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Old 01-02-2011, 12:14 PM
 
10 posts, read 7,403 times
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I have been looking at this forum off and on for several months now so if you read this and you feel there is another discussion that would cover my questions, let me know. If you live in the area and are stuck, don't bother posting.
Many of my colleagues have suggested that I relocate to the DC area since there are loads of jobs in the Intelligence field and I will have the opportunity to attend one of the better master's programs in international security studies at Georgetown.
Moving on... My wife and I currently live in Seattle. We are both in our early 30's and have two kids. We are both from Hawaii, lived in Connecticut and New Hampshire for 5 years and moved to Seattle 3 years ago to be closer to my family. I am currently deployed overseas and will be getting out of the military in April and plan on moving to the NoVA/DC/MD area in May, since there are loads of job opportunities for me in the area. My wife is a registered medical assistant and dental assistant, so finding employment should not be an issue.
Main Questions: Where in the NoVA/DC/MD area do we go to find... good neighborhoods that are very family/pet friendly and affordable housing, we plan to rent for a year or two and then will be buying a home. We are also foodies, so areas with good ethnic restaurants and markets would be a plus. Also coming from Seattle farmers markets are a major source our fruits and vegetables so areas with farmers markets would be great too. Being close to the Metro and other forms of public transportation would also be a plus, since Id like to nix the need for more than one vehicle.
We will only be there for about 5 days (it will be most likely in mid-April, it might be our only trip if Im offered a position while Im out there) so are their any must see things? What is the current state of the economy/job market? This is just a starting point for the discussion. If what we are looking for doesn't really exist, let me know. Thank you in advance for all of your advice/ideas
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
276 posts, read 81,161 times
Reputation: 67
"good neighborhoods that are very family/pet friendly and affordable housing"

While there area neighborhoods that fit most of that criteria, the affordable part can be an issue. Then again it all depends on what you consider affordable. I'd say Logan circle and Dupont circle would be the perfect picks, but both are on the expensive side, but Logan is cheaper. Mt Pleasant and Columbia Heights are fine as well, but they are more diverse and there is a criminal element in that area, not dangerous, but sh*t happens more than Logan and Dupont. Others I would look at, Eastern Market/Barracks Row, Alexandria, Silver Spring (20910), and Brightwood.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:17 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
10,031 posts, read 8,606,552 times
Reputation: 6165
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlbowman View Post
I have been looking at this forum off and on for several months now so if you read this and you feel there is another discussion that would cover my questions, let me know. If you live in the area and are stuck, don't bother posting.
Many of my colleagues have suggested that I relocate to the DC area since there are loads of jobs in the Intelligence field and I will have the opportunity to attend one of the better master's programs in international security studies at Georgetown.
Moving on... My wife and I currently live in Seattle. We are both in our early 30's and have two kids. We are both from Hawaii, lived in Connecticut and New Hampshire for 5 years and moved to Seattle 3 years ago to be closer to my family. I am currently deployed overseas and will be getting out of the military in April and plan on moving to the NoVA/DC/MD area in May, since there are loads of job opportunities for me in the area. My wife is a registered medical assistant and dental assistant, so finding employment should not be an issue.
Main Questions: Where in the NoVA/DC/MD area do we go to find... good neighborhoods that are very family/pet friendly and affordable housing, we plan to rent for a year or two and then will be buying a home. We are also foodies, so areas with good ethnic restaurants and markets would be a plus. Also coming from Seattle farmers markets are a major source our fruits and vegetables so areas with farmers markets would be great too. Being close to the Metro and other forms of public transportation would also be a plus, since I’d like to nix the need for more than one vehicle.
We will only be there for about 5 days (it will be most likely in mid-April, it might be our only trip if I’m offered a position while I’m out there) so are their any must see things? What is the current state of the economy/job market? This is just a starting point for the discussion. If what we are looking for doesn't really exist, let me know. Thank you in advance for all of your advice/ideas
You'll find everything you described in the DC area. It has a very good ethnic food scene and lots of farmers markets. Before you do anything though, the first questions always are: (1) where will you be working? (2) what will be your household income? (3) how much are you willing to pay in rent/mortgage? (4) what size home/apartment are you looking for?

In DC, all of the main sites are must-see: The White House, The Capitol Building, Library of Congress, The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Air & Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Natural History, F.D.R. Memorial ... are a good start.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:08 PM
 
198 posts, read 660,548 times
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You said intel field? Which gov't agencies are you targeting for employment?
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:39 PM
 
9,999 posts, read 9,005,365 times
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The "Ballston Corridor" in Arlington seems like it would be a good fit - family friendly / good schools for your kids, farmers markets / fresh and organic grocery / neighborhoods, access to Metro - might be a little expensive, though. It runs from Rosslyn out to Ballston and is defined by the Metro stops around which highrises have grown. The nice thing about that stretch is that right off the main strip there are nice, early 20th century houses as well as the apartment options.

If you don't have some money saved up, I'd just make sure one of you has a job lined up before coming. The economy's still rough and there's a whole lot of qualified people living in this area in your field.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:42 AM
 
10 posts, read 7,403 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the replies.
Shadow Inc: My spouse and I looking at a total combined salary of 110-120K and have a budget of about 1800/ mo for housing, dependent on location and access to public transportation (i.e. if we need to keep a second vehicle the amount we can spend on housing drops proportionally to our car payment)

BigCityDreamer: I could be working anywhere from Arlington to Suitland and pretty much anywhere in between.

Kensington: Check you DM

Bluefly: I have a few interviews set up during our visit and plan on having a couple more lined up prior to coming out. Once I get a few offers we should have a better idea of what we can and can't afford housing wise, but based on our estimates 1800/ mo for housing should be more than sufficient for our families needs.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:47 PM
 
583 posts, read 822,714 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Inc. View Post
"good neighborhoods that are very family/pet friendly and affordable housing"

While there area neighborhoods that fit most of that criteria, the affordable part can be an issue.
This is true. I've lived in Seattle and in DC. DC is more expensive for the criteria that you are searching for than Seattle I've lived in very urban areas though and as a single person, not as a family. I've been following DC housing market on and off, so this is what I've observed.

I have to say that prices in areas most PPs mentioned will be out of your reach based on your projected salary if you were to buy a home. SFHs in Arlington along metro stops are very very expensive - decent ones are over a million, ones that are 600K or less are mostly fixer uppers and tiny. This area might have been affordable in the past, but quickly has grown up to be one of most expensive in DC metro due to its distance from DC, development of more urban character and proximity to Metro. Lots of professionals starting families have settled there and desire to do so. There are affordable parts of Arlington, but they are not within reach of public transport. Still there are nice areas between Arlington and McLean with housing prices cheaper than along the Metro corridor where you can get more for your money in a nice family leafy neighborhood, but you'd have to drive everywhere. There are also some other cheaper areas that are more residential and where many immigrants and middle class families still live, which would be more affordable. In terms of rent Arlington should be cheaper than DC especially the trendy popular areas the first PP mentioned. You can try to get a 2 bedroom for your price in Arlington, it has a good number of high rise and low rise apartment buildings. But, I haven't looked at rental prices, so I don't know exactly what 1800/month gets you.

Pretty much in DC anything that is close walking distance to metro would command extra 200K-300K in price as far as SFH prices are concerned in safer and nicer areas. Basically, you have to compromise, either on public transport proximity, or on amount of space and parking you will get or on distance from DC proper. More affordable areas would be deeper into the suburbs (away from transport) or in areas that are mixed and or up and coming in terms of gentrification or crime.

You can also look at renting around NW DCs more residential areas that are still walking distance to metro, like Tenleytown, Cleveland park, Van Ness/UDC. All nice safe areas with super expensive SFH, and while they are not affordable to purchase, they have apartment buildings near metro stops and townhomes and rents should be cheaper than inside the DC's more trendy areas like Dupont/Gtown/Logan/Ustreet etc. Schools are still DC schools, but not bad on elementary level.
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