Washington DC vs. NYC – living costs compared

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You have decided on moving from DC to NYC. Wonderful news! It is a new chapter in your life and a promising one for sure. But before you can take your first step, you must know all about the place you are moving to. You should compare Washington DC vs. NYC thoroughly and learn enough about the market, costs of living, housing opportunities, etc. If you do it right, you will avoid unpleasant surprises and unexpected spending. So, let us accompany you on this journey and help you find out all about NYC costs. Let’s go!

Washington DC vs. NYC – relocation costs compared

You shouldn’t worry about the relocation costs that much. Simply because local movers DC keep the same prices like other companies. The moving industry scales across the board to stay competitive and you can only find cheaper and better deals. Although, white-glove movers were always more expensive than regular ones. And special moving services will cost more obviously. But that all depends on the situation you are in and on the nature of the items you are moving. So, all you must do is research a bit and make sure your movers possess the following:

  • Licenses and permits.
  • Knowledge, experience, and a good reputation.
  • Competitive prices and desirable moving services.
  • Tool and equipment.
  • Safety standards and moving insurance.
two movers taking the boxes out
Movers kept the same rate across the board. Do not worry about it too much.

These are the mandatory requirements all moving companies should have. You will easily find your Washington DC movers online and once you do, give them a call, and confirm they are up to the task. All in all, you shouldn’t compare much between DC and NYC because prices may be slightly different and it won’t affect your moving budget at all.

The housing market

Right from the start, we must tell you that NYC is by all means 23% more expensive than DC. This applies to all areas you are interested in and all segments of our lives. Hence, you must dedicate a proper budget to cover one of the moving companies DMV, a property, groceries, and bills for the upcoming months. You must create a solid plan because you are moving to a place that will spend one-quarter of your yearly income simply by being more expensive. Although, more popular and prestigious as well.

As you know, the NYC housing market is extremely popular and it will be hard to find exactly what you are looking for. You must be prepared to settle for less unless you have a stretching budget. Also, it does not matter if you are renting or buying, real estate is expensive because there is high demand. Everyone wants to live in NYC at some point whether they are here for good or simply passing by. Therefore, expect to pay between $1500 and $1700 for rents or between $650k and $680k if you want to buy a property.

The costs of living

If you crunch your numbers and do the math right, you will realize you need $8000 instead of $6000 per month to maintain a healthy standard. And this is for the quality of life in general. No more no less. All the utilities, groceries, healthcare, and rent are included. Although, healthcare is prone to change depending on the package you are having or what kind of health problems you have and must pay for. Hopefully, you have none but you must prepare in advance because health-related costs are around 27% higher in NYC. Therefore, prepare a budget for this occasion or consider purchasing a better health plan.

compare Washington DC vs. NYC and prepare an adequate budget
NYC is 25% more expensive than DC. Keep that in mind before you dedicate your monthly budget.

As for the food, you can get by if you watch your spending carefully. There are low-cost stores and local markets where you can buy local produce or items in bulk. This way you will save considerably.

Washington DC vs. NYC – utilities and other services compared

When it comes to Washington DC vs. NYC, some services are way cheaper in NYC. For example, cellphone services are almost 50% cheaper in NYC. The internet providers still keep their price around $65 per month which is the median average across the entire US. Although, probably the best way to do it is to choose a bundle with internet, cable, and landline. There are even packages with cellphone service included so you can keep everything under a watchful eye all the time. As for electricity, garbage, water, and heating, NYC is less than 8% more expensive than DC.

General information you might want to know

Some people have their finances in place and a steady yearly income. They do not mind much about the Washington DC vs. NYC difference in price if they can still afford everything. What they might be concerned about are the commuting time and public transportation. It is a pressing matter when you have a family with elders and children. No one wants to spend hours on the road especially if this is your kid on the way to school. Therefore, you must know New York has an amazing public transportation system. It is sitting at rank 5 in the entire US. Buses are clean, cheap, and per schedule most of the time.

a woman leaving the yellow cab
Using a taxi service is far better than driving in NYC.

On the other hand, driving in New York City is notoriously boring and time-consuming. Not to mention that you’ll be spending far more on gas than on taxi services. And sometimes, it is even better and faster to walk than drive. Traffic is horrendous in NYC which makes this city one of the worst for drivers in the entire US. Then again, the best option is to buy a monthly pass for the bus transportation. It is around $115 and it will significantly lower the monthly spending for the entire family.

That is it, now you know all about the Washington DC vs. NYC battle. When you draw the line, NYC is around 25% more expensive than DC. But if you have a good plan and can afford it, you should go for it. After all, you are chasing your dreams and a way to secure a better future for yourself and your family. NYC will surely provide all the opportunities to do that. Good luck.


Paul and his team made sure that my move went perfectly! They arrived early(!!), explained the paperwork thoroughly, and were extra careful with my items items and property. I’m very thankful for their help and highly recommend!!

Kristen Cheman

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