Although it's commonly referred to as the home of American politics, there's more to Washington DC than just politics. People go about their days, living their life, and enjoying the city's vibrant cultural and historical scene. So if you are looking to make Washington your new home, you should know there is more to it than what meets the eye. On that note, here are 5 things you need to know about moving to Washington DC
1. The Job Market
Being a city founded on politics, a majority of employment opportunities lie in the federal sector. For instance, over 40% of DC's workforce is made up of government employees. But that doesn't mean there aren't other professions. For example, the city has experienced an influx of tech businesses.
Additionally, it's home to countless international organizations, NGOs, trade-unions, and hosts over 100 foreign embassies. Recent reports indicate an increase in labor demand, So if you are moving to DC in search of employment opportunities, you may just be looking at the right place.
2. The Cost of Living
As the seat of the US government and a major political stage, Washington DC attracts people from all corners of the country and is home to approximately 693,972 people. As a result, the cost of living in DC is pretty high. On the bright side, however, the property taxes are quite low. That explains why an estimated 60% of DC's residents are homeowners. So if you are planning to move to Washington DC permanently, buying a home would be a much wiser option than renting.
It gets better when it comes to utility costs because, for a generally expensive city, paying an average of $96.52 on your monthly energy bill is quite affordable. In fact, this figure is lower than the national average. Additionally, things like groceries and medication are all tax-exempted, which makes life far easier.
Nonetheless, as a city that mainly thrives on tourism, dining out and alcohol will cost you more as the tax rate for restaurant meals is 10%, while liquor is 9%.
3. Traffic and Transportation
Owning a car in Washington, DC, is a great idea, but it's much wiser to use public transit for your daily commute. Why? Well, to drive in Washington, you'll first have to pay an annual registration fee of between $72 and $155, a cost that is based on your car's weight.
A gallon of gas will see you part with $2.95, while parking will get you a 12% tax, not to mention the high insurance premiums. This makes public transport much cheaper as the cost is often based on how far you're going. There are trains and comfortable buses all around the city and it's suburbs. DC is also one of the most walkable cities in the world. It has plenty of secure sidewalks and crosswalks. So if you live within or near the metro and your workplace is within walking distance, consider this option as well. But keep the walk left, stand right rule in mind.
The traffic in general in the DC area is considered very heavy. Just as you would imagine in a city, there are of course various ways to get to your destination. Regardless of the form of transportation you prefer, you should definitely make a note to check traffic online and build in a few extra minutes into your commute.
4. Washington DC's Education
If you are moving to DC in pursuit of higher education or have kids, then you will be glad to know the political city offers a pretty diverse list of options, from the public, private, charter to international schools. Public schools admit students based on the location of residence. Some of the best facilities for higher education include George Washington, Howard, and Georgetown universities.
5. Art and Entertainment
As you would expect, Washington DC has a vibrant art, culture, and entertainment scene. It's home to a long string of historical monuments, a majority of which are free. If you are into sports, then you are in for a ride as Washington is the headquarters of popular teams such as the Redskins, the Wizards, the Nationals and the Capitals. The food and bar scene Is quite vibrant, and brunches in DC are a pretty big deal.
First Savings Mortgage
Think Washington DC could make a perfect home for you? Then you will be glad to know First Savings Mortgage can help you settle in, even faster. Our friendly team will walk you through the home buying process so your life can get back on track as soon as possible. Get in touch with us today for more information and financial advice about home buying in DC.