Author Topic: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?  (Read 14514 times)

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2014, 11:53:16 AM »
That's the McLean Hamlet, right near the Spring Hill rec center.  A nice quiet neighborhood with good schools, especially if you'll be working in Tysons Corner and can use the rec center a lot. 

ch12

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2014, 12:01:28 PM »
I don't have the 20 years of life experience that others have on this question, but I thought I'd chime in.

I love DC, but at this time I do not want to live there. My cost of living would be ~3x what it is right now in Madison, WI. I know, because I have lived there. Madison even has a cost of living above American average. A cost of living calculator would not tell you this, but living in DC results in necessary lifestyle inflation. Bah, other crusty Mustachians will say, you must go for Maximum Mustache! You will eat at more restaurants, because there are more of them. You will go to more entertainment events, such as concerts, because there are more of them. Even if you tighten the spigot to 1% of what DC has to offer, the 1% is much, much more than you can access in other states.

I used to live next to the Franconia-Springfield station and work in Reston, 2 blocks from the new Wiehle station. I really wished that they would open the Silver Line, as my commute was about an hour driving. The traffic is abysmal.

Commuting is correlated with a huge drop in happiness, and you're best off keeping it 15 minutes or less. It can also be costly and time consuming.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

You sound like you have a great situation in Utah, and YMMV, but if I were in your shoes, I'd stay put. Lots of family and friends in your current location and grad school opportunities... You do not know what it is like to fight Beltway traffic twice a day, and you may never have to learn.

At minimum, it might be nice for your family to test drive living there for a week while staying in an Airbnb in a real residential neighborhood. (A week of only you and your husband scoping out potential living spaces would work, too.) People can argue over whether it's a good idea to move into the DC area, but you are the only one who can actually make a choice for your family. Long-term DC residents on this thread might scream that a week is far too short, but it'll give you at least a little bit of an idea of what it would be like to live there. Have your husband commute to and from the new office at peak rush hour. If you are planning on using public transit, there's a handy Tyson's Corner station on the Silver Line for him. http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/07/after-fanfare-long-awaited-silver-line-debuts-shortly-after-noon-105469.html Take your kids into DC to see the museums. Shop at the grocery store that you'd use if you lived there. Get a feel for it. It would be a nasty surprise if you uprooted yourselves only to find that it's not a good fit. Conversely, you might find that the shoe fits. Only you can decide.

The amenities are fantastic, and I love DC's museums. Your son especially would be in a great environment for his interests, which frankly sound a lot like mine.

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2014, 12:16:35 PM »
Commuting is correlated with a huge drop in happiness, and you're best off keeping it 15 minutes or less. It can also be costly and time consuming.

If you take away nothing else from this thread, remember ch12's comment. 

Generally speaking, everyone I know here who doesn't like it has a horrible commute.  The people who like it don't commute, or have a very short one.  Traffic is far and away the #1 complaint of Washingtonians.

MoolahLula

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2014, 07:42:49 PM »
It took me an hour to drive from McLean to Reston this evening.  Not cool.

ch12

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Re: Offered job in No. Virginia... where would you live?
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2014, 08:35:36 PM »
Commuting is correlated with a huge drop in happiness, and you're best off keeping it 15 minutes or less. It can also be costly and time consuming.

If you take away nothing else from this thread, remember ch12's comment. 

Generally speaking, everyone I know here who doesn't like it has a horrible commute.  The people who like it don't commute, or have a very short one.  Traffic is far and away the #1 complaint of Washingtonians.

Thanks :)

For that, I'll toss in some commuting to happiness data:
Quote
There is a clear connection between social deficit and the shape of cities. A Swedish study found that people who endure more than a 45-minute commute were 40% more likely to divorce. People who live in monofunctional, car‑dependent neighbourhoods outside urban centres are much less trusting of other people than people who live in walkable neighbourhoods where housing is mixed with shops, services and places to work.

A couple of University of Zurich economists, Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, compared German commuters' estimation of the time it took them to get to work with their answers to the standard wellbeing question, "How satisfied are you with your life, all things considered?"

Their finding was seemingly straightforward: the longer the drive, the less happy people were. Before you dismiss this as numbingly obvious, keep in mind that they were testing not for drive satisfaction, but for life satisfaction. People were choosing commutes that made their entire lives worse. Stutzer and Frey found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.

Daniel Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and author of Stumbling On Happiness, explained the commuting paradox this way: "Most good and bad things become less good and bad over time as we adapt to them. However, it is much easier to adapt to things that stay constant than to things that change. So we adapt quickly to the joy of a larger house, because the house is exactly the same size every time. But we find it difficult to adapt to commuting by car, because every day is a slightly new form of misery."

The sad part is that the more we flock to high-status cities for the good life — money, opportunity, novelty — the more crowded, expensive, polluted and congested those places become.
http://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2013/11/cities-cars-cycling-and-human-happiness