The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, is one of the world’s top medical research centers. Gaining employment or conducting research at NIH is a dream for many in the scientific and medical communities because of the facility’s resources, but housing remains a hurdle.
A significant issue is that some researchers only require short-term housing, so purchasing a home or apartment in the region isn’t viable. This scenario creates challenges as the Greater Washington, D.C., area expands. It is possible, however, to commute between Bethesda and Washington, D.C., driving significant demand for rental housing.
Those looking to relocate to Bethesda because of NIH do have options if they know where to look. This guide explains how to find NIH housing and examines the property types available in the community.
Types of Housing Near NIH
Bethesda is home to over 65,000 people and has all the housing types you’d expect in a community of that size. It’s also worth noting that its neighborhoods expand a fair distance west from NIH, so transportation can be an issue in some areas. Here’s what to expect with a few common types of housing in the area:
Apartments Near NIH
Woodmont Triangle sits just south of the NIH campus and is full of apartment buildings. Studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments are typically available, so you’ll have options based on the space you need and how many people will live there. Basement suite apartments are abundant in areas farther from campus, as well.
Townhomes for Rent Near NIH
There are townhomes and condos in Woodmont Triangle, too, or you can cross Wisconsin Avenue for more options. The area on the other side of Wisconsin Avenue is technically in Chevy Chase, MD, but it’s within easy commuting distance of NIH.
Houses for Rent Near NIH
It’s possible to find homes for rent near NIH, as the campus sits in the middle of a primarily residential area. This is an incredibly desirable location in which to live, though, so you’ll have to get lucky or be persistent if you want to rent right by campus. It’s sometimes easier to find houses for rent in the residential neighborhood northeast of the main campus.
It’s possible to find any housing type you’re seeking in Bethesda, but your search could come with challenges. Developing a strategy and following some tips gives you the best chance of success.
5 Tips for Finding Housing Near NIH
Bethesda’s rental market is competitive, especially if you have a specific property type or neighborhood in mind. Following some tips can make the search far more manageable. Here are five suggestions worth considering:
1. Create a Budget
The first step in your search should involve determining how much you can spend. Bethesda has a wide range of apartments for rent, so your budget will help determine which buildings and locations are possibilities for you.
2. Remain Flexible
Flexibility is vital because there’s no guarantee you’ll find the rental type you want in your desired neighborhood at a price point that fits your budget. You might have to make some compromises, so preparing yourself for that possibility before you begin can make the transition far more manageable.
3. Consider Outlying Areas
You might discover in your search that living in a neighboring community is more viable. North Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, and Rockville are options worth considering if you have a vehicle and don’t mind a daily commute. The Medical Center metro station makes commuting to and from many of these surrounding towns and cities easy without a car.
4. Apply for FAES Housing
The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) provides private bedrooms within houses for some NIH research scholars. You might have to share the home with up to four other researchers, but the result is an affordable place to stay while spending time at NIH. You’ll have to apply for this housing early, and space isn’t always available, but it’s worth a look if you’re searching for a short-term housing option.
5. Compare Furnished and Utility-Included Options
The least expensive rental property won’t always cost less. Many rentals in Bethesda include utilities and furniture, which can bring your total cost down at the end of the month. Furnished apartments eliminate the hassle and expense of having to buy furniture and other necessities, too.
These tips can help you find a rental property near NIH that meets your budget and location needs. You don’t have to settle for the first apartment or townhouse you come across because you do have options.
Potential Problems When Looking for NIH Housing
Knowing about some issues you might encounter while seeking NIH housing can aid the process. Certain pitfalls can make your time at the campus more challenging than necessary. Keep an eye out for these issues:
Bethesda is a well-educated and professional community, so you don’t have to worry about rowdy college kids making noise. Some buildings could have problem tenants, though, and you don’t want the noise to hinder your research. Visiting the building and ensuring you can work there at night is advisable before signing a lease.
You should know that Bethesda is a wealthy community, so prices could be on the higher end of things. The median gross rent was $2,075 between 2016 and 2020. You’ll still want to watch for price gougers, who typically overcharge during periods of low inventory.
Lack of Transportation
Confirming you have a way to get around before leasing an apartment can eliminate many problems. Bethesda has a great train station for commuting between other towns and cities and a local transit system that travels between its various neighborhoods. Ensure you have a way to get around, especially if you can’t find an apartment near NIH.
These problems are largely avoidable if you’re careful throughout your search. Seeking professional assistance is also an option as you relocate to Bethesda.
Get Help Finding the Perfect Rental for You
These tips provide a solid starting point as you search for NIH housing in Bethesda. You can also seek the services of a local real estate professional who can help narrow your search based on property type, neighborhood, and budget, streamlining the entire process.
Nomadic Real Estate brings property owners and renters together in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. We can help you find housing that meets your needs while you’re working or researching at NIH. Contact Nomadic Real Estate for more information on our NIH property rentals.