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Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

October 07, 2021
2021-10-07
It's not exactly a stretch to say that Washington D.C.is the most powerful city in the world. The city serves as the home of the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful man in the world. As well as the seat of political power in the country. Moving to Washington D.C. is a big deal, whatever you may end up doing here. So if you ever get the opportunity, make sure you prepare everything, down to the last detail. Sounds intimidating? Don't worry! Relocating in Washington D.C. isn't as daunting as it seems. At the very least, this guide will help you in many ways!

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

 

 


Why Move to Washington D.C.?

There are many good reasons to move to Washington D.C. They include


 

  • Getting involved in American politics.


 

  • Working within the city's bustling business hub.


 

  • Studying American history in the many museums.


 

  • Embracing the big city life.


 

  • Immersing yourself in the city's diverse art scene. 



  


Pros and Cons of Moving to Washington D.C.

Much like any other city, there are pros and cons to moving to Washington D.C. You should know about them now and see whether you think it's truly worth relocating to the American capital. 



 

Pros


 

  • The salaries here are typically high.


 

  • Public transport is efficient. 


 

  • The city boasts a diverse culinary scene.


 

  • There are many things to do that are free.



 

Cons


 

  • The living costs are high.


 

  • Traffic jams are common here.


 

  • It costs a lot to eat out. 


 

  • Popular free tourist spots tend to get crowded. 



 


Overview of Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. currently has a population of around 672,738. As the capital city of the US, it continues to draw in both local and foreign new residents, especially since it's an important business and finance hub too. Located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast, the city covers 177 km² (68.34 square miles) of land. It also sees all four seasons. Washington D.C.'s hottest month is July, which has an average temperature of around 80°F (27°C). Conversely, the city's coldest month is January, which has an average temperature of 38°F (4°C). 



 


Where is Washington D.C.?

As already mentioned, Washington D.C. is located in the Mid-Atlantic part of the East Coast. Its bordering states include Maryland and Virginia. 



 


Is Washington D.C. a State?

No, it's not. Washington D.C. is more of a city than a state, or more accurately, a district. The D.C. in its name stands for District of Columbia and most people refer to the place as such. 



 


Things to Do in Washington D.C.

What does a day in Washington D.C. look like? Well, it depends on your interests. If you're a bona fide history buff, for example, you'll love touring the National Mall and its many museums. The Lincoln Memorial is a major highlight. Not only is it a great site overall, but the park in front of it is the perfect place to exercise, have a picnic, and more. Want to watch a show? There's probably a good one at the Kennedy Arts Center. Search up its schedule for programs that might interest you. And to end the day right, have a nightcap at the famous Cork Wine Bar! 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Visa for Washington D.C.

If you're moving to Washington D.C. from another country, you need to get the right US Visa. Not a tourist visa or a mere business visa, but an immigrant visa! The American government issues different types of immigrant visas to those relocating to the US for various reasons (e.g. work, school, family, etc.) Even if you're a citizen of a country eligible for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program, you still need to apply for the correct immigrant visa to stay in the country indefinitely. And once you've spent a certain number of years here, you'll be eligible for a Green Card, which grants full legal residency to foreigners in the US. 



 


Visa Application for Washington D.C.

The visa application process for an immigrant visa to the US differs slightly from country to country. Some require in-person interviews while others are as easy as submitting the requirements to the American embassy and waiting for approval. To know how to apply in your country, visit the American embassy there. 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Getting Around Washington D.C.

Out of all the cities in the US, D.C. rivals New York City when it comes to public transport. Some might even argue that the American capital is better than the Big Apple. Washington D.C.'s public transport is efficient. There's the underground metro, for instance, which is a lot cleaner and more accessible than its more famous New York counterpart.  Buses are also very organized here and travel throughout many districts. The same goes for taxis too. 



 


How to Get Around Washington D.C.

As already mentioned, there are many ways to get around Washington D.C. Among the most common are the underground metro system and the buses. To access them easily, you can buy a rechargeable SmarTrip Card. This is the American capital's main transit pass. It only costs $10.00 to purchase ($2.00 for the card and an extra $8.00 for fare value) and you can load it with more money (up to $300.00 at a time) as you commute in the city. There are rental bikes and scooters too. They're a more environment-friendly way to get around and don't cost a lot! 



 


Getting Around Washington D.C. Without a Car

If you don't have a car in Washington D.C. and you don't want to go through the hassle of taking the metro or bus, then you can always use a transportation app. Fortunately, popular apps like Uber and Lyft operate in Washington D.C. Though they tend to be pricey, it's arguably the most efficient way to get to your destination in the American capital. Some can even take you as far as the nearby states of Virginia and Maryland! 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Where to Live in Washington D.C.

The great thing about living in the American capital is that you still get a taste of city life while it isn't as hectic as it is in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more. Washington D.C.'s neighborhoods strike quite a unique balance of urban living and a suburban-like vibe. Foggy Bottom, for instance, is quite near the White House, but it's not as noisy or crowded here as it might seem. Georgetown, on the other hand, is a beautiful district of nostalgia, packed with the charms of old Americana. While Adams Morgan, out of all the D.C. areas, is perhaps the most suburban-like in the lot. 



 


Where to Live in Washington D.C. as a Young Professional

Washington D.C. may not be like New York City or Los Angeles, but it's still a great place for people to start their careers. It's an important business and finance hub in its own right, on top of being the capital city of the country. There are many job opportunities here, which is why the city is filled to the brim with young professionals. Most of them live in areas like Adams Morgan, Foggy Bottom, Columbia Heights, Logan Circle, and of course, Capitol Hill. These are some of the busiest parts of the American capital where you'll find most of the hustle and bustle. 



 


Where Do The Rich Live in Washington D.C.?

Kalorma may not be the most popular neighborhood in Washington D.C., but it's the most affluent area around. This is where the wealthiest in the city live, a fair distance away from the bustling parts of the American capital. They live in lavish estates and grand mansions here, many of which are historic homes that have been around for decades, possibly even centuries. 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Living Costs in Washington D.C.

As mentioned earlier, one of the cons of moving to Washington D.C. is having to deal with its high costs. Is the American capital the most expensive city in the world? No. But the living costs in Washington D.C. are far from low either. Rent alone can already cost more than a couple thousand dollars, what more when you add your utility bills, food expenses, and more? 



 


Average Living Cost in Washington D.C.

On average, a single adult spends about $1,359.50 per month on top of rent. For a family of four, the number is around $4,962.00 per month also on top of rent. That's practically $1,000 for each member of the family! These prove just how pricey it is to move to Washington D.C. and live comfortably here. 



 


Is it Expensive to Live in Washington D.C.?

Yes, it is. Let's take a look at the city's common rental fees for example. Renting a luxury apartment in Washington D.C. typically costs a minimum of $1,800.00 to a maximum of $7,000.00 per month. And those are just for apartments! What more if you want to rent a house with two stories, a garden, and more? You can bet that it'll cost a lot more! 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Employment in Washington D.C.

With a city as important as Washington D. C., you'll surely get a lot of opportunities to find the right job for you here. Sure, it might prove to be quite challenging, but the US job market is pretty stable right now. It's not entirely impossible to find a good job in Washington D.C. considering that it's also a vital business hub. 



 


Jobs in Washington D.C.

Apart from the obvious—politics—Washington D.C. also boasts a few main industries. They include media, business administration, finance, academics, and of course tourism. If your chosen field is any of these, you'll have an easier time finding a job here. 



 


How to Get a Job in Washington D.C.

There are many ways to find a job in the US, especially in the country's capital. Today's go-to method is going on job-seeking websites and applying online. It's faster and more efficient compared to looking at the classified ads in the newspaper, for example. If that proves to be too difficult, you can always go to a recruitment agency too. A big city like Washington D.C. has tons of them and they'll help you find the right job with the right company. Don't underestimate the power of connections too. D.C. might be busy but it's not that big of a metropolis. Knowing the right people might just be your meal ticket in this city! 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Education in Washington D.C.

You're moving to the most important and the most historic city in the US. Naturally, you can expect a good many prestigious schools here. If you're worried about your kids moving to Washington D.C. with you, know that their education is the least of your concerns. WalletHub even pointed out that the American capital ranks 25th, right smack in the middle of the list, when it comes to the country's best public school systems. What more if you enroll your little ones in private or international schools? 



 


Schools in Washington D.C.

You'll have a lot of great options on where to enroll your kids when you move to the American capital. Apart from its public schools, the international schools in Washington D.C. are also among the best on the East Coast. A good choice is the School Without Walls High School, a liberated institution that celebrates diversity and encourages inclusivity. Edmund Burke School, on the other hand, is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). This guarantees high-quality education for your little ones up until they reach secondary school. Meanwhile, the Washington International School is a private international school that also offers high-quality education in a refined campus with awesome facilities. 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Healthcare in Washington D.C.

When it comes to healthcare in the US, while it remains a hot political issue, as long as you're covered, you'll be fine. Whether you get Medicare or private insurance, you won't find it difficult to get treated here. Unfortunately, the US is yet to impose universal healthcare, hence citizens and residents will then have to find ways to access healthcare on their own. The Affordable Care Act may have helped give more Americans—particularly the less fortunate—healthcare, but its scope is not as vast as universal healthcare. If you can afford it, your best bet is to get private medical insurance, which will give you access to more hospitals and private medical practitioners. 



 


Hospitals in Washington D.C.

As long as you're covered with some sort of medical insurance, this allows you to get into some of the best hospitals in Washington D.C.. One of them is MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, a university hospital that has one of the best intense care units, not just in the city, but on the entire East Coast as well. The Children's National Hospital, on the other hand, is the go-to institution for children with all sorts of health problems, no matter how serious it is. 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Safety in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is a bit of a paradox of a city. It's one of the safest and most dangerous places in the country at the same time. It's safe because it's still the seat of power in the US, which means security is tight in many areas here, particularly those close to the White House and Capitol Hill. But as Washington D.C.'s crime rates suggest, it's also infested with too much crime for its own good. As of this writing, the general crime rate here is 70.86%, which is considered high. 



 


Is Washington D.C. Safe?

Generally speaking, it is. Washington D.C. isn't necessarily a dystopia. As already mentioned, the fact that it's the seat of power of the US where many politicians—no less, the American president!—work and live means security is tight in various parts of the city. If you want to go by its crime rates, however, they do prove that it's far from the safest place in the country. Apart from its high general crime rate, Washington D.C. also has a 68.56% rate of increasing crimes. That doesn't exactly look good for the American capital. 



 


How Safe is Washington D.C.?

Washington D.C. currently has a 63.32% safety rate during the day, which is high. But unfortunately, this drops to just 35.55% at night, almost a 50% drop! So all in all, the city is pretty safe during the day but you'd do well to be more careful if you go out at night. 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Taxes in Washington D.C.

You're going to live in the capital city of the US and you don't know a thing about the American tax system? Good luck! The country takes taxes pretty seriously, and since you'll be staying in the same city as the Internal Revenue Service headquarters, you should brush up on how they do taxes here! The overall gist is that you're taxed on your income, property, and the goods & services you purchase. The rates often depend on how much you earn, the size & state of your property, and the like. 



 


Washington D.C. Income Tax

As already mentioned, the US taxes your income and the rate you pay depends on how much you earn. At a federal level, American income tax rates range from 10% to 37%. In Washington D.C., however, the local income tax rates range from 4.0% to 10.75%.

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  


Relocation Tips for Washington D.C.

Before ending this Washington D.C. relocation guide, here are a few tips worth following as you settle down in the city. 


 


 


 


 


 


 

  • Cook and eat at home as much as you can. 


 

  • Save money every chance you get.


 

  • Get used to a lot of walking.


 

Moving to Washington D.C.: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 



  

Moving to Washington D.C., the capital city of the US, has its own set of challenges. The city is a great place to live overall, but there's a lot you need to know and do before you can truly settle down here. 

 


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