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Old 06-04-2013, 10:09 PM
 
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Hi All, I recently got a new job in the SW DC (virginia ave) area and I am looking at trying to find an apartment to rent. First things first I guess, am I crazy to think I can live in Alexandria and commute to SW DC for work? I'm no stranger to long commute times coming from Philly so as long as the travel time each way is less than an hour I am fine with it.

My girlfriend will be moving down with me and we are currently looking for an apartment. Both of us are mid 20s professionals. I'd like to keep the budget at $1800 or below but if necessary we could push this up to $2000. We really only need a 1 bed/bath and id prefer to have something over 800sq ft if at all possible.

I really don't even know where to begin this search, any inputs on what areas in Alexandria to look in? I've heard mention of Del Ray and Old Town, any specific apartment complex recommendations in these areas? I'd like to be in a safe area where I don't have to worry about her walking around at night, and I'd prefer a modern high rise apartment complex type setup.

Ill most likely only have 1 weekend to look at apartments before making a decision, so any and all information and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Erock14; 06-04-2013 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: northern va
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If it were me, in my mid 20's, I'd be looking at any number of the high rise complexes in the Ballston area. close to shopping, dining, but most importantly, easy access in to DC
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:12 AM
 
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There are certainly worse commutes to DC. You'll meet a lot of co-workers coming in from as far as Fredericksburg, Leesburg and even West Virginia. From the Braddock Road Metro station, for example, it's a 20 minute ride to L'Enfant Plaza which is walking distance from Virginia Avenue SW.

Speaking of Braddock Road, there are several apartment buildings due east that may fit your budget: the Meridian and the Asher come to mind off the top of my head. The North Old Town neighborhood is somewhat mixed-income. The low-rise public housing is being crowded out by the multitude of condos, apartments (including the Asher) and townhouses being built in its place. You'd be equidistant from the Del Ray as well as the more active part of Old Town.

One Metro stop south near the King Street station is the Carlyle area. It's an upscale area that is filled with office workers going to the USPTO and Federal Courthouse during the day and is pretty quiet at night despite a few restaurants in the area. You'd be a healthy walk from Old Town's waterfront. Some of the apartments there might be beyond your price range.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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Thanks for the input so far, by commute I should have clarified that I meant drive. Do you think I could get away with driving from Alexandria to Virginia Ave SW DC at 1 hour or less each way?

Sounds like the Carlyle area is worth considering as well, if I can afford it. I really appreciate the specific apartment complex names, as this will give me a good starting point. I found 2 complexes on realtor.com that looked promising called Halstead Towers and Midtown. Anyone have any experiences or info on these buildings or the areas they are in?

Last edited by Erock14; 06-05-2013 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kww View Post
If it were me, in my mid 20's, I'd be looking at any number of the high rise complexes in the Ballston area. close to shopping, dining, but most importantly, easy access in to DC
Thanks for the tip, arlington seemed to be higher priced than alexandria during my initial overview search. Any specific recommendations on apartment buildings to look at?
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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I lived in Carlyle Mill apartments in 2007-2008. We loved it there. One block to the Eisenhower metro. Walkable to Old Town, although as someone else mentioned it is a bit of a walk. I commuted to NW from there both by car and metro and it wasn't bad. The GW Parkway doesn't (or at least then didn't) seem to be as congested as many of the other VA to DC routes. But unless you need a car for work I'd really consider the metro.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:38 PM
 
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If you're driving to DC, you should strongly consider living near the GW Parkway. The stretch of the parkway that passes through Old Town Alexandria is known as Washington Street. Some of the most affordable Alexandria apartment complexes are right on this street. Note: South Washington Street has much more frequent bus service to Braddock Metro Station.

Mason Hall is on N. Washington St, midrise buildings, just two or three stoplights to DC

The following complexes are located on S. Washington:
Hunting Point on the Potomac (formerly Hunting Towers, midrise)
Hunting Terrace (garden style)
Gunston Hall (garden style)

Or you could rent a condo:
Potowmack Crossing (garden style) is on N. Washington.
Port Royal (high rise) is two blocks off N. Washington.
The Bearings North and South (garden style) are on S. Washington
Old Town Gardens (garden style) is on S. Washington.

You could also rent a condo at Belle View Condominiums two miles further south down the GW parkway.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erock14 View Post
Thanks for the input so far, by commute I should have clarified that I meant drive. Do you think I could get away with driving from Alexandria to Virginia Ave SW DC at 1 hour or less each way?
With zero traffic, you would get to SW DC within 20-30 minutes from the areas in/near Old Town. With traffic, it depends. Note that unless you have a particular incentive to drive - or disincentive to take public transit - then the Metrorail may save you time if not also money.

Quote:
Sounds like the Carlyle area is worth considering as well, if I can afford it. I really appreciate the specific apartment complex names, as this will give me a good starting point. I found 2 complexes on realtor.com that looked promising called Halstead Towers and Midtown. Anyone have any experiences or info on these buildings or the areas they are in?
Midtown is a newish high-rise condo directly across the street from the Huntington Metro station. If you drove to work, you'd be right near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge at which you could hop on the Beltway (I-495), cross over to MD and then head north to DC. Although you'd have an Alexandria address, you'd technically be in the unincorporated area in Fairfax County. There's not much happening at all in Huntington but Old Town is less than ten minutes away. The neighborhood has a residual reputation for crime but with new townhomes being built as well as commuter-friendly apartments and condos remaining popular, odds are you'll won't have any issues.

I'm not familiar with Halstead Towers.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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I agree with some of the other posters, Old Town off Washington Street is a really good place to look. Lots of condos and apartments, though I think most of them are older style (historic) and garden style. I'm not too familiar with the high rises in the area but the commute from Old Town is really easy on GW Parkway. Traffic varies depending on how far you are heading in, but even when I leave at 8:00am (prime time rush hour) and sit in traffic I can usually still get across the 14th street bridge in under a half hour. I work near the bridge so I can't comment on traffic further in. South side of King Street is really safe and nice; I live there currently and walk all over the place at all hours - no problems and never feel threatened.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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PS.....I didn't see anyone mention the Monticello Lee. It's affordable and nice and one bedrooms go for about $1600 a month. But once again, it's Garden Style, not modern high rise. Good luck!
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