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Old 10-24-2007, 09:46 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,689 times
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I will soon be moving to the DC area and am looking for some advice on where to live. I will be working at the Reagan Building downtown (Federal Triangle Metro stop, Orange/Blue line) .

I am single, 32yrs. old.
Live fairly simply and don’t have debt or many financial obligations.
Will be making around $80K to start.

Looking for:

Purchase one bedroom condo close to work (possibly DC or NOVA).
Would like to find a place in the $200Ks.
Want to minimize commute as much as possible (don’t mind a decent walk, though).
Will sacrifice size for location, but would like something decent and in a decent area.

Would there be anything like this close in DC?
Would Arlington be a good option?
Any other ideas or advice?

Thanks so much for your help.

Last edited by Erik_to_DC; 10-24-2007 at 09:49 AM.. Reason: did not view correctly
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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I dunno know, man. $200K is gonna be ruff in/around DC for all the things you're looking for. Why not rent first & see how it goes before you buy??
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:13 AM
 
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Decent condos in NoVA start at 250k and head into the 300k's. And by "decent" I mean in a non-shady neighborhood and still needs a bit of work.

Sorry, bud, I'm not sure if you're going to be able luck out with 200k for a 1 bedroom condo that's close to DC.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:30 AM
 
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With the market as soft as it is, you can find some condo and TH options here and there for less than $300K, but that won't be the typical price range for what you're looking for. Shop carefully. On the plus side, as long as it's Metro-convenient, you'll have an easy commute, as the Reagan Building is basically attached to the Federal Triangle Metro station...
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:55 AM
 
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Thanks. And I didn't mean $200K, I'm not that naive. I said in the $200Ks. I think I will take my time and find the right place. If a place needs some work but is decent and in a good location, that's not a problem because I can do the work myself. Maybe a short term rental, which would allow me to get to know the area and see what is out there, is the best option.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Orange, California
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With the condo market tanking a bit in DC, you may be able to find yourself a deal on a nice one-bedroom condo that would have cost $325k to $350k a year and a half ago.

One other big plus in buying in DC (if it is still in effect, but I think it is), is the DC First-time homebuyer tax credit. You don't have to be a first-time homebuyer anywhere, just a first-time DC homebuyer. The credit is good for up to $5,000 back in taxes paid - a dollar for dollar credit, as opposed to a deduction that simply lowers your AGI. You will also want to check on when it starts to phase out. When I was living in DC, it started to phase out at $70k and completely phased out at $90k, more if you are married. Depending on the phase out, you might also want to plan when you will buy a home. If your 2008 income would put you in phase out territory, you might consider buying in 2007 if it means you could take advantage of the full credit.

And per my post on another thread. I lived in Adams Morgan several years ago and it is a great place. The downside is that you have to walk to either Woodley or Dupont metro to get to Metro Center where your office is. Plus, street parking is a nightmare. But other than that, it is a really fun neighborhood.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_to_DC View Post
Maybe a short term rental, which would allow me to get to know the area and see what is out there, is the best option.
Might be a good idea...there are usually sublets listed on Craig's List, or you could google corporate housing and get some feel for pricing of pre-set facilities. Most of those are month to month. Might have to store your own stuff for a while, but it would give you a chance to look around. There are also some just plain apartments that will let month-to-month or under a short-term lease. It's a transient area, so your situation wouldn't be all that unusual...
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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Hey everyone,

I wrote to Erik on the Northern Virginia board. I know it's the conventional wisdom that you need $350K to even consider the DC metro area, but I don't think that's true. Like, go to realtor.com and search condos/townhouses in Alexandria - there are tons and tons for under $300K (and under 200K) - they tend to be lower profile complexes built in the 60s and 70s, but many are really nice (of course in Alexandria you have to check each location because there are bad areas). But in many of these cases, it's just that they aren't the "new, trendy" buildings. I told Erik that I toured one several years ago that was very nice - I'm thinking it was either Belle View or Fayette Court. I just chose to buy in a new building in McLean instead. But the place in Alexandria was half the price and more square feet.

Another option is Falls Church. There is plenty under $300K. I'm not really an expert on the complexes there, but I think one can find something in the mid-200s.

That being said, renting might be a good option just to get to know the metro area, but still ... these places are just not on the radar, but can be established and lovely.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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Well, there may well be reasons why TH's in Falls Church are under the going rate, and one of those reasons might be that they aren't actually in Falls Church. The City itself is tiny and quite upscale, but the mailing address is large and includes some areas that one might not choose to live in if having one's druthers. Per the above, there are indeed some bargains out there that may be under $300K, but shop carefully in this price range...
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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One distinction is that he mentioned condos - townhouses, sure, will start pretty high, but these 900 square foot condos ... I think they are out there. (sorry Erik, you're probably thinking "what have I started?"). I don't really know Falls Church except mainly for Route 7. I've been in one of those high-rises in Falls Church right on route 7 and it was nice and is in the $200Ks.
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