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Posted: 3/20/2006 10:06:19 AM EDT
There's a job that seems like it might be pretty hard to refuse in Arlington. I know there isn't much goodwill towards us gunowners in DC. But what's it like is the the surrounding VA area? Anything else I might need to know prior to moving from CO? Is Manassas a fairly good place for a gun owner to live?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 11:41:24 AM EDT
Sure....

Just get ready for "sticker shock" when it comes to home prices.

What are you looking to spend?

Single-family home in Manassas...think $400k (minimum)

Townhouse w/2 car garage (2000+ sq ft) in the Leesburg/Ashburn area...$450 and up.

Va is a great place to be a gun owner/2nd Amendment enthusiast, the cost of living is not that great though.

I moved here from Chicago in 1996 and I do not regret it at all.

Others will chime-in w/their thoughts, opinions, and info.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 12:15:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 12:23:46 PM EDT by wolfpak]
Been here (NOVA) since 1997, from Tidewater Area. Variety of Gunshops, in-door ranges, Gunshows, a couple of good Shooting Clubs, and the NRA. I would never move to NOVA. The only reason I'm here is I have a great job. Other than that, IMO, I do not like this crowded, ignorant, traffic hell of a place.......etc.. Fortunately I work nights so I dont have to see the mass or drive in the insane traffic of I-95 during the rush hours. Lots of good jobs and $$$ though. Real estate shock will fade with time. Living outside NOVA is probably the best thing. Check out Stafford, Fredricksburg area for nice housing. Prince William County (deals here and there, just dont pick one next to the many crime central hoods), Fairfax County has some nice places but it will take a chunk out of your wallet. Check with the local police depts(Crime Prevention Offices) for crime stats before you pick a certain area. Some will say they dont give that kinda info out and some do anyway. Who knows you might find a nice deal in Alex or Arlington. Good Luck and welcome to NOVA in advance if you decide to venture this way. I'm sure someone will be along to give you the sugar coated, I love this place version later.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:28:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 1:29:56 PM EDT by pisgahrifle]
NOVA sucks like a vacuum lobotomy.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:08:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pisgahrifle:
NOVA sucks like a vacuum lobotomy.



Charming. You going to add something productive, or just bust on some of our home area?

Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:24:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mo4040:
Sure....

Just get ready for "sticker shock" when it comes to home prices.

What are you looking to spend?

Single-family home in Manassas...think $400k (minimum)

Townhouse w/2 car garage (2000+ sq ft) in the Leesburg/Ashburn area...$450 and up.

Va is a great place to be a gun owner/2nd Amendment enthusiast, the cost of living is not that great though.

I moved here from Chicago in 1996 and I do not regret it at all.

Others will chime-in w/their thoughts, opinions, and info.




Ummm....I think your prices are about two years out of date.... I'd kill for a 2000+ sqft townhouse for $450..... (I'm sure you meant $450K) but still, I don't think there's very many of those around....
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:35:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By toast:

Originally Posted By mo4040:
Sure....

Just get ready for "sticker shock" when it comes to home prices.

What are you looking to spend?

Single-family home in Manassas...think $400k (minimum)

Townhouse w/2 car garage (2000+ sq ft) in the Leesburg/Ashburn area...$450 and up.

Va is a great place to be a gun owner/2nd Amendment enthusiast, the cost of living is not that great though.

I moved here from Chicago in 1996 and I do not regret it at all.

Others will chime-in w/their thoughts, opinions, and info.




Ummm....I think your prices are about two years out of date.... I'd kill for a 2000+ sqft townhouse for $450..... (I'm sure you meant $450K) but still, I don't think there's very many of those around....





Come to Caroline. Neighbor's house sold for $280k. 1900 sq ft. on 4 acres. Next door to neighbor with range though. Can get loud. House on other side is for sale. 2300 sq feet on 10 acres. I think it is in the $470k range though.


Link Posted: 3/20/2006 5:45:36 PM EDT
As a recent transplant, I'd say that VA is one of the freer states (not including Arlington County or Alexandria City). Pretty much everything goes around here. Depending on where you work, what your hours are and how much commuting you'd like to do, I'd say there's a fair number of placed you could live and keep all of your guns (and perhaps add a few more ) That said, the housing prices around here are sky high. That's not to say that other markets don't have similarly increasing housing prices, but around here, it's crazy. In my area, $250K will buy you nothing more than a 600sf "studio" condo and a decent townhouse will start at over $500K. However, the job market here is decent, there are a lot of good looking women around (if you're into that sort of thing...lots of chaff to go weeding through though...), taxes are decent, the NRA is right around the corner and the people are pretty nice.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:52:47 PM EDT
I've lived here in Centreville for about 3 years now. I'm a VA native, and I love the state, but I sure wouldn't work here if it weren't for the government man job. I'm starting to look into buying a place, and the prices are astronomical. The traffic is nuts, and if you aren't an a**hole driver, you'll become one in short order, or become a speed bump. When I visit the folks, Mom always asks why I'm such an aggressive driver now.

Manassas is a decent town, but there's no real way to get into and out of it easily without hitting a logjam during both rush hours. I admit I haven't exhaustively studied all the pig-paths on the map, but anyway.

Fairfax County is pretty decent in terms of gun friendliness. I've open carried a fair amount of times around here, and nobody's harangued me about it or called the cops yet. The closer in you get to DC, the more the liberal fumes seep out and poison the weak-minded. I've heard horror stories about the Arlington PD's treatment of people lawfully carrying, and you have the nutjobs running places like Falls Church pulling stunts like trying to get people harassed for carrying into town buildings.

If you get a job in Arlington, though, you'll spend most of your life in the car if you live in Manassas. My office is about 15 miles from where I live, and it takes me 45 minutes to get there. If there's a wreck, all bets are off. Heck, sometimes you get a huge slowdown, and you start to hope for bodies covered in tarps on the road for this kind of delay, and then it opens up again for no reason at all. Also, you'll encounter delays at random times other than rush hour, again for no discernable reason. Also, you'll get people driving at the speed limit or below like some sort of vigilante in the left lane.

Most of my friends live in MD or further in, so it's a major production for us to be able to hang out because of the traffic. I'm looking to move further in when my lease is up.

I love my job, so I put up with it, but if I didn't have to live here to work there, I'd be gone someplace where the cost of living isn't that bad and traffic isn't insane.

My $.02.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 7:18:44 PM EDT
I live in Front Royal, Warren Co. Virginia which is aprox. 60 mi. west of where you want to work. Many folks are moving out this way due to housing and rent being a little more than 1/2 that of the greater N-Va. area. A house that Richmond Homes is selling for $600,000 + in N-Va. is selling in the mid-threes here. And its the same house. The way many of my neighbors see it, the last 40mi. home is a unwinding experiance from the traffic hell to get past the beltway and Manasass. There are national builders kicking and scraching to get past our zoning laws so more houses can be built here. Its still a sellers market for new homes around here but older homes seem to have leveled off some. I built my house in Front Royal in '94 for a little over $100,000. Its worth around $400,000 now so they say. I don't look for prices to go down in the near term. Taxes are cheaper here too. Paying taxes on a home in the N-Va. area is about like making a car payment if you save for it every month. There is very little redeaming value to living inside the beltway except for the many high paying jobs. Don't know if you are single but the women in N-Va. act like they got a rod up their ass. Our gals out here are a lot more friendly. Out my way you have the Shenandoah River to fish, the George Washington National Forest to hunt, and if you apply yourself you may find privite land, or a hunting lease to shoot on. Good Luck
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 10:56:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 11:10:55 PM EDT by libertarian]
You guys are a wealth of information. In regards to the traffic...what's the deal with the VRE? Is it a good alternative to the freeway? I'm not sure I'm into a huge drive and ton of traffic each day.

Thanks for the information.

Also, I didn't find Caroline, VA on mapquest. Is it the same as Caroline Park? Or were you refering to Caroline county?

Anyone do any varmint hunting there? Coyotes, fox, etc?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 2:22:42 AM EDT
Don't know much about the VRE or where it goes, but I know it's a very popular way to get wherever that is.

I imagine you could probably find someplace to blast coyotes. My sister lives in DC (not much choice, she's a Georgetown grad student, but she can't have her G19 there), and her landlord told me recently that they've spotted coyotes in DC in Rock Creek Park, so I'm guessing they're in the surrounding forests in VA too.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 3:19:28 AM EDT
Caroline Coutny. The last bastion of halfway affordable housing in between richmond and Fredericksburg. I live about 5 miles from Bowling Green (the county seat).

I know a few pepole that do the VRE from fredericksburg. It is a valid option to the mess on I95. Not sure what the cost is now. Best thing running is an alternate working schedule. My old boss went in at 10-11am from Fredericksburg and worked till 7-8pm at NRL. That seemed to work well for him.

There is varmit hunting to be found. We have coyotes here. I followed one down the road driving through AP hill one day a few years ago. We also have a healthy population of groundhogs where the coyotes are thin.


Originally Posted By libertarian:
You guys are a wealth of information. In regards to the traffic...what's the deal with the VRE? Is it a good alternative to the freeway? I'm not sure I'm into a huge drive and ton of traffic each day.

Thanks for the information.

Also, I didn't find Caroline, VA on mapquest. Is it the same as Caroline Park? Or were you refering to Caroline county?

Anyone do any varmint hunting there? Coyotes, fox, etc?

Link Posted: 3/21/2006 2:37:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BaronFitz:
I've heard horror stories about the Arlington PD's treatment of people lawfully carrying,



I had to open carry into the California Tortilla near Courthouse once, thankfully nothing happened and I didn't notice any people looking at me funny (although the two girls I was with freaked out.)

The worst part of Arlington is the loony tunes liberal residents around here. Aside from being rabidly anti-gun, the neighborhood associations (read: obnoxious whiny "for the children" left-wingers) are forcing "traffic calming" measures on all the streets. My street got nubs the whole length of it, and a traffic circle right as you come off Rt. 50. Turns a beautiful, wide, tree-lined street into another tiny little street that can't accomodate two cars traveling in opposite directions. Now they want to reduce the speed limit on some of the major cross roads from 30 to 25. Speed humps are popping up all over, there's a new stop sign or traffic light popping up on every block, McMansions by the dozen, apartment buildings growing like weeds, meaning more cars, less parking, more parking meters, more zoned parking, etc. Property taxes are spiking, I think it was something like a 10% increase this year, mostly due to the $18,000 the County spends wastes per student in the public schools. If this weren't my hometown, I'd split, and I still might.

As far as the other areas, I have no experience living there. I used to go to high school in Manassas, but that was over a decade ago, and the place has gotten far more built up since then. Have you looked at western Fairfax, past GMU, like Clifton? I know some people who live out in Clifton, just off Braddock Rd., and it seems like a pretty nice, relatively quiet area. Went out there to take their daughter shooting on a Saturday, the traffic was pretty light and the NRA Range is pretty close. Despite my diatribe against Arlington above, there are nice places to live in Arlington, too, the areas off behind Spout Run and near Military Rd., along Old Dominion out towards McLean, etc. Basically the northernmost sections of Arlington. You can find nice areas in Arlington/Fairfax as long as you're well away from major traffic arteries/Metro, but the downside is you'll have to pay an arm and a leg, plus get whalloped with property taxes.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 3:14:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By libertarian:
You guys are a wealth of information. In regards to the traffic...what's the deal with the VRE? Is it a good alternative to the freeway? I'm not sure I'm into a huge drive and ton of traffic each day.

Thanks for the information.

Also, I didn't find Caroline, VA on mapquest. Is it the same as Caroline Park? Or were you refering to Caroline county?

Anyone do any varmint hunting there? Coyotes, fox, etc?



VRE

My boss takes it every day from Burke to Union Station and then the red line to work. Another guy in our office takes it from Fredericksburg daily. Usually it is fine but ocassionally there are delays.

Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:10:42 PM EDT
I've only been in NOVA (Fairfax) since June from California and I have to say this traffic has NOTHING on LA traffic. People are much more courteous here. I drove through LA frequently though so I guess most anything would appear tame. There is a very good economy in NOVA, one of the top 3 strongest in the US I believe. (How I ended up here from CA). Fairfax also has one of tthe highest per capita incomes anywhere in the US. Anywhere that puts you reasonable commuting distance from DC (particurarly by a prized metro stop) will be outrageous, and if you like guns forget about MD (income tax is lower in VA anyway). There is WV/PA but that's a little further. You might want to give a good look at Loudon county.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:41:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 3:51:15 AM EDT by NovaHokie9]
I may be wrong, but if your job is in Arlington I would forget about the VRE. I believe the only stops are in Alexandria (King Street Metro) and Union Station (DC proper). You could drive to either the Falls Church or Springfield Metro stations and do that, but then you're looking at however long it takes you to drive to the metro plus about a 35-40 minute ride.

I live in Prince William County (just south of Fairfax county) and have a 17.5 mile commute. Takes me 22-25 mins on average. The catch is that I get to work at either 6am or 10am and leave at 2:30 or 6:30-7. Don't even consider anything in between those times. It would take over an hour at least.

Bottom line is that unless you can go in early or late or can afford a 500k+ home in McLean, Arlington, Falls Church or Vienna, getting to Arlington is going to be a PITA. Going along with the insanity of the housing market, my real estate tax assessment came this week. My townhouse increased in value $85,000 in one freakin year. $85K, unreal. I still can't believe it. Can't wait to start paying the extra tax. Joy.

ETA: VA is very gun friendly as a whole. DC and MD are not.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:42:30 PM EDT
VRE does stop at in Cyrstal City also (which is in Arlington).
VRE is OK if you live and work near a stop.

Housing prices are insane here - if I was moving into this area and not sure I wanted to spend the next decade here I would rent - you can rent most places for less then half of what the caryring costs are of buying even with the tax benifits. In my neighborhood in Fairfax near a VRE station single family homes sell for 500K -700K but rent for 1500 - 2500 a month.

I'll bet you could rent a nice house in a nice part of arlington for about the same.

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