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Old 02-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Move to DC, work at Pentagon, where to live?

So, I've got a buddy moving to DC early-summer. He wants to buy a house, 4-br, move-in-ready, $400k-$450k. Looking for minimum commute, ie very close to metro, upper-middle-class white guy neighborhood... yards and garages, suburbia'ish.

Somebody school me on the DC housing situation since I'm up for orders in under a year and although first choice will be Virginia Beach, I know I'll be at least offered/asked for the Pentagon.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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Nova: between route 28 and 495, preferably above route 50.


anything else is the wrong answer.




an is he actually working in DC? because many outsiders say DC and they mean like sterling VA or something, move to DC and have to commute into VA from DC cause they are noob.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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if he's working at the actual pentagon, then the further he lives from it, the longer the commute. the 400k burbs are probably a 30-40 minute commute. The 500-600k burbs are half that.

he might be able to find something inside the beltway in a random hood that isn't too bad. there are some borderline "meh" neighborhoods like Pimmit Hills that are cheap and not far out but they are basically more trashy than idlyllic.

http://www.redfin.com/homes-for-sale...ion_type=6&v=6
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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Honestly if he wants a quick commute he needs to live right off 95 and slug to the Pentagon. I lived in Prince William County near 95 for most of my teenage years. My dad and a few other guys I know who all worked in the Pentagon would slug in every day and the slug home.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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He'll be working AT the Pentagon. He says everybody he's ever talked to that hated living in DC was because of the commute. Guys who had short rides on the Metro or otherwise short stints to work had way better lives across the board.

What are his sub $500k options in the pink area. We're checking the various online real-estate programs now... but are there any specific neighborhoods that are deals AND near the metro in the pink area?

And no, pink doesn't mean he's looking for major *** hang-outs. Wife, kids, minivan!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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this image shows houses between 400-500K, have at least 1 bedroom and 1 bath and a garage...notice the sparseness inside the beltway.



Most things below 50 are old. the further west you go, the newer nicer you get.

The houses around the Fair Lakes area have tons of stuff around them, shops and restaurants. Built anywhere between 1985-2000.

The houses around the Centreville area have tons of stuff around them, shops and restaurants. Built anywhere between 1990-2000. Further commute, that's where my parent's house was that you visited that one time.

The houses around the Okaton area have less stuff around them, limited groceries and stores. Built anywhere between 1960-1980. More rural.

The houses around the Mantua area have less stuff around them, limited groceries and stores. Built anywhere between 1960-1975. More rural.

The houses around the Annandale area have stuff around them. Built anywhere between 1955-1975. less rural but sitll spotty and limited shopping, older areas for stores.

The houses around the Wes Falls church area have stuff around them. Built anywhere between 1955-1975. limited shopping, older areas for stores.


There's no Walmart or Lowes or any bigger stores inside the beltway. There's a trashy Home Depot and shitty Target.


As you can even see on the available houses, those around the 28 area are cheaper and larger and have much more access to stuff. the airport is there and there's tons of shopping centers and movie theathers and crap like walmart and best buy and lowes and things of that nature.


I live inside the beltway where you see lee hwy on the map between falls church and arlington. I'm planning a trip out to fair lakes this weekend to go to walmart...it's 25 miles away. I think the extra communte time is worth the larger yards, basements, garages, and access the stuff vs the proximity to DC. but that's my opinion.

if you remove garage from the options the green houses fill up inside the beltway more, but the sq. footage is reduced.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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He does not want to be west of the Pentagon, he wants to be south of it. I will get my dad's Realtor info for the area tonight and PM it to you. He has helped us with several houses in the NoVA area.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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south sucks

It does not fit the "upper-middle-class white guy neighborhood" requirement. yes, read into that.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
He'll be working AT the Pentagon. He says everybody he's ever talked to that hated living in DC was because of the commute. Guys who had short rides on the Metro or otherwise short stints to work had way better lives across the board.

What are his sub $500k options in the pink area. We're checking the various online real-estate programs now... but are there any specific neighborhoods that are deals AND near the metro in the pink area?

And no, pink doesn't mean he's looking for major *** hang-outs. Wife, kids, minivan!
I get no respect.

Anyway... the metro runs across the top and right side of your pink circle of homos. I mean homes. I live in the gap between the orange freeway dip and the top of the pink circle above the word "WANTS" and I'm about a 15 min walk to metro. My house was 520k. I have no garage but I have a yard. I also have awesome beers within a block of me. That was the clincher. We also only have about 1000 square feet. There are bigger houses near by but they cost bigger money.

Living near a metro stop costs a lot. Because there is a metro stop.

HOWEVER

There are new metro stops going in to the west of West Falls Church that might entice this dude--they go as far as Reston (along 267) through Tyson's Corner.

To be completed sometime 2013.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_...shington_Metro)
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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I'm just a snob. I've lived in this area my entire life and know what's nice (Centreville/Chantilly). I've also lived in Courthouse & S. Arlington (near Shirlington) and N. Arlington near you y8s...as you know

I've also worked in alexandria and have been exposed to the entire map that Sam posted.

I personally miss the Centreville area. There are things I don't like about it, traffic being one. It's also being overrun by all the crazy amounts of town home developments. The plus is the nicer shopping centers and aboundance of goodness around. The further west you go the bigger/better/cheaper the neighborhoods get (with some exception) as well as the schools are better. Plus there's 4 pizza places I'll eat out west, and I can't stand the pizza in our area. There's any store you want to travel to easily, and you're in close proximity to the Dulles Town Center and Fair Oaks Mall, where my current option is Tysons, where I only go to the mall 30 minutes before it closes.

Everything is so limited within the beltway and everything is old; all the shopping centers suck; everything below 50 is chain link fences--if you catch my drift. And there's nothing new ever going in, when it does it just happens in one of the brown/shingled 70s looking run-down shopping areas full of people that sit around with no job. (next time I go to Einstein Bagel's I'll take a picture of exactly this). What's the newest thing we got? I mini-BJ's?! I don't shop at BJ's it does me no good. The Target here never has anything on the racks, and I hate the shopping center it's in, and the two walmarts are over 25 miles away.

Alexandria has nice neighborhoods in it, but you gotta deal with the filth around it.

I hate going to stores in this area, they are sparse and full of interesting fellows. I have to specifically shop on fridays so I cna find a parking space. I go a store out of the way from me (route 7) because Harris Teeter is overpriced, safeway is disgusting, the other safeway down Lee is too small and never has anything, the giant by BGR and Italian Store is way too small, the giant in bailey's crossroads is nice and new and renovated buy in a horrible shopping center where no one speaks english...same goes with the safeway on patrick henry. I HATE IT.

Tysons area is constantly under construction and overrun.

Mclean is nice but there's nothing to it but million dollar houses. Bailey's Crossroads area is filth and disgusting, 7 corners aint much better.

While Shirlington itself is nice, I wouldn't want ot live there again just to be close to a nice strip of restaurants. The rest of the area sucks and is full of questionableness.

If you wanna live south of the pentagon, you'd be wanting to move all the way south to woodbridge or something...then you at least start to get back into real neighborhoods with real shopping centers around.

Must things south of 50 are trashy. Burke and Fairfax station have nice neighborhoods but then there's nothing around.


I can't wait to move out west

Last edited by Braineack; 02-06-2012 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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Everything I know about DC:

-The subway sucks, too many people. I would absolutely not commute via the subway.
-When I was 5 or 6 my parents took us to DC, on the way in I saw a man standing in the middle of the interstate, urinating.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
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^ nutshell
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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Nope, no houses near metro.
Basically as y8s said, he could try buying a place where future metro will be (i.e. along highway 66).

But it would still mean living and commuting on 66 which is like, all circles of hell combined into a single experience.

edit: 2 weeks ago I bought a 1900 sq. ft 2 car garage house right above the "SEZ" in the "brian sez live here" picture, for $290k. doesn't need anything.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Everything I know about DC:

-The subway sucks, too many people. I would absolutely not commute via the subway.
-When I was 5 or 6 my parents took us to DC, on the way in I saw a man standing in the middle of the interstate, urinating.
The subway is one of the best in the nation. It's ******* CLEAN compared to the dirty ****-smelling ones in other cities. I challenge anyone to find graffitti on Metro. Also it's super cheap. You'd spend 3x as much on BART in SF.


Quote:
Originally Posted by soviet View Post
Nope, no houses near metro.
Basically as y8s said, he could try buying a place where future metro will be (i.e. along highway 66).
You mean 66 inside the beltway and 267 outside the beltway.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:31 AM   #15
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There's a reason I live in columbia MD. Then again I go all over the DC area including nova, md, and DC which is why I need a 600hp daily driver twin disc ceramic clutch miata.

DAMN y9s you baller 500K for 1000sq ft?

When I went to the pentagon last month to defenstrate the joint chiefs (serious) I actually um took the metro from greenbelt.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
There's a reason I live in columbia MD. Then again I go all over the DC area including nova, md, and DC which is why I need a 600hp daily driver twin disc ceramic clutch miata.

DAMN y9s you baller 500K for 1000sq ft?

When I went to the pentagon last month to defenstrate the joint chiefs (serious) I actually um took the metro from greenbelt.
It'd be funny if vipor or me got stationed guarding some important people/place and ended up shooting you.
Did you manage to defenestrate any joint chiefs?

Also, I don't think your allowed to have a handgun in DC, which means I would not live in DC. Just something to think about.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
It'd be funny if vipor or me got stationed guarding some important people/place and ended up shooting you.
Did you manage to defenestrate any joint chiefs?

Also, I don't think your allowed to have a handgun in DC, which means I would not live in DC. Just something to think about.
I would be hanging with the people you'd be guarding...
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #18
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Wait what? What do you mean by "defenestrate" then?
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #19
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My formative years were spent living 4 blocks from White Oaks Elementary in Burke. It was a stellar place to be a 5th grader. The schools are excellent and there are tons of awesome historical things to see/ do when you have a personal cheauffer/ mom to tote your *** all over the disparate ends of hell and creation to get to them all. We lived in a great neighborhood surrounded by great neighborhoods with a passable Safeway two block away and a bitchin neighborhood pool complete with shady ice cream trucks in the summer.

It was a miserable place for my older brother to be a 12th grader, as it was a 45 minute drive to find anything worth doing (other than smoking weed and trying to make single mothers, that is), and there were more than enough opportunities for an enterprising 18 year old to get himself into deeper and deeper sorts of trouble.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
... 4-br, move-in-ready, $400k-$450k. Looking for minimum commute, ie very close to metro, upper-middle-class white guy neighborhood... yards and garages, suburbia'ish.
My house is pretty much at the extreme lower right corner of where Brain sez 2 liv. Just inside the beltway in a neighborhood off Gallows Rd. 4 br 2.5 ba, the main 2 floors are 1800 sq ft plus it has a finished basement, so 2600-2700 sq ft if you count that. Typical colonial, five four and a door built in 1979. Attached 2-car garage, lot is about 1/3 acre, cost $480K-ish to buy it in short sale in 2008, and I believe comps down the street have sold in the $500-525K range lately. It's what I'd call middle-class suburbia. Houses in neighborhoods that I would call "upper-middle-class," the kind you can get for $400K elsewhere in the country, are $750K+ in NoVA.

If you need to stay strict to that $400-450K, you're going to have to sacrifice a bedroom or two, or the garage, or live in a lesser quality neighborhood or in a townhouse if you want to be inside the beltway and/or near metro. There are a bunch of houses built in the 1960s that are in good locations, but tend to be smaller and have carports instead of garages. My requirement that it have a real garage and be in our price range made our house search take a few months longer than it otherwise would have. We started looking in February and closed in August.

Commuting to the Pentagon limits your options unless you enjoy spending your life in your car. I-66 has all-lanes HOV restrictions inbound in the a.m. and outbound in the p.m., so I guess that leaves GW Pkwy, I-395 regular lanes, or metro. If I had to get to the Pentagon from my place it would be a 10 min drive to Dunn Loring metro stop, 5 min to catch a train, 15 min to Rosslyn, 3-4 minutes to transfer to blue, 4 min to go 2 stops to Pentagon. Probably 40-45 min door-to-door including walking time. I have a friend who works at the Pentagon (civilian, accountant type in the Navy comptroller's office) and lives in Burke. I assume he takes Braddock Rd to 495 to the 395 regular lanes, I can ask how long that drive takes.

The western portion of Brain's boxed area is going to be a nightmare for commuting. I-66 is liable to be a cluster ---- at any time, for any reason, or for no apparent reason whatsoever. If you live any farther than 5-10 min from the farthest stop out on the orange line (Vienna/Fairfax-GMU) and have to commute into DC you will hate your life 5 days a week. Houses up near Tyson's Corner or Wolf Trap are not even remotely in the given budget. You have to go out to Reston or farther before prices start falling, and for someone moving there now that leaves no commute options. Metro silver line out 267... your trusty transportation planners say 2013? I'll believe that when I see it.

I agree that the west side of the beltway is far preferable to the south, within a reasonable commute anyway. We didn't even look down that way because I work up in Bethesda.
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