The US capital is probably one of the most famous cities in the States, the place where its main institutions such as the White House, Capitol Building and the Supreme Court are located. It’s no wonder you are thinking about moving to Washington DC – there are thousands of people who share your thoughts – join the crowd.
But before you even start considering a long-distance relocation to this beautiful city and leave your current home, take into account the pros and cons of making such a decision. To do that, you should get familiar with the main aspects of living in this beautiful capital. Don’t forget that you will be overwhelmed with the tiresome packing process, the endless search for the right moving supplies and who knows what else, especially if you don’t have professional movers by your side to guide you. The sooner you start, the better it will be.
Get to know more about its history, excellent food, and wine, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision before you move to DC. Do you have the financial capacity to continue your life in this well-known city? It’s time to find out!
Before you finalize your decision and figure out how to move, have an honest conversation with your loved ones, and let them participate in the decision making. Living in DC will be different from the place you originally grew up in. Even if you come from a huge place like NYC, the capital will give you a different life perspective. Nonetheless, like anything in life, it takes time to get used to it, and you will be just fine. Don’t forget that organizing the relocation process and learning how to pack your apartment shouldn’t be done in a hurry – start the arrangements ahead of the schedule. It might also be a good idea to ask someone professional to guide you through this intricate process. If you are moving for the first time, take into account the budget.
Sometimes, you cannot afford the luxury of raising your kids in a small, suburban area where there are a lot of parks and lower crime rates. If moving to a small town is not an option and you have to choose a big metropolis as your home, then you have to give your best to make everything around you work. The good news is that the capital has low crime rates – your kids will be safer here than in any other metropolis. And you can easily find some of the best places to live in Washington DC. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why DC is a fantastic place to live in.
There are a lot of kindergartens with free places. The Washington DC public schools are some of the best ones in the states. Whether your kids have to attend a high school or they are getting ready to start college, they will find the best options in DC.
When it comes to high education opportunities, you will have no reason to worry – this metropolis has some of the best libraries and university options – your kids will have a chance to receive a world-class education. The capital is alive and vibrant, and there is always something new going on.
Unless you already have a job waiting for you, you might want to save some money before you start from scratch in your chosen place. Even though there is a vast number of opportunities, sometimes you have to wait a bit until you find a job. If you are relocating with your family, you need to think ahead. No rushing! Minimize the level of stress by settling everything you can before you move.
If you’re relocating from a place that is less crowded and less urban, you’re going to experience something entirely different here. If you plan on shipping your vehicle or driving it to your future home, you should be prepared for some serious traffic jams. The frustration levels can skyrocket when you are stuck in a crowded street with automobiles all around you.
However, there are other commuting options, and the metro lines are excellent. So excellent actually that many residents prefer taking a metro to driving a car. After a month spent here, you will figure out what works best for you. Find a commuting solution that suits you best and navigate around the place with the minimum amount of stress.
Large crowds are a feature of living in DC. As you already know, the place is an important historical hub, and many tourists from all around the world visit the capital every year. This can get on your nerves sometimes. Nonetheless, it does give a feeling of a place that never sleeps. You will feel less lonely with so many people around you.
Has anyone told you about the sacred rule of Washington DC? It’s always like this – walk left, stand right. Escalator queues can sometimes be very long. Since this is an urban place where people are always in a rush, you will want to move right to let the others pass. Don’t stand in the way of busy commuters. One of those days, you will become just like them.
How much do you need to earn to afford living here – this is probably the most important information you will need. Taking into account that this is the capital of the US, you pretty much have your answer. We are sorry to be the ones sharing the bad news, but this is one expensive metropolis. Here you can find many wealthy residents, which contributes to the high costs. The average cost of living in Washington DC of a single-family home is around $417,400. It is a lot, we know! The fact is that the home buying market is constantly soaring in DC, and there are strong annual rates.
If you are thinking about what do you need to rent an apartment, you should be aware that you will pay around $2,785 for a two-bedroom flat. The good news about this metropolis is that even though the rents are high, you won’t pay too much for the utilities. Before you commence the long-distance relocation operation, check the options available for you and your family and the size of the apartment you can rent. If the above-mentioned costs seem reasonable to you and within your means, there is no reason to worry at all. Of course, you cannot really settle for a studio if you are moving with your family. That minimizes some renting options.
If you are expecting New York grocery prices, you are completely wrong. Groceries here are not that costly, but they are still far from cheap. The minimum you will need for food per day is around $20, which equals to about $600 per month. Still, this is the minimum. You cannot always live on the edge of existence and save every dollar to buy less expensive products. You’ll probably want to eat out sometimes, and there are plenty of best restaurants in Washington DC to choose from.
You can expect to pay around $20 in a less expensive place, whereas a top-notch restaurant can charge up to $75 per meal. Before you visit the place, you would probably need to take a look at the online menu and the pricing breakdown. In case you are eager to take out your loved ones for a nice dinner, pick carefully the restaurant you will visit.
One of the most crucial things to consider when planning your relocation is where exactly you’ll live once you reach the capital. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Washington DC in its excellent neighborhoods. Depending on particular needs and expectations, people pick different places to call home. To help you find your perfect area in DC, we suggest the following neighborhoods to choose from:
The residents of DC have to pay federal income taxes and also a progressive District Income Tax of 4% to 8.95%. The good news is that property taxes are quite low, with an average rate of 0.56%. DC is not a state, and it doesn’t even have a vote in Congress, but it certainly has a relatively high cost of living.
This is a capital that has two distinct seasons – humid and boiling summer days and mild winter days. If it snows more than a few inches, get ready for a total collapse and metro delays. The capital is just not used to big blizzards, so it’s easier to shut everything down. You need warm winter clothes during the winter days, but summer is the season where it heats up! The steamy and scorching air is not the most pleasant during the hot July days, but you do get used to it eventually. You will enjoy the spring and fall even if you originally come from a different climate.
You have probably heard about DC’s cherry blossoms. This is something spectacular, indeed. There is the annual festival in celebration of Yoshino trees – always a cause for a big outdoor party in DC. This is a time when you can expect crowded streets and masses of people everywhere, sometimes more than 1.5 million visitors. Still, the beauty of these trees will make it worthwhile. If you choose to live in this city, be sure not to miss this festival.
This is a diverse and ethnically mixed city with residents from different parts of the world. Since this is the hub of politicians and lobbyists, there is a lot of boasting about one’s expenses and savings accounts.
If you enjoy shopping, you will also enjoy DC. The city’s oldest neighborhood – Georgetown– has a number of designers’ boutiques. There you will truly enjoy the scenic shopping with many picturesque restaurants. Famous retail centers include Georgetown Park and Washington Harbor. There is also a Georgetown Flea Market if you are looking for a selection of the finest antiques, jewelry pieces, books, and other stuff.
The nightlife in DC is diverse indeed. Almost every travel guide would mention Atlas District as one of the coolest areas. Other nice nightlife entertainment areas include Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. Penn Quarter is also popular – it offers a wide array of wines and lounge bars.
DC is all about brunching. If you love it – you will enjoy living here. Restaurants in the Washington DC neighborhoods which have a higher number of younger residents are usually overbooked during the weekend. If you are aiming for certain menu options, make your reservation on time. There are frequent happy hours with discounts.
If you want to get away from the city noise and spend some time outdoors with your family, you don’t even need a car. DC is a bike-friendly place, one of the friendliest in the states. Biking together or visiting some of the nearby attractions on the bike is common for families.
If you are looking for getaway options, go to Baltimore or Richmond. You can also check wineries in Virginia, go hiking in West Virginia, or head to the beach in Delaware. There are so many choices – it’s up to you to decide what suits you best. Even if you choose to stay in town, you can find many amazing parks and picnic places to visit.
For all those who love history, life in DC will be amazing for sure. Some of the major social movements took place here, and the capital played an important role in civil rights history. It is also important to stress out its role in the labor movement and the women’s suffrage movement.
Yes, you will pay a lot in taxes. However, you will pay nothing to visit the world-class museums in DC. Most of the museums here are free – take advantage of this offer! In this artistic US center, you will also attend regular exhibitions, film screening and enjoy the free tours in many museums.