Are you thinking about moving to a delightful blend of inspirational scenery and an enthralling historical place called Virginia? Or maybe you want to enjoy the sweeping beaches, explore forested mountains like Great Smoky. Perhaps you would like to have a good drunk time at exceptional 300 wineries and listen to plenty of stories of historical events.

If you think that you would like to spend time on Eastern Shore beaches and slurp fresh oysters, you should definitely move to Virginia. Don’t miss out on exploring the world’s most extensive naval base.

If you are planning to relocate to Virginia, then you have definitely come to the right place. We have put together a detailed guide with the main key points which you need to know before moving to Virginia.

Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of the article, you will have enough knowledge about the wealthy state of Virginia filled with 8.4 million people.

Moving to Virginia

Cost of living

According to worldpopulationreview, Virginia’s cost of living index is 100.7. It is comparatively higher than the united states index average of 100. As a whole, Virginia’s cost of living is fairly similar to the U.S. average. Virginia is just 2.0% more expensive than the average service or good across the country according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Virginia ranks 12th out of all states when it comes to the overall cost of living.

Nine metropolitan areas are located in Virginia. The Charlottesville metro area is the most expensive in Virginia, where living costs are 1.9 percent lower than the national average.

VirginaUS
Median Home Value$264,900.00$204,900.00
Median Monthly Rent$1,202.00$1,023.00
Average Car Insurance$1,320.00$1,517.00
Healthcare cost for Single Adult$3,997.00$4,266.00
Healthcare cost for family of four$12,097.00$12,950.00
Food cost for Single Adult$3,374.00$3,240.00
Food cost for family of four$9,744.00$9,354.00
Annual Child care cost$9,727.00$8,903.00
Annual Taxes$8,386.00$6,542.00
beautiful-shot-richmond-virginia-skyline-with-cloudy-blue-sky

Job market

According to U.S. News, Virginia ranks 5 in the nation for employment. In Virginia, the average household income is $98,000 While the median household income is $71,564. The most wanted job in Virginia is Nurse practitioner With an Average annual salary of  $105,170.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, Virginia’s current unemployment rate in February 2021 was 5.2 %, which is lower than the 6.2% average Unemployment Rate in the United States. It is 9.8x more common for a worker in Virginia to be a Senior Intelligence Analyst than all U.S. workers.

The Most Common Jobs in Virginia

RankJobLocal JobsLocal Popularity Index
1Retail salespersons67,7301.1
2Office clerks, general60,5501.4
3Cashiers58,1201.2
4Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food38,6601.2
5Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand33,4901.0
6Waiters and waitresses33,3301.0
7Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners32,5001.1
8Customer service representatives30,9601.0
9Registered nurses27,4300.8
10Stock clerks and order fillers25,1801.1

Highest-paying jobs in Virginia

RankJob DescriptionAverage SalaryEntry Level Salary
1Family Medicine Physicians$195,680$105,360
2Psychiatrists$185,360$68,140
3Nurse Anesthetists$182,800$108,460
4All Other Physicians; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$182,300$56,420
5General Pediatricians$180,810$110,560
6Other Specialists Dentists$168,250$143,560
7Marketing Managers$166,530$93,110
8Sales Managers$165,140$69,620
9Computer and Information Systems Managers$163,180$107,470
10General Dentists$161,200$95,460

Largest employer in Virginia

#EmployerCityNumber of Employees
1Virginia Commonwealth Univ ClgRichmond52,000
2College of William & MaryWilliamsburg30,000
3Hungtington Ingles-NewportPortsmouth24,000
4Heart & Vascular InstituteWinchester20,540
5Huntington Ingalls IndustriesNewport News20,000
6Nestle USA IncArlington20,000
7Lab CorpRoanoke17,000
8SodexoSpringfield8,500
9Naval Medical Ctr PortsmouthPortsmouth8,000
10VCU Health SystemRichmond7,001

Tax rates

In Virginia, the top rate is 5.75%, but the rates go from 2% to 2%. This state has one of the lowest top personal income tax rates of the states with a personal income tax. In addition, we have a lower sales tax than the U.S. Virginia’s average of 5.65%, when including state and local rates, is actually the 10th lowest rate in the nation. The state’s property tax and fuel tax rates are also lower than the national averages.

Virginia Income Tax:

Virginia state is applicable to dividends and interest income. Virginia State has a progressive tax structure. It is divided into 4 brackets with tax rates of 2%-5.75% applicable on income range of $3,000-$17,001.

Virginia Sales Tax:

Virginia state is ranked 31 nationwide. In Virginia, the state sales tax is 5.30% and the average local tax rate is 0.35%.

Virginia Property Tax:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia state’s median property tax is $ 1,948 with an effective property tax rate of 0.84 %.

Virginia Gas Taxes:

Virginia state has a $0.162 / gallon gasoline tax and a $0.202 / gallon diesel tax.

Virginia Cigarettes Tax:

Virginia state ranks 44th out of 50 states in the cigarette tax. In Virginia, the cigarette tax per pack of 20 is $0.60.

Economy

Virginia has 16th rank for its economic outlook and 29th rank for economic performance rank. In COVID-19, Virginia is the 8th most economically exposed state. The number of high-risk employees totaling 2,528,095 across Virginia has risen to 58%.

Virginia has an estimated population of 8,535,519 and an estimated annual growth rate of 0.5% over the next five years. This places Virginia in the 20th spot out of all 50 US states.  With 24th ranked, A factor of growth among Virginia’s GSP is 1.7%, as it reached $486.0bn in 2019. 

Education

According to U.S. News, Virginia is ranked 12th overall in the United States education system, 17th for higher education and 10th for Pre-K-12. Virginia is ranked 4th for quality of education in public schools among all 50 states by WalletHub.

Virginia schools spend $12,216 per pupil for a total of $15.8 billion annually. That’s the equivalent of 3.4% of taxpayer income. 112,240 college students graduate annually in Virginia. The cost of the average community college in Virginia is $5,270 for In-state tuition and $11,610 for out-of-state tuition. In Virginia, public university costs $25,227 which is more than the national average of $21,216.

Rank9
StateVirginia
In-State Total$25,227
In-State Tuition & Fees$13,815
Room & Board$11,412
Out-Of-State Tuition & Fees$35,937

Top 10 Colleges in Virginia

RankNameCity
1University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA
2College of William and MaryWilliamsburg, VA
3Washington and Lee UniversityLexington, VA
4Virginia Military InstituteLexington, VA
5University of RichmondUniversity of Richmond, VA
6James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, VA
7Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburg, VA
8Christopher Newport UniversityNewport News, VA
9George Mason UniversityFairfax, VA
10University of Mary WashingtonFredericksburg, VA

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2021 Best Public High Schools in Virginia

  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
  • Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Richmond, VA
  • McLean High School
  • Langley High School
  • W. T. Woodson High School
  • Oakton High School
  • James Madison High School
  • Chantilly High School
  • Riverside High School
  • Briar Woods High School

Healthcare

Your and your family’s health comes in front of everything else, especially when moving with family to Virginia. Luckily, Virginia has a total of 143 hospitals with an entirety of 22196 beds throughout the state. In Virginia, both public and private facilities provide healthcare services with 22 public governments and 38 private hospitals.

The majority of the public hospitals focuses on the following:

  • Drinking water
  • Wasteland treatment
  • Immunization
  • Mental health
  • Disabled children hospitals

There was a total 4% decrease from 2020 into the average cost of health insurance in Virginia. That is around $20 less each month and an average of $446 per month for health insurance. 

Among the state’s major public health services are drinking water and wastewater treatment, immunization, and care for the mentally ill and for children with disabilities.

And if you are worried about the cost of healthcare treatments in Virginia, then stop worrying because, from 2019, many residents became eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid. The majority of the Virginia residents do not have health insurance. There are multiple help options available for you. You can enroll in Virginia’s state-sponsored health insurance programs. 

Housing

Price increases in Virginia are being fueled by low mortgage rates, a lack of supply, and growing demand. In 2021, these factors are likely to continue to drive home prices upward. Increased demand in smaller markets will lead to very strong price increases statewide for homes in 2021 as a result of greater price growth potential.

What are the house prices in Virginia?

The typical home value of homes in Virginia increased by 8.3% last year, reaching up to $311,877. In 2021, house costs in Virginia will reach around $349,196, with an increase of 9.5% over 2020. The houses’ cost and range vary based on the seasons, an increased supply in Virginia; hence, Springtime would be the best time for buyers. A statewide average of $349,196 is predicted to be sold per house in Virginia by 2021, an increase of 9.5% from 2020. This year there are 23,558 active listings: a huge decrease.

Virginia Beach has a median home value of $288,499. There is a median home value of $245,690 in the metropolitan area of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News. Though many Virginia Beach homes don’t look like beach houses, they are often brick, siding, and shuttered.

Glimpse of Parkway Virginia

Most Affordable Places To Live In Virginia

  • Covington
  • Pulaski
  • Big Stone Gap
  • Vinton
  • Galax
  • Danville
  • South Boston
  • Wytheville
  • Martinsville
  • Bristol

Most expensive places to live in Virginia for 2021:

  • Blacksburg
  • Williamsburg
  • Fredericksburg
  • Woodstock
  • Charlottesville
  • Richmond
  • Alexandria
  • Farmville
  • Lexington
  • Falls Church

Transportation

Do all major American cities have anything in common? Traffic is terrible, exactly. You should avoid moving to major cities in VA if you want to escape it. The reason for this is that Virginia is a modern state where most people drive. It’s that simple. Thousands of cars are stranded every day.

One of the significant drawbacks of moving to a major city like Virginia Is awful traffic. Virginia is known to have daily traffic jams, and you are most likely to be stuck in it while on the way to work.   Virginia state’s port areas are among the busiest places in the country.

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Seaports: Virginia has total 4 Marine terminals and 1 Inland port.
  2. Rail: Virginia has approximately 3200 miles of rail tracks with a well-established rail system.
  3. Biking in Virginia: here are 2 main U.S. biking routes are available in Virginia, known as U.S. Bike Route 1 and U.S. Bike Route 76. Eastern Shore attracts over 1,000 cyclists now. 
  4. Highways: Virginia has Approximately 70,800 miles of Roadways
  5. SubwayThe subway system is mainly available to residents of northern Virginia. 
  6. Airports: In Virginia, there are a total of 9 Commercial Service airports and 57 General aviation airports.

Moving to Virginia DMV

To legally drive in Virginia, you must obtain a Virginia driver’s license within 60 days of moving here. To apply for a Virginia CDL, you must hold an active commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Transferring Your Out-of-State Driver License to Virginia

  • Applications for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards (DL 1P)
  • Proof of identity
  • Social Security number
  • Residency proof in Virginia
  • Out-of-state driver’s license
  • $32 for Class D driver’s license (valid for 8 years)

The Process of Transferring an Out-of-State Driver’s License to Virginia

  • Schedule an appointment
  • Present your documents and ID
  • Take the vision exam
  • Return your out-of-state driving permit
  • Pay the fee
  • Get a temporary license

Weather

Virginia’s climate can be classified as humid subtropical or semiarid most of the time. In the mountains west of the Blue Ridge, the climate is continental and oceanic humid.

At the peak of July, Virginia’s summers average temperatures as high as 86°F (30°C). Early in the spring, it is cool and wet, followed by two peaks of rain in late May. In the first half of the season, autumn is mild but it becomes colder and drier in the second half.

It usually rains 43 inches (1092.2mm) in Virginia, with an even distribution throughout the year. A lot of precipitation falls during the summer, and the least in winter. Mountainous and Piedmont’s regions often experience heavy snowfall, with the Appalachian Mountains recording over 100″ (2540mm) of snow each year. 

Weather hazards

Several weather patterns and natural disasters can occur in Virginia, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and snowstorms. Summer brings the highest number of thunderstorms throughout the year. In a matter of hours, storms can bring torrential rains. The winters are accompanied by some snowstorms and cold fronts. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Virginia

Pros

  • Well-protected state

Virginia enjoys a substantial presence of the 27 military bases that makes you feel a lot safer and well-protected. 

  • World-class education system

The state offers outstanding educational opportunities without a high price tag. It has the 2nd best schooling system in the South and is home to several famous institutions such as Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. 

  • Friendly Southern Charm

People living in Virginia are famous for their extremely polite and friendly nature. This state gives you the chance to enjoy excellent southern hospitality. 

  • Thriving Economy

Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the country to live in. It boasts 20+ Fortune 500 companies and offers numerous job opportunities to skilled people. 

  • Culinary scene

This state is famous for delicious baked oysters, soft-shell crabs, peanut soup, shrimp & grits, and fried chicken.

  • Rich History

It is steeped in history and gives you vast opportunities to enjoy a historical tour of the homes of famous personalities like George Washington, John Typer, William Henry Harrison, and a lot more.

  • Politically Moderate

This state is a solid mix of conservative and liberal ideas, therefore, offers a centrist atmosphere that most people enjoy.

Cons

  • Worst traffic congestion

The high influx of traffic is one of the major downfalls of living here. This is because of its close proximity to Washington, DC

  • Love for peanuts

If you or your family member is suffering from a peanut allergy, then Virginia might not be the right place to live in. Peanut is an integral part of the local dishes and therefore, you need to carry your shots all around. 

  • Get used to the jet noise overhead

Virginia is home to the military base, therefore, you will have to get used to the jet noises overhead every day. There is really no respite from the noise pollution while living here.

  • Weird weather

You can experience multiple shifts in weather and temperature in a single 24-hour window. The summer season is pretty hot and sticky and snow tends to be high during winters in the upper elevations. 

  • Expensive Housing

The real estate price in this state is way higher than the national average, particularly in the northern part of the country. The median home value in Fairfax County is about $547,000. 

  • Divergency in Political Views

Virginia is home to both conservative and liberal towns which leads to the divergence of the political views. 

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Best things to do in Virginia

  1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk
  2. Colonial Williamsburg
  3. Maymont
  4. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  5. Historic Jamestowne
  6. Shenandoah Valley
  7. Monticello
  8. Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus
  9. Arlington National Cemetery
  10. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  11. Old Town
  12. Mill Mountain Star & Park
  13. Jamestown Settlement
  14. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
  15. Skyline Drive
  16. Stone Tower Winery
  17. Luray Caverns
  18. Sandbridge Beach
  19. Virginia Beach
  20. Norfolk Botanical Garden

As you can see about the detailed information on Virginia, it can make it easier to plan while moving to Virginia. The cost of living in the state is a little higher when compared to the US national average. A better job market and nice availability of amenities are some of the important reasons for the high cost of living. The big employers here are not limited to a few cities they are spread across most regions of the state. The income tax rates are divided into 4 brackets and uniform tax rates of 5.30%. If you are doing relocation to Virginia then you must explore some better high schools and colleges located here. The healthcare facility is excellent here which can ensure a better life. Apart from that, you can enjoy the cool nightlife here in many parts of the state. Come to Virginia, to have a comfortable stay.

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