What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
When searching for a place to live, the important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to work, school, shops, medical facilities and, most importantly, an area that is secure and safe. The most important thing to take into account is the lifestyle that you and your family would like to have.
There are 15 separate neighborhoods within Washington, D.C. proper. There are also outlying suburbs in Virginia and Maryland, so there is a lot of choice. Be advised that even though the costs of living outside of D.C. proper might be cheaper, you can expect long commutes to and from work if you are working in D.C., unless you live near one of the Washington, D.C. Metro train stations. Since there are only a few main arteries into Washington, D.C., traffic backs up very quickly.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
There are many popular areas and neighborhoods available in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding areas. Again, it all depends on what type of lifestyle and community you’d like to live in. Accommodations vary from high-rise apartments, condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes. Many expatriates choose to live just outside the city and commute to their jobs in D.C. Some of the preferred locations for expatriates are Bethesda and Chevy Chase in Maryland and McLean, Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia.
Also, the most popular area for diplomats is typically the northwest area of D.C. Be sure to check out the websites below for more information on the various neighborhoods.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Most expatriates tend to rent for the first year or two. Some will look into purchasing once they have built up a credit history. However, most decide to continue renting because they are only on assignment in the area for a short period of time (two to three years).
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
In order to move into a new rental, most places require first and last month's rent, plus a security deposit equivalent to one month's rent. If you have a pet or pets, many places require a pet deposit for each one. Security deposits are generally returned when your lease is up and depending on the condition the residence is left in.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
This depends on where you live and on your landlord. In some cases, full or partial utilities are included and in others they are totally excluded. It is recommended that you check with your local real estate agent or landlord prior to moving in.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
As in most cities, it is important to take certain precautions to secure your place of residence. It is also recommended that you check out the local police reports before deciding on an area to live. These reports provide factual information on types of crimes and how often they occur. This will most likely be a determining factor on whether you choose to live in a certain neighborhood or not. We advise you to check with friends, colleagues or a real estate professional prior to deciding on a neighborhood.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current in the United States is 110 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 60.
Note: It is not recommended that you bring electric appliances to the United States from overseas. Although there are converters available, the electrical appliance may not function properly.
Below are examples of the types of plugs that are used in the U.S.:
Type A - Flat blade attachment plug
Type B - Flat blades with round grounding pin
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Crown Washington, D.C., can provide assistance when looking for a home in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Please feel free to contact Crown Washington, D.C., for further information on this service and our pricing structure.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.