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Apartment help in WDC

Old Jun 30th, 2012, 02:47 PM
  #1  
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Apartment help in WDC

ok, so this is not really a typical travel question, but....my daughter is leaving NY for grad school in WDC (so it does involve travel) and she is trying to find housing there. cheap housing. safe housing. clean, comfortable housing. she has used craigslist and roomster, but i was wondering if any fodor's users have any suggestions on how to go about this process? thanks for your help.
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Old Jun 30th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Housing in WDC isn't cheap. What is her budget? Many, many people share. Some shares have a vetting process. Car or no car? Where is she attending grad school? That might help narrow down the possibilities.
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Old Jun 30th, 2012, 03:27 PM
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Housing in DC will be considerably less than in NY - at least less than Manhattan. But not sure where you live. I would think she should start with the university she is attending - which probably has either a housing office or a student organization with information on apartment shares that are available.

Using Craig's list at a distant is really risky - many of the listings are scams of some variety - and it should be used only when you can check out the place in person. And she should insist on seeing the lease of the apartment - and having a written agreement with whoever is the legal tenant,
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Old Jun 30th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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My recent college grad daughter just signed lease on apartment in DC area. Your dtr first needs to determine location - it matters a lot in travel time and cost which side of DC/suburbs you are in relation to where you need to be.

My daughter looked at both "roommate wanted" and regular apartment listings - in the end finding a roommate and seeking an apartment together.

Some general observations. Safe walking distance to Metro adds considerably to cost, but even unsafe areas can be costly. Depending on your definition of each term, DC is not the city to expect to find "cheap, safe, comfortable" housing - even if one is creative. And even if her grad school schedule has some time off in the summer, she is very unlikely to be able to find a person to sublet her space in the summer - so keep that in mind when figuring cost.

My daughter found per person cost for anything where she would have her own bedroom started at about $800 per month in larger houses (about 4 people). When she had narrowed her search to 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartments in Virginia, she found total rent started at $2000 on up for even a non-luxurious unit. Anything she found for much less than that was either already rented when she went to look at it or creepy.
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Old Jun 30th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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>>And even if her grad school schedule has some time off in the summer, she is very unlikely to be able to find a person to sublet her space in the summer - so keep that in mind when figuring cost.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 04:46 AM
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Wow, thank you all for the great and helpful information. The comment about Craig's list reaffirms our suspicions even tho it seems so many people use it to find housing. of course, we will make a trip to DC to see the apt and the lease and the area before she finalizes anything. As for budget, her budget is about 600-800/month. she will be attending UDC which is on Connecticut Avenue, near the red line. i think the area is called Cleveland Park.
Many thanks for all the help.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 08:18 AM
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For her budget she will probably have to share with several others - just as she would in NYC. IMHO better to hae her own room in a larger house with more roommates than have to share a one-bedroom with 1 or 2 othrs. She'll be less subject to their hours, habits and friends.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:02 AM
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I agree with nyt. The good news is that Cleveland Park abounds with well-run group houses of long-standing, and it's a lovely neighborhood. Good luck!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:33 AM
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I agree that with a $600-$800 a month budget she will almost certainly be sharing. The closest metro station to UDC is quite near by at UDC-Van Ness on the red line. So she could live else where (close in Maryland neighborhoods) although I'd guess her first choice will be to live close to school. You are also likely working through UDC for some help in finding housing? They have very little in the way of on campus residence so this wouldn't be a new question for them -- they must have some resources for you to investigate.

I also wouldn't rule out a short term lease, six months or less, which will give her a chance to get more acquainted with the city. Presumably she's going to be there a couple of years so don't lock into anything for more than a year.
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