(Closed) NWR: Calling All DC Residents!!

posted 7 years ago in Washington, D.C.
Post # 3
Member
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Hi sorry – apparently our local board isn’t very active.

I live in Silver Spring now (outside DC – NE).  I’ve lived in Bethesda (right near DC NW).  Um. Rent is high, but not obsene.  I used to commute from SS to NW D.C., on the metro it was about 1.5 hours each way.  In the car, an hour or so.  Now I’m commuting up to Baltimore – 50 min.  Traffic is the worst around here, I complain about that more than rent.

It would help to know where in DC your job is/what you think high rent is? I pay 1,400 for a 2 bedroom which is amazingly good (930 sq. ft).  But you won’t get that if you plan on living IN D.C.  Oh and I live in an apartment, not a single family house.

Post # 5
Member
1580 posts
Bumble bee

I live in Northern VA and commute to DC for work. I think for the same apartment in the DC area, you could easily pay twice what you are paying now, but obviously that depends on how far from a metro station you are willing to live and what area you are in.

Each person deals with commuting differently, so how far out you are willing to live will depend on your commute. There are lots of commuting options (buses, metro, trains, vanpools, shuttles provided by apartment complexes, etc.). My commute is around 30-40 minutes and I live about 10 miles from my office. I take public transportation, and probably could get to work quicker if I drove, but that would be a lot more expensive.

Post # 6
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Hey there,

 

I agree with the PP that you probably won’t find as good as a deal here for housing, but it will depend on where you live.  Metro Center is very accessible and only about a 30 minute trip from some of the less-expensive suburbs.  I would check out craigslist for DC to get an idea of some of the rents for the types of places you are interested in.

In terms of commute, I have about 30 minutes on the metro.  Driving is pretty terrible depending on where you have to go so I recommend trying to be on the train/bus routes if you can.

As for the rest of the cost of living, I don’t find it too extreme (groceries/going out/bills).  Parking is expensive in the city, but I wouldn’t suggest driving much anyway.  There is a ton of free stuff to do in DC and because there are so many offices/political institutions there are great happy hours all around. 

And, I just want to say that I love living in DC.  FI and I have been here for 10 and 5 years, respectively, and we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.  Its a great city with a small town feel but big city attractions, lots of opportunities, and interesting people all around. 

 

Post # 7
Member
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I like Silver Spring alot – it’s really walker friendly, has everything you’d want — except you’re going to pay more rent for much less area than you are now.  There’s an awesome farmer’s market in SS, and tons of restaurants, a movie theatre.. very nice.

Bright side is Metro Center is basically central DC so you could live in VA (Arlington area), Bethesda/Friendship heights, or over in Silver Spring and it’s all going to be a 30/40 minute metro ride.

Post # 8
Member
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would suggest looking for a rent controlled apartment in the city, which will help keep your rent low (and keep it from skyrocketing year to year).  I live in the Glover Park neighborhood, which isn’t walking distance to a metro (unless you call 1.5 miles walking distance) but it’s on the most popular bus line and it takes 35 minutes or so to get downtown.  🙂 We like taking the bus downtown because it’s $1.35 versus the $3-4 you’d pay taking the metro trains.  PM me if you need advice—I’ve been a DC area resident for 15+ years.

Post # 9
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m in VA (not NoVA, though) but while there is a higher cost of living up there, one thing to consider is job potential, salary, etc. It may cost more, but your salary may make up for it. Also, are there opportunities for your FI? 

or the East Coast, DC and the surrounding area’s have weathered the recession the best… thanks to the gov…. 

Traffic is the biggest setback to life in and around DC. When I have to go there, I plan my trips around rush hours, which in the afternoon start at around 3:30… on the bright side though, they have a great public transportation system, and it’s used by all “classes” so it’s not scary or sketchy and def. worth using!

I have a lot of friends in DC and the surrounding area’s… and they all LOVE IT! There is a lot to do no matter what kind of life you’re looking for. There’s lot’s of “green” options and at the same time, you’re not flamed if you’re not all “green.” There’s your extreme liberals and their lifestyles and extreme conservatives and their lifestyles. There’s many many more in the middle, so essentially, no matter what kind of life or friends you want to surround yourself with, there’s a lot for you. 

Shopping in DC is great. From IKEA and the outlets at Potomac Mills, to the European brands that have american stores in DC, it’s great! 

Essentially, it’s a great one city fits all kind of place. Economically it’s holding fairly strong and there’s a lot of opportunity there. Housing is more expensive, think starter homes and town-houses in the 250k+ range. But again, your salary and his may compensate… 

Weather wise, I would be much happier in DC than Rochester. You get occasional snow, and it’s much colder in winter there vs. where I am, but it will be so nice for you coming from a rochester winter…

Also, you have great beaches within driving distance. about 3.5 hrs from Virginia Beach and about 5 hrs from the Outer Banks of NC. You also have the Eastern Shore, bays, rivers, etc. 

It’s a nice life 😉

Post # 10
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I second pretty much everything that KLP said. I currently live in Arlington, VA right oustside of DC, walking distance to Georgetown. and commute to work in Chinatown area of NW DC. I live off of the orange line, have a one bedroom with utilities for 1415 a month.

thats cheap for our area.

I love living here, i would suggest you find out what your budget is, and that will dictate where you end up living wise. you can get more bang for your buck living further out from the city, but… its a longer commute. I live right off the orange line (4 blocks from the metro rail – thats our subway). so it takes me about 30 mins to get to work via metro. if i drive, depending on traffic, construction, special events it could take 20-40+ to get to work … from arlington. and it depends on when your work hours are as well.

you have pretty good job security especially if you are a govt worker. housing is also stable here, thanks to the job security, which is on the high side. but coming from NYC you probably will be used to that.

PM me if you have specific questions about neighborhoods – especially about areas to stay AWAY from. what seems cheap down here is usually cheap for a reason. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
1820 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree with KLP and Spaganya (although, seriously, KLP – where are you seeing townhomes in DC for $250k?  I will move for that…)

I LOVE DC and have been here for about 7 years.  Just to reiterate what everyone else has said, they farther out of the city you live, the more space you will get for less money… the closer in, the less time and money you will spend on your commute!  I know it can be really hard when you compare what you are spending now to what you would be spending here, but if your salary will also rise proportionately, think about your spending in terms of percentages instead.  That should ease the sticker shock.  :o)

Feel free to PM me as well if you want more information.

Maybe it’s time for a DC meet up.

Post # 12
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

oh im all for a DC meetup. lol

Post # 13
Member
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

$250k starter home? Dude, we couldn’t find anything in our budget for that even out in the boonies of MD. :/  Stupid expensive housing.

Post # 14
Member
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i just moved to silver spring w/ FI as he works near baltimore and i work in DC. before this, i was living in arlington and still own a condo there. my condo and surrounding buildings are expensive – my 2 bed/2bath goes for about $2600 a month. this is because i am 2 blocks from 2 different metro stations, have parking, a mall 2 blocks from me and tons of restaurants. its also a growing trendy-ish area. my friend who lived about a mile from me in arlington (but about a 20 minute walk to metro) has a 2 bed/2bath for about $1600. you really just have to shop around and research as it varies considerably!

now in silver spring, we live in a 3 bed/3.5 bath, 2100 sq ft townhouse – rent is $1800, which coming from NoVA is crazy cheap!! we are .4 miles from the wheaton metro. from our metro to metro center is 30-40 minutes. driving the 9.5 miles to my office in NW is about 45 minutes. there is definitely better traffic coming from the MD side than the VA side (from VA, you can just sit forever, at least to/from MD, traffic moves). my FIs 26 mile commute is either shorter or the same as my 9.5 mile commute since he is going against traffic. we looked as son tonwhouses to buy before we decided to rent and they were between 250K – 350K for THs similar in size to what we are renting.

but i LOVE dc and i will probably never leave. i went to boarding school up here and fell in love. there is so much to do and the atmosphere is great. lots of great restaurants and shopping and cultural activiites and diversity, which are all very important to me. and there are a lot of young people, young families, great schools (public and private). probably traffic is the only bad thing i can talk about. for you it would be an adjustment, but as a PP said, you will also be making more $ with a job in the city because they know cost of living is higher. i am used to the high rent prices – the only other places i’ve lived were atlanta and chicago and they were comparable. its very accesible since there are 3 major airports and you can hop on a train and be in NYC in 3 hrs. there are tons of volunteer and business opportunities as well.

Post # 15
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Housing is expensive, but we live in Columbia Heights DC, next to major bus lines which go all night and 15 mins walking from 2 metro stations. Our 3br house is $2,000/month but it is huge and has a fenced-in yard, fully finished basement, etc… From there, a commute to Metro Center would be about 30 mins (great for reading the paper in the morning!)

Post # 16
Member
53 posts
Worker bee

I went to the University of Rochester and I lived in DC for 4 years! Now I live in London but as soon as I’m able I’m moving back to DC. It’s a totally different lifestyle than Rochester– it’s definitely not as cheap but Rochester is an exceptionally cheap city. I loved Rochester, too, but I hated the weather. DC is a lot sunnier, the culture can’t be beat, there are tons of free things to do in the city, great public transport. A lot of people dislike DC but those who love it, LOVE it. Good luck with your decision!

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