Social Question

mowens's avatar

How much does it really cost to live in Arlington, VA?

Asked by mowens (8379points) December 28th, 2009

I lead a cheap life. I make a good living, I live in Toledo, Ohio. I am fielding job offers at roughly 75k a year, which with as low if a cost of living as this city is, is not a bad living at all. A head hunter called me today and asked me what my salary requirements would be for Arlington, VA. I don’t trust cost of livings calculators… it said it is around 80% more expensive to live in Arlington. I don’t mind living in suburbs or whatever… What should I do to come up with a number for the head hunter?

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18 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Northern VA sucks to live in. Just sayin’

mowens's avatar

Is it that bad? Should I say a ridiculous #?

Snarp's avatar

The cost of living really is a lot higher. A lot. Living in the suburbs isn’t likely to help because to really save money your have to really live way out. And traffic is murder. And it’s not just housing, everything is going to cost more.

mowens's avatar

So stay away? or ask for 200k? :)

Snarp's avatar

Do you think cost of living calculators over or underestimate the real difference? I’m thinking over. In which case, I’d just ask for what the cost of living calculator says. If your commanding 75K in Toledo, 135K in Arlington is not outrageous, and you should do fine on that. Actually, it’s still a great time to buy a house. I hate driving in NoVA, and it is expensive, but I don’t think it totally sucks. Then again, I’ve never lived there, just worked for a week or two and visitied.

mowens's avatar

It jsut seemed like a lot of money.

rangerr's avatar

You’d be able to find somewhere that’s not completely expensive even though this area IS pretty expensive in Arlington or somewhere nearby. Traffic DOES suck and once you’ve already seen all the monuments, there’s not much to do. But then again, I’ve always been here..so I might be biased.

mowens's avatar

It looks like it is right by DC?

rangerr's avatar

It is.. but DC doesn’t have much. I mean.. there’s a million museums and clubs.. but after a while it gets really old.
Then again, I’m a native.

Snarp's avatar

@rangerr If you think DC doesn’t have much, then the rest of the country really has nothing. Whatever the disadvantages, DC does have great museums, if you’re into that sort of thing. You will also find probably the best quality and widest selection of authentic international food anywhere. There are also a lot of outdoor activities available in the area, and the drive to Shenandoah is short. And that’s only the beginning. DC has a lot, more than you are likely to find anywhere else short of New York. And definitely more than Toledo. You just have to pay for it.

rangerr's avatar

Our farm is in the Shenandoahs. It’s pretty up there, but there’s not much outside of nature and the caverns.

But like I said. I’ve been here for over 18 years. I’m biased.

Snarp's avatar

@rangerr This is getting a bit off topic, but what exactly is D.C. lacking?

Haleth's avatar

@rangerr A farm in the Shenandoahs? That sounds like a lovely place to live. I think people from DC have an inferiority complex about comparing the city to New York all the time. I like DC. I agree that I’ve been to every Smithsonian museum about a million times by now, but I like going to a lot of smaller galleries, especially for a gallery walk. For the clubs, it just depends on what you’re into. The “high end” clubs haven’t changed that much in a long time, and I did that about two or three times before it got old. I like indie-ish places and dive bars, and there’s actually a lot of new fun stuff going on there. DC does have issues with late night food, though. I’m thinking specifically about Jumbo Slice. WTF, Jumbo Slice.

Overall I’d say move to DC. It’s fun here. Arlington doesn’t have a lot of personality so it would be more fun to live in the city, and it would cost about the same. Arlington is directly across the river from DC, so it’s maybe a five minute drive. South Arlington does have a good mix of cultures, but there’s not much to do there. North Arlington is close to DC. There are a lot of young professionals, expensive apartments, and chain stores there.

rangerr's avatar

@Snarp Stuff to do for people that have lived here for 18 years and are sick of the usual. Whatever. It’s just my opinion.

mowens's avatar

I am not normally a bar fly… but I am single so this question is important.

How is the gay scene? :)

rangerr's avatar

It’s a pretty great scene. Very proud. Lots of supporters, but we ARE the south, so there is still an equal amount of anti-gay crap. Lots of protests. Still working on the marriage laws though.

Haleth's avatar

The gay scene here is very political, but still a lot fun. Pride season lasts for like three months and there are a ton of events. —-I get the feeling that the DC gay scene is more fun if you’re a guy. All the women out here are taken. :(—

ETpro's avatar

Personally, I loved living in Virginia and always enjoyed the NoVa area, although what the others say about the traffic is indeed true. If the job involved commuting into downtown DC for work, factor the wear and tear on your nerves into the equation. But there some great deals on homes in and around Arlington right now. I wouldn’t rule it out. If someone offered a sufficient amount I’d move in a heartbeat. Of course, I currently live in Boston’s North End, which is not exactly known for its affordable housing. :-)

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