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Old 03-19-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,188,022 times
Reputation: 15748

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Hello forum!

I will be relocating in May from my current complex, where my rent will be rising $200/month from my current $1,135/month for a 1-BR with no amenities and maintenance problems and am hoping to stay in Reston. The problem? Nearly every complex in Reston has horrible online reviews for one reason or another. In many cases the communities in Reston were built in the late-1960s through the late-1970s, and now most are aging terribly, from what I understand (I've seen the shoddy construction in my own complex). I'm hoping some on this forum might be able to give me some advice about any or all of the following complexes:

1.) The Sycamores
2.) Colvin Woods
3.) Parc Reston
4.) Waterside
5.) Market Street Condos

Generally speaking I can get a 1-BR place at #1-#4 for $1,100-$1,250/month. With #5 I would likely be paying around $1,350/month for a 1-BR, but I'd be trading up to luxuries such as underground garage parking and living in Reston Town Center. The Sycamores is my top choice right now since it is right in my own neighborhood and an apartment just opened up for the weekend I'm looking to move out (making for a relatively painless and financially seamless move).

Any advice? Judging by the Restonian many of the older complexes in South Reston are home to less-than-desirable types, so I suppose I'd be best off sticking within a relatively close radius of Reston Town Center. I like the setting of Fairway Apartments, but I'd be stupid to lease there since I'm pretty sure that complex is being torn down in 2011 to make way for a new high-rise mixed-use project.

I'll specifically ask our South Reston expert JFromReston about this one: How is Freetown Court? I found a 2-BR rental there on CraigsList for only $1,100/month, which is UNHEARD OF in Reston. Is this a sketchier part of South Reston?
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:58 AM
 
7,903 posts, read 7,238,587 times
Reputation: 6258
I'd be surprised if Fairway is torn down that soon. They haven't even received approval for their rezoning. I'm pretty sure that location is well outside the quarter-mile Fairfax County TOD radius for high-density development. I think Sycamores is a far better candidate for a tear-down but there's been no application by the owner.

Fairway and other apts have been emptying out because the Hispanics have moved out due to lack of jobs in local construction and housing-related services (cleaning, landscaping, etc.). The market for apts is very weak.

Colvin Woods is section 8. It's in a bad area with other section 8's. It used to be called Carter Lake before the failed condo conversion by Comstock. Very nice paths and close proximity to Lake Fairfax and its path system if you like to jog trails. I go there to run and often find very few people using the trails near Carter Lake (security problem?).

I know of Sycamores and Parc Reston from friends. They seem to be pretty nice though on the small side (hence less costly rent). They're both very convenient to RTC, W&OD running path, and roads (Reston Pkwy and Sunset Hills).
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
182 posts, read 475,123 times
Reputation: 113
A $200/month increase sounds pretty steep. Do you think they're trying to raise prices since metro is coming to town?

You could easily find 1BRs in Arlington for 1300, just not walking distance to metro.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,776,806 times
Reputation: 18989
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastli84 View Post
You could easily find 1BRs in Arlington for 1300, just not walking distance to metro.
Wow, I had no idea you could get apartments in Arlington for that rate. Hmmm, if that's the rate I think this is the best idea yet. Arlington seems like a better fit for you, and not that bad of a commute to Tysons.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,553,761 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Wow, I had no idea you could get apartments in Arlington for that rate. Hmmm, if that's the rate I think this is the best idea yet. Arlington seems like a better fit for you, and not that bad of a commute to Tysons.
If you don't need to have metro access or be in the most desirable areas, you can get a decent place for $1300 + utilities. The rents skyrocket when you get to within walking distance of the metro though!
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:43 AM
 
373 posts, read 714,905 times
Reputation: 378
You could probably find better space for your money if you look for private rentals.

I really think you should take a break from Reston though. Today is an awesome day, come walk around Shirlington, Fairlington, Park Fairfax, Old Town Alexandria, Del Ray, chat with people out walking their dogs, check out the kinds of places that have for rent signs in the windows (and really, it is the sign in the window that will uncover a hidden gem, not mass apartment listings). I think these communities are much closer to what you're looking for in terms of architecture, neighborhood friendliness, locally owned businesses, close to running trails along the Potomac, etc. And they provide easy access to DC, relatively easy access to Tysons, and are not as expensive as you think.

You absolutely can find a one-bedroom apartment with character for $1300.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
826 posts, read 685,543 times
Reputation: 962
I wouldn't let the negatives weigh too heavily on your decisions. Most reviews are written by disgruntled people with an axe to grind.

Last Fall I wrote a balanced review of this community in Fairfax:
The Ellipse at Government Center
Cyber-Valley.com Home
Click their link at upper-right.

Nonetheless, there are probably 50 negative reviews for every positive or neutral one.

Many of the negatives we read are outside the scope of reason, or beyond the control of the property owner -- but many are also legitimate grievances. Best bet is to go see the community for yourself and get a feel for it. The person writing a negative review might well be someone who would irritate you as a neighbor, and vice versa, and you would not want to rely on them when making a decision.

If during your search you come across any communities built by Charles E. Smith (regardless of who currently owns them), be sure to give them a look.
Also, check with your current leasing office about transferring to a different apartment in the same community. You would be treated as a new tenant and pay a lower "newcomer" rate and avoid the increase. (I have done that myself on more than one occasion.)

Good luck.




Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
Hello forum!

I will be relocating in May from my current complex, where my rent will be rising $200/month from my current $1,135/month for a 1-BR with no amenities and maintenance problems and am hoping to stay in Reston. The problem? Nearly every complex in Reston has horrible online reviews for one reason or another. In many cases the communities in Reston were built in the late-1960s through the late-1970s, and now most are aging terribly, from what I understand (I've seen the shoddy construction in my own complex). I'm hoping some on this forum might be able to give me some advice about any or all of the following complexes:

1.) The Sycamores
2.) Colvin Woods
3.) Parc Reston
4.) Waterside
5.) Market Street Condos

Generally speaking I can get a 1-BR place at #1-#4 for $1,100-$1,250/month. With #5 I would likely be paying around $1,350/month for a 1-BR, but I'd be trading up to luxuries such as underground garage parking and living in Reston Town Center. The Sycamores is my top choice right now since it is right in my own neighborhood and an apartment just opened up for the weekend I'm looking to move out (making for a relatively painless and financially seamless move).

Any advice? Judging by the Restonian many of the older complexes in South Reston are home to less-than-desirable types, so I suppose I'd be best off sticking within a relatively close radius of Reston Town Center. I like the setting of Fairway Apartments, but I'd be stupid to lease there since I'm pretty sure that complex is being torn down in 2011 to make way for a new high-rise mixed-use project.

I'll specifically ask our South Reston expert JFromReston about this one: How is Freetown Court? I found a 2-BR rental there on CraigsList for only $1,100/month, which is UNHEARD OF in Reston. Is this a sketchier part of South Reston?
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:56 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,604,790 times
Reputation: 556
I rented at Harbor Park in Reston for 3 years. Had a good experience, though I've heard the management crew is new. It's still Buzzoto owned, and they were fair with the rent increases every year. Of all your choices, I like the Market Street Condos the best.

Parc Reston -- Knew several people who lived there, and they all complained about the noise. It's poorly constructed and they heard every little movement from the people upstairs, on the side, etc. There have been lots of foreclosures and short sales in this development. I've noticed some cosmetic deterioration (flashing on the roof needs replacing, paint peeling) and wonder if their condo dues are holding up.

Colvin Woods -- Have never known anyone who lived there, but I took several trips through the parking lot when I was in Reston and that was enough for me. A friend used to go hiking in the area at the back of the property. He quit after a few "odd" sightings. You also have to drive past Section 8 housing to get to Colvin Woods.

Waterside -- Knew two people who lived there and they hated it. Ironically, Waterside had a lot of water problems, such as leaks, with subsequent damage the management apparently did not pay for.

When I read disgruntled or angry posts on the internet, I look for trends. Are people saying the same thing, over and over? If so, I pay a little attention. I rented a privately-owned condo at Fountains at McLean before buying my own place. I wrote a truthful and highly negative entry about them in apartmentratings. com (Nov 2009). Enjoyed my time there, but the exit was excruciating.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:58 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,604,790 times
Reputation: 556
Fountains at McLean -- on second thought, I really didn't enjoy any of my time there. The condo was always cold and building repairs were a constant issue. But I digress.... Good luck with the Reston search!
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:27 AM
 
131 posts, read 371,111 times
Reputation: 39
You might want to check out stuart woods in herndon, it is just across the street (fairfax county parkway) from reston, and you could probably walk to RTC (although it would be a long walk).

I just moved from there after living there for about 7 months or so, in a 2BDR for under $1300. Management staff is very friendly, although we had some stuff break in our apartment maintenance was always prompt. Overall I thought it was a pleasant place to live.

One downside may be the place is not filled with yuppies, you'll find a lot of young families there. There are also some residents that don't seem to be, eeerr, "professionals" but this is NOT the majority and I never had any trouble with anyone.

From what I hear, most of what you can find is arlington for that price range is not in an ideal location and/or not a great place to live.
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