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Old 07-28-2008, 04:33 PM
7 posts, read 35,717 times
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Greetings DC! I'll be moving to the DC area next month and have narrowed down to two areas. I've read all the posts I could find on these areas before posting this thread so thanks in advance for any help.

Me: 40s, single, will be at Pentagon, don't want an area that is an urban high-rise concrete jungle - would like to see green and nature around me, must be within 3-4 blocks walking distance of Metro (changing lines OK), would like to be near restaurants/shops but not into bar/club scene, would like a range of ages (e.g. not all college /20s or not all 40s+ or not all couples/families). I want a managed building - preferably not a monster high-rise, maybe 7-8 stories, looking for a nicer place (with washer/dryer if possible and assigned off-street parking), looking for around 700ft2 1 bedroom ,willing to go to $2000/mnth.

This is what I've found from research:

Woodley Park - Access to DuPont/Logan/Adams Morgan but the advantage of a quieter neighborhood, near green (Rock Creek, Zoo), higher taxes in DC, not sure if only 20s live in the area?

Clarendon/Court House - Has the restaurants/shops but not at the level of Woodley Park access, lower taxes in VA, not sure about green spaces, newer buildings?

Thanks for reading this far! So here are the questions:

1) Is my research accurate?
2) Any suggested apartment buildings to check out in these areas? Any management companies that do a really good job or are really bad?
3) Are pests a problem in DC? One person told me that managed buildings have a lot of pest/insect problems and renting a room from a home-owner would be better. Should I go the rented room route?
4) I eliminated Ballston (read that the area is mostly 20s) and Old Town Alexandria (heard that the area is primarily couples and families and felt I would be out of place as a single although the historic and green aspects are appealing). Should I consider these again or any other areas?

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Old 07-28-2008, 05:01 PM
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Clarendon/Courthouse is also pretty young, and not very green. There are a ton of green spaces in Arlington away from Wilson Boulevard, but the whole corridor between Rosslyn and Ballston is very much a concrete jungle.

Woodley Park seems like a good bet. It's definitely not as young as the Adams Morgan crowd down the block, and great access to Rock Creek.

Ballston is definitely not right for you, but I would reconsider Old Town as a possibility. There are definitely young families, but there are older singles as well, and tons of restaurants. You can find an apartment in Carlyle (close to Metro) for that amount, and there is a little park right there too. The advantage here is that the commute to Pentagon is a lot easier with no line change.

Pests can be a problem, but mostly in older buildings, and it really varies building-to-building. You can usually get an idea of how bad pest problems are by checking apartmentratings.com
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:07 PM
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Yeah I wouldn't write off Old Town entirely, it's a wide mix of people there.

Pests can be a problem in DC, but worse than you're thinking. I'm referring to rats.

In certain places they're everywhere, and they are big mothas too. Especially a problem on Cap Hill, Dupont and up through the northwest.

I always prefer a private rental, mainly because I rented a large high rise, then they switched management companies and the new people were just worthless.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:51 PM
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DC isn't really a managed apartment place compared to say New York. Sure there are plenty, but it seems somewhat split here between owner-landlord (or small management company renting a house) and then the big apartment buildings.

The problem with a big building and pests is not necessarily an indifferent management company, but filthy neighbors. They can spray until nothing can live, but if you have a neighbor in the building who refuses to empty the trash or leaves beer cans and pizza boxes lying around, well then you can guess what comes next.

Clarendon is definitely more modern buildings, but a bit concrete I suspect for you likings, unless you live off in the house just north of the main drag. Woodley has direct access to Rock Creek which about as green as it gets.

My only other thought would be Capitol Hill. I'd say it was pretty mixed with 20s, unmarried professionals and young families, though others might have better numbers. It is a bit more mellow than say Adams Morgan but has a lot of things to do (look around Eastern Market). Not as green as Woodley though.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:43 AM
Location: DC
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Based on what you've said you want, Clarendon v. Woodley Park, I'd definitely go for Woodley. Yeah, taxes will be a bit higher, but it's not like you'll go bankrupt over them.

And, as others have said I'd consider Old Town and Capitol Hill. I love Old Town, but felt that I was still too young for it (23). I know that if I'm still around here in 7+ years that's where I'd move in a heartbeat. Now I live near Capitol Hill, and love that area as well. For being in the city it's very green, fairly quiet (at least, compared to places like Adams Morgan or U Street), and seems to be a mix of ages and races.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:27 AM
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Thanks for all of your comments and responses!
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:47 AM
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I've lived in both Woodley Park and Rosslyn (which is walkable from the Courthouse neighborhood), they are both good neighborhoods (Rosslyn itself is kind of ugly and mostly high-rises, but one plus is that you can easily walk to Georgetown). Clarendon used to be more interesting but has turned more into an outdoor mall with chain restaurants/stores, etc., and also has lots of bars catering to 20-something frat-types. If I was single and in my 40's, I'd live in Dupont - the residential blocks are quiet, not bar-packed, and there's a nice mix of people. Cleveland Park is fine, too, similar to Woodley but with better restaurants.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:11 PM
Location: Land of the Free
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Lots of 30-40 singles in Clarendon, too.

Taxes are higher in DC, but comes down to what kinds of places you like to be surrounded by. I like more low key bars like Iota and Whitlow's, so I prefer Clarendon. But if you're into the Euro scene and people who greet friends by kissing them on both cheeks then you'll like Woodley better. Either way, both are great urban neighborhoods.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:49 PM
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They're both nice. Clarendon/Courthouse is more "livable," in my opinion -- relatively plentiful parking, better services, safer, more relaxed, etc. Woodley Park is more upscale and expensive. There is essentially no street parking. Woodley Park is hipper.

Personally I prefer the restaurants in Clarendon/Courthouse overall but you'll find plenty to like in both areas.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:54 PM
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The earlier suggestions you got, particularly from pcity and juniperbleu, ring true to me. Based on the criteria you gave Woodley Park is a better fit than Clarendon, but Old Town Alexandria might be better still. I am a tree person and the Hill is not green and tree-ish enough for me.

If you are willing to sacrifice the managed building requirement you will open up your options considerably. There are a lot of large managed complexes in Alexandria (outside of, not in, Old Town), for example near the Van Dorn metro, but I don't think they'd have the walkable town atmosphere you seem to be seeking.
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