As the capital city of the United States, Washington, DC is the epicenter of political activities. This city is the main place to be for those who want to move up the ladder in a political career. However, there are many other positive features about this wonderful city that make it the perfect place for those who are considering a move from their current environment. Here are some of the most important things to consider before taking the leap to move to Washington, DC:
Brace yourself for the cost of living
As with most major cities, the concept of supply and demand drives up the cost of living. With Washington, D.C being one of the most in-demand places to live, it should come as no surprise that it is the eighth most expensive city in the U.S. Finding an affordable place to live can be quite a challenge. In 2019, the median home price in the D.C. metro area was $417,400, which was more expensive than New York City at $403,900. The high cost of homes doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for the city’s current residents as 60% of them are homeowners.
When it comes to renting, the other 40% of the city’s residents pay an average of $1,546 for a 2-bedroom apartment, which is almost $400 higher than the national average. When apartment or home hunting, it is best to get an early start. Depending on how much advance notice you have for your move, you should begin looking for housing as soon as possible. If you are worried about being able to buy or rent in the heart of the city, then you can look into moving close by instead. If you will be working in Washington, D.C., then living in a community from a nearby area such as Arlington can provide a great balance between affordability and close proximity to city living.
The job market is continually thriving
Quite a large number of Washington, D.C residents are employed by the local or federal government. According to Bruck Law, for the first time in four years, the demand for workers in the city is growing faster than anywhere else in the United States. Based on US News 2018 analysis, “the region also attracts those looking for work in education and health services, with the region's public school districts, universities and hospitals employing a large number of residents.”
Traffic may be bad, but there are multiple ways to get around
Dealing with traffic congestion is just one of the features of living in a major city. The upside to this is that there are numerous options for getting around the city that don’t involve wasting time dealing with endless lines in traffic. There is a reliable public transportation system in addition to electric scooters, electric bikes, and electric mopeds. Ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber are also very popular in the area. If you are committed to having a car in Washington, D.C., you are not alone. Just be prepared to spend hours of your life dealing with traffic. Even though the city offers so many transportation options, a 2019 poll by the Washington Post found that 62 percent of residents still use their own personal transportation.
Taxes work slightly different
It may take some time to get adjusted to the inner workings of the D.C. tax system. For example, sales tax overall is 5.75 percent but goes up to 10% when buying liquor. There is a 10% tax if you get food from a restaurant or secure a rental car. Taxes for parking and hotels are 10% and 14.5% respectively. On the bright side, certain essential items like groceries, medicine, and utilities are completely tax free.
According to Bankrate, “Washington, D.C., residents are taxed at 5 rates, ranging from 4% to 8.95%.” Here’s a closer look at that breakdown:
There are museums and monuments galore
If you are an art and culture lover then this is the perfect place for you! The city has so much history on practically every block. It is home to some of the oldest buildings in the nation and each one has its own unique story. Historical places like the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial offers exceptional opportunities to explore the moments in time in U.S. history that led to its place in the world. The Smithsonian institution alone has over 20 museums and galleries for both residents and tourists alike to explore.
Prepare yourself for the weather
Unless you’re coming from a city down south, you should already be accustomed to the varying changes in the weather. However, living in Washington, D.C. will take a little extra preparation. The summers are known for being uncomfortably hot. In the winter months, the slightest amount of snowfall has an adverse effect on the city’s operations. For example, federal buildings and public transportation have been known to close down and suffer from long delays when there is the slightest snowfall. If you’ll be moving to D.C. to take on a government job then you will likely enjoy the snow days. However, if you will be working in a private position and still need to get to work during that time, then be prepared in advance to make alternative transportation arrangements.
Whether you are moving immediately or thinking about doing so in the future, the city of Washington, D.C. has many merits that attract many new residents. Consider renting an effective self storage solution to assist with your move. Take a look at our listings and choose from hundreds of self storage facilities with all the right features to fit your needs.