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Q&A: Moving to Washington D.C. without a job lined up?

by tom44 on June 5, 2014

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Question by Raging Hillbilly: Moving to Washington D.C. without a job lined up?
I’m going to be startng college in D.C. in January, but want to move there soon. I know it’s VERY expensive, but I want to move there soon so I can begin the job search in person and not from halfway across the country.

I have decent savings and what not, so I’d be able to live fine for a while before I start school and get a job.

Any thoughts on moving there without a job, or would it be advisable to have a job lined up beforehand? Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by J P
I’m not sure what you mean by “decent savings” so let me give you some information.

Single bedroom apartments in the area go for anything between $ 800-$ 3000/month depending upon where they are. You can generally find a roommate using Craigslist, roommate.com or some other similar service. Rooms for rent in people’s basements or whatever can generally go from $ 400 and up so you can usually get by for a bit that way, if you don’t mind sharing with your landlord. Groceries are probably fairly typically priced but I bought a gallon of milk yesterday for $ 3.40 and I pay about $ 2.90 for gas in the burbs and around $ 3.05 in the more expensive areas in the city.

If “decent savings” means $ 2k I’d say find a job first. If it means $ 10k I’d say you’re safe finding work here (most likely) after you move. The job market in the area is pretty good, especially if you work in the tech industry and have or can get a security clearance.

Metro doesn’t travel far outside DC but it can get you to some of the suburban areas of Maryland and Virginia, so you can get a reasonable distance out of the city for some slightly cheaper rents (still in the ranges I indicated above) if you’re willing to travel longer to get to work/school. Metro closes at midnight weekdays and 2 weekends so that might be a factor for you, and I believe it opens at 5 or 6 am.

Good luck.

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