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Old 02-06-2007, 08:20 AM
 
1 posts, read 17,077 times
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I've been looking for a studio apartment in Northern VA, and I've noticed that some of the (barely) affordable listings mention income restrictions -- i.e., you cannot live there if your income exceeds a certain threshold (and mine will). My question is, how common are these income restrictions? Is this the result of some kind of law, or does it vary from owner to owner? How hard is it going to be to find a studio apartment in the $800-$900 range?

Thank you for any help.
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,746,732 times
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NoVA is VERY expensive. When I first moved in, I thought the maximum rent on income limited apartments was very high, and I was making above the limit. My understanding is that the "moderate income" complexes are a result of tax breaks somewhere along the time (perhaps when building?) and they therefore have to limit income to something like 80-120% of the county median income. Again, this is my understanding, I don't guarantee its correct. LOL Anyway, for the most part the income limit apply to the big complexes with professional manegement companies.

The only places I've seen with non-income-limited studios for $800/month is to find a (likely illegal) basement apartment in NW DC.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:01 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,340,321 times
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I can't offer much advice about the "income limits" on some apartments. Truthfully, I didn't even know about them. I have to say though, Northern Virginia is severely lacking in studio apartments. You can find some in Arlington, but outside of that, there's very few, and generally those in Arlington will be at least $1000/month. You can however, rent out a room in someone's home, or split an apartment with someone, for much cheaper. You can rent out a room for little as $600, some places even less. Of course, this comes with the drawbacks of living with someone else, not having your own kitchen, and most likely, not having your own bathroom either, but if you must move and simply can't afford to rent, it's a good option.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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To stay in your budget you might try Craigs List for apartments in Fairfax, Herndon, Reston area. Manassas is the next idea, but there are issues with unsafe apartment complexes. But I can offer you this...stay away from any properties owned by Equity Property Management.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
566 posts, read 2,752,280 times
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I would recommend craig's list as well. You should also take three visits to the place you decide on...one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night. That should give you an accurate depiction of what the area is really like and will hopefully keep you from making a decision on an area that may not be what you're looking for.

From what I have seen and heard the income restricted housing is an attempt by local officials to give "affordable" housing to those people that may not be able to afford to live in a certain area, but want to steer clear of other, less desirable, areas. I heard of one builder who was going to build very high end condos, but the approval was contigent upon his agreement to build "affordable" $400K+ condos across the street. I believe in this case everyone lost b/c he walked away from the deal...he couldn't afford to do both and wasn't going to make enough money on the "affordable" homes to do them alone.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Xtal,

I was just at my grocery store, in Gainesville which is a suburb outside Manassas/Bristow . I live in a nice house with my family. But I wanted to bring up something with you. You may want to check grocery stores for "rooms fo rent"....these often are advertised by single people who live in a good size house and wand to rent a bedroom with kictchen etc. MJost rents go for $450 to $750 with a good bit in the median range. And sometimes these are full basement rentals...and I lived in a basement in Mclean years ago and thought it a swell living arrangement. You may want to check grocery stores around Centreville/ Vienna/Gainesville close to major highways and would find several ADs in the classifieds boards in grocery stores. Well worth looking at these ADs, and in my opinion folks who own homes are responsible unlike folks who own condos and apts.

Good luck...!!!
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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Yes, the income-limited units are required by the local county or city boards as a condition of building. They will require a builder to include a certain number of "affordable units" in order to get approval for their project. Recently I was in a large neighborhood of houses that cost nearly a million dollars each, and at the back was a row of eight townhouses to meet the requirement. Some friends of mine live in a neighborhood of large townhouses; one section looks the same from the exterior but the townhouses are divided into apartments inside and are reserved as "Section 8" housing.

Some local weekly papers have classified ads where people are looking to share homes. Sometimes it is homeowners offering rental of a room or basement with some access to other parts of the house, other times it is a group of individuals who are renting a townhouse or condo and looking for an additional roommate to join in as an "equal." If you're Catholic, the Arlington Catholic Herald usually has a couple such ads every week.

If you try out different local zip codes on realtor.com and click "rentals," you can get an idea of what's available. You may be able to get a condo rental if you're willing to drive a bit. I don't think studio apartments are very comomn outside of DC, and anything decent inside DC would undoubtedly exceed your price range.

Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:27 AM
 
Location: NOVA - retiring to OKlahoma
569 posts, read 1,134,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M700lefty View Post
Xtal,

I was just at my grocery store, in Gainesville which is a suburb outside Manassas/Bristow . I live in a nice house with my family. But I wanted to bring up something with you. You may want to check grocery stores for "rooms fo rent"....these often are advertised by single people who live in a good size house and wand to rent a bedroom with kictchen etc. MJost rents go for $450 to $750 with a good bit in the median range. And sometimes these are full basement rentals...and I lived in a basement in Mclean years ago and thought it a swell living arrangement. You may want to check grocery stores around Centreville/ Vienna/Gainesville close to major highways and would find several ADs in the classifieds boards in grocery stores. Well worth looking at these ADs, and in my opinion folks who own homes are responsible unlike folks who own condos and apts.

Good luck...!!!
Why do you think "home" owners are more responsible than "condo" owners? They both are making mortgage payments.

Xtal, renting a room is a good option. There are many homeowners that have remodeled their basements to be rentals with separate entrances, kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
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