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February 2024

Cost Of Living In Arlington, VA: A Complete Guide For Newcomers

Explore the cost of living in Arlington, VA. Learn about housing, utilities, salaries, and lifestyle in Arlington for those considering a move to this vibrant area.
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Moving to Arlington, VA, can feel like a big leap, especially when you're trying to wrap your head around the cost of living in this dynamic area. It's more than just a change of scenery. It requires adapting to a different financial landscape, encompassing everything from housing costs to daily living expenses. 

For many, these concerns are at the forefront when planning a move to this part of Northern Virginia. At Reputation Movers, we're your guide to navigating these waters. Our experience in helping families and individuals move to Arlington has given us a unique perspective on the cost of living challenges you might face.

This article is a journey through the various aspects of living in Arlington, VA. We'll explore housing, utilities, and the broader quality of life, all while weaving in how the right moving partner can ease your transition. So, let's dive in and unpack the cost of living in Arlington, VA, and how we can help make your move as seamless as possible.

The Cost of Living in Arlington, VA

Moving to Arlington, VA, is a significant decision that will impact your family's lifestyle and future. We understand the weight of questions surrounding the cost of living, quality of life, and whether Arlington is the right fit for your family. We're here to guide you through these concerns with empathy and experience.

We cover essential topics like the average rent, gas prices, and the benefits of Arlington's vibrant community, top-tier education, and healthcare systems. This comprehensive guide aims to give you a clear understanding of the cost of living in Arlington, VA. By using our insights, you can make well-informed decisions about budgeting and lifestyle choices.

As you prepare to embrace the opportunities Arlington offers, we're here to ensure your move is well-planned and smooth. Our guide is your tool to transition confidently to a community known for its high quality of life.

Exploring the High Quality of Life in Arlington, VA

Discover the exceptional quality of life in Arlington, VA, a place where urban energy meets suburban serenity. This vibrant community offers a unique living experience enriched with culture, history, and modern amenities, making it an ideal location for both families and professionals.

Arlington, VA Quality of Life
Arlington's Numerous Features Provides a High Quality Life For it's Residents

Culinary Delights at Every Corner

Arlington's diverse dining scene is a paradise for food enthusiasts, offering an array of choices from global cuisines to local American favorites. Its rich culinary landscape is a testament to the city's cultural diversity, attracting food lovers and connoisseurs alike.

A Hub of Cultural Vibrancy

Immerse yourself in Arlington's thriving cultural scene, featuring local theaters, art galleries, and live music venues. This cultural richness provides residents with endless entertainment options and a strong sense of community belonging.

Living History Around You

Arlington is steeped in historical significance, boasting landmarks like Arlington National Cemetery and numerous historical sites. Living here means being surrounded by the nation's history, offering a unique blend of past and present.

The Best of Both Worlds: Urban and Suburban

Enjoy the benefits of both urban excitement and suburban tranquility in Arlington, located just minutes from Washington D.C. This unique positioning allows for a lifestyle that balances peaceful neighborhood living with the energy of a major city.

A Community of Togetherness

Arlington is known for its strong community spirit, evidenced by its well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, and regular community events. These gathering spaces foster a sense of togetherness, making it a welcoming place for new residents.

Focus on Educational Growth

Prioritize education with Arlington's access to top-rated schools and learning institutions. The city's commitment to educational excellence makes it an ideal location for families and individuals seeking academic and personal development.

A Closer Look at the Cost of Living in Arlington, VA

Arlington, VA, nestled just outside Washington DC, is renowned for its high standard of living but also comes with a cost of living to match. Understanding the financial landscape of Arlington is key for anyone considering making this dynamic area their new home. 

Here's a breakdown of the main expenses you'll encounter in Arlington:

Elevated Housing Expenses

Housing in Arlington is significantly higher than the national average. In October 2023, the median listing home price was $749.9K, with a median listing price per square foot of $474​​. 

More Affordable Utilities

Utility costs in Arlington offer some financial relief compared to other areas. On average, residents spend about $173 per month on electricity, amounting to $2,076 per year. This is roughly equal to the national average electric bill and 23% lower than the national average rate​​​​.

Costly Daily Essentials

Groceries in Arlington can vary based on individual preferences and shopping habits. On average, a single person might spend around $388 per month on groceries​​. Daily essentials like food and clothing are generally more expensive in Arlington, mirroring the area's overall higher cost of living.

Transportation Costs

Transportation costs make up a significant portion of the household budget. Households in the Washington Metropolitan Area, including Arlington, spend about 10.5% of their budget on transportation, amounting to roughly $9,295 annually, which is lower than the national average​​. Arlington Transit system bus fares cost $2.00 per adult​​.

Healthcare Expenditure

Virginia ranks 29th out of all states in terms of healthcare access and affordability. Healthcare costs, including insurance coverage rates and out-of-pocket expenses, contribute significantly to the cost of living. The ease of access to healthcare and the timeliness of care are also important factors affecting overall expenses​​.

Entertainment and Dining

Entertainment and dining in Arlington can lead to higher spending. The city's vibrant social scene, with its array of recreational and entertainment options, requires budgeting for these leisure activities.

Understanding a Livable Salary and Renting in Arlington, Virginia

Navigating the financial aspects of living in Arlington, Virginia, is key to ensuring a comfortable lifestyle in this sought-after area. From understanding the necessary living wage to grappling with the realities of rent prices, here's a closer look at what it takes to sustain life in Arlington:

Living Wage Requirements: For a single adult in Arlington, earning a living wage of $22.42 per hour is crucial, especially when dependents are part of the equation, where the required income significantly increases.

Contrast with Minimum Wage: This living wage is notably higher than the minimum wage, offering perspective on the income level needed for a comfortable life in Arlington.

Median Rent Prices: Rent in Arlington can be quite steep, with median prices around $2,527, reflecting the city's high living standards and cost of living.

Arlington, VA Cost of Living Factors
Arlington's Cost of Living Has Many Influences

Variation in Rent Costs: Rent prices in Arlington show a wide range, indicating a diverse housing market catering to various budgets and lifestyle needs.

Impact on Budgeting: Understanding rent prices is essential for effective financial planning, especially for those new to Arlington or considering a move.

Comparison with Nearby Areas: Comparing Arlington's rent and living wage with neighboring areas can provide a broader context for evaluating its affordability and appeal.

Cost Comparison: Arlington, VA vs Washington D.C.

When comparing Arlington, VA, and Washington D.C., it's evident that each area presents a unique cost profile. Arlington typically showcases higher living expenses, heavily influenced by its housing market and suburban lifestyle. Washington D.C., while urban and vibrant, offers different financial dynamics. This comparison aims to provide a clearer understanding of how costs differ between these two closely situated but distinct areas.

Cost of Living Comparison For Arlington, VA, & Washington, D.C.
Cost Of Living Factors For Arlington, VA & Surrounding Cities Like Washington D.C.

Overall Living Costs: In Arlington, residents face costs that are about 10.9% higher than those in Washington D.C. This increase is largely due to the combined expenses of housing, utilities, and general living.

Housing Costs: The median home price in Arlington exceeds that in Washington D.C. by approximately 16%. This significant difference is a primary factor in the overall higher cost of living in Arlington.

Lifestyle and Daily Expenses: The suburban setting of Arlington influences its cost of living, with expenses often differing from the urban-focused financial landscape of Washington D.C. These differences are apparent in daily expenses, entertainment, and lifestyle choices.

Educational Costs: Education costs also contribute to the financial comparison. Arlington's proximity to high-quality educational institutions might influence higher expenses related to education compared to Washington D.C.

Recreational Expenses: Arlington offers more green spaces and recreational opportunities, which can impact the cost of leisure and outdoor activities. This contrasts with the urban recreation options available in Washington D.C., where such expenses might differ.

Comparing The Cost of Living in Arlington, VA vs Alexandria

Comparing Arlington to Alexandria reveals different aspects of living in these Northern Virginia areas. While Arlington is generally more expensive, it offers certain advantages in terms of location and lifestyle. Both areas boast rich history and cultural amenities, but with distinct local flavors.

Cost of Living Comparison For Arlington, VA, & Alexandria, VA
The Different Factors That Influence Arlington, VA & Alexandria,VA Cost of Living

Slightly Higher Cost in Arlington: The overall cost of living in Arlington is about 11.9% higher than in Alexandria. This difference is largely influenced by higher housing and living expenses in Arlington.

More Expensive Housing in Arlington: Arlington's housing market is notably more expensive, with costs around 25.5% higher than Alexandria. This difference is a key factor in the overall higher cost of living in Arlington.

Distinct Community Vibes: Arlington provides a dynamic blend of urban and suburban living, offering modern conveniences and a bustling atmosphere. In contrast, Alexandria is celebrated for its historic charm and a more relaxed, small-town feel.

Proximity Benefits: Arlington's proximity to Washington D.C. is a major draw, especially for those who work in the city. This convenient location offers the benefits of suburban living while retaining easy access to the urban amenities of the capital.

Strategies for Saving on Your Move to Arlington, VA

Relocating to Arlington, VA, can be a significant financial undertaking, but with smart planning and strategic choices, you can manage costs effectively. Here are some of the best ways to save money during your move to this desirable area:

Budget-Friendly Moving Services: Spend time researching and comparing different moving companies. Look for services that offer a balance of affordability and reliability to get the best value for your money.

Declutter Before Moving: Minimize your load by decluttering. Selling, donating, or discarding items you no longer need can reduce moving costs and simplify your move.

Off-Peak Moving Times: Schedule your move during less busy times, like mid-week or mid-month. Moving companies often charge less during these periods, leading to potential savings.

DIY Packing: Save money by packing yourself. Use boxes from local businesses and carefully pack your items to cut down on packing service costs.

Tax Deductions: Explore tax deductions for moving expenses, particularly if your move is job-related. This can provide significant savings during tax season.

Utilize Public Transportation: In Arlington, consider using public transportation for your daily commute. This can be a cost-effective alternative to the expenses associated with maintaining and using a personal vehicle.

Choosing Reputation Movers for Your Move to Arlington, VA

With our deep understanding of the local area and extensive national reach, we are uniquely positioned to provide a seamless moving experience, whether you're relocating locally or from afar. At Reputation Movers, we pride ourselves on over 30 years of experience in the moving industry, offering a comprehensive suite of services to meet all your relocation needs. 

Reputation Movers Moving Services
Features That Make Reputation Movers Top-Notch Movers

Extensive Moving Experience: Our decades of experience in the industry ensure that every move is handled with expertise and professionalism. We bring a deep understanding of the nuances of both local and long-distance moves, ensuring your belongings are in safe hands.

Wide Range of Services: We offer an array of services including local and long-distance moving, secure storage solutions, and essential moving supplies. Our goal is to cover every aspect of your move, from start to finish, reducing your stress and workload.

Local Expertise, National Reach: Based in Alexandria, VA, we have an in-depth knowledge of the Arlington area and the broader region. This local expertise, combined with our ability to handle moves across the United States, makes us a versatile choice for any relocation.

Professional and Insured Team: Our team members are not only thoroughly trained and vetted but also insured, providing peace of mind throughout your moving process. We value the trust you place in us and strive to maintain the highest standards of service.

Customer-Centric Focus: At Reputation Movers, we prioritize clear communication and customer satisfaction. Our approach centers around understanding and meeting your specific moving needs, evidenced by our numerous positive customer reviews.


Q1. How does Arlington's cost of living compare to other major cities?

A1. Arlington is generally more expensive than many U.S. cities but offers a high quality of life in return.

Q2. What is the average income needed to live comfortably in Arlington?

A2. Comfortable living in Arlington requires a salary higher than the national average, especially for families.

Q3. Are there affordable housing options in Arlington?

A3. While housing in Arlington is expensive, there are various options available for different budgets.

Q4. What are the benefits of living in Arlington over nearby areas?

A4. Arlington offers a unique blend of suburban and urban living, with excellent amenities and proximity to Washington, D.C.

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