Dear PoPville – Finding a Studio for $1200-$1400 a Month?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lauren PM

“Dear PoPville,

I have a question as a someone who will be a new DC resident in a month or so.

I am going to be moving to DC either for November 1 or later in the month (ie, Nov 15). I have only a passing knowledge of the neighborhoods. My panic is the need to find a apartment/housing situation that is no more than 1400/mo (obviously less is better). And I’m talking a studio/eff setup. I’m 41 but seem to live like a younger professional, so I don’t have a ton of stuff.

My fear is that I’m looking on CL/padmapper and trulia and not seeing much in that range that doesn’t look like I will get knifed or devoured by bedbugs. In your experience, is the 1200-1400 range for a studio at all a possibility? If so, are there areas that have that range that are also decent areas in which to live.

Any advice to a DC noob?”

At first I thought, you will definitely be able to find a studio in a nice neighborhood for $1200-$1400 per month. I still think you will be able to find a good one but a quick perusal of craigslist this morning and I can’t believe how few options there are. This one looks good for $1500 but obviously you’re looking for a bit cheaper. Even though I do a rental option every afternoon – I’m a bit stunned how expensive even studios have become.

So – Are there any particular neighborhoods you’d send this reader? I’m thinking Dupont Circle, Woodley Park/Cleveland Park/Van Ness or the Eastern Market/Capitol Hill area. Or is that unrealistic? Do you know of any specific buildings in this price range?

127 Comment

  • Southwest Waterfront, the Carrollsburg and Tiber Island. Check craigslist.

    • Yes, SW in general. It’s not my ideal place to live as it’s a little bit too residential for me, but a lot of folks are into that, and I’m a 10 minute-walk from four Metro lines (Orange/Blue, Yellow/Green), a 5 minute walk from Cantina Marina and the Safeway, and 20 minutes from Chinatown and the Ballpark. I have an english basement studio 850 sq ft that I pay $1400/mo utilities included + $100/parking for (and I may give up the parking soon).

      Glover Park also has cheap places to live, but keep in mind it’s not Metro-accessible.

    • I actually looked in SW at one place (The Caapitol Park Plaza & Twins) just because we were exploring. It was basic but totally clean and doable. had some complaints – neighbor noise seemed the biggest. The area is less awful than I remember from 10 years ago, but it does edge on some not so good spots.

    • I think you have to know the SW Waterfornt neighborhood really well before you consider living there– it’s very block-by-block in terms of crime. When I lived there I was burglarized (even with bars on all the doors/windows) and there were always guys loitering near my front stoop that would flash their guns at us. The area’s gotten better, but still, this was only 3 years ago. For the most part it’s not an area you’d want to be walking around in at night.

      • em

        Please stop picking on Waterfront. Yes, there are some not-so-great parts of the neighborhood, especially as you get to the in-between area east of Waterfront / west of Navy Yard, but there are plenty of buildings right around the Waterfront Metro and between the freeway and the river in the direction of L’Enfant Plaza that are fine. I feel quite safe walking between my apartment at 4th & I and the Waterfront Metro at 4th & M or Federal Center SW at 3rd & D. Crime-wise, the area is actually much better than large swaths of DC, including popular neighborhoods like Dupont, U St., and Columbia Heights.

        • I’m not “picking on the Waterfront”, just sharing my experience. The area does have a lot going for it, and you can certainly find bargains there, but I don’t think it’s the place for a DC novice. It takes a savvy eye to differentiate the good blocks from the bad over there.

        • I’ve worked on the Waterfront before. I never felt unsafe but I wouldn’t want to live there. Within walking distance of my company there was only the Safeway, Subway, the infamous Catina Marina, and the new restaurant that serves $8 bowls of Mac&Cheese. It definitely got repetitive after awhile especially since there didn’t seem much to do there either.

          • There’s also the Fish Market and Arena Stage in that vicinity. Plus you can walk to places like Penn Quarter/Chinatown and the National Mall from there (I used to do it all the time).

    • I live in a sunny one bedroom English basement with all utilities included (including cable and internet), shared rear yard with a two car garage for 1150. Sooooooooooo… I think a studio for that price should be VERY possible. Just keep looking.

  • saf

    Petworth. Petworth is always a good option.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Check out Bernstein Management. They have buildings all over that are nice. I live in the Melwood. I pay under 1200 for a studio, granted I’ve lived there for a few years. I don’t know what the starting rent is now.

    Two great things about the Melwood: 1) Johnathon Long, the apartment manager, is fabulous; 2) only studios and 1 bedrooms, so no kids. There is also a nice range of ages from college/grad students, to retirees.

    I love my building & it’s location and plan to live there until I die.

    • I second Bernstein Management. I lived in the President Madison for years, which has a great location in Dupont. I found the staff to be great, and each unit has a different floor plan. My studio had a large eat-in kitchen, which made the place feel so much bigger because everything wasn’t crammed into one room. Laundry was card operated instead of coin operated, which was so much more convenient. I haven’t lived there for almost 2 years (since buying), so don’t know what their current studio rates are, but when I was there they definitely were in your budget. Good luck!

      • I looked at a nice studio there (nothing fancy) in June and the starting rent was $1450. So prices have gone up a bit but seem to be close enough to the OP’s requirements.

        • I currently live in the President Madison and pay $1480/month for a 500 square foot studio. The kitchen is HUGE, plus there is a nice little foyer/entryway area, so it doesn’t feel like a glorified dorm room. I believe they have smaller, cheaper floor plans as well. All the utilities are included, which is especially nice in the summer as far as AC is concerned. It’s close to the Dupont metro, several bus lines, U Street, and Adams Morgan. Also, a big plus for me was that they don’t charge a monthly pet fee….it was a flat $100 for each of my two cats, and that’s it. Plus my security deposit was only $400, not a full month’s rent, which was nice.

    • Yes to Bernstein management as well. I’ve lived in their Castle Manor building for the last 2 and 1/2 years and pay $1780 for a 2 bedroom (I know the OP is looking for a studio but the price is for comparison purposes). The management is great and they just put in a gym which is an extra plus. OP should definitely look into these buildings for something affordable but nice.

      • I live in the Chalfonte also run by Bernstein (moved in March of 2010). I pay 1544 for a one bedroom (650 sq ft). I love that the utilities are included and I believe the efficiencies in my building are in your price range. It is close to the Columbia Heights metro stop and right in between Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights. I feel very safe there and for being in the middle of everything, it is really quiet. I’d highly recommend it.

        • Second this! Have lived in the Chalfonte for 3 years and find it affordable, quiet and very well-run. They fix things quickly and there are such great people living in the building. New gym is great.

          Only caveat – during the recent gym renovation we had a little roach problem but was easy to deal with using caulk and boric acid. Not worse than any other big building in the city.

  • Silver Spring, MD and Arlington, VA are good bets for those prices. As a young professional who moved to DC a year ago I struggled to find a studio/efficiency in my price range. I eventually settled on a 2 bdrm for $800 each in Columbia Heights. Last week, I randomly found a rent special in Silver Spring for a $1400 studio going for $1100 prorated. It’s possible to find something, you just have to keep a look out.

    • But, living out of the district isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t want to live in Arlington or Silver Spring and would prefer smaller/crappier spaces or a roommate over a bigger place on my own in the burbs.

      • well okay, but its not like there’s very much in cleveland park.

        • really? there’s one of the best restaurants in the city (palena) and many other decent places (sorriso, indique, bardeo). you are 1/2 mile to the zoo, steps from rock creek park, 1 mile to adams morgan and dupont. there’s a big different being 2 miles from downtown and commuting to dc from arlington or silver spring. big, big difference.

          • Not really. I can’t stand the west side of the Red Line – so many stops and always crowded/having issues. The east side of the line isn’t that bad. And Arlington is only a few stops from downtown. If you can find a place close to the Metro in either suburb there is little commuting difference from upper NW.

      • That’s true. I’m often in Silver Spring to see friends or in downtown Silver Spring for the shops/restaurants/movie theater. It wasn’t that much of a step for me to leave my crappy CH apartment for a much nicer building outside of DC.

        • I don’t know why the reluctance to downtown Silver Spring persists — it’s not really “suburban” inside the Beltway, which I assume is the basis of much of the argument against it. There are several big residential buildings there that are close to the Red Line, the downtown area itself has as much to commend itself in terms of nightlife/dining/bars as most other DC neighborhoods (Ray’s, AFI, Regal Theater, Whole Foods, Fillmore, Jackie’s/Sidebar, Cakelove, and Quarry House, to name a few of the top draws … hell, there’s even a bona fide pirate bar), and I assume the rent is much cheaper and know the area is safer. Is it just the cachet of saying you live “in the District,” without regard to whether the living is essentially urban in nature? I don’t know why a 41 year-old would value that as much, particularly if safety and budget are primary considerations.

          • My aversion to downtown Silver Spring is just that it’s so far away from everything that’s important to me, but if you happen to work in upper NW/somewhere on the Red Line it might make sense. I think it’s perfectly fine to live in Silver Spring, Arlington, Old Town, Bethesda, for a year or two until you get your bearings. These neighborhoods are certainly not much cheaper, but they’re safe and close enough to the city. Better than taking a chance and being locked into a year lease in a DC neighborhood where you really don’t feel comfortable.

          • It’s funny, I’m kinda doing the opposite – lived in the District when I first moved to DC, thought I would *never* live in the ‘burbs, but now, to my surprise I am considering it. Even though the rent isn’t WAY cheaper, a few hundred bucks a month is still something, depending on where I am the commute might not be any longer, and the city nightlife and whatnot is becoming increasing less important to me.

          • A, definitely test out the commute before you commit to it. I moved out to Annandale, which is only 15 miles from where I work in DC, but the commute took 1-1.5 hours each way on a light traffic day (or 1.5 hours if I took public transit). Once it took 8 hours to get home! It was nice paying only $650/month, but it felt like all I did was commute and work.

          • Oh, it wouldn’t be a driving commute, but yeah, it’d still be a good idea to test it out.

          • Well, unless you happen to work and/or live near a metro station (and you probably aren’t saving on rent if you live near one) you have to factor in buses and transfer times. Like I said, even public transit took me an hour and a half because I had to take the express bus, two trains, and another bus. And if I didn’t time everything perfectly I could be stuck an additional 30 minutes to an hour waiting for the Express bus.

          • i wouldn’t want to live in silver spring because i don’t get the feelings there that i get about neighborhoods i really like. there isn’t anything about it i really like. quarry house is cool, but not all that. pyramid atlantic offers cool classes. the movie theater is great. but nothing feels cohesive or friendly or community oriented about it. the walkability of neighborhoods in dc just makes me far happier than anything going on in silver spring. so that’s it for me.

            blocks and blocks of residential mixed with retail with medium density building stock from the late 1800 to the 1930’s or so just make the best community oriented and exciting neighborhoods in my opinion.
            oh, and i’m actually 41.

          • I’m hoping to find a place near a metro and at least from looking online, the prices look I’d say roughly 20% cheaper (for the same size apt) than the DC neighborhoods I’d consider living in.

          • @arc that’s actually what I dislike most about DC neighborhoods. All the squat buildings and row houses built pre-1960s.

            I have nothing against those eras it’s just that most of the affordable housing in the DC area seems to be centered around antiquated buildings.

            Whereas in SS I may not get the same sense of ‘community’ vibe, although it is very family friendly, I can live in a relatively new high rise for an reasonable rate.

          • 2:53,
            i certainly respect that. i was just addressing why someone might have a reluctance toward living in the area. thankfully, our region is full of lots of different types of places to live and lots of different kids of people wanting to live there. makes for a great dc metro region.

  • ledroittiger

    Bloomingdale – or is that still “knifed” territory?

  • Checkout Fairmont or Girard Houses (Apartments). Not to many amenities but they are spacious and quiet. I wanna say the one bedrooms are 1100 with all utilities and they are both walking distance from the bus and train.

  • Check out the Park Monroe on 16th St. They might have gone up a bit, but a studio should still be under $1400.

    • I just saw a listing for the Park Monroe on CL–looks like studios are going for $1345-1375, so yep, still under $1400!

  • Surprisingly, Cleveland Park has a lot of studios that rent for about $1400. I also recommend the many buildings on 16th Street between Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. You will be getting a small space, but it is doable for that price.

    The places with the best prices may not be posted on Craigslist. If possible, especially if you do not have much stuff, you may try to find short-term arrangements and continue looking when you arrive. A lot of cheaper managed buildings don’t need to advertise because they fill up so quickly – just call a few and see what openings they may have available in the next month.

    You should also consider English basements, if that is something you’d be OK with. Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Petworth, and the U Street Area are all good neighborhoods that rent English basement studios in that price range.

    • I should add that Capital Hill is also a good place to look for English basements or a 1 bedroom apartment in a row house.

      • Agreed that the Hill might be a good place to look. I have a one bedroom English basement on the Hill and pay a couple hundred more than what the OP is looking to pay, but it’s a one bedroom and not a studio, it has a washer and dryer (you’d be surprised at the number of places that still don’t) and I’m allowed to have a dog, all things that drive the price up.

    • Agree. I’m on 16th St between Columbia Heights at Mt Pleasant, 4 minutes from the metro, and pay under $1100 for a studio. It’s tiny and probably a bit higher rent for a new tenant, but it’s doable. Cheaper studios in Mt. Pleasant, also.

  • You can find some bargains in Capitol Hill. My little sister and her husband are paying $1300 for a one bedroom off of 4th & PA. My best friend’s studio is $1100 near Eastern Market. And my studio is $750 with utilities included by the Capitol. I was grandfathered into my building, but the bff and sis found their place on Craigslist. The apartments are nothing fancy, but they’re cute.

    • Damn, you guys got some great deals!

      I do agree that the Hill is great for renters. The neighborhood’s about as safe as they get, it’s extremely walkable and charming, and a lot of useful bus/metro lines go through it. It’s also good for car owners because street parking’s usually not an issue and it’s close to 295 and 395. I think the area would be ideal for someone in their 40’s because, while it has plenty of restaurants and bars, it doesn’t have the crazy nightlife scene which drives up rent and makes things like parking difficult. If metro acessiblity is not a concern you can find some great deals around Lincoln Park or H Street.

  • except for some parts of capitol hill I think those locations are unrealistic for a place that is both under 1400 and not a depressing dump.

    The first thing that comes to mind are all the buildings near the 16th/Columbia/Harvard. Most of them seem pretty nice (if a little cramped) and I believe fit into that price range.

  • There is a 400 sq ft studio in my building available right now. I believe its around $1000 a month plus utilities in Cathedral Heights. I can post the owners info later once I get home. It’s in ” The Warwick”

    • Second the area aroun the Cathedral from Glover Park on up Wisconsin – decent prices.
      OP: Do you have a car? Must you be on Metro? Building vs. Basement?

      • Hi there, missed this. No – totally Metro. As far as english basements are concerned, I was kinda warned by a friend that they have a tendency to have serious mold problems (for people with allergies). So I’m hesitant to look. Also, they’re in a basement.

  • Silver Spring

  • yall are wasting your money. why spend close to 1500 for a studio and STILL have to pay utilities??

    I pay $1000/mo for my 400 sq ft studio in silver spring, with all utilities paid for. It also has a gym and a pool.

    You can get a 1 br for 1300 in silver spring with utilities and guess what? the S2/S4/and red line can take you to dupont or what have you in half an hour.

    • Yeah, but taking the metro daily isn’t cheap. I have to live with a roommate in DC (though I pay a lot less than you do), but on the plus side I walk 75% of the places that I go. And I can take a $1 Circulator bus to work. My monthly transportation budget is only about $30, compared to about $150 when I was in the burbs.

      I do agree with you, though, that many suburbs just outside the District offer just as good a qualify of life as living in the city itself. I’d rather be in Clarendon or Silver Spring than on the SW Waterfront.

      • As a person moving to SS I’ll be taking the S2/S4/S9 bus lines straight down 16th for my commute. I’ll actually be paying less to commute than I do now but adding about 20 minutes to my travel time.

  • Brookland, Ledroit Park, Shaw, Bloomingdale are options and these neighborhoods are all on the up and up.

  • Definitely not Dupont Circle…studios there go for at least ~$1800, at least they did when I was looking a few months ago. Van Ness/Cleveland Park/maybe Woodley Park might be good options, but the buildings there in that price range seem to be older and not have a washer/dryer in-unit, which was a deal-breaker when I was looking.

  • I think where this person is moving from will definitely have a factor in determining the “look like I will get knifed or devoured by bedbugs rating.” I moved from Texas where I lived in nice new houses in great subdivisions with every feature during my entire college career. I pay more than double the rent to live in what I counsider to be a semi-craphole here in DC. I think it is possible but it will take a bunch of searching! I live in an english basement for 1300 that is less than 50 yards from the metro………………..but, I still carry mace 🙂

    • Agreed. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you’re moving from Iowa, the number of places where you will feel safe will probably be very minimal. If you’re moving from a decent sized city, another story. Try to find a short term rental and then look while you live here once you know neighborhoods better.

    • I have also noticed that pets greatly, greatly reduce your choices.

  • Upper NW (specifically, the bigger apt. buildings in Van Ness and points north, Glover Park and the fringes of Capitol Hill are all probably good bets, but you’ll likely have to make trade-offs, specifically with Metro accessibility.

  • I lived in a ~600 square foot Junior 1BR in SW a few years ago for $1150 (like the one pictured on the homepage:, all utilities included. Within 2 minutes walking to the green/yellow line and maybe 15 minutes to orange/blue. The neighborhood still has its issues, but I enjoyed the convenience of living there. I’m sure prices have gone up a bit, especially with the remodel of the Safeway and some of the development on 4th St SW, but I would imagine it would still be in your price range.

    • quotes the landlord in that building as saying he was able to raise rents over 25% last year and that there’s a waitlist to get in.

      I live in the neighborhood–rented a small 1br (not basement) for $1200 including utilities, that allowed my cat. But that was in 2009 and when I left earlier this year the new tenant was paying $1400. I do think SW is nice and would encourage the owner to look. waterside towers advertises a LOT on Craigslist so might be a good place to start.

  • I agree with the people who recommended 16th St. NW–there’s a ton of apartment buildings along there from Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park north to CH/Mount Pleasant, and many of them should still have studios in the 1200-1400 range.

  • austindc

    Definitely still some studios like this in the Dupont/U St. areas. I’d check Borger Management’s properties. They seem to have some large buildings with middle of the road prices. The only downside would be that you would have to live in a Borger building. Not the best management. But you probably won’t get knifed. Though one of my neighbors ran up and kicked me once. That was weird.

  • andy

    There are a good number of not-quite-legal English basements in 16th Street Heights. I think craigslist can probably find you one. If you aren’t too tall, it’s probably a good choice.

  • I live in a studio off 16 and U for less than $1300 with utilities (except cable/internet) included. Try William C. Smith Company in your search.

    • For anyone looking at WCS – check your apartment carefully. I thought I had a great deal and it turns out the apartment came with mice & roaches.

    • seconding WCS, their buildings seem to be priced very competitively and it’s a good management company. I have a one bedroom from them for $1400.

    • I third W.C. Smith. I lived in a studio in Chatham Court on Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan for a couple years a few years back and it was a good deal. If I recall correctly, all utilities except electricity were included in the rent and the electricity was only about $30 per month. The apartments are not luxurious (no dishwasher, central AC) but are somewhat reasonably priced for the area. I paid something like $950 a month. Looking at their website, the studios now start at $1225 – ouch! But still within your price range.

      • I also live in a WCS company building in Dupont circle. My studio is great and I only recently moved in – $1350 a month, only pay for electric, and only a $500 deposit. Management is responsive. I’d strongly recommend any WCS buildings.

  • Hey there – this was actually my email that I sent to POPville. I had basically just stumbled on the site this morning and – since the need to move just arose with a new job offer – thought I’d ping them with an email.

    Didn’t expect to have it out for querying the community – This is great!!

    As a clarification – oh yes, I must be Metro accessible. No point in living in a city with city prices and not getting city conveniences.

    Re: the Anon question of where I’m moving from. Coming from Boston (lived in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain). Also grew up in Manhattan. Place doesn’t need to be pristine, just relatively safe.

    I visited DC recently and had a little time to poke around – I ended up looking at some Borger properties and was… unsure at best.

    I also have been checking out for some bearings too (even though I’m sure some negative reviews are less real than others). Oh yeah and (sigh).

    The idea of MD or Arlington is a possibility (I’d be working near Crystal/Pentagon city stations in Arlington) – though the rents I see so far aren’t much different. Perhaps MD is the better bet for outside the district.

    Thanks to any and all for advice – it is much appreciated!

    • Since DC has rent control, if you’re OK with an older, no-frills building, you can still find some deals. I moved into a 1-br for $770 in 2010 and a 2-br for $880 earlier this year; 10-min walk from metro. Call Celia Dunayer and Co in Chevy Chase to see what they have available ( (202) 363-4597 ). I’m at William C Smith place now, and I don’t think they’re as personable.

      • I’m amenable to a variety of situations, including no-frills, if the balance of things works. If it’s no frills but the management really takes care of problems – esp and including pest issues(!!) – I’d be inclined to go with it.

        • Check out as a resource. I used it to find a house (renting) in a great Neighborhood (Petworth) for a little over your budget, $1,600/month. Also had a friend in town a couple weeks ago who is moving back from NYC, and she looked at several 1 bedrooms listed on Zillow in the neighborhood in the $1000-1200 range.

          Metro is a bit of a hike from where I am (600 block of Hamilton) but bus is right there, and it is a pleasant 20 minute walk to the train when the weather is nice.

        • Also – try to avoid Craigslist if at all possible. It is such a clustercoitus and you never know what you are getting. Everyone in DC uses it, so you will show up at an open house with 30 others and then be in a bidding war. I recommend avoiding it.

    • Good luck. I posted above extolling the virtues of downtown Silver Spring, but I have to admit that I think that is less appealing if you’re going to be working in Crystal City. That would be a pretty miserable commute — even though you would have only one Metro line change at Fort Totten, you’re still talking 35 mins. each way on a good day.

      • It’s way more than 35 minutes according to the people I used to work with. More like an hour and a half. Of course we were working off the King Street metro which is a few stops further down, but I would think at least an hour to get to Crystal City.

    • Do you have a car?

      No pets, right?

      Any aversion to basement apartments?

      What do you like to do? Is being near bars/restaurants/clubs a priority?

      • Oh, and what do you consider metro accessible? You can walk to a metro station from nearly any part of DC, but I imagine there’s a limit to how far you’re willing to walk.

      • Hi there. No car at all. IMO, No point in living in a city if you need a car (which is a real problem with Boston).

        No pets. I’d like to get a cat one day again but not a priority at all.

        Basement apts are… well, it depends. I’m told if you have allergy issues, the mold in DC basements is horrific. So, it’s not high on my priority list. But who knows, if it’s up to code and non-moldy…

        I don’t need to be right IN the scene, as long as I’m close to the metro. I *do* want to have reasonable walking access to groceries, cvs (or whatever), and the like.

        • “No point in living in a city if you need a car (which is a real problem with Boston).”

          DC’s not that much different, honestly. You can certainly get by without a car, but it will either be a major hassle to do anything or you’ll have to pay a lot for being near good public transit and other ammenties. There is a very limited amount of real estate that is in a safe area, walking distance to the metro, and walking distance to a grocery store.

          The ideal situation is to be in a relationship and share one car between two people, but when I was single I still had one. Of course, you’re able/willig to spend a bit more on rent than I was.

    • try del rey or arlandria.
      imho, it’s best to live on the same side of the river you work on.

      • I’ll second Del Ray. Before we moved in together last year, my boyfriend rented a one-bedroom in Del Ray for $900/month including utilities. It was a basement unit, but it got a lot of light for a basement. Plus, since it was that cheap, you could probably find a studio or one-bedroom in your price range above ground.

        Del Ray is also a really nice neighborhood to live in. It has some good restaurants and is accessible to other necessities. And if you’re near the Braddock Road metro the commute to Crystal/Pentagon City would be very easy.

    • CL is probably a little short b/c it’s only the 5th. I find the first and last week of the month can be a little barren. Folks will start posting for next month’s rentals just before the weekend, hopefully.

    • figby

      Yeah — don’t rent in the Woodner.


      • I’m a resident, and besides the roach infestation and the mentally ill that mill about the lobby, I don’t have many complaints.

  • The Park Regency in Mount Pleasant is really reasonable (last year I paid $990/month for a studio). That includes heat and water! And the area is great – safe, neighborhoody.

  • I meant “The Park Regent.” (Apparently I don’t know the name of my own building, lol). It’s right on a bunch of great bus lines, and is only about a 10 minute walk to the Columbia Heights Metro.

    • nice building, very small apts, even for studios.

    • I wish people listing units in the Cairo would tell the floor, or at least give an idea of what floor. I wouldn’t bother looking if it’s weren’t up high; you can’t live on the roof deck.

    • I agree this 1 bedroom by Dupont Circle 1615 Q St NW is going for 1,350 + electric

  • I’d put the word out among anyone you know here. I lucked into a great 1-br carriage house in Shaw for $1350 which was never listed. A friend of a friend owned the main house and he had put the word out among his friends and social organizations that he was renting out the basement unit and the carriage house – my friend heard about it and let me know.

  • I have a friend who rented a studio in Van Ness for $1400, but then she got bed bugs.. so look out for that.

  • Check out the Park Regent in Mt. Pleasant. They don’t advertise online because they don’t like getting flooded with applications. Just stop by, fill out the forms, and see what opens up.

  • If you don’t mind it – you can find english basement apartments (studio or one bedrooms) for well within that price range. I live in an english basement apartment (fully furnished, 3 blocks from the metro) in friendship heights and pay $1125. The good sides: it is completely safe, great location, close to the metro, have tons of parking, have my TV and internet and all utilities included in my rent and best of all I don’t have to deal with any roommates!! When I was looking for apartments, I saw many similar to this in the friendship heights area.

  • Bloomingdale, Eckington, Shaw and Ledroit are all good options that will put you in an area that’s really blooming. From any of those locations, you’re within a half mile to a mile and a half from Dupont, Chinatown, U street . . .

    Here’s a 1-bedroom renovated basement apartment at 1st and V streets NW. Check out Google street view and I think you’ll be surprised at how nice it is. This place is near some great new restaurants and bars, including the soon-to-open Boundary Stone that PoP has written about recently.

    Here’s another 1-bedroom renovated basement very close: 2nd and T streets NW for $1,300:

  • i had 2 eff basements in truxton that rented for 9oo. i’d go on CL and search eckington and truxton and shaw

  • Truxton Circle is a possibility – it’s certainly a bit dodgier than some areas, but having lived here for a few years during which I’ve walked home at a lot of odd hours of the night without any problems it’s not hard to avoid issues if you have any street sense (which you probably do). And it’s incredibly walkable with great access to public transportation. Plus rents are still reasonable.

  • You need to look beyond apartment buildings and search for English basements. I’m in an English basement 2 blocks from Dupont Circle and pay $1400 a month, all utilities included. It’s small but there’s enough room for a couch and kitchen table … not bad!

  • Check out the Frontenac in Van Ness. The studios are HUGE and are under $1400 (that includes AC and heat). Yeah Van Ness is a bit boring, but its really safe and a 15 minute walk to cleveland park or a $10 cab ride to dupont.

  • For the capitol hill area you could check out or (no experience with them,they just have a lot of units for rent in Capitol Hill).

    Most of them will be basement units (which may be damp), but there are a few cheap 1-bdr in apartment buildings in your price range.

  • Hey! I am actually moving out of my apartment at the end of October. Im not sure if my landlord has found a new tenant yet, but If you’d like to inquire about it, you can email me at [email protected].

    It is a 1 br. 1 bath basement apartment in Georgetown. All brand new stainless steal appliances, washer and dryer and dishwasher in kitchen. All utilities (trash and recycling too) included in rent, which I’m not exactly sure what it will be now, not sure if they are raising it, but most likely between $1350-1450. bedroom is fairly small, but has closet and can fit a double/queen bed and dresser. Living room is really big with built in shelves and street level windows. Only downside is the ceiling are pretty low, about 7 ft. so if youre a tall person (which I am not, 5’3″), you may not be able to fit in the shower. Located across from Rose Park, walking distance to M st. and Dupont circle metro (red line), close to rock creek pkwy and running trail. This is literally the best apartment ive ever had and I wouldn’t be moving if i wasn’t going back to school, so whoever gets it is one lucky person!!! If interested please feel free to email me! Good luck in your search!

  • Brightwood is cheap – there are a couple of 1 bedrooms in our neighborhood for under 1200. Longfellow Street between 7th and 8th is one I know for sure – condo building with a couple for rent. It’s a mostly quiet neighborhood, a few weird corners. Lots of young intern types moving up here as they find the rents are so much cheaper. Great bus line access.

    • Second that. I’ve lived upper 14th Street (a little north of Military Road) for 8 years now. I rent a rowhouse up there, but there are also some decent deals on perfectly adequate no-frills apartments in reasonably safe, quiet residential neighborhoods. I’m 2 miles from the metro, but the bus can get you to the metro or to downtown in reasonable time: 10 minute bus ride to Takoma, Silver Spring, or Fort Totten, ~30 minute bus ride to downtown DC. Check out apartments near the Takoma metro too.

  • Well, if you’re working near Crystal/Pentagon city stations, check out the Del Ray/Old town area (nearest metros Braddock and King Street on the yellow line).

  • Ok, definitely rule out Silver Spring if you’re working in Crystal City. When I worked in that area I had colleages commuting from SS, and it would take them FOREVER to get to work.

  • Folks are paying around $1200 (all inclusive) for good sized studios in Wakefield Hall. I live there and really like the building and manager. It just depends on whether one is open or not. Best bet is to call a week or so before you come out.

  • I lived in the Cambridge at 13th and Massachusetts, with Borger Management. I didn’t have any complaints, but around the time I moved out there were some changes going on and I know they fired a lot of the on-site management and front desk people–including Kenny, the nicest guy ever, which made me really sad. Granted, this was ages ago.

    There are a bunch of big buildings right around there and it seems to strike a decent balance of close to the metro, still in DC, reasonable commute, and not too stabby. I moved to that area back in 2000, never having lived in a city before, and wasn’t too traumatized (or, possibly, was too naive to notice/believe half the stuff that was going on). It looks like there are some studios at Sutton Plaza for about $1500, if you can go up a bit.

  • Just for comparative purposes, we rent our newly refurbished one-bedroom basement apartment (approx 675sq ft) in Petworth/Brightwood Park for $1214, including all utilities and pet rent.

  • You are much more likely to get bedbugs in a building than a row house. I think you will find DC much less knifey than you think, even in transitional neighborhoods. The transitional neighborhoods posters have been talking about (LeDroit, Eckington, Truxton, Petworth)are mostly expensive enough now that the dynamic has really changed.Other areas people are naming are going to be a hassle for you in terms of distance to work(Cleveland Park, 16th st heights, Mt Pleasant etc) so be careful of that.
    If I were you, I would set up temporary arrangements and start apartment searching when you get here. I second the recs for Capitol Hill–there are a lot of good basement options and you are on the blue line w/ an easy commute to crystal city. I personally hate the waterfront, but it is on the yellow line and would also be an easy commute for you. Good luck!

  • I live at SW Waterfront and have had no problem in my almost 2 years here. I would recommend Carrollsburg, Tiber Island, the View, and Waterside Towers — Carrolsburg and Tiber have rentals listed on their websites along with some other neighborhood complexes including Harbor Square. Good luck! More complexes in the neighborhood fall within your price range as well!

  • I really liked the promenade. still in your price range. only moved when I purchased a place. 42 bus out front and only a 10 min walk to Dupont Metro, 20 to Woodley, 5 minutes to Adams Morgan. Also has a pool deck and a community vibe.

  • I was in the market for a studio about 6 months ago and a friend turned me on to 2800 Woodley Rd managed by William C. Smith ( Their studios run about $1,300 a month with everything included and they’re huge compared to most other studios. The neighborhood is in a perfect location; 5 minute walk to the metro, 10 minute walk to Adams Morgan, and the neighborhood is quiet. The only reason I didn’t move was because I couldn’t commit to a year lease.

  • Check out Arlington!

    In Westover, the neighborhood just west of Ballson (about 1 mile from Metro), 1 bedroom apts rent in the range of $900 – $1,100. Although most are good-sized units, they are not exactly newly-built, having been constructed in the early 1940s. Some of the buildings (small 2-story structures, with usually 8 units total) are very well managed and maintained, but a few are not. Just search Craigslist DC/Northern Virginia under the search term “Westover.”

    Also, decent apts at reasonable price can be found along Arlington’s section of Columbia Pike. Again, these are not newish, but several of complexes appear well managed. Bus service is frequent, connecting either to Pentagon City or Ballston. Streetcars are planned, but it’s a good 5-6 years away before they’ll be up and running.

    • He doesn’t have (or want) a car though. You really can’t live out in that part of Arlington without one.

      • Yes, you can. For several months I was without a vehicle, and I got around just fine. It’s a bit a hassle, to be sure, but certainly doable.

        Westover is similar in character upper 16th St., NW or certain regions of Petworth in DC. A bit less big cityish than DC, perhaps, but safe. There is a small shopping strip along Washington Blvd, with several restaurants (Lost Dog Cafe, etc.), a branch library, bank, hardware store, among others. Bus service service is frequent, with the Ballson or East Falls Church Metro stations only a few minutes away. If one has a bike, getting around is made even easier.

        DC is wonderful city. Many of its varied neighborhoods are vibrant and charming. Good apartment deals can be found, but the general rule is the closer to a Metro station, the more expensive. By all means, one should explore DC as a place to live. Apartments, both studios and 1 bedrooms can be found at reasonable rents. In addition to Craigslist, the classified ads in CityPaper should be consulted too. Also, many building don’t regularly advertise when units are available, but simply place a placard near the entrance. It pays to pay attention.

        Arlington and DC, as well as Alexandria, is coalescing into one large cityish entity. Rosslyn, Courthouse, Ballston, Clarendon, Shirlington and Crystal City are becoming more lively by the day. The difference between DC and Arlington is minimal. If one is working in Crystal City, it makes little sense to only consider DC as a place to live. By all means, the search should be expanded to include Arlington. Alexandria should be looked at, too.

  • I pay $999 for a 650sqft 1 bedroom, and live at 10th & N, the building needs love, but the apartments are nice and big. The building has basement coin laundry but for 50% of market and zero commutiing cost (I have 15 minute walk to my downtown job) I’m not complaining. It’s a rare jem as Shaw got pricey real fast

  • I live in a studio at Meridian Towers right at New Hampshire and W. Rent includes utilities and is under $1400 (without parking). I am close to metro, Starbucks, Harris Teeder, and I have an amazing view looking down on Meridian Hill Park! 🙂 I also have a decent kitchen which is hard to find in studios.

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