Thursday, September 19, 2013

House Hunting: Narrowing the Search

Once we decided to buy, our biggest question became where we wanted to live.  DC alone has over 120 neighborhoods in its mere 68.3 square miles.  This is not even taking into consideration the over five thousand square miles of metropolitan area around the District.

So many neighborhoods-Wikipedia

Although we were familiar with the spots we didn't want to live (mainly those areas that have high crime that we avoid anyway), we didn't really know where we did want to live.

I was not aware until I moved to this area, but there is a huge debate among locals as to which DC border state, Virginia or Maryland, is better to live in.  There are impassioned arguments, complete with an array of statistics and accompanying policy discussions.

Luckily, as relative newcomers to the area, we have yet to adopt such an entrenched view on the subject and focused on the truly important aspects of such a monumental purchase--the commute.  Brian works downtown (as do I at the moment) and would rather spend the day at work rather than being stuck in  horrible traffic.

Finding a house with a reasonable commute left us searching Northwest DC and the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland, which is still a huge area.  To further narrow things down, we drove around some of the areas we were interested in and eliminated those that seemed a little too commercialized for our tastes.  

When one of the partners at Brian's firm offered to have us over so we could check out their neighborhood in the Chevy Chase area of DC, we jumped at the chance (I mean, you don't turn a partner down).  We immediately loved the area.  It was full of young, friendly families in houses from the fifties with original features that just oozed charm. We could see ourselves living there after visiting just once, that's how enamored we were.

We had found out neighborhood, now we just had to find our house!

What's your biggest priority when searching for an area to live?


  1. “Once we decided to buy, our biggest question became where we wanted to live.” - House hunting will be easier after determining the exact place where you want to stay. At the same time, know where you can stay comfortably without compromising your lifestyle. By the way, you can also seek the help of a local broker. I hope you can get your house as soon as possible. :)

    Levi @

  2. I can't wait to see some of these houses with original features!! Normally commute would have been a big priority for us, but with me working remote most of the time, and Chris still in the interview process during our hunt we just hoped for the best (that his job would be somewhat close). Thankfully it worked out!

  3. We also knew where we didn't want to live instead of where we did. I think that was tough for our realtor! We quickly eliminated new construction, too. I didn't have as many requirements as Marc, which was kind of funny. He thought I'd shoot everything down, but I knew I could work with any of the final houses on our list.

    I love Chevy Chase!


data:newerPageTitle data:olderPageTitle