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Old 10-29-2009, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 8,077,190 times
Reputation: 1499

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Howdy howdy. So I'm looking for a new pad still with roommates but closer to work. I'm trying to move to Arlington but I'm finding it really frustrating. Nothing seems to be the right fit. I'm starting to think I should just stay in Oakton and get out of bed a little earlier to shorten my commute.

This thread is I guess part rant and part info seeking. At the end of the day I think I know what I need to do to improve my situation. But yeah is this just how it is in Arlington in regards to finding the right place particular when roommates are still a requirement?

My problem has been most of the places I look at are older and I like newer. Also I'm used to having a rather large bedroom and walk-in closet. I'm finding that giving that up will be harder than I thought. Also when I do find somewhere I like and make an offer there's no response.

Part of me is like stay outside the beltway and get up earlier since that's where the more affordable and larger homes are. Part of me is like suck it up pick the small room with no walk-in closet, this may be Virginia but it's still DC and sacrifice is the name of the game in DC. I think most people will tell me to suck it up but I figured this still be a chance to speak about what's on my mind.

So what do y'all think? Stay where I'm comfortable and just get up earlier? Or get over being so gosh darn picky? Or this is just part of the process? In my last moving situation I was desperate and just picked the first place I saw now I realize the importance of thinking about my decisions. But maybe I'm making too big of a deal?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:09 AM
 
476 posts, read 1,089,850 times
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I'd get a place in Arlington. Life is so much easier without a long commute! If you can avoid traffic do it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:51 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,054,429 times
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Only you can decide whether newer, large bedroom, and walk-in closet are more important than short commute. As you've probably already figured out, you are unlikely to find the former in close-in Arlington for a price you are willing to pay.
Moving is a pain. If I were you, I'd try the "get up earlier" approach for a few months and see how it goes. If you're still not happy, then start looking for the old small place in Arlington with a tiny closet.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
593 posts, read 2,246,255 times
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I'd agree with twinmom. You just have to ask yourself, is my life going to be happier with a nice closet and more square-footage, or would you be better off with a short, easy commute and proximity to DC activities.

There isn't really a right or wrong answer, but yes, what you're experiencing is normal. I've lived in Arlington for 2 years now, and when I toured around looking at apartments, it was challenging at times b/c you see a glamorous, huge one -- and then realize that it's way out of your price range. But hey, that's life, right?
I ended up having success finding a roommate on craigslist. Especially if you are in your 20s or early 30s, there are so many people searching for roommates to share a place in Arlington, because if you're younger and not yet married, that's the only way to make it affordable! The key is to arrange to spend at least 1 hour with your potential roommate(s) before agreeing on a deal. Ask them if you can meet up at a coffee shop, or for lunch or something on a Saturday.

Actually...I've toured around/visited friends in so many of the apartment buildings in Arlington at this point that I know the area quite well. If you can post a few details (how much you want to spend on rent, how many roommates, parking needs, how close do you want to be to the metro, etc.) I'm sure I could give you a few ideas of places to check out.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:55 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,078,632 times
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How much time do you tend to spend at home vs. out on the town when you're not working? Do you think this would change if you lived in Arlington?

There's something to be said for storage space... but otherwise if you think you'll be taking advantage of Arlington's social amenities on a more regular basis, it might be worth the smaller space that as you wouldn't be spending so much time there anymore.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,755,814 times
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I like that suggestion about trying the earlier commute first, and then deciding how much it is worth to you.

I definitely can relate to your angst, too. We rented an older house so that we would be close to my husband's work, and the commute is fantastic, no lie. The neighborhood is awesome, too. But oh my God, the problems with this house! For the next place I am really considering hauling out to the far flung burbs just so something doesn't need fixing every other day! The tradeoff really sucks, and I really miss my spacious, shiny Nebraska house sometimes.

That said, I'm a SAHM - I'm looking at these old walls and tiny closets all day. But how much time do you really spend at home? If you work all week and go out on the weekends, does the big closet, in the end, have that much of an impact on your life? I don't know, it's a hard call.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:08 AM
 
437 posts, read 1,074,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Only you can decide whether newer, large bedroom, and walk-in closet are more important than short commute. As you've probably already figured out, you are unlikely to find the former in close-in Arlington for a price you are willing to pay.
Moving is a pain. If I were you, I'd try the "get up earlier" approach for a few months and see how it goes. If you're still not happy, then start looking for the old small place in Arlington with a tiny closet.
I agree, if you can try make your commute easier and you like where you are, you should try that out. You can keep looking for somewhere closer in in the meantime. If it doesn't work, then you know what your options are.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,819,531 times
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I've been in your situation a few times in my life, I can really sympathize.

FWIW here's a few things I've learned.

1. No matter where you move you're going to have a certain number of disappointments and you just have to suck it up and focus on the positive. Only you can decide which disappointments aren't a big deal and which will drive you up the wall.

2. Moving is a royal pain and ends up costing more than you think.

3. If you don't have a deadline, it pays to be patient while you're looking for that perfect apartment or roommate situation. Keep looking diligently, but don't force it. One day the perfect opportunity will appear. (And frustratingly, it usually appears right after you've just said to hell with it and gotten a place you don't really like that much.) It's hard to be patient, but it pays off.

4. A short commute to work is worth its weight in gold. IMO, that's the most important factor for a happy life.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 8,077,190 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
How much time do you tend to spend at home vs. out on the town when you're not working? Do you think this would change if you lived in Arlington?

There's something to be said for storage space... but otherwise if you think you'll be taking advantage of Arlington's social amenities on a more regular basis, it might be worth the smaller space that as you wouldn't be spending so much time there anymore.
I drive. I hate doing all that driving but I make it into the city every weekend. It's about 25-30 minutes without rush hour traffic. Although sometimes Friday nights can be a pain if it's like 7 or 8:00 on 66. So living in Oakton doesn't stop me from going to places. Although I will say that I spend more time at home than when I first moved here a year ago. The novelty of being able to party every night of the week has lost it's appeal particularly when you have to be at work by 7:30.

There have been a few times when I didn't do something after work because 66 is such a nightmare. So I might go to a few more things but I don't think my social calender will be THAT full because the drive isn't bad into the city outside of rush hour. I would use the metro more though because the ride from Vienna into the city is kinda long, especially if I was walking distance to a metro but my job isn't on the orange or blue lines so I'd still drive to work no matter where I lived.

So that is a point. My social life wouldn't change that much because the city is not that far outside rush hour. It's the rush hour traffic that's a pain.

Last edited by terrence81; 10-29-2009 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 8,077,190 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by bornindc View Post
I agree, if you can try make your commute easier and you like where you are, you should try that out. You can keep looking for somewhere closer in in the meantime. If it doesn't work, then you know what your options are.
So take my time and don't panic by getting a place that isn't right for me? I can dig it.
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