How to Find an Apartment in Washington DC

Washington D.C., otherwise known as the capital, is one of the hottest cities to live in for 2020 and beyond. The hype has been growing for years before, but people are starting to notice how much, and many, people want to move to this historic metropolitan area. There is no surprise why, as there is a lot to do and see, but you will need help.

Finding an apartment in any city requires patience and a keen eye, but especially in a city that is seeing apartments and condos being snatched up quickly. If you want to get your foot in the door and find that dream place, then these tips will help you out.

Choosing a Neighborhood

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Washington is certainly not as large as some of the other Eastern corridor cities, but it is not a small city either. There are many neighborhoods and each range in their offerings, cost, and apartment listings. Some are noticeably expensive because of their area, like the prestigious Georgetown or Capitol Hill, while others offer something for younger crowds in places like Adams Morgan and DuPont Circle. You want to live in an area that caters to your need for amenities (grocery shopping, essential services) as well as entertainment (bars, restaurants), and especially one that suits your demographic group (age, salary).

Determining Your Rental Budget

The biggest concern for anyone renting is the cost. Washington D.C. is a great city to live, but like many large populated areas, it is susceptible to some incredible rental costs for certain areas. Luckily, Daro Apartments are affordable apartments in Washington DC that provide quality living spaces and the city is chock-full of hidden gems. Just because D.C. can be expensive does not mean it needs to be, and you just have to be diligent in finding a neighborhood that is reasonably priced and within your budget. This brings us to the next important factor in finding an apartment in Washington D.C.

Making an Apartment Viewing Schedule

As mentioned, you need to be diligent. Finding the best possible apartment for your needs means thinking long term and that could mean a few months of searching. You will not find the perfect place that meets all of your needs right away, and if you do, you would be among the very few that do. Searching means having a schedule and planning on viewing no less than 3 apartments a week. The more places you see the better you will get an idea of which ones meet your criteria and which ones could be duds.

Have a Checklist of Apartment Needs

You want to live in a place that meets your location wants and needs. This could be demographics, entertainment, and nearby essentials, but you need a checklist for the apartment itself too. On-site laundry, ample parking, elevator or walk-up, natural lighting, WiFi/utilities included, square footage, dishwasher, etc. You get the point, there is a lot to ask for your apartment. This is somewhere you will be living in for a minimum of one year, so it needs to be as close to perfect as you can get. There are obviously going to be things that you are not going to get in every place you look for, but some things can be compromised on and that is okay, as long as you meet the majority of your list.

Have Fun With It

Too many people get wrapped up in the stressful aspects of apartment hunting that they forget they should be having fun. Talk with the landlord or realtor, speak to any neighbors if you spot them, go for a walk around the neighborhood, see the local landmarks and activities. You are looking for a place to live so you should try to enjoy the experience as much as you can. It might be a serious thing to commit to, but there is no reason why you cannot enjoy it as well. Washington D.C. is a city incredibly rich in history and culture, so soak it in and see why this city is the place you want to call home for the foreseeable future.

The great city of Washington D.C. is exploding in popularity with new residents coming in the thousands over the past couple of years. Whether you are new to the area or are a current resident looking for a new home within it, there are plenty of amazing apartments to find here. The first you need is a good guide for your apartment hunting needs, and these simple tips will help you get started in no time.

Set Aside Enough Time

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When searching for an apartment, it is vital that you are not rushing the process. If you know you will be moving, or your lease will be up soon, start looking for apartments as soon as possible. Since the metropolitan area of Washington is large, finding apartments is difficult, and it takes time to tour all the available units and make a division. Most locals advise setting aside at least two months for your apartment search. 

Setting aside time is especially important if you are looking for a company-managed apartment block instead of an independent landlord because the paperwork will likely take longer. Therefore, it is best to start looking two to three months in advance to avoid rushing and settling for an apartment you don’t particularly like. 

Understand the Application Process

Once you have found an apartment you like, you will have to go through the application process. It is best to understand the application process beforehand to avoid making any mistakes and potentially losing the apartment. The process is not very complicated. It includes filling out the rental application with all the essential details and paying the apartment application fee. Your landlord will also verify your credit background and run other background checks. 

Once you are cleared, you will need to prove that you can pay rent and decide whether or not you want a co-signer. Some landlords also want proof that you are an agreeable tenant, so you may need to submit contactable personal references. 

Consider Apartment Rental Programs

A woman holding a sign that says for sale in an apartment image

Suppose you are on a budget and can’t afford anything too fancy. In that case, you should look into Washington, DC’s numerous low-income housing programs. These programs are supported by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Local housing agencies in Washington also manage housing opportunities for low-income residents by offering affordable rent. You can get high-rise apartments and even single-family houses through these housing opportunities. 


Apartment hunting is a daunting task, especially in cities like Washington. However, if you know what you want, you can easily find an apartment that fits your needs. All you need to do is be aware of the kind of apartment you want, your budget, the rental programs, and the time you should set aside for such tasks.