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Old 05-19-2009, 05:23 PM
 
6 posts, read 42,989 times
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I am hoping someone can help me. My husband and I are anticipating moving to DC sometime this Summer (waiting on security clearance), and I am having a difficult time finding info on neighborhoods, especially how safe and what to do. We are moving from Texas, and lived in Austin for the last 10 years. We know we are definitely urban dwellers, so want to live in DC, no suburbs. We aren't really scared of the city, and have visited a couple of times, but generally within the NW. We are also moving with our kitties, how friendly are the pet policies for renting up there?

We really like the idea of living in a rowhouse, or subdivided house. We need a 2 bedroom. My husband will be working for the State Department, and we want to be walking distance from the Metro. We also will have one car, so someplace that generally has parking would be good. So, with all the above, do any neighborhoods in DC fit the bill? Which should we look at? And, which ones combine decent size, economically affordable (I won't have a job at first), and relative safety? Thanks for any help in narrowing down the fluid neighborhoods of this wonderful city! Oh, and if there are any other websites to help research, that would be great!
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:29 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,026,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modernchic View Post
I am hoping someone can help me. My husband and I are anticipating moving to DC sometime this Summer (waiting on security clearance), and I am having a difficult time finding info on neighborhoods, especially how safe and what to do. We are moving from Texas, and lived in Austin for the last 10 years. We know we are definitely urban dwellers, so want to live in DC, no suburbs. We aren't really scared of the city, and have visited a couple of times, but generally within the NW. We are also moving with our kitties, how friendly are the pet policies for renting up there?

We really like the idea of living in a rowhouse, or subdivided house. We need a 2 bedroom. My husband will be working for the State Department, and we want to be walking distance from the Metro. We also will have one car, so someplace that generally has parking would be good. So, with all the above, do any neighborhoods in DC fit the bill? Which should we look at? And, which ones combine decent size, economically affordable (I won't have a job at first), and relative safety? Thanks for any help in narrowing down the fluid neighborhoods of this wonderful city! Oh, and if there are any other websites to help research, that would be great!
I used to live in Tenleytown, near American University. The area is also known as AU park. There is a metro right there and is relatively safe with a lot of restaurants and great walking to just about everything. There are townhouses I believe (its been a while since I lived there) and you could look into renting a row house, which would only be about four blocks to the metro.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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The closest Metro stop to the State Dept is Foggy Bottom. It's at 23rd & I Sts, NW. State is on 23rd between C & D Sts, NW, so a four to five block walk. Gently downhill in the morning. Foggy Bottom is on both the Orange and Blue Lines -- they run on the same tracks downtown.

The two row-housey areas that would come to my mind are that area itself, i.e., Foggy Bottom south of PA Ave, and West End north of it. Both are very nice, small, safe, close to some nice stuff, and sometimes pretty expensive. There are some nice upscale apartments and condos around the Metro stations to the east, but not much in the way of row houses. You'd run into them again in numbers around the Capitol South and Easter Market stations. In common realtor parlance, that's all Capitol Hill, but really only the area north of PA Ave, SE, should count according to me. Anyway, it's all a very nice, upscale, and pretty consistently expensive area. PA Ave and 8th Street south of PA Ave have some nice restaurants and eclectic clubs, shops, and bars. Best bets are west of 13th Street in Capitol Hill, west of 9th Street in Eastern Market. Pretty much all of Capitol South is good. Anyway, that's some ideas that come to my mind...
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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Understand first that the areas that you will probably be looking at are not going to be economical by any stretch. The nice cozy spots on the metro with life and whatnot is basically what everyone wants, so you can expect prices to be up there.

One other note is that the inner suburbs, like Bethesda and Clarendon have a bit of an urban feel about them. There are more restaurants in walking distance of Bethesda for example than within a 2 mile drive of some places in Palisades (which is 'in DC' technically). Many of the inner suburbs are very urbanized, so you might want to take a look at them as well.

Do you have a budget in mind--how much per month are you looking to spend? Really that's pretty much the best way to start narrowing down what's available--what percentage of your salary do you want to go toward rent.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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Yup, Tenleytown is a nice area, and so are Cleveland Park and Woodley Park to the south, and there are some townhouses in there, though there would be more if you went over the Ellington Bridge into Adams-Morgan. But the latter is one of the busiest bar and night club districts in the city, so noise and perhaps the occasional inebriated person might be an issue on the weekends at least. Biggest disadvantage of the first three is that they are on the Red Line, so you'd have to take the train to Metro Center, then go downstairs and catch the Blue or Orange to get over to Foggy Bottom.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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Foggy Bottom would be my first suggestion as well, though keep in mind that George Washington University is located in that area, so you'd want to avoid living in or near the "student" sections. Price would be your guide there, as it will be for any part of DC -- if you find a suitable place with a price that is well below the comparables, there is most likely a good reason for it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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Thanks for all the input. We had considered the Woodley Park area, and it still may be an option. I had not thought of Tenleytown and we are just now researching Capitol Hill. We'd prefer not to spend more than $2500 a month, but realize it will depend on the place in particular. We had been searching Craigslist ads, and have seen quite a few neat looking places in the neighborhood of Bloomingdale. We also have thought about Chinatown/Gallery Place.

We have lived in relatively rough areas in Austin, and we are familiar with big cities, and are travellers to all sorts of urban areas, from New York to Paris, and all the big cities in Texas, so we aren't too scared of city life. What I don't want to end up in is a great residence in a blighted area. I don't mind transition areas, and in fact tend to like neighborhoods with "character". But, I also like to walk in a neighborhood feeling somewhat safe even at night, using a modicum of common sense. Thanks for the advice thus far, and if anything else comes to mind, please include it. And of course, this means more research needed!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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I used to live in Foggy Bottom area a few years ago and I had a great experience. It's extremely convenient being close to downtown, and having the metro with two lines. It's also really short walk to Georgetown and Dupont Circle and various parks and recreational trails like Potomac river, the Mall and the Rock Creek Park. The area has few streets with nice quaint rowhouses in garden setting, with some pretty expensive 'enclaves' but majority of it is condos. My boyfriend and I got lucky to score a rowhouse in one of the alleys or so called "Mews", which is the area behind the buildings and therefore sort of sheltered from traffic and very quiet. Overall, we didn't have problem with students living nearby, in Foggy Bottom area you wouldn't be able to get away from students. It was quiet during the week nights with occasional house parties during Finals (end of year) when the weather is nice and students have reasons to celebrate. On weekends like in any urban area full of people in their 20s and 30s who go out to bars and clubs there would be occasional noise from people passing by drunk returning from bars. But it wasn't a problem in our area as much because of not many people going into the "mews" area. Like in any area with backyards you may have neighbors grilling stuff outside or hanging out outside, which adds to noise factor, but you get that kind of stuff in suburbs too. Overall, Foggy Bottom is actually devoid of loud bars/clubs and is largely residential being close to all these amenities at the same time, which was ideal for us.

I would give it a try with your budget you may be able to score a small 2 bedroom rowhouse for 2500 a month unless now prices went up since when I lived there. Just be aware some of the properties are not as well maintained (remodeled) because students gobble up any available housing there and they aren't picky, so landlords don't feel like they need to invest much in taking care of their properties. The so called 'luxury' properties we looked at there were very very expensive, just because they happen to be remodeled. If you don't care about marble bathrooms and granite countertops you may be able to find something in your price range that's at least clean and acceptable.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Modernchic View Post
We had been searching Craigslist ads, and have seen quite a few neat looking places in the neighborhood of Bloomingdale. We also have thought about Chinatown/Gallery Place.
The latter is aka Penn Quarter and there are a lot of great places to live in there, and lots of things to see and do as well. It's one of the very top downtown DC neighborhoods and will often have prices to prove it.

Bloomingdale is a whole different ball game. It's long been a stable middle and upper-middle class neigborhood that somehow escaped almost all of the tumult and decay that overcame many nearby areas. It's not exactly posh. More of a meat & potatoes kind of area, and certainly much removed from the action of downtown in comparison to Penn Quarter. Not the greatest Metro access, but very much worth a look anyway...
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:32 PM
Status: "Allez-y" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,494 posts, read 5,964,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post

Bloomingdale is a whole different ball game. It's long been a stable middle and upper-middle class neigborhood that somehow escaped almost all of the tumult and decay that overcame many nearby areas. It's not exactly posh. More of a meat & potatoes kind of area, and certainly much removed from the action of downtown in comparison to Penn Quarter. Not the greatest Metro access, but very much worth a look anyway...
What are the boundaries of Bloomingdale? Thanks
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