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Old 02-16-2010, 09:03 PM
 
7 posts, read 15,045 times
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Hi, my husband and I (with a baby on the way) are moving to DC later this year. I'm 29 and he's 33. We're both professionals- moving to DC for my new government attorney job. We're looking for an apartment on the Red Line. Are there any areas we should be looking in? Areas to avoid? I've mostly been searching for apts in the Cleveland Park, Van Ness, and Dupont Circle area because those seem convenient to the Judiciary Square stop, but I'm balking at some of the prices for a 2 bedroom. I've also started giving Adams Morgan some thought, but I really don't know much about it. We'd like to stay under or around $2000 per month. Currently, we live in the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of LA, where we're used to living close to shops, movie theaters, restaurants, etc. I'm not ruling out living in VA or MD, but I know even less about neighborhoods there!
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:26 AM
 
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Adams Morgan is a fair hike to the Woodley Park metro. Many people do walk to the metro from there, but in February when the wind howls across the Rock Creek bridges, you may be kicking yourself. But... the DC Circulator bus runs every 10 minutes through AM, down 14th St. - that may be a better commuting option. Adams-Morgan itself is ok, although it becomes a nightlife playground on weekend nights, and has the noise, trash, and fistfights that go with that scene.

For Red Line bargains you might check out Takoma Park (either DC or MD side) - walkable to the metro, and quieter. You will give up some of the fancy restaurants and nightlife in Dupont and Cleveland Park though. Brookland would be another possibility, although it's more of a working class/"transitional" neighborhood. Both Takoma and Brookland are fairly safe (not as safe as upper NW, but ok) and much cheaper.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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I'd suggest also look around Silver Spring. It's in the midst of a revitalization and costs are lower than in the neighborhoods you mentioned. Bus service along both 14th and 16th street is quite good and there are options along those streets. Anything along Connecticut Ave is going to be relatively high cost.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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For under $2,000 per month, you will not find much along the NW DC Red Line corridor-especially with an infant on the way. Upscale studio apartments start at $1,800 per month in some DC neighborhoods like DuPont, Mass Ave., Adams Morgan etc. As one poster noted, you might have better luck in the Silver Spring and Takoma Park areas. Check out Alexandria, VA too.

Just a commentary...

It's amazing how Californians are completely shell shocked when they start real estate shopping in the DC area. Outside of Manhattan, there is a perception that land outside of The Golden State is plentiful and cheap. I can't blame Californians for this attitude because the real estate economy from San Diego up to the Bay Area is completely insane.

To put things in perspective, DC commercial real estate prices per square foot have just leap-frogged Manhattan and downtown San Francisco prices. It's only a matter of time before the average home price in DC will exceed those in some of the toniest neighborhoods of LA and Orange County. The real estate bubble in DC will exist as long as the federal government keeps pumping money into the local economy. Well-paying professional jobs grow on trees here where as college-educated workers are struggling to find employment in California.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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Takoma Park and Adams Morgan both have a lot of small businesses and a low-rise urban vibe, so they are somewhat similar to the Los Feliz/Silverlake area. If you are looking for something similar you might start there. Adams Morgan is definitely more of a young-person party spot so it's more like Westwood or something. Takoma Park is more of a granola hippy vibe.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. They've helped me expand my search. I've been looking around a lot on craigslist to get an idea of what I can expect in different areas. Luckily I have a good bit of time to make an informed decision.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:16 PM
 
270 posts, read 532,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAtoDC2010 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. They've helped me expand my search. I've been looking around a lot on craigslist to get an idea of what I can expect in different areas. Luckily I have a good bit of time to make an informed decision.
Don't know how long you're considering staying but since you have a child on the way if you're planning to stay a few years you might want to investigate the local schools where you'll be living too. DC Public schools are pretty notorious, even for urban public schools, though there are some nice exceptions if you know where to look. Local private schools in and immediately around the city are for the most part extremely expensive and often very competitive to get into. Since you're already in LA you may already know something about this dynamic.

One relatively new trend around here is more well-off young couples with young children are visibly starting to congregate in some of the neighborhoods in upper Northwest. You'll probably see many parents and/or nannies/au pairs with baby carriages or little kids outside in nicer weather when you drive by Chevy Chase, Cleveland Park and other nearby areas though many of the people I've met in this situation seem to make the move to suburbia sooner rather than later. Since you can go to many nearby inner suburbs like Arlington, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Alexandria and Falls Church and have more and better school options while still having a pretty urban existence close to the center of D.C. there's little need to stay directly in the city as your children enter school age. It's a big reason why public school reform is such a central issue to the mayor and other city officials.

Anyway, good luck and welcome to our area! It's certainly different from LA though it's still a major cosmopolitan international city and a lot to enjoy!
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