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  #1  
Old 22 September 2009, 11:55
FedComputerGuy
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Anyone in Arlington VA Area?

The reason I ask, is that I was offered a job back there with a different agency. I am not familiar with the area, but see it is quite expensive and wondered where the people that work there really live.

Given that I am in CA, I need to maintain my house here, too, until the market goes up a bit more (hoping) and was trying to see if this is a doable option.

I just don't want to go from an OK situation, to a situation where I will be not getting ahead, if what I see for prices is the norm.


Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 22 September 2009, 11:58
CarbineM1 CarbineM1 is offline
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Getting ready to do the same thing at the same place +/- (fingers crossed)
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  #3  
Old 22 September 2009, 12:18
FedComputerGuy
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Very good...I got two offers last week, same area. Both non paid moves, though, but higher on the GS levels...just trying to figure out how to orchestrate this delicate dance..
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  #4  
Old 22 September 2009, 13:04
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Depends on what your line of work is. The area blows for its congestion and traffic (yes, even if from the LA area) but there is plenty of work.
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  #5  
Old 22 September 2009, 14:58
BPDoe BPDoe is offline
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A lot of people working for federal agencies are living south and west of the Northern Va Area. The 95 corridor can be expensive but the 29 corridor may be more reasonable. I know guys who work for DHS and FBI who live in Culpeper and the agencies have carpool vans that leave from Culpeper to Northern VA daily. Housing south of Warrenton Virginia drops drastically especially considering the the economy and amount of foreclosures in this area in the past 2 years. Manassas Virginia was hit with a lot of foreclosures as well. Not sure what you guys are looking for in price range but both house prices and rent are cheap along rt 29 and a lot of towns seems to be bedroom communities for DC and Northern VA. Hope this helps. Just to give you an idea of what I mean last year I bought a 2,400 square foot 4 bedroom 2 bath home on 4+ acres for $150,000 near Culpeper. Culpeper is about 65 miles to DC.
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  #6  
Old 22 September 2009, 15:23
FedComputerGuy
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Excellent!

Thank you for that info..wow..my house is half your size, but I have lost over 300K in equity in the last two years...I might be able to break even if I could sell it, but that is a iffy proposition.

Would not be so bad if these were paid moves, so I am going to see if I can get any wiggle room on that. I know it is the end of the fiscal year, so monies will be allocated soon. I don't really want to head out and leave the family behind, if possible.

Thank you for your information-much appreciated.
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  #7  
Old 22 September 2009, 15:34
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B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
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Fred, what PBDoe didn't say is that ANY commute to a work location inside the beltway from the 29 corridor is going to be AT LEAST an hour each way. Culpepper area is more like an hour and a half each way, assuming cooperative traffic (read as no accidents on I66 - which happen every other day or so)

Search this site for an extensive thread from about four months ago on the very same topic, which should answer alot of your questions.
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  #8  
Old 22 September 2009, 16:14
FedComputerGuy
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whoa...that blows...and I bitch about my five minute drive..
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Old 22 September 2009, 16:20
CarbineM1 CarbineM1 is offline
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Fed if you find that thread, post it. I can't seem too.
Thanks
B2
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  #10  
Old 22 September 2009, 16:36
FedComputerGuy
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Me neither..still looking. Really want to make sure I am making a good decision or not..I can rot where I am, no problem, but would like to promote a bit more for retirement, but that drive, or commute in, could get very old.

I purposely have turned down offers from my agency in DC for that very reason. I have gotten so spoiled with no drive time here. Driving that much can be like having a second job!
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  #11  
Old 22 September 2009, 19:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FedComputerGuy View Post
Me neither..still looking. Really want to make sure I am making a good decision or not..I can rot where I am, no problem, but would like to promote a bit more for retirement, but that drive, or commute in, could get very old.

I purposely have turned down offers from my agency in DC for that very reason. I have gotten so spoiled with no drive time here. Driving that much can be like having a second job!
I live in MD, near Baltimore, and when I occasionally have to go to NOVA in the morning for a meeting, it takes me anywhere between 1-2 hours...usually 2 hours. I hate it and will leave this AO as soon as I retire.

The price quoted for Culpepper sounds good, up here you're looking at 300-700,000.00
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  #12  
Old 22 September 2009, 20:14
FedComputerGuy
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Wow..same housing situation here..hmm..I might be going from one bad situation to another...Granted, I could pick up a few GS's, but I would also be changing from LEO to non LEO retirement. My initial though process was that I needed to work more years (young ones still at home) so the 20 year then retire plan would require me to work anyway. Was thinking if I could stay a few more years, the GS's would make up for the 1.7% versus the regular retirement...I think I would go insane with that type of commute..
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  #13  
Old 22 September 2009, 20:17
CarbineM1 CarbineM1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FedComputerGuy View Post
I can rot where I am, no problem, but would like to promote a bit more for retirement, but that drive, or commute in, could get very old.
You are not kidding, I used to drive up to see Cluseo and the traffic around DC was worse than Atlanta.

Luckily the agency my spouse works for will buy at market price but that is now about 50K less than the mortgage. I will be up in NoVo looking and testing next week.............................going to get a head start
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  #14  
Old 22 September 2009, 20:19
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WoodBridge, VA is another decent spot...27miles south from DC. Great priced homes/condos you can land a great home for about 225-280k.

Your looking at about 45 min -1 hour to and from if traffic is bad.


Hope this helps
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  #15  
Old 22 September 2009, 21:25
FedComputerGuy
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Thank you-it does help. I had not been back East in a few years..but I do remember traffic. I just pitted the second job offer against the first. Will see if they pony up move money or not. That could be a deal breaker. I have a job here, so no worries! (albeit a terminal GS-11 going broker each year in CA!) Ah well..on a bad day, I can still go surf!
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  #16  
Old 22 September 2009, 21:30
Neck535 Neck535 is offline
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I'm in Downtown DC, but I rent..... its reasonable to me, but I moved here from California, much like you.

From everything I have looked at, the Maryland side of the river is much cheaper than the Virginia side.... everything near Arlington is terrible.

What size place are you looking for and rent or buy?
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  #17  
Old 22 September 2009, 22:11
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TowGunner TowGunner is offline
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MD side is cheaper... but the crime is higher.

I live in Gettysburg PA and commute to Mclean. It is a solid 2 hours but the loot is well worth the trip. It is a safe area... away from the blast zone and my kids can play without me having to worry as much that they will get shot in a drive by.
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  #18  
Old 22 September 2009, 22:25
FedComputerGuy
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I would suspect I would just rent, at first, as I have to leave my family and house out here..I do not require anything elaborate for me, but suspect, as some point, if I can rent or get rid of this place I would need to find something back there.

I would guess I will keep them out here until the end of the school year..
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  #19  
Old 23 September 2009, 00:20
eunos eunos is offline
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Feel free to PM me with any more specific questions you have. I've lived in the Clarendon area for the past few years (Near Rosslyn, right next to the Potomac). I'm guessing your job offers are near where I work at and because of location I only have a 10-15 min commute. I've been in NoVa for 5 years now and feel pretty up on most areas so I can probably lead you in the right path. On travel now (and forgot the laptop brick), but I'll try to get back to you on my phone if not when I return.

One tip for this area, it's better to stay in the beltway if you aren't going to be Metro accessible or plan on slugging (DC's version of safe hitchiking for professionals). As was said previously, traffic is incredibly bad...66 can be worse than the freeways in LA some days
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  #20  
Old 23 September 2009, 07:18
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I've lived in the DC area for 17 years minus military service (even then I was at Walter Reed for the last year). I-95 is worse than 66 by leaps and bounds. If you are not married and have no kids, get a place near a metro stop inside the belt way. Commuting from outside is not impossible as it depends on your work hours and where exactly your location is. I live 20 miles outside of the beltway and it takes me around 45 minutes to get to Arlington.

Be prepared to pay at least $1,500/month for a piece of crap one bedroom appartment. If you're lucky, you can share a house with others for around $500-800/month. This is where the benefit of living further out away from the beltway comes in.
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