Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Virginia lies in the southeastern part of the United States
and is a Mid-Atlantic state. If you pay close attention to the state map,
you’ll realise that the geographical features of Virginia is a thrilling
fusion. It offers residents a mix of mountains, beaches, coastal plains and bay
areas. On the extreme western side of the state, you have quaint mountain
towns, off the grid villages and authentic cultures that can truly take you
back in time.
While in the Northern part of the state (popularly called NoVA),
you have something extremely contrasting. NoVA comprises of DC outskirts, has a
phenomenal standard of living and is completely tech-oriented. Since this is
the fastest growing urban region, it has gained a population of 2.5 million
people. It even contains 4 of the richest counties of the nation, where the
average household incomes fall in the impressive range of $140,382-$137,551.
This proves that the state offers extremely diverse living
conditions to people who move here. You would have small charming towns living
in the past as well as progresssive futuristic cities that help you stay ahead
in time. The state is also recognized for its world class healthcare system,
strong navy presence and a relatively high per-capita income.
Presently, Virginia has convinced nearly 8.65 million people
to call it home. But before you take the call to jump on this bandwagon, let’s
understand a few of the other aspects you should learn about before moving to
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Virginia’s climate is humid and to an extent subtropical.
This means the state enjoys mild winters and hot summers. But something that
you will need to factor in about the weather here is that Virginia receives
roughly 43 inches of rainfall throughout the year. Otherwise, the state still
enjoys 4 seasons and has five distinct climate regions: the Tidewater,
Piedmont, Northern Virginia, Western and Southwestern Mountain. Below is a gist
of the temperatures you can expect during each season.
Winters (end November to March) - Winters in Virginia are mild to
cold throughout the state with temperatures ranging from 26F to 35F. The
mountainous regions receive around 8 to 12 inches of snowfall during peak
winter month in January. While coastal regions have average temperatures (34F-53F)
with way less snowfall. Although, skies are grey during this time, the state
manages to get 6 hours of weak sunshine during the winter.
Spring (mid March to May) - High temperatures are in the
range of 51F-61F, but do note that springs in Virginia are still a bit chilly
during the transition phase. You can also expect roughly 4-5 inches of
rainfall, so it’s good to keep an umbrella handy. Other than that, spring is a
great time of the year with comfortable weather conditions returning back to
life. Most residents also head to Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge
Mountains during this time.
Summers (June to August) - Summers are hot, sticky and humid
with temperatures in the range of 80F upto 100F. During peak summer month, it’s
best to avoid stepping out in the afternoons. However, morning and evening
temperatures are comfortable. Tropical storms are also prominent during summers
and you can expect 4-5 inches of rainfall. On the plus side, summers are the
best time for picnics, spending time at the beach and waterparks. A lot of
tourists visit the state during these months.
Autumn (September to mid-November) - Fall is the most pleasant time of
the year with temperatures in the range of 48F to 83F. Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge
Parkway, Sherando Lake are few of the best places to catch a glimpse of the
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
(DRPT) is the agency that is responsible and operates all the modes of commute
in the state. Over 69% of the commute in Virginia is catered towards 4 urban
areas, solely because most of the population resides there. These areas are
Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton roads and Fredericksburg. Overall, DRPT
makes it easier for residents to commute by the following strings of transit
Overall, the DRPT surely makes effort to provide residents
with a choice for different modes of commuting rather than driving a private
vehicle to get around. The state has public transit services in operation, but
depending on the area you’ll reside in, you may or may not have access to these
public transit options.
On another note, the state also has an extensive network of roadways. The 6 major Interstate highways are 64,66,77,85,81 and 95. These collectively make it easy to connect residents to the neighboring states of Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The state of Virginia has 66 public use airports, 9
commercial airports and 21 regional airports. However, some of the most
extensive and largest airports are:
Like most states in the US, Virginia also has its fair
allocation of Amtrak railway stations. The state of Virginia has 21 Amtrak
stations, spread across cities, coastal towns and even the mountainous regions.
By taking advantage of the Amtrak railway line, residents can travel to the
Northeast, South or Midwest portions of the state. A special perk of the
railway system is that you can even bring your car or other vehicles on the
Amtrak Auto train line.
Below is a description of the 8 Amtrak railways lines in operation:
The state of Virginia is home to a wide variety of
industries across several sectors. But the ones dominating the economy are the
high-tech companies, finance, farming, military, the local and federal
government. Virginia also has 21 of its companies that are part of the elite
Fortune 500 list, while 35 companies make it to the Fortune 1000 list. This
definitely sends out a positive message about the strength of Virginia’s
We’d also like to mention that most of the firms that made
it to these lists are headquartered in Richmond and scattered around counties
in Northern Virginia. It is true that the bustling work culture is concentrated
within the urban areas of the NoVA
region. The reason for this is there’s an overlapping of employers from the
larger Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area that is part of the state of
While you’re on the lookout for jobs in Virginia, you will
notice that some of the thriving, high-paying companies are all situated in and
around Loudon, Prince William, Henrico, Chesterfield, Wise, and Suffolk
counties. These are all located up in the northern region of the state.
However, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the state doesn’t have industries
to boast about. Sectors such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality and tourism
also have a great scope in the state. Especially since Virginia has great
vacation spots on its Eastern shore. Below is a list of the largest employers
to give you an idea of the diverse nature of Virginia’s economy.
Few of the top employers of the state are:
Do note that another huge contributor to the economy is the
US Army that is headquartered in Virginia and generates an annual revenue of 10
billion dollars with 500,000 employees. Overall, the state has clusters of a
variety of industries creating lucrative job opportunities for residents.
According to reports by HomeSnacks, the average median rent
of houses in Virginia is $1,660 while the national average is roughly $1,650
(that’s a 0.6% difference in cost). This proves that renting here is
practically just skimping its way above the national average. However, don’t be
completely taken aback with these costs. The fact is the average median
household income in Virginia is also relatively high, so you would probably
just be able to afford renting in this price range. On the other hand, you may
also be able to find decent homes for rent within the $900- $1,200 range.
Having said that, some of the areas where the average median rent is expected to be exorbitant are:
over this list so you can form your perspective on the rent with a price point.
Now, the cost of living is at times the dealbreaker for
people considering moving to Virginia. It is true that Virginia is an expensive
state to live in the nation. However, expensive is a relative term and
depending on the lifestyle choice you make or the things you aspire towards,
you may or may not find living in Virginia out of bounds. To give a better
picture of things from a price standpoint, let’s get down to the crux of it
all, which is numbers!
Probably the first factor you’d consider is housing value.
So when it comes to housing, Zillow suggests that the average median value of
homes in Virginia is $299,164. This means you would be paying roughly $258,400
for a house in Virginia, while in different parts of the nation that same house
would cost approximately $231,200. There’s surely a considerable difference
that makes housing here more expensive than the national average. However, do
keep in mind these are rough figures, depending on the locality you reside in
you could possibly find more reasonable housing prices. Also, on the plus side,
the average wage for most jobs in the state is somewhere in the range of
60k-85k. That’s certainly relatively higher than the national average. This
means that it is possible to withstand the high prices in Virginia since the
estimated annual incomes are also higher.
When it comes to matters of utilities, homeowners are suggested to budget between $400-$500. Whereas for living a comfortable life in Virginia, the median household income requirement is $71,564 (according to Niche). Once again, this is just to give you an example of how much you should ideally be getting annually. Depending on your lifestyle choices and the farther away you move from North Virginia, the lower the cost of living gets.
Interesting: Cheapest States to Move To
1. University of Virginia, Charlottesville2. Washington & Lee University, Lexington3. William & Mary, Williamsburg4. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg5. University of Richmond, Richmond6. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington7. James Madison University, Harrisonburg8. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond9. George Mason University, FairFax10. Liberty University, Lynchburg
1. Falls Church City Public Schools, Falls Church2. Arlington Public Schools, Arlington3. West Point Public Schools, West Point4. Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn5. York County School Division, Yorktown6. Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church7. Charlottesville City Schools, Charlottesville8. Albemarle County Public Schools, Charlottesville9. Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach10. Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, Williamsburg
is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the beautiful
Potomac River. According to Niche, Arlington is ranked as the number one best
place to live in America in 2020. Doesn’t this speak volumes about the city?
Arlington is also home to some of the best academic institutions in the country
and the United States Department of Defense. The city is modern and well-kept
but it can be expensive to live here.
Median price of homes sold: $669,400Median rent: $1,936
The city of Alexandria
is also located in the NoVA region and like most cities here, its close
proximity to Washington D.C. has a huge influence on the city. In its entirety,
it is attractive because of its thriving job market. This city is also aesthetically
pleasing to walk around and it also has an old town charm to it. Historic
districts, brick lined streets, excellent neighborhoods and an outgoing culture
are the peculiarities of the lifestyle here.
Median price of homes sold: $557,000Median rent: $1,702
Charlottesville is a
great small city to live in. The University of Virginia, which is also a UNESCO
world heritage site, is situated in the heart of this city. There’s a vibrant
college town feel to the place and there is a lot of emphasis placed on
communities. A great perk of Charlottesville is that housing and cost of living
here is relatively cheaper. It is also progressive in nature, while mimicking
the pace and standard of living of Washington D.C.
Median price of homes sold: $283,800Median rent: $1,118
The city of Richmond is
the state capital with great potential. Few among the other perks of living
here is that you can easily access the mountains as well as the beaches of the
state. It has an impressive number of locally owned businesses, great
educational systems and an affordable housing market. Richmond also hosts some
of the most vibrant festivals and family-friendly events and has a very diverse
Median price of homes sold: $220,700Median rent: $979
Although your first impression of Virginia Beach may be that
it is a tourist attraction, it actually does have a lot to offer to residents
as well. The city works towards staying modern, is extremely diverse, has a low
crime rate and is filled with family-friendly neighborhoods. You can also
easily plug into the hubs of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake from here. The
city also boasts of clean sidewalks, great parks and spots for cultural
Median price of homes sold: $274,300Median rent: $1,339
Also See: Moving To West Virginia
The state of Virginia has little pockets of everything. In
northern Virginia or NoVA, you have futuristic towns (Alexandria and Arlington)
and get to live in close proximity to DC. With a strong number of elite
businesses under its wing, the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area in NoVA
is booming with opportunity.
On the west, there are places that remind one of the charm
of small towns. Your options don’t stop there, but you have coastal and
mountain towns packed in one state. Residents of Virginia have kinds of
lifestyles to choose from and this makes Virginia a good place to consider
of living in Virginia is 2% higher than the US national average. To live a
comfortable lifestyle in the upscale hubs, a single adult would need to make
over 70k annually. If you’re earning 80k or more, you can easily see yourself
living bigger than the standard.
necessarily have to worry about the high cost of living, because wages in
Virginia are also relatively higher than the national average. The average
median household income stands at $71,564. This helps maintain the balance
between cost of living to wage ratio.
Arlington in Northern Virginia is the most popular
neighborhood choice for new residents moving into the state. It is home to top
ranking schools which you’ll find in Fairfax county and a good number of
established companies. Alexandria, Charlottesville and Richmond are equally
Some of the pros of living in Virginia are:
Some of the cons of living in Virginia are:
rate in the city Portsmouth is alarmingly high and this makes it the most
dangerous city in Virginia. Few other cities that also have a bad rap are
Petersburg, Norfolk and Appalachia.
live in a rural county away from hubs that are bustling with culture and opportunity,
then you can get by with an annual salary of 45k to 50k. But if you choose to
specifically occupy a home in Northern Virginia, then 70k to 80k would seem
like the suitable annual income to make do with for a single adult.
Virginia has relatively lower taxes. To give you the numbers, you can expect a
deduction in the range of 2% to 5.75% for income tax. The sales tax is slightly
higher, so you could be bearing 5.3% to 7% of the total cost. But what truly
makes things less taxing is the fact that the state’s average wages are pretty
high. The average median household income is approximately 70k to 75k, so this
levels things out.
A household income in the range of $32,507 to $156,063 is
considered to be a middle class income for the average Joe in Virginia. Also,
90k to 93k is the average median income of an upscale upper class household.
And 75k to 80k gets the green light for being a comfortable annual salary for a
Job positions linked to high-tech, the government, military
and hospitality are in demand in Virginia. Loudon, Prince William, Henrico,
Chesterfield, Wise, and Suffolk are some of the best counties to consider for
career nurturing opportunities.
Virginia is huge and each side of it has a different story
to tell. Your experience will be based on which side you pick, so you have to
be careful about that. Few of the top choices are - Northern Virginia (busy
bees), the eastern coastal side (coastal lovers), the central Richmond area
(vibrant) and the western side (quaint).
We also suggest that Arlington, Alexandria, Charlottesville,
Richmond Beach and Virginia Beach are some of the places worth checking out if
you plan to move. If you choose a bustling metropolis, best be prepared for
issues like high cost of living and traffic congestion.
is the safest town in Virginia and also proves that safety comes at a high
price. The median home value in Purcellville is at $454,000 and this is much
higher than the state average of $299,164. Hampton, Vienna and Manassas Park
are other safe towns one can take into consideration.
The states of Maryland and Virginia have similar offerings
in terms of jobs, because of which many people piece these two options
together. It’s true that they both have a fair share of scope for those looking
to work in close proximity to D.C. However, the cost of living in Virginia is
slightly lower than Maryland.
The Median value of homes in Virginia is at $299,164, while
in Maryland it’s slightly higher at $330,332. For utilities, a single person
would need to budget $400-$500 in Virginia, but in Maryland, that number would
be approximately $700 to $950. Afterall, there’s not a vast difference when it
comes to costs of living, making them both equally good options.
of Arlington takes the first place for the best city to live in Virginia.
Arlington also secured the first place in the ‘2019 Best Cities to live in
America list’. Richmond, Alexandria and Charlottesville are other cities in
Virginia that hold an A rank.
The city of Richmond happens to be one of the top 3 places to live in Virginia. Because of the influx of people choosing to live here over other cities, the cost of living in Richmond is rapidly increasing. As of 2020, a 6 figure income is identified as a good salary to get by in the big city. For the high cost of living, residents enjoy a good number of housing options, excellent schools and easy access to public transit. This overall makes Richmond a great place to live in Virginia.
Our Take On Virginia
Living in the state of Virginia is like getting the opportunity to time-travel. You get to be part of extremely old historic cities, modern futuristic cities and rural towns that are unspoilt by the aspects of modernization. The Northern portion of the state has huge influences of the iconic Washington D.C. and if that’s a lifestyle that you lean towards, you can always reach out for it. Overall, we believe by moving here, one is spoilt for choices. But that’s probably a great thing about moving to Virginia. As long as you love these aspects of the state, you can easily find a place to call home here.
Related: Planning to move out of state to relocate in Virginia, here's the list of best cross country movers in USA.
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