Moving to Virginia

Welcome to your ticket to a charming life in the enchanting state of Virginia! Are you considering a move to this history-rich, nature-blessed, and culturally diverse gem on the East Coast? You're in the right place! Our comprehensive Virginia relocation guide is full of engaging insights and captivating details about this beautiful state, providing invaluable information for your potential new adventure. From bustling cities to serene mountainsides, we'll cover it all, giving you reasons to fall in love with Virginia before you even settle in. So, let's embark on this journey together and explore the Old Dominion like never before!

Moving to Virginia landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Virginia


1. The Fight Over the Best Ham in Town.

Virginians take their hams very seriously, and with good reason. Virginia ham, also known as country or Bangs Island ham, is a local delicacy that has been produced in the region for centuries. The best way to enjoy Virginia ham is sliced paper-thin, with a side of biscuits and mustard. There\'s an ongoing debate among locals about which brand is best—Smithfield or Edwards. It\'s a delicious rivalry that\'s worth fighting for. Just be prepared to choose a side!

2. Four Distinct but Beautiful Seasons.

One of the best things about moving to Virginia is the opportunity to experience four distinct and beautiful seasons. Spring arrives with an explosion of color as the famous dogwood trees bloom, along with vibrant flowers such as azaleas and daffodils. Summertime gets warm and sometimes humid, but the state\'s many rivers and lakes offer an enjoyable way to cool off. Fall doesn\'t disappoint, either, with the stunning display of colorful foliage. Finally, expect some snow in the winter, but it\'s usually mild enough to allow for fun outdoor activities without becoming overwhelming.

3. Virginia is for Lovers.

The state\'s tourism slogan "Virginia is for Lovers" has been around for decades, and it\'s still going strong. While it began as a means of promoting the state\'s romantic getaways, the slogan has evolved into a symbol for the love of everything Virginia has to offer. Whether it\'s the natural beauty of the state, its rich history, delicious food, or vibrant culture, there\'s something for everyone to fall in love with when they move to Virginia.

4. A Rich History Worth Exploring.

Virginia played an essential role in the development of the United States, and its rich history is evident throughout the state. As the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents and home to significant historic sites like Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, there are ample opportunities to explore the state\'s past. A weekend trip down the Colonial National Historic Park\'s scenic parkway is a great way to immerse yourself in the history and stunning landscapes that Virginia has to offer.

5. Sneezing in Public May Be a No-No.

Here\'s a lesser-known fact: in some parts of Virginia, it might be considered illegal to sneeze on a public street. This strange law likely dates back to the early 20th century, when the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the world. Fear of the further spread of the disease likely prompted municipalities to outlaw public sneezing. While it\'s probably not strictly enforced today, you might want to be ready to suppress that sneeze or duck into a private building just in case.

6. Ghostly Encounters are Part of the Charm.

If you\'re a fan of ghost stories, you\'re in luck. Virginia has a reputation as one of the most haunted states in the U.S., and for good reason. With centuries of history and countless tales of tragedy, it\'s no wonder that there are numerous accounts of ghostly encounters throughout the state. Whether it\'s the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe wandering around Richmond, or the famous "Woman in Black" terrifying visitors at the Old Stone House in Roanoke, there\'s no shortage of spooky stories to keep you entertained on dark and stormy nights.

In conclusion, moving to Virginia offers a unique and exciting lifestyle filled with rich history, stunning natural beauty, and quirky local customs. From enjoying the state\'s delicious ham to exploring its haunted past, life in Virginia is a diverse and thrilling adventure. So why not pack your bags and join the "lovers" that call this beautiful state home?

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Pros and Cons of Living in Virginia

Pros of Living in Virginia

Rich Historical and Cultural Attractions

Virginia is known as the birthplace of a nation and offers plenty of historical attractions, such as Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, which preserve the state's rich history. Moreover, the state has numerous museums that showcase its cultural heritage, making it an exciting destination for history enthusiasts.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

With a diverse landscape that includes mountains, woodlands, rivers, and beaches, Virginia offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Residents can enjoy hiking in Shenandoah National Park, biking along the Virginia Creeper Trail, or relaxing on the scenic beaches of the Chesapeake Bay.

Distinct Four Seasons

Virginia offers a moderate climate with four distinct seasons, making it an ideal destination for those who enjoy seasonal activities. The state's geography supports year-round recreation, with skiing in the mountains during the winter months and swimming in the beaches during the summer.

Strong Economy and Job Market

Virginia boasts a strong economy, and its northern region is a hub for various industries such as technology, government, and military employment. Many companies, including Amazon and Capital One, have established headquarters in the area, making Virginia an attractive destination for job seekers and entrepreneurs.

Quality Education System

Virginia is known for its great public and private schools, as well as prestigious universities and colleges such as the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary. This state's education system emphasizes high academic standards and offers numerous opportunities for students to grow and excel.

Cons of Living in Virginia

High Cost of Living

Virginia's overall cost of living is higher than the national average. The housing market in sought-after areas such as Northern Virginia and Richmond can be expensive, and urban areas may require higher payments for utilities, groceries, and transportation.

Traffic and Commute Times

Those residing in or near major urban areas, such as Washington, D.C or Northern Virginia, can expect significant traffic congestion, resulting in longer commute times. According to the INRIX 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard, the D.C. metro area ranked among the top 10 for the worst traffic in the United States.

Property Taxes

While Virginia's income tax rates are relatively moderate, property taxes in certain areas can be a burden for homeowners, especially in Northern Virginia counties. Property taxes can significantly impact overall housing expenses and may be a drawback for potential residents.

Natural Disasters

Virginia is susceptible to various natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. The state's coastal region is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and floods, which might cause damage to properties and infrastructure.

Noise Pollution

Virginia's proximity to military installations and air traffic from airports like Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan National results in noticeable noise pollution. Residents living near these airports and installations might experience discomfort due to the constant sound of planes and other military activities.

Nighttime picture of Virginia highlighting pros and cons of living in Virginia

Is Virginia a Good State to Live In?

Virginia is a great place to live because of its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and diverse job opportunities in various industries. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities in the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the coastline, while also exploring historical landmarks and experiencing the vibrant cultural scene in cities like Richmond and Alexandria.

What Is Virginia Famous For?

Colonial Williamsburg

Step back in time and explore Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum in Virginia. It's the largest and best-preserved example of an 18th century, colonial-era city in the United States. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history and culture of early America as they interact with costumed interpreters and visit reconstructed buildings, workshops, and homes.

Shenandoah National Park

Experience the beauty of Virginia's most famous national park, Shenandoah National Park. With over 200,000 acres of protected land, it's home to wildlife, waterfalls, and breathtaking views. It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring the iconic Skyline Drive, over 500 miles of hiking trails, and the famous Appalachian Trail that runs through it.

Virginia Beach

Sun, sand, and surf - Virginia Beach is a popular destination for beachgoers on the East Coast. With 35 miles of coastline, it offers a perfect mix of relaxation and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy the famous boardwalk, outdoor concerts, and a variety of water sports, making it a great spot for family vacations or weekend getaways.

Historic Jamestowne

Discover the roots of America at Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Established in 1607, it's a place where history comes to life through archaeological discoveries, historical reenactments, and interactive exhibits. This UNESCO World Heritage Site also commemorates the rich history and culture of the native Powhatan people who inhabited the land long before the settlers arrived.

Capital building of Virginia in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Virginia, the average property tax rate is 0.80% of the assessed property value as of 2023, which is lower than the national average of around 1.07%. This means that Virginia residents pay less property tax on average compared to the majority of other states.

Sales Tax

Virginia has a sales tax rate of 5.3%, ranking it as the 15th-lowest sales tax rate in the United States. This rate consists of a statewide sales tax of 4.3% and a 1% local sales tax, making it one of the more affordable states in terms of sales tax burden.

Income Tax

As of 2023, Virginia has a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 2% to 5.75% based on income level. This places it in the middle-of-the-pack compared to other states, with some states having higher income tax rates and others having no income tax at all.

Housing Market

Virginia's housing market offers a balanced mix of opportunities for both renters and buyers. With a median home value of around $287,000, it ranks moderately among other states. The homeownership rate of 66.3% in Virginia is above the national average of 64%. Renters in Virginia pay a median rent of $1,300 per month, slightly higher than the national average of $1,200. The state's stable economy, vibrant metropolitan areas, and higher average incomes make it an attractive choice for both families and professionals.

Housing market analysis of Virginia

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Virginia is relatively moderate when compared to other states in the US. Housing prices and overall cost of living varies throughout the state, with urban areas like northern Virginia having higher costs than rural areas. Factors like utilities and transportation costs are similar to the national average, while Virginia has competitive healthcare and education prices. Additionally, Virginia has a progressive tax structure, contributing to its affordability. In comparison, the cost of living is lower than neighboring states like Maryland and Delaware but slightly higher than West Virginia and North Carolina.

Weather & Natural Disasters

The climate in Virginia is classified as humid subtropical, characterized by hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters. Winters are typically milder in the eastern part of the state, while the western regions experience colder temperatures and higher elevations in the Appalachian Mountains, creating microclimates. Rainfall is abundant throughout the year, averaging 42.7 inches annually. Virginia's weather can vary greatly across its diverse landscape, with the coast experiencing warmer temperatures due to the moderating influence of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

Natural disasters in Virginia include hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, winter storms, and earthquakes. The state is vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms, especially along the coastal areas. Tornadoes are less frequent but can still be significant events. Flooding, fueled by intense rainfall, can occur throughout the state, affecting rivers and low-lying areas. In addition, nor'easters can deliver heavy snow and ice during the winter months, resulting in hazardous travel conditions. Lastly, although relatively rare, earthquakes can also strike Virginia, with the most significant event being the 2011 earthquake near Mineral.

Economy & Job Market

For centuries, Virginia's economy has been driven and shaped by diverse industries. From the days when tobacco was the backbone of the state's commerce to today's thriving technology and professional services sector, Virginia's job market draws both global corporations and talented professionals. Historically, agriculture and forestry played a significant role in the state's development, contributing to its wealth and prominence. Fast forward to modern times and Virginia has successfully adapted and diversified its economy, with military and defense, federal contracting, and tourism becoming mainstays of the state's employment landscape.

If you're considering a move to Virginia and plan to search for a job, you'll be pleased to discover a healthy job market with various opportunities. The state boasts an unemployment rate that consistently hovers below the national average, making it a desirable destination for job seekers. Northern Virginia, particularly, is a hotbed of economic activity, hosting numerous government agencies and technology companies that thrive on federal contracting. While the cost of living may be higher, the promise of well-paying job opportunities is hard to resist. If you're interested in agriculture, forestry, or tourism, consider the picturesque regions of central and southern Virginia as ideal for cultivating a successful career. No matter where you plant your roots in the state, you can find the perfect balance of tradition, innovation, and opportunity in Virginia's dynamic job market.

Traffic and Transportation

Oh, sweet Virginia! Land of the lovers and home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in America. Whether you're exploring the bustling streets of Richmond or taking in the sights of Old Town Alexandria, transport is your trusty companion. In big cities like these, the average commute time is around 28 minutes, but we all know that traffic can be a fickle friend. Leave your cars, folks, and hop onto one of Virginia's public transportation options! Big cities across the state offer a mix of buses, light rails, and subways for you to get around. GRTC in Richmond and Alexandria's DASH buses will keep you connected, cruisin' and groovin'.

But wait, there's more! If you're looking to go the distance, Virginia's airports are standing by to sweep you off your feet. Take flight from Richmond International Airport or Washington's Dulles and Reagan National Airports, conveniently located in the heart of Virginia - it's the ultimate airborne adventure. So buckle up and get ready to roll, because Virginia is your oyster, and the world, truly, is your stage!

What is the traffic like in Virginia?

Things to Do

So, you're moving to Virginia? Congratulations! The Old Dominion has a wealth of history, beauty, and excitement to offer. From mountains to beaches, this state has something for everyone. To help you acclimate to your new home, we've compiled a list of seven of the best things to do in Virginia. These activities will have you exploring the state's greatest treasures and some hidden gems as well. Read on to start planning your adventures!

1. Discover the History at Colonial Williamsburg

Step back in time and experience 18th century America at Colonial Williamsburg! This living history museum is a must-visit if you want to learn about the early days of our nation. Costumed interpreters walk the streets, making you feel like you've traveled back to the colonial era. Don't forget to visit the Governor's Palace and the Capitol building to truly immerse yourself in Virginia's history. Also, with many dining options and historic inns available, you can enjoy a weekend getaway in this quaint and historic town.

2. Hike the Appalachian Trail

For the nature enthusiast, Virginia is home to over 500 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail. This extensive hiking path stretches from Georgia to Maine, but some of the best sections can be found right here in the Old Dominion. Whether you're looking for a day hike or a more extended adventure, the trail offers breathtaking views and hidden gems, such as the picturesque McAfee Knob and the stunning Dragon's Tooth formations. Get ready to lace up your boots and hit the trail!

3. Explore the Luray Caverns

Delve into a world of beauty and wonder in the largest and most popular caverns in the Eastern United States. Luray Caverns, located in the Shenandoah Valley, offer visitors a chance to observe stunning natural formations like stalactites, stalagmites, and massive columns. You'll marvel at the subterranean landscape while gazing upon shimmering pools and an organ that turns the cave's formations into musical instruments. Don't miss out on this spectacular natural attraction!

4. Get Spooked at St. Albans Sanatorium

For those who love all things eerie and supernatural, St. Albans Sanatorium is a must-visit destination! This abandoned and allegedly haunted facility in Radford presents visitors with chilling ghost stories and reports of paranormal activity. Sign up for a guided ghost tour or, for the brave of heart, attend one of their special overnight ghost hunts. It's the perfect destination for thrill-seekers looking for a good scare!

5. Drink in the Spirits at the Virginia Distillery Company

Whiskey lovers rejoice! The Virginia Distillery Company, located in Lovingston, offers a unique and interactive experience for spirit enthusiasts. Explore the distillery's history and learn about the whiskey-making process during the guided tour. Afterwards, savor the flavors of cask-finished Virginia-Highland Whisky in the tasting room. Be sure to check out their special events and workshops that range from whiskey tastings to cocktail classes.

6. Relax at the Natural Bridge State Park

A lesser-known gem in Virginia, Natural Bridge State Park is home to the breathtaking 215-foot tall limestone gorge known as the Natural Bridge. Once owned by Thomas Jefferson, this geological wonder is accompanied by plenty of hiking trails, a beautiful waterfall, and the Monacan Indian Village, showcasing Virginia's rich Native American history. Relax in the park's serene surroundings and soak in the mesmerizing views.

7. Embrace Nature at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the eastern shore of Virginia, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Known primarily for its famous wild Chincoteague ponies, the refuge also boasts over 14,000 acres of pristine beach, dunes, and marshlands, which serve as a sanctuary for migratory birds and other wildlife. This natural haven is perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, and birdwatching – or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

With such a diverse selection of activities, it's no wonder Virginia has so much to offer its residents. From historical landmarks to spooky adventures and captivating natural wonders, there's something for everyone in the Old Dominion. So, get out and explore your new home – you're sure to fall in love with Virginia!

Things to do in Virginia?

Find Movers for Your Virginia Relocation

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