thinking moving to washington dc

Old Sep 11th, 2012, 03:43 PM
  #1  
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thinking moving to washington dc

Hello,
I am a single mom of 2 , thinking moving to washington DC area, I got a job offer at washington center hospital , clearly I am interested in great schools, easy commute and reasonable housing, which I found very hard to find, I really want to make this move, but very concern about house prices.
any suggesions? thank you.
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 05:26 PM
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I think you need to look at a couple of things.

In terms of housing DC isn;t bad for a major city - but will definitely be more than most smaller towns or suburbs.

Second, living IN DC schools are often not the best.

Many people live in the suburbs to get better schools and less expensive housing - but then you need to deal with that daily commute.

People may be able to provide better advice if you give a housing budget and what you are looking for ( a 2 bedroom apt - or a whole house?)

And basically, good, convenient and inexpensive do not go together. Pick any two and you'll have to give on the other one.
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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I know a few friends who live in Alexandria but work in DC. The public transportation is excellent and much better than driving into the city.
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Nyt, have you seen rents within the District lately? They're very very high. $2000 for a 500-sf studio in a new building in a good neighborhood.

Example:

http://www.archstoneapartments.com/A...floorplans.htm
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Nytraveler is correct--it's going to be difficult (if not nearly impossible) to get all 3 of your wishes--great schools, easy commute, reasonable housing--in D.C. or the suburbs. You'll probably have to settle for only 1 or 2 of those.
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 08:02 PM
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The public schools in Northern Virginia are excellent, and most of the close-in Maryland suburban school systems are as well. I would rule out living in DC proper if I had two kids partly because housing costs are sky-high and partly because public school quality is spotty.

I suggest familiarizing yourself with a Metro map, ideally the kind that has the Metro lines superimposed on a more detailed map showing the various counties and cities. Plot the hospital on the map and then see which Metro line(s) would be most convenient to take there. It would be best to take Metro only, but many, many people commute to work using a train and bus combo; the closer you are to a Metro stop, the higher the rent, obviously, even out in the suburbs.

I encourage you not to give up, because the DC Metro area is a great place to live, and has lots of stable, relatively affordable communities within it. A big move is never easy, but you can do it!
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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"...great schools, easy commute and reasonable housing..."

Can you please be more specific?

Maximum door-to-door commute time you can live with?

Minimum square footage/rooms you can live with?

Maximum monthly rent you can live with?

Are private schools an option? At what budget? What age are your children?


My first suggestion would be something in the University Park Elemantary School district (which includes parts of Hyattsville). It's about a 20 minutes door to door in to Wash. Hosp. Center in rush hour traffic.

Another suggestion would be something in Historic Hyattsville (schools there are "good" not great but there are some excellent private school options right there. Again, about a 20 minute commute. Here's an idea of what $2000 gets you.

http://www.walkscore.com/apartments/...ville-md-20781

it's less than a 5 min. walk to Busboy & Poets, Yes! Organic Groceries, restaurants, shops, parks, river, etc.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Sorry - $2000 for a studio in a good building doesn't sound bad to me. In my (middle class, non-luxury) building a moderate size one bedroom is about $3500 per month.

And IMHO a cute little 3 BR house for $2000 is a drop dead bargain.

(But I know prices in other parts of the country re different. When I bought my first apartmentone of my clients - in Cincy bought a house at the same time. I paid about $5K more for a nice-sized one-bedroom in a prewar building in a gentrifying neighborhood than they did for a 4 BR, 4 Bath house with den and family room in a gated complex with tennis and pool.)
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:05 AM
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It's really not relevant, what one has payed elsewhere and at other times. We paid $900/mo for a large house with a pool in a small town in Arizona; we also paid about that much for a small house in Falls Church, VA back in the early 1990's.

bardo's suggestions are very good.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:21 AM
  #10  
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snore....yes,everything in NY is expensive. But most people do not consider DC to have affordable housing at those numbers no matter what your wallet affords.

The commute from the Maryland suburbs will be easier -- and I agree that I would avoid the DC school district. The NOVA districts are great as well. I lived in DC and NOVA for years, but will defer to the natives for advice on the schools.

I've moved around a lot and have learned that living in corporate housing or a short-term apartment while I figure out the lay of the land is usually a good plan for me. Good luck. You will love DC!
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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If you haven't already looked, suggest you check out www.city-data.com/ which will have much more current info and specific info about individual neighborhoods and their school districts. Not all NoVa school districts are brilliant.

"Easy commute" means different things to different people.


>>When I bought my first apartmentone of my clients - in Cincy bought a house at the same time. ....
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Listen to Bardo because that person actually LIVES here. People from New York are obviously biased as to what is "reasonable" and they know absolutely nothing about suburban school issues.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Sorry to intrude - just pointing out that there are significant differences in average price points. We don;t know where the OP is from - and the prices mentioned may seem out of control to her.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Not intrusive but not particularly relevant. And a couple of your facts about the DC area are straight up wrong.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Agree that some of the statements are wrong re DC area. DC consistently ranks in the top 10 of most costly places to live. Not only is housing expensive, groceries and other items are also. If you cant afford private school, definitely look towards the burbs.

Unfortunately Washington Hospital Center is not on a metro line. To get there you would take the red line to CU/Brookland Station and I imagine take a bus from there. There maybe direct buses depending upon where u live. Montgomery Cty, MD has highly rated schools and MD will be a much easier commute than VA if u drive or take the metro/bus option.

Not up to date on schools in Silver Spring, MD, but that is an area u might want to check out. also Takoma Park, MD.

If you provide answers to the questions bardo posed u may get better info
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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obxgirl -

You may object to my injecting personal info if you wish - but there is nothing that I said that was wrong. All I did was point out that getting good quality, convenient and inexpensive is not realistic in DC. And I don't see that anyone has disagreed with me.

The only issue is that the OP hasn't provided any more info - so we don;t know what she thinks is good quality, convenient or inexpensive.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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>>And I don't see that anyone has disagreed with me.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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When I was stationed in DC we lived in Cheverly, MD, in Prince Georges County. Back then it was a typical commuter drive...but now they have light rail. Look in that vicinity.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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Try Arlington... lived in a very nice suburban (not new) housing area behind Pentagon City Mall...28th Street South, Arlington VA.

Could walk even in snow a couple of blocks to the upscale MAll from/in a very safe neighborhood. The Metro is in the basement of the MAll (which another poster said would get you close to the Washington Hospital but you would still have to take a bus.) My Metro station was on the Blue line, and stop was Pentagon City. There is a Costco there now, several hi rises look directly onto the Pentagon. We found this location the clsoest in with the best schools etc.

Pls be aware Washington Hospital is not in the best of areas. IF you are being recruited, ck on getting a cola adjustment or higher salary to adj for the not so great Wash Hosp location, transport fees, cost of living.

You might consider talking w/a real estate agent..even tho you aren't buying, they are a good resource for id-ing good living areas.

Here is a Metro Map link
http://www.wmata.com/rail/docs/colormap_lettersize.pdf
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Thank you soo much everybody for your help.
Ok, I will be more specific :
kids are: 12 and 5 years old
Initially we will rent of course , to get to know better.,then at least 3 bedroom house .
Maximum rent - 2000 $
Commute 30 - 40 min.
Private schools are not option .
I've heard Montgomery county schools are very good .
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