Should I Live in Arlington or Washington DC? (Benefits and Drawbacks to both)

For the most part, the decision to live in Washington DC versus Arlington, Virginia really comes down to the age old city versus suburbs argument. It's a matter of opinion, season of life, and personal fit. However, for the sake of compare and contrast, let's hash it out as far as architecture, amenities, commute, night life/sociability, and affordability:Should I Live in Arlington or Washington DC?

Architecture of housing:  In Washington DC, you for the most part, get the quaintness and charm of historical row houses and gorgeous historical buildings converted to apartments and condominiums. The charm and character brings much lovable personality to the home, but sometimes ancient plumbing and other aging details don't...it can become a love hate situation. Whereas, in Arlington, you can reside in modern and young buildings that have easy functionality free from the pitfalls of aging issues.

Amenities: In Washington DC, you experience the charm of cute little shops and corner markets, eclectic restaurants and eateries, and smokin' bars and night life. In the city, you're always in the midst of "what's happening". In Arlington, being a suburb, you have access to full size grocery stores instead of tiny corner markets, more dog parks, but you're certainly a little farther away from all the excitement. Being farther away from all the sociability may or may not be appealing to you.

Commute: In Washington DC, you're able to walk to so many places, which is always nice. In Arlington, not so much, HOWEVER, both DC and Arlington have excellent metro lines that connect you to everything. If you're traveling into the city though, commute time will obviously be a slight bit longer than if you're already in the city.

Night life/Sociability: As, touched on in the amenities paragraph, DC has so many eateries, bars and opportunities for socializing not to mention all the art and entertainment available as well. This generally appeals to a younger and or single crowd. In Arlington, you're not immediately in the midst of all the excitement and must make a conscience effort to go into the city to take part in what's going on. Therefore, it's usually older individuals and families that prefer the surroundings of the less urban.

Affordability: This is an interesting topic as there are options for any price range in both areas. However, generally, Washington is considered more affordable than Arlington. In Washington, you can find more affordable housing and make the deal even sweeter by finding a roommate which are also easier to find in the city. Arlington is known to be a bit "yuppier" so to speak, and has the price tags to match.

So, there ya have it. Go ahead and make your own pros and cons list according to your desires and needs and when it's time to pull the trigger, contact Djana for help! Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)

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I love living, working and playing in the Washington DC area and will be a true advocate for you before, during, and after your home purchase.  Whether you are looking at a home, rowhouse or luxury condo anywhere in the Bethesda MD real estate area, you can be sure your needs will be met and your requirements for a home taken as my top priority. It really pays to have someone who knows the area.

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