MyLife in Metro DC – Movin' On Up!

19 Apr
April 19, 2011

April 26, 2011 will mark my official one-year anniversary of living in Metro DC.  And after one year, it is once again time for me to sign a lease or look for a place to buy.

While both my roommate and I absolutely love our condo, David has started to consider the idea of purchasing his first home and I’ve realized that if I want to start saving for my first home, I needed to find a place to rent priced closer to my realistic “housing budget.”

And so the search began…again.

I came into work and talked with a few of our agents, asking what prices they were seeing for rentals in the Arlington area. They gave me the overwhelming response of, “Oh Arlington, yeahhhhh, {insert high rent price here} that’s what you are going to pay to live there.  If you are looking to save, you should try Falls Church.”

Move out of Arlington?!  The idea was hard to process. No metro outside my door? No walking to my favorite stores and bars?  Could I do it? All hesitations aside though, “responsible Kristin” told me to give it a chance and take a look.  So just like last year, I started with Craigslist…

This time, instead of only looking for apartments and condos for rent, I expanded my search to include rooms for rent.  I had been looking for a place to rent on my own but was open to the idea of moving in a house with roommates already there.  If you are new to the area or looking to have one or more roommates I recommend this as a great place to start.

A few days and a few hundred posts later, I found something.

A mid-twenties female was looking for a roommate to live in her 3 bed 3.5 bath townhouse. It was located just minutes from where I live now, offered the entire first floor to the renter (room, bathroom and own living room), and was over $400 less than my current rent!

While it wasn’t right IN Arlington, it did happen to be on the same street as some of my friends!  It seemed too good to be true, so I contacted the owner right away to find out more.

I’d compare the process of finding a good fit with a “random roommate” online to that of someone seeking a relationship from an online dating site.   It’s important to make sure that your personalities complement each other, you have some interests in common and that you have similar views on living etiquette (such as paying rent on time, who takes out the trash, house guests, and so on) before you commit to anything.  Knowing this, when I emailed the owner, I included a bit about myself.  I told her about my career, interests and what I expect when living with someone.  Then I sat back and waited.

She contacted me less than an hour later (Phew! Craigslist rejection can happen frequently and make you start to question if you really ARE that good of a roommate) and was excited to meet up.  We scheduled a meeting for her to show me the townhouse and to see if we would be a good match.

A few more emails and two visits later, I was convinced this was the place for me.  The owner couldn’t be nicer, and her home (complete with an adorable backyard/patio area) was perfect.  Yes, I’ll be living outside of Arlington, but the additional space and added savings are worth it.

Success.

So here I am, one year later, moving again. But this time I’m feeling much more confident in my knowledge of Metro DC, and that my decision to move out of Arlington will put me one step closer to one day being a home owner.

My first year in Metro DC has been a whirlwind of visitors, vacations, new experiences (I finally made it to the Cherry Blossom Festival this year –See below!), new friends and… good news. I am excited to share that I have recently been promoted and am now Avery-Hess, Realtors Marketing Manager.  It’s a great honor to be moving forward with a company I love and I can’t wait to see what opportunities the new position will bring.

I thank you for reading along this year, it’s been an incredible opportunity to learn my new city and share what I’ve found. Though my duties with this new position will increase, fear not, you’ll still be hearing from MyLife in Metro DC.  I’m even going to start including some “guest” spots from other young professionals in the area to make sure you stay informed on ALL the fun things to do around our city.

 

With my "Maine" Family at this year's Cherry Blossom Festival

-Kristin

 

 

 

 

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