Jul 29, 2023 - Real Estate

5 newcomers share their advice for moving to the D.C. area

United States Botanic Garden Photo: Courtesy of Zach Lowe

Moving to a new city can be tough. Here's what five Axios D.C. readers say about making the move to the DMV.

Retired and relocating

Who: Rosey Maffei

The story: My husband and I are both seniors who moved to D.C. in November 2021 from Long Island, New York.

Perks of D.C.: It's a wonderful place to retire. There's so much to see and do at no cost. Best of all no car is needed. The buses and Metro are easy to travel and inexpensive.

Advice: My advice to fellow transplant seniors would be to take advantage of all the city has to offer and become involved.

  • I've met people playing pickleball and there's a group I see most mornings at the dog park.

New job, new city

Who: Kym Hall

The story: I moved here in June 2021 after receiving a promotion.

What do in D.C.: Live as close in as possible, go to shows, go see live music at all the great venues, work your way through the list of top restaurants, get on the water or walk the towpath of the C&O Canal, or enjoy any one of the professional sports teams we have.

Advice: Forego the suburbs and just immerse yourself in all the amazingness D.C. has to offer.

Family move

Who: Dan Leinweber

The story: My wife, Bobbie, and I moved in August 2022 from Sudbury, MA, to downtown Bethesda to be closer to our son and his family in D.C.

  • This was our first move in more than 35 years.
  • It was nerve-wracking, as any move would be. However, soon after we were settled, the anxiety before the move was much worse than the move itself.

Meeting people: We left many friends in Boston and thought meeting new friends would be impossible. Not so. Friends who moved from Boston to D.C. eight years ago introduced us to their friends.

  • Our son and daughter-in-law fixed us up with their parents' friends. We met lovely people in our building. And we joined a club for tennis and met great people there.

Advice: Keep an open mind when moving. The D.C. area is very welcoming because, among other things, there are already many transplants here.

Lovin' the 'burbs

Who: Zach Lowe

The story: We moved to the DMV in fall 2021. Was in an apartment in Alexandria, Va., for a little under a year before we bought our home here in Bowie, Md.

  • Long story short, my husband and I wanted to get back closer to family. I ended up getting a job offer to work at C-SPAN! Soon thereafter, my husband got a job at two-star Michelin restaurant Jont.

Pro: I'd say the biggest positive change has been just how much there is to do — even with as small as D.C. can seem at times.

Con: We've enjoyed every bit of our time here — short of the often hellacious commute from the 'burbs.

Best spots in D.C.: One of my favorite places in town is the Botanic Garden.

  • Close runner-ups are the atrium at the Portrait Gallery, the Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and Mount Desert Island Ice Cream in Mt. Pleasant.

Advice: Get involved. Meet new people. Do something new every weekend. And keep your eyes peeled — you never who you might cross paths with.

New government job

Who: Clare Kane

The story: I moved for a government job, which I'm really enjoying. On a personal note, my brother also moved here last year and I'm closer in distance to Mom and Dad than I have been since high school.

Highlights of moving: I'm loving the city of D.C. I love how walkable it is.

Advice: Use Amtrak for travel to New York and elsewhere up north; it's so easy and more relaxing than a plane.

  • It's a hard rental market so build in time for looking if possible.
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