I’m moving to Washington D.C. in February and am desperately looking for a place to live. Does anyone have any hints? I’ll only be there until May, so I can’t sign a year-long lease (or are subleasers easy to come by?). I’m just looking for advice, in general, on:
Where to live.
How to find a place.
What I can expect.
I would like to leave my car behind for insurance reasons and so I don’t go over my designated miles on my lease. So, I have no problem relying on the METRO, and where I’ll be working is right on the Hill. I can afford $600-$800/month and have a couple people that could move in with me as well, so something around $2,000/month total would work. I was raised in a big city, so I don’t need to be sheltered. I just need to be able to walk to the METRO stop in relative safety at night. And furnished is VERY preferred.
I live on the Hill. If you want to live alone you can find a studio off of the Eastern Market Metro for around 650 a month or a one bedroom closer to 800. (A four month lease may be hard to come by but 6 month leases in the same place should be relatively easy.) That will be within walking distance of the Metro and won’t be to terribly scary. I live on stop farther along the line and even though it is basically ok and middle class there are three Baptist churches within a block of my house (not southern baptist, thank the gods). Since the churches often sponsor homeless activity days (feed them, clothes drives, etc) about once a month there is sometimes an influx in my neighborhood of homeless people who leave crack bags and other drug paraphenalia along the ground close to the churches (one is directly across the street from me. Other than that my neighborhood is safe and clean. Eastern Market is also pretty safe and clean overall but there are more homeless people there being that it is closer to the downtown business district but if you are working on the hill you could easily walk there from Eastern Market. The closest stop to the Capital is Capital South but there you would have to take your friends with you as you will be hard pressed to find a one bedroom place for 1500 a month. If you are willing to live in a pretty scary area you could also look around Union Station (another Metro stop very close to the Capital that has residences, there are a few others near there but they don’t have residential areas) but I would advise against it as it is really pretty dangerous overall.
SqrlCub gave great advice, I love the Eastern Market Metro area. Another place that often gets overlooked is Mount Pleasant - It’s full of large houses rented out by groups of people in their 20’s, fairly reasonably. It’s on the Green Line metro, near the Columbia Heights stop. Columbia Heights metro is on the sketchiest-looking block in the world, but the neighborhood is great - lots of young people, close to Adams Morgan and the Zoo and Rock Creek Park, good buses and metro access, and culturally diverse. Learn to love Pupusas. To find a group house, check out the City Paper classifieds on the web.
I lived near Union Station for a year and never had any problems (5th & D NE), but that was 4 years ago and Sqrl’s info is probably better.