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Fat Robert
02-15-2008, 09:11 AM
if I was to end up at VTS (arlington), will we need to part with our lab and golden? i can't see those dogs in an apartment for three years -- and i suspect that 130,000 would not go very far in the housing market.... and how would the riding be if i was within, say, 20 minutes of VTS?

trying to do some hypothetical quality of life compare-contrast with Sewanee....

znfdl
02-15-2008, 09:16 AM
Robert, what is VTS?

Acotts
02-15-2008, 09:18 AM
Yeah, I hve been in the area for four years and I have no idea what VTS is.

AS far as the biking goes, I think it is pretty good out here.

rdparadise
02-15-2008, 09:31 AM
Looked up VTS, Arlington and came up with the above. Not sure.

What you say Fat Robert?

Bob

johnnymossville
02-15-2008, 09:47 AM
I think that's the place.

sc53
02-15-2008, 09:56 AM
I live about 2 miles from the Va Theological Seminary and have both a Lab and a Golden. Plenty of places to walk dogs and off-leash areas to let them run. No need to leave your retrievers behind if you make a move up here. Beware of hideous traffic in this area though, hard to get around by car. OK by foot and by bike.

Fat Robert
02-15-2008, 11:32 AM
yeah -- virginia theological seminary. i'm looking at that school, and sewanee...

my concern is a yard. big dogs need yards. as much as i would like to say that my wife and i would make sure we walked the dogs each day, sometimes our pooches just get the 20-minute fetch frenzy, which fits into our schedule and tires them out more than the 1hr walk.

is housing pretty much insane in arlington?

HSG Racer
02-15-2008, 11:37 AM
I'm in Bethesda which is on the Maryland side and cycling is very good here. Traffic is worse on the Virginia side but there is the W&OD trail and the Mt. Vernon trail and both are quite pleasant and at least 15 miles long. The area is dog friendly for the most part but with a 130,000 annual salary, you may need to settle for an apartment unless you are willing live in the exurbs and put up with long commutes. Even the exurbs are expensive around here.

Fat Robert
02-15-2008, 11:45 AM
I'm in Bethesda which is on the Maryland side and cycling is very good here. Traffic is worse on the Virginia side but there is the W&OD trail and the Mt. Vernon trail and both are quite pleasant and at least 15 miles long. The area is dog friendly for the most part but with a 130,000 annual salary, you may need to settle for an apartment unless you are willing live in the exurbs and put up with long commutes. Even the exurbs are expensive around here.


we would be down to one income, with my wife making well under 100,00 a year (our present combined income is under that)

sounds like VTS is not a good option unless we give up the pooches

sbornia
02-15-2008, 11:51 AM
dood - what about GTU in Berkeley? If the theological bent fits, you might like it out here for a few years. And the pups would *love* it.

djg
02-15-2008, 12:31 PM
Is your wife also a school teacher? I ask only because Arlington, Virginia has a pretty darn good pay scale for public school teachers (it's based on education -- for example, there's a stepwise salary scale for a BA only, a certain number of grad hours, etc.). The Ph.D. track for teachers (not administrators) runs to about a hundred grand. On top of that, Arlington has, or at least had until recently, a program to help its teachers afford housing in the county (and it's a tiny county -- smallest in the US if I'm not mistaken). There are some good parks for dogs, as well as some dog parks in some of the dense parts of Arlington (there's one in Clarendon, for instance).

The area is expensive -- perhaps shockingly so compared to South Carolina -- but it is not devoid of reasonably priced housing. I'd investigate particulars first, and make a decision about where you could afford to live, and whether you could keep the dogs, second. BTW, you can sometimes do pretty well renting a house for a year or two if you seem respectable -- it's a town where all sorts of folks have to take off for a while (World Bank, or whatever).

Pete Serotta
02-15-2008, 12:35 PM
There are LAB and Golden rescue societies. IF you have a hard time finding one in your area let me know. I am sure that SMILEY and his wife know of some in Maryland/VA area also. Hopefully you can keep them. I have two labs now, or I would be more than happy with them.

PETE

bobscott
02-15-2008, 01:09 PM
There is great riding in the Sewanee Tenn area..put that into the decision mix.
bobscott

bcm119
02-15-2008, 01:21 PM
Perhaps Sandy could walk your dogs for you...

Fat Robert
02-15-2008, 03:02 PM
thanks for the feedback

this is all a year or so off, but i've been encouraged to start picking options now....

we'll see

davids
02-15-2008, 05:29 PM
Boston is going to miss you.

scrooge
02-15-2008, 06:51 PM
thanks for the feedback

this is all a year or so off, but i've been encouraged to start picking options now....

we'll see

Curious...M. Div?

saab2000
02-15-2008, 06:51 PM
We are in a similar situation. I have struggled with DC/Northern VA since I returned from Europe. I work there but can't really afford to live there, or at least not to own a place like I would like. To call it expensive is an massive understatement.

When in Arlington I stay at my brother's house near the East Falls Church Metro stop. A dump of a house would be a cool half million. No joke. The townhome/condo I bought in Grand Rapids, MI last summer would be $600K in the Arlington area. It was $159K in Mich Mich.

The cycling is a bit odd. If you know where to go and when to go and who to go with (Too Tall, ZNFNDL, et al) you can find some good riding. But it is either urban or suburban. You will have to ride a while to really get out of town. Those who are from there say it's pretty good riding. But for those who have experienced some other places it is somewhat compromised. But otherwise there are some very good points.

There is a great ride almost every day at Hayne's Point park in the district and it is a great 1-hour training ride. Criterium like speed.

Maryland and rural virginia have some good riding.

My experiences:

Plusses:

- lots of women (not a big issue for Fat Robert)
- Group rides every day
- Georgetown
- Excellent public transit (By US standards)
- Good newspaper
- Hayne's Point ride
- Sunday morning rides at the Bike Rack
- W&OD trail on cold, cloudy days


Negatives:

- Very, very expensive lodging
- Traffic
- Rich people who are very annoying in Georgetown
- Partisan politics - lying, cheating, self serving politicians of both D&R persuasions
- Long distances to get out of town to go riding.
- W&OD trail on warm sunny days.


It is a nice area if you can afford it. Not as nice if traffic causes you stress.

Visit the place. Plusses and Minusses exist - as everywhere.

Too Tall
02-15-2008, 10:26 PM
All I heard was FatMo might move to our local :) Woo Hoo. I'll hope for the best my brother.

Fat Robert
02-15-2008, 11:30 PM
maybe, tt

maybe

anyway, taking washington is no problem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUiCYAE2DY

Too Tall
02-16-2008, 07:31 AM
maybe, tt

maybe

anyway, taking washington is no problem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUiCYAE2DY

Yah might need a little help. You have a ready built support crew waiting :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXCUBVS4kfQ

rhmiller
02-16-2008, 08:08 AM
I've recently moved to the NoVA from overseas. I lived here before and knew what I was getting into. Haven't ridden much since being back, but I'd like to change that. Anyway, while overseas I wanted to save up for a 20% down payment. Well, the prices exploded, and while I have the 20% I still couldn't afford the monthly PITI. So I didn't buy. I rent, and I'm fine with it.

I don't know what your expectations are, but you can look for rentals at http://www.realtor.com. Rents have dropped a lot in the last 6 months. In the area I'm in (West Springfield) single family houses started at $2000k/month. Not they start at $1700 or so. Townhouses can be had for even less.

Here are two blogs that talk about housing. One is general the other is specific to this area:
http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/
http://novabubblefallout.blogspot.com/

Note the price drops in the farther out regions haven't been matched closer in yet. 11 years ago you could get a small cape in Falls Church for $150k. We may see those days again.

Good luck!

palincss
02-16-2008, 08:23 AM
The cycling is a bit odd. If you know where to go and when to go and who to go with (Too Tall, ZNFNDL, et al) you can find some good riding. But it is either urban or suburban. You will have to ride a while to really get out of town. Those who are from there say it's pretty good riding. But for those who have experienced some other places it is somewhat compromised. But otherwise there are some very good points.


About the cycling in the Washington DC metro area: there's a tremendous variety here, much more than in most areas. We have within an hour to an hour and a half drive everything from major mountains (Blue Ridge and Catoctins) to flatlands (Eastern Shore), with plenty of rolling terrain in the Piedmont (e.g., Marshall) and in Southern Maryland. We have a fantastic rural dirt road network out in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, the heart of Virginia Hunt Country, that's a 650B paradise. We have Amish and Mennonites. We have rural farming, and some spots where you'll ride for 15 miles through a forest and not see more than a couple of dozen houses and maybe 3 automobiles the whole time. We even have Chesapeake Bay watermen country.

I'm not sure there's anywhere else that has quite that much variety within easy driving distance.

The downside is to get to all of that, you have to drive outside the city and the surrounding Sprawl. While the drive for those who live in the exurbs during the week is sheer hell, on the weekends it's not so bad. I live close the the center of it all, in Alexandria - very nice for commuting to work, which I've been doing for the past 28 years - and I can get to all of Southern MD, Frederick County, NoVa west of the Sprawl and the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 60-75 minutes driving, and in another 15 min. I can be over the Bay Bridge and on the Eastern Shore, or over the Blue Ridge and into the Shenandoah Valley.

djg
02-16-2008, 09:02 AM
About the cycling in the Washington DC metro area: there's a tremendous variety here, much more than in most areas. We have within an hour to an hour and a half drive everything from major mountains (Blue Ridge and Catoctins) to flatlands (Eastern Shore), with plenty of rolling terrain in the Piedmont (e.g., Marshall) and in Southern Maryland. We have a fantastic rural dirt road network out in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, the heart of Virginia Hunt Country, that's a 650B paradise. We have Amish and Mennonites. We have rural farming, and some spots where you'll ride for 15 miles through a forest and not see more than a couple of dozen houses and maybe 3 automobiles the whole time. We even have Chesapeake Bay watermen country.

I'm not sure there's anywhere else that has quite that much variety within easy driving distance.

The downside is to get to all of that, you have to drive outside the city and the surrounding Sprawl. While the drive for those who live in the exurbs during the week is sheer hell, on the weekends it's not so bad. I live close the the center of it all, in Alexandria - very nice for commuting to work, which I've been doing for the past 28 years - and I can get to all of Southern MD, Frederick County, NoVa west of the Sprawl and the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 60-75 minutes driving, and in another 15 min. I can be over the Bay Bridge and on the Eastern Shore, or over the Blue Ridge and into the Shenandoah Valley.

All good points, to which I'll add two. The inner burbs, like Arlington (once a part of DC proper) and Bethesda might be a good long ride, or even a drive, from quiet country roads, but they do offer access to pretty good versions of urban and suburban cycling. There's Rock Creek Park -- starting in the city and extending up into Maryland -- stretches of which are closed to traffic on weekends. There's Haines Point, dead flat, and right in the city, but it's a nice park operated by the national park service and the main loop has a very good road surface, light and slow traffic, and river views on all sides. And there are some nice suburban hill loops in north Arlington -- quiet wooded suburban neighborhoods with bike lanes and hills.

Second, you like to race a bit. There's racing around here. Teams, races, road, cross, etc.

cody.wms
02-18-2008, 03:34 PM
If your looking to buy a condo in the seminary area, check out Alexandria West, specifically roads like Beauregard on the other side of Landmark Mall. Some of them are nice, some are not at all. Its one of the more affordable areas within the beltway. I've been looking at places recently, feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more about it.

Sewanee is an odd area. I have several friends that grew up on the Grundy county side. Grundy has a poor reputation. Currently there is a methamphetamine problem, and before that there was a stolen car problem and a marijuana problem. The Franklin county side is much nicer. Overall, it is a beautiful area that is becoming more popular and more developed.