1. Local

Living in the Washington, DC Area

Pros & Cons

By

The Washington, DC area is a great place to live with a variety of choices for work, recreation and lifestyles. Here are the pros and cons to living in the Washington, DC area. Do you have additional things that you love or hate about the region? Share your experience
 

Pros:

  • Plenty of things to do. The Washington, DC area has lots of cultural activities, entertainment, shopping, festivals, outdoor recreation, and great restaurants.
     
  • Mild weather and four seasons. The Mid-Atlantic region has relatively mild weather and fewer natural disasters than other parts of the United States. Residents look forward to the beauty of the seasonal changes.
     
  • Central location. The region offers a variety of getaways within a few hours drive. You can enjoy a day trip or weekend getaway at the beach, the mountains, or several cities including DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, Wilmington, Philadelphia, and New York.
     
  • Diversity of people. The Washington, DC area is home to a wide variety of people from different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, religions, and economic levels. Overall the population is highly educated which makes it an interesting place to live. See Census information.
     
  • Variety of Neighborhoods.The region has everything from urban condo/apartments to suburban townhouses and single family homes to rural farmland. You can choose to live in a community that best suits your lifestyle.

Cons:

  • Terrible traffic. The Washington, DC area has lots of traffic congestion and commuting is stressful. Public transportation is limited and underused. (Possible solution: Live near your workplace or work from home)
     
  • High cost of living and housing. The housing and the cost of living in the Washington, DC area is among the highest in the country. Salaries tend to be higher as well. (Possible Solution: The further out you live from the city, the lower the prices) The outer suburbs are growing rapidly for this reason and young families are tending to move further out. See information about real estate and relocating
     
  • High stress level. Generally, residents of the Washington, DC area work long hours. A majority of the people are highly educated and motivated to succeed professionally. Many tend to sacrifice their personal life. They don’t know their neighbors and are too busy to socialize. It can be difficult to meet and get to know new people. (Possible Solution: Be assertive and seek out new activities and opportunities. There are lots of interesting people to reach out to, but it can take some effort to make new friends. Plan regular family activities and take long weekends or vacations as often as possible).

Both:

  • Political Influence. Scandals, political demonstrations and daily proceedings on Capitol Hill make the DC area an interesting place to live. As the nation’s capital, the government has a big impact on the region. The job market is strong because of government employers and contracts. The political climate is constantly changing and the world’s eye is always on this city.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.