After 2 Years, I Can Call This Home

After moving to the DC Metro Area two years ago, I've finally moved into my apartment and I'm loving it!

The back story; I was offered a position as a Leasing Consultant in February 2020 and decided to move to Washington, D.C. - an idea I've had for some time....

My Great Aunt has lived here for years, and one of my first cousin's has been a Washingtonian for about 3 years now.

I made the move from New York, Valentine's Day weekend and agreed to stay in my friend's basement in Southern Maryland until I was eligible to move into an apartment, at the property where I worked.

Little did I know; just a month later - the whole world would come to a halt, plans would change, and it would now take two years to accomplish a goal that once seemed so simple.

Fast forward to February 2022; I had now been in the DMV for two years.  Although I could've went back home, I decided to stick it out and continue with my vision.

Let's be clear, it hasn't been super easy; but, I am a person of faith which often aligns with my intelligence and allows me to make some great decisions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So back tracking a little; I stayed with my friend for 3 months, and then made a deal with a Home Owner who needed assistance with Property Management.  The Owner's home in Landover Hills was newly renovated but vacant for a while since his mom passed.

I assisted my Landlord with managing his property for a year and a half; in return for a cheaper rent.  However, eventually, he wanted to refinance his home and raise the rent.

I began to think "I could stay in the house and pay the extra rent, but I didn't really care for the area."  It wasn't conducive to what I'm looking for as a young New Yorker.  Landover, although a bit more rural than Southern Maryland, isn't a Metro friendly neighborhood.  Most of the properties are small starter homes with older residents and white collar families.

So I started searching for an apartment in the DMV.  I knew I wanted to be close to the Metro (Train), in a walkable neighborhood; where I could easily walk to the store, or bank and get to Washington, D.C. quickly.

I didn't have a car, and had already spent tons of money on Uber/Lyft ride shares.  

At first I didn't do much research and immediately had my heart set on moving to The Remy; a newer Luxury Apartment complex that had all the amenities and finishes I was looking for and was just a few miles from where I currently lived!  

Situated in a great location, The Remy was just steps away from New Carrollton station where, I could catch a local train or bus, Amtrak to NYC, or MARC train to Baltimore.

Built in 2017, The Remy Apartments, have in-unit washer/dryers, dishwashers, and either a full or Juliet balcony.  There's an on-site gym, pool, theatre, community lounges and game rooms.  One of my favorite additions to the property, is the digital transit display in the lobby.  The display conveniently provides the metro schedule for commuters who need to access the train or bus.

In addition to the apartments and amenities, The Remy staff was pleasant and extremely helpful. So helpful that we were in touch for about 6 months trying to narrow down the perfect apartment for me!  Read my full review here.

So you'd think that's where my apartment search ended - but it didn't....  I didn't move to The Remy and I'll tell you why....

It was Spring when I first viewed an apartment at The Remy, and there were no units available...  After working with the Leasing Agent, Deani for about 2 months; I was able to secure an upcoming unit on the first floor and had an October move-in date.

Unfortunately, as the date got closer, my boss at the time, had a personal issue and had to leave town for over a month.  That changed my income significantly and I wasn't able to move forward with the Fall move.  

Luckily for me, The Remy was in the process of building a new development right next door!  The building would be known as Phase 2 and was slated to be completed between January - March 2022.  This gave me another opportunity to reside at The Remy - in a brand new apartment !

However, I came to realize; I didn't really like the area.  It was steps from the train, CVS was up the block, and TD Bank was across from CVS; but I still didn't like the area!

It was too outdated for me, and The Remy was right off a highway....  It wasn't what I consider "walkable"....  So I got serious about apartment hunting in the DMV.  

I reached out to a number of properties in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and went a handful of apartment tours.  I won't name every property, but I'll highlight a few that stuck with me.

Had I done research before my initial move, I probably would've moved to Arlington or Alexandria, Virginia.  Those areas feel the most like home.  They're metropolitan areas and more fast-paced than Maryland.  

Most of the Virginia apartments were also spacious, with the average being over 700 sq ft. 

While I did love the vibe and the space in Virginia; most properties are newly renovated, with dated units.  Most units are carpeted, and the apartments aren't as updated as the lobby and common spaces.

I liked a bunch of properties (based off online research); but the two I actually enjoyed visiting, are the Belle Pre and RiverHouse (Denise, the Leasing Agent is so sweet).

Belle Pre is the newest development I visited in Virginia.  I loved the layout and Juliet Balcony; but it was too pricey for me!

Unlike Virginia; D.C. has a number of new affordable developments.  I even reached out to the properties; Liberty Placeand applied to MDL Flats (in the Navy Yard neighborhood).  But the completion dates kept getting pushed back and the leasing staff lacked communication.

Also, the reviews say the units are really small, so that wouldn't have worked for me. 

My favorite D.C. property is Brookland Press.  This NE luxury development is right off Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood Metro Station.  It used to be an old printing press, but was gut renovated with all new modern finishes.

The development, comprised of two buildings; The Foundry and The Forge, are connected by a sky walkway, with futuristic views of the elevated train nearby and a community yard.

Russell, the Marketing Specialist gave me an awesome tour of both.  The Foundry feels a bit more sophisticated than the playful Forge; however, both are housed in industrial architecture.  The Forge has art-inspired decor which is my style.  It reminds me of Alicia Keys' and Swizz Beats' home!

Brookland Press may also be the only property I viewed- with all hardwood floors!  Most properties were either fully carpeted or carpeted in the bedrooms.

Which brings me, back to Maryland.  Most of the Maryland developments while more affordable than Virginia; weren't near a metro station.  The square footage wasn't too bad, but it was hard to find a newly developed affordable luxury apartment.

Post Park Maryland in Hyattsville, is a development I liked a lot.  It's similar to the property I moved to - with a similar layout!  

Post Park is located near Prince George's Mall shopping center, which includes Target, Safeway, Home Depot, Citibank, and walking distance to the metro!  Unfortunately there weren't any available units on my move-in date.  So, The Remy still stood at the top of my list; until something told me to look for a duplex apartment.  

I wanted space!  A 1-Bedroom + Den or 2-Bedroom apartment.  I was even thinking about renting another home.  I was used to the space the 3-Bedroom house had provided me with for over a year.  Plus, I had a Queen-size bed and didn't want to downsize.

I started looking for a duplex apartment, and the development I moved to came up, because it had Loft layouts.

I called the property; asked about income requirements, and everything checked off. ✓✓✓✓  The apartment with the loft was in my budget and walking distance to the train!  I booked an apartment tour for Christmas Eve and loved "The Model" apartment I viewed.

The staff was so nice and the apartment grounds were beautiful so I applied on Christmas Day!

I was approved for the apartment, but had recently started a new job and the Leasing Office couldn't immediately verify my income; because I hadn't received my first pay check yet.

Well.... At least.... I had a second option with The Remy Phase 2.  I was still working with the Leasing Agent, and had a new fifth floor, balcony apartment on hold, however; it wasn't certain the unit would be available by February 15th - the date I told my Landlord I would finally be moving out.

I decided not to move to The Remy and to move forward with the loft development near the train, BUT, I missed out on the Loft apartment!

I did however, secure my next choice, a 2-Bedroom, open layout, balcony apartment - which I love!

It really took 2 years to-the-date I moved here, to get settled in an apartment, but in hindsight, I guess it was worth the wait!

I'm happy I did my due diligence, my Landlord worked with me, and I was able to rent an apartment that suits me.

Important to note:  Unlike New York, I noticed; a number of DMV Landlords focused less on income and more on credit.  Whereas, most NYC Landlords have a 40x the rent (yearly) income requirement.  The equivalent to 3x the monthly income in the DMV.  Some Landlords in the DMV have even less income requirements!  I viewed a number of nice properties where income requirements were 2.2 - 2.5x the monthly rent.  Another great incentive; Landlords here are more willing to allow tenants to pay on a month-to-month basis (particularly after living in the residence for one year) - this is almost unheard of in New York City.

I know this was a lengthy post, but (surprisingly) - I enjoyed my apartment search!  I hope you enjoyed reading and it helps with your research (particularly readers from inner cities)....  

I'm not mentioning my new residence for privacy; but it's just about everything I was looking for, and feels like home!

*Sidebar* Happy D.C. Emancipation Day! - I hope everyone enjoyed the festivities ๐Ÿฅณ ๐Ÿฅ

Hit me up if you have questions about searching for apartments or homes in the DMV area.  I'm no expert, but I learned a lot and don't mind sharing.  Let me know if you want me to do more of these reviews; or review other topics in a similar fashion.  I'm open to providing blog posts and private consultation.  

Bonus Tip:  My credit score wasn't affected much after applying to a few different apartments; however; I used DiscoverIT Secured Credit Card to help build my score. 

I LOVE this card.  It has so many perks!  I started with a credit limit of $200, then after a month or two, they let me increase my limit to $500 (you can increase your limit up to $2,500).  Then after about 6 months; the secured card became an actual Credit Card, and Discover refunded my down payment!

I also used a really great online loan creditor to help with relocation expenses.  The creditor doesn't require income verification and the money was in my bank in less than 48 hours.  I easily make re-payments online with no hassle.  

Shoot me an email if you're interested in getting the info, however there'll be a small fee. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Happy Hunting!