Affordable neighborhoods exist! (Which means you don’t need to move out to the suburbs just yet!). The right real estate agent can get you the place of your dreams within city limits (even downtown).
Many recent college students and older professionals find themselves flocking to Foggy Bottom, located near downtown and George Washington University. Most are renters, but there are opportunities to buy both condos and apartments. It’s also a great place to buy a nice, shiny house if you’re hoping to rent it out.
Capitol Hill East is very popular among newcomers, especially if you just landed a job on the Hill because you can bike or walk there. This area is great for families with a creative side, with artists setting up in the nearby Eastern Market. It’s streets are kid-friendly for playing, and there’s also plenty of grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Glover Park is another popular neighborhood among families in the area. With its good-sized housing options, convenient shopping, and trendy restaurants, it’s a great place to settle in. It’s also just a short bus ride to Georgetown if you’re looking a romantic night-out or day of high-end shopping.
Friendship Heights is another fun place for families to call home, with plenty of single-family homes to choose from, as well as easy access to the metro, good restaurants, and parks.
Wonderful Education Options
If you’re moving as a family or are planning to start one of your own in D.C., a neighborhood with great schools is an important factor in deciding where to live. And despite its reputation, there’s no reason to pay for private school or move out to the suburbs for a stellar education. Cathedral Heights, Chevy Chase, Grover Park (listed above) are all great options worth investing in due to their high-ranking middle and elementary schools.
High Cost of Living, but Higher Quality of Life
While the taxes may be high, you do have access to some of the best museums in the country. Most are completely free at all times and are great way to explore the city on your own or when friends and family are visiting.
As a general rule of thumb, housing gets more expensive the closer you get to the downtown area. You should also expect to pay a bit more for food, utilities, and general expenses. The taxation system also contributes to the high cost of living, as sales tax is 5.75%. Some purchases, such as alcohol, hotels, and parking garages, are a bit higher. Thanks to the vast amount of high-paying government positions, tech companies, and opportunities orbiting these though, most residents earn salaries enough to compensate for these high costs.
A Commuter’s Dream
Bicycle culture is very strong in the D.C. area because traffic can be quite congested. Many people commute by bike on the city’s various biking trails, as well as commuter bike paths all around the city. Just be sure to wear a helmet and check out the city’s biking regulations. Also note there is no reason to get rid of your car, even with these great options.
D.C. is a highly walkable city with a good public transportation system, so get excited if you’re used to city living (or if you’re coming from a place where this wasn’t very common). Unlike many other train systems in the country, the Metro is very clean and safe to use. The system is also fairly easy to use, although it will take some getting used to, just like any new transportation method. Start by figuring out which stops are closest to where you live, work, and spend your free time so you can save time (and stress). Be sure to purchase a SmarTrip card so you can access all of D.C.’s transit methods and save yourself $1 per trip.