Let me explain DC housing for you (from my 2-3 weeks experiance)
Its competitive, it goes quickly. It's competitive for everyone, but especially for those looking for smaller places- studios, 1BR's -- as those go quickly. You have lots of people - single and married- looking for those places. Its a lot easier to find a larger home or even a BR in an apt for other people.
It's even harder to be married. (All these years I wanted to be married, but as far as searching for housing, I SO WISH I WAS SINGLE! ha!) Many many many listings say single occupancy only. In fact, Virginia Housing law limits studios to single occupency so a studio in NoVa is a no go. Even in DC, some places only want one person...I guess there is always the risk of drama with two people. You don't want to hear someone's marital/relationship fights in the basement apt you are renting out.
It requires you act quickly...which Dave and I aren't great at. I like to think things through. Even when we started acting quickly, we weren't acting quickly enough. As in, Dave applied immediately after he got off the phone with an apt complex who said they had one open apartment so we should apply immediately. SO, maybe 15 minutes to finish application? and the dang thing was already gone. CRAZY.
It's pricy. Y'all probably already knew that, but yeah...it is. We will be paying 4 times what my Jackson rent was and 2 times what we would have spent on a apt together in Jackson. His mom showed me a picture of his sister's lovely new rental home in West Georgia and we joked about how that house will cost less than the 400 sq feet we hope to rent somewhere. Chasing your dreams to DC cost money, folks.
And my main complaint with housing is that its income restricted -- in a way that really hurts us! We have one salary that is just above the rent controlled apartments' maximum but beneath many apartments' minimum rent. The reason we want a short term lease is because we can move to a nicer place once we have two incomes. I guess DC has a problem with people bailing on rent - because I have never had an apartment restrict my renting due to too much or too little income....which we are that "in between" amount which disqualifies us for everything....
So essentially Dave and I are everything you shouldn't be in the DC housing market -- MARRIED, middle- income earning, small space seeking slow thinkers (slow if you could a day to think about it) Additionally, we were seeking long distance, and Dave has moved, so hopefully thats one point in our favor. It seems that those who can show up and sign a lease quickly have the edge.
For my praying readers, please add us to your prayers. We would love a place to lay our heads. Mainly, I am worried for Dave. He is in a hotel at the moment but I would love for him to have a place. I know we will find something, but it would be great if it happened quickly...so sweet Dave doesn't have to househunt every night and I can quit wasting half my day on the internet - and we can worry more about prepping for marriage than finding a home.
I have no doubt the Lord will provide for us, although I don't always like waiting on His timing :) Each detail for moving is working out, this one will too!
I look a little rundown at the moment --- and I would love to enjoy my last month with family and friends, so praying this answer comes soon! It doesn't have to be our perfect home, just a place to stay for 6 months until we get situated and can find something better.
PLUS, no matter where we move, I will be living there with a new roomie, so it will be great!
FIRST DAY... BTW, Dave started work today. He is working on a residence for the ambassador from some foreign country. I'm impressed. So talented!