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Old 12-26-2010, 10:03 PM
Location: Columbus, OH
1 posts, read 1,293 times
Reputation: 10


Hey all, I'm relocating from Columbus, Ohio to the DC area at the end of March. I'm 26 and a single parent, and I'm in the defense industry - I'll be working on Bolling AFB. I've got a few friends in the area who've given me some input, but I thought I'd try some boards for some more ideas.

I'm wondering where is the best place to start looking for apartments. I'm looking for 2BR (though 3 would be ideal), and I don't want to live incredibly far to commute (though I have accepted that I will have a bit of a commute regardless there in DC), and my price range is $1500ish, no more than $1900. My friend suggested Alexandria, and as I'm perusing craigslist, that seems feasible. Anyone suggest other places for me to look?

I have a child so I'm not looking to live anywhere sketchy. If it were just me, I'd allow a certain level of sketchy, but I've heard all the horror stories about the neighborhood right outside Bolling. I'm accustomed to big city living, I live in Columbus now and I lived in Chicago for a few years before that, so I know what I am getting into as far as a large metropolitan area, etc. But yeah, just looking for a good neighborhood, given my lifestyle and price range... we're a pretty active bunch that likes to get out as often as possible.

Also - childcare. I've heard how horrid childcare expenses are out here, so I'm trying figure out that whole piece of the puzzle too. I am eligible for on-post childcare as a contractor, but there will for sure be a waiting list, and contractors have last priority. I am a lieutenant in the Army reserve too, maybe that will give me some pull... but assuming there is a waiting list, I'm looking for some solid yet affordable options..

And anything else anyone has to add would be much appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:02 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,431,608 times
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You may want to ask on the NoVA board for specific day care suggestions. There are a lot of parents on the board. DEFINITELY go with the on post day care if you can get it. My coworker commutes to Alexandria from Fredericksburg and drops his daughter off at the facility on Ft. Belvoir, despite the fact that his wife works in F-burg and could put her in day care there. He says on base care is just a fraction of what it would cost off base.

Alexandria is a good suggestion. You should be able to get a 2 bedroom apartment in a nice, safe area for under $1900. For $1500, you'll either have to settle for less amenities/older kitchen appliances, or a slightly rougher neighborhood (although Alexandria "rough" is relative). If you can find a place close to 495, such as near Eisenhower or Telegraph Rd, your commute should be relatively simple.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:20 AM
Location: Rockville, MD
3,547 posts, read 8,169,292 times
Reputation: 1378
Alexandria, Fairfax and parts of southern Arlington might all be places worth looking into. The neighborhoods around Bolling are probably best avoided.

On the Maryland side, Takoma and Silver Spring might be worth a look-see. You could go farther out, but by then you're running into commute issues.

As an aside, I moved from Columbus to DC myself seven years ago. Columbus is a great town, and there are quite a few aspects of life in that city that I miss here--but DC is a phenomenal place to live as well.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:05 PM
Location: Tampa, FL- For NOW
776 posts, read 958,844 times
Reputation: 969
We lived in Fairfax and loved every minute of it. But if you need the metro you may want to look at Alexandria or As far out as Vienna. I think the Virginia Cities are beautiful and full of things to do. Vienna is the last metro stop going out that way. Springfield is so so, If you chose Alexandria, stay as far north ass possible. Traffic gets bad so try to stay as close to the beltway(495, 95, 395) as possible. By the way, we used Teddy Bear Day Care off braddock Rd and they were great. The ladies were very pleasent and they offer a by the hour option for around $10 in case you dont need full days, but it was really reasonable and safe. They had code locked doors just to get in. enjoy DC, we loved it and cant wait to get back this summer
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:59 PM
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,431,608 times
Reputation: 3691
IMO, there is no reason to live in Vienna if the OP's commute is to Bolling...that's just a huge traffic headache in the making. Apartments are similarly priced in Alexandria and the commute will be 1/3 of the time.
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