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Old 12-04-2013, 11:35 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,419 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone. Like many others, I’m hoping for some help with relocation. I’m moving to the area in late January from a very small town, and I’m not really sure where to start looking.

The basics:
I will be working in Old Town Alexandria. Salary will be around 75K. SO is moving with me currently looking for employment in the area.
We have debt of about $700 per month if we sell one car $1000 per month if we have to keep both cars for commuting.
We need a two bedroom apartment or at least a one bedroom with an extra room (such as a den).
I have no problem skimping on other things to be able to afford a nice, safe, place to live, preferably with a high ratio of other professionals.

My preferences:
I would prefer to sell my car and bus/walk commute to work, which means I would like to live within a few blocks of the bus line. If I sell my car I need to be within walking distance of the necessities-shops, doctor, grocery, etc. If I have to drive to work, I really don’t want more than a 45 minute commute.

I think my preference would be to live in Old Town, but I’m not sure if financially that would be possible. It looks like we’d be paying about 50% of my take home income on housing. Is this normal for the area?

I’ve also looked at the Del Ray area, but the costs seem to be about the same and from the looks of it, the bus line isn’t all that convenient. Am I wrong on this?

Would other areas of Alexandria be more feasible (such as near 395), even though I’d have to drive to work? Are there areas to avoid here?

Basically, I have researched quite a bit but am getting a bit overwhelmed and not sure which route to go. Thank you for any advice you can give.

Last edited by strm88; 12-04-2013 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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Rent for a 2BR apartment in a managed building will likely run you between $1600-2000 in Old Town. You might be able to lop off a couple hundred if you're okay with a 1BR although it may not necessarily include a den.

It is possible to catch a bus in Del Ray to the Braddock Road Metro station then transfer to a number of buses headed towards Old Town. It might seem slightly inconvenient although your total commute will still be shorter than most in the region.

If you're open to looking a bit further out west for more value, there are numerous apartments along Duke Street/Route 236 and King Street/Route 7, particularly towards the border in the Landmark Mall and Fairlington sections, respectively. You can catch a bus on either of those major roads to Old Town.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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It's been many, many years since I lived there, but Foxchase apts would meet a lot of your needs. If you live in the community as close to Duke as you can get, it's an easy walk to the shopping center which, I believe still has a grocery store. Easy access to the bus and there are busses in the community that go to King Street metro where you can get other buses. I will warn you that 1 bedroom apts are tiny.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Middlin View Post
It's been many, many years since I lived there, but Foxchase apts would meet a lot of your needs. If you live in the community as close to Duke as you can get, it's an easy walk to the shopping center which, I believe still has a grocery store. Easy access to the bus and there are busses in the community that go to King Street metro where you can get other buses. I will warn you that 1 bedroom apts are tiny.
Foxchase would be a great choice, notwithstanding the tiny 1BRs (which I never knew about. ) Harris Teeter is the supermarket there. At least two buses - the #8 DASH and the #29K Metrobus - will take the OP to the King Street Metro.

I should also amend an earlier statement about transportation from Del Ray. The #10 DASH bus travels down the main corridor Mt. Vernon Avenue to the King Street Metro.

Depending on where the OP's office is in relation to the King Street Metro, a brisk walk or a quick transfer to one of several DASH buses towards the waterfront may be required.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,363 posts, read 20,154,735 times
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Foxchase has a free shuttle for residents that takes you to King St. Metro
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:33 PM
 
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It's worth checking out the condos for rent by owner in the various towers in the Crystal City neighborhood ( north of Old Town, just west of DCA, south of the Pentagon). You may have more choices for 2-bedroom units there. It's a straight shot down to Old Town, just 3 stops on the Metro, and plenty of buses. Easy shopping at Pentagon Center and Pentagon Row (Harris Teeter grocery there).
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:15 AM
 
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Thanks. I had looked at Foxchase, but the online reviews were pretty rough-Is it a decent place?

Also is there a map somewhere of the different neighborhoods? Also, are some more oriented towards a certain demographic? For example is one usually more family oriented, one more professional, one more trendy, etc?

Do the bus lines for the border areas, such as Landmark, tend to be on time and reliable?

I'd really like to stay in Alexandria if at all possible.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:42 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,041,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strm88 View Post
Thanks. I had looked at Foxchase, but the online reviews were pretty rough-Is it a decent place?
The neighborhood itself is not rough at all. Note that unhappy residents are the most likely to take time to post their reviews. It might be worth checking the property out in person.

Quote:
Also is there a map somewhere of the different neighborhoods? Also, are some more oriented towards a certain demographic? For example is one usually more family oriented, one more professional, one more trendy, etc?
I'm not aware of any maps off the top of my head. I can say that Old Town is essentially "downtown", Del Ray is mildly trendy yet family-friendly, Arlandria (just above Del Ray) may be most attractive to those who are fluent in Spanish and are comfortable in a working-class environment. Most everywhere else will be a mix of middle-to-upper class households of all ages. The high-rises in the West End may be somewhat economically diverse.

Quote:
Do the bus lines for the border areas, such as Landmark, tend to be on time and reliable?
In my experience, Alexandria's DASH buses are usually on time, with the exception of the #4 southbound from the Pentagon as it inevitably gets caught in I-395 traffic and therefore arrives at subsequent destinations at least five minutes past its scheduled time.

Quote:
I'd really like to stay in Alexandria if at all possible.
If you can handle $1200-$1400 rent and can endure a 1BR apt until your SO finds a job then you will be fine.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Alexandria
3 posts, read 7,952 times
Reputation: 11
Try a Realtor for a rental unit. The Del Ray area is nice and less expensive than Old Town.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,363 posts, read 20,154,735 times
Reputation: 16326
I live in a single family house not far from Foxchase and take the bus on Duke St. to King St. Metro (then onto either Pentagon City or Metro Ctr.) - you can usually almost set your watch by how accurate the time is.
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