Housing in DC

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mjapplying
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Housing in DC

Postby mjapplying » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:36 am

Hi everyone
Any advice on how to go about finding cheap housing in DC or northern virginia will be appreicated
I am deciding between Geroge Mason and GW
Anyone who lives there or is looking- any adivce would be great

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theadw
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby theadw » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:42 am

Craigslist.

Go to open houses or appointments ten minutes early with a blank check in hand -- the competition for good housing is absolutely cutthroat.

If you give me more details (price range, preferred environment, willingness to commute, etc.) I can help you a bit more. Feel free to PM.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby berkeleykel06 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:42 am

mjapplying wrote:Hi everyone
Any advice on how to go about finding cheap housing in DC or northern virginia will be appreicated
I am deciding between Geroge Mason and GW
Anyone who lives there or is looking- any adivce would be great


Do you plan on driving or using public transportation?

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LawandOrder
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby LawandOrder » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:42 am

Define what you consider cheap, as well as what living standard you are willing to endure.

I would say don't expect to pay much less than $1100 or so for a 1-bedroom.

mjapplying
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby mjapplying » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:44 am

around $1000 is fine i guess (one bedroom or studio)
i may bring a car if i dont find housing near the metro
i would like to live in northeast DC around where all the schools are

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LawandOrder
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby LawandOrder » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:46 am

Neither GMU nor GW are in Northeast. You might be able to get a Studio away from the schools for $1000. Parking downtown is a PAIN and you will pay an additional probably $200 a month as a resident to park in their garages.

umichgrad
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby umichgrad » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:47 am

I would make that 1100 for a studio, and more like 1500 for a 1-br. Check out some of DC's better management companies: Borger, Keener, Bernstein, William C. Smith, etc. They often have very nice buildings for relatively low rates. Consider living in Arlington, Rosslyn, Metro Center/McPherson SQ, or Capitol South for GW (though Cap South is getting a bit far). Not sure about GMU but definitely live in VA.

Edit: Northeast is not a good idea. You'll be living on the ass-end of the red line, which only goes to AU. GMU is in Virginia, and GW is in the West End/Foggy Bottom (technically Northwest DC). I'd recommend absolutely against Northeast, somewhat against Southeast (though Cap South and Eastern Market are really cute), and absolutely against Southwest since you'll just be so far. Maryland is probably not a great bet either (purely from a commute-time standpoint).

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LawandOrder
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby LawandOrder » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:00 am

Don't live in Southeast. You'll be killed.

Just stay in NW.

umichgrad
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby umichgrad » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:05 am

Haha it's not as bad as all that, you just have to choose wisely. Like I said, Capitol Hill and Eastern Market can be very cute and livable, with the metro nearby and cheaper rent. You do have to be careful though.

Edited for early-morning English fail.

gatordude94
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby gatordude94 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:19 am

GW-Only Advice:
Anywhere within walking distance from GW (Foggy Bottom, Gtown, Dupont) is going to put you in the 1200+ range for a studio. Only affordable option in that area is sharing a 1BR.

There are some cheaper studios northeast of GW (Logan Circle, Shaw, U Street) - it's a 15 min bike ride to GW or a 30 min bus ride.

Agree with umichgrad that Eastern Market/Cap South are decent options because you're on the right metro lines and the rent is cheaper on the Hill.

For GMU, I'm sure there are plenty of cheap options out in NoVA.

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holydonkey
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby holydonkey » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:22 am

For GW/GMU

Apartment on the orange line > Apartment on the blue line > Apartment on the red line > Apartment on the yellow line > Apartment on the green line

http://wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm

GMU Law School is at the Virginia Square stop. GWU is at the Foggy Bottom stop. Apartments are cheaper the further out you go and the farther away from the metro your place is.

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Bert
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby Bert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:24 am

LawandOrder wrote:Don't live in Southeast. You'll be killed.


Some areas of SE DC are perfectly fine. Stay close to the capitol building and you should be fine, but definitely don't live in the deep SE -- that can be pretty shady. NW DC is pretty good all over, but can be a bit pricey, especially in the area around GWU as housing is limited and GWU seems to be buying everything up.

As for your situation, Virginia is probably a better bet than living in DC. If you are looking for a place before deciding on a school, I would say try to find apartments on either the blue line (stops at GWU) or orange line (stops at both GWU and GMU) of the metro. Try to minimize transfers (admittedly a personal preference) and stay on the western side of DC.

Good luck!

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Bert
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby Bert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:25 am

holydonkey wrote:For GW/GMU

Apartment on the orange line > Apartment on the blue line > Apartment on the red line > Apartment on the yellow line > Apartment on the green line


I completely agree.

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nealric
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:27 am

If GMU, I would look for more suburban housing in northern virginia.

If GW, SW DC (eastern market) area could be good. How do you plan on commuting?

mjapplying
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby mjapplying » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:08 am

So far prices in va and dc have been similar. I dont mind bringing a car if parking isnt that expensive. I have a sense now of what locatons to look for. Does anyone know of helpful websites? I have tried craigslist and some renting websites but the response hasnt been good. Also i m worried applications and income requirements since i m a student.

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nealric
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:28 am

So far prices in va and dc have been similar. I dont mind bringing a car if parking isnt that expensive. I have a sense now of what locatons to look for. Does anyone know of helpful websites? I have tried craigslist and some renting websites but the response hasnt been good. Also i m worried applications and income requirements since i m a student.


Driving in DC is pure hell. I have a car and use it maybe twice a month.

Really, the key is roommates and group houses. Check the craigslist roommates and "rooms for rent" section rather than the apts for rents. No applications, no income requirements. You also get more space/dollar. I have a huge master bedroom suite with walk in close, fireplace, hardwood floors, access 1,000sq ft of public space on top of that for less than $1k. If I were just renting an apartment on my own I would be lucky to have 500sq feet and a cramped little bedroom.

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LawandOrder
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby LawandOrder » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:38 am

I bought a motorcycle for driving in DC. Best decision ever.

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Bert
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby Bert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:40 am

You really do not need a car in DC, especially with GMU and GWU -- both are fairly close to their respective metro stop.

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holydonkey
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby holydonkey » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:46 am

mjapplying wrote:So far prices in va and dc have been similar. I dont mind bringing a car if parking isnt that expensive. I have a sense now of what locatons to look for. Does anyone know of helpful websites? I have tried craigslist and some renting websites but the response hasnt been good. Also i m worried applications and income requirements since i m a student.
Parking near the schools will be expensive. Parking at an apartment complex is usually around $50 a month. If they make enough, your parents can co-sign on a lease to meet an income requirement. Check to see if GW or GMU have an off-campus housing website, many schools do.

mjapplying
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby mjapplying » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:58 am

I love everyones reactions on driving and parking. I am from nyc and go to school here as well. I also drive and it isnt that bad or mayb i m just used to it. Parking also becomes less ofan issue wen u noe the area around you. Anyways not the point i think i pushing bringing a car cuz i thought it would be easier to manage than in ny. But no big deal i can just figure that part out once i get settled. I am just overwelmed with apartment hunting in dc. I think i will stick with northern va and see if things get better

cavebat2000
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby cavebat2000 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:08 pm

1. There is no "cheap" housing in D.C. Sorry, this is a fact of life.
2. You can find "cheaper" housing but you will need to be careful not to buy a roach/rat infested shithole.
3. Individual landlords are better than apartment complexes, at least for getting cheaper homes that are still decent quality.
4. Do not plan to park in D.C. You'd be better off selling your car and using metro. That would be about 20x cheaper and 20x less stressful. DC has like the 2nd or 3rd worst traffic in the nation. Trust me on this one.
5. I am speaking not only of the district proper, but of the entire metro area.
6. Northern Virginia is the WORST traffic in D.C (well I95 sux too, oh and the beltway... whatever, traffic in D.C. just plain sux)

This is why I didn't apply to any law schools in D.C. and will be moving to a place outside of a city for law school.

Oh and I have lived, worked, and gone to school in D.C. for 2 years now, in case you are measuring credibility.

cavebat2000
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby cavebat2000 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:11 pm

mjapplying wrote:around $1000 is fine i guess (one bedroom or studio)
i may bring a car if i dont find housing near the metro
i would like to live in northeast DC around where all the schools are


warning... you are prob gonna get a shithole for that price. I am not kidding or being cynical. I went apartment hunting in D.C. each year for the past two years.

You'd be better off sharing an apartment for someone. You can get a decent 2 bedroom for 2k/month and have your 1k/m rent.

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nealric
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:20 pm

1. There is no "cheap" housing in D.C. Sorry, this is a fact of life.


Depends on what you consider cheap. I've had friends do $600/mo without being in a craphole. Not cheap by rural midwest standards, but cheap by big city standards.

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holydonkey
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby holydonkey » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:24 pm

cavebat2000 wrote:
mjapplying wrote:around $1000 is fine i guess (one bedroom or studio)
i may bring a car if i dont find housing near the metro
i would like to live in northeast DC around where all the schools are


warning... you are prob gonna get a shithole for that price. I am not kidding or being cynical. I went apartment hunting in D.C. each year for the past two years.

You'd be better off sharing an apartment for someone. You can get a decent 2 bedroom for 2k/month and have your 1k/m rent.
Actually if you're willing to settle for a studio, $1000 is probably about what you'll need for a halfway decent place.

ChrisC
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Re: Housing in DC

Postby ChrisC » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:25 pm

For those living in DC, quick question. I'm coming from a place that is the very definition of suburb. Grocery shopping means taking your car once a week and putting all the packages in the trunk. I feel pretty naive here, but how do you most people go grocery shopping in DC, or any other really urban area for that matter? Seems difficult to carry 6 or 7 grocery bags on the metro or walk 10 blocks with them.




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