Are you interested in moving to the DC area? Curious what the difference is between DC Maryland and Virginia? Well this DC Real Estate Mama is here to help you compare living in the three areas.
The DC lifestyle is super walkable, there are plenty of sidewalks and views to take in while you are walking and I would say most people choose to walk. You will always see people in the streets. Virginia is not known for being pedestrian friendly. Closer to Alexandria or Arlington is much more walkable, but the further out from the city that you travel you will notice people are much more car dependent. Maryland is similar to Virginia in that respect. For errands such as picking up groceries or hitting the shops you’ll most likely have to jump in your car. Virginia and Maryland both have tons of trails though if you are interested in that!
Now let’s talk about social life. DC has all the social life you could ever want. There is a bar, restaurant, or meeting place for you and your friends in every neighborhood. You can navigate to everything mostly on foot or by public transportation. For Virginia and Maryland, you will find that restaurants and bars are located more in the centers of the large neighborhoods. Clarendon or Courthouse in Arlington for instance have their own epicenters filled with outdoor markets, shops and restaurants.
You will find the same in Old Town Alexandria. If you live in Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia, you can navigate a lot on foot. Once you are further outside of these areas, your options are more reduced unless you are in one of the planned communities. I will say having lived in Maryland though, it is not really a place that one would aspire to live for a great nightlife scene, but it is better than it once was.
If you have a family to think of when you are deciding on your move, I highly suggest looking at the schools first, and then picking a neighborhood based on that. If you are single without kids, the entire metropolitan area is your oyster! If you want a 24/7 neighborhood, then the middle of DC is for you. If you are looking for a spot that maybe quiets down at some point and you don’t have to worry about drunk people screaming outside your window all night, then maybe looking a little further outside of the city is best so you can actually get some sleep.
So what about real estate and what will you get for your money? One bedroom condos are going to cost upwards of $400,000 in DC. In Maryland, the closer you get to the city the higher the prices are. You’ll see condos in the high $300,000 and then go down from there the further out you go. Thanks to the newly opened Amazon Headquarters, Virginia’s prices have caught up to DC. Single family homes in DC are in the $1-2 million range. Can you find stuff less than that? Sure, in an up and coming neighborhood maybe. In Virginia and Maryland, about an hour out of the city you can get a home for less than half a million dollars. Of course there are always different variants such as neighborhoods, amenities, yard size, etc.
Rent follows the same pattern with one bedrooms in DC renting between $2,000-$2,400 a month, two bedrooms $3,000-$4,500. Maryland and Virginia rent prices will probably be around 70-80% of the DC rent prices.
If you have any more questions about which area might be best for you, or just are interested in real estate help in any of these areas, please let me know! The DC Real Estate Mama is here to help!