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Old 01-01-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Hello everyone, I am going to be relocating to Northern VA and working in Crystal City. The office I'll be working at is walking distance to the Crystal City Metro station. For the first year, my small family (me, wife, and one child, age 8) need to rent an apartment that is at least 2 BR and has enough room to cram in our household goods. We don't want anything fancy but it needs to be safe. It also has to be cheap (by Northern Virginia standards), because I don't want us to be in over our heads while our house in another state is on the market (no way to tell how long it will take to sell).

Basically, looking for areas where it would be possible to rent such an apartment for about $1100-$1300 a month while we are waiting for our house to sell. I realize that this means living far out from Crystal City/Arlington.

Does anyone have any recommendations on areas that would fit our needs and would also still give me the ability to get to work via Metro and/or VRE? Ideally, it would be an area with good schools, since we could wind up staying in that area for 1-2 years (and maybe even buy in same area, after our house sells -- if we like the area).

I want to minimize my time in the car in favor of rail. If I take rail, my employer will reimburse it.

How far down the Fredericksburg VRE line would we need to go and what are some towns very accessible to that line with good schools?

Ditto the Manassas line?

Any advice is welcome! I don't know much about the area. Thanks!!
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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P.S. - I read some positive things about Stafford? How long would it take to get from there to Crystal City?
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
P.S. - I read some positive things about Stafford? How long would it take to get from there to Crystal City?
I wouldn't do Stafford to CC. Live as close to a VRE then you can take that in to Alexandria and catch the blue line to Crystal City.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Springfield VA
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To be honest that is a low price range for a two bedroom in these parts. The average two bedroom starts around $1500 but can be $1700 for a place outside the beltway. It really depends on how long of a commute you can handle.

If you can handle a 1.5 hour commute then Stafford will give you the most bang for your buck on the Fredericksburg line. Woodbridge will be about an hour (counting time to leave home and get to work). Woodbridge has a mixture of both good and bad apartment complexes but would be the best option. The schools are good and your child would be exposed to every culture imaginable. My cousin has two kids out in Manassas and commented on how his boys' sleepovers turn his den into a little United Nations summit, if ambassadors played Xbox and played pranks on each other at meetings.

Honestly if you want something closer in you might have to raise your price to at least $1500. Burke and West Springfield are extremely family friendly. Lots of trees and very pleasant. Clifton, Fairfax Station, and Centreville are nice too but still might be close to an hour when you count the time to get to the VRE station.

Alexandria is an option if in an pinch but $1100 is extremely low and won't result in a very nice pad. In the DC area the further out you live the lower the price. At the end of the day Prince William and Stafford counties are your options in the $1100-$1300 range.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:35 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,638 times
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Terrence81, Thanks -- that is helpful. Yeah, it's kind of a dilemma. Once we sell our house, it's a new ballgame -- we will want to live a lot closer in to Arlington and in a nicer place. But while we're paying both a mortgage and rent, which hopefully won't go on for more than a year (hopefully less!),our hands are going to be tied.

Some simplistic questions as follow-up to what you said:

Woodbridge seems convenient based on proximity to the VRE, but what is the area like?

I had mentioned Stafford because someone told me there are some excellent schools there. But how far is Stafford from the VRE in terms of driving, and what VRE station would someone living in Stafford typically use? Quantico?

Finally, I know Franconia/Springfield is the end of the Metro Blue line. What is the area around that Metro stop like? Should I assume that it's prohibitively expensive for our current limitations?

Thanks --
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