We’re headed to Washington DC! Located along the Maryland-Virginia border on the country’s east coast, this city is part of the 4th largest metro area in the nation. We all know DC for its monuments, politics, and all the publicity that comes with being the capital of the United States. However, assignees will be blown away with how much the Washington DC area also has to offer. Residents enjoy a city that is clean and easy to navigate, while still receiving many big-city perks like food, entertainment, culture, and sports. Join us as we explore trends, neighborhoods, tips, and as always a bit of insight only a local Washingtonian can provide!
Many will be shocked to find that the nation’s capital may carry a heftier price tag than they may have originally anticipated. Assignees will also find that moving to the suburbs isn’t always cheaper, so it’s important to do your homework beforehand. Finally, like most major US cities, assignees should expect a tight rental market. Properties tend to go quickly, and lately many properties have been going above asking price. Assignees can expect to pay from $2,700+ USD/month for a 1-bedroom apartment.
Where to Live
Many assignees with families will begin their search in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, as their public schools will be ranked higher than in the District of Columbia. In Virginia, our assignees are loving Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County. 3-bedroom homes in these areas run from $2,600-6,000 USD/month. In Maryland, Chevy Chase and Bethesda are also popular for assignees with families. Homes with 3 bedrooms will run from $3,200-5,700 USD/month.
Single assignees also enjoy Alexandria and Bethesda if they are looking for a more tame lifestyle. 1-bedroom apartments run from $1,500-3,500 USD/month. Those looking for a more lively and centralized location should look to the District of Columbia itself. Its perks include quick commutes, more access to public transport, and a considerable amount of dining, entertainment, and nightlife options. Logan Circle and Dupont Circle are also popular, with 1-bedrooms running from $2,600-4,000 USD/month. Assignees can also look to Georgetown, running from $2,300-4,500 USD/month for a 1-bedroom apartment.
DC Metro spans three separate areas: the states of Maryland and Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Each area not only has their own separate communities, but also their own distinct rental laws that will affect your home search. It is expected that when the tenant signs in DC, they typically have one month’s rent ready as a security deposit on hand, and in Virginia or Maryland they may require two month’s rent if your assignee does not have a social security number. If an assignee anticipates needing a transfer clause to break their lease, do not recommend a Virginia property as obtaining any sort of transfer clause would be quite difficult. Instead, consider DC properties and especially properties in tenant-friendly Maryland, where this could be much more easily accomplished.
Remember that DC can be expensive, so be open minded. If your assignee is house hunting in higher-cost areas, recommend they be open to a condo. Their dollar will go a lot further than a house. With condos, assignees can find great options and amenities, even some with included parking, without having to sacrifice the square footage of a house.
Take in some culture! Perhaps the most obvious benefit of living in DC is that Washingtonians are surrounded by American history. The district is home to countless museums to entertain all sorts. The best part is that many of the museums, like the White House Tour, National Zoo, and the Smithsonian, are free!
If museums aren’t your forte, you can always catch a Broadway show at the Kennedy Center. Also be sure to make your way to the festivals during the summer, like the Jazz Festival and the National Capital Barbecue Battle.
Escape the hustle and bustle in the great outdoors! Great Falls National Park is a mere 20 minutes outside the city, offering incredible hiking, rock climbing, and natural beauty. Have a bit more time to spare? Head out an hour’s drive to Shenandoah National Park, and be rewarded with spectacular waterfalls, valley views, and even black bear watching. You can also rent a kayak for a paddle down the Potomac right downtown near the Kennedy Center, or bike the National Mall for some… “un-president-ed” views!