Washington DC/Northern VA — The Bump
Military Families

Washington DC/Northern VA

DH and I arrived here yesterday and wow is it a bit overwhelming in size! We have been living on an island the last couple of years so this more than three high ways is a bit much. Today we are looking at homes and I was wondering if anyone had any experience in the area. One of us will be working near DC and the other at Belvoir.

BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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Re: Washington DC/Northern VA

  • IlumineIlumine
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
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    It all depends on the specific location.  Areas can go from good to sketchy to amazing to crappy in minutes. 

    I do suggest that you find someplace that is w/in walking distance to the Springfield Metro Station. that way only one is walki g and the other can take the metro or slug it in to work.

     

     I would do a condo or townhouse, since it's just you two and SS on breaks.  

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  • I'm from that area! Yeah no ones knows traffic until they live in DC lol.  Stay out of Southeast DC that is probably the roughest part.  If you are near the Manassas area stay away from Dale City, PM me if you want anymore specific info.  Metro is good just I wouldn't ride it at night...thats just me though.
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  • My brother lives up in DC near Chinatown and loves it. He lived in the Alexandria area prior and both areas are very safe and lively.
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  • ccole32ccole32
    10 Comments
    member

    My DH will be working in the Naval hospital late this summer.  We are moving down there in July.  We found a place in Rockville. 

     

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  • We just moved from the Manassas area. I have lived in Merrifield, Manassas, and Alexandria. If you need any recommendations, feel free to PM me. I would definitely try to live near the metro. I loved having access.
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  • image Ilumine:

    It all depends on the specific location.  Areas can go from good to sketchy to amazing to crappy in minutes. 

    I do suggest that you find someplace that is w/in walking distance to the Springfield Metro Station. that way only one is walki g and the other can take the metro or slug it in to work.

     

     I would do a condo or townhouse, since it's just you two and SS on breaks.  

    Yes, it is overwhelming. Traffic can be awful and rent gets expensive. It sounds like there are a number of us who have lived in the area. We moved from Alexandria in March.

    I don't think either of your work assignments is Metro accessible, unless you also take a bus. Springfield is a good place to look, just be sure you have multiple routes to work--highway and surface streets.

    Be prepared to spend more than you would like. We maxed out DH's BAH--and he's been in for 17 years, so he received a sizable allowance. We opted for a close-in location rather than more space, a yard and a garage. We lived about a block and a half from the Braddock Road Metro station, in a townhouse. But, DH's commute was about 20 minutes, from our door to his desk (which included multiple security checks). He was not stressed out from commuting. This was our choice.

    Househunting is stressful. Are you using AHRN? That's where I found our place. Do you have specific neighborhoods you are looking at? It's not fun, but I would get up and drive around both posts during morning rush hour. Try trial runs on commutes before signing a lease. Also, drive the neighborhood at night.

    We lived in an apartment, in Alexandria, on Duke Street, when we were newlyweds. There was a fire station across the street (tucked behind a McDonalds) that was quite busy in the wee-hours. And, the security lighting in the complex was fabulous! So much so that we didn't need reading lights to read in bed at night. Blackout shades weren't enough to cut out the light. While not deal-breakers, necessarily, we should have done a bit more research.

    Let us know if you have questions. And, ask anybody you encounter, while in processing, who might have any insight. Ask where they live and what their commute is like. Good luck!
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  • image Smudges*Mom:
    image Ilumine:

    It all depends on the specific location.  Areas can go from good to sketchy to amazing to crappy in minutes. 

    I do suggest that you find someplace that is w/in walking distance to the Springfield Metro Station. that way only one is walki g and the other can take the metro or slug it in to work.

     

     I would do a condo or townhouse, since it's just you two and SS on breaks.  



    Househunting is stressful. Are you using AHRN? That's where I found our place. Do you have specific neighborhoods you are looking at? It's not fun, but I would get up and drive around both posts during morning rush hour. Try trial runs on commutes before signing a lease. Also, drive the neighborhood at night. Thank you for all the advice. Yes, we have looked through AHRN but nothing really meets our criteria. Having a garage as a "requirement" really takes a lot off of the market for us.


    Let us know if you have questions. And, ask anybody you encounter, while in processing, who might have any insight. Ask where they live and what their commute is like. Good luck! What have you heard about Kingstowne? We have found a few homes in that area that we like.

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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  • We are moving down this summer, but we went down in april to find a place. We settled in the burke area- somehow we got everything we wanted and insanely cheap which isn't the norm for burke, and we also had to consider schools this time. If you have no kids- i would look in the alexandria area for sure- easier commute.
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  • We just moved out of Fairfax. Loved it, and totally miss it. Good luck in the DC area!
    Logan Jack- 6.1.10 and Emmett Weston- 9.29.12 

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  • I've lived here in D.C. and all the surrounding areas since high school  - and married a military guy here now.

     Right now I live in Mount Vernon, which is the neighborhood outside of Belvoir. Husband works in D.C.

    If you find a place you can afford in Arlington, you're very lucky. If you live in Alexandria, live on the side of Richmond Hwy (Rt. 1) by the river - not on the other side where we live (shudder). There is so much crime on our side and we don't go out at night. 

    And if you can afford Kingstowne, that's the best place possible. 

    Because of traffic on Rt. 1, it's faster and less stressful during rush hour to drive to the Franconia/Springfield Metro rather than Huntington.

    Also, the hospital on Belvoir is superb. I had my boy there 6 months ago. 

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