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Old 06-07-2007, 04:51 PM
 
6 posts, read 39,856 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone, I'm hoping you guys could give me some tips on my housing search

I have been offered a job in Reston and plan on moving there in August. I'm in my 20's and single. I don't have much money for a down payment, so I will mostly likely be looking to rent. I am looking to rent a one bedroom at no more than ~$1400/month. From what I've been reading through the forums, it seems like the best place for young people to live is in or near the Reston Town Center.

If that is the case, which place has the most interactive/community-like setup (Carlton House, The Savoy, Market Street)? I have some specific interest in Carlton House since I could walk to work from there; anyone know the reputation of that place?

However, others have said to live near (within walking distance of) the orange line so that one can go to the city easily on weekends. If that's true, which place would be the best for that? I'm guessing it would be somewhere in South Reston like the Mercer?

However, people have also been saying that traffic is horrible in Reston. I will be working near the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunset Hills (which is close to the Reston Town Center) and I would like my commute in the morning to be no more than ~15 minutes.

Well, those are my concerns. There are many options! Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

P.S. I want a nice place but I'm also a bargain hunter , so if there are other spots around the area that are great, please mention them. The key for me i atmosphere - somewhat luxurious but also lively. Thanks again.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:43 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,660,119 times
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There is no metro in the Reston area. (someday..sigh) The Orange line runs along I66 from Vienna through Arlington (Ballston Corridor) into DC.

My advice... Rent in the Reston area around the Reston Town center is good esp for someone new to the area. (try to get a 6mo lease) That way you will get to know the area where you are working and do different "test" drives to areas closer in. Not having to deal with a bunch of traffic getting to and from work will make your transition much better. You'll get to know people and can get the nightlife "vibe" of different areas.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
260 posts, read 1,546,498 times
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For someone new to the area and in their 20's being within walking distance to the Reston Town Center can be a good plan. I myself found the nightlife there in RTC itself to be somewhat pretentious, but it is active and safe. It also avoids any drinking and driving issues that can coincide with the nightlife crowd since you can walk home.

It is also forward-thinking to be in RTC because not only can you catch a bus there that will take you to the Metro (to get into DC for the nightlife or a future job), it will be accessible to the new Metro line that will eventually make it out that way.

Personally I don't know anything about the buildings themselves since many of them were still being constructed when I lived in Reston, but I doubt you can go wrong.

Like 5stones said, there is nothing in Reston close to the Orange line, even immediately south of Reston (Fairfax), you'll have to catch a bus or drive in to the Vienna Metro.

Traffic is not fun in Reston, but it's not fun anywhere within 50 miles of DC. That area you mention (Reston Pkwy and SSH) has many businesses so it will be somewhat snarled at 8-9 am and 5-6 pm, but again, that will be the case anywhere in the area. If you live in one of the buildings on the east side of Reston Pkwy across from RTC, you will likely be able to walk to the office buildings around where the Oracle and STG HQ's are. The shopping center right next to those offices has a Champp's which has a decent social scene.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:12 PM
 
6 posts, read 39,856 times
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Thanks for the replies 5stones and jb124.

Couple follow up questions:

1) The buses that take you to the Metro, how late do they run on weekends? Can I come back on the metro and take a bus home late on a weekend (2-3 am)?

2) What are the names of some places to rent on the east side of Reston Pkwy across from RTC? I only know of Carlton House, which I'm not even sure has any 1 BR to rent.

3) Does the nightlife around Reston consist pretty much of places like Champ's? Are there any good bars or clubs (not to diss Champ's but if its anything like the one around me, then the atmosphere will be poor)?
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:18 PM
 
32 posts, read 100,259 times
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Dude, for $1400/month you can rent in the District or Arlington. I'd live closer to the city even if I worked in Reston.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:26 PM
 
6 posts, read 39,856 times
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Well, I was thinking I would rather have a short commute to work everyday and a longer commute to the nightlife on weekends, instead of vice versa I guess. I expect to be putting in a lot of hours on the weekdays so I doubt I'll be doing much Sun-Thurs nights other than occasionally going out for a quick drink.

Last edited by reston123; 06-08-2007 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
260 posts, read 1,546,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reston123 View Post
Thanks for the replies 5stones and jb124.

Couple follow up questions:

1) The buses that take you to the Metro, how late do they run on weekends? Can I come back on the metro and take a bus home late on a weekend (2-3 am)?

2) What are the names of some places to rent on the east side of Reston Pkwy across from RTC? I only know of Carlton House, which I'm not even sure has any 1 BR to rent.

3) Does the nightlife around Reston consist pretty much of places like Champ's? Are there any good bars or clubs (not to diss Champ's but if its anything like the one around me, then the atmosphere will be poor)?
Unfortunately, the busses to/from the Metro (Fairfax Connector) do not run all that late, with the last bus leaving the Metro station (West Falls Church) at 11:30 on weeknights and 12:50 on Saturday nights. What I did was take the bus/Metro in to town then catch the Metro back out to WFC and take a cab home from there if I missed the last bus (there's a taxi stand at the Metro station). It ended up being like 20 bucks or something, but it was well worth it to me to avoid any DUI type issues.

The Champp's in Reston is very typical of the type of nightlife you will find in the RTC area. Lots of 20-40 something professionals mingling around a bar. The Champp's in Reston has weekly karaoke and the occasional live band.

What type of night life are you looking for?

Pazzo has a point, you could maybe find a 1BR place in Ballston (Arlington) and commute to Reston. Ballston is in a relatively urban part of Arlington and is on a Metro line. It has more opportunities for night life and since it's on the Metro you can head all the way in to DC for clubbing/etc. I'd expect a 30 min or so commute from Arlington to Reston though.

Unfortunately I don't know any of the names of the buildings in Reston. I was condo-shopping when I was there.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:18 PM
 
6 posts, read 39,856 times
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In terms of nightlife, I'm looking for more of an urban vibe instead of a suburban vibe. I find city bars to be much more sociable and lively. At suburban bars, the vibe is more mellow and people tend to stay within their groups and mingle less. Though I guess that can't be avoided if I live in a suburb, unless maybe I live in Arlington like Pazzo was saying. Also, my taste in music is also urban, so I don't really prefer rock - even in the form of Karaoke and live bands.

I looked in google maps and it reports a 30 min commute from Arlington like you said jb124, but I'm worried that it doesn't take into account morning traffic. I don't want to commuting 45 minutes into the burbs.

Is parking cheap and readily available in Arlington? If so, I still think it might be better to just live in Reston, and commute over the weekends. To avoid DUI issues, I could just do what jb124 recommends, though I know I'm lazy and if I feel like its too much of a hassle to go into the city, I'll just end up going much less.

What do the rest of you think who have been in both Reston and Arlington. Live in Reston and have a longer commute to the city on weekends or live in Arlington and have a longer commute to work on the weekdays?

Thanks for your opinion.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:28 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,359,561 times
Reputation: 1792
That's a bind. Like you, I generally prefer urban environments, although funnily enough, I'm not a bar or nightclub kind of guy at all and rarely go to them, but I just like the general environment in the sorts of areas with higher concentrations of these. Like you, I also have a VERY low tolerance for commuting. I get irritated at anything over 20 minutes.

As you realize, both Reston and Arlington have their advantages. From a practical standpoint, it would probably make the most sense to live in Reston if you hate commuting and won't be going out much during the week.

I think that I'd personally wind up choosing either Arlington, or perhaps if not Arlington, maybe Falls Church; a bit closer in towards DC but shaving a bit off of an Arlington-Reston commute.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:40 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,387 times
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Dullnboring has some good points. I live in Reston right now and really like it a lot. But I'm in my 30s and have a dog. I lived in DC for 10 years and was "done" with that scene. I now work in Tysons and wanted a change of scenary with a decent commute. A 23-year-old co-worker of mine lived in Reston for a year and was climbing the walls. She moved into Clarendon as soon as her lease ended and has never been happier. She is an all-out, extreme party gal. Don't know where you'd place yourself on that scale!

Regarding Arlington, I don't know what you could get for $1400, to be honest. If you had a roommate and you each were paying over $1000, absolutely that would work. My co-worker is paying $2400 for a two-bedroom, two-bath.

You'll be able to find something small in Reston for that price on your own. If you work in the Town Center and want to walk, there are quite a few condo buildings in the area. I'd bet a lot of units are for rent if you don't mind dealing with private landlords. I'd avoid Parc Reston -- have been told numerous times about the poor construction and loud noise level of those units. They sure are convenient, though.

Carlton House is nice. Have never heard anything bad about it. I'd ensure that the unit comes with parking without an extra charge.

Best of luck in the new job. You'll enjoy either area!
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