Washington, DC is a major political stage that attracts visitors from all over the world. Some are visiting, while others, like you, are seeking to make the city their new home. Moving to a bigger city can be a challenging and unpleasant experience, especially if you're moving into a metropolis. Larger cities have their own culture and embrace more unwritten standards than smaller towns do.
Despite their overpowering effect, this learning procedure may be exciting in its own right. However, take a look at these ten DC relocation suggestions before you leap in eagerly.
Prepare for the Cost of Living in Washington DC
If you live in or have visited Washington D.C., then you are fully aware of how pricey it can be. In fact, a study conducted recently showed that D.C. is the eighth most expensive city to live in the United States.
In general, the closer you live to downtown DC, the higher your living expenses will be - even if you're moving from another part of DC. So, for example, don't expect a two bedroom apartment in Bethesda to cost the same as a two bedroom downtown.
Although the cost of living is high in DC, the median household income is comparably higher at $70,000 as opposed to $49,000 in Frederick, MD or $52,000 in Alexandria, VA.
Before You Move to DC, Get Familiar with the Different Neighborhoods
One of the key choices you'll make is where in DC you want to reside. Depending on what kind of neighborhood you're looking for, rent costs can differ widely.
If you want to live in a vibrant area with easy access to shopping and dining, Logan Circle is perfect for you. This neighborhood has homes dating back as early as 1870! If Capitol Hill or Eastern Market sounds more appealing to you because they are residential areas located near many workplaces, then those would be great places to look into too.
Learn to Love the Washington, DC Metro Area
Though it may be strange or unfamiliar to those not accustomed to using public transport, the Metro in DC is clean, safe, and an easy way get around town. In fact, it's much more convenient than other train systems across the country.
Where to Keep Your Car in D.C. When You're Away
Many people who move to a bigger, more active city from a quiet, rural environment are undecided about whether or not to keep their automobiles. While traffic in Washington is certainly heavy, it isn't quite as congested as New York City. It's always good to have a backup plan, and there are plenty of interesting places to visit outside the city limits.
Although parking prices might be seem expensive, they are especially painful if you hardly use your car. Instead of racking up charges, you could store your car away.
How to Understand Taxes in Washington D.C.
The city's taxation system is interesting—sales tax is 5.75%, except for liquor, which is 10%. If you dine at a restaurant or rent a vehicle, expect to pay 10% tax, while parking costs 19% and hotels charge 14.8%.
You don't have to worry about sales tax on groceries, medicines, and utilities.
Don't Undervalue Downsizing
Keep in mind that you might not have as much living space when you move, particularly if you're relocating to a smaller home like an apartment in Dupont Circle. Living in a metropolis such as Washington, DC, might entail having to store some of your belongings. Living in a smaller city may mean that you'll have to store some of your possessions.
Self-storage facilities are well kept and equipped with safety and security features. This service is especially useful if you find that your new home does not have enough space for all of your belongings. If you need to store a boat, this is the perfect option!
Using Your Home to Make Money
Even if you're a local looking for a change of scenery, finding a new home is difficult. If public transport is not your thing and you don't have access to a car, then you'll need to find a moving company that is both reliable and efficient. Take advantage of free time for those relocating locally. Some locations give a free hour or two to those moving locally, so take advantage of them if they are available. You'll appreciate anything that makes your move less stressful, especially if you're moving on the first or last day of the month, as most other people are.
Find out what the DC subway schedules and routes are.
Getting a firm grasp on the Metro's timetable and routes will make your life a lot easier. The system is not difficult, but any new transportation method takes time to get used to. Determine the best bus stops for your commute based on proximity to where you live, work, and play. This way, you can save time and feel less stressed as you move about the city.
The Unspoken Dress Codes of Washington, D.C.
There's no formal dress code in the city, but you'll notice that most people tend to dress quite professionally, especially around Capitol Hill. Some people might not dress as professionally in DC as they do in other places, but if you want to make a good impression, it's always better to be overdressed than under-dressed.
Many fancier restaurants and bars require stricter dress codes, but that shouldn't be a stressful undertaking. To ensure you're appropriately dressed for the occasion, ask a friend or call the establishment ahead of time.
Prepare to Get Packed in DC Traffic
If you live in a small town or rural area, be prepared for slower travel in the city. With more people comes heavier car and foot traffic. If this is your first time navigating a larger city, give yourself extra time to reach your destination. You'll need to leave earlier than normal.
Despite its modest size, it might take up to an hour or more to traverse. If you have things to do, be prepared to get up earlier than usual, especially if you don't live near your job or school.
Washington DC is located near a variety of excellent weekend getaways. The natural beauty of the region provides for wonderful outdoor activities like as hiking in Shenandoah National Park or rafting in Harpers Ferry, WV. If you're more of a beach bum, you'll be glad you kept your car. Though it's quite a trek from D.C., Virginia Beach is around four hours away and getting away from the city can be refreshing.
Moving to a new city is never simple, especially if you don't know anybody there or aren't used to big crowds and a more bustling environment. Washington, DC may appear to be completely closed off to others, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's a pleasant city with plenty of activity and culture, as well as history, just waiting for you to join in.