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What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

March 31, 2022
For those who ever considered relocating to the American capital city, there's always that one question that comes to mind: 'Is Washington D.C. expensive to live in?' It's easy to think that because this is such an important city in the country, the living costs in Washington D.C. would be high. After all, this is where the president lives! It'd be even more surprising if this place is a lot more affordable than, say, New York, Los Angeles, and the like. But is it really that costly to live here? The real answer is yes, it is. However, when you break down the living costs in Washington D.C., you might get a different idea instead.

What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

Costs of Renting in Washington D.C.

A good way to gauge just how expensive a city is is to check out its common rental fees. Since they're often the most expensive out of your many monthly expenses, the higher they are, the more expensive the city is. The average rent in D.C., even for a luxury apartment, ranges from a minimum of $1,450.00 to a maximum of $5,400.00 per month. At face value, they seem pretty high, don't they? Though there's no denying that these numbers are costly, they still can't compare to the common rental fees in cities like New York and LA. Rent there can go up to tens of thousands of dollars per month.

Costs of Buying Property in Washington D.C.

It's a whole other story, however, when it comes to buying property in Washington D.C. For those of you who want to own a home in the American capital, you better be prepared to shell out the big bucks. How much, you ask? Well, if you get property in a central neighborhood of Washington D.C., that'll cost you around $7,211.82 to $7,582.32 per square meter. If you pick one located along the outskirts of the city, that'll cost you around $2,690.98 to $5,920.15 per square meter. If one square meter alone already costs a lot of money, what more when it's an entire property?

What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

Utilities Costs

At the very least, there are still some parts of your living costs where you don't have to risk emptying your bank account. One of them is for your utilities in D.C. For your basic monthly expenses such as electricity, water, heating, garbage disposal, and the like, the average costs in the American capital range from $100.00 to $280.00 per month. Not bad, right? And when you want to install wifi in your home, that'll cost you around $50.00 to $95.00 per month. These prices already look much more feasible compared to D.C.'s common rental fees and property prices.

Food Costs

Now, how about your food costs? They are among the most important out of all your living costs in Washington D.C., after all. How much will you have to pay to stock up your fridge, pantry, and more? Well, the common total median price for all of them is around $112.26. That's only a little over $100.00! For only $112.26, you can already get a dozen eggs, a liter of milk, 1.5 liters of water, a kilogram of rice, a loaf of bread, and one kilogram each of various fruits, vegetables, and meats. Not to mention snacks such as chips, sweets, and even some affordable wine too! These and more can last you around one to two weeks tops.

What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

Dining Costs

Are you one to eat out often? That's no surprise considering that Washington D.C. has a fair amount of great places to eat. But of course, that'll cost you a lot! Or at least, if you go to the expensive hotspots. If you're one to dine out regularly but don't want to spend too much money, there are a lot of more affordable options you can go for. For example, enjoying a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will only cost you around $12.00 to $25.00. Going on a romantic dinner date with your special someone? Dining in a mid-range place can already get you a three-course meal for two for only a total of $60.00 to $200.00.

Transportation Costs

Don't feel pressured to buy a car in Washington D.C. The city's public transport is efficient enough and buying a brand new vehicle in this city will cost you a whopping $20,000.00 to $25,500.00, depending on the brand and model. If you have that kind of money, then go for it. But if not, you can save more by commuting instead? If you check the D.C. Metro fares chart, for instance, you'll see that most of their single-ride tickets only cost around $2.00 to $5.00 each. A monthly travel pass, on the other hand, will only cost you $72.00 to $200.00.

What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

Clothing Costs

Washington D.C. is the kind of place where you'd do well to dress up sharply. It's not a fashion capital by any means, but it's still the capital city of the US. Presenting yourself well will score you a lot of points. But if you're worried about the clothing costs here, you can relax. There are many shops, boutiques, and more that will give you great pieces that aren't too expensive. If you shop at a high street brand, for example, it will only cost you around $25.00 to $60.00 for each article of clothing. Looking to buy new leather shoes? They'll cost you $80.00 to $200.00 per pair.

Leisure Costs

Among the many living costs in Washington D.C., sports and leisure are also pretty low. Let's say you want to work out in a nice gym in the city. Paying for monthly membership will only cost you about $29.99 to $150.00. Considering they come with great equipment, high-quality amenities, and more, these prices aren't half bad. When you want to rent out a sports court on the weekends, that'll only cost you around $10.00 to $20.00 per hour. And when you want to relax by watching a movie, tickets go out for $12.00 to $17.00 each.

Childcare & Education Costs

Living in Washinton D.C. with kids is pretty expensive. There's no going around that! From their childcare to education, many of these costs are quite high. When they're young, if you want to enroll them in a private kindergarten, that'll cost you $1,200.00 to $2,600.00 per month. By the time they reach primary school, getting them into a notable international school will cost you $25,000.00 to $45,000.00 in annual tuition fees. Of course, there are other options on offer too but if you only want the best for your kids, these are the costs you'll have to face.

What Are The Living Costs in Washington D.C.?

The living costs in Washington D.C. are high, but not arguably enough that you can call it an expensive city. It's up to you how you want to manage your finances when you visit or even relocate to the American capital.

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