It seems like it came on fast, but we’ve actually been planning on moving for a year. We’ve been weighing the differences between buying and renting, and have been exploring different parts of the DC area over the past year. Really we’ve exhausted the options.
Looking for a place in DC is crazy. You have to be ready to move ASAP and you are constantly competing with other people. Same with buying homes. Don’t get attached because there are probably multiple offers, above asking, sometimes in cash. Who can compete with that!?!
DC — like NYC, LA, SF — is super expensive. It’s ridiculous really just how expensive everything is. What I pay in rent you could live in a giant giant house in the Midwest. Seriously. I actually don’t want a giant house, but that’s beside the point.
I mean, where I’m from (Kansas City!) you rarely had to pay for parking and there was no “pet rent.” A pet deposit, yes, but not monthly pet rent. When we had to pay a $500 “move-in” fee when we moved into our current building I thought, OK then, where are the guys who are helping us actually move in for that $500 … no no, no guys to help, that was just a fee. WTF.
And parking, man do they jack up those parking spot fees. In our current building they go for $190/month, in our new place $250 a month! Two. Hundred. And Fifty. Dollars. A month. For a parking spot. That will otherwise be empty. But you already pay an arm an a leg to live in the building. I mean it’s just insane to me. Good thing I’m a master negotiator, and if you didn’t know that you can negotiate just about everything in life, I’m here to tell you YOU CAN.
Sometimes the rent is less negotiable but all those extra “fees” are. Amenity fees, move-in fees, pet fees, parking fees, storage fees, blah blah bullshit fees — negotiate them. If you are dealing with an owner versus an apartment building then everything is negotiable.
We are staying within DC proper, just moving to a new building. For the past four years we’ve lived in a very nice more upscale part of DC. Lots of large homes, very residential. A safer area of the city. Which is great and all, but it lacks lots of mass transit options and well young people. The community is a bit older (richer). Which is nice, and quiet, but not fun and lively. And we are moving right into the fun & lively.
In DC the traffic is just stupid. Topping just about every list (Wall Street, USA Today, MarketWatch) DC has been said to have the absolute worst traffic in the US. And I believe it. LA people will try to say it’s worse in LA, but there is one major factor to consider. LA has has a total area of 4,850 square miles, and the wider metro area covers 33,954 square miles. In DC there are 68 square miles. Sixty eight. And 5,564 square miles in the metro area. So it’s just a lot of people trying to drive into a tiny tiny area. And it’s an old city, so the roads in DC are not wide, which is why many of them are one-way streets. It can take 45 minutes to go 2 miles in the city during rush hour. Basically the traffic sucks.
All of that traffic talk is to say that where you live in DC has a lot to do with where you work, and what you like to do, public transit options, and your tolerance level for traffic. The first year we lived in DC we lived in Virginia, and my husband was commuting into work. It was a 20-mile drive (so in Kansas City you’d think that’d be 20-30 minutes). He had to leave our place by 6 am for it to only take an hour. If he left after 6 am it would take an hour and 15-20 minutes (each way!). So he was spending a minimum of two hours in the car in heavy traffic every single day (driving on an open highway is much less stressful than bumper to bumper traffic). And an accident or snow throws traffic into a tizzy.
So when our lease was up, we moved into the city, within a mile of his office. I worked from home at the time, so it didn’t matter where we lived, but living in the District versus out in Virginia was much better for me as well. I soon got my Georgetown studio, and we’ve lived in the same place for four years in DC. But we were ready for a change.
I’m excited to shake things up. Moving is always fun for me. I love getting rid of things, having a fresh start, reorganizing everything. Only problem this time is that most of our furniture doesn’t fit in our new space. Our new place isn’t that much smaller than our current place, it’s just not as open of a floor plan. And we have a lot of furniture. So I’m going to be replacing our furniture with smaller furniture. Which will be part pain in the ass (not having bedroom furniture for a while could be interesting), part super fun to freshen things up. Also it will be fun to share the new space with you!
Watch my Snapchat (user: megbiram) for behind the scenes and a peek at my new (and old!) place!
SHOP MY LOOK
kate spade new york luggage
you’ll never get questioned if your carry-on is too big
plus the inside is striped!
Loeffler Randall Ankle Boots
on mega sale, only a few sizes left
Madewell Black Skinny Jeans
I wear theses like every day