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Old 09-16-2007, 11:59 PM
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
7,800 posts, read 1,806,640 times
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I am asking this question for a friend who is moving to DC. He has found a couple different things that he is interested in the area.

1. Park Place NW near Washington Hospital Center

2. 15th st NE, north of Independence Ave

3. Acker Place NE, not far from Capital Hill

He got a position at George Washington Univ. Which would have the easiest commute? What neighborhood is the safest? He is a single white male, so schools are not important.

Thanks for any info you can share.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:58 PM
Location: DC-Baltimore area
235 posts, read 718,975 times
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I would tend to suggest that he consider the Foggy Bottom/West End/Georgetown area, even if had to take a share for awhile (lots of people do it, rents are HIGH here) or a studio. He could walk to the university, there's a lot going on (he's single), rent in a secured building, well served by the Metro and/or buses, and while I consider no area of the city completely safe, I think those are fairly good bets--lots of activity, people around, not isolated. I lived in the area of NE that you mention in #3. I felt isolated and not safe there at all -- although this was 15 years ago, muggings and break-ins were common; don't know if it's better now.
To me it would be worth it to pay more, be able to walk to work and a lot of other places in that part of town, and feel safer. JMHO.

Last edited by Tuneful; 09-17-2007 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:43 PM
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I'd probably order them 3-1-2. Capitol Hill is spreading northward toward Gallaudet. A claim has been put on Acker Place, but it's maybe not quite finalized yet. Have to call it a pretty good bet at this point. Park Place is on the edge of Park View. For the most part it should be fine. There are stable, middle class neighborhoods around it, but there's still a bit of an edge here as well. Just paying attention should be all you'd need to do. To the south, Howard U and Hospital and the nightlife of U Street are plusses. Capitol Hill is spreading eastward too, but the sort of dividing line at the moment is 13th Street, along the eastern edge of Lincoln Park. 15th Street is further east, into the Kingman Park neighborhhod. It's an area maybe best called in-transition at the moment. There is a new Harris-Teeter open at 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue which will be a big help, but the Nats will move out of RFK Stadium after this Sunday, and that will diminish attention on the area, which might not be so good.

None of these areas is (yet) up to being prime DC real estate. None of them would be among the top areas for safety. All of them are at least substantially minority. None of them is a real good commute to the GW campus. If it were me, I'd expand the search some. There are some quite nice and still sort of affordable places in West End as <tuneful> noted, and that's safe, quiet, and for a fit person, within walking distance of the GW campus. Another idea would be to look along the Metro Orange and Blue Lines out into NoVa. There is A LOT of stuff to look at out that way. Foggy Bottom is the first Metro stop in DC and it is on the GW campus, across from the hospital (23rd & I). On the Orange Line inside Ballston, or on the Blue Line from Pentagon City or Crystal City, you'd be no more than a 15-minute train ride away. Alexandria would be a little further. Worth looking at, at least...
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:40 AM
1,054 posts, read 3,667,984 times
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Figure it out yourself.

No, I'm not being a jerk, I'm just pointing out this great site:

Metropolitan Police Department (http://crimemap.dc.gov/presentation/query.asp - broken link)

It's from the DC police. You input the address of the places you want and it tells you the location (on a map) of all crimes within x months. You can start to get a real idea of what is out there.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:12 AM
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
7,800 posts, read 1,806,640 times
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Thanks for all the information everyone.

I was in DC this summer, and the areas we visited looked fine. We stayed in all the 'tourist' type spots, though. He asked me for help since he knew we had been there recently. He has called the local police and asked their opinions and they basically said the same things that saganista said about the areas.

It is hard to move across the country, knowing nothing about an area. That is why I was hoping you guys could offer some 'insider' information. Everyone says DC has the highest crime in the country. I didnt see that during our trip, but like I said, I was not in the 'neighborhoods'.

My friend is going to rent first, as suggested and see if he even wants to stay in the area. He has only committed through June for the job.

What do you suggest for places to rent? how much are rents in the Foggy Bottom/Georgetown area for a 1 bedroom apt/condo and what streets border these areas? I mean, where does the safe area end? (we stayed in the west end area for our trip and I absolutely loved it). Since tuneful and saganista feel that is a safer area, maybe he could look there.

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Old 09-20-2007, 05:04 PM
Location: DC-Baltimore area
235 posts, read 718,975 times
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A 2005 FBI survey of crime in major cities put DC at #4 and Baltimore at #1. May not seem like much of a difference, I know, but that's an honor we around DC don't want to have...
I think two good online resources are Apartments.com - Free Nationwide Apartment Search with the Most Visual Rental Listings Online. (even the Washington Post links to it), where you can search by zip code, and Apartment Ratings - Apartments for Rent with Ratings and Reviews from Actual Renters for tenant reviews, granting, of course, that people with a beef may be more liable to sit down and write a review than people without.
Craigslist DC is another resource, you will find a lot of condos to rent on there as well as house shares. Condos of course are like apartments but just be ready for more red tape and hassles if and when problems come up because of the extra layers involved with a private owner and having to get maintenance from outside contractors (usually).
While the rental market was very tight last year when I was looking at this time, it seems a little less tight this year for some reason. Still, he may want to take an extended-stay hotel by the week (search on Google) and do some looking before signing a lease. I believe there are some of those hotels in the city as well as suburban MD and VA that may be close to a Metro station or have shuttle to Metro. Don't rent anything that you haven't checked out personally.
Oh, and if I had to guess rents in the WE/FB right now, I would say $1100 and up for a basic studio and $1400 and up for a 1 BR, higher in Georgetown... and may have to pay some utilities and for a parking space (75 and up/mo), for convenience, if he brings a car, otherwise chance it with street parking.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:32 PM
19,179 posts, read 21,238,046 times
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Originally Posted by Tuneful View Post
A 2005 FBI survey of crime in major cities put DC at #4 and Baltimore at #1. May not seem like much of a difference, I know, but that's an honor we around DC don't want to have...
Not sure where you saw that. Among a lot of other things, I happen to have the full 2005 FBI data set for criminal offenses known to law enforcement on my C: drive. In terms of general crime per 100,000 population among the 98 US cities that had a population of 200K or more, Washington ranked 56th. Baltimore was 36th. The top five were St. Louis, Orlando, Memphis, Birmingham, and Kansas City.
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:23 AM
1 posts, read 2,844 times
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Default Capitol Hill has changed in the last 15 years

Tuneful--I am not sure if you realize it, but Capitol Hill has changed in the last 15 years. Acker Street now is full of young professional families--lots of little kids on the street.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:34 AM
Location: Arlington, VA
298 posts, read 982,378 times
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That area around 15th & Independence is very close to a hot spot around 17th and Independence. The only of the 3 you should consider is probably the Acker St one. The one on Park Place I'm not exactly certain of as I rarely get into that area except closer to Georgia Ave, so I can't speak for that road. I know the surrounding area is being gentrified causing a lot of tension in the neighborhood.
The other areas being mentioned are very expensive areas and I'm guessing based on your original post that money is an issue in selecting housing. West end you are looking at $1400+ for a studio, close to $2000 for a 1Br. The areas in Arlington aren't much cheaper, though Crystal City is a bit cheaper and near metro.
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:38 PM
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
7,800 posts, read 1,806,640 times
Reputation: 1141
Default Narrowing it down

OK, my friend is going the end of the week to see a few places that fit within his price range. He only has 2 days to see as much as possible. He needs to get in, find a place, and sign a lease because he is moving the first week of Oct. Are any of these ones that you'd suggest he knock off the list, due to security issues, or lack of public transportation:

1. 2 bedroom at 34th & Q St NW
2. 1 bedroom at 22nd & L St NW
3. 1 bedroom Glover Park at Tunlaw Road - this one is much cheaper than the others, is this a bad area, or maybe a different reason?
4. 1 bedroom at N St NW and New Hampshire (so far his favorite, on paper)
5. 1 bedroom O St NW & 34th St
6. 1 bedroom loft 14th st NW & L
7. 2 bedroom 12th St NW & N
8. 2 bedroom Cathedral & New Mexico

Are any of these areas subject to flooding? Are there any other things that he needs to know about these areas? He is not going to bring his car, do you think that is a mistake? What about bikes? Do people bike, or is public transportation or walking the most popular way to get around? How much snow does DC get on average, a year?

Thanks again everyone!
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