Signs That It’s Time to Move out of Your D.C. Apartment

by Megan WildSeptember 7, 2017

Living in a busy city like Washington, D.C. means you’re probably at work all the time, focusing on building your career and putting other aspects of life aside for later. Growing your career can be a great thing to do, but at some point, you’re going to have to think about progressing in your personal life. The big question is figuring out when that point is for you.
Image on Washington, D.C. monument
Most of the time, people can begin to advance to the next stage of their lives when it comes to their apartment. Apartment living in D.C. can be the preferred option to those struggling with home ownership responsibilities and fees, but there will come a time when you might want to move. How will you know when that time is for you? Look for these obvious signs and take them seriously:

1. You Can’t Build a Savings Account

When people talk about renting an apartment, it’s usually in a conversation about how they’re doing it to save money. Depending on where you live, however, that might not actually be what’s happening.

D.C. proves this point well since the cost of a small studio apartment in an average area of town can cost tenants nearly $2,000 each month in rent. On a one-person income, that can be stifling. Do some research instead to find apartments outside of town that might be more affordable for you.

2. Housing Becomes a Realistic Option

If you happen to be one of the people who does have a savings account, it may be a good time to look into getting a house. Just this past spring, the D.C. housing market has seen a boost in sales. It’s also considered to be a seller’s market right now, so if you are ready to buy, be quick.

Another option might be to build your own home. Before you start looking into floor plans, though, know that the timing of when you’d move out of your apartment depends on the complexity of the home you build. Talk with your chosen builder to discuss a timeline that incorporates elements like shipping for supplies and any labor delays.
Image of apartment building in Washington, D.C.

3. Rent Gets Too Expensive

Something that landlords can do — but aren’t encouraged to — is hiking rent up for one business-related reason or another. While this can be normal, D.C. actually has a law that protects renters. Called the Rent Stabilization Law, it prevents your landlord from raising your rent costs up more than once every twelve months. This could be a huge life saver, but that doesn’t mean that your rent isn’t already costing you a few bucks too much.

If your rent has gotten too expensive over the time you’ve lived in your apartment, look around for other options that may be more affordable. It might be worthwhile to find a roommate or two to help cut costs, for instance. Roommates could also help you transition into a rental home and get out of that apartment phase.

The Bottom Line

Apartments can serve a great purpose when you first move into them because they may fit your lifestyle or financial needs. Like most things, though, that probably won’t stay the same forever. To figure out when it’s right for you to leave your D.C. apartment, pay attention to your local housing market and who’s looking for a roommate. You might even consider leaving because of your rent costs, even if they only increase once a year. Leaving your apartment might seem like a big step, but it could lead to even greater opportunities.

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About The Author
Megan Wild
Megan Wild enjoys finding easy and low-stress ways to improve your home. In her downtime, she enjoys flipping flea market finds, hanging out with her dog, and writing on her home-themed blog, Your Wild Home. She's passionate about sustainability and environmentalism, and you can find her tweeting about both @Megan_Wild.

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