8 Things to Know Before Moving to Washington, DC


Are you thinking about moving to Washington, DC? Unsure about what to expect once you settle into the city?

There’s no denying that Washington DC has a very unique reputation as the center of the U.S. government and as one of the most interesting cities on the East Coast. However, it’s tough for outsiders to know what to expect once they move to the city. There are a lot of surprises about life in the area that most residents only experience once they settle in.

Fortunately, we’re here to prepare you. Here are the 8 top things you should know before moving to Washington DC.

  1. It’s Not Cheap

The first thing to realize about Washington DC is that costs are high. There is a high cost of living in the city and many of the residents are quite wealthy. 

If you’re moving to the area for a job, it’s wise to take a look at the city’s cost of living along with what your salary will be. You may find that you’re better off staying where you are even if your salary is actually lower where you currently live.

A one-bedroom apartment in DC is likely to cost you over $1,500 a month and median home prices are over $600,000. You might have to do some digging to find homes for sale that are right for you. Other costs can be high as well, so you’ll want to do your research to make sure that you are well prepared for what to expect.

  1. There Are a Lot of Transport Options

While the cost of living is high in DC, you’ll be happy to learn that there are plenty of options for getting around the city. 

Like in most American cities, driving is very common, but Washington DC also has one of the best transit systems in the country. The Metro covers quite a bit of the city, but you can also take the bus if you need to go further out of town.

Additionally, you’ll also be able to easily get around by walking or biking. The street grid system is pretty easy to handle, so it’s easy to get your bearings whenever you need to.

  1. Traffic Can Be Frustrating

Since many people drive in Washington DC, this also means that traffic can be a headache. Road rage is real, and getting to the city or back home again during your commute can be difficult. 

If you’re not used to the frustration of heavy traffic in your current city, DC’s traffic is one more thing you’ll have to get used to once you’re living in the nation’s capital.

  1. Skyscrapers Are Scarce

An interesting thing to note about Washington DC. is that skyscrapers are non-existent. City codes prevent the construction of tall buildings in the city, and while this has its benefits, it also has some serious drawbacks as well.

The lack of tall buildings is one of the things that contributes to the high cost of living and leads to a lack of housing in the area. If you’re moving to DC, this particular quirk might catch you by surprise.

  1. DC Statehood is Probably Coming

While it may not affect your everyday life too much just yet, it’s worth noting that DC statehood is likely around the corner. There is growing support in the city for making Washington, DC a state, and you’ll likely hear about it once you settle in the town. 

A large majority of residents are eager for Washington DC to become a state, and it’s probably only a matter of time until it happens. Once you arrive in the city and start mingling with the locals, you may find yourself joining the movement as well.

  1. There is No Shortage of Free Museums

Another thing that you should know about Washington DC is that there is no shortage of museums to visit in the city. Even better is that most of them are free to visit.

The museums in the city are world-class and have plenty to offer both residents and tourists alike. The area’s museums host interesting exhibitions as well as plenty of free events on a regular basis.

While the city itself is not cheap, the cultural side of things will be covered when you live in DC The many free museums are just one of the perks of living in this fantastic city.

  1. You’ll See Plenty of Tourists

While there is no shortage of great cultural offerings and historical sites to discover in Washington DC, this also means that they are plenty of tourists as well. People come from the world round in order to see the sights and sounds of the USA’s capital city. 

Although it can be tricky managing your morning commute with plenty of tourists around blocking up the paths, it’s just one of the side effects of living in one of the greatest cities in the world. However, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for it, otherwise, you may start getting frustrated quickly.

  1. There’s More Than Meets the Eye

Although Washington DC has a reputation as the U.S. capital, the city has a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. All types of industries make their home in the city. There is a robust technology scene and hospitality and tourism are thriving. On top of all this, there’s also a killer music scene and art scene to participate in and experience for yourself.

While you’re likely to meet some aspiring politicians when you’re living in Washington DC, the city also has a lot more to it and you’ll have time to experience it all once you’re a resident.

Preparing Yourself For Moving to Washington, DC

If you’re thinking about moving to Washington, DC, you need to have an idea of what to expect. While there are plenty of more exciting discoveries that await you besides those listed above, the information above will set you out on the right foot and prepare you for life in the city.

Want to learn more about the best cities in the U.S.? Take a look at our other blog posts now to find out more interesting information, tips, and guides.


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