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UT Reader Asks: Where Should Someone On A Budget Live Solo in DC?

  • February 8, 2012

by UrbanTurf Staff

UT Reader Asks: Where Should Someone On A Budget Live Solo in DC?: Figure 1

In this week’s installment of UrbanTurf Reader Asks, a reader who is moving out on his own inquires about where he can find a place to rent in DC in the $1,600/month range.

At the ripe age of 26, I've decided to venture off on my own and live alone in this city, despite the astronomical rent. The question is, without roommates to help defray costs, can I find anywhere decent to rent? My budget maxes out at $1,600 a month, including parking, amenity fees, etc. Less than that is better.

I'm happy with either a studio or a one bedroom. I'm pretty flexible on neighborhoods, with the caveat that I don't want to live outside the city. All the standard spots that someone in my age group would enjoy -- Mount Vernon Square, Shaw/U Street, Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Dupont, Woodley Park -- are fine. I'm also intrigued by the Southwest Waterfront.

One sticking point is that I'd prefer a unit with off-street parking, or at least a rental near abundant on-street parking. I'd also like to live within a mile of a Metro stop, or at least near some high-traffic bus stops if that's unreasonable. Finally, I want to rent an apartment or condo, not someone's English basement. My plan is to move sometime in mid-April.

I'm wondering if I'm expecting too much. Of course, I know I won’t find the perfect spot – few people on a budget ever do – but do these parameters seem reasonable, given what I’m looking to spend? I imagine thousands of 20-somethings here are in my situation.

So far, I've had some mixed results as I've looked around online. One spot in Logan Circle looked promising, until I called to arrange a tour and learned that the studio unit was just 250 square feet. Another listing was attractive until I learned the owner expected his tenant to chip in when the property tax bill arrived.

In the past I've found that since rent here is so high, everyone wants to get in on the action, leading to lots of sub-standard units on the market that I don't want to waste my time with. Meanwhile, some of the units that were within this budget not too long along (namely the new spots near the ballpark) no longer offer the same level of concessions they once did. And it seems like a lot of the newer buildings in DC just don’t offer very many studios.

Does the UrbanTurf readership have any advice for buildings that cater to someone in my position? I’ll buy a six-pack for whoever suggests the spot that becomes my abode.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ut_reader_asks_where_should_someone_on_a_budget_live_solo_in_dc/5089

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