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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

DC Area Housing


In the Washington, DC area, its all about location, location, location. Those who have returned for a Washington tour will tell you that commuting time can greatly affect your quality of life. It is not uncommon to travel an hour or more each way to and from work. Get to know the Metro lines, bus lines, and the highways that transport people to your place of work. Try some mock commutes. Doing this will help you take your method of transportation, the cost, the time, and the stress into account when considering where to live.


Near the Foreign Service Institute (FSI): The Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) offers lists that indicate pet-friendly properties in two categories:

  • For Foreign Service Officers and their family members, the Overseas Briefing Center offers a handout on hotel options conveniently located near the Foreign Service Institute. For a more comprehensive listing, including pet policies, contact the OBC.
  • For Foreign Service Officers and their family members, the Overseas Briefing Center offers a handout on short-term housing. This handout not only includes short-term housing near FSI, but also property locators and furniture rental companies. Contact the OBC for additional information on how per diem works and pet policies.

The following sites may be helpful in finding more permanent housing. If renting don't forget the Foreign Service clause which allows you to move out with 30 days notice if transferred. As a landlord, you will also need a Foreign Service clause to permit you to move back into your property if suddenly transferred.


  • AAFSW Housing Office - The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) provides the services of a Housing Office located within the Department of State at Main State. Many Foreign Service home owners list their rental properties with the Housing Office. For more information, contact or call 202-647-3573 or 202-647-3086.
  • Livelines - AAFSW sponsors a Foreign Service Yahoo Group that has over 4,200 FS members who provide useful Washington Metro Area tips as well as advice for those at overseas postings. Members often list area houses or apartments for rent or sale on this site. They also provide recommendations of doctors, dentists and other local service providers. To join Livelines, you are required to join AAFSW initially and you are then entitled to lifetime Livelines membership.

The information provided is FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, by the Department of State. Links to websites outside the U.S. federal government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names are for the convenience of the user and do not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any private sector website, product, service, or privacy policy.

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