So you’ve decided to take the plunge? Make the move to Washington, D.C. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time, I’m sure. Whether you’re moving from another city or you’re making a leap from a rural or suburban area, there’s a few things you’ll need to know about Washington, D.C. living before you get here. We’ve rounded up five of our best pieces of advice for moving to the nation’s capital. But there’s plenty more where this came from. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to The Estridge Group if there’s more you’d like to know.
#1 – Store your car
Don’t get us wrong. Traffic is heavy in Washington, D.C. It’s no New York, and it’s no L.A., but it’s no walk in the park. That said, it’s well worth it to keep your car when moving to D.C. There are so many fascinating places to visit in the DC Metro area — from Northern Virginia to Montgomery County Maryland. You’ll regret not having an easy way to get there. Consider storing it at your home, a garage, or maybe even make some extra money off of it by participating in a car sharing program. In the meantime, walk or take public transportation. It’s pretty good, which leads us to…
#2 – Take the train
As much as you can, skip the car and take the train. The Metrorail is open 7 days a week, opening at 5 am during the week and 7 am on weekends, and closing at midnight during the week and 3 am Friday and Saturday. The system is known for being clean and easy to use. Its six lines and 91 stations will take you almost anywhere you want to go — from the city to all the major suburbs. Locals tip: “Metriquette” asks that riders walk up to the left side and stand on the right.
#3 – Understand the dress code
Every city has a look. L.A.’s is laid back. New York’s is hip and trendy. Washington, D.C.? We’re notorious for the more conservative look. After all, our nation’s capital is here and Congressional staffers are walking the streets on their way to meetings, speaking engagements, and hearings, no doubt. It’s not to say there’s not a time and a place for a more eclectic or even casual look, but it’s always good to know what you’re stepping into.
#4 – Get to know your DC Neighborhoods
Browsing through Washington, D.C. neighborhoods is like taking a trip to Baskin-Robbins — there are flavors and types for every kind of palate. Neighborhoods like Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, and Georgetown are more residential, yet easily connected to employment and entertainment through the aforementioned public transportation system. While Logan Circle and Penn Quarter are going to give you more of that city feel with art galleries, restaurants, theaters, gourmet grocery stores, and a variety of other shops right outside your front door. Please, please give us a call if you want to know more about D.C. Neighborhoods. We can explain them to you like only a local can.
#5 – Understand the taxes
Taxation is a little different in D.C. The sales tax is 5.75%. But different services have different taxes. Alcohol you buy at the liquor store is taxed at 10%. Restaurant meals and takeout orders are also taxed at 10%. Hotel tax is 14.5%. And something like parking your car in a garage is 18%. Confusing? A little. You’ll quickly learn what you’re willing to pay for, and the purchases you’ll do your darndest to avoid once you get the hang of it.