May 2008 Weddings
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MD and other DC girls...

My husband was just offered a spot at GWU for the fall, so it looks like we'll be moving to DC this August! I would love any guidance for trying to find housing - better places to live, what to expect, etc. :)

Re: MD and other DC girls...

  • Congrats!! I dont remember where you are now, but cost of living is pretty high in DC. My SIL is in her past few months of surgical residency at Wash Hosp Center and I'm alway floored when she mentions how much her rent is. She was living right down the street from the zoo but a year ago moved to silver spring bc her rent was being increased. That's about all I can tell you. Will you guys be looking to buy or rent? I can ask her for neighborhood reccomendations for you. 
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    Dx PCOS and MFI - morph 1%
    TTC #1 since 9/08
  • That would be great, thanks!!

    We're in Utah right now, so this is going to be a HUGE change. It's so much cheaper to live here - we have a nice townhouse we rent currently with 2 bed 1.5 baths for only $750 (includes the HOA and some utilities) so I know this is going to be such a big adjustment.

    I think we'll probably be looking to rent, and maybe not right in DC? Any neighborhood recommendations would be wonderful! 

  • It's gonna be steep. Maybe start researching and let me know where you are looking and I can tell you yay or nay. Here less expensive almost always means an undesirable area sadly. There's just not a lot of in between. Close in is really expensive too because if people don't want to live in the city they want to live as close as possible to avoid the crazy traffic. Also maybe you want to just to bite the bullet and live by GW (people usually drop the U here) because Metro adds up. Also salary for you may be a little higher if you focus on jobs right in DC vs MD or VA. Feel free to email or call if you have questions. I also did the drive from CO to MD and can advise on that (although you won't necessarily need a car if you live right in DC - then you may be able to save on gas and insurance to offset rent). GL
    Me:39 Dx LPD, Fibroid, AMA and all that goes with that. H:37 Dx low motility and low morphology. TTC since 3/12. Clomid 8/12 and 9/12: BFN. 11/12 on a break for Myomectomy sched. 11/26. Resume TTC early 2013.
  • image MarylandWed:
    GW (people usually drop the U here)

     

    This is for reals the stuff I really need to know. Thank you, I will tell Jeff - then we hopefully won't sound like dummie when we get there. ;)

     That's one thing we were really wondering about - the metro seems like it would add up quickly with him needing to go in every day. Any suggestions on the best ways to look for housing (with us not actually being there) - craigslist? 

     The car is something to think about as well - we only have one car right now, and I have no idea if we'll bring it or try to sell it. How was the drive out there - did you bring all your furniture and stuff, or just sell and start over?

     

    I'm going to be bugging you constantly for help these next few months as we prepare....hope you don't mind. ;) 

  • I abandoned DC for greener pastures (ok, pizza and the Amalfi Coast, but details), but I lived in NW and NoVA (northern VA) for 12yrs and I still own (rent out) a condo in NoVA, so FWIW:

    Like all cities, DC has the classic space/commute trade-off... the closer in the less space, but the better the commute.  If you and H can deal w/ limited space, I'd suggest the city (Columbia Heights is a transitional, but still comparatively affordable option).  If you need more space, I'd suggest a suburb.  If I'm remembering correctly, GW is on the Blue/Orange Metro line, so if you're looking in VA, look Blue line (vice Yellow), it'll save you time.  

    As a random ballpark, our condo is in NoVA, 2 story, 2bdrm, 1bath (so not tiny, but not huge-- abt 1000sq ft).  As a ballpark rents in our complex range (depending on the unit and upgrades (it's an older complex) from around $1300- $1800.  IMO, that's a pretty typical NoVA rent for 2bdrm space-- it's a safe, pleasant neighborhood, but not super luxe or cutting edge hip or anything.   I'm not certain home much the 1bdrms are going for b/c it's been a while.  When I left in '06 I was paying about $850 for a 1bdrm (different complex, but similar neighborhood)-- same story, safe, parking, fine place but nothing fancy/super modern.  I'd say it was pretty typical.

    image
  • image VABeach08:

    I abandoned DC for greener pastures (ok, pizza and the Amalfi Coast, but details), but I lived in NW and NoVA (northern VA) for 12yrs and I still own (rent out) a condo in NoVA, so FWIW:

    Like all cities, DC has the classic space/commute trade-off... the closer in the less space, but the better the commute.  If you and H can deal w/ limited space, I'd suggest the city (Columbia Heights is a transitional, but still comparatively affordable option).  If you need more space, I'd suggest a suburb.  If I'm remembering correctly, GW is on the Blue/Orange Metro line, so if you're looking in VA, look Blue line (vice Yellow), it'll save you time.  

    As a random ballpark, our condo is in NoVA, 2 story, 2bdrm, 1bath (so not tiny, but not huge-- abt 1000sq ft).  As a ballpark rents in our complex range (depending on the unit and upgrades (it's an older complex) from around $1300- $1800.  IMO, that's a pretty typical NoVA rent for 2bdrm space-- it's a safe, pleasant neighborhood, but not super luxe or cutting edge hip or anything.   I'm not certain home much the 1bdrms are going for b/c it's been a while.  When I left in '06 I was paying about $850 for a 1bdrm (different complex, but similar neighborhood)-- same story, safe, parking, fine place but nothing fancy/super modern.  I'd say it was pretty typical.

     

    Thanks - that's great information, especially the ballpark idea on what things go for and looking for the blue metro line. I really appreciate it.

     

     

  • My advice - don't take any furniture. Especially if you plan to go back home right afterward. Use the money you would save renting a truck for a mattress and boxspring when you get here (a basic bed frame is sometimes included). You will be around students who are always selling furniture so you can fill in pretty quickly with the basics or buy some cheap stuff at IKEA or garage sales. IMO it's just not worth it to bring stuff over here (speaking from someone who did it). Also if you buy cheap stuff here you can toss it or sell it for cheap instead of lugging it back.

     After thinking about it I think I would (if I were you) spring for something in DC by school and leave your car in Utah. A lot of places in DC and close in will charge for parking. At most Metro stops in the outlying areas you can pick up a ZipCar if you want to go somewhere outside the city. And from DC you can grab a bus to NYC (4 hour drive) for $15. I just think you will get more out of your experience by living as close to DC as possible and then just renting a car for exploring.

     Close in areas (right over the line) are fun too: Arlington in VA and Takoma park, downtown silver spring, Bethesda... Basically what's called "inside the beltway". I live outside the beltway but I am old and boring and live in a quiet suburb 15 minutes from Metro (by car). Definitely wouldn't recommend where I live for students.

     Anyway, I could go on and on but get a Metro map (wmata.org) and an area map to orient yourself. When you are looking at the metro map I recommend avoiding everything to the right of the green line north and south. For finding housing, check with the school - they probably have an off campus housing resource and try the DC nest too. And there's always apartments.com and washingtonpost.com (they also have a decent job board).

    Regarding the Metro being expensive - it is, especially the farther out you are. They also charge you to park (when you are getting on in the suburbs) so you are talking easily $500 a month.

     FYI My BIL got his PhD from GW a couple of years ago so if you have an GW related questions LMK.

    Okay, novel over. 

    Me:39 Dx LPD, Fibroid, AMA and all that goes with that. H:37 Dx low motility and low morphology. TTC since 3/12. Clomid 8/12 and 9/12: BFN. 11/12 on a break for Myomectomy sched. 11/26. Resume TTC early 2013.
  • Thanks! I have no idea what we'll do after these 3 years...whether we'll come back here, stay out there, go somewhere else entirely, etc. I think we probably will try to get something closer to school - since he'll be going there every day it would be silly to have him spending the time/money on getting there and back. 

    Definitely will look into those areas, thanks. 

  • image Anne1387:

    Thanks! I have no idea what we'll do after these 3 years...whether we'll come back here, stay out there, go somewhere else entirely, etc. I think we probably will try to get something closer to school - since he'll be going there every day it would be silly to have him spending the time/money on getting there and back. 

    Definitely will look into those areas, thanks. 

    Keep us posted. Agreed - you would be surprised how much commuting into the city takes out of you. I did it to DC for four years. A half hour drive to the metro and then an hour on the train including two transfers. You just have no energy for anything else at the end of the day.

    Me:39 Dx LPD, Fibroid, AMA and all that goes with that. H:37 Dx low motility and low morphology. TTC since 3/12. Clomid 8/12 and 9/12: BFN. 11/12 on a break for Myomectomy sched. 11/26. Resume TTC early 2013.
  • image MarylandWed:
    image Anne1387:

    Thanks! I have no idea what we'll do after these 3 years...whether we'll come back here, stay out there, go somewhere else entirely, etc. I think we probably will try to get something closer to school - since he'll be going there every day it would be silly to have him spending the time/money on getting there and back. 

    Definitely will look into those areas, thanks. 

    Keep us posted. Agreed - you would be surprised how much commuting into the city takes out of you. I did it to DC for four years. A half hour drive to the metro and then an hour on the train including two transfers. You just have no energy for anything else at the end of the day.

     

    We're looking at potentially living right in Foggy Bottom so that Jeff won't have to do some big commute every day. It's so much more expensive than being out in Alexandria or something like that though, from the little browsing I've been able to do.

     I think we'll be bringing our bikes out, for sure. 

     I'm a little bit scared about moving...this is going to be an enormous change for us, it came out of no where and is coming up really quickly! Eden...be my friend, ok? 

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