The Pros and Cons of Living in Washington, DC

The market for DC real estate is hot right now (especially for entry-level single-family homes), and perhaps you’re considering making the move and living in Washington DC. Washington is our nation’s capital, but apart from being familiar with important landmarks such as the Capitol Building and the White House, you may not know much about the area.

This article will discuss a few pros and cons of living in Washington DC. While we think everyone should visit at least once, we understand that calling the city home isn’t a great fit for everyone — and we want to help you make the best decision possible based on your needs and preferred lifestyle.

Pro: There are plenty of incredible (and free) attractions

A huge pro of living in Washington DC is that many of the must-see attractions in Washington, DC are free! The list is long and includes popular destinations such as the National Mall, which is adjacent to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and all of the area’s Smithsonian museums.

You can spend several days making your way through all the museums, but even if your time is limited, make sure you don’t leave town without checking out the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum.

The city also hosts dozens of annual festivals. You absolutely cannot miss the Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring and the DC Jazz Festival in the summer. From Pride parades to the biggest 4th of July celebration in the country, DC is always celebrating!

Con: The cost of living is high

Washington, DC's cost of living is 39% higher than the national average. The median household income in the district is $86,000, and the median value of owner-occupied Washington, DC, houses is just over $600,000. As with any city, the cost of living is higher because there are more people in a smaller area. However, communities and neighborhoods throughout the city are more affordable — you just have to research and work with an expert agent to find the best destination for you!

Pro: Loaded with history, culture, and diversity

It’s impossible to tell the story of America without spending a great deal of time in Washington, DC, which is reflected in the city’s atmosphere. Residents never tire of passing the Capitol or the White House — it’s incredible to think about all the important conversations happening throughout the city on a daily basis!

The city not only caters to its important history, but it’s also a cultural melting pot. From art shows, festivals, and even dozens of beautiful murals, Washington, DC is the place to be if you love American history and culture. Washington, DC, is ranked as one of the most diverse cities in the country. Government officials, Georgetown students, bankers, businesspeople, and others live and work in Washington, DC. There are also thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of global restaurants scattered throughout the neighborhoods, so if you’re craving the vibrant flavors of Spain, East Asia, or the Mediterranean, you can find the perfect spot to curb your cravings in DC.

Pro: DC experiences all four seasons

Temperatures can exceed 90 degrees in the summer with high humidity rates, something that many of those who own Washington, DC homes don’t love. However, this east coast town experiences all four beautiful seasons, a “must” for many people. Summers get toasty and humid, and winters experience average temperatures topping out in the 40s and frequently dropping below freezing during December through February. Still, nothing compares to fall and spring in DC.

The perfect weather and changing landscapes make living in this city an ever-changing, natural wonder. And just because you live in a city doesn't mean you don’t have the opportunity to get outside! There are plenty of hiking trails in the area to explore during all four seasons. 

Pro: There are plenty of job opportunities

Government agencies employ about 40% of DC residents, and as the nation's capital, there is no shortage of government jobs. Many locals also work in higher education, hospitality, or tourism. There are also career opportunities in healthcare, construction, technology, and media.
Photo courtesy of WTOP

Pro (and con): There are many ways to get around the city — but be ready for the traffic!

Washington, DC's public transportation system (WMATA) is the second-largest in the nation, ranking behind only New York City’s, but it’s ranked as the best Metro Transit. Washington, DC, has the second-fastest commute time among the 100 top metropolitan areas in the country. It is also the third most bike-friendly city in the country, and 4% of locals will bike to work regularly.

The public transportation is fantastic, but if you’re commuting into the city from the suburbs, be prepared for a long commute (or consider a job where you can work remotely). Washington, DC, residents lost an average of 124 hours — or five days — while commuting in 2019. Keep in mind that these are pre-pandemic numbers.

If you like the idea of moving to Washington, DC, the agents at Sarro & Georgatsos Group should be your first call. Whether you want help shopping for Washington, DC properties or are curious about the current state of the market for selling a Washington, DC home, our team will provide expert service and guidance. Contact us today to get started! Feel free to review our blog to learn more about this beautiful city.

Work With Us

Our expansive network and white-glove service ensure a bespoke experience for both buyers and sellers.
Contact Us
Follow Us