What to Know Before Moving to the DMV (D.C., Maryland, or Virginia)

Courtesy of City-Data.com

You’ve just been told that you’re moving to the DMV. So, first you google DMV, and of course everything that comes up is for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

From “Zootopia” © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

What is happening?! you think. Where are we going? I hate the DMV!

So let’s backtrack. The DMV is what locals call the areas of D.C., Maryland and Virginia that meet in a triangle of sorts.

Often when living in the DMV, you might live in one state, work in another state, and attend book club in another … so for locals, it’s just easier to call it the DMV.

Which might give you a clue as to how complicated it can feel to initially move here…

Did you know between D.C., Maryland and Virginia, there are 22 military installations?! So even if you’re not headed to the DMV this year, chances are, you’re going to land in the region at least once during your military career.

Have feelings about whether Baltimore should even be included on this map of the DMV? Sounds like you’re becoming more local by the second. Image courtesy of City-Data.com.

Our resident expert Tiffeani James is here today to explain some of the tougher parts about living and working in the DMV and also tell you why it is completely incredible.

Tiffeani James is a real estate agent with Long & Foster and specializes in selling, buying and renting in the DMV. She also is a seasoned military spouse who understands the distinct challenges military families face coupled with the distinct challenges of being stationed in the DMV.

Tiffeani understands that in the military, it’s completely normal for a family to be stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, then the military member gets transferred to an offsite location an hour away and then later be moved to work at the Pentagon, also an hour away.

While most real estate agents would find this scenario bonkers, Tiffeani doesn’t balk. She’s got this. She knows how it feels for that military family, and she knows exactly how to find that family a centrally located house that minimizes commuting to various military installations.

She knows how to advise families to buy homes that will sell for a profit or homes they can rent out while they are stationed elsewhere because often families cycle in and out of the DMV over the years.

Tiffeani knows about school challenges, and how to get the most for your dollar in this expensive region.

In short, she’s lived the military lifestyle, she is an expert in this area AND she loves this area. She is dedicated to making sure other military families have an easy time moving here and are set up in a situation where they can find the joy in this assignment as much as she has. Her No. 1 priority is to save military families from heartache and costly mistakes when looking for a home.

So if you just received orders for anywhere in the DMV, Tiffeani is here to help you find your next home and be your boots on ground— whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent, or just look.

The Three Worst Parts about Living in the DMV, according to Tiffeani:

The expense

My family STILL doesn’t understand how I bought my home for the price I did and consider it a great deal. That’s why it’s so important to understand the market. I know several families that bought homes here during their first assignment, rented them out in between assignments, came back for a later assignment and ended up with their homes paid off in a great housing market.

The traffic

You’ll either be 30 minutes early (because you left a traffic buffer) or 30 minutes late (because no amount of traffic buffer would have worked) to almost every appointment you have. Podcasts and audiobooks will be your new best friend. 

All the military

It’s almost like being on base during PCS season. You (and your kids) will say goodbye a lot. The upside is all roads lead to the DMV. You’ll have old friends coming in with every assignment cycle! Which leads me to …

The Best Parts about the DMV

All the military

There are so many military that you (and your kids) never feel out of place. People are amazingly kind and understanding. Plus, there is a lot of respect for the military, and there’s discounts and deals!

The food and activities

This could be its own post. Or its own book. There is a mind-blowing number of amazing restaurants in this area. Plus, the seasonal produce is out of this world. There also are so many free events. From festivals, to museums, to parks, there is something to do every weekend where you are never repeating an activity twice.

The travel

Because of its location on the East Coast, from the DMV, you have quick routes to major U.S. cities along the Eastern Seaboard. Plus, with major cities, comes cheaper and more direct airline tickets to other places around the country and world you want to visit. You also have easy travel to quaint New England towns, North Carolina and Virginia beaches and more. If you have ever been stationed in Texas and know how it can take half a day to simply leave your state, this will be so fun for you. It almost feels like Europe in how quickly you can access such disparate areas of the country all in a few hours.

The natural beauty

If hiking, camping, biking, kayaking (anything outdoors) is your thing, it’s an amazing place to live. 

Tiffeani James with Long & Foster Real Estate

I hope you end up loving the DMV as much as I do, and if I can be of any service to you, don’t hesitate to contact me at: [email protected].

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are our own. We would use Tiffeani James’ services in a heartbeat!
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Julie Cohen
Julie is a co-founder and contributor of Military Moms Blog. She also is a freelance writer and editor living in northern Italy where her husband is stationed in the Air Force. They have a little girl who spends most of her time (successfully) convincing her parents to buy more gelato, and a baby boy who they suspect already speaks better Italian than they do. Julie is the former food and wine editor of the San Antonio Express-News and former managing editor of Sauce Magazine in St. Louis, Missouri. which is where she calls home — but her dad was in the Army, so nowhere is technically home! She also has taught high school composition and British Literature, adult creative writing and college writing. Julie completed an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. In her free time, Julie enjoys running, reading and “studying” the varietals of Italy.