What is the cost of living like in D.C.?

There are several year-long internships in D.C. for Economics that I’m intrested in. Some of the paid internships offer aroudn 33k bucks as compensation. I’m not really concerned with that since I only really want the experience. However, I imagine D.C., like any city is not a cheap place to live. Does anyone know if a person can survive on that kind of money? Also, what is the crime like in D.C.?

It’s doable if you find roommates and/or don’t pay more than 600/month in rent. Crime is a problem but it’s mostly confined to the bad areas… where you might consider living because it’s cheaper.

So I have absolutely no experience in the “real world” whatsoever, do you think that inspite of the fact I’d be living like a a hobo, I should take the oppurtunity should I get it? What areas are decent (i.e. very minnimal crime)? And are there websites for roommates in this area? Thanks everyone.

Most NW areas are ok. Check zip code 20016. One br apt would be roughly $1300.

Most of NorthWest Washington DC is safe (I used to live in Dupont Circle, which is really nice, but can be a bit pricey for the salary you’re talking about). NorthEast is iffy, but gentrifying, as is SouthEast. For DC, most of the policy types live in NW. Between NE and SE, I’d say you should choose SE. Northern Virginia is just as accessible and a little cheaper, and I’d say take a look there before looking at NE and SE DC. It’s more fun to be in DC proper, but Arlington isn’t so bad either. As for places to look, Craigslist has a site for DC. Look also at WashingtonCityPaper dot com and see the classifieds. The Washington Post is the standard DC paper and has a classifieds section too. That should get you started.

Damn! If the prices are this high, there MUST be other interns that live together. Have you guys ever lived with a random intern? I’m just scarred I’ll get some freak as a roommate. Also, as cities go, how cultured is D.C? I’ve never been there. Is it a city that one can walk around in ? Are there alot of bookstores around the city by any chance?

I stayed in Georgetown as an intern making $700 a month. Luckily my friends parents let me stay with them for free! :slight_smile:

Too bad kkent is not on the boards still, he lives out in DC.

Wow thakns guys for all your experiences. I’m just really still nervous about the crime. I want to be in an area that is free from Crime as much as possible, yet still convenient to the internship. It’s located near the White House, does anyone have any good places (not to expensive) with a direct metro to that part of D.C? And how lon would the commute be?

The biggest crimes are done in the White House, but it’s always safe to walk by.

DC is fairly cultured, and the museums on the mall are all free, which is nice (compared to New York). Opera and Symphony is good, but can be pricey. If you’re used to New York culture, and maybe SF or Chicago, then DC comes out as good-but-slightly-blah. However, there’s definitely more than most parts of the US. Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle is the bookstore/hangout/pickup-joint. There are quite a few bookstores around that should keep you happy, including a big Barnes and igNoble in Georgetown.

Damn, I"m looking at Crag’s List and I can’t find a single ‘decent’ looking non-suspicious looking apartment for under 15k-17k. Can anyone give me a clue as to what area I should be looking at (lot’s of interns/college/graduate age people, and relatively safe? And good access to the center-city D.C. area?

check out the clarendon section of arlington, va. that is a good spot if you decide to live outside the district. tons of restaurants, bars, young people. you can walk everywhere and take the metro into the district and be there in 10 min. it’s very safe if you’re worried about the crime and living in the city. i lived in arlington, va (pentagon city section) for 3 yrs. rent for a 1 br is high (over $1k/mo), but you can find roommates easily if you decide to go that route. it would knock off a few hundred a month and you’d save on utils and cable bills also. or look to sublet a place. it’s very transient there. if you decide to live in the district, georgetown and the NW sections are really nice and relatively crime free. keep in mind that the metro does not have a stop in g’town, so unless you have a car, you’re hoofing it everywhere. foggy bottom is a decent area also (right by George Washington U) the metor system is very good, so you can pretty much be anywhere in 10-15 min.

Serge, If you want an area that’s safe and where you can easily find roommates check out Foggy Bottom. The apt’s are expensive, but it’s close to a university as well as the world bank and imf. Look anywhere in NW and around Capitol Hill for an apartment. Those areas are good. Adams Morgan is expensive, but has a vibrant nightlife, but it depends what you’re into. I personally prefer the K-street corridor in NW, dupont, and georgetown. Try to find a real estate agent who will show you around the city. That’s the best way to figure out what you want. I live in fairfax county, close to tysons corner, and the commute is maybe 10-15 minutes (if you take HOV) about an hour if you don’t. Traffic is a bitch here so if you can avoid driving, do it. Unfortunately, DC, VA, MD have become one huge metropolis area so it’s very difficult to avoid having a car. If you can find a car-buddy to go to work with then consider looking out here for an apartment. Just like every city in the world, crime isn’t bad if you stay out of the bad areas. It is one of the most diverse areas you will ever go to and you will meet people from countries you’ve never heard of. It is considered one of the “highest-educated” cities, but I don’t really know what that means. As far as your internship… I have a few friends who’ve done internships with the SEC, World Bank, White House, Fed, etc. Unfortunately, the best ones are usually unpaid. Unless you happen to get lucky and get one of the few wonderful internships. Think about it like this: The demand for internships is very high here, supply is limited, therefore price drops. Good luck! I know I just babbled, but I’ll post more stuff as it comes to me.

Oh and you won’t really find that big of a rent difference between northern virginia and dc… if you find one at all…

Serge, I live in DC. Right in the heart of Georgetown. Crime is generally confined to places you would never go. If your job will be on Capitol Hill, then consider living in that area, otherwise forget it because it is just 1 giant capitol hill geek clique and kind of secluded from the rest of DC. Most of my friends found a room in a group house on craigslist. This is very popular in DC and you will be invited to “interview” for your room. It may sound weird but tons of people here live with a bunch of random people. Its much cheaper than finding a studio or 1BR and everyone in DC seems to be from someplace else and has some really cool job. So the shadiness is very minimal compared to some other cities.

You can live on that salary in DC area - especially if you live just inside or outside the district line of Northwest DC. you may have to share an apartment but the metro system is clean, safe, reliable and goes beyond DC into Maryland and Virginia. You don’t have to get a car and commute which is awful.

oh, and for some reason, studio apartments are called “efficiencies.” only one thing I can think they would be efficient for, though. :wink:

Ok, so you can trust some of these people on Craig’s List? Cause I’m rlly unsure looking at some of these descritpiions. It’s just so weird to room with someone I have never met in my entire life. While I’m interning I’ll be studying alot as well. Has anyone ever heard of roommates specifically wanting quiet for studying etc. in D.C.?

yes Serge, I definitely don’t think the craigslist ads are shady if they are in normal locations - Focus on the Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and Georgetown areas - thats where most of under-30 professionals live and theres tons of group houses. The further away from these areas the more shady the ads become, so watch out. There are tons of students and interns and tons of people who work at non-profits, so not many young people make a lot of money here. I’d definitely recommend living in a good part of the city. If you respond to a craigslist ad, you will most likely have to meet them in person before you are picked to move in.