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Old 08-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #21
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I'm in N. Virginia near DC too. Would never ever buy anywhere near DC. One co-worker said the commute he had was so bad he partially ended up getting divorced over it. 1-person apartment rents are insane. Luckily 2-3+ person apartments are reasonable, so I'm only paying $800/month for rent+all utilities, with a 10 minute commute.

Once I can telework though, I'm planning on moving to an area with even better internet, better utilities, better weather, less costly food, non-insane driving conditions, $8k less in taxes, at least as safe an area, if not safer, and where I can get a decent house for $100k. Being chained to a particular area by a job is the worst.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #22
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I've never understood how anyone could afford to live on much of the west coast, much of the northeast (excluding well inland in both cases), near DC or Hawaii. Lots of absolutely wonderful places that I live to visit and would enjoy living near, but out of reach for ordinary Americans it seems.
Buying a run-down fixer-upper on Oahu in 1989 took every nickel we had, but dual income helped for a while. In the meantime we put a lot of sweat equity into it.

Buying again in 2000 meant another run-down fixer-upper, but this time the market was down at the pits. The home is in a much better neighborhood with a great school. Lots more sweat equity was required. It's doubled in value over the last decade and we couldn't afford to buy it today.

The bargains are here for the finding. Commutes are problematic but I did a lot of bicycling... and when you're deployed for six months you don't care about a commute.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:30 AM   #23
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I'm in N. Virginia near DC too. Would never ever buy anywhere near DC. One co-worker said the commute he had was so bad he partially ended up getting divorced over it. 1-person apartment rents are insane. Luckily 2-3+ person apartments are reasonable, so I'm only paying $800/month for rent+all utilities, with a 10 minute commute.

Once I can telework though, I'm planning on moving to an area with even better internet, better utilities, better weather, less costly food, non-insane driving conditions, $8k less in taxes, at least as safe an area, if not safer, and where I can get a decent house for $100k. Being chained to a particular area by a job is the worst.
You are right. The traffic here in the DC area is horrid. I'm fortunate to have a home office so that is a non factor for me. The only thing I really hate about this area is the weather.

So what area are you planning on moving to?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #24
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You are right. The traffic here in the DC area is horrid. I'm fortunate to have a home office so that is a non factor for me. The only thing I really hate about this area is the weather.

So what area are you planning on moving to?
Currently thinking near Chattanooga TN. My only absolute criteria are low-taxes, including no income tax, and fiber optic internet being in the area. That actually limits it quite a lot.

The other matching areas are Tampa FL, Seattle WA, and most of Texas. However, municipal fiber is starting to catch on, so more areas might pop up in a couple years before I move. Not happy about Verizon, the only commercial fiber provider, killing their fiber network.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #25
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I'm in Northern VA (outside of DC) too. When my friend was looking into moving to the area, I mentioned that the biggest downsides to the area were traffic and housing prices. But, I also told him, that you just need to think of it as putting more of your Asset Allocation toward housing. It's an investment.

Wife and I bought a 40-yr-old townhouse back in 2008 for $380k. It's probably worth roughly the same today, and we've been hammering at our mortgage with double payments. But, we both have relatively high incomes. As someone said earlier, the Federal Government has made this area recession-proof when it comes to employment.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #26
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Currently thinking near Chattanooga TN. My only absolute criteria are low-taxes, including no income tax, and fiber optic internet being in the area. That actually limits it quite a lot.
Plex, be aware of the "Hall tax" in Tennessee. Applies only to dividend and interest income, but is 6% surprise if one overlooks it when seeing no income tax here. Individual Income Tax
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #27
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As someone said earlier, the Federal Government has made this area recession-proof when it comes to employment.
Stand by, amigo....
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