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Old 10-21-2006, 04:25 PM
14 posts, read 40,003 times
Reputation: 11


Hi. I'm new to the forum today (just found it as a matter of fact).
I have recently decided to move from Virginia Beach to the NOVA/DC area. I have decided that I would like to get a job with the government. Seeing how most of the government jobs are up that way (compared to where I'm at now), I decided to make the change. As long as the process takes to hear back from the government, I figured I have several months. However...

I am trying to decided exactly where I would like to live. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I will stay in VA. Looking at some of the posts on the MD areas near DC, I think that would be my best bet. I just drove back down from Alexandria, VA today. I didn't have a chance to look at much of the area b/c it was an overnight trip.

I was wondering if anyone could suggest decent areas to live in that are not too far from the DC area (which is hopefully where I'll be working). If necessary, I will take the METRO to work. I'm from the Bronx, so I'm familiar with public transporation. I'm also looking for decent areas to rent an apartment for "somewhat" cheap. I'll take a studio if necessary.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:46 AM
Location: Virginia
4 posts, read 38,990 times
Reputation: 11
It depends on how much you want to pay and what features/amenities you are looking for in a rental home/apartment.

Cheap to you could mean expensive to me.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:02 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,349,253 times
Reputation: 1792
Agreed, that "cheap" is a subjective term.

Just for a general idea of the way prices run in the area though, I will give you a little rundown of where I live at the moment, in Ashburn, a city (well, unincorporated planned community) some 35 miles outside of DC. Here, the standard condo (2BR, 2BTH) goes from 250-350K, the standard (2-3 BR, 2.5 BTH) goes for 350-450K and single family homes start in the low 400s. This is considered cheap by many people in the DC area, and is in a somewhat inconvenient location, especially for commuting into DC which can run an hour and a half one-way. So anything closer in, will be more expensive. Within a 20 mile radius of DC on the Virginia side, you're unlikely to find a single-family home under 500K (they exist, but are far and few between). Generally, you can expect pretty much anywhere in the DC area to pay at least $1000/month for a one-bedroom apartment. There's a handful in the 900s but generally within a reasonable distance to DC, you can expect to pay at least $1000, and selection of studio apartments are relatively few and far between compared to many other metro regions and are generally concentrated either in DC itself or Arlington.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:10 PM
14 posts, read 40,003 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks so much for your responses.

I actually am looking to rent for a while. Since I'm just moving there, I don't think it would be a good idea to buy right out. I've decided to try and relocate with my job, so if I can do that, I will more than likely be working in the McLean, VA area.

I've looked at some of the apartments online and a lot of them started at
$800, but I was VERY skeptical about the location of a lot of them. I was hoping that I could find an apartment around $900-$1100 a month with all utilities included.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:36 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,349,253 times
Reputation: 1792
If you're working in McLean, I would confine an apartment search to McLean, Arlington, Tysons Corner, Vienna, Dunn Loring, Falls Church and maybe Reston. I'm not sure about your tolerance as far as commuting goes but commutes seem to determine everything in the DC area and I always recommend people if possible live within 10 miles of their workplace. I would say that within these areas you should be able to find apartments in the 900-1100 range, most with utilities included at the upper end of that (or perhaps pushing 1200). In general, these are all nice areas, particularly Vienna, Tysons, Dunn Loring and McLean. The city of Falls Church is nice but areas labeled as Falls Church sometimes are not actually in the city and are in rougher areas (Seven Corners, Culmore, etc.) so you have to watch out for that, and similarly, there are shadier parts of Arlington, although in general, the area is very low-crime, even in the "higher" crime areas. Most of the communities are strictly generic strip mall and business park suburbia but Arlington is a bit more urban in character with good Metro access, proximity to DC, nightlife and higher density. I personally would recommend it over the other areas but it all depends on what you're into.

I would be very skeptical about any one-bedroom apartment starting at $800 in Northern Virginia. I've never heard of any. I'm sure they exist, but I'd be very suspicious. Northern Virginia doesn't have any true ghettoes but there are some rougher areas that it'd be best to avoid.
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