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Apartment advice needed
  • TFL December 5, 2012 - 11:15 pm #60490 Reply

    My wife, 2 year old and dog are looking for an apartment to rent for 2 years! We are considering the Madison at Ballston Station on George Mason next to Barrett Elementary. We love the apartments but we just moved here from NC (currently in temp quarters) and are not very familiar with the area. Please give advice and opinion of the area around this complex or other recommendations. Budget is approx $2400 month- we would prefer 2BR/2BA, in an area with green space, etc that would be good for a dog and toddler.

    neerveer December 6, 2012 - 3:55 am #60496 Reply

    Apartments allowing dogs in Arlington is limited. Condo rental would open your options a great deal. However, if you can handle the idea of a duplex your still in your price range. Oh, and Fairlington is popular (most on this site would agree with me)  Otherwise… Shawnee Apartments (very nice, very small, good location) allows dogs. The just renovated Harbours of Arlington also allow dogs. Both in South Arlington. Both in your price range.

    BallstonNOTBoston December 6, 2012 - 12:52 pm #60544 Reply

    My wife and I also looked at the Madison last weekend – place seems pretty clean and the 1bd/baths seems fairly large for Arlington.  I’m not too thrilled about the surrounding area and I’m curious if any current residents can shed some light on this topic?

    Have you looked at/in Del Ray?  We are checking out a few apts in that part of Alexandria this weekend – rent ($) is fairly similar to the Madison.

    7-11-bum December 6, 2012 - 1:00 pm #60554 Reply

    Look at apartments in Shirlington if you like to take your dog to the dog park. Several apartments over that way. Most have shuttles to the Metro or you can take the Art bus. And near walking paths.


    Arlington Cat December 6, 2012 - 3:03 pm #60573 Reply

    You could get a nice two bedroom townhouse or apartment in Fairlington for about $2,100.00 a month, but you have to pay over $200.00 a month in condo fees.  Upsides are plenty of room outside for you kid and dog, a very good preschool right in the neighborhood, six day a week trash pick up,  convienant to 395, little yard work, and a pool. 

    No Fios and most lkely no satallite TV so you must go with Comcast, the apartments on the first floor are suseptible to sewage backup and flooding because the sewage pipes and the rainwater pipes are one in the same, there is a Python on the loose,  you must leash your cat if you get one, and there is limited closet space.

    beeline December 6, 2012 - 3:04 pm #60575 Reply

    I’ve been living in the Madison with a dog since August. There is a decent amount of green space to walk and play with your dog, though the majority of it is not fenced in. There’s also a tiny dog park in front of the 4401 building, but unfortunately there is always a TON of poop in there from owners that don’t clean up after letting their dogs in (even though there is a bag dispenser and trash can 5 feet from the entrance). With that said, one of the little perks of living at the Madison with a dog is that maybe a half dozen bag dispensers are scattered through out the property and probably a dozen or more trashcans specifically for tossing your poop bags.

    My gf and I do not have a child, but there is a brand new little park designed specifically for young children in the main courtyard. We obviously haven’t used it, but it at least looks pretty nice.

    As for the apartments themselves, the walls/floors are a bit thin. Our neighbor below for the first month came up to our apartment several times to complain about us “stomping around”, but he thankfully moved out and we haven’t had a complaint since then. We can hear our neighbors above us walking around and the dog barking down the hallway, but you frankly have to openly listen for it to even notice. I’m a pretty light sleeper and I’ve never had a problem with any of the noise.

    @BallstonNotBoston — not sure what your concerns are about the area…care to elaborate?

    newty25 December 6, 2012 - 4:19 pm #60583 Reply

    Moving to South Arlington is a bad move.  Unless you move to Shirlington or Pentagon Row… I wouldn’t even consider such a move.

    newty25 December 6, 2012 - 4:22 pm #60585 Reply

    Oh, and I mean “in” Shirlington Village… not across 395 or Walter Reed somewhere.

    Do yourself a HUGE favor and move on to the Orange line.  I lived in South Arlington for a brief six month period about 7 years ago and I’ll never make that mistake again.  Worst decision of my life to move from North Arlington to South… I moved right back and have been enjoying life ever since.

    BallstonNOTBoston December 6, 2012 - 4:47 pm #60590 Reply

    @ beeline. “not sure what your concerns are about the area...care to elaborate?”

    Sure.  Is the surrounding area safe to walk at night?


    ballstoncmyk December 6, 2012 - 5:04 pm #60594 Reply

    i’ve lived in Arlington Oaks — a condo community across the street from the Madison — for almost two years. the prior 6 i rented in apartments and houses within a 4 block radius. overall, i love the area. we’re within 20 minutes walk to the Harris Teeter, metro, several bars and restaurants, and the CVS. we’re convenient to 50, 66, and 395. i can be on the W&OD within a mile, and there are scads of parks within walking distance too.

    yes, there have been some shady incidents in the past few months, but nothing worse than any other place in the metro area.  i’m certainly not uncomfortable walking around at night. no more so than i would be in NW DC, say.

    you could check and see if any AO owners are renting — the units vary pretty wildly though, since they’ve been around since the 40s or 50s. just saw a 2BR/1BA on craiglist for about $1800. you might also check some of the houses in the nearby Arlington Forest neighborhood; there’s usually a few renting. quiet streets, and a lot of young families nearby. no idea how much they might run, but definitely worth a look.

    good luck.

    thebrickwall22 December 6, 2012 - 6:09 pm #60601 Reply

    I used to live in Ballston Park near N Glebe/Pershing.  They allow dogs for a monthly fee.  I didn’t have a dog so I’m not sure what it exactly is but pretty sure it was reasonable.  (Although I think most people just didn’t tell them about their dog and didn’t pay.)  Plenty of green space and there are two playgrounds very close by.  I was in a 3BR/1BA townhome for $2500 I think. It may have been $2400.  Great place.  Enjoyed living there.  It’s popular though so you’ll need to get a little lucky to find a place.

    beeline December 7, 2012 - 9:01 am #60624 Reply


    I haven’t had any issues walking around at nite. The entire property itself at the Madison is really well lit and generally pretty quiet at nite. Directly behind the property is a senior living center, the surrounding neighborhoods are mostly small family homes, and on the front side (George Mason Dr side) is mostly new luxury townhomes.  For the extended surrounding areas, I walk north towards Fairfax and Glebe 5 days for work and have never once felt unsafe. On the weekends, my girlfriend and I will sometimes walk up that way to grab a late dinner and/or some beers and we’ve never had any issues even walking back at 2 am. In fact, the only semi-sketchy area of the extended neighborhood would be the intersection of Pershing and Glebe (with Glebe Market and the CVS) and I’ve never felt threatened or anything like that walking by there.

    @TFL, @BNB

    Feel free to send me any other questions you have about the complex/neighborhood. If you do end up moving into the Madison, let me know. If you put me down as your reference, I’ll split the referral bonus with you :D

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