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Old 07-02-2014, 09:30 AM
 
95 posts, read 182,505 times
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I just got an interview at Fort Belvoir. I'm currently in North Carolina.

It's a GS-09/11 with a promotion potential to GS-12.

Have any of your worked at Fort Belvoir? What would you recommend as far as living area? What about commute times? (I've heard they were terrible). I've also read about how expensive it is to live in the DMV area. However, I think most of that is just housing and I'm just looking for a one bedroom apartment.

About me: 37 year old male. Single, no kids.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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What is your monthly rental budget?

What kind of amenities do you seek in your future neighborhood? (urban, walkable, restaurants/bar/nightlife or suburban, relaxed type).
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:05 AM
 
95 posts, read 182,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PK12 View Post
What is your monthly rental budget?

What kind of amenities do you seek in your future neighborhood? (urban, walkable, restaurants/bar/nightlife or suburban, relaxed type).
I would say anywhere from $900 to $1300. Here in North Carolina I only pay $750 for a one bedroom. I know it's going to be more than that anywhere in the DMV though.

Surburban, relaxed type. I'm a home-body.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Used to work there. Commuting from north of the post is far, far easier than from south. I could get from 22205 to the south post, door to chair in 40 minutes via 395S and Tulley Gate (the main entrance from the FFX County Parkway). Taking GW Parkway to Walker Gate was a little longer but just as easy traffic-wise and very pleasant. This is arriving at work at 8:00 or 8:30, by the way.

South and west of the base (Springfield, Burke) are often chosen by people who want a large house and good schools for less than $600K. You would be surrounded by families and stuck in traffic for no reason, unless you leave home at 6 AM.

Single male GS-11--I'd say look at apartments along Route 1 closer to Alexandria or perhaps along GW Parkway, also south of Old Town. Route 1 is sketchy but safe enough if you don't take solo walks at 3AM. Or you could try near Huntington Metro, though you'd be paying more to be near the Metro, which you will not be using. (I tried parking there and taking the REX bus once--took forever.) Heck, you could even look at SW DC, if you can get a place with parking.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 07-02-2014 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:33 PM
 
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You could also consider south of Belvoir in Prince William County/Woodbridge. The traffic can definitely be bad, especially at peak periods. However, there are a number of townhouse/condo complexes in 22191/22192 that would have rents in your ballpark, and if you can arrange your schedule to avoid peak the commute is manageable. You would probably want to avoid most of the ones along Rte. 1, though there are a few decent ones. Woodbridge is definitely suburban.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Sinkholeville
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By far, the most important factor is commuting direction, not distance. Go against the flow!

Look from Ft Belvoir north towards Alexandria, but stay south of the Beltway (it's a bottleneck).

If your options include a choice of driving down the Parkway, take it; it's beautiful enough to be an after-work destination. Bring your bicycle or skates or kayak or windsurfer....and pull off at Belle Haven, Mt. Vernon, Columbia Island, or elsewhere on the way home.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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I agree with previous posters - you would be fine along route 1 as close to Belvoir as you can get (for a short commute). I used to commute from Old Town Alexandria down the mt vernon pkway to an area north of belvoir, and it really wasn't bad at all. 15-20 minutes. So if you're close to route 1 or the parkway and not too far from belvoir (but north of it), then I think your commute will be pretty decent. If you don't need anything fancy, there are 1 bedrooms in your price range at some of the large apt complexes, sort of low-income (but not like inner city ghetto or anything) areas.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
64 posts, read 82,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuteTheMall View Post
By far, the most important factor is commuting direction, not distance. Go against the flow!

Look from Ft Belvoir north towards Alexandria, but stay south of the Beltway (it's a bottleneck).

If your options include a choice of driving down the Parkway, take it; it's beautiful enough to be an after-work destination. Bring your bicycle or skates or kayak or windsurfer....and pull off at Belle Haven or elsewhere on the way home.
I highly agree with this. A good friend of mine lives near the Huntington metro area...south of the Beltway and in Alexandria. In the past few years they have done a marvelous job of building up the area, bringing in desirable shops and restaurants. Sadly, at a GS-09 with the potential of getting a GS-11, if you are single, it's workable. They have some great apartments in the Huntington metro area. The great thing is after the rush hour, Old Town Alexandria is a short drive. Good Luck!
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Going through Old Town, one barely notices where the Beltway is. Old Town itself has stoplights and a little traffic, but it's not bad when you have a reverse commute (south in the morning/north in the evening).

OP, if you can find something in or near Old Town, that would be ideal for you, but I have no idea if you can get an apartment for $1300 there. I would guess that you might be able to if you look on the outskirts and are OK with a studio.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:30 PM
 
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Last year I was talking to a woman that worked at Ft. Belvoir and lived in the Duke Street/Landmark area. She said her commute was about 20 minutes door to door. I know that area isn't posh, but there are a lot of apartments and the OP might find something in their price range there.
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