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Moving to Virginia: The Ultimate Guide


Are Southern charm and irresistible Virginian drawl calling you to make a move to the Old Dominion? Known as the ‘birthplace of the nation’ with a reputation as a well-educated population and a flourishing job market, it’s considered one of the top states to live in.

With the charming small-town feel coupled with booming metropolitan cities and spectacular nature, there’s a whole lot to love about moving to Virginia.

But before making the big move, there are a couple of things you should know. Check out our guide on moving to Virginia.

The Big Questions About Planning a Move to Virginia

Whether you’ve fallen in love with Virginia or your job or relationships have spurred the move, there are some basics that are important to know. Where are you going to live? Is it easy to get a job? We’re here to answer all of your questions about how to move to Virginia.

The Housing Market

There’s a home for everyone in Virginia, even if you’re looking for a yurt hidden in the mountains. First of all, you need to determine whether you’re looking to rent or buy. Prices fluctuate throughout the state, but the median home value is around $251,100.

Northern Virginia is, without a doubt, the most pricey place to buy a house, with a median home value of $691,800. But Salem and Richmond are much more affordable and are lovely places to settle.

Rental prices range between $950 to $1700 per month, depending on location and size.

To conclude, you can be sure that you’ll find a wonderful home within your budget if you’re willing to shop around. Speak to a local realtor before the big move to make your job a little easier.

Job Opportunities

The job market in Virginia is robust and a popular reason for many who choose to move to the state.

Almost a quarter of Virginia’s population works for the government, so if you’re after a government job, it’s a great place to consider. Due to its proximity to Washington DC, if you’re already working for the government or aspire to do so, a move to Virginia will put you in the perfect position.

Healthcare careers, in particular, are booming in Virginia, with the fastest-growing careers including occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, and home health aid.

The Cost of Living

Life in Virginia doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the cost of living index sits above the national average and is one of the most expensive states in America. Don’t let this put you off, as it’s very much dependent on where you live within Virginia, and rural areas have much lower living costs.

If you’re moving to Virginia for work, you may not have the option of living in a more affordable area, however. So it’s good to keep in mind that you could be shelling out a bit of money to live the dream life.

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Virginia

Moving to a new state can be intimidating, and everywhere in the world has things to celebrate and some not-so-attractive features. We here to break down the pros and cons of a move to Virginia.

The Pros

1. Virginia is a wildly diverse state and becoming even more so. This is recognizable in it becoming more of a swing state in recent elections.

2. The standard of education in Virginia is top-notch, especially higher education. If you have a family, living in Virginia gives you access and discounts to some of the best schools and universities in the country.

3. The state is drenched in history as Virginia has played a pivotal role in American history for a very long time. It’s simply lovely to live among important relics and reminders of the past.

4. From mountains to beaches, forests, and lakes, Virginia is packed with diverse scenery and landscapes and the benefit of four seasons.

5. The healthcare is of the highest standard with over 100 hospitals and some of the best hospitals in the country.

The Cons

1. Referred to as the ‘single worst traffic hotspot in the U.S,’ the I-95 is a congestion nightmare. Traffic in Virginia can be a bit of a nightmare – all the more reason to ensure you have a short commute.

2. The income tax in Virginia is very high, and the state ranked number 7 for the GOBankingRates Top 10 Worst States for Income Tax in 2015.

3. There are some strange laws that may take some time to get used to. For instance, children may not trick-or-treat on Halloween, and motorists must honk their horns if they want to pass another car.

Things You Should Know About Virginia Before Moving

So, you’ve got the logistics of moving to a new state sorted. But what about the cultural quirks or Virginia state character traits to become familiar with before you rock up? Here are some things you should know before making a move to Virginia.

  • Virginians don’t just love peanuts – they are obsessed with them. Which is something to be wary of if you have a nut allergy as peanuts pop up in everything.
  • Crabs, oysters, ham, and apples are just a few of the famous foods that Virginia is known for. If you love food, you’ll love exploring interesting cuisine and delicacies.
  • Lovers of grapes will be pleased to know that there are over 200 wineries in Virginia – it’s basically the next Napa Valley.
  • It is a gun-loving state. You will hear gunshots in rural Virginia as hunting is popular.
  • Mount Trashmore is, in fact, a real place and one that is a city park that you will come to love.

Are You Prepared for Moving to Virginia?

We’ve laid out the good, the bad, and the weird about moving to Virginia so that you feel ready to set out on your new life in the Old Dominion. While moving to a new state is a big decision, hopefully, you feel armed with the knowledge to make it as smooth as possible.

Our site is full of informative guides and articles, just like this one. Keep exploring for new information and inspiration!

Sandra Ruiz
With a Master's in Environmental Design from Yale University, Sandra Ruiz has dedicated 15 years to reshaping living spaces. Her career started in urban planning, then transitioned to home renovation, where she has left a mark. Sandra became part of our team in 2020, quickly establishing herself with her innovative approaches to space utilization and energy efficiency. She is passionate about hiking, often drawing inspiration from nature for her designs. Her approach seamlessly blends practicality with aesthetic appeal, making her a go-to expert for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike.

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