Homes for Rent in Washington, DC: What You Need to Know
There’s no city quite like Washington, D.C., which was established as the nation’s capital as provided by the U.S. Constitution. The city doesn’t belong to any state, but it’s under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.
D.C.’s Local History
Washington, D.C., was established in 1790 out of a compromise. The southern states wanted the nation’s capital located in a site friendly to its slave-holding interests while the northern states wanted the new federal government to assume Revolutionary War debts. Both sides agreed to let President George Washington choose a site. The federal government assumed the debts as part of the agreement. Washington picked the site along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Maryland and Virginia both ceded land to the new district. Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French-born American military engineer, designed the city with the Capitol building at the heart of it.
The Cost of Living
The U.S. capital is a large city with a population of 705,749. It’s an expensive place to live with a cost of living that’s 59.6% higher than the national average. The median gross rent is $1,487. Residents pay a progressive district income tax ranging from 4% to 8.95% and a 6% sales tax. They also must pay local taxes to the District of Columbia.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Young professionals love the Dupont Circle neighborhood for its restaurants and bars plus access to the metro and bus lines. Academics and young families favor Foggy Bottom, between the White House and Georgetown University, for its amenities and accessibility to public transportation.
Those who don’t mind the commute are drawn to the suburbs of Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia and Silver Spring, Maryland. They are so close to the capital that residents feel they live in an extension of DC. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the DC-Arlington-Alexandria area is $3,128.
Things to Do in the City
Living in Washington, D.C., means an abundance of places to see. The National Mall features the Lincoln Memorial with the iconic 175-ton statue of President Lincoln, the Reflecting Pool, and the Jefferson Memorial with its famous neoclassical architecture. The extensive collections of the Smithsonian Museums are a must-see. There are 11 museums and galleries on the National Mall, but most people flock to the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Touring the White House offers a unique experience, although it requires ample planning. U.S. citizens must request access to a tour by calling their representatives in Congress while foreign visitors must contact their country’s embassy in DC.
Schools and Education
The nation’s capital is home to topnotch universities such as Georgetown University with 19,204 students, George Washington University with 28,172 students, Howard University with 9,139 students, and American University with 14,311 students. There are 11 institutions of higher learning in DC. It also has 223 public schools with an enrolment of 86,290 students. Highly ranked schools include Ross Elementary School and Lafayette Elementary School.