This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a local property management firm that specializes in residential real estate, commercial real estate and homeowner associations. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
Renters and homeowners, in general, tend to want the same things from their living situations. Whether it be a house, an apartment, a townhouse or a condo, there are the obvious must-haves like safety, space, cleanliness, affordability and a decent location. Then, there are the more specific wants: for example, a fenced in yard for my dog, a garage to shield my racing bikes from the elements, walk-in closets to house my shoe addiction and proximity to my place of work downtown.
However, when you dig deeper based on where people are located throughout the country, people’s wants and needs become even more specific. For example, people in Florida? They want a pool. People in Phoenix, Ariz. need air conditioning. It gets hot there! In fact, some Junes and Julys have seen anywhere from 118 degrees to 122 degrees.
Austin, Texas has a young, fun crowd there and the millennial group of renters and homebuyers want to be near bars, restaurants and music venues. After all, Austinites claim they live in the “music capital of the world.” Boston renters want to make sure their utilities are included. Perhaps because rental rates in Boston are so high (the average one-bedroom apartment in Boston goes for about $1,180/month) and they don’t want to pay even more for things like heat, electricity, water and trash.
As you can see, different people in different places want different things. Now, let’s talk about the Washington, D.C. area. What do people there want? After extensive research and chatting with both D.C. and Arlington residents past, present and future, we came up with this list. Check it out!
- Walkability: Washington, D.C. and Arlington are both extremely walkable. Many people are able to walk to work (think Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Eastern Market, etc.) and even if walking isn’t an option, proximity to the Metro and other forms of public transportation is not an issue in the area.
- Job: Careers are a main reason why many people move to D.C in the first place. Lots of young people with high hopes and dreams of a career in politics flock to the area like bees to honey. If you want to work for the federal government, then this is the city for you. The U.S. government employs nearly 150,000 people locally. Not into politics? That’s ok! Though you may hear a lot about it during your time here, living in D.C. does not mean you need to become a politician. The area is also home to many other major businesses: private health care, software development, defense contracting, wholesale and manufacturing, tourism, management analysis and more.
- Food: Foodies, unite! According to Livability.com, “D.C. is a great city for people who love food. The cuisine is truly international, and there are plenty of chic cafes, hipster bars, farmer’s markets, and celebrity chef-run experiences to please all appetites and budgets.” Throughout interviews, some of the top restaurants mentioned were Thip Khao (3462 14th Street NW), Tail Up Goat (1827 Adams Mill Road), Convivial (801 O Street), Le Diplomate (1601 14th Street NW), Barcelona Wine Bar (1622 14th Street NW) and Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Avenue). Note that D.C restaurants were not the only ones to be mentioned! Here were the top mentioned places to eat in the Arlington area: Bonchon (2209 N. Pershing Drive), Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore Street), Kapnos Taverna (4000 Wilson Blvd.) and Lyon Hall (3100 N. Washington Blvd.), among may others.
- The area is welcoming and forward-thinking. Washington, D.C., as the nation’s capital, is extremely LGBT-friendly, and many women there say they feel “equal” to men in terms of their careers. Did you know that nearly 15 percent of adults in D.C. identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community? This is nearly three times the national average. Washington, D.C. has the highest percent of recorded same-sex couple households in the whole country, and a booming LGBT presence throughout. On any given weekend, you can see protests, marches and congregations regarding the fairness and equality of the LGBT community and women. In 2012, D.C. was ranked as the top metropolitan area for women’s well-being in 2012. Why? Because women in D.C. earned the most money and were more educated than anywhere else in the country, according to Measure of America. Girl power!
- Education: Many people move here to learn. Colleges and universities in the area include: Georgetown University, American University, Howard University, Strayer University and George Mason University.
Thinking about moving to Arlington? Or, maybe you already live there and want to switch up your location. Whatever the reason, check out Gordon James Realty, a company that invests the considerable hours, care and skill required to manage properties and maximize returns, so you can spend your precious time elsewhere – the park with your dog, a weekend getaway with your friends, the library with your study group, etc.
Gordon James delivers full-service residential property management for single-family homes, multi-family homes and condo units in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.