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Posted: 3/20/2006 5:25:19 PM EDT
I have a job opportunity in Fredericksburg. I would appreciate some info on the area such as cost of homes, shopping, best areas to live.

Any help would be appreciated.

TIA!
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 7:42:07 PM EDT
Hi,

Former NYC Queens here. Cost of living is going up. Single family homes can be had from the $300K range all the way up to $1M+. For a NEW 3000-4000sq ft home you should be in the range of $525K - $800K. Taxes are still good, the re-assesment just came in this year and it was way up but we should still be below $1 to the $1000.
Schools are ok, and crime is still low. Since so many of us northerners have moved down here, there is now way heavy traffic. Not as bad as Queens yet but looking like LI traffic more and more every day.
The I 95 corridor can back up at all weird hours but rush hour is bad. Equivalent to BQE during rush. Alot of bad restaurants and not enough good mom & pop places or some of the ethnic food you may be used to. (I miss the food more than anything else)
The grass is green and it smells nice but home lots are getting smaller and smaller. Alot of developments really do not look particularly nice but that is all in the eye of the beholder. Still alot of run down areas around but they are shrinking almost monthly.
As soon as they build a school it fills to overflow capacity.
Enough shopping to satisfy most needs but traffic patterns are pretty bad and getting heavier monthly.
The city of Fredericksburg is cute, some parts are run down but people are snatching up properties and re-modeling slowly. You have to keep up historical value of the home so re-model will cost $$$. Home prices in Fredericksburg run the spectrum. The really nice stuff seems to be well over $500k.
Spotsylvania county surrounds Fredericksburg so you will probably be looking for a home there, unless you really feel the need to live in the city proper.
If you have a good paying job $100k+ there are no real worries yet. Less than that and you will probably be looking to rent a town home initially or for the long haul depending on your job. You can live on $50-$85k ok but it depends on your lifestyle and if you have kids or not. I know plenty of people who raise kids on less than $75k yr.
Rents run between $950 month to well past $2k a month for a full house. Depends on where and how you want to live. Neighborhoods are nice but not much to take your breath away.
Night life is non-existant if you are used to NYC. DC and the Northern VA area are Ok for night-life but you have to put some effort forth to find the hot spots and they are gonna cost you.
If I were single I would not have come down this way. Being a home-body with a wife that likes the same, and enjoying a bit more piece and quiet makes it so that we really enjot it here. Would have prefered to have a nice view of something but the x-tra square footage of the house (at a good price 3yrs ago) makes up for what we are lacking in breathtaking views etc...
Visit before you make any rushed desicions!
Even with the market slowing down people are not willing to sell at modest profits, everyone is looking to gouge in the home market.
Best of luck to you.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:27:39 AM EDT
I moved from Putnam county NY (also lived in White Plains and Manhattan) down to F'burg a couple years ago. We did the drive around and recon work then sold my place and moved down to an apartment and started looking for work.

Whisper's right about the food. We were up at my girlfriend's parent's place last Thanksgiving and I got to have good pizza for a change. I nearly passed out it was so good.

Driving sucks. If you've lived up North for a while you know how to drive in rain/snow etc... Down here when there is the prediction of snow, schools are closed and people stay home. Few people how to merge, use their turn signals or stop at red lights. ALWAYS look before proceeding after a stop when you get the green because some dipshit will always be going through the intersection at that point since they were too important to slowdown and stop 100yds ago when the damn light went yellow.

Oh and I don't remember who here said it when I came down but it's true, you really have not seen VA driving until you've seen your first dry land wreck. There will be a single car, flipped over in the road on a bright sunny day, no rain, no snow, and no other cars involved. Just a lone car in the middle of the road decided I'll have an accident riiiight about....HERE! It boggles the f'ing mind.

Our VA crew is a top notch, great bunch. Housing is pricy but F'burg isn't as bad. I'm now in Stafford which is about 20 minutes North of there. Isn't much to do as far as night life unless again you're in the NoVA (Northern VA)/DC area. I've got TV and cable internet so I'm good to go.

Oh, if you go for an apartment, be aware in VA there's a fire code that says no fires on any deck structure where you've got someone living under you...or something like that. Basically it means no grilling unless you've got the bottom, ground level apartment. Also realize there is a personal property tax. The great state of VA is one of the few that taxes you on your continued ownership of a vehicle each year. If the car is worth under 20k you get a huge break as they tried to eliminate the tax by slowly phasing it out...then realized they were too used to the extra cash so they put the process on hold. Other than having no real good place to go eat without an hour drive, that's my biggest gripe.

OH! When you come down with your guns? You don't need to do a DAMN thing. If you want to carry concealed you'll need to get the license, but ownership or purchase of long or hand guns does not require any type of permit. Just 2 forms of VA ID.

Any other questions or if you need help with something just let us know.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:04:29 AM EDT
Thanks for the info. I live just north of Buffalo now. Lots of good restaurants and shopping within a few minutes drive. We are not much for partying, night life is not a concern.

Fellow that interviewed me said Spotsylvania still had open land and decent prices compared to north of F'burg.

Guess I got spoiled here with the close proximity of abundant malls/ stores and restaurants. I don't like to be crowded in but I want to be close to shopping areas.

Cost of homes here varies. 1500sf new builds are hard to find at $180K+, 1500sf nice older homes can be had for $140K. Cost of living in Buffalo is quite a bit less than NYC area.

I plan on visiting/interviewing next Friday and Sat. 3-31,4-1. Any particular areas W/SW of F'burg I should check out.

Any Shooting clubs in the area with 200-300yd+ ranges? Any clubs with pistol teams? I shoot .22 indoor 50' NRA Gallery course.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:12:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 7:21:36 AM EDT by DaddyDett]
I live on the east side of Fred'burg, in Stafford County. I have been here almost 8 years.
Nothing against Spotsy, but the infrastructure isn't keeping up with growth on Rt 3 and Rt 17 corridors. In english, traffic out those roads sux. Taxes are lower in King George, Caroline and other counties to the east. To the west, Fauqier and Loudon, taxes and prices are much higher.

As a ray of hope, there is a Wegman's store going in at a new development just south of Woodbridge. Can't rock on without a Zweigel's if you're an Upstater, .
( I spent a yr living in Penfield/Irondiquoit NY and got spoiled. Too bad you can't get a "Garbage Plate" around here, yummmm !!)

DaddyDett

ETA: Housing is high here, no doubt. My 1480 sq ft 3 bdrm home on a 1/2 acre originally listed at 156.9 in ''98. I got it at foreclosure for 122.9. This year's adjusted tax assesment places it's value at 235k.
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