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Thread: DC/Nova questions. (Andrews AFB people, where do you live??)

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    #1

    DC/Nova questions. (Andrews AFB people, where do you live??)

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    I'm curious to where other people stationed at Andrews or other area bases lived, since it's not exactly an area where you can just live where you work. Did you live in DC, Nova or actually near the base (that thought sort of frightens me )?

    DH and I were/are pretty set on actually living in DC. We wanted to rent a townhome in either a NW neighborhood or Capitol Hill. But now as it gets closer to moving day, I am not so sure that we will be able to find such a place in such a short time. And tbh, I'm kind of turned off by how small most of them are. I know any apartment in DC is likely to be small but idk. We're getting to be the age where I don't exactly want to live like a college student, with everything I own right on top of me, if you know what I mean? Also neither of us have any desire to live in a condo type high rise apartment building at this time. I honestly feel like if we move into a super small apt in DC, we are just going to want to move again in 6 months and I am so sick of moving.

    I've sort of turned my attention to nova in particular. I think Arlington would be too far away for Andrews but I'm quite interested in Alexandria, particularly because it connects to the metro and other DC transportation. Any other areas I should look into? I'm not really interested in Maryland. Ideally I think I'd want to rent a single family home or at least a townhome that has 2+ bedrooms, so I can feel like an adult. Personally I would probably need some pretty strong selling points for DH. He is pretty sold on the idea of living in a "big city".

    Hmmm. Thanks for any help!
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    Well I live in Woodbridge, but that is probably too far for you. Commute doesn't bother me.

    Alexandria and Arlington and pretty much all of Fairfax county are real expensive. Alexandria, the best places to live (Old Town) are the most expensive, you won't find anything bigger than you'd find in DC for the price. Arlington is the same. The best place to live (N. Arlington) your single family homes will run about $600K or more, and the town homes, a 2 bed 1 bath townhome is about $300K. Where I am, you can get a single family (4 bed 3 bath) house for about $250k-$300k.

    It really just depends on how much you want to spend vs how far you want to commute.

    I know people that live as far south as Fredricksburg that commute to Andrews.

    Nearly all of Fairfax and Arlington counties have a metro stop. Even where I am, you can drive to Springfield (or bus) and hit the metro, we also have the VRE.

    All in all, it really depends on how much you want to spend.

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    I don't expect that we will buy anything - just rent, and we are looking at $2000 as the topper to our budget but would prefer to be far below that. Commute matters mostly because we only have one car and I expect I will probably find work in DC. But who knows, that is all circumstantial and could change. I'd still say public transportation is quite important.

    I guess for me it's just a matter of finding a house to rent... I am pretty tired of apartment living and would like to settle into someplace I can call home (for awhile). But I would still like some of the benefits of city living, like nightlife and places to eat, etc.

    How far away is Woodbridge? Is it the only place you've lived in the area?
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    #4
    We first lived (rented) in Springfield, we did that for 2 years. It was a 3 bed, 3 bath Townhome for about $1800 a month (not sure if its still that price or not), and we were in West Springfield, almost Burke which is the nicer part.

    Because my job was going to be anywhere in the DC Metro area (which happens to be about 70 square miles) and because we have kids, we did not want to live in DC. If we didn't have kids, we would've rented in DC.

    But, if you want more house for your money, DC isn't the place to go. The bigger you want, the more expensive it is.

    Finding jobs in the city itself isn't easy. You will likely find a job in either VA or MD before getting one in the city. We've been here 7 years and I have yet to find a job in the city. I've always worked in VA. Some as close as 15 miles from my house, to 35 miles (where I am now).

    On a good day, I can get to Andrews from Woodbridge in 25 mins. On a very bad day about 1 1/2 hours. So, its so bad.

    We chose Woodbridge because we decided to buy and we could get twice the house for less money than anywhere in Fairfax county, Loundoun County, Arlington or Alexandria... and the commute didn't change. It went from 17 miles (for hubby) to 19 miles.

    We based our home on where HE would be working, not me, since mine could easily change from year to year, whereas his wouldn't.

    We opted for Springfield because it was pretty centrally located for the entire area. Had homes not been so expensive, we would've stayed there.

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    #5
    DC is VERY expensive to live in. Captial Hill is also in SE DC which isn't the best area to live in. I'd look in NoVA if you want to rent something for $2000 or less. I live in Alexandria which is about 10-15 minutes outside DC and a one bedroom here is $1500-$1700

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_lepus View Post
    DC is VERY expensive to live in. Captial Hill is also in SE DC which isn't the best area to live in. I'd look in NoVA if you want to rent something for $2000 or less. I live in Alexandria which is about 10-15 minutes outside DC and a one bedroom here is $1500-$1700
    I've actually been apartment searching in DC forever and my best friend lives there as well as I've visited a few times. I think it would be a stretch to say the majority of Capitol Hill is dangerous lol. It's full of middle aged women pushing strollers! I mean, it's a city, but it's not exactly as bad as anything beyond the Anacostia River.

    We actually get about $2500 BAH. From our searching, we could afford a 1bedroom within DC but like I said in the OP, I'm not so sure I want to live in a such a small space.

    One benefit of actually living in DC though is that my DH will be leaving and entering DC the opposite of rush hour patterns. Most people I know from the area says that is actually a really good thing, because he won't have as much traffic to deal with (although I think a day without terrible traffic would be like a night without stars).
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    #7
    CrazyPasta, did you ever find a suitable place to live??? Now that you've been there a minute, do you have any advice for a young couple expecting their first? My husband hates to commute but I hear horror stories about the area surrounding Andrews!
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    RainHerself,
    We ended up getting a townhouse apt in DC because my husband wanted to experience city living. It was pretty much how I predicted and we are going to be moving to Waldorf, Md in a couple months. I wouldn't recommend DC proper for someone expecting their first baby but if there is anything I've learned, it's that everyone has a different experience here. Most however do agree that right outside of base is pretty bad the majority of military families live in Waldorf, Upper Marlboro or Alexandria that I know. We decided on Waldorf because we don't want to live in PG county (it's *bad*) and we also don't want to deal with the traffic coming and going from Virginia.

    Hope this helps!

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