Relocating to Manassas, VA. Any advice?

Hi everyone. I wasn’t entirely certain where to post this, but in this thread Lynn Bodoni asked for information about Reston, VA due to a family member’s impending move.

I’ve accepted a job offer in Manassas, VA and although I’ve been to the area quite a few times in the past, I know very little about actually LIVING there. I’ll be looking to rent, at least temporarily. . .and I’ve done a fair amount of apartment research online, but I’d like input from people familiar with the area. I suppose I’m mostly interested in knowing what areas are nicer and what areas to avoid, but really any advice anyone has would be appreciated.

I’ve been waiting on this job for a while, and now that it’s become available on such short notice I find myself woefully unprepared. :eek:


You’re lucky in that you’ll be working in Manassas, so you won’t be one of the godforsaken hordes who commute from there into DC. It’s certainly a candidate for one of the circles of hell.

Anyway, there’s been a great deal of not-carefully-considered development around there, and my guess is that in this market, they’re hurting for owners/renters, so housing shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m not aware of any particularly sketchy areas there…most of the development is fairly new and there’s not much run down stuff there. I think you’ll be pretty safe almost anywhere, but use your instincts…if it looks sketchy, don’t live there. Sorry for not being more specific, but really, you can probably tell just by looking.

Sprawl and congestion is rife there, so one consideration is that you might want to find an apartment that is located such that you don’t have a major commuter artery/intersection in your commute, for instance, if your work is on one side of I-66, you probably don’t want to live on the other side of I-66, etc., else you’ll spend time cursing at all those !@#!#@$$% people. :smiley:

I know we have some dopers that live out that way, so hopefully, you can get more specifics.

I’ve lived in Manassas for over 6 years. I just sold my house last month and moved into an apartment while we house shop throughout the coming year. The house we had (a townhopuse) was in the Wellington development. A rather large mix of townhouses and single family houses in the Hastings/Clover Hill area. We decided to sell now b/c I could book a profit in the midst of declining home values (not just Wellington, but the entire Manassas/Prince William County area.

We looked at several apartment/condo areas for our rental needs. I forget the names off the top of my head, but most were in the Wellington area. One was a brand new set of condos that were originally slated for sales, but with the falling market, were converted to apartment-style rentals. It was nice, but they didn’t have a 2-brm available for when we needed it. The place we settled on is actually in Manassas Park, a couple of miles away. The Haverhill apartments. We just moved in this week, but we like it so far. Convienent to me as it is right next to the VRE train station, which I use to commute to DC. Not a draw for you, though.

The Bristow area a little west of Manassas is really popping. Lots of development out that way. The knock on it for the past few years is they built all these houses, but did not improve the infrastructure or amenities out there. However, recent work has widened the roads, added lanes, and finally completed the Sudly Manor Road extension, which is a godsend. Also, they have broken ground on a shopping area–going to have a new 12-screen stadium seating cinema, restaurants, etc. The new FBI building complex is going up and a new pharmaceutical company operation is as well. So good professional jobs coming in addition to the DC commuters. This is where we will be looking to buy. Not sure what the rental market is, but there is a lot open. Buyeres/renters definitely have the upper hand out here.

I will be glad to talk more specifics as you get further along. Either in this thread, or send me a PM.

I’ve lived in Fairfax…just a bit east of Manassas…for 5 months now.
A few things I’ve noted are:
Traffic is worse here than anywhere I’ve ever lived, including Southern California, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas among others. If at all possible live close to where you work. You do NOT want to drive.

Manassas appears to be the Used Car Capital of the Universe. Perhaps I haven’t been to the “right” parts of Manassas, but it just seems like every place is either a used car lot, or right next to a used car lot.

When you get out of town the scenery is beautiful.
Good luck with the move.

Thank you for the information, everyone. The move is still a few weeks off, and will hopefully be relatively painless. Fortunately, ever since my time in the service, I’ve been one to keep things simple and travel light. Everything I own fits in my vehicle, so at least I don’t have to worry about lugging a bunch of stuff around. Hopefully, this will be my last move for a long, long time.

I noticed in my most recent trip there that the traffic DID seem to be worse than it was during my last visit, which was in 2004 or so. Of course, I live in the metro Atlanta area right now, so I’m accustomed to awful traffic. I’ve been looking at apartments online and there are plenty of places really close to where I’ll be working, but I’ll really have to check them out in person to make any decisions. Reading some of the apartment reviews online was a bit disheartening, but I’ve long since come to realize that online reviews of anything are always a bit skewed to the negative. Dissatisfied people will take the time to voice their opinions whereas those who are content typically won’t go out of their way.

I took a look at Haverhill, divemaster, and Manassas Park is a place I considered. I have a friend who lives over near Matthew Dr and I visited him during my interview trip. Didn’t seem like a terribly long commute, but I wasn’t driving during peak hours so that’s something I’d have to take into consideration. The facility I’ll be working at is more to the southwest, closer to 234 and Manassas Regional Airport, so living up there would have me driving through the city, I guess. I’ll take a look at Bristow.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what lies outside of the city, InLucemEdita. Way back before I first left Atlanta, you didn’t have to drive 20 miles to escape civilization. Unfortunately, now everything seems to be developed.

Again, thanks for the responses!