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Posted: 9/24/2004 2:24:56 PM EDT
Hey all,

I originally posted this in the MD board, well...because that's where we are. BUT I figgere'd I'd post it here too...

Well, my fiancee and I finally got jobs! We'll be working in the Oxon Hill area and need to move 'cuz the commute from Bal'mer just ain't gonna cut it. We're looking for a townhouse or house (both with small yard for Dog, gardening etc) to rent for a couple years before we buy a place. Any recommendations on places that aren't too terribly expensive (we're teachers)? We were thinking the Clinton, Waldorf, La Plata area?

Now, we're sorta discounting NoVA because of cost and traffic. BUT, if we're driving from Alexandria going TO Maryland (Oxon Hill.....which means....The Bridge <shudder>) how long should that commute take? Are there any homes available for rent within a 15-20 minute commute that won't cost us more than $1300/month? Given my preference, I'd sure as hell rather live in VA.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 2:52:50 PM EDT

You "might" find a condo or townhouse in the Mt. Vernon area (south of Alexandria), but if you do you might not like the nieghborhood. My advice would be to find a VA realtor (or two) that does rentals and see what they have. Have you thought about looking for teaching jobs in VA? I female friend of mine is an elem. school assistant principle down in Mechanicsville (near Richmond). She is divorced with 2 kids and managed to buy a nice single family home on her salary. Just a thought.

Good luck in your search. I hope you don't end up having to live in the Peoples Republik of Maryland.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:01:45 PM EDT
We have to teach in MD for the next three years. We won't get our official certification until the end of next school year (resident teacher program), and part of the deal is you have to teach in PG county for three years. Eventually we'd like to end up teaching in PA or VA though.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:28:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 4:44:42 PM EDT
Thanks SHIVAN,
That's more or less part of what I was asking. Sorta' like how people living in Silver Spring etc working in Bal'mer have a kick ass commute coming and going. I was wondering if it was the same way if I lived in VA and worked in MD.

Now, to find a place....

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 4:56:00 PM EDT

As a place to run some initial searches, you might try the Reston Homes page ( http://dutydesk.mris.com/index.cfm?bf_broker_id=1733). I used this as a starting point a few years back when I was moving here with the military. It at least includes rental property and you can select neighborhoods/areas interested.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 5:05:21 PM EDT
You at Ft. Myer? I was supposed to be there now, but there was a bit of a SNAFU while in basic at Sill. Anyway, how is Annandale? I found a place and did the "mapquest" thing. Looks like it's a 15 mile drive (20 minute). Now, how is traffic going from VA to MD in the morning (particularly the bridge)? I'll check the Restonhomes thingie.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 6:21:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2004 6:23:45 PM EDT by Ker-Pow]

The traffic isn't as bad going north over the bridge, but around here it can be a "day to day" thing. Anyway, what one person considers "bad" traffic varies from person to person. I work with folks that have 2+ hour commutes. I think they are insane.

If you are going to be working there for 3 years, you should give serious consideration to buying. Yes, the market is outrageous and you might have to buy a condo in the Alexandria area, but you will be building equity in your home in the mean time - not giving your money to someone else at no return in investment. Also, you won't get hit for capital gains taxes for selling under 2 years. I stongly urge you to look into it.

AND the gun laws are soooo much better here!
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 7:00:49 PM EDT
We figure we'll rent for our first year, then look to buy (we'll have three years after this year). I figgered VA would be the place to buy. I mean, we won't get as much for the money, BUT we'll almost certainly make money when it comes time to sell.

I'm used to driving/traffic. Hell, we made the drive down to Oxon Hill today just to see what it would be like. Took about 1 hour from Bal'mer to Oxon Hill and we left at 7:30. Not exactly fun, but do-able. However, living in VA would be so much nicer. I'd love it if we end up teaching in VA permanently after we get certified.

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 10:44:14 AM EDT
Anyone know anything about Annandale? Franconia? Rose Hill? they all seem to be less expensive than Alexandria, and within commuting distance, BUT are they safe areas?

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 11:29:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 1:33:57 PM EDT
Thanks guys,
I'm also seeing ads in Kingstown/Alexandria that are quite a bit cheaper. Is that a not-so-good part of Alex? (If there are any). Are there any areas in the Arlington/Alexandria area to avoid?

Thanks again for all the help

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 1:57:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 2:09:38 PM EDT
Cool. Thanks so much for all the help guys! I hope you don't mind putting up with all my questions. I just figger, if we could move to VA, life would be so much better! I'd rather pay more rent in VA than have a cheaper nicer place in MD.

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