Apartment living in Alexandria offers many convenience factors, such as the ability to reside near Washington, D.C. and have a car-free commute. As well, apartments can certainly be more affordable than much of the housing in Alexandria. Add in the traditional benefits of maintenance-free living and perks like high-end gyms and pet washing stations, and apartment life becomes even more appealing.
Apartment Styles Found in Alexandria
Image credit Ser Amantio di Nicolao
Renters looking for apartments in Alexandria have plenty of options to consider. Not only are there traditional apartment complexes to tour, but apartments can also be found within single family homes, rented out by the homeowner. This type of apartment housing tends to occur further into the suburban portions of Alexandria in Fairfax County.
In-home apartment renters beware: some “apartments” are little more than a room with a mini-fridge and a microwave, while other in-home apartments occupy entire floors or basements outfitted with one or two bedrooms with access to a private entrance. These style apartments have multiple types of renters competing for access in Alexandria. Students and single government workers will go head to head competing for affordable rentals.
The City of Alexandria’s apartment options usually feature the traditional look of a high rise tower, or smaller complexes. Renters like the choices in the city because of the walkability and access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Do keep in mind that some in-home apartments don’t necessarily have parking assigned to the unit. Renters may need to apply for residential parking to avoid tickets while parking on the street.
Both Alexandria, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria have options for various types of apartment living, so don’t be discouraged while looking for the perfect fit.
Why Rent in Alexandria Is Varied
For a rental budget reference, Apartmentlist.com reports that in 2019 the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment in Alexandria is $1,634. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,888. It’s not uncommon for rent to reach far above these averages, however. Amenities such as parking spaces, pet-friendly options, and proximity to Metro bus and train access affect monthly rental prices.
If these prices sound pretty steep, keep an eye out for discounts. Major apartment complex companies can afford to offer move-in promotions or offer discounts for groups like police officers, firefighters, paramedics, active duty military, and teachers.
Because Alexandria is so large and diverse, the search can be overwhelming, especially if a general location in the city isn’t chosen. Commuters often narrow down apartments in relation to their work destination.
It's common for apartment dwellers to prefer walkable access to one of five Alexandria metro stations: King Street Station, Van Dorn Street, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, and Braddock Road Station. A new station, Potomac Yard, is slated to open in 2021-2022.
Take a look at Understanding Alexandria, Virginia Zip Codes and Borders: How to Research Where You'll Live, Shop, and Play in Alexandria as you explore housing options.
Amazon's Effect on Apartment Rentals
Amazon’s decision to locate their second headquarters to the Crystal City/Arlington (collectively known as National Landing) area directly affects the nearby Alexandria neighborhoods of Del Ray, Arlandia, and Potomac Yards. Apartments there are already seeing increases of rent well before Amazon officially and fully moves in. National Landing will feature luxury apartments for incoming employees. Plans for, and construction of almost 7,500 residential units are currently in the works.
Investors are also jumping in, buying up affordable apartments and single family homes to make over and rent to incoming Amazon employees who will flow in over the next 10 years. Many Alexandria real estate experts expect to see additional impacts on rental prices trickle further into the western and southern portions of Alexandria.
There are definitely strong reasons to rent an apartment in Alexandria. To find your sweet spot, take into account your budget, the most logical part of the city for your lifestyle, and whether or not you prefer traditional apartment complex life or living in a space within an owner’s single family home.