Finding a new place can be tedious. First, you need to decide on the ideal location, look for the ideal house, then begin the moving process. Most often we downplay the magnitude of this process which leaves us clutching at straws at the last minute.
Washington attracts people from all corners of the world. Some are passing by and therefore looking for temporary housing in DC. On the other hand, some like you are looking to settle and looking for longer leases or permanent places.
As nerve-wracking as it may appear, we have prepared a checklist to help you breeze through the process. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Know Your Neighborhoods
The first thing on your checklist should be deciding where you’d prefer to stay. Like in most US cities, Washington has various neighborhoods with different rent prices.
Bothel, Quincy, and Spokane are some of the places with the lowest rental prices in Washington. These places and others not listed here are ideal if you are on a tight budget.
Other neighborhoods offer much more than easy living. Some have bigger green spaces, better shopping experiences, better, social amenities, and many other aspects that influence our decisions
Well, there are around 131 unofficially defined neighborhoods in Washington, each with something unique to offer. You can use any yardstick to choose your preferred neighborhood.
Schedule a Tour
You’ve made inroads in your online search and settled on several units. The next step is to visit these places. Tag a friend along, if you are the quiet type, pick your loudest friend. They’ll ask the hard questions and dig up as much information as possible.
Do this preferably two months before you move, and take your time to inspect the property.
By virtue of being the US’s political epicenter, Washington has one of the highest costs of living. In fact, it ranks 8th among the most expensive cities in the US.
This doesn’t mean you can’t cut a few corners. With the right moves, you can get yourself in a neighborhood with an affordable cost of living.
Neighborhoods located far off the city center have considerably lower rent prices and cost of living. However, you’ll have to endure longer commutes as a result.
However, your budget should always be above your projection. Things might be thick at first but should level out as you settle in. This is because Washington has a higher-than-average median outcome, which should even out the high cost of living.
Be Friends with the DC Metro
You will spend most of your daily commutes on the DC Metro, or just Metro as the locals refer to it. It is Washington’s public transport system. Contrary to what you think, the Metro is efficient and very clean.
It will take getting used especially if you haven’t had experience with public transport. It will save a bit of cash and make your commute efficient.
Part of befriending the Metro will include learning the train schedules. You will need this information at your fingertips if you want to make your appointments on time.
Make Room for Downsizing
Bigger cities have one thing in common – limited space. Washington isn’t different. As such, it is not uncommon to find apartments with smaller spaces than usual. People moving from smaller towns where space is abundant may find themselves with more items than their new place can accommodate.
You should consider the possibility that you may have to rent storage space to store some of your furniture. Gladly, Washington has a good number of secure self-storage facilities should you need one.
Read Your Lease
The world has plenty of dishonest people. Some of them work in the property market and hide their deceit in rental leases. Run for your life if an agent pushes to sign a lease under the pretext that the unit is highly sought after.
The bottom line is that you should know every word on the rent lease before signing it. If you can, get a lawyer to interpret the contents of the lease. Take your time to read through the lease until you are confident of its contents.
Welcome to the Capital!
It can be difficult to decide your first move when moving to a place like Washington. It is one of the biggest cities in the US with over 100 unofficially defined neighborhoods.
You can give yourself a head start by creating a checklist of tasks you’d want to achieve. Do it in a way that allows you ample time to comfortably cross your list.
Feel free to add personal checks besides what we’ve shared in this article.