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Zia McCorgi by Cooner

"Spill it, Short Legs!"

The Journal of Zia McCorgi

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Apartment considerations
Zia McCorgi by Cooner
So I'm still waiting for the contract. the boss and I have talked a bit and she's been stepping on HR's toes but it is still a wait. This Friday I head to the MLA conference in Minneapolis.

Yes I'll be in Minneapolis again woo :D

anyway in the meantime with months of refining my search and considering my options for housing. I know something of what I want but I've never lived on my own before. It does not help that I need to consider Momo who has entered a difficult situation of her own on housing. Namely there are not as many apartment complexes that take dogs, even small well behaved dogs, as there are general apartments. Not to mention a larger deposit and monthly fee. My original plan was to move and then a few months later collect Momo after I settled in and that is the plan I a working under. At the same time Mom has expressed an abiding interest in keeping Momo with her and Pa. I can't claim the idea does not have merit. I love Momo and I know she loves me but I also know she loves my parents and they would treat her well as they love her. Momo has warmed up considerably from the start where she was not a fan of Momo and worried about the pup attacking her. Now Mom has expressed her concern that she doesn't want to steal the shiba from me but I wouldn't consider it stealing at all. It adds complication to the apartment search as I would prefer to have this all worked out before I commit to an apartment.

I don't plan on owning a car in Washington DC. Not at least for a little while. So an apartment needs to be relatively close to a metro station (within a mile and a half I figure as my walking speed is around 2.5 MPH on a good day). This isn't a huge problem as there are multiple lines and numerous stations. So that can work to my advantage though it does remove some locations.

Adding to that is commute time. I'm going to be living an erratic schedule I suspect for the first few years and that means night work and weekend work. I've lived with long commutes before and I hate them. I really have done the hour commute deal and it just does not work well for me. I'm sure I can do it but comfort wise it is not a plus. Any commute time has to add in the walking time.

Then there is the apartment's other factors: age, internet availability [furry and I must have net also not planning on owning a TV as those are massive time sink holes for me but this is beside the point], size of the kitchen (I plan to keep up cooking) and these are important. As well as location and placement of grocery stores and other items. I've heard about the importance of an air conditioner in DC but I like it hot and I'm good with fans. Still I wouldn't snub one.

Externally I'd prefer an apartment with a washer/dryer in the complex or in the room. This later quality raises the price considerably but the convenience can't be denied as well as not having to worry about other difficulties. It is perhaps a minor thing but I might be willing to eat the cost for the added freedom and not having to pay small amounts over time into laundromats.

Ideally it would be close to friends as well (that commute time can be longer as I am not leaving every day to see friends and family) within an hour's train ride ideally.

I've been using this site: http://www.crimereports.com/ provided by artfulreggie as a tool. It isn't perfect and demands some volunteerism from the communities but it gives some help.

Keeping in mind that I still have to see these places here are my top choices one for each location:

This seems like a good match: http://forttottenstation.com/index.html

PROS: Very short commute to work, at the confluence of 3 metro lines which is very nice, internet, very new building, takes dogs [though it charges a lot for the privilege 250 deposit and $50+ a month], washer and dryer in apartment
CONS: utilities not included [not a shock none of the apartments seem to include it] smaller apartments, high cost it is within Washington DC so I won't have congressional representation [this has always annoyed me but the risk of losing my representation is not comfortable] and possibly as I understand it no Electoral Vote either for the area. This is deeply distressing for me especially after Congress once again proved it would use fiat to harm the city for its own ends. Again. I'm not sure I want to be taxed with no representation. Crime rates look fairly high on the crime reports site but that can be handled if I'm careful. No reviews I have been able to find.


PROS: Very close to work, close to a major confluence, cheap, near several grocery stores, larger, congressional representation, dog friendly
CONS: Older building, some crime, reviews of the complex have been scattershot
MEH: Washer dryer in building but not in apartment this can work


PROS: Very close to thechick and Chuckles (one stop away) as well several other friends, nice neighborhoods, semi close to airport, huge kitchen, nice size apartments, very low crime area, congressional representation.
CONS: Very long commute 40min minimum not counting switching lines and the mile walk to station (might have to buy a bike) not sure I can deal with the daily commute.
MEH: washer dryer in complex but not in room.

I then have a list of about 30 other options each one a little less desirable. 10 or so in each area.

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I have a friend who lived in DC for most of her life and might be familiar with the neighborhoods, if you're interested in getting in touch with another local for opinions.

I've talked to a few locals I know but I appreciate it.

The problem with DC area isn't heat so much as humidity. You might not mind 100 degrees in Albuquerque, but 89 and 95% humidity can be a lot worse.

The second one is probably the best compromise... Do you really want to pay an extra 400 to have a smaller apartment with a laundry room? Well, yes, but you won't figure that out until 5 years of shared laundry rooms. Don't live in Alexandria... Or really anywhere in Virginia if you don't like commuting. Seriously though, save your money. But anyway, I certainly commiserate with apartment hunting half a country away.

Still looking in California?

Ah yes I keep forgetting about humidity :( you make a very good point.

Oh trust me after a few incidents my Freshman year of college I VERY MUCH appreciate the laundry room in the apartment. I lost some of my favorite shirts thanks to one moron. The convenience is huge. The question is: worth an extra $400+ a month and there I think the jury is out for me. Saving my money makes sense but so does saving myself time.

I think the big question is how much can I "pay myself" and save for the inevitable health problems/rainy-day/retirement and so on while still having a little over for fun and conventions. Which I know is not easy.

Rambling... anyway you make good points and I'm seriously considering what you've said here.

Not California at the moment. This isn't officially announced far and wide yet, that's coming later tonight, but I'm moving to Dallas at the end of the month.

Congratulations to you :D I know you've wanted to do that for a long while *hugs* anything I can do to help?

I have about an hour commute each way, but that is mostly on transit. Being able to sit back and read or listen to podcasts really makes that long commute much more bearable. If it were an hour driving, that's a totally different story.

You would not BELIEVE how much ground you can cover on a good bike. Even if you don't think you need one, they are extremely liberating, especially when used in tandem with public transportation.

I used to live on campus at UNM, and the dryer situation I can understand. I have literally walked in with another guy rifling through my clothes. He claims to have been just taking them out of the dryer, but I kind of doubt someone in hurry would take the time to sort out my ripped jeans from my good ones.

When you do go apartment hunting, please blog it. I'm going to have to do the same thing you are soon, and having a leg up on understanding the nature of DC's apartment hunting (where good neighborhoods are, price ranges and types of things) would be a real boon!

That really wasn't feasible with my tech and time constraints but I will in an email start discussing this with you.

When I lived in the D.C area, a lot of people boarded. Often there was a nice enough family with a spare room to rent out or something. That was often the best and cheapest way to go. I myself lived with my grandmother, which is the only way I could have afforded to live in that area.

In terms of having a car? Well. After a couple of breakdowns on freeways with no shoulder to pull off, well, I gave that car away and just take the metro. The traffic was always so bad anyway and the Metro always served my needs well enough. Man, in D.C. they have traffic round the clock. I've been stuck in gridlock even at three in the morning. It's just crazy.

The hell with it. I just took the train. The metro stop was only a five minute walk from where I lived anyway.

I've been looking around at boarding and it does look like an option but sort of at the same time feeling like I want my own space of an apartment still a good point there and I'll need to look into it more.

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