If you’re searching for polarizing politics, breathtaking monuments, free museums, and all four seasons, then look no further than our nation’s capital. Many passionate, hardworking individuals move to the Washington, D.C. region to work for the federal government, mobilize a grassroots campaign, lobby for policy changes, and make a long-lasting difference.
However, living in D.C. has its drawbacks. If you’re considering taking a job in the District, consider all of the pros and cons of living in D.C. Although the Washington, D.C. area offers plenty of attractions and entertainment, housing is a little more difficult to come by.
We each have distinct preferences when it comes to lifestyle choices. If you’re wondering whether living in D.C. is the right choice for you, weigh the following pros and cons to find the ideal place to rent.
Pros And Cons Of Living In D.C.
Washington, D.C. offers plenty of advantages that have people clamoring to move to the policy capital of America. Below are a few reasons why you might want to call this historic city their home.
Pros of Living in D.C.
- Endless activities. Between the free museums, shopping, National Mall, cultural events, outdoor recreation, and dining options, there is no shortage of things to do and places to visit. During spring you’ll be able to run among the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, and in December you’ll get to enjoy the famous holiday décor at the White House.
- Central location. D.C. residents can enjoy a quick escape to nearby destinations. Baltimore, Annapolis, Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York City are just a few hours away from the District by car.
- Diverse opinions and people. The nature of Washington, D.C. is inherently transient, depending on campaign cycles, congressional sessions, research, etc. People come from all parts of the country and all corners of the globe. This floods the city with people from different backgrounds, beliefs, nationalities, religions, and socioeconomic levels.
Cons of Living in D.C.
Just because your office building is in D.C. proper doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to live within the borders of the capital, too. Consider these disadvantages that come with living in D.C.
- Heavy traffic. The District itself might not be huge in terms of geography, but you should expect a two-mile car ride to take 20 minutes. The area is notorious for heavy traffic congestion and limited parking. It’s smart to take advantage of the state-of-the-art public transportation system to commute into D.C.
- Steep living and housing costs. Although salaries are adjusted to slightly offset the cost of living, rent in D.C. is among the highest in the country. Many individuals who reside in the District are forced to choose between rundown townhomes or callous apartment complexes that nickel and dime for amenities. Living in D.C. can make it difficult to figure out how to save for an apartment.
- Increased stress level. Most individuals who choose to both work and live in the nation’s capital face high levels of stress. It can be difficult to establish a healthy work-life balance when living so close to your office. Generally, individuals in the city work long hours, are highly educated and driven to succeed professionally. These observations could factor into why Washington, D.C. was recently ranked the second loneliest city in the U.S. Washingtonians might not take the time to get to know their neighbors or seek out a community, which is why finding an inclusive apartment community just outside of D.C. might be a wiser option for your mental health.
- High income tax. D.C.’s income tax rate is higher than that of the surrounding states. There are six income tax brackets ranging from 4% to 8.95% in the nation’s capital, which can severely reduce your monthly take-home pay. If you work in D.C. and are a resident of Virginia or Maryland, then you avoid D.C. income taxes.
Using Public Transportation To Commute Into D.C.
More than likely, living outside of D.C. and commuting into the city for work is a more cost-effective option than living in D.C. proper. Nationally, only about 5% of individuals commute to work by public transit. However, D.C. is a different story, with approximately 37% of commuters using the different public transit options, according to one study.
The metro region offers one of the most reliable public transportation systems in the country. Composed primarily of buses and underground subway tracks, the public transportation throughout the D.C. region makes it quick and easy to access every area of the region.
Southern Management: Where To Live To Commute To D.C.
It’s safe to say that living outside of D.C. and utilizing public transportation is rational and economical. If you want to live as close as possible to work while reaping all the benefits of living outside of Washington, then choose to live at one of Southern Management’s apartment communities around D.C.
Consider Twin Towers in Silver Spring, MD for easy access to the Metro Red Line, or Kings Gardens in Northern Virginia for open parking with easy access to the Beltway. The cost of living in D.C. is far greater than just the financial burden — it can cause undue stress if you feel no escape from work!
Southern Management’s friendly team members create an environment that fosters authentic community and contagious positivity. We’d be happy to answer any question about pricing, living outside of D.C., public transportation, and more.