then you could get a job making $35,000 a year and still not be able to afford it!
But yes, there's a reason I currently live where I do--the traffic. Going against traffic is awesome, but between 5:30-7pm is still a disater no matter where you are. Luckily my drive to work is about 10-15min in traffic.
My wife used to cummute to DC, just across the washington bridge off 12th street SW. This is a 5 mile drive and could take close to 1 hour, but it still beats the metro.
The main thing to try to do is avoid the highways. I used to drive from N alrington Duke street and it was easy driving N/S on small streets. Even now I drive E/W paralling 66 without a hitch.
In the area marked "buddy wants to live here," is where I spend most of my time. I'm still not confortable in this area. It's all a bit run down, the area around Biley's Crossroads is a cultural mind-f. Honestly, if you look up schools north and south of route 50 in that area, you'll see why I stay live above 50. It's like the Mason Dixon line of Arlington/Falls Church.
Also I probably wouldn't live above 267, the communte would get out of hand too far north, and I don't think there would be issue down in the Burke area. Keep in mind this is all relative.
And don't get me wrong, there's plenty of nice stuff around, I'm just jaded. I've lived in the area since 2005 and I've grown tired of it--I'm not used to it, I've lived in big planned neighborhoods my whole life. We moved here specifically so it was easy access to DC while my wife worked there. She since got a job outside the beltway, along with me, so we plan to move outside the beltway as well and deal with traffic. I might begin to start listening to books on CD again...so that's a bonus for me
I also used to live right where you see "50" in the little route symbol above Arlington. That's a pretty cool area. Very modern and upscale...but there's no houses that will meet his criteria there, and the atmosphere is urban. I head out that way a lot for a few food places and some shopping, but its a PITA to find parking and it's crowded because it's the only place in arlington to do anything and everything is smaller in scale due to the limits of building.
But I think the main dissapointment inside the beltway is the older homes--a lot of the neighborhoods our nince (like mine and y8s') but it's rare to find a garage. The ones with, tend to be single car ranch style split-level houses, and tend to be in questionable neighborhoods. Even if you do find one, you'll be priced out of the market, or not happy with the surrounding shopping areas.
If he looked in the Vienna/Idylwood area, I'm sure he could find something and the commute wouldn't be bad whatsoever, I was looking up there even my wife were to stay in DC. Also the area Scottfw says he lives...you can cut through annadale road to 50 from his house and make good time to the Pentagon.
The area down by Duke St./Annadale might have good prospects as well, and Duke street has a bit more to offer...but keep in mind it's a mix of commerical and industrial area with again, tons and tons of culture mixed in... ie. chain link fences and businesses in forgien languages.