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I am hoping that someone on this board may be able to give me some help.

DS is very interested in a position down in Bethesda, MD, and would need to find reasonable housing. He has started to do a quick web search, and the least expensive thing he says he has found is a room in a condo for $800 a month including utilities in Germantown, that he thinks is about 15 minutes from Bethesda.

Anyone familiar with the Bethesda area? What towns should he be looking at to find a place to live if he gets this job that are within reasonable distance and relatively safe?

I told him I would ask around to see what information I could find.

Thanks for any help or direction anyone can provide.
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I know the town well -- send me a private message and I'll see if I can help. It's a very expensive place, though. $800 is actually really cheap.

ThyPeace, depends on where in Bethesda, but the whole place is pricey...
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Thanks. Check your email.
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I would bet even money someone could not drive from any zip code in Bethesda to Germantown in 15 minutes, and that would include leaving at 7AM on a Sunday morning. I'd give 5:1 odds it can't be done in 30 minutes after work weekdays.

I lived in that area 25 years. Bethesda, while affluent, still has older apartments with reasonable rent if your son will share a 2 bdrm with a roommate. The next town up is Rockville, lot of housing & it's on the Red line, the metro transit. Germantown is really difficult for public transit and is served br RideOn busses.

Couple of suggestions, Bethesda anywhere, as there is no not safe area in Bethesda. A Large condo complex with rentals (older) is Parkside. North Bethesda and Rockville would work. Maybe even try the other way, south to D.C. Upper NW is nice, American University has many recent grads, or grad students for shared housing. Bethesda also has many transients come for a year to work at N.I.H. See if NIH has a website for housing.

I know the area well, it's affluent, corporate, and has become quite congested. Let me know if I can answer any specific questions. I'm on email daily but at the fool a couple times a week.
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The NIH housing listings are here:

http://www.recgov.org/housing/

I would not go for Silver Spring or anywhere east of there. That part of the Beltway (coming west around the top) has become a real nightmare -- even worse than the commute down from Germantown.

ThyPeace, doesn't like driving.
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Looks like you're getting good advice already.

I have worked in Bethesda (at NIH) for over a decade, and have lived all over Montgomery County since 1989. Feel free to reply by email if you have questions about particular parts or commuting.

Germantown is generally a nice place to live, if you can tolerate the commute. There are Ride-On express buses that I used them when I lived there. I personally think Rockville is the best compromise on cost and distance. I lived there too and commuted by Metro. I would not automatically rule out Silver Spring; there are Metrobus options for commuting east-west; but Silver Spring is huge and some areas are nice, some are not.

Definitely check out the NIH housing listings that ThyPeace posted for rentals, even if you're son isn't working at NIH (it's only limited to NIH staff for posting listings; open to everyone for browsing). Also try Craigslist at: http://dc.craigslist.org/mld/ for rentals.

If your son is looking to buy, he needs a good real estate agent to talk through all the different areas and their long-term ownership pros/cons. And it's probably a good idea to rent for a year or two anyway to get a feel for the area.

Mike (Gordogato)
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Thanks to all for the help, and please keep the suggestions coming.

DS is a chef, and so will be working weird hours. That might help a bit with the commute as I would expect him to work similar hours to what he has worked at other jobs where it's something like Wednesday through Sunday with shifts during the week that are something like noon or 2pm to 10 or 11pm, and either that same shift on the weekends, or something like 8am to 5pm. In either case, though, he should be commuting during off-peak hours.

He will be home for the weekend tonight, and I will share all this information with him, and see if he has more questions that I can post.

Again, thanks to all. I knew I'd be able to find good information for him here.

Now, if only his sister would have the same good luck in terms of finding her first job.....
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DS is a chef

If he does take the job keep us posted. We could have a Foolish gathering to welcome him to town.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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...DS is a chef...

Then I think his best bet at this point is to rent a BR in a SFH in Bethesda, because:
- that'll minimize commuting costs (Bethesda is teeming with restaurants, but they're very competitive, so chefs don't get paid much, especially new ones). In fact, he might be able to forgo a car altogether.
- sharing a kitchen at his rental won't be too problematic, as he just won't use it*. This will make him a particularly attractive tenant, in case the rental market is competitive.

* I'm presuming he'll take his meals at work. When I worked in fast food, one free sandwich per 8-hr shift was part of the compensation, but as a chef in a real restaurant he should be able to negotiate a better deal than that.
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This site lists all the major apartment buildings in Bethesda, plus has ratings:

http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/asform_results#axzz2PX7...
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