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Old 02-27-2012, 12:16 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,810 times
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Hi all!

First time poster, but a long time lurker. I've found a lot of great information on these boards, so thank you all so much!

Me and 2 friends are recent college grads, working in DC or Nova. We've heard good things about Clarendon and are hoping to find a place this summer. Our budget is around $1200/person (excluding utilities).

Walking distance to the metro (Blue/Orange line) is pretty much a necessity. In addition, we're hoping to find an area with a younger crowd and fun nightlife/bar scene. We've heard good things about Ballston, but we'd like to be a little bit closer to DC if we can help it- one of my roommates will be commuting to the end of the Orange line at New Carrollton and the other will be working in Foggy Bottom.

What kind of rent are we looking at for a 3BR? I'm guessing we'll be moving into an apartment, so are there any specific buildings/high rises that we should look into? I've heard that some people rent 2BRs and put up a wall, but we'd like to avoid that if possible. Also, what do people do about parking? One of us absolutely needs to bring a car, and I would consider bringing mine depending on the price.

Also, I'd like to hear a little bit about what the area is like. Is there much of a difference between Courthouse and Clarendon? They're so close.

Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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clarendon/courthouse would be a good bet for you guys. $1200 a person is doable. You are looking at 3k+ for a 3 bedroom in a nice building that is walking distance to the metro
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Your combined budget is probably pretty good although I'm unfamiliar with the idea of 3BR apartments.

Clarendon is "the" young professional mecca in Northern Virginia...but if you find a slightly better deal in Courthouse, Ballston, Virginia Square or even Rosslyn, then go for it as that whole area is within a 10 minute Metro ride or short cab ride. Although Arlington is technically a suburban county. Much of it, particularly the aforementioned neighborhoods, is rather high density urban. Note that nightlife ends early compared to DC (1:00am vs. 3:00am) and that generally hipper, more diverse options can be found in the District. Your New Carollton commuter may not be so fond of his/her longer ride but the Metro's Orange Line makes for a convenient if crowded commute into the city.

Chances are if you're in an apartment building within Metro walking distance, you'll have to pay for a monthly parking space.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:52 PM
 
298 posts, read 597,058 times
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My immediate thought is that you should look at renting someone's condo or townhouse in Woodley Park / Adams Morgan or Dupont. Your budget of $1200/person will be borderline in those areas, but it's worth a look and IMO those areas are way more fun than Arlington. The drawback is that your flatmate would be switching Metro lines at Metro Center to go from Red to Orange.

For Clarendon and Courthouse, your budget should be good. They have the benefit of being on the Orange Line and are fun places to live, albeit not quite the same as living in the city.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,578,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
Chances are if you're in an apartment building within Metro walking distance, you'll have to pay for a monthly parking space.
Absolutely!

Chances are you won't be able to get 3 parking spaces for a single apartment. 2 shouldn't be a huge problem, if you're willing to pay. Everywhere we looked a few years ago allowed 1 spot no problem, some were good with 2 spots (if you paid a couple hundred a month for it), but I don't know a single building that allowed 3 spots. There just aren't enough of them.

The ballston mall garage offers monthly parking permit rentals, so if you end up towards that end you may be able to rent a spot for any overflow vehicles and just walk a couple blocks to get there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
8,803 posts, read 7,578,664 times
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You sound very unique for this area.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:03 AM
 
163 posts, read 262,684 times
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If there are three of you and you will have three cars, it might make sense to look at houses. Like others have said, condos and even townhouses will have pretty stringent parking rules and and outrageous fees for additional parking with almost no off street parking available in reasonable walking distance.

Arlington has a lot of small communities that can accommodate your needs beyond the highrises. I lived in two houses during my single years and both were a short walk to the metro (VA square and courthouse) and both had street and driveway parking.
Take a look at the stations, draw a circle that represents the distance you are willing to walk to the train and look in those areas. I lived in the community between Rt 50 and Wilson Blvd, north of Pershing and loved it. I had a car but I walked a lot because everything was so close.

There is something to be said for being able to walk home after a long night out and not worry about driving.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:18 AM
 
10 posts, read 16,810 times
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Thanks everyone so much for your replies!

As far as the car thing goes- only one of us actually needs a car. I'd like to be able to bring mine, but finding a place in the location and nightlife scene that we want takes precedence over that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokieFan
You sound very unique for this area.
I'm guessing this is sarcasm, and if so that's a good thing- we're looking to live in an area with other young people. If it helps, we're 3 former frat guys (feel free to give an obligatory eye roll, I would too).

What are the major differences between an area like Clarendon and perhaps Adams Morgan in DC? What are the differences in living expenses/scene?

Finally, I know this is a really stupid question, but how do we go about our apartment search? I know we can look into Craiglist and I've stumbled across "Padmapper." Are there any specific websites or brokers to use? Are high rises a good idea, and if so, is there a good one in Clarendon/Courthouse that might fit our budget?

Thanks again!
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:36 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,078,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeycooper View Post
I'm guessing this is sarcasm, and if so that's a good thing- we're looking to live in an area with other young people. If it helps, we're 3 former frat guys (feel free to give an obligatory eye roll, I would too).
Although only VTHokieFan knows for sure, I took their comment to mean that young professionals fresh out of college with your ample combined budget are rare to Clarendon...or at least to this forum.

Quote:
What are the major differences between an area like Clarendon and perhaps Adams Morgan in DC? What are the differences in living expenses/scene?
Nightlife in Clarendon will start to cool down after 1am as opposed to 3am in DC. While you'll enjoy the convenience of the nightlife cluster in Clarendon, the variety and scale will pale in comparison to DC. In DC, you are indeed in the city, so above-average street wisdom and common sense are always beneficial. Adams Morgan in particular seems to have an issue with inebriated folks becoming victims of opportunity and fistfights.

Quote:
Finally, I know this is a really stupid question, but how do we go about our apartment search? I know we can look into Craiglist and I've stumbled across "Padmapper." Are there any specific websites or brokers to use? Are high rises a good idea, and if so, is there a good one in Clarendon/Courthouse that might fit our budget?

Thanks again!
Try apartmentguide.com and apartmentshowcase.com. The latter - published by the Washington Post - is a local listing of the vast majority of apartment buildings and complexes in the region. Unless you do look at a house, you shouldn't need a broker/realtor.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:43 AM
 
163 posts, read 262,684 times
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Adams Morgan vs Arlington? cost and crime mostly. Everything is more expensive in the district. I lived in that area between Dupont and Adams Morgan for close to a year and it was convenient, but my car kept getting broken into and eventually I had to get a garage spot. The taxes in DC are pretty high too. If you register to vote and you're not a felon, you will get called for jury duty a lot more frequently than other places. The services (garbage, streets) are not very reliable either, especially for the amount of taxes you pay.
I moved out of the district into Arlington as soon as I could and it was like getting a pay raise. I had lower taxes, didn't have to pay parking tickets every month, didn't have to pay for the higher car insurance, didn't have to pay for new car windows every few months, didn't have to pay for a garage and cable/phone/gas/electric were all less expensive. Right now, there is a crime wave in NW that has been the highlight of every newscast over the past month.
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