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Old 10-11-2010, 07:43 PM
 
31 posts, read 45,697 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello.

The good people at "Virginia" forum suggested this forum might be a better option for this query. Here is my post there: (new job in Fairfax, where to live in PWC or Fairfax or near abouts?)

I am moving to a new job in Fairfax county. I will have to find a place to stay soon somewhere in Prince William County or Fairfax or some place similarly nearby.

Never been to Virginia before. I am looking to spend not more than $1,500 on either an apartment or a townhouse. I don't mind if the place is a bit away from the city or even within a city, as long as the neighborhood is safe and clean. I would like the commute to stay within around 40~45 minutes.

Could somebody suggest the best way to go about finding an appropriate place to live? Or any particular suggestions as to where I should focus my searches?

Mostly likely, I will have go and stay in a hotel or something for the initial week or so while I search for a more permanent place to live. Suggestions regarding this are also most welcome.

Regarding the commute, my work place is near Springfield Mall.


Thanks!
PS: No kids yet.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:52 PM
 
997 posts, read 1,433,554 times
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I think Springfield would be ideal. It's close to your job and within your budget. If your office relocates or something, Springfield is close 95/495/395 and the Metro. Burke might also be a good option, but with the others you'll have to put up with a longer commute.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:55 PM
 
696 posts, read 1,495,993 times
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I would recommend the Burke area over Springfield. To me it feels cleaner and safer. There are walking trails, and close-by shopping (Kohl's, Walmart, Target, Safeway, Starbucks, Giant, etc). The crime is low given the high volume of townhouses. Specific zips would include: 22015, 22152. It's a quiet suburb so you won't find a lot of nightlife, but a safe area. You said "no kids" so I don't know if that means you are or aren't looking for nightlife. Ultimately that will determine the area that you want. There are a lot of options for 45 minutes outside of Springfield Mall area.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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Live as close to your work as you can. Try Fairfax 22032 - Burke is very nice - also West Springfield or North Springfield - other parts of Springfield are not as good - such as the Springfield Mall area.

This area is VERY expensive no matter what part of the country you are coming from - traffic determines where you live and has a HUGE affect on your life - you will see.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:58 AM
 
31 posts, read 45,697 times
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So Burke, Fairfax, North and West Springfield are the main suggestions. Zips 22015, 22152, 22032. If there are other zips here that I missed, please let me know. I have started searching for available places in these areas and knowing the zip helps a lot.

I am sort of try to keep the rent within $1,100. But if that is not possible, or the commute if improved, $1,500 is the max I am willing to go. So that gives an important and specific constraint.

Night life is not a factor in my case. But the trails and parks mentioned are something I prefer. I am even keeping an eye out if I can find a place from where I can occasionally bike to work, but it is not something that is a requirement.

Thanks for the insights to the commuting factor.

I have started to look for and contact realtors. This also new to me. I wonder how much I have to pay them to find me a place to rent.

I am also browsing craigslist, but looks like most of the ads there are by the corporations owning the places, so similar rates as one would get from a realtor (but doing all the work by yourself).

Any other sources to use? How would one go searching for a private land lord for a condo or a townhouse?

Thanks, folks!
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:35 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,607,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macintosh View Post
I have started to look for and contact realtors. This also new to me. I wonder how much I have to pay them to find me a place to rent.

I am also browsing craigslist, but looks like most of the ads there are by the corporations owning the places, so similar rates as one would get from a realtor (but doing all the work by yourself).

Any other sources to use? How would one go searching for a private land lord for a condo or a townhouse?

Thanks, folks!
The zips you are looking at are your best bet as far as close to work and nice, safe areas. If you use a realtor to find a rental, you don't have to pay anything. The fees are paid by the property owners. But be clear and firm on your criteria because sometimes realtors "underestimate" a commute during rush hours to steer you to areas that they prefer.

As far as where to look for places, I suggest Craig's List, MilitarybyOwner.com - Real Estate near U.S. Military Bases , and HomesDatabase - Home for Sale and Rent in DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania . You may also want to check out rentals on the Washington Post online. I don't think you'll find as many there, but it's another source.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,083 posts, read 5,351,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macintosh View Post

I have started to look for and contact realtors. This also new to me. I wonder how much I have to pay them to find me a place to rent.


Any other sources to use? How would one go searching for a private land lord for a condo or a townhouse?
You do not pay the Realtor for their service. They receive their commission from the individuals listing the homes for rent.

I would suggest using Find Real Estate Listings, School and Neighborhood Information and More - Realtor.com®. You can put in your search parameters to see the results. I used that sight to find the condo I rented.

Keep in mind that when renting from a private owner, they usually require a security deposit equaling the amount of a month's rent. Whereas, an apartment complex will require only $300 - $500 security deposit.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:39 AM
 
31 posts, read 45,697 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have checked realtor.com website and I have shortlisted several listings that appear interesting. I am yet to check the other sites mentioned.

Any tips on contacting the agent? Is there any hidden fee I should be on the lookout for? Recall that I am yet to arrive in VA. I will be there in some weeks time and would like to see various places and select within the shortest possible time. For that initial period, I am trying to see if I can get some basement apt. for a short duration (apparently, they might be available without a lease).

So, in what related matters should I prepare before leaving for VA?

Thank you, folks, this is every helpful!

Edit: formatting.

Last edited by macintosh; 10-12-2010 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,680 posts, read 6,240,850 times
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I posted this about Kingstown: http://www.city-data.com/forum/16105471-post4.html

It's also not far from Springfield Mall area
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,556,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneasterisk View Post
I posted this about Kingstown: http://www.city-data.com/forum/16105471-post4.html

It's also not far from Springfield Mall area
Living in kingstowne would make your commute only 10 minutes, which would be quite nice. That would be a good place to add to your search. You'll be much closer to $1500 than $1100 though.

I would suggest looking at the "short term" section on CL. You will likely find someone willing to rent you a room for a week or two while you get your bearings and figure out a place to live. If you can come a few days before you start working so you can test out various commutes at rush hour, that would be a good plan as well. Traffic really does dictate where you want to live here.
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