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Old 09-10-2012, 08:12 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,023 times
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Hi, I recently got hired for a federal job and am looking to find a place to live in NOVA. We are planning on spending around $1000-1300 for a single bedroom at least and would like some pointers.

We would like to live in a place with close access to the Metrorail or VRE for commute to work. We were looking around craigslist and found some deals in our price range in areas like Woodbridge and Manassas. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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Does federal job mean in DC? The commute from Manassas to DC is easily an hour one way. You can find places in South Arlington and even in DC for close to $1300 for one bedroom.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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Where in DC is the job?

What kind of lifestyle did you enjoy in SoCal? Are you looking to live similarly here?

The rents in Manassas and Woodbridge may seem like a good value but they are quite a distance from DC. Woodbridge is suburbia with no real town center while Manassas has its Old Town neighborhood.

A closer-in option might be Cityside Apartments on Route in the Fairfax County section of Alexandria. The units are not fancy but 1BRs will be in your range, a rarity for a close-in area. The neighborhood's appeal may largely be its convenience to the Huntington Metro station as well as the Beltway (I-495). Old Town Alexandria is a 10 minute drive away as is the Potomac riverfront. Best of all, you will cut your DC commute by at least half.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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Thanks, I suppose I should have been clearer. It will be at the Federal Center in Suitland... so even further. I recognize that the commute will be long but we don't mind that so much as living in a decent neighborhood.

We could easily find cheaper places right in Suitland or in the SE area but my wife isn't crazy about living in those areas. We're also expecting a child early next year.

If we were going to be picky, we'd prefer W/D in unit and non-carpet floors.

I would say that I'm comfortable with a community of up to around 1 hour 15 minutes.

We currently live in Downey, CA so we aren't really concerned about living in diverse neighborhoods (it's majority Hispanic here, strong Cuban community) and we're Asian and feel comfortable enough.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:09 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,138,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlee317 View Post
Thanks, I suppose I should have been clearer. It will be at the Federal Center in Suitland... so even further. I recognize that the commute will be long but we don't mind that so much as living in a decent neighborhood.

We could easily find cheaper places right in Suitland or in the SE area but my wife isn't crazy about living in those areas. We're also expecting a child early next year.

If we were going to be picky, we'd prefer W/D in unit and non-carpet floors.

I would say that I'm comfortable with a community of up to around 1 hour 15 minutes.

We currently live in Downey, CA so we aren't really concerned about living in diverse neighborhoods (it's majority Hispanic here, strong Cuban community) and we're Asian and feel comfortable enough.

Thanks for the help!

You won't want to live in Suitland or any of the "affordable" parts of SE, DC. Much of SE DC is being improved but I'm not sure you will find rents in those places that fit your budget. I would try checking in Maryland in the Greenbelt, Bowie sections of PG County based on your work location. I worked there myself MANY years ago!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:35 AM
 
367 posts, read 763,322 times
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I'm going to say a suburb of MD bowie is nice and this way you can get a 2 bedroom!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,808,243 times
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DO NOT LIVE IN VA!!! It makes no sense for you.

I don't know rents, but I have a friend who lives in Cheverly, which would be on the metro line and sounds like a lovely area. You'd have to switch trains to get to suitland, but I think it would be well worth it. Plus, the Fed generally gives some metro benefits. I'd go to the Suburban MD City-Data board and ask this question there.

The only part of VA I could reasonably see as an option for a commute to Suitland would be the Rt. 1 corridor near Huntington. I lived there for a year and dated my now-husband while he was at Andrews AFB - so I was back and forth across the OLD Wilson Bridge quite often. The new one apparently makes that commute much easier.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:26 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,334,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlee317 View Post
Thanks, I suppose I should have been clearer. It will be at the Federal Center in Suitland... so even further. I recognize that the commute will be long but we don't mind that so much as living in a decent neighborhood.

We could easily find cheaper places right in Suitland or in the SE area but my wife isn't crazy about living in those areas. We're also expecting a child early next year.

If we were going to be picky, we'd prefer W/D in unit and non-carpet floors.

I would say that I'm comfortable with a community of up to around 1 hour 15 minutes.

We currently live in Downey, CA so we aren't really concerned about living in diverse neighborhoods (it's majority Hispanic here, strong Cuban community) and we're Asian and feel comfortable enough.

Thanks for the help!
Honestly, I wouldn't bother living in NoVa for what you want. I don't think your work is really accessible by public transportation and traffic is brutal across the Wilson bridge. The closer in places in Mt. Vernon or Fairfax County south of the City of Alexandria are basically going to be small, 1970's style garden apartments that are dumpy for your price range. That's even if you are lucky to find one available when you need it.

My guess is that there may be nicer and affordable places in southern Maryland or near Annapolis. That's probably where I'd live, as it is less dense over there. The further you get from SE PG county, the nicer it gets.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:44 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,003,512 times
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If you are taking the train, I think the only area for that budget would be Alexandria along Route 1. If you can up your budget to $1500, you could find a place in the Landmark area of Alexandria and take the bus to the King Street Metro and then on to the green line Metro train to Suitland. If you can up your budget even more, other areas of Alexandria might open up for you. Either way, if you are commuting to Suitland, your best bet in Northern Virginia would be to live in Alexandria.

Also if you are working at the Federal Center in Suitland, the Suitland metro train goes there, and I believe there's a shuttle to the office.

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,808,243 times
Reputation: 471
here is something I found on the suburban md board that might be of interest:
I'm not sure what part of the sfcc you will be working but the census has a commuter system set up. I know quite a few people whole take the commute bus from annapolis and my co-workers who live in baltimore take the marc train. I even have a few co-workers who do that and they live in towson so take that for what it is. If I were you I would get in contact with the transportation office because they would be able to better direct you and possibly get you into carpooling if there are others who make the same commute.
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