Virginia Contract Law- Help!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ChemInPA, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. ChemInPA

    ChemInPA Guest

    Jun 6, 2018

    Okay, here's the situation. Last year I worked in a union state as a chemistry teacher and now I'm looking to move south. After three months of off-and-on searching, I got a letter of intent for a Virginia school district (says it's a conditional offer, spells out salary and title only). It is the only offer on hand and a quick check with the district's HR staff informed me that until the board approves and a formal contract is signed nothing is binding, so I signed it. Workplace and the role seem alright, contract should be out next week after the board meets BUT- I can't find an affordable flat within a 30-45 min commute of the school! I'm getting ready for a big summer trip next week with family (months of planning, will be out of contact for weeks, trip of a lifetime so no backing out now) but there's just too much uncertainty with this new position.

    Housing is really the only issue- I've been looking, driving around, and making phone calls with private renters, apartment complexes for weeks trying to find affordable housing, but so far found nothing. Rental costs in the area are about 45-50% of my estimated take-home (after-tax) income and the only options I see are as follows (hence the panic):
    A) Live with distant relatives and commute 30+ minutes every day (dial up internet and no social scene),
    B) Live with parents and commute an hour plus daily (ugh, not that again!),
    C) Take it in the pooper on rent with Ramen for dinner an awful lot,
    D) Decline and look elsewhere, gambling on finding work when I get back (+'s: have multiple certs already, -'s: teaching exp limited so first year all over again, besides the risk of going broke if I don't get a job for next school year).

    I'm wondering if I should start pressing more on contacts in other districts to setup interviews and make offers of their own but am concerned that may come back to bite me if I do and it seems an extreme solution. Honestly hoping folks on here will offer some alternatives I don't currently see.

    Am I making the right moves here? Is it be ethical to take the only offer on hand then keep looking? Can I break the Letter of Intent if I get a better offer?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 6, 2018

    I would suggest maybe a roommate situation for the time being, or the distant relatives. This, of course, is just my opinion. With time, better choices may become available, so the real concern is what can you do in the present to buy time until you may find more affordable housing.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  4. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2018

    Do you like the position? If you do, I would move in with distant relatives of parents and then look for roommates and aim to move before the end of the year.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 9, 2018

    My son teaches in VA. As I understand it, that 45% of your net salary is par for the course, in areas around DC and the outlying districts. The advantage of that fee is that he is exactly 6 minutes from his job, with lots of interesting places to eat and enjoy social activities. He has considered a room mate, but decided he liked NOT sharing way too much. His fuel charges are very low, utilities are very reasonable, and he loves the gyms and pools on-site at no additional charge. I did go look when he first moved down there, and there were some apartments a little lower, but the trade off would be in fuel costs. After a couple of years, he has started doing a little tutoring, as well as working with an after school activity that has a stipend. He feels very content and comfortable now, maybe slightly less the first year. I travel about 45 minutes to and 75 minutes from work here in NJ, and I would not willingly wish that on anyone. Even with a fuel efficient car, I notice fluctuations in fuel prices, and we are in one of the lower cost for gasoline in the state.

    As for your pro's and con's, gap years create concern that there is a valid reason that you are/were unemployed. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I'm not sure how old you are, but it seems like you are a newer teacher so I'm guessing pretty young. IME, the whole "rent should be 1/3 of your paycheck" thing is unfortunately outdated. People in my generation simply don't have that luxury anymore. I have always paid about 50% of my check toward housing. Although my salary has gone up over the years, so has the COL, so I'm not really getting ahead.

    I really enjoy having my own place and am willing to pay more for that, but if you really can't swing it I'd definitely go for a roommate situation over living with parents or relatives. I have many friends in my area who found roommates on Craigslist and it worked out. Being in a new place, it can also be kind of nice to have a roommate to help you break into the social scene more. I'd also take a look at making a budget and see what you can cut to make it work. I would say I live fairly frugally, but I'm definitely not eating Ramen for any meal ;).

    You didn't say why you were moving...was your current position cut or have you already resigned? Is there a reason you can't continue looking for positions in your current state, if you don't think the salary will work for you in VA? I actually considered going to VA right out of college and remember the housing vs. salary thing being an issue. I'd do some research and figure out it you'd really be better off at any other district in VA anyway.
     
  7. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Jun 9, 2018

    Ouch, talk about a deal breaker. Lol
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2018

    How anyone can willingly pay more than half of their net income for just for rent is beyond me...
     
  9. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Jun 10, 2018

    CRAP I'm out of Ramen, and now I have a craving. WTH
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Pfft, hahahahaha!
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 10, 2018

    In some areas even renting a room in someone's house is terribly expensive. You can move further out, but then the cost of gas and wear and tear on the car makes up the difference plus takes a toll on your time. At least living close to work you can find an extra job instead of spending an extra 10-15 hours commuting.

    Some areas are just that expensive anymore. I couldn't imagine having to start on my own with the way things are in many parts of the country.
     
  12. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2018

    What county does your son teach in? If your comfortable sharing. I am in VA around DC districts and am starting to apply for teaching jobs and move out of my parents when I finish graduate in school in May. I am trying to get ideas of living areas and pay.
     
  13. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2018

    I’m in this situation now 10 years into teaching. My roommate is leaving and therefore I need to find a place (not interested in a rando or paying 2000/month). Nothing around here is less than 1700/month for a one bedroom unless it’s cockroach motel (my last place had bed bugs - not me specifically but neighbors. I needed to go. And that place want cheap either). I’m very seriously considering buying a condo for less than the price of renting. I’m actually looking today. I really don’t have the money I wanted saved but I’m running out of options and I’m sick of blowing my money away in rent.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2018

    My son works in Prince William County and loves it. He feels supported by admin, has bonded with his coworkers, and finds the student population wonderful. If in your area, it would certainly be worth an application.
     

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