Living in the DC Area: What You Need to Know

Are you a Washington, DC real estate investor? If so, you’re sure to meet people who are new to living in the DC area. When you work with renters or homebuyers who are new to living in the DC area, here’s some helpful information you can pass on to them.

There’s a Wide Variety of DC Real Estate Choices

The city of Washington, DC has eight wards with twenty-one neighborhoods to choose from. Many people describe the city in three parts: “East of the River,” “East of the Park,” and “West of the Park.” Within these neighborhoods, there are lots of DC real estate options. City residents can choose to live in historic row homes, modern condos, single-family homes, and more.

For those who would rather live on the outskirts, there are many suburbs and even rural properties in Virginia and Maryland. People who work in the city can easily commute to work using the Metro or commuting by car.

DC is Big, But Many Residents Live Outside the City

If you just count the number of people living in the city limits, the Washington, DC population is 693,972 (as of 2017). However, that’s not the whole story:

  • With all the commuters from Virginia and Maryland, there are over a million people in the city every workday
  • The entire metropolitan area has over six million people! It’s one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US.

No matter where you choose to live—inside the city limits or outside—you get the benefits of living in an incredible area with rich history and culture.

DC Has Nice Public Transport, But Getting Around Takes Awhile

Longtime Washington, DC residents know that it can take a long time to get anywhere throughout the city. Whether you opt to take the Metro, drive your own car, take a taxi, or grab an Uber or Lyft, you’ll have to plan ahead. Like many cities, the rush hour traffic is crazy!

If you want to drive your own car, be aware that parking is expensive in most places.

But if you want to take an eco-friendlier option, you’re in luck: DC is very pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly. When you walk or bike, you can enjoy the beautiful architecture, gardens, and monuments throughout the city. The sidewalks are wide and pleasant to walk on. And there’s an amazing, super cost-effective bike sharing program that allows you to rent a bike whenever you want and return it when you reach your destination.

DC Has Tons of Activities for Everyone

Washington, DC might be known for its politics and history, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fun things to do! In addition to the museums and monuments that DC is known for, there are endless entertainment options throughout the city. The nightlife in DC is unique, with fun themed bars, clubs, and music venues.

Many residents enjoy taking short trips on long weekends—it doesn’t take long to reach the ocean, the mountains, or other big cities like Philadelphia or Baltimore. However, even if you never leave the city, you won’t run out of activities or entertainment. And if you don’t have a car, that’s ok: most options are accessible by public transportation or walking.

One thing is for sure: whether you like museums, movie theaters, restaurants, music, theater, parks, sports, or anything else… you won’t be bored living in DC!

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