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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering taking a job in either alexandria or arlington and i thought I'd get some feedback from you guys about the different areas to live in.

looking for something that's reasonable in price, convenient for commutting as well as some place that would be fairly easy to find an apt/condo w/ a garage for the bike and car if possible. i'm planning to rent or possibly look for a roommate for the first few months to a year till i get a better feel for the area before looking to buy a place.

so what area's would you guys recommend? also, are taxes or cost of living cheaper on the other side of the river in md compared to va?

thanks for the bandwidth :D
 

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Arlington Resident here

Arlington is a really great place to live in...if you have the income. it is pretty pricey all over arlington and it's only going to get more expensive. it's growing very fast. Schools are great. commuting is great. arlington is 10-20 minutes away from just about everything. about finding a place, can't really help you there. you have to make pretty good bank though to keep up around here. great schools, people, yada yada yada. don't know much about alexandria.
 

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I would suggest living\working\visiting anywhere but Northern VA... The area the Barry lives in is pretty pimp...think it be in Stafford. But I am a bumpkin so WTF do I know!! :D
 

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Ken, if he lives in NYC currently, then that commute would feel like a lifetime to him. Plus seeing wildlife other than bums, rats and pigeons might frighten him. :D


Arlington and Alexandria both have great areas to live in if you want city life.

Taxes are the same on both sides, they just get it out of you differently. MD nickel and dimes you, VA sends you a bill.
 

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If you take a job in Alexandria or Arlington, you probably don't want to live in MD. Crossing the river seems to be a major issue for the dumbasses that live around here. One day last week I heard it took almost 2 hours to go the 7 or so miles on 95 from Springfield to the Woodrow Wilson bridge. :shake

Also, to be "convenient" to Alexandria and/or Arlington but live in MD means Prince George's county... which is basically nothing more than an extension of SE DC. Seems like just about every bit of crime news on the local channels comes out of PG county. :shake

I'm with Ken.. if you're looking to relocate out of NYC, I'd go just about anywhere other than here.
 

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+1 to everything so far, especially about living in MD... but, if you're determined to move here anyways...

Renting from actual complexes here sucks unless you're making bank (and can afford to rent a decent place on your own) or completely broke (and qualify for housing assistance). Us in the middle get screwed. :rolleyes

Check out http://washingtondc.craigslist.org under their housing section. They've got some reasonable sublets on there sometimes. That way you don't have to get stuck in a long-term lease when you first move here. Post a "housing wanted" ad on there about yourself and what you're looking for in an apartment/area to live.

Good luck. :D
 

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or get a place out west, e.g. fairfax, centreville, or manassas. i always consider west of dc to be a better option than south of dc. :nanana

i think rent for a one bedroom goes for around 1000-1500, no garage, between fairfax and manassas.
 

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novasquid said:
or get a place out west, e.g. fairfax, centreville, or manassas. i always consider west of dc to be a better option than south of dc. :nanana

i think rent for a one bedroom goes for around 1000-1500, no garage, between fairfax and manassas.
While I agree that west is better than south, I don't necessarily agree that it's the best of choices for working in Arlington/Alexandria. I did the Centreville to the Pentagon commute from 96-99. That was before the big growth spurt in Prince William (Manassas, Bristow, Haymarket, Gainesville) and it wasn't real nice then. I'd hate to do it now. If you can afford to live close to where your job is, do that. If not, then be prepared to spend an ungodly amount of time sitting on your bike or in your cage. Or, try to get a flexible work schedule and do the way too early shift (6 AM) or the late shift (10 AM). That way you're minimizing the amount of time you're stuck sitting on our poor excuses for highways/roadways.

skim, if you really want to relocate to the DC area, look for a job in the Herndon/Reston/Dulles/Chantilly areas and move to that area.
 

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I think that Arlington and Alexandria are great! I love living in this area because it is close to the city and there is so much to do all around. However, things are very expensive here. Fortunately I am able to afford the costs, so if you can also, then I would highly suggest it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for all the info. unfortunately, I need to go where the job is so, I'm not sure if I have much chance of finding a job outside of the beltway.

I have family in centreville and I was down there yesterday for an interview in arlington and the commute between centrevill & alrington was a bitch. took me an hour for 24 miles and this was after leaving the house @ 9:30am. of course i was in a cage, and i kept thinking maybe if i iwas lane splitting on a bike it wouldn't be so bad.

speaking of which, i know lane splitting is illegal in pretty much every state but CA, but does the po-lees actually enforce it and issue fines?
 

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speaking of which, i know lane splitting is illegal in pretty much every state but CA, but does the po-lees actually enforce it and issue fines?
Uh, do anything like that around here and you get to go to jail. All the counties around here are cracking down on "aggressive driving". Cops are ticketing and judges are putting people in jail. And, they have a hard on for sportbikes.
 

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What he said.... thanks to the antics of a few, we're all being eyeballed. VA State don't play... neither does Fairfax County.
 

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Yep, if you don't ride like a saint around here, be prepared for stiff fines, harsh treatment and possible jail time. By possible, I mean just about guarantee jail for doing over 90. Lane splitting is a definate No-No.
 

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jail time for going over 90 is exclusive to fairfax county, afaik. one day for every mile over 90, and one day served for every two days sentenced.
 

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i wouldn't totally rule out DC. i'm sure some on here would disagree but the district isn't completely useless as some believe. i've got a nice size 2BR downtown for about the same price as a lot of the burb areas, plus i can walk to my office in 10-15 minutes. even having to pay a monthly fee to park my two bikes in a garage, i'm still saving money...not to mention a lot of time by not having a commute. reverse commute out of DC is a breeze too. when my wife was working in Reston she got to work in less than 30 minutes most mornings.

DC isn't NYC, but it can be a cool place if you know where to go. Living in the district will have some downsides but its really about what you're looking for. For me, I can't do the burb living. I've either got to be out in the sticks totally, or right in the thick of things.

Good luck with the relocation.
 

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As someone who is 1) from this area 2) lived in Arlington for 3 years then 3) moved to Alexandria for 1.5 then 4) moved to Woodbridge (south down 95) and has 5) within the last week moved back to Alexandria it is all going to come down to one ingredient: How much are you willing to spend? The rest of the details are mostly secondary. If you want a garage, be prepared to bend over in a major way.

Your findings concerning Centreville and areas west are dead on. I used to live out that way and got real sick of the 1+ hour commute into Arlington. There are two things that are no joke in this area, cost of living and traffic.

From a social aspect, you will also be hard pressed to beat Arlington/Alexandria.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the advice guys/gals. Geez, housing prices have really sky rocketed in the area. 2 yrs ago, a friend of mine bought a nice 2 br condo w/ covered parking for $160k in alexandria and finally when the job market picks up for me to move down here, the cost of real estate shoots through the roof...:rant
 
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