Sorry for yet another "Moving From...Moving To..." thread (Arlington: sublease, sublet)
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Sorry for yet another "Moving From...Moving To..." thread
Like I said, sorry for creating another one of these threads, but I could really use some directions right now.
I've recently been offered an internship with a company located in Vienna that I'm very excited about. While it might just be an internship for now, I'm hoping it turns into a full-time position
Here's the issue: I live in Michigan and have never even visited the area (although I've done lots, and lots, of research). I'm planning to visit soon, however, I want to make sure and have everything in order to make my trip as helpful as I would like it to be.
Single male, 23 years old
Working in Vienna
Short-term lease preferred
Looking to spend approx. $1,000/month in rent
Studio apartment completely acceptable
Prefer to live by myself for now
Newer building preferred
Not too concerned about night life, but also don't want to live in a retirement home
I would like to find a short term lease (6 months or less) for a couple of reasons. One being that since this is just a internship, I don't want to sign a year lease and have to pay to get out of it if things don't go well with the internship. Also, since I don't really know the area, I figure if I can just find somewhere to get in for a little while, I will be able to chose a better location for myself after I have a feel for the area from actually living there. However, if I found the perfect apartment in the perfect location, I wouldn't mind signing a year lease if necessary.
Like I said, I'll be working in Vienna, but I'm thinking I might want to live a little closer to Arlington, like Falls Church area. This seems like a nice central area to Arlington as well as my work in Vienna. I'd really like to live somewhere where I can easily walk to get something to eat/etc., and not in a huge apartment complex out where you must drive to get anywhere.
$1,000 a month is where I would like to stay rent wise, which I know isn't much for this area, but I'm perfectly okay with a studio apartment for now. The only thing is I would really prefer something a little newer apartment wise.
I'll have my car, so living next door to a metro station is not most important, although I guess it would be nice. The whole idea of public transportation is foreign to me, but I'm excited to utilize it.
I'm really excited about moving to the area, but also nervous about finding somewhere to live. It will be a huge relief after I figure that out. While specific apartment complexes would be great recommendations, just specific areas to consider/stay away from would be great also.
Also, on a completely different note, is mountain biking popular in the area? I'm a big mountain biker and would love to hit some trails when I get in town. Not too big on road biking though...
Thanks for any and all help, I really appreciate it!
That budget will only get you a very old complex, in a somewhat iffy area. But it could also get you a room in a group house. That's what I'd suggest; look for a group house in Vienna. Good luck.
EDIT: Just re-read and saw you prefer to live by yourself. OK. Straight talk here: You need to cave on something. Either pay $500 more, be OK with an old studio in a low-income area with mostly non-English speakers, or be OK with housemates. Sorry, but those are the cold, hard facts.
But there are lots of enthusiastic mountain bikers in the area who meet up and go biking together. Many old local railways were converted to bike trails in the 70's. You can follow local trails all the way up into the Western Maryland foothills.
I was afraid that would be the case. I was thinking since I am looking outside of the downtown Arlington area it would be possible, but I guess not. When you say $1,500, is that $1,500 + utilities? I can probably find a way to swing $1,500 if that includes at least some of the utilities, but it would be tough.
Anyways, what would be some options at the $1,500 price range?
Also, thanks for the mountain biking link! I'm glad to see some other mountain bikers and not just all road bikers!
Thanks again for the replies, I'm all ears, or eyes I guess you might say.
Another option that may allow you to live alone without stretching your budget too much would be to give up on the idea of living in/near Arlington, especially since you said you aren't too concerned about nightlife. When I first moved here five years ago, I lived in the Metropolitan of Fairfax apartments in Herndon. They have a studio in the $1100-1200 range. I have no idea how things are there now, but I really liked my apartment and they have covered parking. Not advocating specifically for this complex, but I can think of at least four or five apartment complexes right in this area south of the Dulles Toll Road (Rt 267) near the Centreville Rd exit, all of which seem to be pretty decent. There are actually some brand new apartment buildings right next to that one, but I don't recall the name.
Also, I'd consider looking at craigslist or other places where individual owners are renting condos. You might find a better (or more negotiable) situation that way rather than through a managed apartment complex. I think the ones on the corner of Monroe and Sunrise Valley are called Brysons or something like that. I always thought they seemed nice and they are adjacent to a newer shopping center with grocery, bank, restaurants, dry cleaner, etc.
There are also some back roads that can get you into the main part of Vienna, but Vienna addresses also encompass some of the Tysons Corner area, so if that's where you'll be working, the toll road is a better drive, IMO.
I mention this area because I'm somewhat familiar with it, but really my point is to consider other locations - I think you'll better be able to find something in your budget and you can always drive to different places when you want to go out.
Edited to add: When I moved here, I found a situation via craigslist where a woman got a new job and needed to move closer to her job but still had six months left on her lease, so it worked out for me to basically take over the remainder of her lease. That kind of thing might be something else to watch for because the best prices you are going to get for apartments will be to sign a full year lease. (Most places offer shorter leases, but you pay more.)
Last edited by NoVA_Lurker; 01-26-2012 at 08:53 AM..
I'd second the Craigslist suggestion because there's posts all the time from people looking to sublet or have someone take over the balance of their lease. But either way, I don't know anywhere in NOVA to get an apt for $1000 that isn't a dump. It would be so much better to live with a roommate(s) in a nicer place. Oh and visit before you decide. I'm guessing Vienna = Tysons. Check it out. Good luck!
My advice is to live closer to your work. You'll be much happier that way on a daily basis, and as a bonus you'll probably be able to get more apartment for the money than if you try to live among the shiny happy people in the trendy parts of Arlington. Tysons Corner isn't cheap either, but if you can get away from the core Tysons area, you'll be fine.
And at your age and no-kids status, I wouldn't discount living in an area with a predominantly Hispanic immigrant population. I lived in a neighborhood like that in south Arlington a decade ago, and honestly it was the quietest neighborhood I've ever lived in. I never saw any roving teenagers, and the streets were empty at 10pm, since those folks typically have to get up wickedly early in the morning to start their jobs or their hunt for daily employment.
You could get an apartment in the West Falls Church area of Fairfax County off of Routes 29 or 50 and probably still come under $1,000. Just don't expect luxury or fancy surroundings. You do what you have to do when you're on an internship...
Thanks for all the great responses so far everyone. I really appreciate your thoughts.
Also, if anyone knows of somewhere to look for subleases besides Craigslist, let me know. Thanks!
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