Well guys, it’s official – we’re moving to DC! Last night we headed over to our new apartment building to sign the lease. Since Fabio had to go home to walk Jack first, I wound up getting there much earlier and had about 30 minutes to kill before he arrived. While I waited, I popped into Au Bon Pain and enjoyed a delicious cinnamon spiced tea with honey and some roasted nuts while reading my Kindle. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!
Fabio arrived in no time at all, and by 6:00 pm we were reading and signing our lease! Now that things are official, I thought I’d answer some of the questions I’ve been getting about our upcoming move.
What area of DC are we moving to?
For those who don’t know, Fabio and I currently live in between Courthouse and Rosslyn in Arlington. We will be moving to the NoMa area of DC (FYI – NoMa stands for North of Massachusetts Avenue).
Specifically, we will be in the Eckington neighborhood, which is just east of Bloomingdale, a fun neighborhood where a bunch of our friends currently live (we also have a bunch of friends who live right in NoMa). If I had to describe the area in one word it would probably be “up-and-coming” (does that count as one word?) but I’ve also heard it described as being gentrified and even hipster. I don’t really consider myself a hipster…at all…but we really like this area so this is where we wound up!
Why are we moving?
There are two main reasons we decided to move.
- We have both always wanted to live in DC, and we know that the older we get, the harder that will be. We don’t want to look back on this time in our lives and regret living so close to the city, without ever actually experiencing living in it. Also, while we absolutely love being in Arlington, we’ve been there for four years now, and we sort of feel like we’ve outgrown it a bit. Right after college we had a ton of friends who lived right down the street from us, but as we’ve gotten older they’ve all moved away (either into DC, or to new cities altogether). There isn’t much holding us in Arlington anymore, so we thought this was the perfect time to try out the big city.
- I really love my job (like, a lot), but the commute is killing me. My job is located in Silver Spring, MD, which is on the complete opposite side of DC from Arlington. My commute costs me $10 a day on the metro, and it’s an hour each way. Fabio, on the other hand, has a seven minute walk to work from our current apartment, and it bugs me that I have to spend so much time and money commuting each day while he can just walk down the hill. While it’s been bothering me for a while now, I didn’t want to be selfish and uproot our whole life just because of my commute (I chose the job knowing perfectly well how much the commute was going to suck). Luckily Fabio brought it up himself a couple of months ago, and I jumped at the chance to find a commute that will work well for both of us. At our new place, we will each have a 25-30 minute commute, which is about as fair as it gets!
Yesterday we walked together from the metro to the new apartment, and it only took a couple of minutes!
Where are we going to live?
Fabio and I were kind of all over the place on this. Initially we looked at big apartment buildings, but we weren’t sure we loved the location of any of them. Then we started looking at English basements in row homes in Bloomingdale, and actually put in an application for one that we really liked (we wound up not getting that apartment, which I now consider a blessing in disguise. Everything happens for a reason!). While we absolutely love the row homes in Bloomingdale, we hated the idea of living in a basement and ultimately were just too jealous of the homeowners above us who would be making tons of money off of us and enjoying the bigger windows and accommodations above ground. Even when the basements were newly remodeled with granite counter-tops and the latest finishes, we couldn’t get over the small windows and space! Fabio and I know that one day we’ll be able to buy a home like that ourselves, but for now we thought it would drive us crazy to be so close to something we want so badly but aren’t quite ready for (we’ve been saving a good amount for a down payment on a home, but still have a long way to go).
One day we were feeling kind of hopeless in our search, and we drove back from an apartment we hated in a location we loved. On our way home, we passed by the very first apartment building we had looked at. At the time, we were new to our search and didn’t fully understand where everything was located in this neighborhood. Once we had done our research, we realized that the first building we saw was actually in a perfect location, so we went back in and took a tour again. This time everything clicked, and we went home and filled out the application online right away. Success!
What’s the apartment like?
Currently Fabio and I live in a small two-story building with only 8 units in the whole building. There are lots of these buildings in the development, but we are definitely more used to the small building feel.
Well we’re in for a big change because the new place is totally different! Our new apartment building has five floors and tons of great community amenities including two pools, two gyms, a BBQ area with outdoor patio furniture and a fireplace, a small theater/screening room, a business center, and a dog park on the property. Heck yes!
This is the lobby area where Fabio and I hung out before signing our lease yesterday. Behind Fabio are big screen TVs where people like to gather to watch sports games/TV shows, and behind that is a pool table and the small theater with reclining leather chairs. Outside the windows are the pool and BBQ area, and I am SO excited for all of it. The gyms look really nice too – each of them has free weights and a good variety of equipment, and one even has a TV and DVD player with a small sectioned off area so you can do Insanity or P90X videos. Sweet!!
Plus a dog park on the property?! Jack is going to be in doggy heaven.
When are we moving?
Our new lease starts June 1. Unfortunately we don’t get back from Fabio’s sister’s wedding in Jamaica until Sunday, May 31 (late at night) which we knew was going to be a tough time-frame (and by tough, I mean practically impossible). Thankfully we have the best landlord EVER, who is letting us stay until the following weekend (through June 7) so we have more time to move everything out. That first week in June is going to be super busy with unpacking from Jamaica and moving out all our stuff (oh and I have a random work trip to Boston on Thursday and Friday?) but I know we will get it all done.
Now I’m just excited for everything that’s coming, and I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed about moving out all our stuff. Who knew two people could accumulate so much stuff in four years?! Yikes.
Question of the day: Do you have any moving tips for us? I know we need to get started early (um..like now!) but the first thing on my list is to do a giant purge and get a ton of boxes!