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Old 05-30-2013, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Charleston
21 posts, read 50,745 times
Reputation: 12

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Planning a relocation possibly as early as this summer. Previously lived there 10 years, starting w/ a cheap/basic studio in Shirlington when we were broke and then making the mistake (in our minds) of going for the big house suburb thing and lived in Woodbridge and then Warrenton. We have vowed to never have a long commute again, and by long I mean about 20 minute max regardless of mode (walk, bike, metro, drive). Since we have lived outside of the area for 8 years now I've been reading up on this forum, but also our jobs take us back to DC routinely so I think we know the areas very well.

Making a long story short, it is only my wife and I, no kids. We are in our early 40s but at least try to act like we are in our low 30s. Got some dogs (though probably not for long unfortunately they are 13-14 years old) and a cat.

So... we do NOT want a single family home again. We'd go for a townhouse, and even consider a 2BR/2BA or larger condo if the floorplan, location and building is right. Luckily our price range is decent - can go for the 700s to say 900K. Walkability to restaurants/bars/shopping is a requirement (so think of a Walkscore of 80 or more as a target). Generally speaking we only like new housing or a max of say 5 years old. My job will probably be in the Courthouse area, hers in Crystal City.

Putting price aside, in order of preference we think we like the Clarendon area the most, followed by Shirlington Village, then I'd say Pentagon City, then Crystal City. I'm taking Old Town out of the mix as much as I love King Street since I don't like how the new townhouses such as Old Town Commons, while very nice I just got a bizarre feeling about the surrounding project areas. I don't like the idea of dropping $850K or more and be around that (sorry if that makes me sound uppity but that is how I feel).

In those locations I list Shirlington is the one w/o a metro rail - but the positive is it basically splits the difference in our two work locations so the drive 'should' be reasonable most of the time. And the bus station there is decent though that wouldn't help w/ either of our commutes. You can get a nice TH there in Shirlington Crest for $750K or so, at easily the best price per square foot out of the locations I list so thats a plus. Having said that - if I could grab a condo in Abdo's Gaslight Square or Wooster/Mercer I think that would be my favorite option though it costs the most (of course). Potomac Yard is intriguing, especially since there will be a metro stop there at some point and it is somewhat walkable to a few things but not to anything w/ the character of Clarendon or Shirlington in my mind.

My gut is telling me Shirlington balances all of the pros/cons the most. But wow is something like Gaslight Square amazing.

So basically this is just a brain dump here - sorry for the length. While I know it is our decision and I think we have a handle on things I'd love to hear people's thoughts that have debated this type of situation.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:18 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 1,818,860 times
Reputation: 1178
If I were you I would look at Wooster. The penthouses there completely blow my mind! And I am pretty sure you can find a condo there in your price range.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
1,338 posts, read 1,383,033 times
Reputation: 1226
With BRAC, I would see if prices in Crystal City are depressed compared with the other areas. Many offices in Crystal City are emptying as DoD and their contractors move to more secure locations. That might drag housing prices down as well.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:29 PM
 
2,670 posts, read 4,519,607 times
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1) there aren't many townhouses in the CC/PC area (and not that many in Clarendon), due to land prices. There are primarily SFHs, condos, and rental apartments. So if you really want a townhouse, Shirlington is probably your best bet. However, since you prefer new builds, there may be more inventory of new condos that you might like, available in Clarendon. There haven't been many condos built in CC/PC recently - there are some near Potomac Yard.

2) residential prices are not "depressed" in CC/PC--there is low inventory and conditions seem similar to those in 22201. CC/PC is convenient to many locations and to two metros, so people who live in this area work in many different locations. Consequently, the BRAC relocation really hasn't affected the residential situation. And, you may want to check out Arlington County's plans for redevelopment of the Crystal City office tower area, some of which is already being implemented. For example:

http://news.arlingtonva.us/releases/...ievement-award

3) re: the metro stop in Potomac Yard--that has been talked about for years, but AFAIK, there is no concrete approval of a plan and financing to make it happen. So it could be 10 years away -- or never -- and I wouldn't make a decision based on it.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:04 PM
 
4,031 posts, read 4,830,041 times
Reputation: 10580
I realize you said you're counting out Old Town, but if condos are a possibility, remember that near the King Street Metro are some new high-rise condo towers at Carlyle. Just a couple of blocks from Metro, Whole Foods, Amtrak, movie theaters at Hoffman, etc..
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Charleston
21 posts, read 50,745 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
I realize you said you're counting out Old Town, but if condos are a possibility, remember that near the King Street Metro are some new high-rise condo towers at Carlyle. Just a couple of blocks from Metro, Whole Foods, Amtrak, movie theaters at Hoffman, etc..
You know the more we keep looking, we did decide to add that section of Alexandria to our list. There are some listings at The Duke Townhomes & Flats for example that look to have the right things going for us. The last time we were up there we stayed in the Carlyle area and couldn't believe how nice it was vs. 10 years ago. The only negative is my commute to Courthouse would be longer than I'd normally want. But walking to Whole Foods, the restaurants in Old Town, and less than 1/2 mile to the Blue/Yellow line may be worth it.

It's amazing to see when listings pop up in places like these they sell in days though you can't sit around waiting for prices to drop now.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,633 times
Reputation: 869
Why buy if you've got no kids and want to max out your commute at 20 minutes? Find something that works until your job changes, then get a new place closer to your new job.
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