1. Location, location, location
- Start by consulting the metro map and identify your externship site and its proximity to a train station or bus stop. Focus on neighborhoods on a direct metro line or with a minimum number of transfers to your field placement location.
- Guide to Using the DC Metro https://washington.org/navigating-dc-metro
2. DC is an expensive city.
- The cost of rent in DC is one of the highest in the country. Finding a unit within your price range while still having access to a convenient route to work is a delicate balance. As challenging as it may seem to find housing within your budget, it is possible! In general, rent prices decrease as you move further away from city center. Many people who work in DC live in the suburbs and commute into the city on the Metrorail. Consider finding housing in a suburban location in Northern VA (e.g., Arlington, Alexandria) or Southern Maryland (e.g., Bethesda, Silver Spring).
- DC Metro Area Transit Planner https://www.wmata.com/schedules/trip-planner/
3. The housing market in DC is very competitive.
- DC is known as a “landlord’s market,” meaning that there are typically several housing applicants seeking the same unit. When applying for an apartment, keep in mind that it may take several rounds of applications before finding housing that works with the externship time frame with a landlord who will accept a short-term renter. It is better to start this search early on. If it is not possible to do a walkthrough of the housing in person, consider arranging a video chat walkthrough with the landlord.
Zillow’s Rental Walkthrough Checklist https://wp.zillowstatic.com/11/Zillow-Rental-Walkthrough-Checklist-d6eea0.pdf