There's a wide variety of options when renting in D.C., but usually, a price range will restrict your options. Anyone working their way through the corporate ladder probably has to start at the bottom (as in English basement) before they can think about some of the nicer condo projects. Here, we give you the full range of rental options available in D.C. Where do you fall on the spectrum?
The Group Housing Only Zone: ($400-$799/month) If you're only willing or able to pay the bare minimum for rent each month, you'll find yourself in this zone. Believe it or not, options at this rate are available all over the city, but it's a high risk zone that often has small rooms or at least three other roommates. There's actually a pretty large 200 square foot room in Congress Heights for $550/month, but if you're too terrified to go east of the river, the same amount with get you a medium-sized room in NoMa. Take off nearly a hundred bucks and you'll be able to move into an 81 square foot room in Mt. Pleasant, or add a hundred for a room way out in Deanwood. You can even get a place in Chinatown at this rate...if you want to stay in the same bedroom as someone else.
My First Apartment or My Last Group House: ($800-$1499/month) At the bottom end of this range, it's possible you're still in group houses, but you could also easily get a one bedroom apartment east of the river. It's east of the river, but don't knock it as it will be nicer than the studio you get at by Fort Totten or anywhere else, really. By the higher end of the spectrum, apartments in some far flung Northwest neighborhoods like Brightwood Park, Takoma or maybe Petworth become an option. Or if you want to live in a neighborhood on the other end of the Green Line, there are still a wealth of group house spaces in Petworth or Columbia Heights. Actually, that's where most group houses in this range are located. Welcome to Wonderland.
Luxury Condo Target Market ($1500-$2200/month): This is the price of the average rental in D.C. and most of the luxury condo spaces for one or two people fall under here. You pretty much have your pick of the low-end units in the hip neighborhoods in the city. You have arrived!
Living Large: ($2200-$5000/month) Okay, so the lower end of this spectrum might not be penthouses, but it's probably at least a two bedroom in a trendier neighborhood in Northwest like Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Glover Park or Georgetown. It's likely that you also have at least a small family. Refer back to this week's Real Estate Death Match for a few examples (and vote!)
Too Much Money On Your Hands: ($5,000+/month) Not only should you not be renting, but at this point, it's not even cost effective! If you fall into this group, go introduce yourself to someone from the Group Housing Only zone, introduce yourself and consider doing charity work by donating enough to their monthly rent so that they can rent a peaceful solo place without the fear of walking in on their roommate getting it on. By the way, these $5K+/month places do exist. Refer back to here for the most exorbitant.