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Thread: Anything to know or avoid in the NoVA area?

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    #1

    Anything to know or avoid in the NoVA area?

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    Nothing official yet, but it looks like chances are good we will end up in DC. I've kind of narrowed down housing to the Alexandria/Arlington area because it's a short commute and because there's where most of our friends live and I'm looking forward to lots of reconnecting.

    We've never lived in DC, so I'm kind of winging it. Is there anything I need to be aware of when looking? I'm thinking of things like areas that are more prone to flooding or hurricane damage (is that a big concern?), or pockets within the Alex/Arling area that are sketchy, or anything like that that may not show up on a house listing or on a regular map.

    (No kids, so schools don't matter. We have a decent BAH but are also willing to go over. Willing to consider house, townhouse, or apartment, but don't need or really want a large yard. I'm getting a feel for what we can get where, but info from people familiar with the are to give me inside tips on what to look out for would be much appreciated!)
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    #2
    With no kids and all I would live in Historic Alexandria. Great places. If close enough to king street you can walk to shops and restaurants. As far as hurricanes and all yes DC will get storms but nothing like you need to worry about living on the coast of NC right now.
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    #3
    Yessssss! Finally!
    Avoid traffic.
    Spend more to live near public transportation.
    Maryland...Howard county and Montgomery county.
    Looking to buy or rent?
    Do you like being in a downtown area?
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    #4
    Old Town Alexandria is amazing, the metro is a hike but there is a free trolley that runs up and down King Street. In Arlington I kind of feel like areas are hit or miss the further from DC you get. I lived in Pentagon City and loved it but a lot of my friends preferred Clarendon/Ballston area. Idk how old you are or what you social scene is but that area is, atleast seemed to me, more rich college kids and really young professionals.

    Shirlington area of Arlington is also nice but again there is little to no public transportation.

    Hurricanes aren't a huge issue in DC, I remember one in 8 years and even that was nothing bad just a lot of rain.
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    I know nothing about the area, but my good friends just moved there and their townhouse is being built in Potomac Shores. Not sure if you're looking to buy, or if they rent, but they're gorgeous!

    "Our prime Northern Virginia location has natural beauty, family-friendly amenities, an outdoorsy lifestyle and spectacular views over the historic Potomac River. Potomac Shores offers proximity to major cities like Alexandria and Arlington—so it’s a smart alternative to new homes for sale in Arlington, Virginia. We’re close to international airports, employment centers, excellent schools, shopping centers and neighborhood conveniences. While our own on-site VRE station is being built, the closest VRE stop is minutes away in Rippon Landing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Yessssss! Finally!
    Avoid traffic.
    Spend more to live near public transportation.
    Maryland...Howard county and Montgomery county.
    Looking to buy or rent?
    Do you like being in a downtown area?
    Rent, and we definitely don't want anything suburban. Either true urban (like a high rise apartment) or row house style semi-urban work. Being able to walk to shops and restaurants and coffee shops is probably second on our list (after a short commute/easy metro or bus or whatever access for DH).

    I think we are pretty set on Alexandria or Arlington, but I'd wondering if there are areas within those areas to avoid for any reason (crime, flooding, whatever). We have a good BAH and are also willing to go a bit over if necessary.

    While I'm looking forward to more space than our current awful government quarters (less then 1100sqft), we don't need HUGE, either. 1500sqft would probably do, though 1800 would likely be better. If there is a basement that doesn't count in the square footage or a large garage, that could replace some of the sqft need.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #7
    Look also at Annapolis. But any of those three would work for you.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Look also at Annapolis. But any of those three would work for you.
    I think Annapolis is farther than DH wants to be.

    And it looks like there are definitely areas that flood, given that downtown Alexandria appears to be underwater (and that's pre-hurricane!). I may need to find a hill on which to live.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #9
    I live in DC! And honestly if you can afford to live in DC I'm not sure why you'd pick Arlington. As others suggested, def look into Old Town Alexandria. If you're looking specifically for urban, that's really the only spot in Alexandria you want to be though high rises are pretty few and far between. FYI however, Metro is shutting down the Yellow line (only line with access to Old Town) for several months next year so that's something to keep in mind for commuting. If you want to look into DC, I think you'd like the Logan Circle area.

    ETA: In regards to flooding, def check basements if you're going for a house and ask about sump pumps, etc. I'd also check for drains. My basement has had minor flooding with all this crazy rain we've had, but it's nothing I couldn't handle and I didn't have any damage or anything.
    ~Becca~


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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    I live in DC! And honestly if you can afford to live in DC I'm not sure why you'd pick Arlington. As others suggested, def look into Old Town Alexandria. If you're looking specifically for urban, that's really the only spot in Alexandria you want to be though high rises are pretty few and far between. FYI however, Metro is shutting down the Yellow line (only line with access to Old Town) for several months next year so that's something to keep in mind for commuting. If you want to look into DC, I think you'd like the Logan Circle area.
    Why is Alexandria better than Arlington? I know next to nothing about the area. It seems like our money would go further in Arlington, but it sounds like there's some reason Alexandria is worth paying more, maybe? What is better about Alexandria?

    When the yellow line is shut down, will there be bus service of some kind to replace it, or some other way to get the the Pentagon?

    One big draw is being close to our many friends in the area, and most of them are in Alexandria. And while we do have a fairly good budget, not spending all of it (or getting more/better for what we do spend!) is always better.

    With that in mind, any additional insight?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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