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Old 07-17-2013, 03:55 PM
 
19 posts, read 43,464 times
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Hi-
There is a possibility that I might be getting a job near McLean/Tyson’s Corner. But Iwanted to start getting opinions on the best places to live inVirginia/Maryland (see if it is even possible to live off what the salary is).
First off, here is a little about me. I am a single female (no kids) currently living in Texas…where you get bang for your buck. The job would pay $68,000, which is greatmoney to live off of in Texas, and not so great in DC. I know on top of federaltaxes, there is also an income tax in VA/DC/MD. So does anyone know about whatthe monthly take-home pay would be? I will also be bringing my car (the hourswill constantly be changing so I want to be able to drive to work). Are thereany places around 1000 sq ft, with 2 bedrooms, takes 2 cats, and rent is around$900-1000/month that isn’t in the ghetto? Or would it be cheaper to buy acondo/townhome for less than $200,000? With that sq footage, about how much would be spent forutilities? I don’t want a roommate so utilities would be for one person and occasionallya guest or two. Are there usually parking and other fees with condos? I wouldlike to keep it under a 1 hr commute each way. I am not sure how far out I canlook with that commute. Which highways are the worst to commute on and maybewhich direction would it be best to commute into McLean/Tyson’s Corner?
Ijust read an article where produce is on the poor side and super expensive. Arethere no good grocery stores around? I would like to be close to a grocerystore because I’d like to cook versus each out for most meals.
Anyother advice would be most helpful!
Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,575 posts, read 12,681,399 times
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You can't get a 1 BR apt. for $900-$1000. You need to up your rent considerably. $1300+ for a 1-BR and $1500+ for a 2-BR. Cats may be extra.

There are good grocery stores around. Produce is okay in season. Off season, it's meh.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:03 PM
 
19 posts, read 43,464 times
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Is $1500 really feasible on that salary? I am fine with paying extra for pets, I do that right now. I don't have a car payment and work may possibly pay back my student loans. I really hope that is the case then I can up what I can afford for rent.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams_2004 View Post
Is $1500 really feasible on that salary?
That's really up to you to decide. We don't know your budget for "extras". Many, many single people have roommates because it is so expensive.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:24 PM
 
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Do you really need a 2 BR apartment? It would be cheaper to send your occasional houseguest to a very nice hotel than to pay hundreds of dollars each month for a space that you aren't actually using.

You should also keep in mind that some apartment complexes will charge for guaranteed parking spaces, and as a single female working odd hours, you don't want to be looking for spaces on the street and walking back to your apartment in the dark. So figure that into the rent budget (and $1500 is on the low end for a 1 BR apartment in a safe community convenient to your workplace).

Most people here will tell you to live as close to your job as possible. An hour commute to and from the Tyson's area, especially during rush hour, may take you only 10 miles or so.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:31 PM
 
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I agree, one bedroom apartment with a convertible sleeper sofa.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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Normally I think it is good to spend no more than 3 times your monthly gross income on rent. 68,000 equates to about 5600/month. If you spend 1800/month on rent it is still less than 3 times the monthly income leaving about 3800/month for all other expenses. As a single woman, you really shouldn't have 3800/month in expenses unless you have a mortgage, credit card or crazy student loans. Even with student loans, you would need 150-200K in loans at a high interest rate to get even close to 3800/month payment.

As a single woman, there should be something in safe area you can afford within one hour of Tysons. You may need to look towards Ashburn, Leesburg areas but those are within 1 hour even with traffic.

68K in Northern Virginia may not be as great a salary as in Texas but for a single person, you should be able to find something and afford living here. It may not be in the most upscale area but you can easily find something in a nice, safe middle class area that is not the ghetto.

This all being said, it is very much a dual income area. The area is not well suited to having a single income earner. It isn't impossible to live on a single income and many families manage just fine and live in safe areas on less than what you are making. That said there are lifestyle choices they make. They may not go shopping for new clothes very often. Not many nights out drinking and partying. Not many expensive trips and vacations. And also keeping credit card debt as low as possible.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:14 PM
 
Location: State of Waiting
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Regarding the "poor produce" available here, don't believe everything you read! we have fantastic grocery stores... Wegmans, Whole Foods and others, not to mention numerous farmers markets on the weekends and during the week at different locations. Working in the Tysons Area, I would suggest looking at Falls Church. YOu might even find something in McLean or Tysons with some luck. It's pricey here, and your $68K won't go as far as it does in TX. Two Br. apts are going to be $2,000+ in a good neighborhood, maybe consider looking at 1 br. Fairfax Corner/Fair Chase has some nice new luxury apartments with garage parking, lots of nice shopping & stores, etc., but the drive to Tysons can be horrible in the morning unless you can go off peak. Might take you about 45 min or so to get to work. Check out the apartment guide websites, rent.com, etc., and also look on Craigslist. I would try & come out here first before you decide on moving here and look around to see if you would like it.

I mention Falls Church & the Fairfax Corner areas because lots of young singles are there, lots to do, some apartments are so close to shopping you can walk. I would not go west toward Ashburn or Leesburg... all families out that far. Perhaps Reston, but then you have to take the toll road or suffer on Rte 7. If you stay closer in toward where you work, you have more flexibility on the weekends - if you want to do to DC or Old Town Alexandria.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,419 posts, read 20,283,791 times
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While I understand what you are saying in the long run - it's poorly worded - 3 times monthly income means 3 times MORE than you make a month. You mean no more than about 30% of your month income for rent. (There are many non-native English speakers that would be totally confused)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjs1987 View Post
Normally I think it is good to spend no more than 3 times your monthly gross income on rent. 68,000 equates to about 5600/month. If you spend 1800/month on rent it is still less than 3 times the monthly income leaving about 3800/month for all other expenses. As a single woman, you really shouldn't have 3800/month in expenses unless you have a mortgage, credit card or crazy student loans. Even with student loans, you would need 150-200K in loans at a high interest rate to get even close to 3800/month payment.

As a single woman, there should be something in safe area you can afford within one hour of Tysons. You may need to look towards Ashburn, Leesburg areas but those are within 1 hour even with traffic.

68K in Northern Virginia may not be as great a salary as in Texas but for a single person, you should be able to find something and afford living here. It may not be in the most upscale area but you can easily find something in a nice, safe middle class area that is not the ghetto.

This all being said, it is very much a dual income area. The area is not well suited to having a single income earner. It isn't impossible to live on a single income and many families manage just fine and live in safe areas on less than what you are making. That said there are lifestyle choices they make. They may not go shopping for new clothes very often. Not many nights out drinking and partying. Not many expensive trips and vacations. And also keeping credit card debt as low as possible.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:52 PM
 
19 posts, read 43,464 times
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msj1987-I'm more of a homebody so really only would be spending "extra" money for dining. But I also do love DC so if I decide not to volunteer (like I do in TX) then I might be spending more time site seeing or going to parks during the weekends. I have actually stayed in Leesburg and it's a nice quaint town, but I am finding Manassas to be the cheapest (around $1500/month) for what I am looking for so far. But this might be too far?
clarmarie- I would still like to have a second bedroom. My family lives in Anchorage so having a second bedroom is nice to be able to see them as much as possible while they visit. Good point on the parking spot, I also need to keep that in mind. I really don't want to be walking in the dead of night back to the apartment.
Leaving4CA- I really am not a "party girl" anymore. So maybe an area with young professional would be best (by that I mean wanting more that just the bar seen). I do like the suburban feel but it might be hard to meet people if they are all families with kids. I'm also trying to find basement apartments (?), I'm not sure what you call them. But renting a portion of someone's house that is separate from their living space. Ideas on where to locate these? Just Craigslist?
Thanks for all the quick replies
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