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Old 03-30-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Thanks in advance to your responses!

So I found out two weeks ago I have a job just two blocks away from the Courthouse Metro. My wife will be starting her wedding/portrait photography business while I take the Metro to work. We have tried to get over the sticker shock and accept the fact that living in NoVA is going to cost a lot more than in Birmingham. I've poured over these threads and searched until now I am in information overload.

Basically, any suggestions on where to live (safety a priority and then cost). It appears that Fairfax, Falls Church, west Alexandria and south Alexandria are our best bets. But my biggest concern is taking a bus to the Metro (so many people have said you can't depend on the bus).

Also, it seems like anytime you find a decent deal on a rental it has terrible reviews from apartmentratings. Does anyone recommend an apartment or condo to rent?

A big thanks to all of you. This forum has been absolutely amazing as a crash course in NoVA living.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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You'll have to give us an idea of what you are willing to spend on rent or mortgage. Up here, your budget kind of determines where you live.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 27,169,328 times
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The good news is that since your job is near a metro station, you could live a little farther out in a less expensive area and take the train to work. Not that anything out here is really "less" expensive, LOL.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I'm starting at $55k and hoping to pay less than $1300, if at all possible.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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You probably won't be surprised to hear that it will be easier to find a 1B apt for $1300 than a 2B... but it's not impossible to find the latter.

One exception might be Belle Haven Towers in the Huntington neighborhood of "Alexandria South" just beyond the City of Alexandria itself. I'm almost certain that you could get a 2BR apt there for $1300. Now granted, the apartments may not cutting-edge. And the neighborhood is more utilitarian that glamorous. But you would be within walking distance of the Metro. Old Town Alexandria is nearby and DC is not much farther.

Another alternative would be to choose one of the many apartment complexes along Columbia Pike in Arlington. From what I've heard and observed, the situation isn't that much different from Huntington...except that instead of easy access to the Metro, you'd have a multitude of buses to choose from to get you to the rail line.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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Based on what you said, I have a couple suggestions.
1. Hunting Point (a.k.a "hunting towers") You might be able to get a 2 BR for $1300, or slightly more. It is an older high-rise complex right on the southern tip of old town Alexandria. There is a bus stop right in front of the building(s), and the buses will take you to the metro station. You will have to transfer trains to get to Courthouse, so it could take you upwards of 1 hour on some days.
2. Huntington: There are a few apt & condo complexes around the Huntington area that are generally cheaper than Arlington or most other parts of Alexandria. Belle haven Towers is one of them.
3. Look on Craigslist for an individual renter... If you are in the right place at the right time, then you can find a good place cheaper this way.

I would also recommend that you study a map to get familiar with the area. It might help get your brain familiar with the area

Good luck
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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Thanks so much for the responses so far. We're looking to save money and get a 1br. Couple of questions about the NoVA area: How safe are the Van Dorn st. and Duke St areas?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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In Fairfax, I might not depend upon the community shuttle buses run from some apartment complexes; however, if you're in the City of Fairfax, or immediately adjacent areas of the county where you can walk to a CUE bus stop -- that's a very reliable way to get to/from the Vienna-Fairfax Metro stop, so you would not have to drive and pay for parking.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Van Dorn's reputation is worse than the reality, but there is a trash to energy plant on Eisenhower Avenue, across from the station that does send plumes of smoke over the area. That, and it can have a very unpleasant smell in the heat of summer. Duke Street depends upon the area, since some are pretty nice, including Cameron Station, and others are older developments that have been renovated, such as Foxchase.
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All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
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(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:43 AM
 
702 posts, read 888,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braish View Post
Thanks in advance to your responses!

So I found out two weeks ago I have a job just two blocks away from the Courthouse Metro. My wife will be starting her wedding/portrait photography business while I take the Metro to work. We have tried to get over the sticker shock and accept the fact that living in NoVA is going to cost a lot more than in Birmingham. I've poured over these threads and searched until now I am in information overload.

Basically, any suggestions on where to live (safety a priority and then cost). It appears that Fairfax, Falls Church, west Alexandria and south Alexandria are our best bets. But my biggest concern is taking a bus to the Metro (so many people have said you can't depend on the bus).
Congrats on your new job. I work in Arlington, not far from the Court House. I don't think there is any area around there that is unsafe, as far as I can tell. In fact, I've been up and down Wilson Blvd. and on parts of Clarendon Blvd., and I've never felt threatened or unsafe.

Quote:
Also, it seems like anytime you find a decent deal on a rental it has terrible reviews from apartmentratings. Does anyone recommend an apartment or condo to rent?
I can't tell you which apartments are good or bad, but regarding location, from what I've heard, the Clarendon metro area is a great place to live. It's going to be expensive, of course, but you already know that. It's within walking distance to the court house.
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