Washington metropolitan area
December 4, 2019 Posted in City Guides
Lucy Lucas

Born and raised in Miami Lucy is a content writer with a love of moving and packing. She is an expert at making sure everything fits into her suitcase.

Things to Know Before Moving to Washington DC

So you are thinking about moving to Washington DC. There’s so much to see and do in the nation’s capital. It can be quite overwhelming, too, especially if you are new to the area. Before you start making any plans to relocate to Washington DC, you should know the area at least a bit. To help you get started, we’ve got this comprehensive guide to the city on the Potomac River.

National Mall and Memorial Parks DC is a lovely destination

Get to Know All About Washington DC

The Chocolate City, Federal City, Great White City, the District, or whatever nickname you find most entertaining, DC is a bustling area and home to 685,000 people. Its territory spans over 69 square miles of land, filled with historic buildings, monuments, parks, great neighborhoods, shopping centers, etc. Relocating to Washington DC, you will find that it is a very multicultural area with various ethnicities and economic backgrounds – a melting pot is very much an understatement. As a newcomer to this fantastic area, you will have plenty of opportunities to make a decent and satisfying life with little to no relocation depression – you will be far too busy here.

All About the Nation’s Capital in One Place

Ever wondered what it is like to stay in Washington, DC? Check out this video and get familiar with our capital’s main attractions.

Is it Expensive to Live in DC?

Though DC isn’t on the list of top 10 most prominent cities in the US, it is still a relatively expensive place. The cost of living in Washington, DC, grew to 56% higher than the national average within the past decade. To live comfortably, you will need to get a decent job and make $50k or more annually, mostly due to the increased housing cost. Aside from having to hire a long-distance moving company, DC can be costly. Whatever your reasons to move to the nation’s capital may be, we recommend against moving to Washington without a job. Having a good salary is vital to living in the nation’s capital.

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What Salary Do you Need to Live in Washington DC

As we mentioned before, to have a comfortable life in the nation’s capital, you will have to make $50k or more. However, depending on where you are staying, it can quickly go up to $80k. You’ll have to factor in rent and mortgage, utilities, transportation, groceries, healthcare, leisure, etc. If you have a family of four , the cost nearly doubles, and you are looking at paying up to $140k to $160k annually. The average cost of living is $4,100 per month for a four-person household, not including rent or housing payments. The average cost for a single person is $1,120 per month, not including rent or associated payments. For a bit of moving to Washington DC advice, you will need to know how to find a job when moving to another state.

calculator with cost written on it Though it isn't as expensive as L.A. or NYC, DC can still be pricey and you should get to understand the cost of living before you move.

Finding a Job in Washington DC

Looking for a new job in the nation’s capital is much like looking for an interstate moving company. It’s well worth it if you find the right one, but it will take a lot of research and work on your end to get it. We don’t want to give you too much anxiety about moving out to DC, but you should know that D.C. is considered to be one of the most career competitive cities in the US today. In short, you need to bring your A-game if you want to bring in the big bucks. Remember, you are moving to a big city.

Washington DC’s Biggest Job Markets

It’s often said that preparation is key for how to get a job before you move – they should’ve added having great connections as well. Having both is a much more streamlined way of making sure you land a decent job in a stable career path that will lead you to a fruitful life in the nation’s capital. Here is a list of the biggest and most lucrative career fields:

  • Healthcare – DC is big on healthcare and offers many job opportunities for those who practice medicine. For many doctors and surgeons, the annual salary can be just over $200,000. Assuming you aren’t a doctor, you can find entry-level jobs at many clinics and hospitals for up to $50,000 annually. The field of healthcare also has jobs that require relocation, so depending on what your position is you might end up having to transfer to many parts of DC.
  • Government – DC often has vacancies for people looking to work in the local, state, and federal level positions. The highest paying salaries go to judges, magistrates, and magistrate judges, which can be up to $187,000 annually. Entry-level positions are usually around $40,000 to $50,000 annually.
  • Computer Management and IT – This is quite a versatile field of work as you can go into almost any other area with it. Computer systems and information managers can make up to $163,000 annually, and an entry-level position can be $108,000.

Securing a decent paying job will give you a significant leg up if you are moving to another state alone. Once you’ve guaranteed that job, you can focus on figuring out how and where you are going to find housing.

Dollar bills The job market is open in DC for those willing to put forth their best effort.

Housing and Rent in DC

To get proper housing, you will need to know how to organize important papers for relocating to Washington, DC. Besides the money, you will have to have personal documents for purchasing and renting property. If you are moving a business to another state and looking to find a vacant property to set up shop in, that’s a different monster entirely. Let’s stick with getting to know how to purchase and rent housing and other house hunting tips.

Rules and Regulations for Purchasing and Renting Housing in DC

The median home value in DC is $569,000, and depending on your mortgage plan and area, it can go up or down – we said that the capital is economically diverse. If you are looking to purchase a home in DC, there are some requirements you need to meet. You’ll need different forms of government identification, a reputable real estate agent, a full copy of your credit history and current score, property buyers insurance, a security deposit, etc. Owning property is an investment, and you have to know how the real estate market works for you in D.C.

Renting is a bit less complicated, and much less expensive, but you still have a fair amount of hoops to jump through. Firstly, you will need to have all of your paperwork to beat out all the other would-be tenants. The best time of the year to move in DC is during the winter months, and you should schedule showings one and a half months in advance if you’re looking to reduce costs when moving. The median rent value is $1,500, which is subject to change based on your neighborhood.

One hand giving keys to another Housing and rental in DC is accessible, but you have to come prepared

The Best Neighborhoods to Relocate to in Washington DC

Safety, diversity, fair pricing, beautiful surroundings, and friendly neighbors are everything people could want when relocating. We’re willing to assume that you are looking for the best Washington, DC neighborhoods. You are in luck because DC has excellent choices for you to choose from.

The Neighborhood of Adams Morgan

With a population of 11,200, located north of downtown, Adams Morgan is a great neighborhood that gives its residents a fun, but dense urban feel. Perfect for young professionals and families, this area is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bars, parks, and excellent school choices for children. The median home value here is $626,000, and the rent value is just over $2,000.

Life in Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is one of the best places to live in Washington, DC, especially for young professionals. Dupont Circle is known for having a lot of eligible singles going in and out of the neighborhood. There are plenty of great nightlife activities to enjoy, and it is just north of downtown DC. The median home value here is $669,000, and the rent value is $2,110.

Find a Home in Georgetown

Located northeast of downtown, along the lower part of the Potomac River, this excellent neighborhood is home to over 14,000 happy residents. They get to enjoy an urban experience with amazing parks, schools, programs, and activities, with many bars and restaurants for young professionals. The median home value is $1,100,000 and the rent value is $2,600.

Having some insight into some great locations to stay in, why not check out some of the fun and exciting things in the nation’s capital?

rows of houses DC neighborhoods are safe, friendly, and with easy access to downtown

Is it Safe to Live in Washington DC

Whether you’re relocating to inner-city DC or moving to the suburbs, safety is an essential criterion for anybody. If you’re relocating to Washington, DC, you should understand that it’s a central metropolitan area, and like most, there are areas you should be careful of. To ensure your safety, be sure to take the proper precautions when getting around. Be sure to use online sources to find out where the trouble spots in the area are located. Overall, you will be very safe, and you won’t have to worry about running into trouble.

A security officer Following regular safety precautions in the city is more than enough to keep you safe

Schools in Washington DC

The US capital has an excellent school system, with 48,000 students currently enrolled in 113 different public schools. There are also 39,000 students enrolled in 115 charter schools. These schools offer many excellent academic programs to ensure that every child is given the greatest opportunity to have an excellent education. Check out some of these top-rated schools to enroll your children:

  • Arlington Traditional Elementary School – Located in DC’s suburb of Arlington, ATES offers excellent programs for young students in grades 1-5 with excellent staff and teachers. Your kids will get a sufficient education here as there is both a 95% reading and math proficiency.
  • Washington Latin Public Charter School – One of DC’s top-rated public middle schools offers many excellent academic programs and has a 12:1 student to teacher ratio. There are 370 currently enrolled children, grades 5-8.
  • The School Without Walls High School – Show your penguin pride at TSWWH! This high school is located just south of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood in DC. Rated as the number 1 magnet school in the capital, it offers excellent programs and has a 95% graduation rate.
A classroom The DC school system is excellent for students of all ages.

Public Transportation in DC

DC is a very walkable place where getting to your destination isn’t very hard. You can also bike, as there are many bike lanes and trails that can take you all around the area. Although the nation’s capital is very walkable, there is a very accessible public transportation system, the Metro.

Metro Bus, Metro Rail, and Metro Access Services

Understanding the metro service is not at all problematic, and after relocating to the nation’s capital, it won’t take long until you’re navigating like a pro. The bus system has 325 routes weaving their way around the metropolitan area, and a ticket only costs $1.

The Metrorail system has 91 stops with six color-coded lines. There are different ticket options, and prices start at $1.75 up to $10 for multiple rides.

MetroAccess is a paratransit service that offers those who are physically impaired or disabled public transportation. Each person who uses MetroAccess must have a pass, and you will have to apply for it and pass for eligibility.

Subway car interior The DC public transportation system is easy to navigate and very accessible throughout the area.

Things to Do and Enjoy in DC

With all of this planning, scheduling, and hiring long-distance moving services, it can be stressful. But something you can look forward to is that there are easy methods for dealing with moving stress. After relocating to Washington DC, you’ll find that the capital has fun activities for kids and a fantastic nightlife experience for young professionals, and if you’re moving with dogs there are plenty of dog parks and other animal friendly facilities you can visit.

The Best Restaurants in the D.C. Area

If you are looking to find some good grub in the capital, whether for dining out or just something quick, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some of the best restaurants to go to in the area:

  • Taqueria Habanero – Enjoy some of D.C.’s best Mexican cuisine located east of the Northwest Washington neighborhood.
  • Thip Khao – A family restaurant that serves excellent Lao cuisine and is located just north of Columbia Heights.
  • Queen’s English – Founded by a couple of NYC expats, Queen’s English is a great place to enjoy Chinese inspired cuisine for lunch. They are located on the west side of the Parkview neighborhood.

DC Activities for Kids and Families

If you’re looking for fun activities for the whole family, the capital is filled with fun things to do. There are excellent choices for museums, programs, parks, and performances for kids. Check out some of these great options:

  • Six Flags America – Six Flags is one of the funniest and oldest amusement parks located only 30 minutes from downtown DC. Six Flags has several locations throughout the country and is filled with roller coasters, games, performances, great food, etc. This amusement park experience will keep your kids talking about it for days.
  • Imagination Stage – The Imagination stage is excellent for enjoying fun stage performances, from musicals to full plays, and even offers course programs where your kids can participate. A great summer experience for you and your kids.
  • The International Spy Museum – Take your kids to a museum they’ll never forget at the International Spy Museum. A one of a kind experience where you will use state of the art technology to take on an “Undercover” mission.

Enjoying DC Nightlife

When the day has ended, and the kids have gone to bed, there are still plenty of things to do in the area late at night and get social if you plan on making friends in a new city. Check out these exciting places to have some late night fun:

  • Echostage – The Echostage is a great place to enjoy live music from talents all over the nation and dance the night away. The facility is massive with plenty of room to get in, and you can get drinks from either of the 60-foot cars they have. This great nightclub is located just south of Langdon.
  • SAX Lounge and Cocktail Bar – Located in DC’s downtown area, SAX is excellent if you’re looking for a more calm and classy night out. You can enjoy the many great cocktails they serve and eat some of their delectable French finger food. They also have jazz and burlesque performances that you can enjoy.
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar – If you’re looking for a night to eat, drink and watch the game, you can come most days of the week. But Nellie’s turns into an entirely different place on Saturdays and Sundays where you can enjoy many of the fun games and even dancing. It’s also an excellent location for the LGBTQ community, and you can also enjoy Drag shows scheduled throughout the week.
A concert Spend your free time at some of the most fun places in DC

How Much Does it Cost to Move to DC?

Now that you’ve gotten much more familiar with the nation’s capital, you will have a much better time planning your move. But, you will need to know how much it costs to move. Assuming you have a lot of stuff to bring with you, you will have to contact cross country movers to transfer your property. A typical long-distance move can cost over $1,500 depending on distance and if you’ve hired any services, like packing services or packing materials for moving, for instance. Along with travel expenses, insurance payments, etc. it can be pricey, but it’s worth it. When talking about insurance, don’t forget to create a photo inventory of the items you want to insure. You might also have to hire for auto shipping services if you want to transport your car across the country. Don’t forget to check up on how does car shipping work. Though it might seem like a hefty cost, you’ll be glad you made the investment in your new life in Washington no matter if you are relocating for a relationship or in pursuit of your dreams.


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