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Sadiegem
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:08 PM
This is very premature but I'm the kind of person who does best with change when I roll everything around in my head for a while and have a whole bunch of contingency plans.

Hubby is beginning the process of submitting resumes to the government and we may end up in the MD/VA/DC area some time this year. Obviously, nothing says this really will happen but, like I said, I do best when I have worked through my concerns by research.

I've been in Area I my entire horse life. I know the barns up here, I know the trainers, I know the events, I know the towns. I know nothing about the metro DC area except that it is expensive and crowded (with fabulous shopping so it isn't all bad!).

Is it even possible to live within a Metro commute of DC while still living within an easy commute of a boarding facility with good turn out?

I do realize that we couldn't be contemplating moving to a better location for eventing so that is good. But are there good lower level events (unrecognized are fine)? My filly is still too young to be started under saddle but, once that happens, I would like to get her out to a bunch of tadpole events as soon as she is going comfortably and up here there are a ton to pick from.

I'm not a fan of the heat/humidity. Do riders just ride ultra early/late or skip the hottest months the way many riders skip February in Maine?

Give me a great reason to move to this area so I can calm these butterflies! We may leave our own farm where my son and dogs can go out the back door to play without worry to living in a postage stamp lot or townhouse where the dogs are always on leashes and my son needs to be inside unless I'm with him (he's just 3). But, job security is worth a lot and I would love to see hubby without ulcers from worry.

Thanks for listening to this mostly lurker!

IronwoodFarm
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:18 PM
Well our traffic here is a good deal worse than anything Maine can offer except for having Bullwinkle traipsing on the roads. We just have deer. Location in the DC Metro area would be governed by where you have to work. You want a decent commute to wherever that would be.

As far as eventing in concerned, you are coming to one of the eventing hotspots in the country. You'll have lots of choices between recognized, unrecognized and schooling shows every weekend.

Anyway, no use worrying until you know 1)if DH gets the job and 2)where that job will be.

caffeinated
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:26 PM
A slightly less stressful government job option is the Social Security Administration. Headquarters is just outside Baltimore, and if you settle on the I-70 corridor you will experience much more tolerable traffic/commute (that said, I think getting hired here right now is pretty difficult, not many openings).

There's a huge eventing community here and loads of places to school and ride, but commuting from DC to just about anywhere is pretty awful (even jobs in surrounding areas, like Rockville or Gaithersburg, can be nutty).

I'm in Damascus (I actually rent a house on the same property where my horse is boarded, which is flipping awesome), north of Germantown, work in Baltimore and have it pretty easy. :)

Classic Melody
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:26 PM
That would be a big change! The DC metro area has a lot to offer in terms of horse stuff, but it will really come down to the location of your husband's job and how much of a commute he is willing to suffer. Then people can help you pinpoint certain areas that might work best for you.

As for the heat ... yeah. People do continue to ride throughout the summer, but I personally do not like to compete in July/August. A lot of people do, though. Overall, it's a very horsey area, it's just that things are spread apart, and an 8 mile commute can take 45 minutes or more every day depending on where you are.

caffeinated
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:27 PM
As for the heat ... yeah. People do continue to ride throughout the summer, but I personally do not like to compete in July/August. A lot of people do, though.

The biggest issue I've noticed with summer isn't so much the heat/humidity, but the footing. Seems like it always dries out badly at some point and the ground can be very, very hard.

kkindley
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:29 PM
traffic aside, it's a great area! Where will he possibly be? (I'm at APG). There
s areas around here to suit everybody. You can find places that are out of the way, or smack dab in the middle of things. There are farms and trainers to suit every need, price, and personality too! But yes, GETTING the job first is important, and that will determine where to look, because that will make a huge difference on where you look (and prices!). Best of luck to him!

oh, and you do get used to the weather. I usually work days, so I ride in the evenings, around 5or 6. Usually pretty decent out by then. And there are TONS of small schooling events within an hour of me. I'm in Harford County.

AppendixQHLover
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:33 PM
What type of government position would he be looking for?

There is also Pax River Navy Base in southern Maryland. Quite a few government jobs down here.

As you get closer to DC the traffic can make you insane at times. I have had to go into Arlington for work and have been ready to curse everybody out on the beltway.

Also the closer you get to DC the more expensive board is. You go further from DC the board $$ drops but it is a long trip to DC.

analise
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:40 PM
The trick is considering where he might be (like others have mentioned).

There will be a HUGE difference in where you want to live and board if he's working in downtown DC or if he ends up over in Annapolis, or up at Aberdeen (on the other side of Baltimore!) or down at Andrews (southeast side of the Beltway) or down in Northern Virginia or wherever.

If you know he's mostly only applying at places that are only located in one particular area (or two areas), then you might be able to narrow your search. If he's applying at a lot of places or at an agency with a lot of satellite locations where he might be posted but still be in the Baltimore/Washington "area"...it gets more iffy.

HOWEVER, you're definitely in a good spot for eventing, from what I've seen, and plenty of barns around here seem to do turnout. I've seen a lot of places out in western Howard county (along I-70), down in Montgomery county (Damascus/Gaithersburg/Potomac areas) that would likely suit.

I'd suggest taking a gander periodically through the Equiery classifieds (http://classified.equiery.com/) and see what barns might interest you. The Equiery also has a riding and boarding stables directory (click the "horsin' around in Maryland" link) that might give you some good leads too. Plus you can search in the classifieds to see what kinds of shows and events are coming up. :)

Sadiegem
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:41 PM
Thanks guys! If this happens we really do hope to live close/on the Metro so the commute is more reliable and less at the whim of car accidents, weather, etc. Both of us did the Boston commute for years before the luxury of Maine and would hate to go back to 90 -120 minute commutes.

Currently he is looking at Dept of Army and IRS positions. I believe both state Metro DC as the location but we've been told that once you are in the system, your resume is available to other areas so it's completely open to opportunity.

I do know I'm jumping the gun but he really needs something new before the end of the year unless there is a major change at his current position and that would take a force of nature to happen. My first hope is that we end up back in Boston but that market isn't exactly booming right now.

Caffeinated, thanks for the suggestion about the SSA (even though they aren't hiring)! I agree, Baltimore would be a better option for us with young children, horses and dogs.

Sonoma City
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:46 PM
This area is fabulous for eventing! I used to be in Area I, and it doesn't even compare to down here :) There are more green bean events and shows than you can imagine, so no worries there! You can make the commute work. Once you find out where your husband's job is, and where your job will be, you can plan where to live and where to board as your "triangle commute" as I like to call it! Traffic can be bad, but you can work around it. I get into work by 7:30am each day and am out by 4 and don't hit much traffic at all. My barn is 25 mins (without traffic) from my work in DC, and my horse has a lovely 6 acre pasture with a few other horses, indoor, outdoor ring, trails, etc. 6 acres probably seems small to a lot of people, but it's certainly enough to let them romp around and the grass stays nice. So, moral of the story, you'll figure out the horse situation once you know what's going on in the rest of your life. There are loads of options, you just have to look for them! So come back on this board when you have things more firm and we'll help you find a nice place for your horse to live :)

yellowbritches
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:49 PM
It IS possible to live here and have a Metro commute to work and an ok commute to your horse. However, all things are relative- what long time DC Metro area horse people consider an ok or good commute to their horses can often leave newbies reeling. Depending on how in you want/need to be, you should expect 45 min or more to get to your horse.

I have dealt with a lot of clients who insist upon living very close in who struggle with the commute to their horses. My suggestion would always be to live further out, closer to the end of a Metro line (ie, if you live near the Shady Grove metro- Germantown, Gaithersburg, etc, etc- you can be to Metro Center in 30 min) you can get to a lot more decent boarding facilities in short order (our farm is about 15-20 min from Shady Grove but it feels like another world). You may even be able to find a little elbow room, but still have the convenience of the Metro. Knowing where your husband will be working will also make a HUGE difference on where you house and barn shop, though, I also know plenty of people who live on one side of the river and DRIVE to the other for work (one of our clients lives in Gaithersburg but works in LEESBURG...on the map that may not look too bad, but it sucks).

As for eventing, there is no better place to be. You can spit and get decent (if not world class) help, and when your horse is old enough you'll be blown away by the choices and loving not having to give up your ENTIRE weekend for an event (most events are one days and since you can get to many, many events within an hour or two, you won't have to stable, do hotels, miss work/family time, etc, etc, etc). There are lots of unrecognized options, too (several of the bigger venues, such as Waredaca and Loch Moy Farm/MD Horse Trials, host both popular rec and unrec events. Not to mention many other smaller venues and the fact that you can get to Fair Hill, another fabulous venue, with in a couple of hours and enjoy either rec or unrec events there, too). And THAT'S just the eventing...you can be VERY busy and get that young horse all sorts of mileage.

As for summers, well, they may be hot, humid and the footing might turn to concrete (we avoid events in July and August unless we travel to Area 1), but our summers are not nearly as brutal as Maine's winters are! You'll miss a lot less riding due to our heat than you probably do now due to cold, nasty winters. :yes:

I say this often, but I think is a pretty cool place to live. Yes, the traffic sucks and it is expensive, but you've got a pretty cool city with all sorts of interesting things to do AND some of the best the horse world has to offer all within 50 miles or so of the district. Hard to beat, if I do say so myself.

red mares
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:52 PM
Thanks guys! If this happens we really do hope to live close/on the Metro so the commute is more reliable and less at the whim of car accidents, weather, etc. Both of us did the Boston commute for years before the luxury of Maine and would hate to go back to 90 -120 minute commutes.


Apparently you don't know much about Metro! Reliable isn't exactly the word I would use to describe it. Unless you mean "The Red Line reliably breaks down during the evening rush."

pharmgirl
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:56 PM
I say this often, but I think is a pretty cool place to live. Yes, the traffic sucks and it is expensive, but you've got a pretty cool city with all sorts of interesting things to do AND some of the best the horse world has to offer all within 50 miles or so of the district. Hard to beat, if I do say so myself.

Ditto :). We are very lucky to have the resources here that we do- whether it be horsey, jobs, schools, entertainment, access to amazing medical care (for us AND our critters!). It's not perfect (traffic, expensive real estate, etc) but by growing up here and getting used to all of it, I am not sure I could imagine living anywhere else.

Sadiegem
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:56 PM
Sonoma City...I love you...

6 acres is huge! I know not really but right now my girls have a 2 acre field, tiny 1/2 acre field and dirt sacrifice paddocks. Just knowing that such a place exists without a 2 hour drive outside of the DC area makes me feel better.

Analise, thank you for the equiry link. There is an ad for a retirement place in MD which would be like something I would be looking for to keep my arthritic drafty mare. And it is affordable, even for Maine standards!

Luckily, I work from home so we only have to contemplate one commute and job change. My only stipulation is that we have an extra room that can be my office and do double duty as a guest bedroom as both family will just die if we leave the New England area.

I'm starting to feel better (which means now it won't happen!)...

gottagrey
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:58 PM
As others have mentioned the DC metro area is great for eventers. Where I live and board in MD it is less than 1 hours drive to Maryland Horse Trials, Seneca Valley PC, Waredaca, Rubicon, Morven Park, and Loudoun PC. Many of these places have one or 2 (or more) events a year - recognized, unrecognized etc. The trick is going to be A) husband getting the job and B) finding a place to live. Some commutes are easier to than others. I'm probably a bit biased but having lived in Alexandria, VA worked in DC and MD I found that riding in VA was not practical (traffic) Now I live in MD, work in VA but still ride in MD. If job is inside the beltway - and particularly if in DC, then MD might be the best option for home for you and horse. Fortunately you will have a good selection of barns/trainers in the area too. keep us posted and we can offer up more advise if the job comes to fruition..

The humidity can be bad...but bearable

Best of luck.

Sadiegem
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:02 PM
Awww...Red Mares :(

It's okay, I'm used to commuting on the Red Line in Boston, which is useless unless the weather is a perfect 72 degrees with crystal clear skies. But, I had heard that the Metro is excellent. I've been on it several times as a tourist but never as a commuter.

Thanks YellowBritches! I did a quick realtor search this morning and focused on the end of the Metro lines (I did warn you, I'm slightly insane with the planning for no real reason) and found some homes in our price range that I wouldn't cry to live in. A 30 minute commute is nothing! In fact, that would even be an improvement from his Maine commute.

KateDB
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:09 PM
The IRS has a big facility here in the Eastern Panhandle, as does the Coast Guard. Don't forget that the MARC train comes out here. My Father commuted from our farm into Washington for 20+ years.
There are lots of facilities here, and available real estate, and we are still close to everything, including UL eventers and foxhunting.

bambam
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:14 PM
You want a great reason to move to the area? You can go to an event pretty much every weekend of the season without driving more than an hour and a half :yes::D The only time I have driven further than that was when we went to AECs. You also have event trainer options galore.
The barn/work/home commute can be tough but it can be managed and the more flexible you are on certain things (using metro or whether you go to MD or VA or when you commute to the barn) the better your options will be. It also takes some planning about where you live in relation to where you work and where you board and everybody has different preferences (personally you could not pay me to either live or board anywhere in Virginia that required ever driving on Route 66 but I know people who do it and say it works for them). I personally think there are more close, good boarding/riding options in Maryland than VA but that is just MO.
Since I have lived here, I have either lived in NW DC or in Bethesda within sight of the DC line. Right now my commute to work is 10-25 minutes depending on what time I drive in (30 minutes if I bike) and 35-45 minutes to the barn (non-rush hour). Totally doable for me. You could also live further out but close to a metro stop, and use metro to get to work and live closer to the barn.
In general if your commute (either to work or the barn) involves driving at rush hour and the beltway or Rte 270 or Rte 66, then add lots of time to any commute. I took the red line to work for years and rarely had a problem with break downs but maybe I just got lucky.
As for weather- I am still at heart a New Englander and the humidity can be tough. During the week, I usually ride in the evening after it has started to cool down a bit- the early morning thing works too. I do not compete in July and August- not only is it way too hot for me, but the ground is usually pretty hard both for competing (although many events do lots to alleviate this) and conditioning.
Of all the large cities I have lived in and near (one of which was Boston)- this one is the easiest to have horses in.

barnworkbeatshousework
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:25 PM
ditto with most of all what the other COTHers posted here, except to add...from one riding Mom with small kids to another, childcare in the DC area is HUGELY expensive. It (almost more than the cost of riding) is one reason why I don't ride as much as I would like to do. If you plan on riding in the evening (as I used to do with a 3 year old and an infant) and you have to wait for your husband to get home from work to watch the kids, his arrival depends on metro/traffic (both unpredictable), and you will still be dealing with traffic on the major thru-ways, sometimes until 7 or 8 pm at night. Weekends are obviously better, but again, if you are a detail nut (as I am), factor in not only board, real estate, job, commute, etc., but also reliable child care while you're riding!

Classic Melody
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:06 PM
Sadiegem... take it from one planner to another. Wait til your husband has job interviews/offers before thinking about what area you want to live in. It'll make you nuts to consider all the different logistics without that key element. And then come back here and everyone will give you excellent advice on where/where not to live :)

Reality check for those who do not take the metro every day - it has greatly deteriorated in the last few years. You can look at metro's fare calculator for ride times, but add at least 15 min, and transferring is a real hassle. Parking + metroing in from the outskirts can cost upwards of $12-15 a day. Not that driving is much better. Still, as the OP has lived in Boston, I'm sure she'll manage.

I would actually disagree with yellowbritches' advice to live near your barn. Nope, live near your husband's work. You want time together. The barn is an extra, and you don't have to go there every day. Limit you/your family's daily commute when you can.

hollyhorse2000
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:08 PM
yes, the Metro is unreliable, but still a good way to go. Consider the "color line" that goes straight to the job without changing trains. also consider living at the end of that line. those stations have parking lots and you're able to get a seat. If you board even just a few stations in from the end, you're standing all the way to DC . . . (or your husband is)

Just to be realistic -- jobs are increasingly scarce in DC and the latest budget cuts hit some agencies very, very hard.

yellowbritches
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:09 PM
I would actually disagree with yellowbritches' advice to live near your barn. Nope, live near your husband's work. You want time together. The barn is an extra, and you don't have to go there every day. Limit you/your family's daily commute when you can.
Actually, to clarify, my point was wasn't to live near the barn, but to live more centrally located. My client's who've lived very close in (where they or their husbands or SOs worked) have ended up spending HOURS commuting to and from the barn some days...even when we were in close in Potomac, even when they would come midday. You HAVE to drive to get to the barns (unless, maybe, you ride at Meadowbrook or maybe Reddemeade, neither of which are viable options for the OP), but if the SO can commute via public transportation (unreliable or not...one way or the other around here, you're going to sit not getting where you need to get, be it on the Metro or on the Beltway!) then why live 5 minutes from his office but still spend 3 hours a day getting to and from the barn. I say split the difference. Live a little further out, get a little more space for your housing budget, and cut down on the barn travel time, meaning more family time.

Fairview Horse Center
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:24 PM
I would actually disagree with yellowbritches' advice to live near your barn. Nope, live near your husband's work. You want time together. The barn is an extra, and you don't have to go there every day. Limit you/your family's daily commute when you can.

I have actually had quite a few boarders that sold their closer in homes, and move out her to be closer to my farm. They find they prefer the atmosphere out here, and move to enjoy that as a family.

judybigredpony
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:37 PM
Agreed get the job first. My Hubby a miltary employee and we sweated the budget...

After you know where he will work and what your budget is you can look for a place.

Would you rent or buy?? Board or keep w/you?

Traffic nothing good can be said about it ever....

Horse/eventing activities more than enough to keep anyone happy and broke.

Heat, its gonna come, some summers swelter more than others. Don't forget the no see ums, gnats n mosquitos :).

technopony
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:21 PM
I agree with Yellowbritches that living at the end of a metro line is probably the way to go. On the Maryland side of things, the end of the Red Line at Shady Grove is a pretty horsey area - 5 min and you are into real horse country with big boarding operations. In fact, Redland HT is probably 10-15 min from the metro, Waredaca another 10 min.

On the Virginia side of things, the Orange line is currently expanding quite a bit farther out to Reston. One could live a 5-10 min drive from that station and have a small (2-5 acre) farmette quite easily. Of course, prices are definitely higher than in Maryland... expect to pay 800K + for 2 acres in Fairfax County. But it's a great location, and Aldie/Leesburg/Middleburg isn't too far of a drive (40 min-1 hr), especially if you board near your home/keep horses and home and only go west for lessons, events, hunting, etc.

JenEM
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:01 PM
I would actually disagree with yellowbritches' advice to live near your barn. Nope, live near your husband's work. You want time together. The barn is an extra, and you don't have to go there every day. Limit you/your family's daily commute when you can.

I'd disagree with it, too. So much that after living at the end of the line, 20 minutes from my horse, I moved to VA and bought a condo 15 minutes from my job. I work 12 hour shifts, and I'd much, much rather have a short commute to work, and drive out to something I love. Plus, I'm an urbanite at heart anyway.

I board with caffienated, and we've got a lot very close by. My mare's just starting to do stuff, and as I'm trying to plan my season around my work schedule, I'm actually a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff within an hour of the barn.

yellowbritches
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:02 PM
Plus, I'm an urbanite at heart anyway.
This actually does play a big role in things! There are definitely the city dweller types of people who can't imagine not living in the thick of it, and there are the "country folk" who can't imagine living on top of their neighbors (my sister is an urbanite- heart of Chicago, to be exact-, my brother is a country folk, I fall squarely in the middle, content in either environment as long as I have my dog and can get to my horses in short order!). So, it really will depend on the OP and her family's general lifestyle. It sounds like they may be more geared for the country or at least suburban lifestyle, in which case living at the end of a Metro line would be more appropriate.

TimelyImpulse
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:29 PM
Don't forget about the slugging possibilities for your husband. My husband commutes to the Pentagon from Fredericksburg, either the 17N lot or the 610 lot, and if takes about 45 minutes to get there (on a good day, of course).

We've lived in Fredericksburg for 5 years and will (fingers crossed) be closing on our own farm in Stafford (10 miles north) in May. The current rental is 11 acres, rudimentary horse facilities where I've kept up to 5 horses, down to 3 now, nice house, fantastically located for pretty much anything you'd want to do. Tons of horse stuff to do within 1 hour +/- including Kellys Ford Equestrian center which has a XC course and hosts unrec events.

We moved here from MA. Humidity sucks. In the summer, we try to get out to ride no later than 8 am and be done by 10 am, or will wait until late and ride under lights. Did I mention the humidity sucks?

Childcare is expensive, but there a lot of options. We chose to put our son in preschool at 3.5 yo when he started running out the door and barking at the UPS truck with the dogs. :-) I got more free time and he got human socialization.

Good luck to your husband and you!

barnworkbeatshousework
Apr. 13, 2011, 12:06 AM
We chose to put our son in preschool at 3.5 yo when he started running out the door and barking at the UPS truck with the dogs. :-) I got more free time and he got human socialization.

:lol: Love it! At my most desperate point, I put a pack-n-play in the middle of the ring, filled it with toys and a sippy cup, and rode around my daughter!! All that barn dust must have had an effect, she turns 8 in September and wants to start riding lessons! :yes:

asterix
Apr. 13, 2011, 11:49 AM
Like everyone else said, wait until you get a bead on the job location.

If it makes you feel any better, I live ON Capitol Hill 2 blocks from a 9 acre dog park. We have 2 safe, fenced playgrounds for little kids within 2 blocks. My husband walks 4 blocks to work and I work at home.

My main commute is to the barn and most days I can avoid rush hour. It's just over 45 minutes and the horses live in the most fabulous 70 acre field you've ever seen. Barn has indoor, lighted outdoor, jump ring, dressage pad, cross country courses, access to hours of hacking on park land, and hosts events several times a year.

You can make it work, as long as you have a budget that will help you accommodate everything ...

Reagan
Apr. 13, 2011, 02:38 PM
I have lived in Frederick my whole life. We have no shortage of barns in the area for sure. A great place to look would be poolesville if you want to be on the MD side of DC. There are a ton of options around there.

From Frederick I am an hour to shady grove (I leave at 5:30-6 so traffic isn't awful yet) so it isn't too bad. If you were in the poolesville, Potomac area it would be more like a half an hour to 45 mins.

There are so many options for horsey things here. Pretty much everyone has plenty of turnout, there are plenty of trails, events, etc to keep everyone busy! good luck with your potential move and don't worry, this is a great place to live!

Trixie
Apr. 13, 2011, 03:30 PM
Thanks guys! If this happens we really do hope to live close/on the Metro so the commute is more reliable and less at the whim of car accidents, weather, etc. Both of us did the Boston commute for years before the luxury of Maine and would hate to go back to 90 -120 minute commutes.

I would not count on metro being reliable. First of all, it isn’t, and secondly, with gas prices as they are, it’s getting consistently WAY more crowded, which makes it even more unpleasant and crazy. Even the 6’3” tattooed, sort of bad ass looking Mr. Trixie refused to ride at certain times because he said the crowds were out of hand and insane. Somehow, this has not made traffic any better.

I live in Old Town and work by the White House. For the last two weeks the commute has taken an hour and been basically unbearable. It’s a 7 mile drive. I metro’d this morning, it STILL took an hour, thank you to a broken down train that took over a section of the track. It is an allegedly 20 minute metro ride.

I agree that it will really depend where hubby will be working.

The fact that the area is as horsey as it is is what keeps me here. Otherwise, I would move.

Janet
Apr. 13, 2011, 04:08 PM
I would actually disagree with yellowbritches' advice to live near your barn. Nope, live near your husband's work. You want time together. The barn is an extra, and you don't have to go there every day. Limit you/your family's daily commute when you can.
Huh???!!!
If I had a sizable commute to the barn my husband wouldn't get to see me AT ALL.

Considering I only go to work 5 days a week and I go to the barn 7 days a week, it makes much more sense (from both a time and gas perspective) to live near where the horses are. (I have taken it to the extreme and have the horses at home, but even when I boarded it was never more than 10 minutes from where I lived).

Of course, if you only go to the barn one or two days a week, it would be different.

Classic Melody
Apr. 13, 2011, 04:19 PM
Well, I can only speak to my own experience. I live a 45-min metro commute from work (although I'm only just across the DC line) and then a 45-min drive to the barn and I'm "splitting the difference," or so I thought. It was a mistake. I should have lived close to work and had the single commute rather than two. You live and learn, and to each their own, etc. And I go to the barn about 5 times a week.

Larissa
Apr. 13, 2011, 04:46 PM
To answer the questions, yep, it's totally possible to live near the Metro and commute 15-30 minutes to an optimal boarding situation. There are tons and tons of options here for young horses. Good trainers, excellent xc schooling facilities, the YEH/FEH series held locally, unrecognized courses at small facilities and also some run at the same facilities that host USEA events, a plethora of local circuit hunter and jumper series, etc.

We do have some stretches in summer where the temps push riding out til after 7 pm, but for the most part the weather wouldn't keep me from riding during the day. Even in the hottest times I think it's suitable to ride through 10 am or after 6 pm.

I'd agree with the others that the horsey concerns will end up last on your list when deciding where to live. The Metro commute is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially if you have to transfer trains, so you'll want to optimize that trip for your husband (if you like him sane, anyway). And from there you'll have to figure the area around each stop has it's own.. culture? Some areas are very working-class urban/suburban.. lots of low to middle income apartments and townhomes, heavy reliance on public transport, strip mall shopping, etc. Others are more upscale urban.. older remodeled single family homes on nice small wooded lots, low crime, etc.

I've lived in Greenbelt, Bethesda and Gaithersburg and commuted to places like College Park, Bethesda, Arlington and downtown DC. And honestly, I like small(er)-town country(like) living. I found it hard to get the same feel in the close-in Metro area.. unless you could afford the $550K-600K entry fee to bigger lots in quieter areas. I despised living in PG county and liked living in Montgomery County only a hair better. The areas I lived in had no real escape from crowds and traffic unless you were leaving town and everything seemed very commercialized.

So finally I moved home to Frederick and make the 110 mi/4 hr roundtrip commute to downtown DC. The living situation is much more "me." Especially when I drive out to the horses, another 25 mi north, and everyone is driving a truck. Some even in cowboy hats with lassos hanging in the cab. It's good to be home :winkgrin:

Janet
Apr. 13, 2011, 04:48 PM
I agree that "splitting the difference" is probably NOT the way to go. Pick one end or the other.

00pisces
Apr. 13, 2011, 05:10 PM
Don't forget biking options for your husband's commute. In some neighborhoods, it's faster and cheaper than driving and metroing. For me, it's a 3.4 mile drive to work, or 1 mile walking to the metro then taking the train in. Driving is at least 23 minutes plus $10-$20, metro is at least 44 minutes and $3.40 a day, where biking is 35 minutes and free.

bambam
Apr. 13, 2011, 05:37 PM
Don't forget biking options for your husband's commute. In some neighborhoods, it's faster and cheaper than driving and metroing.
Good point- biking to work for me takes 30 minutes and driving takes only about 5 minutes less during rush hour (of course if I drive in at 5:30 am I can do it in 11 minutes but most people are not up for that ;)) and metro takes almost an hour (it only took 35-40 minutes before my office moved to nowhere near a metro stop :no:). One thing to keep in mind though is that it is simply not safe IMO to bike on many of DC's streets (DC has a higher than average bike v. car accident rate- although that is at least partially due to the fact that most bikers seem to think that while they bike on the road/in lanes of traffic they are not actually bound by the rules of the road which makes them hard to avoid sometimes- so if you bike safely you can lower the risk but it is still there). There are quite a few safe paths though and I can do the bike commute entirely on bike paths and quiet streets.
Also, while biking is a great option, I would not want to have to do it every day (not fun when 100 degrees and 90% humidity, or sleeting, etc) and so I personally would want to make sure I had other reasonable commuting options.

kaye.simmons
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:29 PM
We have a small farm in Howard County, Maryland and I have commuted from here to DC and Baltimore for work. Baltimore is an easy commute, DC a little more challenging. But I love living in horse country and cannot abide living near the city.

Everyone has already mentioned the wonderful eventing around here and you would have no trouble staying as busy as you would like. I've lived here for 30 years and the summers can be humid, but by 5 or 6 at night it is rideable. There are not as many shows in July and August but spring and fall is awesome.

Good luck with your research!

Beam Me Up
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:18 PM
I moved from Area 1 too (VT) and have been on the VA side for 10 years. As others have summed up, great for eventing, lots of fun/variety to the area, less good for commuting and general cost of living.

Definitely recommend picking the job first, such that you can try to minimize the work/house/barn triangle.

I have think I have tried all permutations of living/working in/out of the city (lived steps from city/worked and boarded in western FFx county, lived/worked in and boarded out, lived/boarded out and worked in), and it depends on your job options and priorities.

A few random thoughts:
- MD side seems to have a bit less sprawl between city and countryside to commute through than VA
- WHEN you do your barn/work driving matters too. Most gov't jobs are rush hour-ish, but if you have a different schedule, it will be much faster to get around--I can be in DC in 35 min from my house in the evening (25 miles), but I budget 2.5 hrs for a 9:00 meeting. 3 if it's a really important one.
- There are a lot of job-centers outside DC too--the tech corridor sort of runs from DC to Dulles airport and gets you mostly to horse country, there are similar techy firms near the MD beltway too. I know people who work for local (county) gov't too who are further out.
- While I feel people's pain on the metro's downsides, I still think in terms of commute time it is more reliable than driving. For nicer but less flexible commuting, the VRE is very nice, but just does a few rush hour trains morning/night and has limited routes. All commuting here is expensive in terms of fare, parking, or gas though.

Good luck with your research! It's a great area

ZEBE
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:31 PM
I agree with what everyone has said about first finding out about the job situation/location. Having said that.. we bought a small farm outside of Frederick MD. (Absolutely love living here-- but HATE the commute to work down 270 which I said I'd NEVER do... :-)

But I wouldn't trade our situation -- it's a little bit of heaven out here. There is the MARC train from Frederick into DC-- actually I know of several people who live in West Virginia (really) that take the train from the Harpers Ferry.. I used to take the train into Silver Spring and that worked out ok... hubby would drop me off and pick me up at night and we'd go off to the barn.

In any case.. ditto to this being an eventing mecca. I can easily count 20 horse trials within an 1- 1 and 20 minutes from Frederick. and several only 30-40 minutes from our place.
Life has been exceeding easier/happier, because my husband also events and now we have he horses at home. It does mean getting up at 5:30-- to take of horse chores, and avoid some of the traffic, but I work for the "govt" and flex schedules are the norm-- so I leave at 3:30.

anyway.. good luck.. hope it all works out for you!

Sadiegem
Apr. 14, 2011, 11:17 AM
Thanks everyone! Speaking with hubby further he has expressed interest in the VA area because of his interest in shooting/fishing/hunting/hiking/archery, basically all that outdoor sportsman stuff. He feels that there will be more options for state land where these kinds of things can occur versus MD. Is there much truth to this?

Our concern with VA is that we really don't like the tracts of town/housing developments that have developed over the last 10 years. My cousins live in one and love it but it really isn't for us.

The biking is a great option and something hubby would love. He's very active but does feel that his job has limited his ability to exercise so having that as an outlet might be nice. But, I do worry about biking in DC (as others have mentioned). My brother has biked in NYC and LA and has felt that he was on the verge of death the entire time!

Our family is definitely more rural than urban but I think we would prefer urban to suburban (I find the idea of being able to walk everywhere to be very appealing).

Right now hubby is doing a 12 hour day with his work hours plus commute. The 'hope' is that something similar can be found in the DC area.

EasternMkt
Apr. 14, 2011, 11:31 AM
It depends on where you bike. I bike to work almost every day (even in the winter; it's only a 15 minute ride) through DC and never fear for my life, although I've had the odd encounter w/ drivers who have failed to look both ways before turning, etc. DC and the surrounding communities have installed many more miles of bike lanes in recent years and there are a number bike commuter groups that can be a great resource for selecting the best (and safest) routes. Quite of the few of the federal agencies have showers at the office so bike commuters can change for work once they arrive.

However, like others have said, wait to see where the job is before selecting a community. After having to drive to work AND to the barn, I am MUCH much happier w/ my bike to work/drive a longer distance to the barn option. But I only ride ~5 days a week. YMMV.


Thanks everyone! Speaking with hubby further he has expressed interest in the VA area because of his interest in shooting/fishing/hunting/hiking/archery, basically all that outdoor sportsman stuff. He feels that there will be more options for state land where these kinds of things can occur versus MD. Is there much truth to this?

Our concern with VA is that we really don't like the tracts of town/housing developments that have developed over the last 10 years. My cousins live in one and love it but it really isn't for us.

The biking is a great option and something hubby would love. He's very active but does feel that his job has limited his ability to exercise so having that as an outlet might be nice. But, I do worry about biking in DC (as others have mentioned). My brother has biked in NYC and LA and has felt that he was on the verge of death the entire time!

Our family is definitely more rural than urban but I think we would prefer urban to suburban (I find the idea of being able to walk everywhere to be very appealing).

Right now hubby is doing a 12 hour day with his work hours plus commute. The 'hope' is that something similar can be found in the DC area.

Beam Me Up
Apr. 14, 2011, 06:42 PM
I don't think MD is less outdoorsy (they are biking freaks over there!) but VA countryside is probably more hunting/fishing, especially away from the city where it starts to feel more southern.

There are a lot of bikers in DC. Personally I'm too wimpy/bad at biking, but I see many many so it must be doable.

Agree with you the outer-burb housing (both the townhouses and the McMansions) is pretty bad. If you have the budget there is lovely historic stuff in-close (many of the rowhouses in DC are amazing), and there are some other quaint, detached houses in parts of the city and close-in on both sides.

This area has forced me to get go of my architecture snobbery, though.

KateDB
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:27 AM
I don't think you could say virginia is any more "ourdoorsy" than maryland. both have state land available, and could be an equal distance drive, depending upon where you end up living. Garrett and Allegheny Counties, MD definitely have hunting/fishing opportunities!
But, it's still putting the cart before the horse. I'd think he needs to figure out where he wants to work, which departments/locations and plan from there about what you want and then where to live.

caffeinated
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:30 AM
I don't think you could say virginia is any more "ourdoorsy" than maryland. both have state land available, and could be an equal distance drive, depending upon where you end up living. Garrett and Allegheny Counties, MD definitely have hunting/fishing opportunities!


Not to mention WV is really, really close, and while I don't know much about getting out of state hunting licenses, there are tons of outdoorsy things to do there.