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If you’re thinking about moving to Washington DC there are a few things you will want to know about the area before you arrive. There’s a lot to love about living in the D.C. area, from its historical significance and amenities to the gorgeous cherry blossom landscape. Read on to gain a better understanding of why so many people are choosing to call D.C. “home.”

1. NOT EVERYONE IN D.C. WORKS FOR THE GOVERNMENT

Washington D.C. might be best known as the headquarters for the United States federal government. Hundreds of thousands of D.C. residents work directly with the federal government, or they work for the government in an adjacent manner by serving with a non-profit or lobbying group. This is certainly not the only thing that you can do for work if you live in D.C., though. The area is also home to several knowledge industries in the private sector. Many of these businesses are on the rise and attracting young, intelligent talent from across the country.

2. TRAFFIC CAN BE ROUGH

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You can live in D.C. even if you don’t have a car. The public transportation system here is one of the best in the entire country. If you choose to live in the suburbs and you prefer to have a car to get back and forth from the city, you’ll need to be prepared for heavy traffic, however. Long commutes and frustrating delays tend to be the rule rather than the exception when you live in D.C.

3. THE COST OF LIVING IS HIGH

Many D.C. residents are quite affluent, but it’s impossible not to notice the higher cost of living in the area. You’ll also find that taxes are handled differently when you live in D.C. Your tax will be higher depending on what goods you’re purchasing. The sales tax in the city is only 5.75%. However, the tax will be significantly higher if you purchase alcohol, stay in a hotel, or park your car in a parking garage. D.C. also has an estate tax, unlike certain areas in the surrounding area. Because D.C. does not have the same level of representation in the US government as states do, taxation can be a hot-button issue for many people in the area.

4. THERE ARE PLENTY OF FREE ACTIVITIES

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The higher cost of living isn’t the best news, but on the other hand, you’ll have several exciting and free activities to enjoy when you move to Washington DC. For starters, you can visit any of the Smithsonian museums free of charge. This includes the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, and the Museum of Natural History. These museums also host special film screenings and receptions on a regular basis for the community to enjoy. You can also explore D.C.’s monuments and public government spaces without an additional cost.

5. PEOPLE DRESS UP MOST DAYS

Typically, government workers will dress in formal attire when they go to work. Even people who don’t work in these types of roles tend to adopt a similar style or fashion. The expectations might be different for those who work in an environment where the dress code is much more casual. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll fit in well if you opt to dress formally. 

6. WEEKEND DAYS ARE FOR BRUNCH

Brunch is one of the most popular weekend activities, especially for younger residents. Many brunch spots will have long lines or extended waits on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If you want to enjoy the best brunch spots in the area, you’ll be wise to make a reservation or arrive early. This will give you the best chance of avoiding the crowds.

Also, many people choose to travel to their favorite weekend getaway spot after the work week is over. You could head up to Delaware to hit the beach, or you could drive down to Virginia to sample wine from a winery. Hiking in West Virginia is also only a short drive away. If you would rather visit another heavily-populated urban location, you could make the short drive to Baltimore, or you could head further north to Philadelphia or New York City.

7. THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS ARE THE REAL DEAL

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The cherry blossoms are a breathtaking sight when they begin to reach their peak. Once this happens, everyone will be headed out to take pictures and marvel at their natural beauty. Some of the hottest Washington, D.C., condos for sale are the ones that sit in close proximity to the cherry blossoms.

8. THE BUILDINGS CAN ONLY BE SO TALL

You’ll notice that there aren’t many skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. This is because of a city ordinance that prevents developers from building high-rises taller than a certain height. This is one reason why the cost of living in D.C. is higher than what you’ll find in other places. Many D.C. residents enjoy the open and airy feeling that you can experience in most locations throughout the city.

9. WALK LEFT, STAND RIGHT

This is a good rule of thumb to follow when you’re making your way in or out of one of the city’s Metro stations. If someone is in a hurry, they may want an easy path to get around anyone who prefers to stand and ride. Do your part to help keep traffic flowing.

The award-winning Sarro & Georgatsos Group would love to help you shop for Washington DC real estate. Peter Sarro and Chris Georgatsos boast a combined 50 years of experience working in the local real estate market. Throughout that time, they have developed a strong reputation for helping countless individuals find their place as they move to Washington, D.C. They handle each transaction with professionalism and the highest levels of customer service. They would be honored to have the opportunity to serve you.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash