The area in which I live is often reffered to as NoVa (Northern Virginia) or the DMV area (DC-metro/Virginia or DC/Maryland/Virginia). This area is very interesting economically. In the past 10 years, Loudoun County's population has absolutely EXPLODED, which mandated conversion of the area from rural farmland and nothingness to a buzzing high-class suburb that is quickly filling with poeple. Loudoun County was found by the most recent US Census to be the county with the "Highest Income Per Capita" in the whole nation. Loudoun County's unemployment rate is 0.5%. A large amount of NoVa residents work for the government or are contracted by the government, and work in DC 30 minutes away. (I have Army retirees across the street, an IRS employee next door, an Oil Industry Lobbyist down the street, CIA employee down the street, DEA officer on the next street over, etc, etc. No joke!) The atmosphere in NoVa is very professional. The quality of life here is very high. Crime rates are low, the streets are clean and safe. Neighbors are friendly, well-educated, and involved in their communities.
The quality weather in NoVa is up for interpretation. There is a lot of precipitation here, year-round. Summers can be very hot and winters can be very cold.
I would choose to live here again if I could.
I used to live in La Palma, CA, where the unemployment rate was very high, the streets were dirty and unsafe, and the general area felt poor. I would choose NoVa over SoCal any day.
The future of this area is bright. I am a college student living in my parents' home here in VA, and I plan to purchase my own home in the area after grad school. I love this area.