| Buying | By Anslie Stokes

DC is, by its very nature, highly transient. Hundreds of people arrive in the city and surrounding area every month, contributing to a beautifully unique and constantly-changing real estate landscape that may be difficult to navigate. To help, we’ve put together a guide for out-of-state buyers looking to move to DC.

From general tips for buying a home to the hot neighborhoods for newcomers, here are some of the things you need to know if you’re relocating here.

Some Little Things For Newcomers to Know

DC has a very specific local culture, and it’s one thing we love about the area. Even outside of the downtown area, counties like Arlington and Alexandria reflect the DC lifestyle and people who live there often have similar values. Here are some of the little local oddities you should know before you move here.

Brunch is a big deal.

Everyone dresses a little more formally than they would if they were in a different state. Full suits aren’t uncommon, and so adjust your early outfits accordingly.

Since DC is a busy city, there are traffic rules for walking. Our unofficial slogan is “walk left, stand right”. Just like driving on a highway, you pass on the left and try to stay out of the way if you’re going a little slower than everyone else.

We call the airport “National”, not “Reagan”.

DC is a great place for transit. While you may decide not to ditch your car when you move here, just know that it’s entirely possible to live and work in different parts of DC and still easily get around without a vehicle. Traffic can be really bad, too, so walking can take just as much time as driving.

 

Neighborhood Notes

DC has 8 wards and over 131 neighborhoods…it can be a lot to take in as an outsider. Here are some of the most popular areas newcomers should consider settling into when relocating to DC.

 

Georgetown

Historic, charming, and highly walkable, Georgetown is a popular neighborhood characterized by its closeness to Georgetown University and Capitol Hill. It’s also expensive – one of the most expensive places to live, buy, and rent in DC. While it’s worth it for many residents, the cost of entry might be too much for many buyers.

Population: 14,156
Average price per square foot: $816
Median sales price: $1,142,000
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 40 minutes / 20 minutes

 

Hawthorne

Natural, suburban, and very similar (albeit a little cheaper) than the nearby Chevy Chase, Hawthorne is prized for its spacious yards and amazing local schools. It’s a safe enclave that many residents choose for its family-friendly reputation, access to amenities, and idyllic feel.

Population: 2,907
Average price per square foot: $546
Median sales price: $1,005,000
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 80 minutes / 40 minutes

 

Brentwood

Affordable and rapidly-changing, Brentwood is a quiet neighborhood made up of half renters, half owners a few blocks north of Gallaudet University. Brentwood’s reputation is changing as the neighborhood gentrifies, making it hard to categorize as anything other than a neighborhood in transition. While the important amenities are plentiful and accessible, there are fewer options for shopping and dining out than in other areas of DC.

Population: 3,582
Average price per square foot: $229
Median sales price: $236,00o
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 40 minutes / 15 minutes

 

Montgomery County, MD

Montgomery is a county located in Maryland, is a major destination for buyers moving to the DC area but looking to stay out of the city’s core. Referred to as MoCo, the county contains a number of highly sought-after neighborhoods like Bethesda, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Rockville. It’s significantly less expensive than most areas closer to downtown DC but comes with a commute time to match.

Population: 1.04 million
Average price per square foot: $270
Median sales price: $432,900
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 90 minutes / 40 minutes

 

Alexandria, VA

Alexandria is a hot area for real estate right now, characterized by its ultra-quaint Old Town and love for historical re-enactments. With a beautiful waterfront, loads of historic charm, a diverse population, and amazing food, Alexandria is a great place for people moving to DC but who don’t want to live right next to Capitol Hill.

Population: 153,511
Average price per square foot: $369
Median sales price: $518,000
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 90 minutes / 40 minutes

Arlington, VA

Arlington is well-known for being the go-to place to settle outside of DC. Suburban and community-focused, Arlington is home to amazing shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. With a growing market and easy access to downtown DC, Arlington is a great place to move and invest in real estate right now.

Population: 392,772
Average price per square foot: $464
Median sales price: $650,000
Transit/Drive time to Capitol Hill: 30 minutes / 20 minutes

See how we helped a client buy an Arlington home from Malaysia – sight unseen.

With so many unique areas, we’ll be able to find something that suits your budget, lifestyle, needs, and wants. Give us a call at 202.270.1081, email us at anslie@thestokesgroup.com, or send us a message to get started.

 

The Stokes Group is a team of dedicated professionals who have passion for the real estate business and will advocate for our clients with the utmost honesty, integrity, and confidentiality. We believe in building solid relationships with our clients and that starts by getting to know who we are. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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