Housing Guide: Virginia provides cheaper prices

A 15-minute commute could save GW students hundreds of dollars a month in living costs, depending on the size and style of apartment.

According to washingtonpost.com, a three-bedroom apartment in D.C. costs an average of $1,500 a month, while a comparable apartment in Maryland or Virginia costs between $1,100 and $1,300 a month.

Students living outside the city said the commute is worth the lower rent prices, even though they lack the typical city that attracts students to GW.

“Living outside the city helps with costs a lot,” said third-year graduate student Greg Sanda, who lives in Annadale, Va. “We live in a six-bedroom for only $2,550 a month, and we divide the costs according to bedroom size, so it’s fair.”

Sanda is one of many students who say that living outside the District can cut costs. Although living off campus typically incurs more expenses for students, such as internet services and utilities, students said it is still worth it.

“You have to pay utilities, but parking is included,” said Jay Menta, a junior who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Roslyn. “We pay $1,575 a month plus power and phone bills.”

Sanda said he is also able to park for free because his five roommates can park four cars in their driveway. Student parking on the Foggy Bottom campus costs $189 a month.

Sanda’s house, built to rent in 1998, also has a backyard and is next to a metro-accessible bus stop.

“Without traffic, it’s only a 15-minute drive to campus. At the worst it’s about 30 minutes,” Sanda said.

Even though Sanda and his roommates live off campus, they still find it easy to be involved with GW, even while in graduate school. Three of them are members of GW’s ultimate Frisbee team.

Tyler Wean, a graduate student in the engineering school, said he wanted a change after four years of living in the district as a GW
undergraduate. He said he likes his Crystal City, Va., apartment because it is close to the Metro and shopping areas.

He said Virginia and Foggy Bottom prices are about the same for a single apartment but he pays slightly less for an apartment for two people.

“I’m removed because I’m a grad student, but I have friends on campus and still feel apart of the school,” Wean said.

He said while students have to go up to Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan for restaurants and weekend hangouts, he is walking distance from shopping and restaurants in Virginia.

“There is more of a community right here with a street with bars and restaurants,” he said.

Tyler said the traffic is one drawback to living in Virginia but said his commute is quicker on a motorcycle.

-Mosheh Oinoinou contributed
to this report

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