Monday, December 5, 2011

Our House, in the Middle of DC

I know I speak for a majority of my class when I say that finding housing is one of the more daunting aspects of coming to DC. While working in the most powerful city in the world and sharing office space with the most influential people in our country were indeed intimidating, the thought of not having the Dean of Housing place me in a suite north quad room (pun, obviously, intended) was down right terrifying. Three weeks before arriving, my roommates and I were fairly certain we’d be

a) living in a tent (Occupy DC?) or

b) snuggling with Alias, a middle aged man who agreed to rent us his apartment if we pretended to be his cousins, joined his start-up online social network, and let him sleep on the couch (yes, this offer was actually made to us).

However, as difficult as it seems, with just a few helpful hints you’ll find a two bed room (with walk in closest), two bath, full furnished apartment that includes maid service, a gym, a pool, and a printing computer lab all for just under the price of CMC housing… or at least we did. Here are some tips to remember and options to explore:

· Live in the NW quadrant, this is generally going to be the safest/most convenient place to live. A large majority of internships will be in this area, and you’re late-night commutes from class won’t take too long.

· Make sure you’re near a metro stop. If an advertiser says a place is “close” to the metro, make sure to check distance on googlemaps- there are different definitions for "close" for desperate renters and those trying to make it to work on time.

· Start looking on craigslist and rental sites early- you’re probably not going to find a place in late spring or early summer, however, you’ll get practice writing emails and looking at leases.

· Consider a corporate rental. That’s what we did and got a great deal (see the brag list above). Ours place is located in Foggy Bottom so there are a lot of GW students in the building creating a young atmosphere. There’s a dry cleaners on the first floor, a Trader Joe’s and CVS across the street and all the shopping and cupcakes of Georgetown right next door. Check out Bridgestreet for more information.

· Don’t be afraid to bug people for information. Advertisements will rarely tell the full story. Furthermore, accept the fact that people are going to laugh at you. A four month rental for a group of college students is a ridiculous request that few people will be willing to fill.

· Maker sure to ask past DCers or any advice, or see if they can put you in contact with a resource.

With all this being said, GOOD LUCK! And please, let me know if you have any questions.

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