Submitted by m2199 t3_zvxazk in washingtondc

I'm moving to DC in the next week or so and struggling to find an apartment. I'm not currently in the city so I've been trying to set up live virtual tours and every single leasing office has been a huge pain. They all us AI leasing assistants to schedule tours then never call when it comes time for the tour, no one in the leasing office is ever available or follows through on any requests.

I've now called over 10 leasing offices all with the same problems. Are there any complexes in the Navy Yard area with decent leasing offices? It's turned me off of renting from them altogether.



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4RunnerPilot t1_j1rndes wrote

Do not rent an apartment sight unseen. Stay in a hotel/Airbnb/short term rental while apartment shopping.


BlakeClass t1_j1s4t52 wrote

This. The best looking ones online had things I hated about it in person, too many people coming and going, didn’t feel secure, amenities didn’t seem to make sense schedule wise or set up wise, just a lot of little things that didn’t add up for the price.

AND the best value BY FAR, was a Craigslist ad with ZERO pictures, just a floor plan and price that sounded too good to be true and I thought there was a chance it was a scam but I’ve been in sales for two decades so it didn’t ‘worry’ me any more than a wasted trip. I which I tried to set up a tour like you’re saying, no one ever called me back, and I just showed up in person. Turns out the building just doesn’t have a lot of turn over because it’s too low priced, therefore the management company isn’t competitively compensated to actively focus on new move ins, and they said people end up showing up anyways so why bother 😂.

It was super weird to my wife but I get it since I’ve seen both sides of ‘the business’ so to speak.


ProvenceNatural65 t1_j1sa8km wrote

This is 100% of my positive renting experiences. I have lived in 6 diff apartments in DC since 2009 and all have been rentals from owners (or short term sublets by tenants) who were like, meh, yeah I am just waiting for the right person so I only advertised by word of mouth or with a low quality set of pictures on Craigslist. Don’t overlook these! Renting from an owner rather than from a big commercial building is sooo much better.

Ed: renting from an “owner” not a “wiener” lol autocorrect


slutbag69420 t1_j1t0o7h wrote

Been looking on Zillow for months and hadn’t thought about Craigslist until your comment and so far it looks like an absolute HACK. Many blessings to you and yours, beer on me if it works out


GooseCannonGT t1_j1urvtf wrote

There is a good fb group as well for this.


slutbag69420 t1_j1usdmq wrote

I’ve reached out to ~15 different listings this morning that were all far better values than anything I’ve seen on Zillow in the last 3 months and have already gotten 4 replies. Very promising morning!


BlakeClass t1_j1v66op wrote

Glad I could help! A lot of people forget that Zillow and the likes charge the apartment management companies a lot to be listed, that cost has to comes from somewhere.


question_sunshine t1_j1sdxm2 wrote

The only apartment I rented site unscene is my current one, but I have a friend who already lived in the building so I was familiar with it before I moved in.


m2199 OP t1_j1rqnff wrote

Definitely will not be doing that. A live video tour is the absolute least I want. Unfortunately I’m moving for work that starts very soon so live video tours are my only option really at this point.


spince t1_j1rrcd7 wrote

Leasing offices dgaf.

We paid for a friend for their time to go on tours and call us on video chat to help us locate.

We also used a service called Apartment Detectives that made it incredibly easy to narrow down - I wouldn't be surprised if they'll do video calls for you too.


AiReine t1_j1rw92c wrote

Seconding apartment detectives she was great for us.


toorigged2fail t1_j1rr3m2 wrote

This will end badly, even in a Class A in DC


m2199 OP t1_j1rriiq wrote

Sorry can you explain a bit more? Are the people doing this live tours that unreliable?


toorigged2fail t1_j1rshln wrote

You need to see it in person. Since it's very rare to actually be able to see the unit you are going to rent, you need to see two or three in the building that are available to understand the nuances of the unit you will end up in. They are likely to video tour you in their best unit, not what you will need to force them to show you.

You can't get a feel for things like unit quality and even view remotely with a video tour. Like if the appliances really are in good condition, noise outside the unit and building, smells, water pressure etc. (Some of these are more important than others in Navy Yard)

In my experience, it is unusual for them to be flaky about tours. Though this time of year is a little bit harder because there is less market activity. That said, prices are 3 to 5% lower this time of year.


m2199 OP t1_j1ruv0j wrote

They’ve been incredibly flaky for me. West Half, Dock79, 1221 Van, and Foundry Lofts have all flaked on tours with no notice or follow up.

I can wait to visit in person if I absolutely must but I would need to visit all of them in 1 day and their responsiveness is not exactly encouraging.

I honestly just expected better service from apartments that label themselves as ‘luxury’


GenericReditAccount t1_j1s0lw6 wrote

Everything in DC is labeled luxury these days, and almost none of it actually is. Sometimes the kitchens are nice, but the service always sucks.


WayyyCleverer t1_j1s1fyf wrote

Everything is branded as luxury. I found that the in person tours look nothing like what was available online - both in layout/floorplan and quality.


iswearitsreallyme t1_j1s0g6e wrote

I'm currently pet sitting for someone in 1221 Van and have also had my dog boarded in someone's apartment there. I would not recommend renting there. When I went to pick up keys, a few people in the building were joking in the elevator about how it was the only one working (of I think 3?) and that maintenance there was pretty bad in general.


frappeyourmom t1_j1v6nt8 wrote

You’re also asking leasing offices for video tours and responsiveness during what is typically “no man’s land” in between Christmas and New Years. If I can help it, the two things I avoid doing are job hunting and apartment hunting during the holidays because everyone is on PTO.


bullsgirl t1_j1u3fmf wrote

I live in Navy Yard and just want to warn you against Illume. All facade, all a rip off.


toorigged2fail t1_j1s1b6i wrote

I've also had better luck walking in or calling an hour or two ahead


Mareofthedmv t1_j1s5zmv wrote

Dock 79 recently had leasing turnover which is why they’ve been flaky. I was on the fence between them and the collective and ended up at the collective because even though I toured both I couldn’t get any response from dock 79


romanceordelusion t1_j1sj7ql wrote

I wonder if it’s the holidays - my building manager who handles this picked up and left on holiday with no out of office response.


bageloclock t1_j1rusiy wrote

This. We technically did not physically visit our apartment but via FaceTime were able to verify the owner was who he said he was and could unlock the unit.


bridges-build-burn t1_j1t08q2 wrote

I know people who have bought houses based on video tours, it’s totally fine to sign a lease based on video, especially if you know exactly the neighborhood and amenities you want.

However, I think I may not be as picky as some folks on this thread- it literally would never occur to me not to rent a place because the refrigerator wasn’t fancy enough.

The only time renting without in-person visiting went badly for me was in another country, when I rented a six month sublet on VRBO for a posting, and when I arrived it turned out noisy construction across the street had not been included in the description. Live and learn lol

EDIT: I just remembered, be sure you are not in a scam if you transfer money remotely! This is a common pitfall.


ChicNoir t1_j1uko7f wrote

No white hangers and no white refrigerators 😡 😝


WontStopAtSigns t1_j1sr72g wrote

They exist to sign leases and nothing else. If someone is already there asking they won't call you.

I get a referral bonus if I get someone to rent here. I'll split it with you. I'm in Crystal City right across from there. Right on the metro, and good bike paths into the city.

I can do your video walk through w you.


RilkeanHearth t1_j1tk4nm wrote

I would look for a sublet, airbnb or a short term lease so you can gauge the different neighborhoods, etc.


4RunnerPilot t1_j1rvkx5 wrote

Sight unseen means you have not seen it in-person with your own eyes. I can’t believe I have to explain this.


m2199 OP t1_j1rwo2j wrote

Well if you would like to give some other suggestions I’m all ears but I’m on a tight timeline.


9throwawayDERP t1_j1rxhht wrote

just get a hotel airbnb for a few days. most decent companies will even cover the cost for you if you are moving to the area. (mine gave me 1 week of housing) You then spend an evening looking a places for a start day later in week. You usually look at 3-4 apts and then sleep on it. Then you pick the next morning and send the paperwork over. and then it is done and the lease starts (as soon as the next day or at the end of the week).

this is how is often works for class A apartments in navy yard, etc.


[deleted] t1_j1s5hj3 wrote



m2199 OP t1_j1s6s5f wrote

Lol i literally live in Manhattan


FennelSuperb7633 t1_j1siyjq wrote

I think you’re getting a lot of flack about moving site-unseen. I moved here about three months ago and that was also my only choice. It worked out fine for me — we actually love our apartment. We wouldn’t have picked this neighborhood if we knew any better, but it’s not bad either. I’ve moved quite a lot internationally and often do site-unseen and haven’t had a whole lot of issues. And you’re renting, so you can move in a year.

Regarding customer service, it sucks everywhere you go and across industries now a days. Honestly, people don’t want to do their jobs and employers can’t find good people. The service in our building has been great, and that is actually one of the reasons we chose it even though the neighborhood was a little less desirable.


4RunnerPilot t1_j1rzpy4 wrote

I already told you what to do in the initial post. Stop over thinking this and follow directions.


endlessly_apollo t1_j1ro91q wrote

Wait. What is your price range? I can recommend a few places that have decent leasing agents. Timing is tough cause of the holidays.


m2199 OP t1_j1rq5sx wrote

Looking for no higher than $2300 for 1BR. Would prefer closer to $2100 if possible


endlessly_apollo t1_j1rqywz wrote

I recommend Crossing, Illume or Novel. I can pm a leasing agent email if u need it.


m2199 OP t1_j1rrfix wrote

That would be amazing, thank you!


SwankyBriefs t1_j1sp4f0 wrote

I would strongly recommend against Novel. It's not that nice but is priced on the higher side of Navy Yard. Illume is nice but shares its gym with the hotel and is adjacent to the highway. Crossing is fine. some units may have a bit of a weird layout.

Of the ones you mentioned, 1221 Vann is the oldest building and is a bit dated. West half is nice if you like industrial and don't mind noise (stadium and bullpen). Dock 79 is a bit older but from what I've seen well maintained. Right next door is the Maren which is their new property and gets better light.


BansheeLoveTriangle t1_j1t5ovu wrote

lol, dated at four years old?


SwankyBriefs t1_j1t690l wrote

It's older than 4 years, and when you build quickly and cheaply, and don't maintain the building, it ages quickly. Just giving my opinion since I've toured almost every building in Navy Yard and lived in a couple.


BansheeLoveTriangle t1_j1tb62v wrote If accurate, started renting in 2018 - but yeah, most of these ‘luxury’ apartments are slapped together garbage where they try to squeeze tenants for as much as possible while providing as little as possible


SwankyBriefs t1_j1tbtyo wrote

There's also a pic on that site from the roof in 2017. So it was finished over 5 years ago, but that's splitting hairs. When I toured it back in 2019/2020, it already felt worn.


bullsgirl t1_j1u43tr wrote

Definitely do not lease at Illume. Total shitshow


kikiindisguise t1_j1ruh7i wrote

Check out Hecht - they’re below your price range, really good views, and leasing agents are very quick to respond and are in all week.


KEVINMD15 t1_j1sbg5p wrote

I had to take Hecht to court this fall. All experiences are different. But I personally would never recommend a place managed by Greystar.


FennelSuperb7633 t1_j1si2bz wrote

I’ve actually had a great experience with a brand new building keener by Greystar.


tophree t1_j1u4ueh wrote

They went through two management companies in my 18 months there (April 2017 - September 2018). My apartment flooded right before the end of the lease and they took a full month rent even though the lease ended on the 3rd of the month. Took another 90 days to get a refund. It’s also not super metro accessible unless they changed the shuttle schedule.


way2gimpy t1_j1rzeqk wrote

Apartment hunting just sucks. Just finished mine and it was a big pain in the ass. Definitely don’t rent sight unseen.


SuperBethesda t1_j1rzh1f wrote

I moved to DC from the west coast a few years ago, and I stayed at a hotel for a week checking out apartments. Best to see things in person.


moduli-retain-banana t1_j1ryxqk wrote

I know Twelve12 has vacancies. They have YouTube tours of all their different floor plans. We did not see our apartment before renting because it was occupied but saw the same floor plan on a different floor and it worked out okay. Their 1 bedrooms also look to be in your price range.


Hot-Half3334 t1_j1s0fdd wrote

I just moved and while I was looking I called (call them if possible) the following places and was put in contact with real leasing managers:

Union Place in NoMa Revel in NoMa Senate Square in NoMa/ H Street corridor The Apollo on H Street Corridor Cielo in NoMa

I used to live in Stationhouse and while it is pricey, they definitely have good customer service. I don't know if it would be in your budget for a one bedroom though. Most of the places above were junior one bedrooms. Union Place is absolutely within your price range and does have windows but is a junior. All of these places had windows FYI.

I think some of these places offer video tours. But I agree that in DC you MUST see it in person. I know you're dealing with a tight timeline, but I would not move sight unseen into a flat here.


m2199 OP t1_j1s33y7 wrote

I’ve been looking at the Apollo and I really love it. I will say I was a bit turned off by the news coverage about crime on H Street Corridor. I know a lot of that can be hysteria but it did seem like there was something to it.


Hot-Half3334 t1_j1s3ey8 wrote

I've lived on the H Street Corridor for around 2 years and it's not affected me personally nor any of my friends around here.

But I don't have a car and I feel like I'd be more worried about it if I did. I would not say crime is restricted to any part of the city though I may get some hate for saying that. People in Northwest DC also get carjacked or have their cars stolen. 🤷🏻‍♀️


toorigged2fail t1_j1xajc0 wrote

Exactly. Personal experience plays into it so much. I know no one who's had an issue on H, but two separate friends robbed at gunpoint in Navy Yard.


starshine1988 t1_j1s6bln wrote

Sounds like you’re tied to more urban, luxury buildings- If you really can’t get any time to tour personally before you arrive l, I’d definitely suggest finding someone who you could pay to look in person on your behalf, or contact buildings in more quiet areas which tend to have leasing offices that care a scootch more about prospective tenants.

Honestly staying in a hotel or short term rental while you look for yourself before committing to anything is going to pay dividends


m2199 OP t1_j1s6iqd wrote

I will be in DC Jan 2-4 and could reasonably decide one of those days to just do tours. But with their current responsiveness I wasn’t sure it’d be possible to jam them all in there.


starshine1988 t1_j1s6qbb wrote

Ah yeah I think because of the holiday season it will be tough to schedule now, but when you’re here in person you’ll get more responsiveness.


msitty1 t1_j1tkp25 wrote

I used to live in the Apollo. The building itself is nice (I still miss having a coffee shop in my building). The neighborhood is “eh”. Has a few fun nightlife spots and decent restaurants and great grocery options, but it’s a pain to get to the metro/other neighborhoods and can feel unsafe occasionally (especially late at night when not a lot of people are out/about). And other neighborhoods have much more expansive food options and more parks.


Biogeopaleochem t1_j1s2pir wrote

Contact a realtor. That worked for me, they were able to find the apartment and get everything set up.


emcee_gee t1_j1s5hlb wrote

Totally this. Like OP, I also moved here on a tight timeline and my realtor did virtual tours for me over Zoom. Because realtors work for you, rather than the landlord, they are incentivized not to try to hide the ugly bits. Plus, they’re totally free; they just get a cut of the first month’s rent from the landlord.

OP, if you want a specific recommendation, feel free to DM me and I’ll give you the name of my realtor.


m2199 OP t1_j1s73hl wrote

Just messaged you, thanks so much!


SluggingAndBussing t1_j1so53b wrote

The mega corporation apartment building owners don’t give the first fuck. Try finding a privately owned condo on coldwellbankerhomes .com. Renting from an individual landlord (even if some management company handles the payments and stuff) is almost always a better option. You will usually save money, too.


im_alliterate t1_j1s3yit wrote

welcome to the struggle of these awful dc luxury apartment buildings run by out of state conglomerates of evil :)


tophree t1_j1u56r4 wrote

I live in the collective, and I love it. Staff are all super nice and the buildings are relatively new. Lots of amenities between the three buildings and close to both navy yard and Capitol south metro stops (plus easy walk to the Capitol if you’re working near there). The leasing office was great when I was looking to move there but haven’t really interacted with them much after I moved in. It’s also right on top of a Whole Foods, which is super convenient.


Radioactive-goat t1_j1tldng wrote

I moved from Portland OR to DC in the summer of 2021 and rented a 1br sight unseen and it was fine. Do your research and be persistent with the leasing office. I’m closer to the wharf in SW and rent from Waterside Towers. Old buildings, but big units if you like space.


sagebrusshh t1_j1u26lp wrote

I was in your shoes back in August. Was moving to DC for a job, lived out of state. I found that "virtual tours" (when I could get a hold of people) ended up being YouTube/video links, and not even talking to a real leasing agent sometimes. Just keep that in mind, and if you know anyone locally who can scope it out for you instead, they could go in person to the leasing office and try to get some intel for you


sazzer82 t1_j1u8ugh wrote

You need a realtor in this situation.

I also recommend Bozzuto, they a have a bunch of properties in the area and I’ve had a great experience with them. I just looked at The Vale in Brightwood/Takoma and they have some in your price range.


CanaKitty t1_j1ucye1 wrote

I’m across the river in Nova but live in a big complex. During business hours though, there’s generally a human in the leasing office, and while there is an online schedule option, if you just call the leasing office, you can get a human to help you. They were closed for a few days for the holiday though, so that could be part of your problem everywhere right now, with people away for vacation. Later today places should have humans again.

Though also, part of your problem might be that you’re moving in like a week and trying to find somewhere. For future reference, it’s a good idea to start looking about three months or so before your move.


m2199 OP t1_j1uhtt9 wrote

Yeah I’m gonna try again today. Problem with looking a few months is that I just got the job a week ago lol so it was always going to be a tight turnaround


Available_Witness_69 t1_j1ufzcg wrote

If you absolutely HAVE to do a virtual tour and have no way to come in person, insist on being shown the units that are vacant and ready for move-in, not the model as others have suggested. Since your time frame for when you expect to move to DC sounds like it's relatively soon, you should be able to be shown the unit(s) that you are looking at for particular floor plan types.

But also, you definitely won't be able to get a gauge if important things like: is this flimsy ass construction? How annoying could the sound of the freeway right by the building possibly be during rush hour? Will I hear every conversation my neighbors next door make? Can I tell every time my upstairs neighbor drags their chair across the floor to sit up/down?

things like that the person conducting the virtual tour (by virtual tour I'm assuming you mean when they facetime/zoom/video call you whilst the leasing agent walks through the building) will all too conveniently mask with the sound of them talking or their shoes clacking on the floor every single time 😂


colormecaramel t1_j1upubp wrote

We were stuck in your situation and couldn't see the apartment before moving to DC. Camden Apartments (Navy Yards, outside Nationals Stadium) were the best at doing live tours with an actual representative carrying their cell phone to do a FaceTime tour. That and a number of other variables that worked in our favor (i.e. best price for Sq footage), was the reason we felt confident in making a decision without live seeing the place. Still a huge risk but I've been living here for 6 months and am satisfied and didn't feel I got tricked or deceived by anything.


ehtooh t1_j1sb8ks wrote

DMed you.


Pragmatic_Hedonist t1_j1t53g4 wrote

I lived in the Kelvin and thought their building management and maintenance folks were great. It's right near the stadium, so can be noisy on the front side - but I loved it!


PolymathEquation t1_j1tibf6 wrote

I've been in the same boat, looking for the last few weeks. If you'd like feedback or suggestions, I can recommend a couple areas we liked.


LadyBear91 t1_j1veyvc wrote

Try Alas Lane. They are a small company of property managers who rent out privately owned single family homes in behalf of the homeowners all throughout DC and VA. Due to their size and unique business model, they may be more willing to accommodate a virtual tour request. PM me if you are interested.


ExitRight8467 t1_j1vhs2d wrote

Long time resident in DC here...

You should consider renting from Bernstein Management or Borger Management as an option as well. They have a large portfolio of buildings and they have responsive leasing offices and are well managed. They also offer virtual tours and have floor plans for their properties typically.

If you are stuck having to rent sight unseen, they are generally a pretty safe bet.

Otherwise look for short term rentals.


AsbestosIn0bstetrics t1_j1vstdj wrote

I can tell you who to avoid in the Navy Yard area, just from personal experience.

Insignia on M: they didn't have the time to show me the units that were for rent, then claimed that they were occupied and that I could just walk around the building doing a self-guided tour of the common areas. There were so many red flags that seemed to indicate that this building doesn't have its shit together.

The Yards Collection: I wanted to look at units in two different buildings, which I eventually got to do, but the people in the leasing office were slow as fuck, and seemed completely uninterested in showing units to a potential new tenant.

Dock 79: These people seemed fantastic and it was the nicest place I looked at in the neighborhood that wasn't super expensive and out of my price range. I ended up in an entirely different part of town but I considered that place for a bit. Though I later heard from a coworker who hated living there, dealing with loud parties and constant weed/cigarette smoking that management was incapable of dealing with. So maybe I dodged a bullet there. I guess your experience might vary depending on your neighbors, but that's so hard to gauge during a five minute walkthrough.


llcoolgay9 t1_j1vtd8v wrote

I’m in a very similar situation so I feel for you and wish you the best. If you find success I’d love to know how you did it!


Cold-Sleep-2477 t1_j1w2hvt wrote

Novel South Capitol! Highly rated in Navy Yard.


speculativejester t1_j21qc0q wrote

Hey man. We moved to the Navy Yard just a few weeks ago. We found that the Yards group (owns Foundry, 1212, Estate, and some other complexes) were good. We ended up leasing with Parc Riverside West. All within 5 minute walk to the metro green line.


Typical-Cranberry120 t1_j2b2mh0 wrote

Hey all: our 725 sft apartment is available now, SW DC, 1Br/1BA on 4th st Sw. Dm for details. It's thoroughly spruced up and ready for occupancy. We listed it recently (2d ago) but can deal direct with rent inquiries .

Fits 2 adults (and 1 kid )and the condo has pool.


celj1234 t1_j1ro8rj wrote

What are you looking for out of a virtual tour that you can’t see on the website?


Quelcris_Falconer13 t1_j1rpz53 wrote

The view out the windows for one thing, does the apartment get sunshine or it a direct view into the building Nextdoor?


m2199 OP t1_j1rqe5p wrote

View out of the window, a lot of virtual tours do not show the exact unit or even the exact layout, get a better feel for the amount of space.

I’m moving from NYC and I would never sign for an apartment I have not seen live for many reasons. And in these ‘luxury’ apartments that should not be a problem.


celj1234 t1_j1rqnbx wrote

You don’t get a tour of the exact unit in a lot of in person tours from my experience