With the lease to our apartment coming to an end in May and the prospect of the hubby getting a new job, we have started the process of apartment hunting. Looking for a new place is fun for the first 10 minutes, then it becomes frustrating and an overall pain in the ass. All I can think about is the hassle of packing and moving across town (We’ve moved at least once a year since 2007) and all the hubby can think about is our budget.
We decided to look in the Clarendon neighborhood in Arlington, VA. While we love living in the district and the neighborhood we’re in, the move to north Virginia (NoVa) will make his commute to work easier, and won’t take away from mine. Clarendon also has a lot to offer. There is a Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shopping (hello Ann Taylor, Loft, and Barnes & Noble) all within a 5 block radius.
When we moved to DC, we had two items on our wish list; an in-suite washer/dryer, and a counter in the bathroom. Dream big, right? Now, in addition to that, we’re looking for hardwood floors, more cabinet space, a walk in closet, and at least 750sqft of living space all within our budget.
This weekend we were able to tour four apartment complexes, and rule out two immediately. They were ok, not great, just not what we were looking for. That left us with two apartments, comparable in size and price, one block away from each other.
The first was seated above the shopping plaza and only one block from the Whole Foods and three blocks from the Trader Joes. It was bright with lots of natural light, white cabinets (about the same number of cabinets we have now, maybe more), and bright carpeting. No walk-in closet, but it would be at least the same amount of closet space we have now.
The second was about two blocks from the whole foods, and two from the Trader Joe’s. Two doors down is a delightful little bakery, with the best cupcakes I’ve found in the area (suck it, Georgetown Cupcake) and hubby got a 5% beard discount! This one had hardwood floors throughout and lots of windows. This apartment also had LOTS of cabinet space and counter space. The breakfast bar was long enough to seat four stool, much larger than our small island that seats two. Now for the best part, this place had a double vanity, soaking tub, and standing shower. I’ve always known that I wanted these things, but never expected to find them in an apartment I could afford. The only downside is that this apartment did not have enough closet space, it’s about half the space we have now. This means we would have to invest in a wardrobe from Ikea, which would take away from the amount of space in the bedroom.
*Pics from second apartment. I forgot to take pictures of the other.
Both of these apartments had similar amenities; garage parking, sub-par gym (probably because of the Gold’s Gym and Washington Sports Club nearby), 24hr concierge, dry-cleaning valet. No deal breakers there.
So while we ate brunch at a nearby restaurant, we compared and contrasted the two apartments over french toast and mimosas. The second apartment was the clear winner on apartment features alone, while the other was in a better location. While purchasing a wardrobe wouldn’t be ideal, the rest of the apartment makes up for the lackluster closet space. We still have a few weeks to decide where we’re going to live and really look at our budget. I’m excited for a fresh start and all that Clarendon has to offer, but goddamnit I am not looking forward to boxing up my life to move across town yet again.