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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So does anyone live around the Dahlgren, Virginia area?

How far away one has to go to find acreage? What is 10 acres costing with a little house?

Any horse riding/driving trail systems?

Good and bad points?
 

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When I first moved to Dahlgren in Jan. 1987 there wasn't anything around. They then built a McD's and a shopping center. When I left the area in 2002 it was getting more and more populated. Land/home prices were skyrocking. Dahlgren now has a bio lab (level 2 if I remember right). IMO, you will be hardpressed to find any reasonably priced acreage within 40+ miles. Believe it or not, people communte from Colonial Beach (south of Dahlgren) to D.C.

On the plus side, you are close to a lot of historical sites and D.C if you are interested. If you have an engineering degree/math degree/etc... and you can get a clearance you might be able to get a job at NSWC. There are a lot of Navy personnel and the associated defense contractors so the overall pay is pretty good (or used to be); I gave up a $52K base salary to move to SD and I didn't have a college degree at the time though I did have ~20 years of Aegis experience.

If you get the opportunity you might want to take a trip to the area. The nearest large city (IMO) was Fredericksburg but up the road (north) is Waldorf, MD with La Plata, MD in between.

Good luck.

.
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, DH does have that, X Navy and Clearance. He is talking to some folks about a job right now, which looks promissing.

We used to live in NH.. went down that way.. passing like but I don't remember much about it.

Oh.. I do believe people will communte a good distance to live some place nice. Which will make it a little harder for us to find the land we would like. DH is willing to go an hours distance from the place he will work, for some land.
 

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Crazy Dog Lady
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I live in the area.... since the real estate crash prices have become much more reasonable. But still expect to pay thru the nose, depending on where you are looking, how old the house is and what kind of condition its in.

Try looking at real estate on fredericksburg.com, that's the local newspaper online. They have a nice search feature in their real estate classifieds that makes it pretty darn easy to window shop.
 

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Crazy Dog Lady
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As to your willingness to drive an hour to work, I have a big caution for you....

The distance from the local bedroom town of Fredericksburg (where I live) to DC is 50 miles. However, commute time takes anywhere between 90 minutes and 4 hours, depending on how many accidents there are, what time you are travelling, if there are any major holidays, etc.

The Dalghren area is a bedroom town for DC as well. 20 years ago, it was cheaper to live there and commute in. Now, a decent townhouse in a safe neighborhood will set you back $200,000 or more. Want a single family home? You'll be able to reach out your window and touch your neighbor's house, and pay around $300,000 if you want anything that's not a "fixer-upper."

When I went house hunting in the Fredericksburg area, I found you generally have to be an hour outside of Fredericksburg to find farmland I could afford. Adding an extra hour to an already long commute wasn't an option, so I broke the bank and bought a forclosed house in an older neighborhood that was appraised at $320,000. For that I got .75 acres and an HOA that has more regulations than NASA.

I'm not trying to discourage you, there are deals out there to be had, no doubt. I just want to give you a little reality check.
 

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Well, as bluemoonluck has said, it depends on what you are looking at. "Around the corner" from me there are 10 acre land plots for sale at 100K in the woods being sold as "homesteading plots". There are also some places with acreage in the general area with houses/homes on them as well. You don't have to be an hour away from Dahlgren in order to have a plot of land with a home that is legally used for homesteading. 5+ acres generally will get you that in King George County, which is where Dahlgren is. It's not cheap, you are looking at anywhere from 200k+ for a serious fixer-upper, but prices are lower now than 3 years ago I’m sure. If you want to do the plot of land thingy, it may be cheaper in the long run, if you have the time and resources to do it. If time had been on our side, we would have gotten land and got a Deltec home, but alas we didn’t have time and our options sucked. There are also options in nearby counties, Caroline, Westmorland and even a section in southern part of Staford county (off 218), which are close enough to the base to commute with out it being a nightmare.

As it is, I live maybe 15 min. from base, not much to shake a stick at there though; most people go to Quantico for real Aafes and Commissary shopping. That base (Marine), is about 45 min. or so from Dahlgren. We're not city-folk, and DH does commute to DC daily, but luckily he's able to choose his own hours and works around rush hour traffic.

Any more questions?
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ouch......

Oh.. I have moved around enough for the last 25 years to know, places are never like you will hope they will be.

But... job is a job.
Sounds like the direction you go will make a difference in the drive time. Been surfing on line and notice a large number of houses with about 5 acres seem to be banked owned and the prices are no worse than here. Looks like the property tax is way cheaper too.
Was also wondering what kind of livestock restrictions the counties around Dahlgren have? Because I do not want to give up the horses I have left. I will let go and give up a lot but not them.

Niether one of us would be happy living in town, also been down the Townhouse route, when DH was in the Navy. Don't want to do that again.

Have to have my horses.. space for elbow room, garden and so on. Plus a happy DH... is a requirement.

Was thinking more of using 301... going down that direction...heading to one of these counties, Louise, Hanover,Fluvanna,Goochland etc. And in areas out of the flood plains.
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, as bluemoonluck has said, it depends on what you are looking at. "Around the corner" from me there are 10 acre land plots for sale at 100K in the woods being sold as "homesteading plots". There are also some places with acreage in the general area with houses/homes on them as well. You don't have to be an hour away from Dahlgren in order to have a plot of land with a home that is legally used for homesteading. 5+ acres generally will get you that in King George County, which is where Dahlgren is. It's not cheap, you are looking at anywhere from 200k+ for a serious fixer-upper, but prices are lower now than 3 years ago I’m sure. If you want to do the plot of land thingy, it may be cheaper in the long run, if you have the time and resources to do it. If time had been on our side, we would have gotten land and got a Deltec home, but alas we didn’t have time and our options sucked. There are also options in nearby counties, Caroline, Westmorland and even a section in southern part of Staford county (off 218), which are close enough to the base to commute with out it being a nightmare.

As it is, I live maybe 15 min. from base, not much to shake a stick at there though; most people go to Quantico for real Aafes and Commissary shopping. That base (Marine), is about 45 min. or so from Dahlgren. We're not city-folk, and DH does commute to DC daily, but luckily he's able to choose his own hours and works around rush hour traffic.

Any more questions?
So it sounds like we will not have to look for land and a house an hour away,, right off the bat. This is good.
DH would be working on the base at Dahlgren.
And Thank you for letting me know they will let one homestead in Kind George county. Thats a load off.
 

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I would stay closer to King George, down 218, 206, 205, Commorn, down to just past Port Royal in Caroline County, or no farther than Falmouth around 1 in southern Stafford, although there are a few right off hwy 3 in K.G. (a 4 lane non-interstate type hwy) that are for sale, one is by owner and it appears to have enough land and some out buildings.

As long as the property is stated ag and is 5+ acres you should be fine with "livestock" animals on your land. King George on paper is stricter than in reality.
 

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So it sounds like we will not have to look for land and a house an hour away,, right off the bat. This is good.
DH would be working on the base at Dahlgren.
And Thank you for letting me know they will let one homestead in Kind George county. Thats a load off.

Those homesteading plots are in King George County, on 218, on the west side of Commorn. I'd say about 15, or so, minutes from base. They're 10 acre plots in the woods, good hunting area, and I believe there are 9 plots left. I don't know if there are any roads made to go in there or not. There are swampy/boggy wet spots in that area so if you don't want any of that it would be good to look at each plot and how to get in before committing. There is also a house closer to 1 that has 14+ acres and out buildings for sale, not sure price and the condition of the house, but I can find out if you want. It's a bit farther, probably 1/2 hour on a good day to drive, since it's all 2 lane snake made roads. I'm sure there are more in other spots of the area, I don't go south much if at all.

If you want a name of a local Realtor, I'll be happy to provide you with a name of a gal that went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out when we were looking.
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much Reese for all the good info.
DH has 5 weeks left on this job....
He also doesn't mind 2 lane twisty roads... more fun on his Motorcycle in the summer months.

Yes, please.. PM the name of the local Realtor you used. Good ones are very hard to find!
 

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Yea, DH loves to ride his bike down 218. Check your PM. If you need anything else let me know, and if I can help I will.
 

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You could always move our side of the Potomac - doesn't take us an hour to get to Dahlgren and down around Newburg is closer and cheaper.
*snicker snort* :nana: LOLROF

I agree, but it'll also depend in various other things that are important to them, like taxes, that horrible bridge and the traffic to get across it, not to mention toll costs, and if there are other legal issues that may be important to them that are different between the two states. Yes, my bias is showing, but I agree, they shouldn't totally close that option door.
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Low property taxes (those taxes are really high here in Oregon), 5 acres of land has to be zoned for at least 4 horses..then owning chickens, having a garden, small orchard and all that. I would like to be near some riding or driving trails if possible. We both really prize, Peace & quiet.. very good neighbors a plus.
DH wouldn't like going across the bridge if it costs money.

But we will look at both sides when the time comes...
 

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I don't know about riding trails, but I think you'd do better to either ride on your own land or live off of back back roads and ride along those in this general area. There are lots of horse people around here and surrounding counties, so you won't lack that sort of company and information.

DH says that Caroline, Essex, Westmoreland, King George, and the very southern bit of Stafford counties would best suit your ideas here in VA, but don't look in the areas you posted above (Louise, Hanover,Fluvanna,Goochland), well you can look at Louise, but that may be too far time wise, since they are too far away. The H. Nice bridge toll is from MD into VA and it costs 3$ a pot unless you get fast pass which is a little less, but still adds up.
 

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*snicker snort* LOLROF

I agree, but it'll also depend in various other things that are important to them, like taxes, that horrible bridge and the traffic to get across it, not to mention toll costs, and if there are other legal issues that may be important to them that are different between the two states. Yes, my bias is showing, but I agree, they shouldn't totally close that option door.
I'll have to second the above. My wife is from Southern MD and personally, I wouldn't want to leave my dog there.

While I agree the local NEX/commisary isn't what it is at the larger bases I thought that it was pretty good, especially when they have the caselot sale. Many items can/could be found cheaper at the Food Lion store. We lived in Colonial Beach (Westmoreland county) but did look at a house on 20 acres in the next county (south). The only reason we didn't take it was because a sell was pending. It would have taken about an hour (one way) to get to work at Northrup Grumman. If he hasn't already found out, there are numerous companies that work on/around Dahlgren include Intecs, Intl. (it was a good company to work for) and CSC.

.
 

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I live in Lancaster County which is probably too far for you but I would definitely check out Westmoreland which has a small population and no real industry. Anything around Fredericksburg (or near I95) will cost a small fortune.
Also, consider that many carpool to Dahlgren. I have a nephew who lives outside of Richmond and a group takes turns making the drive.
 

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I'll have to second the above. My wife is from Southern MD and personally, I wouldn't want to leave my dog there.
If this isn't too much of a thread drift, I would like to ask why. I'm not from here so I won't be offended, but this is the only place in the US that I have lived and I like it. If it really is the armpit of the universe then maybe I am missing out on the Utopian adventure that is the rest of the USA. Educate me.
 

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Just living Life
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for all the info and insite everyone. Makes it a lot easier to start doing the first part of this possible move.
Say possible because I still have my fingers crossed he will find another job here. The one at Dalhgren is the only firm job option we have at the moment.
 
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