

If you decide you want to rent a home, mine will probably be available next summer.  Uncle Sam is sending us overseas, but we're keeping the house to live in when we return, as we like it here.


Hvillian

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2014, 01:33:19 PM »
I've lived in different parts of NoVA for the last 20+ years, always inside the beltway.  You really have to take all the negative comments with a heavy grain of salt--this is actually a very good place to live by almost any measure.  If you have school-age children, we have some of the best public schools in the country--you should prefer Fairfax county schools and stick to the northern part of Arlington (Yorktown HS pyramid).  Falls Church city schools are also very good.  There is a lot going on here, the weather is quite reasonable except for maybe a month in Jan/Feb (though nothing like Utah) and maybe 2 months in July-August.  People love to complain, but it's as good or better than many places in the country. 

[...]

I will second the fact that it really is a nice place to live.  We lived there for two years before we had kids and really enjoyed it.  I would strongly consider returning for a year someday so that the kids could experience that part of the country.  That said, the traffic (especially around the malls during the holiday season) was nearly unbearable, and the cost and general stress does wear you down a bit.

I think if you approach your housing location with a strong MMM sense of transportation you should be fine.  Once you know exactly where your husband will be working, get as much feedback from the forum on all of the transit options and neighborhoods.  While there, we moved in order to cut our drives to work (in Tysons Corner) from 4 miles to 2, and it made a very big difference is commute times and quality of life.

kimmarg

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2014, 01:52:31 PM »
I've lived in different parts of NoVA for the last 20+ years, always inside the beltway.  You really have to take all the negative comments with a heavy grain of salt--this is actually a very good place to live by almost any measure.  If you have school-age children, we have some of the best public schools in the country--you should prefer Fairfax county schools and stick to the northern part of Arlington (Yorktown HS pyramid).  Falls Church city schools are also very good.  There is a lot going on here, the weather is quite reasonable except for maybe a month in Jan/Feb (though nothing like Utah) and maybe 2 months in July-August.  People love to complain, but it's as good or better than many places in the country. 

Saying your spouse will work in "McLean" is not enough info.  Is the location inside the beltway or outside the beltway in the Tysons Corner area?  He can minimize commuting time by not crossing the beltway if he drives, and biking across it is difficult/dangerous unless you use the W&OD trail because the bridges and underpasses are optimized for cars.  If his office has good metro or bus access, he will not need a car unless his work requires it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this area has a large economy, there is a lot going on.  Whatever is paying you 10k a year part time in Utah is probably worth more than that here and there are probably lots more options. 

Presumably your husband's opportunity here is a good career move.  Even apart from that, I encourage you to view this move as an opportunity and not something awful you have to suffer through for a few years.  Pay no attention to the haters, this is a good place to live. 

One neighborhood to look at is Pimmit Hills--most of it has McLean addresses and it has good access to Tysons and grocery stores.  The high schools serving it are good, the elementary schools are not in the top of county rankings, but are still better than most elementary schools in the country.  Pimmit Hills is likely the least expensive area within easy commuting distance of most of McLean.

Thanks for the perspective, I appreciate all the answers I've gotten so far.  I've printed out a copy of this thread for dh to read, but I have to be careful because he has a chip on his shoulder about MMM.  ;) (bit too zealous, time suck).  But I feel like the comments have been really good and truthful.  I really am someone who can live just about anywhere and be happy, so I agree about looking at the positives of the area as well as negatives.  My job here is working as a medical assistant.  I do it because the grad program (PA school) requires paid work experience.  Part of the negative of moving is that I have acquired my prerequisites based on the program here in UT and the ones out there have different requirements.  Oh well, it's good for me, right?  As far as any decision, dh says they are still unsure when they want to fill the position.  I hope I can first find out if I got an interview at the University here.  If I have a chance of getting in this year, I may just shut down this idea altogether.

Note if you leave you loose UT residency for tuition/school admission purposes *and you won't be considered a resident at your new location for ONE YEAR*! UT (assuming U of U) has preferential admission for UT residents. When you get to VA you won't have preference there. I say this because my spouse had about finished U of U med school prereqs and was ready to apply when we moved to the east coast for my job. He suddenly was a resident of nowhere for school purposes. 3 years later he's in a program here that's a great fit with resident tuition but the move definitely set him back for school. It was the right move for us for a variety of other reasons but we were not anticipating the resident of nowhere thing, so just wanted to make you aware.

retired?

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2014, 02:21:00 PM »
NOVA is a very nice place.  I went to HS in Oakton (next door to Reston).  My dad's commute to Arlington was horrendous ....and that was mid 80s.  I lived in Arlington for a short bit after college and then moved back to the area for a job after grad school in 2003.  I was earning about 120 and working somewhat near American U.  We looked all over for places, but this was at a time when the housing boom was going on.  We bid 500k on 1800sf homes that were 50 years old and we didn't actually like.  Got outbid.

Eventually chose to rent in McLean (McLean Hamlet).  They have added those stops in Tyson's Corner and the one in Reston.  Reston is very nice.  Hard to believe it was the first major planned community in the country.  If his office is a 15 min walk from a stop in Tyson's, then that would be a great choice.  Check out his route though.  TC is not very walker friendly.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2014, 08:36:04 AM »
I would need 4 Bdrms, 2 bath as a minimum with great public schools- high school down to elementary.  I would prefer something that is close to his work. 

We STILL need to know if DH's job location is inside or outside the beltway!  This is a really important variable.  Also, is he planning on biking to work? Bus? Metro? Driving?  It all matters a lot when deciding where to live. 

Generally, though.  If inside the beltway, choose Fairfax County and school pyramids as follows:

McLean High School pyramid: try to live within walking or easy biking distance of Longfellow Middle School.  There are bus routes along Westmoreland Street that go to the Tysons Corner area.  If DH works inside the beltway easy to bike or bus.  Personally, I'd rate this as the best option both a location perspective as the routes to all schools in the pyramid do not involve crossing any major arteries. This high school area also contains many of the less expensive neighborhoods with McLean addresses.  Frankly, probably the best bang for your buck inside the beltway while maintaining proximity to DH's job in McLean.

Marshall High School pyramid:  Easy walk from the Pimmit Hills neighborhood, this is also an IB (International Baccalaureate) school if that is of interest to your high schoolers.  Also, this is right near Route 7 which is a place to cross the beltway though traffic can be very bad due to the Tysons Mall. 

Langley High School pyramid: This is a considerably more expensive area and I'd consider it completely car dependent both from a school perspective and a commuting perspective--very far from metro and lousy bus access. 

George Mason High School pyramid (City of Falls Church, not Fairfax County Public Schools): This is about 100 yards from the West Falls Church metro station and walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants and other shopping.  That metro station is also a large bus hub and it's easy to get almost anywhere from there.  It's also right next to the NoVA UVA/V-Tech campus if you or DH want to take grad courses (though you won't qualify for in-state tuition). 

If DH's job is outside the beltway: Choose Fairfax County Schools as follows:

Langley High School (see above).  This pyramid includes the part of McLean outside the beltway as well as the Great Falls area. 

Madison High School pyramid: Nothing wrong with this pyramid other than the fact that you have to drive along Route 123 (called Maple Avenue along that stretch) which is slow and crowded, and has artificially low speed limits that are vigorously enforced.  Also, 123 sucks for bicycling. 

Farther out than that DH will have a long commute with traffic and be paying tolls if driving. 


On another note: if you have any kids who are likely to be GT qualified, the magnet school for the McLean area is now Churchill Road which is in the Langley pyramid.  You can live elsewhere and send your qualified kids there, but they will be bus dependent or you will have to drive across Route 123 (called Dolley Madison Hwy there) during morning rush hour. 

Also, Virginia is strange in that we have "independent cities" as well as Counties.  These cities are typically geographically within a county but not administratively part of it.  They often have their own school systems, police and fire depts., etc. and include the City of Falls Church, the Town of Vienna, and the City of Alexandria.  The problem is that many places in Fairfax County that are not in the independent cities but close to them will have postal addresses that make it seem they are in the independent city.  When you look at rental listings, be sure to check the school district.  Also, the Tysons Corner area is not a "place" and there are no "Tysons Corner" postal addresses--they are all in "McLean" or "Vienna". 

icky

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2014, 08:47:53 AM »
I've lived in Northern VA my whole life.

I'd say if it's only two years, don't try to recreate a Utah middle class lifestyle in a busy urban center. Scratch the house/townhouse idea and choose an apartment or condo. You can live a fully walking lifestyle and your kids can too (imagine the 14 year old not needing rides to friends houses but rather can meet them at coffee shops, museums, get to and from school herself, etc etc.) Husband rides bike, metro, or you share one car for the whole family. From Arlington, it would be a reverse commute. I drive and bike/bus combo from S Arlington to work in Mclean, driving is 20 min and bike/bus is an hour. Don't worry about South vs. North, even South Arlington has great opportunities, plus there are magnet schools. You'll get the most enjoyment out of this area living this way, if you try to recreate your life there, you'll definitely won't make any money and will be spending valuable family time in the car.

Kids, husband may complain at first, but it will feel more like a grand adventure if you really use it as an opportunity and make drastic changes rather than trying to closely approximate life now. Living in close quarters generates headaches but also great great fun and togetherness. Plus, you'll spend more time outside and have more money to enjoy all the local amenities. (SOOO MUCCH INTERNATIONAL FOOD) It will take you a year just to figure out which kind of curry you like best. :)

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2014, 10:31:47 AM »
I would need 4 Bdrms, 2 bath as a minimum with great public schools- high school down to elementary.  I would prefer something that is close to his work. 

We STILL need to know if DH's job location is inside or outside the beltway!  This is a really important variable.  Also, is he planning on biking to work? Bus? Metro? Driving?  It all matters a lot when deciding where to live. 

Generally, though.  If inside the beltway, choose Fairfax County and school pyramids as follows:

McLean High School pyramid: try to live within walking or easy biking distance of Longfellow Middle School.  There are bus routes along Westmoreland Street that go to the Tysons Corner area.  If DH works inside the beltway easy to bike or bus.  Personally, I'd rate this as the best option both a location perspective as the routes to all schools in the pyramid do not involve crossing any major arteries. This high school area also contains many of the less expensive neighborhoods with McLean addresses.  Frankly, probably the best bang for your buck inside the beltway while maintaining proximity to DH's job in McLean.

Marshall High School pyramid:  Easy walk from the Pimmit Hills neighborhood, this is also an IB (International Baccalaureate) school if that is of interest to your high schoolers.  Also, this is right near Route 7 which is a place to cross the beltway though traffic can be very bad due to the Tysons Mall. 

Langley High School pyramid: This is a considerably more expensive area and I'd consider it completely car dependent both from a school perspective and a commuting perspective--very far from metro and lousy bus access. 

George Mason High School pyramid (City of Falls Church, not Fairfax County Public Schools): This is about 100 yards from the West Falls Church metro station and walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants and other shopping.  That metro station is also a large bus hub and it's easy to get almost anywhere from there.  It's also right next to the NoVA UVA/V-Tech campus if you or DH want to take grad courses (though you won't qualify for in-state tuition). 

If DH's job is outside the beltway: Choose Fairfax County Schools as follows:

Langley High School (see above).  This pyramid includes the part of McLean outside the beltway as well as the Great Falls area. 

Madison High School pyramid: Nothing wrong with this pyramid other than the fact that you have to drive along Route 123 (called Maple Avenue along that stretch) which is slow and crowded, and has artificially low speed limits that are vigorously enforced.  Also, 123 sucks for bicycling. 

Farther out than that DH will have a long commute with traffic and be paying tolls if driving. 


On another note: if you have any kids who are likely to be GT qualified, the magnet school for the McLean area is now Churchill Road which is in the Langley pyramid.  You can live elsewhere and send your qualified kids there, but they will be bus dependent or you will have to drive across Route 123 (called Dolley Madison Hwy there) during morning rush hour. 

Also, Virginia is strange in that we have "independent cities" as well as Counties.  These cities are typically geographically within a county but not administratively part of it.  They often have their own school systems, police and fire depts., etc. and include the City of Falls Church, the Town of Vienna, and the City of Alexandria.  The problem is that many places in Fairfax County that are not in the independent cities but close to them will have postal addresses that make it seem they are in the independent city.  When you look at rental listings, be sure to check the school district.  Also, the Tysons Corner area is not a "place" and there are no "Tysons Corner" postal addresses--they are all in "McLean" or "Vienna".

The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2014, 10:40:49 AM »
I've lived in Northern VA my whole life.

I'd say if it's only two years, don't try to recreate a Utah middle class lifestyle in a busy urban center. Scratch the house/townhouse idea and choose an apartment or condo. You can live a fully walking lifestyle and your kids can too (imagine the 14 year old not needing rides to friends houses but rather can meet them at coffee shops, museums, get to and from school herself, etc etc.) Husband rides bike, metro, or you share one car for the whole family. From Arlington, it would be a reverse commute. I drive and bike/bus combo from S Arlington to work in Mclean, driving is 20 min and bike/bus is an hour. Don't worry about South vs. North, even South Arlington has great opportunities, plus there are magnet schools. You'll get the most enjoyment out of this area living this way, if you try to recreate your life there, you'll definitely won't make any money and will be spending valuable family time in the car.

Kids, husband may complain at first, but it will feel more like a grand adventure if you really use it as an opportunity and make drastic changes rather than trying to closely approximate life now. Living in close quarters generates headaches but also great great fun and togetherness. Plus, you'll spend more time outside and have more money to enjoy all the local amenities. (SOOO MUCCH INTERNATIONAL FOOD) It will take you a year just to figure out which kind of curry you like best. :)

I so agree about not recreating our life here.  I'm up for adventure, and I don't have a problem not having a yard to mow!  We still have four kids (and one small dog) living with us, that's why the 4 bdrm request.  If the genders matched up, we could get by with 3, but it's one boy and three girls.  We are still waiting to see if this transfer is going to happen.  I should know in a few weeks if I got an interview for grad school, so that should tell me if I have a chance at all to get in this year.  If no interview, I'll allow this idea to progress.  We'll see!

BlueHouse

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2014, 11:36:09 AM »
I have to laugh when I read all of these posts, because they are so biased based on each person's experience.  So I'll add one more perspective:

With a move like this that changes your lifestyle so drastically, I suggest changing it even more and moving out of the suburb mindset.  Move right into DC and then you don't have to worry about the hell on the roads 

Basically, from NoVA, there are two main highways that go in to DC:  66 and 267 ("the toll road").  If you stay on those, your commute is usually predictable, longer than it needs to be and unpleasant, but you get used to it.  Mine took 45 minutes to drive 35 miles (267 to 495).  If you go on surface streets (including anywhere near Tyson's) the roads are hideous.  Driving a few blocks through Tyson's can add another 1/2 hour to the commute. Anytime between Halloween and Xmas -- forget it!  Just awful!  I cannot imagine a more consumer-driven environment than this area and the shopping is extremely competitive around the holidays. 

I lived in Reston and commuted into DC until I couldn't stand the 45 minute commute anymore.  (very aggressive drivers).  So I moved into the District a few years ago and now I only regret not having done it sooner. 


Here are some benefits:
1. Commute is reversed, so very little traffic going out to McLean from DC in the morning and vice versa. (My commute is only 12 minutes now, but I still drive out to Reston and Chantilly for business sometimes.  it's not bad)
2. Orange and Silver lines will drop hubby off at Tyson's - 10 minutes on Metro from L'Enfant Plaza
3. Kids (and you) will get to walk places on foot and you get the opportunity to live in a city and experience the Smithsonian museums and all the memorials. It will take 2+ years to explore all the museums.
4. Many many free activities for families and kids.
5. DC is very bike-friendly (more so in the past 2 years)
6.  Many new high-rises means renting is exremely affordable right now. 


Buy or rent:
Renting might be best for a temporary move -- transaction costs (sales tax) on property is very high in DC.
BUT
There are currently some GREAT deals on new "urban infill" construction.  They are meant to allow middle class people to live in expensive areas.  It's called the workforce program and means that the qualified buyers get to buy an expensive condo or townhouse at a reduced price. The city holds a second mortgage on the property at 0% interest for 30 years and when you sell, you sell it at whatever price the market will bear.  So in my neighborhood, the homes are now getting close to $1M, yet we have a lot of cops and teachers and young families in the neighborhood through the "workforce housing" program.  Your income would qualify you for this program.  If you can find one, I'd jump on it and come out making a few hundred grand if you sell in a few years.

Culture-wise:
It is soooo rare for people living in the outer 'burbs (beyond Arlington) to take advantage of all the city has to offer.  So I'll leave it with this recommendation:  If you're willing to try out city life, do it!  Your family will get so much out of exploring the museums every weekend, biking the sights, night-time monument visits, and other things you cannot do anywhere else on the face of the earth!.  If you're going to live in Fairfax or Reston or Herndon or Falls Church or anywhere out in the burbs, then the few times you'll make it into the city probably aren't worth the move and the traffic and the disruption to your life.   

icky

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2014, 02:19:38 PM »
Quote

The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Ok, so you have a 16 year old and you're thinking of moving in a year? And he's the only boy? I'd say leave him in Utah :)

In all seriousness, he can finish out his last school year with extended family. You and the rest of the family get a luxury 2 bedroom apartment in Arlington, Alexandria or DC proper. Cram the girls in the master bedroom and you two in the other bedroom. Make a nook for the boy when he comes for summers. You'll probably get a great terrace and tremendous view if you try to find something like this and really do your homework. Biking, eating, musuems, heck, you could even homeschool the little ones (so much stuff to do at the museums, this is easy) and send the bigger girl to private school and live in the city. It'd be an unbeatable two years.

Hvillian

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2014, 02:33:35 PM »
The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Just FYI in case this goes any further along - there is a bus "transit station" on Jones Branch drive.  So I think quite a few of the bus lines and commuter buses coming from further away go through there.

Good luck.

icky

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2014, 02:35:42 PM »



Buy or rent:
Renting might be best for a temporary move -- transaction costs (sales tax) on property is very high in DC.
BUT
There are currently some GREAT deals on new "urban infill" construction.  They are meant to allow middle class people to live in expensive areas.  It's called the workforce program and means that the qualified buyers get to buy an expensive condo or townhouse at a reduced price. The city holds a second mortgage on the property at 0% interest for 30 years and when you sell, you sell it at whatever price the market will bear.  So in my neighborhood, the homes are now getting close to $1M, yet we have a lot of cops and teachers and young families in the neighborhood through the "workforce housing" program.  Your income would qualify you for this program.  If you can find one, I'd jump on it and come out making a few hundred grand if you sell in a few years.


I'm pretty sure those kind of deals are for public workers in DC, not high paid salesman who work in McLean. I would most certainly not buy given this time frame.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2014, 02:42:24 PM »
Quote

The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Ok, so you have a 16 year old and you're thinking of moving in a year? And he's the only boy? I'd say leave him in Utah :)

In all seriousness, he can finish out his last school year with extended family. You and the rest of the family get a luxury 2 bedroom apartment in Arlington, Alexandria or DC proper. Cram the girls in the master bedroom and you two in the other bedroom. Make a nook for the boy when he comes for summers. You'll probably get a great terrace and tremendous view if you try to find something like this and really do your homework. Biking, eating, musuems, heck, you could even homeschool the little ones (so much stuff to do at the museums, this is easy) and send the bigger girl to private school and live in the city. It'd be an unbeatable two years.

The 16-yr old is non-negotiable.  His preference is that we move out of the country.  He wants to learn a handful of languages, so a multi-cultural city would fit his bill just fine. 

And I agree that we wouldn't qualify for the subsidized housing in DC, income is (thankfully) too high. 

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2014, 02:43:35 PM »
The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Just FYI in case this goes any further along - there is a bus "transit station" on Jones Branch drive.  So I think quite a few of the bus lines and commuter buses coming from further away go through there.

Good luck.
Thanks, that's good to know!

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2014, 03:00:16 PM »
I've lived in different parts of NoVA for the last 20+ years, always inside the beltway.  You really have to take all the negative comments with a heavy grain of salt--this is actually a very good place to live by almost any measure.  If you have school-age children, we have some of the best public schools in the country--you should prefer Fairfax county schools and stick to the northern part of Arlington (Yorktown HS pyramid).  Falls Church city schools are also very good.  There is a lot going on here, the weather is quite reasonable except for maybe a month in Jan/Feb (though nothing like Utah) and maybe 2 months in July-August.  People love to complain, but it's as good or better than many places in the country. 

Saying your spouse will work in "McLean" is not enough info.  Is the location inside the beltway or outside the beltway in the Tysons Corner area?  He can minimize commuting time by not crossing the beltway if he drives, and biking across it is difficult/dangerous unless you use the W&OD trail because the bridges and underpasses are optimized for cars.  If his office has good metro or bus access, he will not need a car unless his work requires it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this area has a large economy, there is a lot going on.  Whatever is paying you 10k a year part time in Utah is probably worth more than that here and there are probably lots more options. 

Presumably your husband's opportunity here is a good career move.  Even apart from that, I encourage you to view this move as an opportunity and not something awful you have to suffer through for a few years.  Pay no attention to the haters, this is a good place to live. 

One neighborhood to look at is Pimmit Hills--most of it has McLean addresses and it has good access to Tysons and grocery stores.  The high schools serving it are good, the elementary schools are not in the top of county rankings, but are still better than most elementary schools in the country.  Pimmit Hills is likely the least expensive area within easy commuting distance of most of McLean.

Thanks for the perspective, I appreciate all the answers I've gotten so far.  I've printed out a copy of this thread for dh to read, but I have to be careful because he has a chip on his shoulder about MMM.  ;) (bit too zealous, time suck).  But I feel like the comments have been really good and truthful.  I really am someone who can live just about anywhere and be happy, so I agree about looking at the positives of the area as well as negatives.  My job here is working as a medical assistant.  I do it because the grad program (PA school) requires paid work experience.  Part of the negative of moving is that I have acquired my prerequisites based on the program here in UT and the ones out there have different requirements.  Oh well, it's good for me, right?  As far as any decision, dh says they are still unsure when they want to fill the position.  I hope I can first find out if I got an interview at the University here.  If I have a chance of getting in this year, I may just shut down this idea altogether.

Note if you leave you loose UT residency for tuition/school admission purposes *and you won't be considered a resident at your new location for ONE YEAR*! UT (assuming U of U) has preferential admission for UT residents. When you get to VA you won't have preference there. I say this because my spouse had about finished U of U med school prereqs and was ready to apply when we moved to the east coast for my job. He suddenly was a resident of nowhere for school purposes. 3 years later he's in a program here that's a great fit with resident tuition but the move definitely set him back for school. It was the right move for us for a variety of other reasons but we were not anticipating the resident of nowhere thing, so just wanted to make you aware.

Good point, it would take me a year to get new pre-reqs in VA.  So hopefully, by the time I was ready to apply, I could be a resident.  If we decide to stay there that long...

icky

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2014, 03:00:31 PM »
Quote

The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Ok, so you have a 16 year old and you're thinking of moving in a year? And he's the only boy? I'd say leave him in Utah :)

In all seriousness, he can finish out his last school year with extended family. You and the rest of the family get a luxury 2 bedroom apartment in Arlington, Alexandria or DC proper. Cram the girls in the master bedroom and you two in the other bedroom. Make a nook for the boy when he comes for summers. You'll probably get a great terrace and tremendous view if you try to find something like this and really do your homework. Biking, eating, musuems, heck, you could even homeschool the little ones (so much stuff to do at the museums, this is easy) and send the bigger girl to private school and live in the city. It'd be an unbeatable two years.

The 16-yr old is non-negotiable.  His preference is that we move out of the country.  He wants to learn a handful of languages, so a multi-cultural city would fit his bill just fine. 

And I agree that we wouldn't qualify for the subsidized housing in DC, income is (thankfully) too high.


Allllright, I guess if you HAVE to bring him :). There was a rumor a while back that JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church had the most number of distinct native languages of students of any high school in the county (I think 50+?) It's better than a foreign country! It's a top performing school even with very mixed demographics. Immigrants and those making less than your income find ways to make these areas work, and love living here while they're at it.

Live here, exactly $3k for a 3 bedroom.
http://www.merrillhouseapts.com/apartments/search.do?lid=en_US&pid=1898

BlueHouse

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2014, 03:59:30 PM »



Buy or rent:
Renting might be best for a temporary move -- transaction costs (sales tax) on property is very high in DC.
BUT
There are currently some GREAT deals on new "urban infill" construction.  They are meant to allow middle class people to live in expensive areas.  It's called the workforce program and means that the qualified buyers get to buy an expensive condo or townhouse at a reduced price. The city holds a second mortgage on the property at 0% interest for 30 years and when you sell, you sell it at whatever price the market will bear.  So in my neighborhood, the homes are now getting close to $1M, yet we have a lot of cops and teachers and young families in the neighborhood through the "workforce housing" program.  Your income would qualify you for this program.  If you can find one, I'd jump on it and come out making a few hundred grand if you sell in a few years.


I'm pretty sure those kind of deals are for public workers in DC, not high paid salesman who work in McLean. I would most certainly not buy given this time frame.

Surprisingly, the limitations are few.  Since DC started the program, they've loosened the restrictions quite a bit, so if that were ever the case, it wasn't in my neighborhood and isn't now.  And I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss these deals -- the income restrictions when I bought were an AGI between 85K to $120K.  (Yes, that's considered in need of subsidy in DC where the median income is quite high.)  There also were restrictions on sales in the first development to do this, but now they've dropped that.  So resale to anyone at market rate. 

oldtoyota

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2014, 07:22:19 PM »
My DH's work wants us to relocate to No. Virginia for a couple of years(?)  We have a low-moderate COL here in UT, so I know that would be a huge shock financially.  I work part-time here, but would probably not work there, so we would also lose my ($10K) income.  His office would be in McLean.  Right now, DH has a 10 minute commute by car, we have a large six bedroom house in a great area near family and great friends.  I'm not afraid of relocating temporarily, but I do not see myself on the East coast permanently.  They are willing to give us a moving package and there would be a bump in pay (30K, and COL calculators say we would need $60K more to equal our income here).  I would not need the same size house.  I would probably just rent for the two years, unless someone convinced me it's a great time to buy.  I would need 4 Bdrms, 2 bath as a minimum with great public schools- high school down to elementary.  I would prefer something that is close to his work.  Where should I look to live to see if this is even a viable option?  Thanks in advance for any insight into this!

McLean is one of *the* most expensive places to live. I used to visit there all the time because my best friend lived there. Presidents go to parties in that 'hood. Pricey place. When I go back for parties and whatnot, I find myself passing by large gated estates. Huge.

A 4 BR 2 BA in a good school district? I would guess at least $3,500 in rent if not more. You can probably look at zillow.com or another site like that to get rent pricing.


Jacana

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2014, 07:43:36 AM »
Quote

The office is on Jones Branch Drive.  Thanks for the tip on schools.  My 16 year old ds is GT, crazy smart and musically gifted.  He also loves languages and is currently studying Spanish and Chinese.  We are still in a holding pattern about this move idea, but it's good to look ahead.

Ok, so you have a 16 year old and you're thinking of moving in a year? And he's the only boy? I'd say leave him in Utah :)

In all seriousness, he can finish out his last school year with extended family. You and the rest of the family get a luxury 2 bedroom apartment in Arlington, Alexandria or DC proper. Cram the girls in the master bedroom and you two in the other bedroom. Make a nook for the boy when he comes for summers. You'll probably get a great terrace and tremendous view if you try to find something like this and really do your homework. Biking, eating, musuems, heck, you could even homeschool the little ones (so much stuff to do at the museums, this is easy) and send the bigger girl to private school and live in the city. It'd be an unbeatable two years.

The 16-yr old is non-negotiable.  His preference is that we move out of the country.  He wants to learn a handful of languages, so a multi-cultural city would fit his bill just fine. 

And I agree that we wouldn't qualify for the subsidized housing in DC, income is (thankfully) too high.

Has your son considered an exchange program? I lived abroad for a year at 16 through the Rotary Club international exchange program, learned Spanish from scratch through immersion, and lived with families who I still talk to regularly today. He's the right age to apply to some of these programs.

But if you all move to DC, there are many many language programs, embassy programs, international schools, etc. And a thought about the housing, you can be creative and make a "3-bedroom" into a 4. Or a 2 into a 3. Our community is all small 3 bedroom townhouses, 1000 sq ft plus basement, and we have several neighbor families with 3 kids, and one with the parents, 3 kids, and a grandma making it work. One trick (I asked) is to turn the master into a triple room for the girls as someone else suggested, the next largest becomes the Master, the smallest is for your son (or in their case grandmother). Another is to turn the family room (in our house it's in a walkout basement) into a large bedroom for 3 kids. In a friend's small house, there was a wasted formal living room that they blocked off and turned into a guestroom/office. And bunk/loft storage beds are ideal for the kids.

So look at 3 bedrooms carefully and see if they mention any other spaces that could be a bedroom (den, office, family room, walkout basement rec room, etc). I would say leave EVERYTHING in storage in UT that you don't desperately need including most furniture, severely limit what the kids pack, and take as little as possible with you. Do not try to fit a 6 bedroom house into a 3 bedroom urban condo. Think small uhaul truck. There are a lot of articles online about making small NYC apartments work for families, with multipurpose small furniture and creative storage tricks. It will be a big change, but it's an adventure, and it's temporary. Like travelling the world living out of a suitcase.

retired?

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2014, 09:22:11 AM »
Rent this:

http://www.homes.com/property/8019-falstaff-rd-mclean-va-22102/id-400027390123/

I lived on this street back in 2005.  Decent size homes, nice yards, very family oriented.  Neighborhood pool.

Langley and McLean are incredibly good schools.  Really gifted, send him to Thomas Jefferson.....often top HS in country.

retired?

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2014, 09:26:43 AM »
Just mapped it.  1.4 Miles.....28 min walking.  It really is a great area.  Lots to do, but as all have mentioned traffic sucks, so live close to the office and for 2 year, rent.