Today, I’m going to go see a condo with the intent of possibly renting it. I’ve reached the point at my current place where I’m sick and tired of it. Various reason, primarily lack of space, noise, dust, dirt, pests, mice, having to deal with the laundry room machines not working when needed, etc. – nothing egregious, just the usual problems one encounters living in a high rise complex that is designed for a very transient population. I’ve been here 8.5 years, which is eons compared to the majority of the folks here.
The plus side to where I live now is the location – 4 miles from work and in Alexandria.
Pros for the place I’m going to see:
— 700 sf 1 bedroom (my current place is 360 sf and studio)
— full size kitchen (currently tiny galley kitchen, no counter space)
— brand new stainless steel appliances (currently ancient stove, apt size fridge)
— full size washer/dryer (currently – laundry room down the hall)
— brand new carpet (currently – fake pergo tile floor)
— ground floor unit, one of six (currently, 10th floor unit, one of hundreds)
— Rent is equivalent to what I pay now
— good parking (currently, large lot – first come, first served)
— allows cats, dogs (currently, cats allowed, but I have no room)
— it’s in Woodbridge, VA (20 miles from work) It’s a shit commute, because everyone else is driving into the District for work, so traffic will be pretty hellish.
The big temptation is the size of the place for the very reasonable rent. Rentals of the same caliber close to where I am now are at least $350-$500 a month more and often have extra fees to park or it’s on a first come-first served basis, or have only street parking. I really hate to pay $1250+ a month for a small one bedroom or studio, but that’s what the market’s like here. Moving out to Woodbridge means I could pay < $1000 for way bigger place. There's a great deal I like about the idea, but am still very leery of the commute. I do listen to audiobooks, so entertaining myself will not be an issue, it's just the time that the drive will take up every day. For comparison's sake, my daily commute to/from work now is about 25 - 35 minutes through neighborhoods, passing various school zones. The new commute would be primarily highway (slow moving) or on Route 1, which is a main road through to DC. On a normal day, about 1 hr. With no traffic (which is uncommon, 35-40 mins) Again, I haven't seen the place, but am going to meet the owner there at noon today. It could be fabulous; it could be so-so. I'd love to get your input.