12 things to know before moving to dc
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

12 Things to Know Before Moving to DC

DC Guide

12 Things to Know Before Moving to DC

Washington DC is best known as the home for US politics, but there's so much more to the nation's capital than what happens in the White House or on the Hill.

Families, students, singles looking for true love, military personnel, young urbanites, and longtime residents who've seen the city go through years of change call DC home. So, what do DC movers need to know before making their move? Well, more than they might think for it is one complicated town.

#1: Vehicle Registration Is Easy

When you live in the DC metro area, the DMV has nothing to do with getting your vehicle registered. You'll hear DJs and RJs mention events in the DMV, which refers to the District, Virginia and Maryland.

So, consider learning this, and your Motor Vehicle Authority searching will be much less confusing. If you, however, need to register your card, you might want to check out the DC-DMV.

#2: Moving Companies

Professional DC movers provide an easy time as you relocate. They have the expertise and skills to make sure you have a smooth transfer, so hiring a moving company is worth considering. These professional movers are trained to make sure your belongings are handled with care to avoid damage.

Hiring a moving company also ensures you arrive at your new place in time so that you get enough time to settle down. Simply tell them what you need, and they'll tailor your services and match you with a highly-qualified team for your move.

#3: There Are Many Big Name Industries In DC

Although DC is best known for American politics, there are other industries in the metro area and the city.

Hilton Worldwide has its headquarters right outside of the District in Virginia. Many healthcare and tech companies are set up both inside and outside of DC too. If you want to move here and aren't into politics and stuff, just dig a little. There are tons of non-political jobs in DC.

#4: Know Your Street Grids

Washing DC is a city of quadrants. It's within the Beltway, but the city is sectioned off into 4 pieces.

The Capitol building is at the center point. Note that the stress addresses may get a bit confusing. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to the SE, SW, NE, and NW in the street address.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the quadrants aren't the same sizes, so your address might switch quicker than what you expected.

#5: DC Is a City of Transients

Washington, DC is full of politicians, embassies, lobbyists, consultants, and military personnel that are constantly moving around the country and across the world. The rental market and housing may shift when the president of one party moves out, and the one from the opposing party moves in.

Consultants come and go, and military members are reassigned. DC is a transient city, and for that, it's actually easy to meet people and make friends since everyone's new.

#6: DC is Below the Mason-Dixon Line

DC is "technically" in the South. However, you'd never figure that out based on the politics of the town.

The Virginia side is very much "southern" compared to the Maryland side of DC. In the District, two of these sides merge as different political parties come to power every once in a while. Also, the availability of sweet tea is spotty; just know where to look.

#7: History is All Around You

If you love history, then you will love living in DC. The history in DC is not just about presidents and senators.

The city played a key role in civil rights history, the women's suffrage movement, and the labor movement. There is a reason many middle school Social Studies classes take special field trips to Washington DC.

#8: There are Many Good Schools in DC

Like many other cities, DC gets a bad name for its schools. Well, the misnomer is if you want your child to get a good education, but at the same time you're not willing to pay for private schools, you need to consider moving to the suburbs.

Suburban schools are great, but there are some neighborhoods with excellent elementary and middle schools worth investigating like Wesley Heights, Cathedral Heights, Kent, Grover Park, and Chevy Chase DC.

#9: Traffic is the Worst

Really. Traffic is quite miserable. While the metro is well-utilized, it can go down from time to time. If you're someone who drives during rush hour, consider finding alternative means of transportation, such as biking, walking, metro, taking the MARC train, or anything else but driving.

Sadly, even during the off-hours, traffic can build up for no apparent reason. Congestion is here to stay, so you need to learn to deal with it.

#10: You Can Easily Find Affordable Housing, Even Downtown

DC is quite an expensive city to live in, and there's no denying that fact. However, there are places, even downtown, which is much affordable. If you're craving city life, you no longer need to move to the suburbs. All you need is to find the proper real estate agent to get you the place you prefer in town. Now there are many websites from which you can get a shared accommodation.

Currently, Petworth, 16th Street Heights, and Anacostia are hot spots to look.

#11: DC Has a Great "New" Food Scene

DC has always had some amazing food, so don't get us wrong. However, it has usually been centered around potatoes and meat, or stuffy Frech food. In the past 10 years, DC has seen revitalization, bringing talented young chefs who're taking local ingredients and making amazing things with them.

Union Market is the perfect example here. It's a great place to sample different bites. Also, DC finally got into its coffee business, and now you can get an excellent brew outside of the walls of Starbucks.

#12: You Are Surrounded by Free Museums

DC is the land of many great museums, and most of them are free.

All of the Smithsonian museums are absolutely free. While they might have special paid exhibits, if you want to see the T-Rex each day for the rest of the year at the National Museum of Natural History, please go for it.

The National Geographic Museum, Spy Museum, and Newseum, on the other hand, are a sampling of the pay-to-play museums in town.

Wrapping Up

We hope you liked our list of things to know before moving to DC. Oh, and before you leave, here's a small tip for you: Walk left, stand right. That is the rule when you are on the escalators or stairs in the Metro stations.

Many of the escalators are quite long, and during rush hour, you wouldn't want to stand in the way of busy commuters.

That said, did you find this article helpful?

Share your thoughts and recommendations with us in the comments below!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments