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Old 07-24-2010, 09:38 AM
 
2,529 posts, read 3,007,629 times
Reputation: 767

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Interesting thread. I'm up for a potential job in DC at the GS-6 or GS-7 level. Not too sure how it works, the electronic application passed me on both so I can only hope that A. I'll be hired, and B. I'll be hired at the higher level.

So assuming I'm hired at GS-7 where should a 25 yr old single, straight, well traveled, white male look at finding a room? The office I'd be working at is about 3 blocks East of Washington Circle Park it looks like. The only two real things aside from salary for me is having access to a good gym, and by that I mean one where I can use chalk, lift heavy, drop weights if needed, and without setting off any alarms or being asked to leave. And preferably able to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28 without having to use a taxi if possible.

I own a car currently, is it very expensive or even necessary to bring it up with me? My sister lives just north of Baltimore in Towson and is sharing a car with her fiance so I was thinking I might leave it with her and just "borrow back" my car when I want it for a weekend getaway or something of that nature.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:40 PM
 
63 posts, read 169,808 times
Reputation: 22
Similar question to the guy above. There are 3 of us making GS 7 money ($42,209) looking for a 3 bedroom place and working close to L'enfant Plaza. Where should we be looking?
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:31 PM
 
248 posts, read 381,643 times
Reputation: 104
I'm a 25 year old software engineer working for a defense contractor, making $60,576....

I don't make as much as several people in DC but this job is challenging in a good way and has very stable and flexible work hours.

I live in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax, VA. If I had a close friend also moving to the DC area or if prices were equal, I'd probably head on over to either DC or Arlington....but I'd rather give up the urban life for now rather than spend so much of my income on housing.

In maybe three years I might consider trying out DC or Arlington.

Pros of my area:

- VERY convenient for any kind of shopping. Pretty much any shopping area I could possibly need or want is either within walkable distance or less than 5 min drive away. Grocery is very convenient too, whole foods is right across the street and safeway is a 10 min walk away
- Free parking and cheaper rent compared to DC/Arlington (paying $1077 for a 1 bedroom apt and its only going up $54 for my next lease)
- Barnes & Noble is within walkable distance and I like to read, so that is nice.
- A good handful of restaurants are within walkable distance and several more are easily reachable by vehicle.
- Fair lakes shuttle and fairfax connector buses make it easy to hop on the metro during the weekdays...
- Safety. It is so safe here that I see girls running outside alone at night even

Cons of my area:

- No nightlife, have to drive or metro to it.
- Accessing metro is tougher on weekends unless I drive to the Vienna metro
- Unlike Arlington or DC, no environment of young professionals everywhere.

Last edited by tsuric; 07-24-2010 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:29 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,676 times
Reputation: 12
$60K. Found a small room (more like, closet with no windows in a basement) in Chinatown for $500 including utilities.

Pros: 15 minute walk to work. No more being "Trapped" at the office.
Close to the action.

Cons: The kitchen in the house is totally unusable due to sloppy housemates, but at this price I can't complain too much.
Absolutely no parking. Starting to get parking tickets.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,151 times
Reputation: 12
GS 9 step 6. Work for NIH in Bethesda. Currently live in Rockville with my fiance', and we pay $1439/month including our pet rent.

I lived in DC for 4 years. (First 6 months- Adam's Morgan- 1bd + den= $2500 split) (Next year- Columbia Heights penthouse loft- 1 bd= $2400 split) (Final 2 years- 3 bd group house + single 1 bed apartment in the basement- 16th street heights= $2700 total, split $1400 with 3 other roommates). I wish I had done more research before moving to the area because living in 16th street heights was amazing. However, commute to Bethesda was getting tideous at night time.

Adams Morgan
Pros:
- great night life if you are young
- walk pretty much everywhere
- food
- shopping

Cons
-safety

Columbia Heights (we lived on the fringes of Petworth)
Pros
- up and coming
- target
- giant

Cons
-safety

16th street heights
Pros
- GREAT HUGE HOUSE
- cheap rent
- access to Rock Creek
- House with a yard

Cons
- limited public transportation
- limited nightlife

Rockville (King Farm)
Pros
- everything you could ever want is accessible by Rockville Pike
- 30 minute metro ride to metro center
- great neighborhood
- rent is fair
- shopping
- food

Cons
- not much nightlife, but again metro is pretty easily accessible

A lot of people I went to college with moved to Virginia, so we find ourselves over there quite frequently- but for the money- I would start out in Rockville if I could do it all over again.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
180 posts, read 448,014 times
Reputation: 99
I'm 27, Systems Engineer / Software Engineer. I'm making 178K + my wife's teaching salary. (I'm an outlier in more than 1 way, though - my salary is way higher than most in my business because I deal with some very niche technology. Also, I started working full time in IT when I was 16, went to college at night, so I've got a lot more work experience than most folks my age.)

Downtown Silver Spring - LOVE IT. Condo rent is $2200 for a 2BR/2BA with a huge terrace, 14 ft ceilings, and hardwood/granite/blahblahblah. (I don't own because I'm not ready to settle down yet.) Neighbor down the hall pays $1550 for 1BR/1BA with carpet/granite and a balcony.

Area Pros:
- Uber walkable in the immediate area.
- Tons of restaurants ranging from chains to wine bars to Ethiopian,Salvadorian, and Vietnamese. One of the best steaks in the area @ Ray's, the best Pho I've had at Lotus.
- 2 movie theaters - one megaplex, one indie/foreign/classics
- Whole Foods + Farmers Market if you're into it, Giant if you're not
- Red-Line Metro, WMATA Buses, and MTA Buses
- Diversity of age, ethnicity, and income level. 800K houses, 400K houses, apartments, and condos in the same small area.
- Seems perfectly safe, despite what I've heard people say. It's not the deep suburbs, but in my time here I've never had an issue. There was a bike stolen from a bike rack in my building once, actually.
- Bike trails: Capitol Crescent is right there, and Rock Creek Park is ok. MBT needs to hurry up and get finished!
- If you've got kids, the public schools are great (or so I hear).

Cons:
- Not cheap.
- Traffic sucks if you can't commute via metro.
- There's no Target-type store that's convenient, which can be a pain if CVS doesn't carry it.
- Not much night-life, but that's what DC is for.
- Only 1 really good bar in the area
- Parking can suck depending on your destination. Whole Foods' lot is particularly terrible - you'll circle the lot 4-5 times to get a spot sometimes.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:06 AM
 
Location: In Denial
663 posts, read 635,125 times
Reputation: 546
Cool Some thoughts..long post, sorry

Interesting thread! Some thoughts- DH has a Phd; full ride to Bowdoin as an undergrad (tuition was 6K/yr then, now is 60K/yr)- DH is a frigging genius and his family made jack as farmers/lumber mill workers in Maine, dirt poor as in 2 pairs of pants to wear (wash one, wear one) and govnmnt cheese & PB. Lots of debt for grad and post grad school- finally paid it off just as DH turned 40. 10 yrs ago he was making 35K a year (yeah). Took him 3 years to get to 50K, another 2 years he was at 75K, a year later 125K. Two and a half years ago he was recruited for a job in NY; salary 225K ++. Combined we were raking in almost 300K. Sounds nice, eh? He gained 50 lbs & looked sick all the time. He drank too much & was unhappy and stressed. The more unhappy he was the more useless crap I bought. He worked his butt off, was awesome to his staff, and the top jock got credit for his brillant ideas. 7K went to NY state and 20K to federal income tax, in addition to the 60K or more that was withheld. Most of my life I never MADE nearly as much as was paid/owed in taxes.
Well, in June 2010 he was laid off from that 225K++ job. The 50 lbs melted off, he drinks less, looks healthy & happy. We sold tons of our useless crap on eBay and made thousands of tax free $$ (well. kinda.i bought it on sale, after all). Consulting work is lined up as a small side biz and he just accepted a job offer in Rockville MD at 115K (a relief cuz my benes suck). Combined gross income will be 170-180K. We still have good credit. We still gotta pay 27K back taxes to the man, via the installment plan.

I think there is a lesson or two in there somewhere.

Now, where will we live (rent)??? We dont need/want "family friendly" but DO need "safe". Close to metro. Walkable. Pleasant. Neighborhood bars & eateries. Some trees & grass to ease the eye and a place to plant a few flowers in the spring. Man, do I ever hope someone knows this place and directs us there!!!

Lots of food for thought in this thread, even tho I have no idea what a "G" is. Thanks to all OP's!
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:34 AM
 
413 posts, read 734,662 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsuric View Post
I'm a 25 year old software engineer working for a defense contractor, making $60,576....

I don't make as much as several people in DC but this job is challenging in a good way and has very stable and flexible work hours.

I live in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax, VA. If I had a close friend also moving to the DC area or if prices were equal, I'd probably head on over to either DC or Arlington....but I'd rather give up the urban life for now rather than spend so much of my income on housing.

In maybe three years I might consider trying out DC or Arlington.

Pros of my area:

- VERY convenient for any kind of shopping. Pretty much any shopping area I could possibly need or want is either within walkable distance or less than 5 min drive away. Grocery is very convenient too, whole foods is right across the street and safeway is a 10 min walk away
- Free parking and cheaper rent compared to DC/Arlington (paying $1077 for a 1 bedroom apt and its only going up $54 for my next lease)
- Barnes & Noble is within walkable distance and I like to read, so that is nice.
- A good handful of restaurants are within walkable distance and several more are easily reachable by vehicle.
- Fair lakes shuttle and fairfax connector buses make it easy to hop on the metro during the weekdays...
- Safety. It is so safe here that I see girls running outside alone at night even

Cons of my area:

- No nightlife, have to drive or metro to it.
- Accessing metro is tougher on weekends unless I drive to the Vienna metro
- Unlike Arlington or DC, no environment of young professionals everywhere.
I think you mighta negotiated a little low with your salary. I know recent college grads starting out at $70k and that's with the private company sponsoring their clearance. Hell, the federal govt. starts you out at GS-11, roughly $60k, if you're a technical degree, college grad.

Hopefully you got a good clearance that'll benefit you in the long run.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:23 AM
 
422 posts, read 591,775 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis16 View Post
I think you mighta negotiated a little low with your salary. I know recent college grads starting out at $70k and that's with the private company sponsoring their clearance. Hell, the federal govt. starts you out at GS-11, roughly $60k, if you're a technical degree, college grad.

Hopefully you got a good clearance that'll benefit you in the long run.
That salary is right in the middle of the bell curve for entry level software engineer in that area.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:54 PM
 
413 posts, read 734,662 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghett61 View Post
That salary is right in the middle of the bell curve for entry level software engineer in that area.
Do you have statistics on this? A link? I know of 4 individuals ( 3 software eng., 1 comp. science majors) that started out $70k+. They were all offered $60k jobs working for the guvvie but turned it down.
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