Moving to the DMV area – The ultimate guide

Top places in DMV areaFebruary 22, 2023

If you’re planning on relocating to the DMV area, the key is to be prepared. Aside from hiring one of the professional moving and storage Sterling VA companies, getting to know the best places in the area will allow you to decide where you want to move with ease. We’re sharing all the best cities, and the stats you need to know to make the moving process seamless. Moving to the DMV area is popular among families with kids, professionals, and retirees alike. The cities in the area have something to offer to everyone!

Why are people moving to the DMV area?

There are several reasons why people might choose to move to the DMV area, which commonly refers to Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Overall, the DMV area offers a unique blend of career opportunities, education options, cultural experiences, and a vibrant lifestyle, which can make it an attractive destination for people looking to relocate.

Job opportunities

The DMV area is home to many government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector companies, which creates a variety of job opportunities across different sectors. Some of the largest employers are the federal government and non-profit healthcare organizations such as MedStar Health and Inova Health System. The largest federal employer is the Department of Defense, which employs over 145,000 people in the region. Johns Hopkins is another large employer in the area. It’s one of the top-ranked universities in the world and operates several hospitals and medical centers in the DMV area. It employs over 70,000 people in the region.

Education

The region has many reputable universities and colleges, including Georgetown University, American University, the University of Maryland, and Virginia Tech.

student graduating after moving to the DMV area
Education is one of the most common reasons among young adults for moving to the DMV area.

The DMV area also has excellent public and private schools. The public school systems in the DMV area are generally well-regarded and offer a diverse range of educational programs. The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has made significant improvements in recent years, and many schools in the region offer International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) programs. There are many private schools in the DMV area, including prestigious schools such as Sidwell Friends School and St. Albans School. Private schools in the region offer a range of educational programs and often have smaller class sizes and more individualized attention than public schools.

The region has several specialized schools. One of them is the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, which is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the country. Another specialized school in the area is the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, which offers programs in music, theater, and visual arts.

Vibrant lifestyle

The DMV area is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and entertainment options, including museums, art galleries, theaters, music venues, and sports teams. The National Mall in Washington DC is home to many world-renowned museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of American History. There are also many other museums in the region, such as the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

The DMV area is home to many monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. These sites offer a glimpse into the history and culture of the region. The area also has many theaters, including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and the Strathmore in Maryland. These venues offer a range of performances, from Broadway, shows to classical music concerts.

The region has several professional sports teams, including the Washington Football Team, the Washington Nationals, and the Washington Capitals. There are also many college sports teams in the region, including those at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University.

What are the best cities in the DMV area?

Deciding where to move in the DMV area can be tricky because there are so many excellent options. When choosing where to move, you should take into consideration factors such as the cost of living and housing, employment, education, and population. Some of the top places in the DMV area are:

  • Washington DC
  • Sterling VA
  • Alexandria VA
  • Arlington VA
  • Ashburn VA
  • Frederick MD
  • Bethesda MD

Washington DC

Washington DC is one of the best cities to live in if you’re thinking about moving to the DMV area. However, the city is known for its high cost of living, which can be a deal-breaker for some people. The cost of living in Washington DC is 50.6% higher than the national average. Housing is one of the main reasons for the high cost of living in DC. The median home price is $675,400 which is expensive compared to the national average of $428,700. The average rent in the city is $1,362 which is 44% higher than the US average. Luckily, you can find plenty of affordable and secure storage units in Wahington DC, and rent a smaller, less expensive apartment or house.

a view of Washington DC
Washington DC is one of the best places in the DMV area for young professionals.

On the other hand, the income is also higher. The median income in Washington DC is 69,235, which is higher than the US average of $53,482. The population of the city is relatively young, with the median age being 33.9 years. Washington DC has around 712,816 residents, which makes it a great place in the DMV area to move to if you like living in big cities.

Schools in Washington DC

The public school system in Washington DC is run by District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), which serves approximately 49,000 students in over 110 schools. In addition to public schools, there are several private schools in Washington DC, including religious schools, charter schools, and independent schools. Some notable private schools in the city include Sidwell Friends School, Georgetown Preparatory School, and National Cathedral School. Washington DC is also home to several colleges and universities, including Georgetown University, American University, Howard University, and George Washington University. These institutions offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of fields, including business, law, medicine, public policy, and the arts.

Sterling VA

Sterling is another excellent option if you want to move to the DMV area. It’s especially appealing to anyone who likes living in smaller-sized cities. With a population of 34,324 and a median age of 35, the city of Sterling is ideal for young professionals and families with kids.

However, just like most places in the DMV area, living in Sterling is on the expensive side. The cost of living in Sterling is 32.6% higher than the national average. This also includes the high housing prices. Although it’s more affordable than Washington DC, the median home price in Sterling is $519,000. That’s still higher than the national average of $428,700. On the upside, there are excellent options to rent Sterling storage containers when you need additional space.

greeen trees
Living in Sterling is pricey, but you’ll be surrounded by beautiful nature.

When it comes to employment, Sterling has some excellent options, and it’s conveniently close to Washington DC so many residents also choose to commute to work in the US capital. The unemployment rate is around 4%, meaning there are plenty of job opportunities for job-seekers in the area. Many large corporations, including Amazon Web Services, Verizon Business, and Airbus Group, have operations in the area, and Loudoun county where Sterling is located is home to many technology, aerospace, and defense companies. The median income in Sterling is $86,968 which is well above the national average of $53,482.

Sterling is located in Loudoun County, which has a highly regarded public school system. The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is the third-largest school system in Virginia and serves over 80,000 students in 94 schools. LCPS consistently ranks highly in state and national rankings, and its students perform well on standardized tests.

Alexandria VA

Alexandria is another popular option among people who relocate to the DMV area. It is a good option for people who like living in larger cities. With a population of 158,726 and a median age of 36.5, it’s clear that Alexandria is a popular choice among young adults.

Similarly to all cities in the region, living in this city is fairly expensive. The cost of living in Alexandria is 40.3% higher than the national average. Housing costs are also on the higher end. The median home price in Alexandria is $585,300. However, there are also excellent options when it comes to renting additional storage Alexandria VA offers. The crime rate in Alexandria is 19% lower than the US average, so you don’t have to worry about your safety.

Alexandria is also one of the best places to move to for job-seekers. The unemployment here is 4.9% whereas the US average is 6%. In addition to that, the median income is also higher than the national average. The median household income in Alexandria is $87,319 which is 61% higher than the US average. Some of the largest employers in the city are the federal government, which has several agencies and offices located in the city, as well as INOVA Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria City Public Schools, and the City of Alexandria itself.

Arlington VA

Another excellent option for all big-city lovers moving to the DMV area is Arlington. With 240,798 residents and a median age of 34.4, the city is ideal for young adults looking to pursue their careers or build a family. Arlington is home to several attractions, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Marine Corps War Memorial (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial), and the Arlington Arts Center. The county is also home to many parks and recreational facilities, including the popular Shirlington Dog Park.

Arlington is a great choice if you're moving to the DMV area
Arlington is a beautiful city in the DMV area.

The cost of living in Arlington is 61.6% higher than the national average, making this city even more expensive to live in than Washington DC. Housing is one of the main reasons why living in Arlington is expensive, with the median home price at $785, 800. However, you can always downsize and rent affordable and secure storage Arlington VA has at its disposal.

Arlington, VA has a diverse economy and a strong job market, with many employment opportunities in various industries and a low unemployment rate of just 4%. The median income in Arlington is a whooping $105,120, which makes the high cost of living in this city easy to handle.

Some of the largest employers in the county include the federal government, which has several agencies and offices located in the area, as well as Amazon and Virginia Hospital Center. In addition to government and healthcare, Arlington’s economy is also driven by technology and consulting companies. Many large corporations and startups have offices in the county, including Deloitte, Accenture, Nestle, and CACI International, among others. These companies provide employment opportunities in fields such as IT, cybersecurity, engineering, and consulting.

Ashburn VA

Ashburn is another popular place in Virginia, and one of the underrated gems of the DMV area. With a population of 56,377, this VA village is more populous than some cities. The citizens of Ashburn have a median age of 35.3.

The cost of living in Ashburn is 50% higher than the national average, and the housing costs are also on the higher end. The median home price is $667,200. Just like in other popular places in the DMV area, you can also find amazing storage units in Ashburn VA as well. Lacking space won’t be an issue after you move to this charming village.

two business women moving to the DMV area
Ashburn is a popular choice among successful young professionals moving to the DMV area.

The job market in Ashburn is appealing to young professionals who are flocking to the DMV area. The median household income is $122,687 while the unemployment rate is 4.1%. Because of that, the standard of living in Ashburn is very high.

Frederick MD

If you’re moving to the DMV area soon, Frederick is one of the best choices. This charming city is home to 73,308 people. The median age in the city of Frederick is 35.3, but retirees love living here too. It’s a vibrant yet peaceful place that has something for everyone!

Frederick, Maryland is one of the most affordable cities in the DMV area. The cost of living in Frederick is just 9.1% higher than the national average. Housing is also more affordable than the US average, with the median home price at $379,400. On top of that, you can rent safe storage units in Frederick MD for an amazing price.

The job market in Frederick is appealing, even though the median income is somewhat lower than in other places like Ashburn. The median income in Frederick is $65,967, which is still 20% higher than the US average. The unemployment rate is 5.4%. Fort Detrick is a US Army Medical Command installation and the city’s largest employer with over 10,000 employees.

Bethesda MD

Home to 64,296 people, Bethesda is one of the best, but also one of the most expensive, places to live in the DMV area. It’s especially popular among retirees, which is why the median age in the city is 43.4.

Bethesda fountain
Bethesda is one of the most elite cities in the DMV area.

The cost of living in Bethesda is 87.8% higher than the national average, and the housing prices are one of the main reasons why. The median home price in Bethesda rose to around $1.2 million in 2022. That’s significantly more expensive than the US average of $428,700. That’s why people choose small, cozy homes and rent storage units Bethesda has to offer.

The employment opportunities in the city of Bethesda are top-notch. Bethesda has a strong job market, with a diverse range of industries and employers. The city is located in Montgomery County, which is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States and is home to many government agencies, technology firms, healthcare providers, and research institutions. The unemployment rate in Bethesda is 5.7%, and the median income is extremely high at $145,288.

How to move with ease?

Your upcoming move can be one of the best and simplest experiences of your life. Moving to the DMV area will be easy with skilled professionals by your side. Because of that, it’s important to hire movers up to 8 weeks before the move and start organizing and planning the relocation process. Once you’ve decided where you want to move to, make a detailed to-do list of all the moving tasks. After that, simply check off the tasks as you complete them, and you’re just a few steps away from a carefree relocation!

 

References:

  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/maryland/bethesda
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/maryland/frederick
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/virginia/alexandria
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/virginia/arlington
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/virginia/ashburn
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/district_of_columbia/washington
  • https://www.bestplaces.net/city/virginia/sterling

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