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  1. I drink and I know things Ertaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Question What's a living wage in DC?

    Considering relocating to work at Quantico. How much does it take to make a living there? I'm looking at these home prices like it might take 150K just to get by. What nearby area would you guys recommend living in? School system doesn't matter.
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    I worked on Quantico for a bit. I enjoyed it. It's a lot going on on base and the Quantico community. People actually live on Quantico. That is no secret. It's like a community coincided with a military base and some other ..more ..James Bond'ish stuff.

    Stafford, Va probably has the best (1)real estate with the (2)biggest and (3)newer homes in (4)Northern Virginia for the (5) price. You won't find all five in Northern Virginia outside of Quantico. If you plan on staying there for a good period of time, I highly suggest Stafford. It's literally right outside of the gate. Most people in Stafford worked or work on Quantico.

    Its'a a plethora of restaurants and establishments outside of the gate. Depending on the gate used and possibility of traffic, I've spent many days and evenings outside of base eating. Anything you want is around the area.

    If you for some reason had no desire to stay at the job long term and live outside of Stafford for some strange reason I have a suggestion. Think again or rent. But, here is my other option....for the record I didn't stay in Stafford. I didn't get the intel like you are getting...


    Look at the map and look at areas going 95 E. As in you are getting on the interstate outside of Quantico going right not left. Make sure you are going the opposite direction going to work. I think the exit for Quantico is like 142 or 138. If you mix up my left's and right's you are going to hate life. You will be stuck in traffic until 2021 (going to work from work).

    The best advice I can give you:

    Get an EasyPass. If you are cheap don't get an easy pass and raise your changes of being stuck in traffic (and hating life). I have video of me in the Easy Pass lane zooming along and over to the left people are in traffic. I am not saying that Easy Pass is never busy, but its a higher chance of being in traffic not having it. In Northern Virginia with no Easy Pass is asking to go 40 on the highway. Beyond popular Lies told here and other places traffic isn't that bad. Traffic is bad going to work, lunch, and going home. First and foremost, that's expected. Secondly, other than that it's not bad. I used to do last minute trips to DC in no time flat. I literally worked two jobs in Northern Virginia (with an easy pass) with no problem. One of them was on Quantico.

    Just be aware of the easy pass locations and times. With my guidance you'll be alright.

    FYI Easy Pass is the HOV lane. I will assume that's a google'able word.


    You say school system, so I assume you have or are having children. You say school system doesn't matter. Be honest with yourself. But, I still say Quantico. Where I don't suggest:
    1. The closer you are to DC.
    2. Woodbridge, Va

    Where I do suggest from top to bottom (Only if working on Quantico. Anywhere else my list would be different):
    1. Stafford, Va
    2. Lorton, Va
    3. Alexandria, Va


    I made no where near 150k and lived alright.

    It comes down to two things:

    If you want a house, willing to rent, will settle for an apartment, or townhome. Rent vs Buy will come into play. Long story short, I lived great with one income. If you have two bags of money coming in you'll do even better.

    People always say that need X, Y, and Z to survive. 100,000. That is false. Here is what it comes down to.

    People make 80,000-160.000
    -500 Car note
    -Credit card bills
    -insurance
    -gas, water, electric,
    -child support
    -Luxury shoes, clothes
    -another car note
    -bills
    -student loans
    -Cellular phone-Plans (Some)
    -Children
    -Restaurants
    -dates
    -giving money to family (no comment)
    - the night life
    -eating out multiple times a week.

    -
    etc, etc, etc, etc.

    People, not you but people like to pile up bills. Those bills are going to determine 1. What you can afford. 2. Your interest rate. People, not you but people are allergic to paying bills off now, in order to live better later. So,bills can be the difference between someone being able to afford a 1,200 a month mortgage and a 3333mortgage or 3,800 mortgage. Whatever floats your boat.

    When people say I need X to survive and live comfortably I say: You Have Bills. How much money are you paying in bills and I'll tell you which one to pay off first.

    I made 80K when I worked on Quanitco and I rented an apartment. If you don't plan on staying a while I suggest renting as well.

    You should not incorporate DC and Quantico whatsoever. They are a ways away from each other and nobody that is drug free would live in DC and commute by any means to Quantico. It's plenty of jobs in DC for someone that lives there to not drive an hour+ to Quantico. Not unless one spouse is "taking one for the team" because the other spouse works in DC. Northern Virginia the term, covers Quantico to anyone that lives/lived there or works there. Outsiders might think differently.

    It's other means of traveling to/from work if you like getting up earlier than you should to get to work. I stayed in Northern Virgina for a bit, worked on Quantico, Ft. Belvoir, Alexandra, had school in Shady Grove (Maryland), lived in (blahblahblah) and NEVER and I mean NEVER rode public transportation of ride shares. That is just me though.

    I just wrote an essay. I am out of here......................Come back some other time.
    Last edited by networker050184; 03-13-2018 at 03:25 PM.
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    #3
    I have to agree that Stafford is probably going to be your sweet-spot. I know plenty of people making under 150k close to DC and doing well so there should be no problem doing so further south but it all depends on your situation. 150k single with no debt is far different than 150k with three kids and a stay-at-home spouse where you both have student loans. On her list above, if no one will be working in DC, I'd replace Alexandria with Manassas at #3. And rent for a year before considering buying.
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    #4
    What amount of tax is paid in the U.S?

    Rents are high in the D.C. area? Just curious, considering the 100k+ salary tag.
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  6. I drink and I know things Ertaz's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GirlyGirl View Post
    I just wrote an essay. I am out of here......................Come back some other time.
    No doubt. The feedback is much appreciated. My situation is complex... I need to support a house payment here and rent there for a while. Also I've got one half way through college and the other will start in 2 years. I'm busting my hump so they can leave college without any student loan debt.
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    #6
    If you're going to work on Quantico, consider living further south in Fredericksburg. It might seem crazy at first, but I think it can work better than Stafford in a few ways. First, housing is generally cheaper further south and I think Fredericksburg (old town with some nightlife) has a lot more character and food options when compared to anything around Stafford (glorified strip mall).

    As far as commute is concerned forget about the Express Lanes unless you're going to carpool and it's not really a factor unless you're heading north of Quantico anyway. What makes living south of Stafford plausible is the VRE -there's a station right in the middle of Quantico and the line extends pretty far down south. Check out vre.org and take a look at the route maps.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hinsdahl00 View Post
    If you're going to work on Quantico, consider living further south in Fredericksburg. It might seem crazy at first, but I think it can work better than Stafford in a few ways. First, housing is generally cheaper further south and I think Fredericksburg (old town with some nightlife) has a lot more character and food options when compared to anything around Stafford (glorified strip mall).

    As far as commute is concerned forget about the Express Lanes unless you're going to carpool and it's not really a factor unless you're heading north of Quantico anyway. What makes living south of Stafford plausible is the VRE -there's a station right in the middle of Quantico and the line extends pretty far down south. Check out vre.org and take a look at the route maps.
    Is this a joke?

    Stafford is literally right outside of base. Literally. You can be home in (less than) 10 minutes, after departing the gate.

    I can name 10 cities with nightlife. Every big city in Northern Virginia has some sort of night life.
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  9. Senior Member dmoore44's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GirlyGirl View Post
    Beyond popular Lies told here and other places traffic isn't that bad. Traffic is bad going to work, lunch, and going home.
    I hope there's a healthy dose of sarcasm in this statement and that you're not just being glib. Getting to places after work and on weekends wasn't that bad... But there's a high degree of probability that people in DC/MD/VA spend the most time in their car on the way to and from work... Not while running errands on the weekend. The truth of the matter is that your experience with traffic depends on two factors: (1) where you live and (2) where you work. Before I moved out of the area, I lived in Fairfax (where Fairfax County Parkway and Rt. 50 meet) and commuted to two different jobs from there. The first job was based in Lorton, so it was an easy commute, against traffic. It took about 30 minutes to travel 17 miles to get to work, and about the same amount of time to get home. All things considered, it was a dream of a commute. The second was working on Capitol Hill... That commute was more of a nightmare. It took 60+ minutes to travel 17 miles in to the city in the morning, and 90+ minutes to commute back out. I even drove a hybrid and had a passenger, so we were able to take the direct route down 66 in the mornings, and it still sucked.
    Graduated Carnegie Mellon University MSIT: Information Security & Assurance Currently Reading Books on TensorFlow
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmoore44 View Post
    I hope there's a healthy dose of sarcasm in this statement and that you're not just being glib. Nope Getting to places after work and on weekends wasn't that bad... But there's a high degree of probability that people in DC/MD/VA spend the most time in their car on the way to and from work. Negative Not while running errands on the weekend. You to smart for your own good. The truth of the matter is that your experience with traffic depends on two factors: (1) where you live and (2) where you work. This has already been indirectly and directly stated. But, thanks. Before I moved out of the area, I lived in Fairfax (where Fairfax County Parkway and Rt. 50 meet) and commuted to two different jobs from there. The first job was based in Lorton, so it was an easy commute, against traffic. It took about 30 minutes to travel 17 miles to get to work, and about the same amount of time to get home. All things considered, it was a dream of a commute. The second was working on Capitol Hill(--You have a sign on your car saying I want to sit in traffic making that commute. You knew what you were getting yourself into buddy.... That commute was more of a nightmare. As expected.It took 60+ minutes to travel 17 miles in to the city in the morning, and 90+ minutes to commute back out.As expected. I even drove a hybrid (you can drive a mini van. The type of vehicle doesn't determine the pace of traffic. and had a passenger, what does the number of people in your car have to do with anything mentioned here whatsoever...you are funny.so we were able to take the direct route down 66 in the mornings, and it still sucked.

    I am done here. Good luck to all. On to the next one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmoore44 View Post
    I hope there's a healthy dose of sarcasm in this statement and that you're not just being glib. Getting to places after work and on weekends wasn't that bad... But there's a high degree of probability that people in DC/MD/VA spend the most time in their car on the way to and from work... Not while running errands on the weekend. The truth of the matter is that your experience with traffic depends on two factors: (1) where you live and (2) where you work. Before I moved out of the area, I lived in Fairfax (where Fairfax County Parkway and Rt. 50 meet) and commuted to two different jobs from there. The first job was based in Lorton, so it was an easy commute, against traffic. It took about 30 minutes to travel 17 miles to get to work, and about the same amount of time to get home. All things considered, it was a dream of a commute. The second was working on Capitol Hill... That commute was more of a nightmare. It took 60+ minutes to travel 17 miles in to the city in the morning, and 90+ minutes to commute back out. I even drove a hybrid and had a passenger, so we were able to take the direct route down 66 in the mornings, and it still sucked.

    Your post had absolutely nothing beneficial in it to help the original poster. The original poster talked about his potential relocation to Quantico. Your post was all around the DMV from Lorton to Fairfax to China to South Dakota. Nothing you wrote was beneficial to Mr./Ms. Ertaz. If you are looking for a friend this isn't the place. I/We should be here to help with advice, suggestions, or questions if asked. Nothing in your post even has Quantico listed on it. Transportation routes vary. Interstates vary. Short cuts vary. Side roads vary. Times of the day vary. Time you leave the house varies. Easy pass varies. Speed limit varies. driving in the fast or slow lane varies. It's a lot of variables.

    Take this negative rep on the chin and don't you complain about it either. You know where it came from.
    Last edited by GirlyGirl; 03-14-2018 at 05:29 AM.
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  12. I drink and I know things Ertaz's Avatar
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    #11
    **Update**
    So, this thread may have been for naught. I was asked when initial talks began what my salary range was and they were OK with it. Now I get the call today extending me the offer, but they have to know what I’m making now and the government contract will only allow them to increase my current salary +20%. That number is a bit off from the range I told them. I’m going to send them a couple sources for cost of living, but I doubt that will affect what the contract limit is on what they can do. Oh well, lesson learned I guess. Employers, if you’re listening I’m back in the job search game...
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    Them saying the contract will only allow a 20% increase is pure BS, it's a negotiating tactic. For highly-skilled people, the market favors the employee. That's not to say they'll cave, just that you might consider being a little firm (but polite) in your negotiations. "Yes sir, Mr. recruiter, I understand that government contracting can be complex to us lay-people. It's too bad we couldn't work a deal because I was really interested in talking more. Keep me on your radar if there's any flexibility in the contract."

    Do *NOT* send them info to back up your claim for a specific salary, that weakens your position. Your salary requirements are your salary requirements. The customer doesn't give a flying-flip why.
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  14. I drink and I know things Ertaz's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by EANx View Post
    Them saying the contract will only allow a 20% increase is pure BS, it's a negotiating tactic. For highly-skilled people, the market favors the employee. That's not to say they'll cave, just that you might consider being a little firm (but polite) in your negotiations. "Yes sir, Mr. recruiter, I understand that government contracting can be complex to us lay-people. It's too bad we couldn't work a deal because I was really interested in talking more. Keep me on your radar if there's any flexibility in the contract."

    Do *NOT* send them info to back up your claim for a specific salary, that weakens your position. Your salary requirements are your salary requirements. The customer doesn't give a flying-flip why.
    That's good to know. I may just let this one pass. If they try and put the screws to me before we start then there is no telling what they'll do once I've moved to the coast for them.
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    Tell them you can’t take their word on that and tell them to send you a copy of the contract, so you can verify. Fat chance they’ll do it, but at least you’re calling them out on their bullsh*t. Be sure to leave them a glassdoor review mentioning that they use this tactic.
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  16. I drink and I know things Ertaz's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_ View Post
    Tell them you can’t take their word on that and tell them to send you a copy of the contract, so you can verify. Fat chance they’ll do it, but at least you’re calling them out on their bullsh*t. Be sure to leave them a glassdoor review mentioning that they use this tactic.
    If I can't take their word then I don't want in. My current job isn't in jeopardy and I'm not starving. I just want a little different work and to stack some serious bank before I retire.
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