SE Washington DC job - where to live?

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curmudgeon
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SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by curmudgeon » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm

So it looks like my daughter may end up working at Anacostia navy base, in the SE corner of DC. Not having much experience with DC, I thought I'd reach out for suggestions on what might be good options for areas for her to consider when renting an apartment. Single, no kids or pets. Not interested in buying a place at this time.

The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:21 pm

If she can commute by Metro and ride a shuttle over to the base, then she should check out apartments in Arlington, Virginia (on the Orange Line and Blue/Yellow Line) and Silver Spring, Maryland (on the Red Line).

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:30 pm

A friend of mine works at the Naval Base. He lives just off of M Street in the SW quadrant. The stretch along M Street is up and coming, and by up and coming, I mean that crime could still be an issue at time. My friend was actually the victim of a property crime, but this is anecdotal and should not be taken to mean that the place is unsafe. Just keep your wits, and you should be fine.

Personally, I'd recommend Pentagon City/Crystal City; accessible by metro (1-transfer), and most likely 35 minutes door-to-door. The area is quite safe with a lot of young professionals. Cost of living is also on the low side, with $1300-1400 able to get you a studio with all utilities covered (and located 7-10 minutes from the stop). My friend pays ~$1250 and shares a 3Br condominum with two other people.

Elysium
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Elysium » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:50 pm

Across the river in Arlington, VA. Plenty of nice apartments and condos for rent around Rosslyn metro, which is just across the river, literally DC but much nicer and safer. Anyone familiar with DC will say no to S.E or even S.W, areas around Georgetown are nice but very expensive. Go to VA, it's a no brainer. Crystal City / Pentagon City is Ok, but Rosslyn is better.

MarvinK
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by MarvinK » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:03 pm

Most people are happy when they choose their commute. Her future location probably has one of the easiest commutes/locations because she don't have to drive into downtown DC.

Look at a couple of places within her budget (which include parking).
The neighborhoods in Maryland, Virginia and DC are so different.
She needs to find a place where she feels comfortable, with activities and amenities for lifestyle.
Ideally find a 6 month lease. Winter has the most opportunity to change locations.

Some locations are close to parks, bike paths, other locations are close to restaurants and gyms.
So, Within Budget, and Lifestyle fit, commute, all work together.

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MnyGrl
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by MnyGrl » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:25 am

What is her budget?

Rosslyn and Arlington are very nice but pricey options.

jehovasfitness
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by jehovasfitness » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:29 am

Have her check Calvert county Md. That's where I live. Northern end of calvert is a short commute relatively speaking..

Low crime as well
Last edited by jehovasfitness on Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

jehovasfitness
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by jehovasfitness » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:32 am

Seems northern Calvert is 25 miles and 35 mins away from Anacostia

There are commuter buses that had from Calvert to dc

craimund
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by craimund » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:08 am

As someone who has lived and commuted in the DC area since 1991, I would recommend the Virginia side of the river. In DC/Maryland, the closer in neighborhoods will be either crime ridden or pricier. Navy Yard Metro stop is on the Green Line. It is generally not a good idea to live on the Green line. Also, PG county (South of DC) is generally a no-go area. Some improving areas but generally higher crime rates. Metro access into VA from Navy Yard is very good via the yellow/green lines (transfer in L'Enfant Plaza). She should check out Crystal City near National Airport (Arlington, VA). "Relatively" affordable for a low crime and close-in neighborhood and very close via metro. Also, great airport access (see the planes taking off). Rosslyn is also possible. A bit longer metro ride and also pricier I think. King Street Metro Stop (Alexandria, VA) area is also an option for a convenient but higher cost area. Can access Yellow line there. If she wants to live further out and save some money on rent, she may want to check out Springfield, VA. Metro stop is on the Blue line so she would have to transfer twice or she could take commuter rail (VA Railway Express) from Springfield (station is adjacent Metro) and ride that to L'Enfant Plaza Metro and switch to green line there. This will probably cost more than Metro but good to have options. If she wants to be in DC, she should check out U Street area. Good Metro access and neighborhood is decent now. Used to be very crime ridden in early 90s. Cars are hard in DC. Could be expensive to garage. Easy to get tickets (only thing DC Govt is good at).

In terms of living way out, someone mentioned Calvert Co., MD. Beautiful area but quite a bit of driving (parents used to live there). Northern Calvert Co. has decent access via Rt. 4/PA Avenue but still quite a bit of driving and no commuter rail. I live in Stafford, Co., VA which is also way out but has commuter rail. Wouldn't wish that kind of commute on anyone.

As an added benefit of living in VA, she will pay much lower income taxes. MD has a 5.75% State Income Tax (top rate) but each County has a piggy back tax that's added on. Some counties (Montgomery Co. for example) can get as high as 9% rate combined with State/Local Income Tax. VA has 5.7% state income tax with no local income tax. VA does have a car tax (i.e., tax on prorated value of car assessed by locality). This tax can be substantial if she has an expensive car,, newer car. An older model car would not incur a very high tax. I pay about $1000.00/year for five vehicles - 4 new cars and an old pick-up truck. Bogleheads would generally pay less tax in VA.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

jehovasfitness
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by jehovasfitness » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:16 am

craimund wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:08 am
As someone who has lived and commuted in the DC area since 1991, I would recommend the Virginia side of the river. In DC/Maryland, the closer in neighborhoods will be either crime ridden or pricier. Navy Yard Metro stop is on the Green Line. It is generally not a good idea to live on the Green line. Also, PG county (South of DC) is generally a no-go area. Some improving areas but generally higher crime rates. Metro access into VA from Navy Yard is very good via the yellow/green lines (transfer in L'Enfant Plaza). She should check out Crystal City near National Airport (Arlington, VA). "Relatively" affordable for a low crime and close-in neighborhood and very close via metro. Also, great airport access (see the planes taking off). Rosslyn is also possible. A bit longer metro ride and also pricier I think. King Street Metro Stop (Alexandria, VA) area is also an option for a convenient but higher cost area. Can access Yellow line there. If she wants to live further out and save some money on rent, she may want to check out Springfield, VA. Metro stop is on the Blue line so she would have to transfer twice or she could take commuter rail (VA Railway Express) from Springfield (station is adjacent Metro) and ride that to L'Enfant Plaza Metro and switch to green line there. This will probably cost more than Metro but good to have options. If she wants to be in DC, she should check out U Street area. Good Metro access and neighborhood is decent now. Used to be very crime ridden in early 90s. Cars are hard in DC. Could be expensive to garage. Easy to get tickets (only thing DC Govt is good at).

In terms of living way out, someone mentioned Calvert Co., MD. Beautiful area but quite a bit of driving (parents used to live there). Northern Calvert Co. has decent access via Rt. 4/PA Avenue but still quite a bit of driving and no commuter rail. I live in Stafford, Co., VA which is also way out but has commuter rail. Wouldn't wish that kind of commute on anyone.

As an added benefit of living in VA, she will pay much lower income taxes. MD has a 5.75% State Income Tax (top rate) but each County has a piggy back tax that's added on. Some counties (Montgomery Co. for example) can get as high as 9% rate combined with State/Local Income Tax. VA has 5.7% state income tax with no local income tax. VA does have a car tax (i.e., tax on prorated value of car assessed by locality). This tax can be substantial if she has an expensive car,, newer car. An older model car would not incur a very high tax. I pay about $1000.00/year for five vehicles - 4 new cars and an old pick-up truck. Bogleheads would generally pay less tax in VA.
We lived in PG for 10 years and just moved to southern MD.

Crime in PG depends on where in the county. Yes, some spots are terrible but we lived in 2 cities that were fine.

I wouldn't want to send kids to PG schools though.

I'd rather live in MD than VA but that's me since I was born and raised in MD

craimund
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by craimund » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:23 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:16 am
craimund wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:08 am
As someone who has lived and commuted in the DC area since 1991, I would recommend the Virginia side of the river. In DC/Maryland, the closer in neighborhoods will be either crime ridden or pricier. Navy Yard Metro stop is on the Green Line. It is generally not a good idea to live on the Green line. Also, PG county (South of DC) is generally a no-go area. Some improving areas but generally higher crime rates. Metro access into VA from Navy Yard is very good via the yellow/green lines (transfer in L'Enfant Plaza). She should check out Crystal City near National Airport (Arlington, VA). "Relatively" affordable for a low crime and close-in neighborhood and very close via metro. Also, great airport access (see the planes taking off). Rosslyn is also possible. A bit longer metro ride and also pricier I think. King Street Metro Stop (Alexandria, VA) area is also an option for a convenient but higher cost area. Can access Yellow line there. If she wants to live further out and save some money on rent, she may want to check out Springfield, VA. Metro stop is on the Blue line so she would have to transfer twice or she could take commuter rail (VA Railway Express) from Springfield (station is adjacent Metro) and ride that to L'Enfant Plaza Metro and switch to green line there. This will probably cost more than Metro but good to have options. If she wants to be in DC, she should check out U Street area. Good Metro access and neighborhood is decent now. Used to be very crime ridden in early 90s. Cars are hard in DC. Could be expensive to garage. Easy to get tickets (only thing DC Govt is good at).

In terms of living way out, someone mentioned Calvert Co., MD. Beautiful area but quite a bit of driving (parents used to live there). Northern Calvert Co. has decent access via Rt. 4/PA Avenue but still quite a bit of driving and no commuter rail. I live in Stafford, Co., VA which is also way out but has commuter rail. Wouldn't wish that kind of commute on anyone.

As an added benefit of living in VA, she will pay much lower income taxes. MD has a 5.75% State Income Tax (top rate) but each County has a piggy back tax that's added on. Some counties (Montgomery Co. for example) can get as high as 9% rate combined with State/Local Income Tax. VA has 5.7% state income tax with no local income tax. VA does have a car tax (i.e., tax on prorated value of car assessed by locality). This tax can be substantial if she has an expensive car,, newer car. An older model car would not incur a very high tax. I pay about $1000.00/year for five vehicles - 4 new cars and an old pick-up truck. Bogleheads would generally pay less tax in VA.
We lived in PG for 10 years and just moved to southern MD.

Crime in PG depends on where in the county. Yes, some spots are terrible but we lived in 2 cities that were fine.

I wouldn't want to send kids to PG schools though.

I'd rather live in MD than VA but that's me since I was born and raised in MD
I also lived in PG County when i first moved to the DC area for about 2 years. Rented in Bowie. Decent neighborhood but the commute into DC was not great (Sousa Bridge/Pa Ave. U turn insanity). Grew up in MD as well (Balto. and AA Counties). Moved to VA when buying house for lower taxes (Real Estate Transfer and Income) and "easier" commute (was working in Crystal City at the time and used Commuter Rail or HOV lanes). My wife and I are both from MD and still have family there. I love Southern MD and the Eastern Shore. Still root for the Os.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

warner25
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by warner25 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:44 am

If you mean JBAB, and if safety and a short commute are top priorities for her, she can look at living on JBAB itself. When I looked at it last year (as is the trend across military installations right now), single service members and government civilians could rent some of the older houses on-base (the nicest and most recently renovated are still reserved for active duty families). It would be like living in a bubble apart from DC with no concerns of traffic, parking, crime, etc. She would probably have a 5-minute commute; easy to bicycle in nice weather.

But it might be a lot more space than she wants (like 3 or 4 bedrooms) and over her budget. I think pricing started at $2,500/month last year (although that includes all basic utilities, lawn care, etc.). Also, I'm not sure what kind of access she'd have to things like the gym, commissary, exchange, and going off-base for everything there doesn't look like fun. For a young, single person it might also be very isolating compared to living in an apartment building filled with other young professionals.
Last edited by warner25 on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

Prudence
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Prudence » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:45 am

I think Metro and public transportation are high priced, unreliable, subject to substantial delays, and more and more, unsafe. So, if she has free parking, I would be inclined to live in Alexandria VA and commute by car.

craimund
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by craimund » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:52 am

Prudence wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:45 am
I think Metro and public transportation are high priced, unreliable, subject to substantial delays, and more and more, unsafe. So, if she has free parking, I would be inclined to live in Alexandria VA and commute by car.
Driving from Alexandria to the Navy Yard would take more time than Metro during rush. Just getting across the Potomac can take a half hour or more. Metro is pricey and the delays/crowds are annoying and the escalators always seem to be broken. But Metro is probably the better option most days, especially if you live near a metro station. Agreed that free parking makes driving a more tempting option.

I wouldn't call Metro "unsafe". Probably much safer than driving, especially in DC.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

flowerpower
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by flowerpower » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:00 am

curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
DC has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of crime and violence. The north side of DC is even beyond gentrifying at this point. If she is single, I would recommend she live in the city to better enjoy access to DC museums, restaurants, and night life. I would put Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, Shaw, and U Street Area at the top of her list. All of them are along the green line for her commute and are safe.

The neighborhoods to avoid are south of Anacostia on the green line (e.g. Suitland, Congress Heights, Naylor Road, etc).

DC3509
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by DC3509 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:31 am

flowerpower wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:00 am
curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
DC has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of crime and violence. The north side of DC is even beyond gentrifying at this point. If she is single, I would recommend she live in the city to better enjoy access to DC museums, restaurants, and night life. I would put Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, Shaw, and U Street Area at the top of her list. All of them are along the green line for her commute and are safe.

The neighborhoods to avoid are south of Anacostia on the green line (e.g. Suitland, Congress Heights, Naylor Road, etc).
I agree with this. All of the responses suggesting Virginia or Calvert County (!) do not take into account that DC proper is generally where you live when you are young and want the full "city" experience -- nightlife, museums, singles, restaurants, etc. Virginia is very suburban, especially some of the places suggested in this post like Crystal City. She might want something like that -- but if she wants a true city, urban experience, she does not want to live in Virginia. Yes, DC will be more expensive, but I don't think this is a decision that should be guided only by cost (I have continued to live in DC proper even after my young single years and love it, for what it is worth).

The Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard are both incredible now -- new apartments galore, tons to do, and safe. And close to where she will be working.

Glockenspiel
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:36 am

Prudence wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:45 am
I think Metro and public transportation are high priced, unreliable, subject to substantial delays, and more and more, unsafe. So, if she has free parking, I would be inclined to live in Alexandria VA and commute by car.
I've visited DC at least 5 times and have never rented a vehicle, only used the Metro, and I have NEVER felt unsafe doing so. There are many areas in DC proper that are very gentrified. I guess it depends on her budget. I know areas near Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, the Washington Nationals Ballpark, and other parts in north DC are popular for single millennials.

craimund
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by craimund » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:57 am

DC3509 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:31 am
flowerpower wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:00 am
curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
DC has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of crime and violence. The north side of DC is even beyond gentrifying at this point. If she is single, I would recommend she live in the city to better enjoy access to DC museums, restaurants, and night life. I would put Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, Shaw, and U Street Area at the top of her list. All of them are along the green line for her commute and are safe.

The neighborhoods to avoid are south of Anacostia on the green line (e.g. Suitland, Congress Heights, Naylor Road, etc).
I agree with this. All of the responses suggesting Virginia or Calvert County (!) do not take into account that DC proper is generally where you live when you are young and want the full "city" experience -- nightlife, museums, singles, restaurants, etc. Virginia is very suburban, especially some of the places suggested in this post like Crystal City. She might want something like that -- but if she wants a true city, urban experience, she does not want to live in Virginia. Yes, DC will be more expensive, but I don't think this is a decision that should be guided only by cost (I have continued to live in DC proper even after my young single years and love it, for what it is worth).

The Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard are both incredible now -- new apartments galore, tons to do, and safe. And close to where she will be working.
I wouldn't call Crystal City, Alexandria or Arlington "suburban". They are quite urban. High rise condos, office buildings, etc. Also, central DC (which is generally devoid of nightlife anyway), Georgetown, Dupont Circle Area areas easy to access via metro from Arlington as they are from many parts of DC (except for those very pricey areas themselves and maybe U Street). You can walk from Rosslyn to Georgetown. Don't think you are giving up much nightlife by living in Arlington or Alexandria. SW Waterfront has greatly improved in the last 5 years. May be a good option. Agreed that young person does not want to commute from way out in the boonies.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

Lars_2013
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Lars_2013 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:02 am

Unless she really wants to live by herself, I suggest she reach out to her new employer to see if they have a network for connecting staff to housemates and maybe rooms for rent in homes of other staff. I don't know any young adults in the DC area who live by themselves because it's simply too expensive.

In terms of neighborhoods, she's going to pay a lot (even with housemates) if she wants a sub-30 minute commute and "not gritty" (by which I'll assume you mean shiny new buildings?). There's tons of new construction near the SW Waterfront and Navy Yard metro stops, which have the advantage of being south of downtown and therefore she'd have a very short reverse commute. She could even bike in nice weather.

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Kevin21
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Kevin21 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:12 am

I'd like to add that commuting should really factor into the decision. Even if you live very close, DC traffic can be INSANE.
Even living near a metro station can be a major hassle, as it has not been functioning properly and is expensive and getting even more expensive. My vote is to live near a bus route, and to look into bike routes as well. Commute in DC can make or break your experience.

DC3509
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by DC3509 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:35 am

craimund wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:57 am
DC3509 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:31 am
flowerpower wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:00 am
curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
DC has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of crime and violence. The north side of DC is even beyond gentrifying at this point. If she is single, I would recommend she live in the city to better enjoy access to DC museums, restaurants, and night life. I would put Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, Shaw, and U Street Area at the top of her list. All of them are along the green line for her commute and are safe.

The neighborhoods to avoid are south of Anacostia on the green line (e.g. Suitland, Congress Heights, Naylor Road, etc).
I agree with this. All of the responses suggesting Virginia or Calvert County (!) do not take into account that DC proper is generally where you live when you are young and want the full "city" experience -- nightlife, museums, singles, restaurants, etc. Virginia is very suburban, especially some of the places suggested in this post like Crystal City. She might want something like that -- but if she wants a true city, urban experience, she does not want to live in Virginia. Yes, DC will be more expensive, but I don't think this is a decision that should be guided only by cost (I have continued to live in DC proper even after my young single years and love it, for what it is worth).

The Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard are both incredible now -- new apartments galore, tons to do, and safe. And close to where she will be working.
I wouldn't call Crystal City, Alexandria or Arlington "suburban". They are quite urban. High rise condos, office buildings, etc. Also, central DC (which is generally devoid of nightlife anyway), Georgetown, Dupont Circle Area areas easy to access via metro from Arlington as they are from many parts of DC (except for those very pricey areas themselves and maybe U Street). You can walk from Rosslyn to Georgetown. Don't think you are giving up much nightlife by living in Arlington or Alexandria. SW Waterfront has greatly improved in the last 5 years. May be a good option. Agreed that young person does not want to commute from way out in the boonies.
To each his own, but I do not consider Crystal City, Alexandria, or Arlington to be "quite urban" -- they do have lots of high rise condos and nondescript office buildings, but do not have the true city life that you will find in DC. Georgetown isn't accessible by the Metro, and Dupont is on a different line from Arlington. You can walk across the Key Bridge to get from Rosslyn to Georgetown, but, do you really want to live in Rosslyn? And this says nothing of U Street, 14th street, etc. which are the new hot spots anyway and are far, far away from Crystal City.

It really depends on what the OP's child wants but there is a certain "fun young" lifestyle to be had in DC proper that I think is very hard to replicate in the suburbs.

pennywise
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by pennywise » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:38 am

My 26-YO daughter moved to the DC area a year ago. She's single and ended up deciding to live in the Mosaic district in Fairfax, where she found a very nice rental condo across from the metro station. Living in the burbs instead of the city allowed her to afford a one bedroom on her own, in a secure building with great concierge service and covered parking in the building, where she pays $1600/month.

She debated moving into DC when her lease came up for renewal because as others have said young singles in Washington spend much/most of their recreational and social time and money in town but in the end she opted to stay in Fairfax. She feels that since she is a 5 minute walk to the metro and gets to DC within 20-30 minutes it's worth it FOR HER to have a nicer living arrangement. In DC for that amount she would need to find a roommate, live in a smaller or older building or all of the above. Parking also can be an issue in DC neighborhoods.

Occasionally she has to Uber home since the Metro stops running at 1:00 am on weekends but overall it's not a huge expense. The Mosaic district is a safe and pretty cool area, recently developed with the concept of the urban downtown walk-about feel. Lots of restaurants, shopping, Harris Teeter grocery store, an indie movie theater and even a Target and Home Depot readily accessible too. She's very happy there. However, she is a teacher and reverse commutes to Vienna VA so the morning/afternoon daily route in and out of a DC job isn't an issue for her. That may be more important for someone working downtown.

DC3509
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by DC3509 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:39 am

Lars_2013 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:02 am
Unless she really wants to live by herself, I suggest she reach out to her new employer to see if they have a network for connecting staff to housemates and maybe rooms for rent in homes of other staff. I don't know any young adults in the DC area who live by themselves because it's simply too expensive.

In terms of neighborhoods, she's going to pay a lot (even with housemates) if she wants a sub-30 minute commute and "not gritty" (by which I'll assume you mean shiny new buildings?). There's tons of new construction near the SW Waterfront and Navy Yard metro stops, which have the advantage of being south of downtown and therefore she'd have a very short reverse commute. She could even bike in nice weather.
Do you really want to rent a room in the house of someone you work with? Would you want that person to see all of your private life?

There are plenty of young adults who live in DC by themselves. I used to live in an apartment building full of such people. Your rent is going to be somewhere around $2000 per month for such an apartment, but will usually include all utilities, plus pool, fitness center, 24 hour concierge, drop off dry cleaning, and all sorts of other bells and whistles. It depends whether the OP's child thinks that is worth the price and can afford it or not.

analyticalron
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by analyticalron » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:58 am

Would need to hear more about priorities, but I'm another vote for living in DC and commuting via metro. IMO neighborhoods like Shaw, Cardozo / U St. will be a quick commute on the Green Line and have a lot more to offer in terms of nightlife, restaurants, concerts, etc. than places like Crystal City. These DC neighborhoods are very safe, in my opinion (but any city is going to have risks of property crime, etc.). In my experience, street parking in these areas is usually fine if you register your car in DC. That said, you may get better bang for your buck in terms of rentals—depending on preferences—across the river in VA.

I'm not sure what the comment regarding Metro being unsafe was directed at... but any safety issues are related to engineering, imo.

warner25
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by warner25 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:06 am

Prudence wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:45 am
I think Metro and public transportation are high priced...
Kevin21 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:12 am
Even living near a metro station can be a major hassle, as it has not been functioning properly and is expensive and getting even more expensive...
If she's a service member or DoD/service civilian, using the Metro should be free, at least for daily commuting. She just gets her own SmartTrip card and registers it online with the Mass Transportation Benefit Program ( http://www.whs.mil/mass-transportation-benefit-program ). Other employers may have similar programs.

Reliability can be frustrating, also crowding of the trains during peak hours. At certain stops, at certain times, you might have to let a train pass by because there's literally no room to board. I have a bicycle trail route that is roughly as fast as taking the Metro on a good day, so I usually just ride my bicycle even though Metro is free for me. I can plan my arrival time by bicycle down to a couple minutes. Metro might be faster, but might be much slower, so I leave 10-15 minutes earlier if I want to take Metro and be sure of being on-time.

Regardless, the cost and reliability of commuting by car in DC/NOVA is almost certainly worse. If you're driving a car everyday around here, I'd say you're doing it wrong.

IsItWinterYet
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by IsItWinterYet » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:09 am

As a millennial who moved to DC after school (and transplanted from the Northeast), I have been very happy in Arlington, VA (Clarendon to be specific). Arlington offers me the the best of all worlds. I am able to bike safely on the roads or trails (compared to the congested roads in the District). I am able to walk to parks, the metro, and shops (including 4 grocery stores). I can easily Uber/Lyft home from the District when I go out with friends. I rent a group row-house (found it on Craigslist, but there are also Facebook groups for DC Metro housing) which gives me lots of space for all of my stuff and I get the benefit of living in a family oriented neighborhood (quiet). She will be able to find a similar setup in Courthouse, Virginia Square, or Ballston (all along the Silver/Orange Lines). As a young person, I would not move west of Ballston.

Pentagon City/Crystal City are decent too, but I never go out over there so I really don't know what the night life is like.

I like Georgetown a lot, but the metro doesn't operate over there. Though there are some really nice group homes over there. I also really like Adams Morgan. Great nightlife and you can get lucky with a group home on a quiet street for reasonable rent. There are also some great streets in the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods. The furthest east I would go would be NoMa which keeps you near H Street for nightlife. I actually like Old Town Alexandria, but it is usually hard to get friends to come out of the District and come all the way to "Far"lington (people joke about needing a passport) so I can only imagine how hard it would be to get people to come down to Alexandria.

Other people I know like Columbia Heights but that is too far north for me.

As you can see, I left out an entire state with rentals in the Metro area. You can't buy beer in a grocery store in MD (at least in MoCo, not sure if it is a state wide law). Maybe I haven't explored MD enough, but I haven't come across a neighborhood in MD I would like to live as a millennial.

Good luck on her move!

Firecat
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Firecat » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am

Longtime lurker, finally registered!

Check out WeLive in Crystal City (Arlington). There are fully furnished studio apartments (including new linens, dishes, cookware and some decorations) with a refrigerator and microwave. Each unit also has a large wall mounted TV. Each floor of the building has a community or shared area. There are two kitchens equipped with everything you need to cook a more elaborate meal. There is a laundry area with tables and arcade games. There are community events including a monthly community dinner. Utilities (including internet and TV) and community activities are included in the $150/month resident fee. Their website is currently advertising studios from $1500/month. Larger units are more expensive, and each roommate pays the $150 resident fee. Parking underneath the building is $175/month. Short walk to Metro and restaurants. It's a good option if your daughter is not sure where she would like to live.

curmudgeon
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by curmudgeon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:33 pm

I want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. Lots of great responses, so I won't try to respond to them individually. It seems like there are plenty of viable options to consider, given her general flexibility (not needing to worry about schools, spouse commute, etc).

Budget is definitely a factor to consider. I think $1800 - $2200 would be viable for rent. She would much prefer not to share a place. 1BR or a spacious studio would work.

Avoiding gritty areas is of course relative. She'd want to feel safe walking home at night, and not feel like she has to live behind bars in the windows, but recognizes that any urban area is likely to have some panhandlers and petty crime. If it's viable from a cost/commute/parking standpoint, I think she'd like to try urban rather than suburban life for a while.

Are there areas along the Green Line of the metro in north DC that would be good options?

IsItWinterYet
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by IsItWinterYet » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:10 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:33 pm
Are there areas along the Green Line of the metro in north DC that would be good options?
As I wrote earlier, I would not go north of Columbia Heights (which is along the Green Line). There is great nightlife and shopping along U St NW (also on the Green Line) as well as along 14th St NW. I wouldn't rule out Shaw (along the Green Line) but it can be expensive over there for nice new apartments (gentrifying). If I was going to live over there, I would prefer to live in a geographic area bound by the Red and Green Lines rather than east of the Green Line because I think there is more to do west of the Green Line that far north and living between two Metro lines gives you more options when traveling around town.

alfaspider
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:34 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:33 pm
I want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. Lots of great responses, so I won't try to respond to them individually. It seems like there are plenty of viable options to consider, given her general flexibility (not needing to worry about schools, spouse commute, etc).

Budget is definitely a factor to consider. I think $1800 - $2200 would be viable for rent. She would much prefer not to share a place. 1BR or a spacious studio would work.

Avoiding gritty areas is of course relative. She'd want to feel safe walking home at night, and not feel like she has to live behind bars in the windows, but recognizes that any urban area is likely to have some panhandlers and petty crime. If it's viable from a cost/commute/parking standpoint, I think she'd like to try urban rather than suburban life for a while.

Are there areas along the Green Line of the metro in north DC that would be good options?
The U street area is a very cool place with lots of nightlife, although the area immediately by the Metro will rarely be quiet. It's no longer a cheap area, though I imagine the budget could work with roommates.

I'd also look into the SE part of the Capitol hill area. I lived in NE capitol hill- there are quite a few rowhouses that are sublet into individual bedrooms and occupied mostly by students, hill staffers, and other young professionals. It's been 7 years since I left and I imagine rents have increased considerably, but my place was pretty nice for $1k a month. Guessing the same sort of place would be more like $1.5k today. It won't be on the green line, but should be easy bus/bike access.

As for living in NoVa- A lot of my friends from school did it. Personally not for me. It may be "urban", but places like Crystal City and Rosslyn had a very generic chain restaurant sort of vibe. The apartment buildings are massive and generic. Other areas like King Street are more charming, but not as great for a young person (IMO). Transferring metro lines can be a big pain and compounds the potential for delays, especially if you need to transfer off-hours.

craimund
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by craimund » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:47 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:33 pm
I want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. Lots of great responses, so I won't try to respond to them individually. It seems like there are plenty of viable options to consider, given her general flexibility (not needing to worry about schools, spouse commute, etc).

Budget is definitely a factor to consider. I think $1800 - $2200 would be viable for rent. She would much prefer not to share a place. 1BR or a spacious studio would work.

Avoiding gritty areas is of course relative. She'd want to feel safe walking home at night, and not feel like she has to live behind bars in the windows, but recognizes that any urban area is likely to have some panhandlers and petty crime. If it's viable from a cost/commute/parking standpoint, I think she'd like to try urban rather than suburban life for a while.

Are there areas along the Green Line of the metro in north DC that would be good options?
As someone else here mentioned, I would not go North of U Street Metro (Green Line) and I would try to cheat West toward DuPont Circle/Adams Morgan Neighborhoods. Generally, the further West you go, the safer (and more expensive) it is. Not sure if you can find something in your price range there.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

flowerpower
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by flowerpower » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:40 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:33 pm
I want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. Lots of great responses, so I won't try to respond to them individually. It seems like there are plenty of viable options to consider, given her general flexibility (not needing to worry about schools, spouse commute, etc).

Budget is definitely a factor to consider. I think $1800 - $2200 would be viable for rent. She would much prefer not to share a place. 1BR or a spacious studio would work.

Avoiding gritty areas is of course relative. She'd want to feel safe walking home at night, and not feel like she has to live behind bars in the windows, but recognizes that any urban area is likely to have some panhandlers and petty crime. If it's viable from a cost/commute/parking standpoint, I think she'd like to try urban rather than suburban life for a while.

Are there areas along the Green Line of the metro in north DC that would be good options?
If that is her budget, it is a no-brainer to live in Navy Yard or Southwest Waterfront, and perhaps Shaw or U Street area. There are a number of new buildings offering very good deals for 1BR or studios. If I had to pick, though, I would go with Southwest Waterfront. It has a very nice neighborhood feel with the essentials (Safeway, CVS, metro station) and very little noise. Good buildings to check out in SW Waterfront are Eliot on 4th and the Lex. It offers the ability for a quick metro ride, reverse commute drive, bike ride, or a cheap Uber ride to work.

Navy Yard has those essentials, of course, but it also has the Nationals baseball stadium so it can get too crazy during baseball season with traffic and crowds. Shaw and U Street are hoppin' areas but crowded and denser.

PM me if you would like any additional detail or more info!

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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by baw703916 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:30 pm

I worked for many years just south of Anacostia-Bolling (until about 2 years ago). I lived in Alexandria, and my commute was about 30 minutes--you can shorten it considerably by living closer.

1) The dominant traffic flow on the Wilson Bridge in the morning is into Virginia, and out of Virginia in the evening (the opposite direction from the bridges further north). So crossing the bridge and then going up 295 is against the flow of traffic until maybe the last mile.

2) That part of DC isn't very well served by public transportation, although maybe the Anacostia metro is close to where she will be? However this might not be a good idea if she will be working something other than typical work hours.

3) The Wilson Bridge, adjacent portions of the Beltway in MD and VA, and the 95/495 interchange (the "mixing bowl") have all been rebuilt in the last 15 years, so that's helped the traffic to at least not get worse in that stretch.
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:36 am

pennywise wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:38 am
My 26-YO daughter moved to the DC area a year ago. She's single and ended up deciding to live in the Mosaic district in Fairfax, where she found a very nice rental condo across from the metro station.
Mosaic District is just over a half mile from the nearest metro station (dunn loring-merrifield), but there is a rush hour shuttle bus that provides a link between the two areas. Mosaic District used to be a shabby industrial area and scary movie theater (the area, not the films), but has had a major transformation. The Dunn Loring-Merrifield metro station area now has a few shops and restaurants, plus a harris tweeter grocery. But that's a long walk with groceries to the Mosaic District if you don't use a car.

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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:39 am

I second the idea to live in Southwest DC, or even Southeast immediately near the Navy Yard/Ball park area. That area has developed in a really good way in the past few years. There are luxury apartment towers popping up everywhere at decent prices (For Metro DC area), there is a strong restaurant scene that just keeps getting better by the month, and you can hop on a train and be elsewhere in the city in just minutes. Lots of good options in Southwest near Fort McNair/Waterfront train station. That would be a 20 minute walk to Navy Yard, or a 2 minute train ride.

Don't listen too much to the scary stories about the area, unless someone is familiar with the past 2-3 years in this neighborhood. Also, the metro is far, far, far, far more safer than driving on DC area roads, freeways, and highways. Congestion is legendary, but fatal accidents happen regularly on the roads.

criticalmass
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:42 am

baw703916 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:30 pm
I worked for many years just south of Anacostia-Bolling (until about 2 years ago). I lived in Alexandria, and my commute was about 30 minutes--you can shorten it considerably by living closer.

1) The dominant traffic flow on the Wilson Bridge in the morning is into Virginia, and out of Virginia in the evening (the opposite direction from the bridges further north). So crossing the bridge and then going up 295 is against the flow of traffic until maybe the last mile.

2) That part of DC isn't very well served by public transportation, although maybe the Anacostia metro is close to where she will be? However this might not be a good idea if she will be working something other than typical work hours.
The part of DC in question (Navy Yard, not Bolling!) is very well served by public transportation, to wit the Navy Yard and Waterfront metrorail stations. Lots of younger folks are moving here (including friends) and are very happy.

I would avoid Anacostia, Anacostia metro station, and anything associated with that side of the river (except the newer bike trail on the river DURING SUNLIGHT AND NEAR THE NPS PARK POLICE HEADQUARTERS ONLY.)

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dm200
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:44 am

curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
So it looks like my daughter may end up working at Anacostia navy base, in the SE corner of DC. Not having much experience with DC, I thought I'd reach out for suggestions on what might be good options for areas for her to consider when renting an apartment. Single, no kids or pets. Not interested in buying a place at this time.
The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?
How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
Many choices -- Here is one -

Live in Arlington (just over the river from DC) - keep the car, but commute via Metro Rail or bus to metro rail. There are also many house/apartment sharing choices in Arlington as well.

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Ketawa
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Ketawa » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:58 am

I moved to DC about 6 months ago and live in the Navy Yard area. The neighborhood is very safe. Working at JBAB, I wouldn't want to have to commute any further than Waterfront or Navy Yard. It takes a lot longer to drive through the city adding to your commute, while the metro is very convenient to Shaw or U Street from Navy Yard or Waterfront. Working at JBAB the metro is not an option for commuting.

I live by myself in a 1 BR apartment. My rent for a 750 sq ft 1 BR apartment is $2083 plus $200 for parking. This is several $100s under my military BAH, and relative to my BAH at my last duty station, I am paying less for housing. You can find cheaper places with less square footage or a studio, but I couldn't fit in one. In my opinion, most of the buildings in Navy Yard are interchangeable, with the only major exceptions being One Hill South (very swanky with a price to match) and 70/100 Capitol Yards (reputation for having more of a dorm room atmosphere, but you get a lot more space for your money, buildings are a few years older than everything else that has come up). Many buildings offer 1 or 2 months of rent free for new residents. I know someone who moves buildings every year just to take advantage of those discounts; me, I would not make the effort assuming my rent doesn't increase badly.

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dm200
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:31 pm

In evaluating the cost of living in various jurisdictions, I believe that Virginia residents would tend to pay lower state (or DC) income taxes.

One advantage of house or apartment "sharing" initially is greater flexibility as you get to know the area, commuting pros and cons, etc. If keeping a car is necessary or desired, look for places where it is not expensive to have a place to park.

BigMoneyNoWhammies
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:48 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:53 pm
So it looks like my daughter may end up working at Anacostia navy base, in the SE corner of DC. Not having much experience with DC, I thought I'd reach out for suggestions on what might be good options for areas for her to consider when renting an apartment. Single, no kids or pets. Not interested in buying a place at this time.

The area immediately around the base seems somewhat grim, but the reputation of DC commutes is also pretty bad. Are there areas to the south in Maryland, or across the river in VA that would have a sub 30-minute typical commute and be reasonably livable?

How about commuting via metro from the more gentrifying (?) north side of DC (there's a shuttle from the metro to the base)? Something not too gritty of an urban location could work, though I think she would still want to keep her car.
I'm a gov employee that lives in SE DC myself. I'm a good bit further north than where your daughter is working (I'm short walk to the supreme court, Congress, etc.), but the navy yard area is an up and coming area in DC. They have been developing it with new restaurants, stores, and apartment buildings over the last few years. However, being further from the more long-term developed and already gentrified areas, it is still cheaper than living where I do and relatively affordable for a younger worker who might not be making significant income yet. The NW part of DC to which you were referring can be very pricey depending on the neighborhood; we're talking rents in the $3k+per person range in some instances. A general rule of thumb to also consider is that the closer you are to the center of the city where the major government buildings are located, the higher rents go. The closer you are to a metro stop, the higher rent tends to be as well. I'd certainly recommend she live as close to work as possible to avoid having to drive. Driving in DC during rush hour is a terror, and metro can still be a lengthy commute if more than a few stops away. Metro has also been doing significant long-term repairs for over a year now called Safetrack, and parts of the metro are closed for days/weeks at a time on occasion, so it cannot always be relied upon. If she can get a roommate, living in the Navy Yard area and walking to work should be fine.

Having lived in DC for 2+ years, I personally would not want to live in MD/VA and commute in, ESPECIALLY from the VA side. It takes coworkers of mine well over an hour for less than a 5 mile commute in from across the river in VA on a regular basis.

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dm200
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:19 pm

I personally would not want to live in MD/VA and commute in, ESPECIALLY from the VA side. It takes coworkers of mine well over an hour for less than a 5 mile commute in from across the river in VA on a regular basis.
I often attend Washington Nationals baseball game - and that stadium is right near the location in question. Very easy bus/metrorail trip to and from that area.

cruzbay
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by cruzbay » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:55 pm

I would recommend Arlington or in Falls Church near the East or West Falls Church metro stops. Falls Church, VA is just adjacent to Arlington and is gaining momentum as an affordable yet close-in to the city place to live. New restaurants, a new Target opened last week and it is a safe location where you can choose to drive or jump on the metro. Also, here is a fun video about the "Straight up thug town Arlington" for your enjoyment. The mall that he mentions is undergoing an amazing transformation currently and note the comment on the Green line metro.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo

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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Ketawa » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:58 pm

OP needs to clarify, but based on the description of the location where daughter will be working, it's JBAB, not the Washington Navy Yard. VA is "across the river", and the neighborhood outside JBAB is not great.

Just my 2 cents, but I don't think the metro/bus is a great option to commute to JBAB unless you are right on the W9 bus line. I know several people who take the W9 bus directly to CG HQ at St. Elizabeths and it's very convenient since it has a stop near Navy Yard and another stop right next to the CG base. JBAB is very large, so depending on where she works, the bus might not be as convenient, I don't really know. Making a metro -> bus transfer adds time. The W9 originates at L'Enfant, so potential options are to take a metro to L'Enfant from anywhere, then go to the W9 bus. Alternatively, if living further north on the green line to take the metro directly to Anacostia station and take the W4 bus, which runs more frequently than the W9, but I've heard can have a wait due to the volume of passengers (don't know for sure). OP's daughter probably needs to take a close look at what a full public transit commute would take, and ideally test it out. Driving from outside DC will hit a lot of traffic. At some point, the daily cost of public transit is not that much cheaper than the cost of owning a car, and if the daughter is set on keeping the car, a drive from Waterfront or Navy Yard is very convenient.

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dm200
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:16 pm

OP needs to clarify, but based on the description of the location where daughter will be working, it's JBAB, not the Washington Navy Yard. VA is "across the river", and the neighborhood outside JBAB is not great.

Good point. Very different (side of Anacostia river). JBAB used to be the naval station (not yard) and Bolling air force base.

The navy Yard is right near the baseball park.

warner25
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by warner25 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:24 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:58 pm
At some point, the daily cost of public transit is not that much cheaper than the cost of owning a car
Her use of public transit for commuting is probably free. See my comment upstream about the Mass Transportation Benefit Program. If you're getting BAH you should be eligible too.

But I agree that arriving at JBAB by Metro seems like a pain. I don't see a great bicycle route go to and from the Anacostia station. It looks like JBAB might run a shuttle bus, but such options have never been very convenient in my experience.

peseta
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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by peseta » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:42 pm

I used to live in Capitol Hill (south side), spitting distance from the Navy Yard area on the other side of the freeway. If her job is at the Navy Yard, I recommend looking primarily at the Navy Yard area and the south side of Capitol Hill (addresses ending in "SE"). The Navy Yard is centered around gate at 6th Street SE, and properties get closer to the Yard as you go further south. It should be walkable or bikeable from almost all of Navy Yard and the south side of Capitol Hill.

If she is working at JBAB, I still recommend these neighborhoods, because they are probably the most accessible to JBAB (except for some south of the Anacostia, which I wouldn't recommend for a first-time DC resident). The interchange between DC 295 and the Southwest Freeway was rebuilt several years ago, and makes access to DC 295 south (to get to JBAB) cake. Most traffic will be going the other way. There is also access from 11th St. SE.

If the job is at JBAB, I recommend driving. It's not in a transit-friendly area.

Navy Yard pros/cons: New, up-and-coming area, plenty of rentals, decent restaurants, Whole Foods opening imminent (the sign your neighborhood has "arrived" in DC); however, most rental complexes will charge extra for a parking spot, and the ballpark is there (a pro or con depending on your interests and love of crowds)

Capitol Hill (south) pros/cons: Older housing stock but with more character, all amenities (new Trader Joe's, decent restaurants an great bars), much more of a neighborhood feel, she may be able to get a parking permit and park for free, Congresscritters around and about (again, may be a pro or con)

If it were me, I'd choose Capitol Hill, but I'm biased, because that's what I did when I was younger! She should be able to get a studio in her price range, or split a 2 BR with a roomie to save money (the Boglehead path!). Though I live in Virginia now, I wouldn't recommend Arlington, Alexandria, or anything even further out unless she has lots of friends in VA or some other reason to live there; the commute will be worse and it may be more expensive.

Enjoy!

peseta

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Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by curmudgeon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:56 pm

warner25 wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:24 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:58 pm
At some point, the daily cost of public transit is not that much cheaper than the cost of owning a car
Her use of public transit for commuting is probably free. See my comment upstream about the Mass Transportation Benefit Program. If you're getting BAH you should be eligible too.

But I agree that arriving at JBAB by Metro seems like a pain. I don't see a great bicycle route go to and from the Anacostia station. It looks like JBAB might run a shuttle bus, but such options have never been very convenient in my experience.
Yes, I think the current name is JBAB; it's not the Navy Yard. Apparently there is a dedicated shuttle from Anacostia metro station for JBAB, which actually goes around to multiple stops within the base, but it would remain to be seen how quick or convenient it actually is when combined with the metro trip.

Taking a look at traffic patterns on google maps, it looks like driving from SW waterfront or Navy Yard area is an easy reverse commute. Places farther north via the 395 tunnel might be possible as well, but it sounds like the cost vs driving time tradeoffs might not be as good.

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dm200
Posts: 18763
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by dm200 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:22 am

Having lived in the area for 48 years, I believe there are quality of life and lifestyle preferences that can differ a lot in the choice of where to live. In Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia - there are still some rental choices where having and keeping a car (even if not used for daily job commuting) will not cost (much) extra. Social, religious and political groups that are more or less compatible might be a factor - as might the "bottom line" finances.

Gray
Posts: 622
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:33 am

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Gray » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:56 pm

From direct experience with the crime in DC, avoid any areas with above average crime. Museums are nice, but no reason to live in DC. Avoid DC schools/taxes and MD taxes. Avoid PG.

Falls Church City, speaking as a resident, is low crime, walkable, family friendly, excellent schools, and very civic minded. A modern version of Mayberry. Next to two metro stations: East Falls Church and West Falls Church. A new high school is going up over the next few years. The school system offers a strong IB program.

https://www.niche.com/k12/george-mason- ... church-va/

https://m.yelp.com/biz/city-of-falls-ch ... lls-church

https://www.google.com/amp/s/wtop.com/b ... -list/amp/

https://www.homesnacks.net/best-countie ... a-1211926/

Use the crime heat map

https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/dc/washington/crime

Lars_2013
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Post by Lars_2013 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:59 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:39 am
Lars_2013 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:02 am
Unless she really wants to live by herself, I suggest she reach out to her new employer to see if they have a network for connecting staff to housemates and maybe rooms for rent in homes of other staff. I don't know any young adults in the DC area who live by themselves because it's simply too expensive.

In terms of neighborhoods, she's going to pay a lot (even with housemates) if she wants a sub-30 minute commute and "not gritty" (by which I'll assume you mean shiny new buildings?). There's tons of new construction near the SW Waterfront and Navy Yard metro stops, which have the advantage of being south of downtown and therefore she'd have a very short reverse commute. She could even bike in nice weather.
Do you really want to rent a room in the house of someone you work with? Would you want that person to see all of your private life?

There are plenty of young adults who live in DC by themselves. I used to live in an apartment building full of such people. Your rent is going to be somewhere around $2000 per month for such an apartment, but will usually include all utilities, plus pool, fitness center, 24 hour concierge, drop off dry cleaning, and all sorts of other bells and whistles. It depends whether the OP's child thinks that is worth the price and can afford it or not.
I have lots of friends who have done this when moving to a new city where they don't know anyone. It worked OK until they could make their own friendship groups in those cities. That said, the OP has clarified that the young person in question can pay ~$2k/month in rent, which means she can afford to live by herself. I had not expected that kind of budget because $2k is more than twice what my single friends in DC pay for housing.

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