Help us find a place in NOVA
November 13, 2012 12:23 PM Subscribe
Northern Virginia apartment search 2013: What are the best practices for finding an ideal match for our situation?
posted by the foreground to home & garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm mainly asking this because it seems like Craigslist has become much more infiltrated by spam since I last searched for a place to live in 2009 and also because there are a few suggestions I have seen in other posts that I wanted to follow up on. I know there are also a good number of DC-area mefites on here and would welcome any specific intelligence. I already have a good idea in terms of budgeting, neighborhoods, transportation, etc. as I have lived here awhile, so my questions more pertain to specific tactics:
1. My SO and I would ideally like to find a situation where we rent out a portion (e.g. the finished basement) of a single family home being rented directly by the owner. I'm currently in a situation where 4 of us rent out a full single family home and it has been a perfect situation. We pay reasonable rent, have an extremely responsive landlord, and live in a much nicer house with a yard and neighborhood than we could ever afford if we were buying.
I would love to figure out how to replicate the above situation on a smaller scale. What are the best ways to zero in on this specific type of rental in Arlington or Alexandria, where owners might be renting out part of their place? There are certain neighborhoods we really like in Arlington but almost never see rentals listed for on Craigslist, which makes me think realtors might be handling these.
2. I often have heard working with a property management company can work well, but how to choose a reputable one? Reviews online seem all over the place. Does anyone have a specific recommendation or metric for evaluating them?
3. Another recommendation I've read is to find a realtor who has a rental book of business but I guess I have the same questions as #2 in terms of vetting them and anything else I should keep in mind, in terms of getting good customer service.
Any other advice in terms of finding a good rental in the closer in parts of NOVA would be appreciated.