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Old 06-16-2008, 04:35 PM
 
935 posts, read 1,465,075 times
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Default Should I Move to DC?

Hello,

I've recently been accepted into a great university and I have job interviews lined up for positions around $30,000 a year. However, I am very nervous b/c some of the people I talked to said that $30,000 is not enough to survive around the DC area (counting NOVA and MD). I want to live in an apartment, but supposedly I would need a roommate. The problem is trying to find someone I can trust and that already has an apartment.

I tried craigslist a long time ago but those people seemed either very shady or they barely spoke English. Which I don't mind, but when I ask a question like "Is it okay if I bring guests over occasionally?" and they reply "Sorry, we do not allow pets, good luck to you." and they hang up then it makes me wonder about possible misunderstandings and conflicts. Also, I tried looking into renting just a room, but I got the same problem either 1) nowhere near a metro, 2) they didn't speak english and couldn't understand what I was asking, or 3) they would not allow me to bring a guest over.

I tried posting a message on the Yahoo! group associated with the University program I joined (you have to be invited to join this group) to see if anyone there needs a roommate. My perfect program is in DC, a pretty good job is in DC (not high paying now, but Advertising Assistant for a major company could build into a higher paying job and it looks good on the resume along with this college), and I just want to live near DC in general. It doesn't even have to be in DC, I also looked into Arlington, Alexandria, Takoma Park, Silver Springs, Rockville, etc.

Let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, if you have any idea on how far $30,000 a year can get me please let me know.
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:59 PM
 
1,055 posts, read 3,406,461 times
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Hi,

A lot of congressional staffers live on less than $30,000 by doing the group house thing. I believe there are some bulletin boards in the various office building (Rayburn, Longworth, Cannon, and the Senate side as well) that often are seeking roommates. You can also try rollcall.com and thehill.com

Cannot guarantee that you won't encounter a few psychos, but by and large most of the people working on the Hill are somewhat professional.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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What will you be studying? Will you be able to use student loan money/work study, etc to supplement your income?

$30k is very little in the DC area; roughly $27k take home. You'll definitely need a roommate or two. Apparently, people are doing it, but things will be very tight on that budget.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I'm a new grad and moving to DC soon (Arlington specificly) and starting at $30,000...while I think it's definitely not going to afford you a luxurious lifestyle, depending on your spending habits, you could live quite comfortably. Coming from a recent college grad that worked to put myself through school, I think that income is sufficient.

I'll be living in a house with 3 roomies, at $800/mo. I found it on Craigslist, and have lived in 3 different Craigslist apartments and no problems so far...you get the usual roommate squabbles, but no crazies yet. Definitely meet the roomies/check out the place first.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinSix View Post
Hi,

A lot of congressional staffers live on less than $30,000 by doing the group house thing. I believe there are some bulletin boards in the various office building (Rayburn, Longworth, Cannon, and the Senate side as well) that often are seeking roommates. You can also try rollcall.com and thehill.com

Cannot guarantee that you won't encounter a few psychos, but by and large most of the people working on the Hill are somewhat professional.
I will try to ask the school about group housing. Another person that graduated from the school I plan on going to also recommended group housing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LIS123 View Post
What will you be studying? Will you be able to use student loan money/work study, etc to supplement your income?

$30k is very little in the DC area; roughly $27k take home. You'll definitely need a roommate or two. Apparently, people are doing it, but things will be very tight on that budget.
I will be studying Communications for my Masters program. They haven't told me anything about work study yet even though my EFC is zero according to FAFSA and my student loan money is already taken by the tuition costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dingo050 View Post
I'm a new grad and moving to DC soon (Arlington specificly) and starting at $30,000...while I think it's definitely not going to afford you a luxurious lifestyle, depending on your spending habits, you could live quite comfortably. Coming from a recent college grad that worked to put myself through school, I think that income is sufficient.

I'll be living in a house with 3 roomies, at $800/mo. I found it on Craigslist, and have lived in 3 different Craigslist apartments and no problems so far...you get the usual roommate squabbles, but no crazies yet. Definitely meet the roomies/check out the place first.
It's cool that you're a new graduate as well. I wanted to mostly live in Arlington/Alexandria. It's also cool that you found it through craigs list. I tried that list earlier and for me it just kept giving me people who spoke broken english and didn't understand what I was asking them or they seemed sort of shady about things.

I'm still a bit uneasy about $30,000 a year, even though it's actually pretty good in comparison to what other recent Bachelors graduates are making, but not in DC. I am also thinking about just asking the school if I can postpone attendance until the Spring or next Fall possibly and try to earn some money where I am right now so I have more of a safety net. Although, there's no promise that there will be anymore jobs like that one in the future.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:49 PM
 
198 posts, read 644,875 times
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There are always a lot of people moving into DC at this time of year and looking for apartments. Lots of new grads and summer interns. I think Craig's List is your best bet, but you are going to have to call a lot of places and be ready to put down your deposit quickly. Also, you can try e-mailing all of your friends and see if they know anybody in DC. I know quite a few people who came into group houses through a friend-of-a-friend.

What university are your studying at? I'd try and live as close to work and school as possible to keep commuting costs down.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:02 AM
 
1,055 posts, read 3,406,461 times
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Group housing is actually quite common amongst the recently out of school and grad school set in Washington. It's a great way to accelerate your social networking in DC with a built in group of 'friends of friends' and an occasional person to go see a movie with or hang out with.

I'd second the suggestions that you look close to your school. Going to school at AU and living on Capitol Hill would be quite a commute each day. You'll also miss out on some of the social aspects of school if you are busy worrying about how you're going to get to the burbs after the commuter bus shuts down.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Cant live in DC with 30k, maybe if u live somewhere with 3+ other roommates but still. DC is a nice town but u need to make at lease 64K a year to live a normal life
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chip1980 View Post
Cant live in DC with 30k, maybe if u live somewhere with 3+ other roommates but still. DC is a nice town but u need to make at lease 64K a year to live a normal life
That is so beyond not true its not even funny. Plenty of people earn the ~40k range and live just fine. Anything lower than 35k, though, is going to be really tricky.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:49 AM
 
263 posts, read 779,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
That is so beyond not true its not even funny. Plenty of people earn the ~40k range and live just fine. Anything lower than 35k, though, is going to be really tricky.

If you want to live in the hood or if you are willing to have several roommates sure 40k will be fine
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