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Considering Move to DC with Two Kids - What Say You?

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I am a single mom with two kids - 10 and 4 - who loves the DC/MD/VA area. I have visited and am now considering a move to consummate my love affair with the city. I am moving from the south. I need some dirty details on where to move, cost of living, after school care, babysitters, etc. I will be working at Howard Univ. and monthly income close to $8,000. I really (stress, REALLY) don't want to pay over $1600 month in rent for 2/3 bd. and 2 bath...is that realistic for the area? I don't want to commute more than 20 minutes to the train...and then I have to include rail pass costs in my monthly budget (how much?). I can't forget about decent schools. Any ideas, suggestions? Thanks!

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