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Old 03-16-2010, 01:31 PM
3 posts, read 13,625 times
Reputation: 10


I'm moving into Nova in June for a my new job (Mitre) which is right around the mall at Tyson's Corner. They've also got a shuttle that runs to the West Falls Church metro station.

So I'm looking for a place to live with the following criteria:
1) sub $1500/month
2) getting to public transportation isn't too difficult
3) good place for meeting new people
4) bonus points for 2 bedroom and lots of bonus points for a hot tub

So, what neighborhoods should I be looking in and which neighborhoods should I specifically not be looking in?

Also, does anyone have a particular apartment/th/whatever to suggest?

Many thanks in advance. I've been reading your forum for a few days straight now.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:39 PM
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Why not live in Tysons if you hate commuting? My husband rented at the Commons of McLean when he was your age. I think his rent for a large one bedroom was well below $1500, but that was several years ago. There were other people his age living in that complex.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:50 PM
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Most of us hate commuting too.

Live in Tysons/McLean as suggested. Although $1500 will probably get you neither a 2nd bedroom nor a hot tub (unless the latter is in your complex's fitness center).

Join your co-workers for dinner and/or drinks at one of the eateries at Tysons Galleria while the rush hour crowd thins out.

Or head over to Reston Town Center after the rush for a more cohesive scene that might satiate you until the weekend when you can hit Arlington and DC. Not a bad commute from Reston to Tysons Corner either but you will inevitably crawl through Tysons during prime rush hour.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:20 PM
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So far I've heard Tyson's and Reston. When I was lurking the forums earlier everyone seemed to be all about Arlington. Any opinions on that point?

Also, what's it like trying to get to a metro/park and ride in this area? I've never lived in a place with mass transit that actually worked and I have no idea what to expect. Being from the south, if you don't have a car, you can't get ANYWHERE because there's 20 minutes of forest between you and anything else.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:26 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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For a good area in Arlington where you'd be on the Orange Line train to WFC to your employer's shuttle bus, you'd be paying significantly more for a 2BR than the preferred range desired. $1,500 and under in Arlington will get you a 1BR in areas around Ballston, Clarendon, etc., most likely in an older building, which might mean a lack of amenities, and/or a small apartment.

You will get more for your money in Reston, and can find something newer in Tysons, as compared to Arlington. You should also consider Merrifield as it's near the Orange Line train at Dunn Loring. While the current area is redeveloping, with new apartments, restaurants, etc., you can find an apartment that would put you on the train to Arlington and DC for nightlife. You're perhaps twenty minutes from Mitre if you take the back roads, though you could always take the train to WFC and then the shuttle if you'd prefer not to drive at all. $1500 will get you a newer 1BR right at the Dunn Loring Metro.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:16 PM
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Check out the place called Fountains of McLean. A buddy of mine just scored a sweet1 bedroom condo (renting from owner) for $1300. They seem to have a lot of vacancies.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:18 PM
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People live in Arlington because they work in DC (or Arlington, perhaps) and they don't want a long commute. They pay a premium because of the proximity to DC. If you're not commuting to DC every day, why pay the premium for something you're not actually using?

If you're willing to take the Metro Shuttle, you could live in Falls Church or Vienna and get more for your <$1500 than you will get in Ballston or Clarendon. Merrifield, as the previous poster suggested, would also be a possibility.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:55 PM
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If you choose the Commons of McLean, you'll be about 20 yards to the nearest Mitre building.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:56 PM
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Options where you could walk to Mitre:

Dolley Madison aparments (low rise 2 storey bulit in 1960s)
McLean Chase condos on the same grounds
(I would advise only living in a top floor unit because of the poor construction quality and that probably applies to anything around here) You should be able to get a 2 BR for $1300-$1400. Some of the McLean Chase places can be nicely renovated; I would go for McLean Chase over Dolley Madison.

The Regency and XXXX are high-rise condos. I think they cater to old people and have dry cleaner, convenience store, etc. on site. 1970ish type buildings. A 1 BR would be in your price range.

The Colonies. Low rise condos built in 1970s; gated community.

The Commons, as mentioned. I think it's more expensive than the others but you would be extremely close. They always appeared to have banners and ads offering X months free rent, but the list prices appear to be high for what you get, so I guess the business model is to offer teasers and hope people stick around. The buildings actually have some architectural merit.

The Westerlies. Low-end townhouses right next to the Commons. Rent for a 3 BR TH used not be more than $1600 there.

Gates of McLean. Across the highway from Mitre. It looks very exposed to highway noise from beltway and 267. It was infamous just past the bubble peak for having about 36 for sale signs at the intersection of route 123.

I would avoid places like Fountains, etc. that are on the other side of the beltway on the Tysons side. It's a pretty miserable place to live, and worse with the construction. Not that being near Mitre is a picnic.

p.s. There is a brand new Safeway right next to the Commons and Mitre, so you could live quite self-sufficiently in the 'hood.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:04 PM
3 posts, read 13,625 times
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Wow, you guys are incredibly helpful. I appreciate all the responses. It looks like I'm going to schedule a trip down and look around at apartments right around Mitre and then maybe try to hit a few other locations based on these suggestions.
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