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Old 09-23-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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I recently got a job at Langely Air Force Base. I start in two weeks. I need advice on where to live in the Hampton Roads area.

My fiancee and I are looking for a two-bedroom apartment for around $1,000-$1,300. We've found a lot of listings for nice places in that price range in east Hampton, Yorktown, and Newport News.

It looks like most of the crime in this area occurs in the southern part of the penninsula, an arc running from Buckroe Beach south to downtown Newport News and then up as far as the highway 32 bridge. Is this an area to avoid?

We've found several good looking apartments near Penninsula Town Center mall. That's very close to the base. How is the neighborhood?

We saw a few nice places also just west of the Newport News airport. We don't mind the plane sound, but how is the commute to Langely from there?

Thanks for any advice you can offer. We really appreciate it.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Northern VA (for now)
23,004 posts, read 31,957,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Expatriate View Post
I recently got a job at Langely Air Force Base. I start in two weeks. I need advice on where to live in the Hampton Roads area.

My fiancee and I are looking for a two-bedroom apartment for around $1,000-$1,300. We've found a lot of listings for nice places in that price range in east Hampton, Yorktown, and Newport News.

It looks like most of the crime in this area occurs in the southern part of the penninsula, an arc running from Buckroe Beach south to downtown Newport News and then up as far as the highway 32 bridge. Is this an area to avoid?

We've found several good looking apartments near Penninsula Town Center mall. That's very close to the base. How is the neighborhood?

We saw a few nice places also just west of the Newport News airport. We don't mind the plane sound, but how is the commute to Langely from there?

Thanks for any advice you can offer. We really appreciate it.
I would avoid the Southern part of the Peninsula; most places below Mercury Blvd. I could tell you more if I knew what specific complexes you were considering in the Peninsula Town Center area. I lived in one I wouldn't recommend and know of another one I'd be careful with.

Another area you should really consider is the Magruder Blvd area. The area is safe and it's an easy commute to Langley. My favorite complex would be Falcon Creek about 5 min from the gate.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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Here are some of the specific complexes we're looking at. For some reason I can't find the ones that were close to Penninsula Center:

Spinnaker Cove Apartments in Hampton, VA | Apartments.com

Spinnaker Cove. Well within our budget (<$1,2000/month for two bedrooms) and barely a mile from the base.


http://www.wavertonimpressions.com/

Waverton Impressions. Further away, but people say good things about the area near Oyster Point Rd


Falcon Creek Apartments - Hampton, VA

Falcon Creek Apartments. Pricer than the others, but it's prettier and still spitting distance from the base.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:54 AM
 
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Oyster Point is a very nice area, but traffic on Jefferson ties up easily. If you're working at Langley, I'd suggest staying in Hampton. I had a friend who stayed in Bridgewater Apartments in Hampton.

That's right near the new Town Center, and according to this site, a 2-BR runs between $1100-1200.

He stayed there about 5 or 6 years, and moved because he got married (he had a 1 BR there). It was a really nice complex, and I never remember any problems when I visited him. Very quiet, and his apartment was pretty spacious.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:43 AM
 
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I live pretty close to the base, the general rule of thumb is that the closer to york county you get, the lower the crime, better the schools (not sure if you have kids), and more expensive the apartments. Ask about discounts for Military and Base employees at all places in the area. A lot of times you can get fees waived and special discounts.

Falcon Creek and Spinnaker cove are both just down Commander Shepherd from the gate. You get a mix of mostly people that work on the base and people that work on the adjacent Langley Research Center that live over there. Spinnaker cover seems decent from what I can see but I don't have any direct experience to comment on. I have a couple friends in Falcon Creek, the layout is a little more modern (open floor plan, big closets), they have nice amenities like a workout room, pool, and BBQ area, and there is a walking trail in the back. It is also reasonably close to the Shady Banks shopping center. Downsides are that it is a little on the pricey side, you will probably pay over $1200 for a 2br, the walls are thin, and the internet speed sucks.

If you are looking for safe, quiet, and boring you could consider someplace in Poquoson. It is not very diverse (about 97% white) and there isn't much to do besides fish and drink beer on the porch, but it is the safest city in Hampton Roads with all the services you need right there. Poquoson place apartments had some pretty sweet incentives the last time I was looking for a place (2 months free with 1yr lease) and the units are 2br 2ba with 1100sq-ft for under $1000. There is kind of a weird vibe in Poquoson sometimes, especially towards outsiders, but if you just go about your business folks are friendly enough.

If you want some decent night life and convenience then there are a couple nice places near town center (Addison, Chapman Apartments) that I can vouch for. They are definitely a little pricier but the advantage is that you can walk to bars and restaurants plus have a pretty quick shot up Armistead to the base gate. Just be aware that the units in the Addison are kind of small. Town Center has a bunch of good restaurants and the Pub is a pretty nice bar. It is also pretty walkable with music and other events going on during the warm season.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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Thanks a lot for the information.

I'll avoid Poquoson. I don't want to live in a place that's all one ethnic group. I used to live in San Diego, and I miss that diversity. Plus I'm white but my fiancee is hispanic. I don't want nasty comments or upturned noses when we speak Spanish together.

I wish I could live in Chapman Apartments. That place is just too expensive for me. I'll check out the Adderton.

It looks to me like a tossup between Falcon Creek and Spinnaker Cove. Both are close enough that I could ride a bike to the base if I wanted. And both are right in my price range. Falcon Creek apartments cost about $300 a month more than Spinnaker Cove. I'll visit both and see if it's worth the difference.

A side note: I've lived outside the US since 2004. I don't have a stateside driver's license. All I have for ID is my US passport and a foreign driver's license. I don't have an address in the States.

I do, however, have a new job that pays 5 or 6 times my rent, and I have enough savings to pre-pay the first 3 or 4 months rent.

Do you think apartment complexes will give me trouble given that I don't have my first pay stub yet? I don't want to live in a hotel for too long.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:47 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,119,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Expatriate View Post
Thanks a lot for the information.

I'll avoid Poquoson. I don't want to live in a place that's all one ethnic group. I used to live in San Diego, and I miss that diversity. Plus I'm white but my fiancee is hispanic. I don't want nasty comments or upturned noses when we speak Spanish together.

I wish I could live in Chapman Apartments. That place is just too expensive for me. I'll check out the Adderton.

It looks to me like a tossup between Falcon Creek and Spinnaker Cove. Both are close enough that I could ride a bike to the base if I wanted. And both are right in my price range. Falcon Creek apartments cost about $300 a month more than Spinnaker Cove. I'll visit both and see if it's worth the difference.

A side note: I've lived outside the US since 2004. I don't have a stateside driver's license. All I have for ID is my US passport and a foreign driver's license. I don't have an address in the States.

I do, however, have a new job that pays 5 or 6 times my rent, and I have enough savings to pre-pay the first 3 or 4 months rent.

Do you think apartment complexes will give me trouble given that I don't have my first pay stub yet? I don't want to live in a hotel for too long.
Sounds like a plan, I don't think you can go wrong with either. It is not hard to ride a bike from those places to the Langley gate at all. I am pretty sure there is a bike lane down Cmdr. Shepherd that goes to the base from there. I haven't been inside the Spinnaker Cove place but it looks fine from the street and I can't imagine that Falcon Creek is worth another $300 a month (which amounts to basically a car payment).

As far as getting an apartment goes, I would suggest talking to your employer and getting some sort of letter that shows you have been hired for a job there and some kind of salary range to ensure that you meet their criteria. It is common, because of the large number of military and govt contractors near the base, that people are in your situation. I am sure they can accommodate you one way or another as long as you can pay your deposit (usually around $300) and first months rent. A simple call to the leasing agents at either complex will probably answer your questions about their specific policies.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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One thing I forgot to add. Spinnaker cove is right next to Langley Speedway... not sure if it gets loud over there when they have races but you should look into it if that might be an issue for you.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Northern VA (for now)
23,004 posts, read 31,957,905 times
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Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
One thing I forgot to add. Spinnaker cove is right next to Langley Speedway... not sure if it gets loud over there when they have races but you should look into it if that might be an issue for you.
I lived a mile from the speedway just across the York Co. line. I heard the noise all the way there. You learn to live with it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the advice. Traffic like that from a speedway is not a problem. Noise from neighbors is a big deal. I've lived in a house for the last 5 years. It will be difficult to get used to footsteps on the ceiling and bass from the floor again.

I appreciate all the advice I've gotten here. Rather than start a new thread, I'd like to put up some miscellaneous questions. If you can't answer these, no big deal. If you can, that's awesome.

--Is there much of a latino community in Hampton Roads? As I mentioned, my fiancee is from Nicaragua, and I lived four years in Honduras. It'd be nice if we could find a salsa dance club or a place that serves real Mexican food.

--How fast is the Internet? I lived with 512 kbps for years. Right now I'm on a 2 mbps connection, and it feels blazingly fast. I hear that 5 mbps is considered slow in the US? I'm so out of touch with US Internet abilities that I hadn't streamed Netflix until last month. It will be a shock if I get 15 or 35 mbps like that advertised by Verizon.

--How easy is it to get to Norfolk and Virginia Beach?

--Hampton Roads clearly isn't pedestrian friendly, but is it bike friendly? Are there bike lanes?

--Are there good beaches? By good, I mean warm water, little trash and calm waves?
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