Good place to live, but watch out for Rent Increases! My wife and I lived at Sheffield Court for three years ('08-'11), so we had a long experience with the place. I would say right off the bat that the value we were getting diminished significantly with the years, but not because the place changed any (it did not) but because the rent went up SIGNIFICANTLY. So my quick review is - good if you like the initial rent you are offered, but don't get used to it - we were offered a 10% rent increase in 2009; a 12% increase in 2010; and a whopping 17% increase in 2011 (which we declined and we left--I don't know if everyone else's salaries were skyrocketing during the recession, but ours sure weren't, so they basically priced us right out of our apartment). That said, we really did enjoy living there. Aimee Bouitteax, the property manager, is extremely helpful and easy to work with. The office staff varies, but if you have an issue you can always go to Aimee (which isn't the case everywhere) and when at all possible she fixes it for you. She even helped us out after we had moved to a different place, so that speaks pretty highly about her.
Also the location and community life is pretty good. My wife and I walk everywhere, so a 0.8 mile walk to the metro is no big deal, and it's pretty close to the restaurants and nightlife of Clarendon/Courthouse. Also the office staff hosts a community get-together about once a month, which is a good way to mingle with neighbors. Finally, they are VERY pet friendly, even having a little dog park to walk your dog, so it's good for that too.
So I would say, this is a good place to live if you don't plan to be there very long and won't be risking a series of large rent increases. The apartments themselves are very liveable, and while you won't mistake it for the Ritz Carlton, it reminds me of everywhere else I've ever lived or visited in NOVA so what's the difference. We did have some problems with mold, insects, and one rat, but if you live in an urban environment long enough that happens, and they took care of it right away.
The bad points outweighed the good. They were not honest about the utilities. I was told that I would only be responsible for cable/electric but I was billed for water, sewage, garbage, and the typical cable and electric/gas. I was also told that they replace carpet between each tenant but was charged for carpet replacement for pre-existing carpet damage. We had a longlasting flea problem even though we did not have an outdoor pet. A few small cockroaches were found in the kitchen even though we were on the second floor. Rats near the garbage area; fridge leaked multiple times throughout the year, oven did not work properly, VERY close to Fort Myer which means you can hear bugles and gun shots at random times, very old tile in the bathroom which was falling apart and molded easily! The price was VERY high in comparison to the location, age, and quality. Apartment has some good points: decent floorplan, storage, community center (pool, movie room, gym), washer/dryer in unit, and garden style layout.
I like the place, and it's definitely a mixed bag. I am a 25 year old single male, so that is the perspective this is coming from. Good- Location- It's easy to walk to Clarendon or get to the metro, with around a ten minute walk in either direction. There's a pizza place right behind the complex, and it's right next to Rt 50 and 10th. If you work/go out in NOVA or Georgetown/Midtown, the location is really good (I've worked in both areas). Rent- I've seen a lot of complaints on this for rent, but honestly I've gotten really good deals overall. I have have lived in two apartments in the complex, both above average size for what they were, and my rent wasn't bad at all for either. Rent is entirely a subjective matter though, and it does change drastically depending on when you move in (most apartment complexes are like this). I moved in during the winter, and it helped keep my rent lower than most. I know that there are multiple apartments in the complex that have higher rent and are smaller. Gym/social area- It is a small gym, but it is free and it doesn't lock until midnight. That makes it a big plus for me because I like to work out late at night, and wouldn't be able to otherwise. Also, any free shuffleboard is better than no shuffleboard any day of the week. The same goes for darts, pool, swimming, and cheap pinball. I'm not a fan of the $250 deposit for the off hours movie room though. Dogs- If you like dogs, this place is very receptive. Noise- Hasn't been a problem, and the only way I've heard my neighbors is hearing them through the doors while I was in the hall. I could also just have quiet neighbors, in which case, thanks. Washer and dryer in the apartment- Some people take this as a given in all apartment complexes. It's not. I love having them. Neutral- Parking- Yes, it can suck, but so does parking for most of NOVA. If you leave later at night, you won't have a close spot when you get back. I take this as par for the course. However, the parking has to be bad for anyone with a big car. The spots are skinny. Kitchen- My first apartment had a kitchen and bathroom that looked like it pre-dated my birth by ten years. The second one actually seems somewhat new. Polar opposites in terms of experiences here. Bad- Pests-While I've never seen the mice other people mentioned in my 3 years here, I have seen the ginormous white centipede things and had the occassional cockroach that you need a louisville slugger and three warm up swings to kill. Oddly enough, I only saw them in the first apartment. I have yet to see any in the second one, and hopefully it stays that way. Old pipes and floor- I don't know if anyone else has this issue, but my floor is definitely somewhat warped. It bows in the middle. I honestly don't care all that much, but I know a lot of people would. It has only been like this in the second apartment. Also, anytime I use the water in my apartment, it creaks and makes noises like a pipe is about to explode in the wall. The bottom line is that the buildings are old, and this isn't going to change. You should know this going in (Just look at the buildings). Overall, I really do like the place, as have people I have had visit/stay over. The parking can stink, and thank god for girls that aren't scared by occassional yorkie-sized roaches, because they are there and you do see them. The good has far outwieghed the bad while I've been there, and I've always felt like my rent was good for what I have had. I've lived in nicer and in worse, and for any young adults, it strikes a good balance between what you would really want and what you can pay for and still have a life. Obviously other people have taken stronger pro or con stances on the place, but in my personal experience, it has been a nice place to live.
Great place to live! Dog friendly. Nice pool and gym.