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    Relocation to VA?

    What's up guys

    I grew up in the SF bay area, CA, and a few years ago moved to Connecticut because I had a close friend out here and housing is way cheaper. Now that my girlfriend of 3 years and I are seriously considering home ownership, we are also considering moving out of state due to CT's high property taxes. She is a high school chemistry teacher and the web says Virginia (particularly Charlottesville) is one of the better states for teacher's salary, which is great because property taxes would be roughly 1/4 what we would be paying here. I don't have a college education so her job is the main focus. She has a great job now at a small town public school so if we were to move I want to make sure it's a move in the right direction.

    So.. anything to look out for? Keep in mind? I know speeding tickets are punishable by death, but anything else to consider? We're looking at 3br/2ba houses ready to live in 150-200k. Where's a nice place to live? We went on vacation to DC last summer and took the whole tour including Alexandria and I have to say, the weather was super nice and relaxing. There's something exciting about being on the coast where everything happens.

    Thought I'd ask r3v for opinions because I value what you guys think :up: Any input would be fantastic!

    edit - forgot to mention.. my car was originally sold new in VA so... fate?
    Last edited by Das Delfin; 02-15-2016, 10:01 PM.

    it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels

    That's pretty far away from civilization, aka DC/Baltimore area. Richmond is not civilization, but even that's a hike. Unless you're going for the small town life style, then it's probably perfect. I would visit it first, obviously, because a DC vacation can't equate in any meaningful way to living out there. It's not the coast, it's the mountains if it's anything. And it's way off the 95 corridor, so getting anywhere is going to be a pain.

    The upside is that the Shenendoahs are really pretty, land is going to be cheap, and you could get a nice 3 car garage.

    Montgomery County, MD has really great schools if she can get a job there. Land prices are higher.
    AWD > RWD


      I guess I dont like civilization then, I avoid DC like the plague...

      Charlottesville is a great town but it's definitely more of a valley town than coastal. Richmond/Cville has a pretty good sized E30 crowd too.
      - 90 325is


        Get married.

        Then she needs to read up on the schools. In the DC Metro area and NoVA, she will see diversity. There are big challenges that come with it from a classroom management perspective.

        South VA is another animal which I cannot speak for from personal experience. It is well away from DC. Like Kershaw said, your trip to DC has no resemblance to the area. Richmond is far away. There is a VA member or two active that will be able to chime in.

        For homes, search! Realize what you need vs want. Starter home? Kids in future and will need good schools? Always scope out area at different days of week and times of day to get a pulse on neighborhood. Renting may be better. She buying it on her dime/name? See first comment.

        Many folks who work in MD or DC make the trip into VA for better balance of living options... right over the bridge type places.

        She does not have a job in VA? Good pay for a teacher... they may be flush with applicants and can sometimes meet staffing needs from within. She may need to transfer/renew/retest certification? Retake the Praxis? You have a job lined up.. start looking even? Any money saved up to cushion ya'll for a bit? Moving can be pricey. Buying a house even more so!

        Good luck. Where in CT?
        ACS S3 Build / Dinan 5 E34


          Thanks for the replies. We're near Hartford. We were looking at places on the eastern part of the state, which is more rural. So rural is fine and a three car garage would be icing on the cake :up:

          She used to work at a magnet school which bussed inner city kids out of the inner city with the hope that they'd get a good education. She prefers the job she has now, teaching to polite kids in a farm town. She just got her intermediate teaching certificate so she's set if she has to transfer to another state. She's a chemistry teacher, who are generally in demand.

          Really what got us thinking about relocating is the insane amount of property tax we'd have to pay (over 4k/year on a 175k house). You may have read about GE relocating to Massachusetts.. taxes are a serious problem here both for the homeowner and businessman.

          We've perused etc and have found a few houses we like in the western part of the state but really haven't explored much. I think I need to find a city to start with and then poke around its neighboring towns until we find something we like. But where should I start? Definitely going to start with the Richmond area. I would rather live closer to the coast but I think our budget will decide that.

          Anything weird about VA? Here my bmw is exempt from emissions and I can run antique plates on a daily driver. Also there is property tax on cars here. Anything like that in VA?

          it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels


            Didn't know about GE. Family in Fairfield.

            VA has antique plates. VA Troopers can be vicious. Know the law and do as you see fit. Taxes, got to let a local chime in.

            Get on Google Earth, get a good idea of area. There can be pockets of good/bad in bad/good.
            ACS S3 Build / Dinan 5 E34



              Just sayin'

              Sent from my LG-H901 using Tapatalk


                Used to live in NoVa and it's costly as everyone mentioned. Traffic out the wazu, but you learn what time of the day you can use certain roads otherwise you coup.

                Most of NoVa has started migrating down toward Danville and Fredricksberg making for god ugly commutes if you work in the brain dump zone of DC. Not worth it if you spend 3.5 hours of your day in a car commuting 5 days a week.

                Wages are decent but they have to be when a condo costs 300-500k depending on where you are. I for one love the weather,it still has snow and winter so When we retire we are consider that the farthest south we are moving because we both can't stand being hot.

                I'm just north of you and pay roughly the same in taxes on our 1st home. it's $3800 on a house built in 1897 and is 1315 sq feet with 3 beds and two baths and the house is on a postage stamp of a lot 0.32 of an acre, compared to our new house 12 miles away. It's 4100 for 1.5 acres and 2800 sq feet plus 3 beds and 3 baths a pool and a post and beam barn. That being said my taxes in Alexandria were 4500 in 2005 for a 4 bed 3 bath condo with a 2 car garage and 0.18 acre postage stamp and a HOA.

                Avoid them, HOA's are the bain of car guy existence. The love to dictate to you what you can and can't do with your property.


                  Antique plates in VA are only for occasional use vehicles. Basically they want you to drive them to antique car shows and that's it. If they catch you DDing it to work or just to the grocery store they'll give you a ticket.

                  Property costs outside of northern VA are reasonable. Anywhere near the beltway and a 2br townhouse will cost you life and limb. +1 to everyone mentioning traffic, shitty cops, sshiiiiiiiity drivers. Im actually trying ot move out of the area. Just don't think its very car enthusiast friendly.

                  "Not putting miles on your M3 is like not having sex with your girlfriend so she'll be more desirable to her next boyfriend..." -Someone Awesome


                    I live in Albemarle County (surrounds Charlottesville), 3br/2ba houses are more in the $200k-$300k range, taxes are $.82/$100. Teacher salaries are $45k starting, $50k with 10 yrs exp, $55k 17 yrs exp.


                      Originally posted by Das Delfin View Post
                      Definitely going to start with the Richmond area.
                      Richmond still hasn't recovered from the race riots of the 60s. I've only been there a few times because my sister went to VCU. I try to stay out of that city. Hell, I stay out of that state.

                      As other people have said, VA troopers are no joke. Seriously. They passed a law a few years back for speeding that was $2000/year for 3 years. IIRC they tried giving it to an out of state person and were met with "That's blatantly unconstitutional." Then it was made for only VA residents. I think it was repealed eventually though. Seriously, VA is not for speeders. I hate when I see their drivers in MD on 95. They're the ones going 65 in the left lane and causing a mile long traffic jam.

                      Maryland is much better. We have our own bs laws sure, especially concerning guns, and what not, but it's much better than VA. Plenty of rural areas in MD too, if that's your thing. If you want to live out in rural areas AND near the coast, check out Salisbury.
                      AWD > RWD


                        Originally posted by Kershaw View Post
                        Richmond is not civilization, but even that's a hike.
                        Originally posted by Kershaw View Post
                        Richmond still hasn't recovered from the race riots of the 60s. I've only been there a few times because my sister went to VCU. I try to stay out of that city. Hell, I stay out of that state.
                        Whoa dude, cool your tits! That's a pretty broad brush you're using based on a handful of visits from what must have been several years ago.

                        Richmond (RVA) has changed a lot since I moved here in 2008. VCU is buying tons of land, people are moving back to gentrify, and the city is working hard to change it's image. RVA is basically an eastern Portland complete with hipsters, thriving music/arts, amazing restaurants, too many breweries, and an awesome river. That being said, there is also a racial/economic divide among the residents and one neighborhood can be very different from one neighborhood to the next. Overall it's a great city and I've loved living here.

                        OP, I have lived in the City Richmond for the past 8 years, have owned a house in the city for 5 years, and have lived in VA for most of my life. So here are some things to consider:
                        -No collective bargaining for teachers in VA, so picking a good school system is very important.
                        -Generally speaking, Virginia gets very hot/humid in the summer and cold/rainy in the winter. But doesn't get much rain.
                        -Northern Va is is very crowded and is basically one giant suburb of DC.
                        -Most of VA is rural and exceptionally conservative.
                        -Charlottesville is pretty, but is also pretty yuppy because of UVA and their desire to be different than the rural areas around C-Ville.
                        -Property tax in VA is generally reasonable.
                        -Reckless driving is currently 80 mph or 20 mph over the speed limit. Reckless driving is an actual misdemeanor and you can to jail time for it. Also, radar/laser detectors are illegal.
                        -No smog unless you're in Northern VA.
                        -Antique plates (20+ year old cars) are a $50 one time fee with no registration, yearly state inspection, or milage restriction. BUT, you are limited to occasional pleasure drives, trips to the mechanic, and must be within 250 miles of home unless you're going to a show. HOWEVER, you are allowed unlimited trips to test the mechanical functionality of the car. Lots of people abuse this, but it's a class 4 misdemeanor and your antique plates are revoked for 5 years if you're convicted.
                        1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                        1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                        1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]


                          ^ Thanks! That's exactly what I'm looking for. I'll check out MD as well but from a brief look at their dmv, I'll have to smog the bmw :( which means I'll have to figure out how to get the check engine light to work

                          Bummed about the antique plates. I'd get normal plates to be safe. Here in CT the advantage of antique plates is that I pay pretty much no property tax on the car. To put it in perspective, my gf paid around $600 on her '13 Jetta last year and I paid somewhere around $12.

                          I haven't gotten a speeding ticket in years so I'm not really concerned. I mean I drive a 30 year old bmw...

                          So the plan of attack is start in south eastern VA and work my way west ;)

                          I love the snow. Call me crazy but driving in the snow in my bmw was the first time I really started to enjoy the east coast. So I'm hoping it still snows! At least it did this year!

                          Thanks for the tips, guys. My girl and I will hit google maps and see what we come up with. Anything else, keep it coming

                          it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels


                            While it looks like MD is out of the area you're considering but you can easily use our historic plate scheme to skip emissions/safety inspections on any 20+ year old car. I totally do not use that for 4/5 of my registered cars, nor do I drive those on a daily basis at all.

                            In MD speed camera tickets are only $40, and can be used as a good v-max reference or as a friendly competition with others as they send you a neat photo of your car and list your actual speed! Further, going 20 over in many places in MD will net you nothing, not a glance, not a tag-along-bumper-buddy, not even an evil look. The only time I, a habitual, but careful speeder, have been caught it was for er, let's say 81, which is what the kind officer wrote. In reality, if that were VA I'd have been arrested, pilloried, whipped and whatever other antiquated tortures they deem fitting for such a heinous & nefarious act.

                            Snow can be a bit of an issue for the majority of drivers in the DC metro area, as in 2" and you can expect a near complete shutdown. Other areas, like the panhandle or SoMD, don't sweat it.

                            In MD you will not pay a yearly additional personal property taxes on cars, as in VA, unless I've somehow avoided them for all these years. Property tax for cars, fuck that, live in MD, the land of merely continually nibbling taxes.


                              Originally posted by McGyver View Post
                              Whoa dude, cool your tits! That's a pretty broad brush you're using based on a handful of visits from what must have been several years ago.
                              Well maybe you can show me the cool side of Richmond sometime. It has been a few years since I've been there.

                              Since Maryland is not a Commonwealth, you don't pay property taxes on cars. Own as many e30s as you want! I've registered all my cars historic. My DD e36 is historic. No inspection, no smog. Historic tags are "occasional use only," but I've never seen a cop care. In fact, one cop asked me, "what is occasional use? One hour out of the day?"

                              The only time I've been ticketed for speeding was when I was doing 97 in a 55. It was a gloriously sunny early afternoon Sunday and there were no cars on the road except me and the cop. Cop wrote 74 so it wouldn't be reckless driving which would increase the points/fine. I went to court and the points were dropped. I've definitely had a few other warnings though. Lol.
                              AWD > RWD