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Arlington, VA - apartment living for young adults

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Arlington, VA - apartment living for young adults

Old Mar 17th, 2012, 07:48 AM
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Arlington, VA - apartment living for young adults

My soon-to-graduate DD has decided she wants to start her adult life adventures in the DC area - job or no job. I support her in this, having done something similar with Boston after college graduation.

She has a prospective roommate (who has a job lined up and it is convenient to Arlington), some money saved, and parents who realize that she will need some start-up money until she gets a job and settled. (and perhaps, first, last security rent, co-sign lease) That is fine with us. She will figure it out - and has had some sort of job since she was 15, so is willing to work hard at finding and keeping a job. She also would like to establish Virginia residency as she looks ahead to grad school in a few years.

What we already know - DC is expensive; it matters where in DC area one works as to what is most convenient housing; the economy is bad. We also know that this might not be the way others would go about launching themselves into the real world - but is the way she wants to do it.

She is handling most of this - not hovering too close here. Some clues on approx rents for 2 bedroom apts in Arlington area, specific areas to inclulde/avoid, other similar suggestions from those who live in the area would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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For someone starting out - without a salary - having 2 young women share a 2 bedroom apt is unusual. The first apartment is usally either a studio or a one-bedroom (naturally 2 bedroom is nicer - but 2 starter salaries usually won;t support that). I have a number of young people - out of school 3 years or less working for me - and unless the parents support their rent - they really can't afford separate bedrooms in NY. (One found a great deal with a friend in a 2 bedroom - $1900 - but you really can't afford $1900 a month in rent if you're only making $35,000.)

I'm assuming the same is true in DC - naturally rents are lower - but salaries are also lower too.

Also, I'm not sure what landlords in DC require - but in NYC if the renter has no job the landlord will require not only first and last month's rent (and probably a fee of 10% of the annual rent to the service that finds the apartment) - but the cosigner has to demonstrate that they can afford their own expenses as well as those of the renter - not just be willing to pay, but have to PROVE they have enough excess income to pay.

Typically they want renters to show income of 40 times the rent. Sometimes, if the renter or cosigner can;t show enough excess income - they will agree to tak prepayment of 3 or 6 months rent instead.

Do check to see the exact rules in the DC area - but don't be surprised to see requirements like this in any major city that is a magnet for large numbers of kids right out of school who eill be taking entry level jobs.
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Thanks - we have co-signed her apartment lease for past 2 years and no problem continuing to do so and proving we can afford it. I am not pre-apying 6 months rent.

Part of becoming an adult is learning what things cost in the real world. Part of the motivation for me and DH to get more education/better jobs is that we discovered we wanted more stuff than entry level jobs would provide. She will also figure it out. We will be a safety net, not a bank account.
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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GO FOR IT!!!! Did the same thing MANY MANY years ago in the D.C. area and never regretted it. Fact is, it was one of the most fun part of my life.
She will learn quickly but stick to your guns on the safety net thing
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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(Reminder - I posted this under United States, not The Lounge on purpose - I really want advice about apartments in Arlington. Not Life Coach or Parenting - the goes in The Lounge)
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Orange Line Arlington is a young 20 something mecca. Rosslyn to Ballston tho I think Clarendon and Courthouse are the most popular areas. (Your daughter or her friends probably know!) It's a got an urban feel, lots of shopping & restaurants, some night life. Residences are mixed high rise (luxury to not), garden apartment and single family homes. Prices don't seem significantly less than downtown.

Crystal City and Pentagon City (Yellow Line) are less desirable to that age I guess b/c the area is more high rise canyon, hotels, gov't contractors and gov't offices.

Old Town Alexandria is DC lite and the immediate areas (like Del Ray) aren't far behind. More single 30s and up and families.

I know of post uni grad's who've shared condo's in Shirlington, Park Fairfax, Fairlington, and Belleview. That's a mix of Arlington and Fairfax County. Lots of 1940s/50s garden apartments and row houses turned condo. Not on a metro.

Couple of specific personal data points:

DH paid split the cost of a $2400/mo 2BR condo in a Crystal City high-rise 3.5 years ago. Nice building with some amenities. It was a six month lease. Didn't include parking.

Condo's in the building where we own in Foggy Bottom run $1700-2600 for studio/1 BR. Low on the amenity scale - 24 hour desk and pool.
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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Good info from Obxgirl about the Arlington area. Another area to consider is along the Columbia Pike corridor in South Arlington. A lot of new apartments/condos have recently been built here and while I do not know what they cost, I can only imagine that they are less than those along the Orange Line because there is no Metro right there. (There is a bus line along Columbia Pike that takes you to either Pentagon City Metro or the Pentagon Metro.) There are also older apartment complexes along Columbia Pike or just off the Pike that would be budget-friendly.

A lot of renovation has taken place at various places along Columbia Pike. For example, near the intersection of CP and Walter Reed Blvd, in addition to the new condos/apartments, are several new restaurants, 2 Irish pubs, 2 new gyms, a large supermarket and the ever-popular Arlington Drafthouse and Cinema.
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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as to VA residency...will she have a VA driver's license? If she is domiciled within the Commonwealth or longer she is required by law to license any car in the state. Yes, I know people try to avoid it.

If she is a resident then any car is liable for personal property taxes

and yes, the usual residency for college attendance is whether or not the person has paid state income taxes
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the above info. Her/our intent is that we sign car over to her, she register and insure it wherever she ends up living, along with driver's license in that state. I will be happy not to have to pay her car insurance any longer and not carry her liability risks; did not know VA had personal property tax but must be similar to excise tax one must pay in MA annually on autos.

In other words, that she live and act like an independent adult.
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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The one thing about the personal property tax is that it gets less every year (for which we are more than a little grateful). Also, it may very well be that her insurance rates might be less than they are where you live.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Your daughter might find
http://www.city-data.com/city/Arlington-Virginia.html
helpful.

There are forums on that website.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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www.rentals.com will give you an idea of housing costs in the Arlington area. Also, www.washingtonpost.com is another source. Once on the site, click on classified, then rentals, and then on the areas of DC that you want to research. Happy house hunting!!
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Also check craigslist.org for rentals - sometimes can get better pricing from individual landlords. Ignore what the NYC person said about DC area. The economy is strong here and young people often share 2BR apartments - no need to bunk up in a 1BR unless they have a really tight budget. Arlington along the orange metro line would be ideal. Columbia Pike area may be cheaper, but she'd get to enjoy the area much better if she's near the metro and walking distance to the Wilson Blvd corridor. Good luck - this is a great area for young people!
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