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Fairfax County vs. Loudoun County

Who's better? Fairfax or Loudoun?

Who’s better? Fairfax or Loudoun?

Which one is best: Fairfax County or Loudoun County?

I hear this question over and over from people moving into the area.

It’s like the age-old rivalry between Army and Navy… Which one is better? The answer is: “it depends”.

What does it depend on?  Well, it depends on your personal choices

But, to give you an idea of how Fairfax County and Loudoun County are similar (and different), here are some general points to help you compare:

1. General Location & Feel

2. Commuting and Transportation options

Let’s look at each of these in detail: Continue Reading…

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Home

Choosing a home is like baking a cake – it really is only a matter of following the recipe.  That is, if you actually know the recipe!

Choosing a home is like baking a cake; they both require a recipe

There’s an easy recipe for choosing a home

When you have the recipe, you measure, you mix, you bake, and voilá!  Out comes a yummy cake.

If only recipes pointed out the most common mistakes…

But even with a recipe, sometimes what we need is a bit of experience on how to get some of the steps done.  And, inevitably, at the end of the process we realize that there were a few things that we could improve next time.  If  only recipes pointed out the most common mistakes, then you could have an easier time baking the cake on your first try.

When choosing a home, it’s best to avoid mistakes on the first try

Choosing a home (with schools in mind) is also a matter of following a recipe.  But you might not have a chance to try it again for another few years, so it’s best to avoid any mistakes on your first try.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when choosing a home (with schools in mind): Continue Reading…

The Top 10 FAQs for Moving to Fairfax VA

The DC area reminds me of a revolving door. People from all parts of the US (and the world) are often moving to Fairfax VA (a suburb of Washington, DC) due to their job assignments.

The DC area revolving glass door

People are often moving to Fairfax VA due to job relocations and military orders

With military and government personnel plus a fair bit of private-sector employees always on the move, we’ve had plenty of opportunities for answering their relocation questions.

Here are three of the Top 10 FAQs (frequently asked questions) for Moving to Fairfax VA: Continue Reading…

The Beltway: to HOV or not to HOV?

As you may have heard, the DC metro area has its share of traffic issues. In Northern Virginia, a couple of the most travelled highways are: the famous I-66, which goes from East to West, and the Capital Beltway (or I-495), which encircles the city of Washington DC.

Carpooling around the Beltway can be a blast

Carpooling around the Beltway can be a blast

If you live in the western side of Fairfax County and drive into Washington DC, you will find that Route 66 might be the most direct route into it.  But you’ll have to time your drive just right because a big part of Route 66 is only open to carpoolers.

Carpooling helps Continue Reading…

How to Commute to DC from Fairfax County

Last year, Alison was moving with her family from Tokyo, Japan to the DC area.   They chose schools for the kids, and even narrowed down their search to a couple of neighborhoods.   Now the only thing left was to figure out how Alison and her husband, James, would get to work.

So, I helped Alison and James figure out how to commute to DC starting with riding the Metro into Washington, DC:

DC Metro Map

Washington DC Metro Map

Continue Reading…

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