Moving to West Virginia

Are you ready for a wild, wonderful adventure? Pack your bags and buckle up, because we're about to embark on an exciting journey to the Mountain State: West Virginia! With breathtaking scenery, fun-loving communities, and byways that have inspired songwriters, this picturesque gem tucked away in the Eastern United States offers a charming blend of natural beauty, culture, and history. In our comprehensive relocation guide, we'll explore all the ins and outs, the thrilling twists and turns, of making a life in this captivating land. So let's dive in and discover the best of West Virginia living!

Moving to West Virginia landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to West Virginia

1. Natural Beauty is Everywhere

If you're a fan of the great outdoors, West Virginia should be at the top of your list of places to move. With stunning landscapes like the New River Gorge Bridge, the rolling Appalachian Mountains, and countless state parks, there's no shortage of hiking, biking, fishing, and more. The state's white-water rafting is among some of the best in the country, and you're never far from a beautiful waterfall.

2. The Wild and Wonderful Wildlife

West Virginia's lush forests, rivers, and mountains make it a perfect habitat for a diverse assortment of wildlife. Residents might spot deer, black bears, coyotes, foxes, and even the elusive bobcat in more remote areas. Bird lovers will be delighted by the multitude of species, from bald eagles to wild turkeys, and don't forget to watch for turtles and salamanders along riverbanks.

3. Small-Town Charm and Tight-Knit Communities

One of the best things about moving to West Virginia is the tight-knit communities and small-town charm. This state is filled with tight-knit communities where neighbors help one another out and quickly become friends. You'll find plenty of local events, like fairs and festivals, where it's easy to get to know your neighbors.

4. Low Cost of Living and Affordable Housing

If you're on a budget, West Virginia is an excellent choice for your new home. The cost of living in West Virginia is significantly lower than the national average, making life a little easier on your wallet. Housing is also generally affordable, with both rentals and homes typically coming in at budget-friendly prices.

5. Pepperoni Rolls: A West Virginian Delicacy

If you're a food enthusiast, you can't move to West Virginia without trying their most iconic food: the pepperoni roll. This delicious snack, which consists of pepperoni and cheese baked into a soft yeast roll, has deep roots in the state's history. Available in many local bakeries, these doughy delights are a must-try for all newcomers.

6. The Mysterious Mothman: West Virginia's Legendary Cryptid

For those who love a good urban legend, West Virginia is home to the infamous Mothman legend. The town hosts an annual Mothman Festival, complete with a museum, art, and other mothman-themed events, making it a perfect road trip destination for those with a taste for the unknown.

Overall, moving to West Virginia offers a unique mix of natural beauty, charming communities, and a low cost of living that attracts people from all walks of life. So get ready, strap on your hiking boots, and delve into the wild and wonderful world of West Virginia!

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Pros and Cons of Living in West Virginia

Pros of Living in West Virginia

Low Cost of Living

West Virginia is known for its lower cost of living compared to many other states. This includes affordable housing, low property tax rates, and reasonable utility costs, which can be very attractive for those considering moving to the state.

Natural Beauty

As one of the most picturesque states in America, West Virginia boasts vast expanses of untouched wilderness, including mountains, forests, and rivers. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing in the numerous state parks, including Blackwater Falls State Park and New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

Strong Sense of Community

In many areas of West Virginia, tight-knit communities are a common sight. Residents often form strong bonds with their neighbors and are known for their hospitality and willingness to help out. This sense of community can make living in West Virginia a warm and welcoming experience.

History and Culture

With a rich history steeped in Appalachian culture, West Virginia has plenty to offer for those interested in learning about American history. From Civil War sites like Harpers Ferry to coal mining history in Matewan, residents can immerse themselves in the traditions and stories of this historic state.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

West Virginia offers a range of outdoor recreation opportunities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to white-water rafting and kayaking in the summer. The state encompasses the Appalachian Mountains, which provide ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring nature.

Cons of Living in West Virginia

Economic Challenges

West Virginia has faced economic challenges in recent years. The decline of coal mining has led to high unemployment rates and poverty, which can make it difficult for residents to find stable, well-paying jobs and create economic growth in the state.

Rural Isolation

Many areas in West Virginia are rural and isolated, with limited access to job opportunities and amenities like shopping, entertainment, and healthcare. While this can be a positive aspect for those who desire a quieter, slower-paced lifestyle, it can also mean longer commutes and fewer conveniences.

Lack of Public Transportation

Public transportation options in West Virginia are quite limited, especially outside of the larger cities. Residents often rely on cars for transportation, which can be problematic if a car breaks down or the cost of car ownership becomes too high.

Healthcare Access

Access to healthcare in West Virginia can be a challenge, particularly in rural areas. Limited availability of healthcare providers and long travel times to hospitals or clinics can make it difficult for some residents to receive the care they need.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Living in West Virginia comes with the risk of severe weather and natural disasters, including flooding, heavy snowfall, and landslides. It's essential for residents to be prepared for these situations and have plans in place to ensure their safety during times of extreme weather conditions.

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

Is West Virginia a Good State to Live In?

West Virginia is a great place to live because of its breathtaking natural beauty, affordable cost of living, and rich cultural heritage. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous recreational opportunities, while residents will appreciate the close-knit community feel that permeates the state.

What Is West Virginia Famous For?

Scenic Mountain Landscapes

West Virginia is famous for its breathtaking mountain vistas and picturesque landscapes. As the only state lying completely within the Appalachian Mountain region, it's known as the "Mountain State" and offers boundless opportunities for hiking, camping, and mountain biking enthusiasts.

Outdoor Adventure

Nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike will find their perfect playground in West Virginia. From thrilling white-water rafting experiences down the New River Gorge to rock climbing and zip-lining in the Appalachian mountains, the state offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures for all ages and skill levels.

Rich History & Culture

Immerse yourself in West Virginia's rich cultural tapestry by diving into the history of the coal mining industry, visiting the many Civil War landmarks scattered throughout the state, or soaking in the sounds of traditional Appalachian music. This proud history has left an indelible mark on the state and continues to shape its distinctive culture today.

Warm Hospitality

When you visit West Virginia, you'll be welcomed with open arms and unmatched Southern hospitality. Whether you find yourself chatting with friendly locals at a roadside diner or receiving top-notch service at a picturesque mountain lodge, you'll quickly discover why the state is considered one of the friendliest states in America.

Capital building of West Virginia in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

West Virginia has a relatively low property tax rate, with an average effective rate of 0.57% as of 2023. This is below the national average and ranks West Virginia as the 20th lowest property tax rate among the 50 states.

Sales Tax

The state sales tax rate in West Virginia is 6.0%, with no local sales taxes added on top. This places West Virginia at a moderately low rank compared to other states, with 16 states having lower combined sales tax rates.

Income Tax

West Virginia has a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 3.0% to 6.5% as of 2023. This places the state in the middle of the pack compared to other states, with some states having no income tax and others having higher top rates.

Housing Market

West Virginia's housing market offers affordable options for both renters and buyers compared to other states. The median home value in West Virginia is about $107,000, significantly lower than the national median of $259,906. Similarly, renters can find lower rental rates, averaging $800 per month. Despite being an attractive market for budget-conscious individuals, prospective buyers and renters should consider factors such as lower job opportunities, infrastructure limitations, and slower economic growth which may impact long-term investments in the state's housing market.

Housing market analysis of West Virginia

Cost of Living

West Virginia's cost of living is considerably lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordability. Housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are all priced significantly below the US average. While the median household income in West Virginia is lower than many other states, the overall low cost of living balances it out, providing residents ample opportunities to save or invest in other areas of their lives.

Weather & Natural Disasters

West Virginia, located in the Appalachian region of the United States, experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and cool to cold winters. The state's mountainous terrain results in varying weather conditions across its regions, with the eastern side generally cooler and the western side warmer. During the summer months, temperatures average around 85°F, while winter months see temperatures drop to an average of 25°F. Precipitation levels are relatively consistent throughout the year, with annual rainfall averaging around 45 inches, and snowfall totals varying from 20 to 60 inches, depending on the region.

Natural disasters that impact West Virginia include flooding, landslides, and severe thunderstorms. Flooding is particularly common along its river valleys due to heavy rainfall, snowmelt, or storms. Tornadoes, although rare, may occur during the spring and summer months. Other infrequent hazards include winter storms, causing snow and ice accumulation, and wildfires during dry periods in the fall.

Economy & Job Market

Coal mining

Natural gas

Chemical manufacturing

Plastics and rubber products


West Virginia was once labeled as the "Mountain State," and for a good reason - its economy and job market were heavily dependent on natural resources, particularly coal mining. However, over the past couple of decades, the state has undergone a shift from a predominantly mining-based economy to a more diversified one. Key industries that have gradually emerged in the state include natural gas (extensive reserves found in the Marcellus Shale), chemical manufacturing (centered around the Kanawha River area), plastics and rubber products (partly due to the state's abundance of natural gas liquid byproducts), and healthcare (the largest non-governmental employer).

So you're considering a move to West Virginia and wondering what the job market holds for you? To start, let's take a look at some numbers. West Virginia's unemployment rate as of April 2021 is 6.5%, slightly higher than the national average. However, employment opportunities can often be found in the most dominant industries mentioned above. As for where to look, the best areas for job hunters tend to be around the larger cities, such as Charleston and Morgantown, where there is a higher concentration of businesses and firms. Additionally, the state's burgeoning technology sector, spearheaded by the likes of IBM’s new Client Innovation Center in Rocket Center, may present promising new opportunities in the not-so-distant future. So, strap in and enjoy your time in the Mountain State, where you might just stumble upon a career opportunity as picturesque as its landscapes!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, fellow traveler! Have you ever been to the wild roads of West Virginia? Despite its natural beauty, West Virginia has some unique traffic and transportation quirks. Let's take a spin through some of its traffic attributes, shall we?

For those in the big cities like Charleston, Morgantown, and Huntington, average commute times range between 18 to 24 minutes - not too shabby compared to some neighboring states! Despite this fairly swift pace, public transportation options in West Virginia might have you feeling you're aboard a steam locomotive. The big cities do have bus services like the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority's buses in Charleston, but be forewarned - the schedules ain't always as reliable as a horse and buggy!

If you'd rather soar like an eagle across the Mountain State, air travel is also an option. Yeager Airport in Charleston and Huntington Tri-State Airport offer departures to various domestic destinations. So spread your wings and fly, or stick to the winding roads of West Virginia, and embrace your inner John Denver!

What is the traffic like in West Virginia?

Things to Do

So, you're moving to West Virginia, huh? Well, get ready for a wild and wonderful ride! West Virginia is a hidden gem with a wealth of activities to offer, from its beautiful scenery to its rich history and captivating attractions. To help you get started on your adventure, we've compiled a list of 7 top things to do in West Virginia that you won't want to miss. Grab your hiking boots, get your camera ready, and let's go!

1. Explore the Great Outdoors at the New River Gorge National River

West Virginia is known for its stunning landscapes, and the New River Gorge National River embodies the breathtaking beauty this state has to offer. Spanning across 70,000 acres, this awe-inspiring park features lush forests, fantastic rock formations, and the iconic New River Gorge Bridge. Spend your day hiking the numerous trails, fishing in the river, or even whitewater rafting for an adrenaline-pumping thrill. No matter what you choose, you'll be blown away by the sights and sounds of this unforgettable destination.

2. Delve into the Dark Depths of the Seneca Caverns

Step into the mesmerizing world of underground caves at the Seneca Caverns. This enchanting destination spans for over 4.5 miles beneath the Earth's surface and offers guided tours to navigate its winding passageways and fascinating formations. Along the way, you'll learn about the cave's history, and even have the chance to experience total darkness for a truly eerie and exhilarating experience!

3. Step Back in Time at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

For history buffs, the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a must-visit location. This picturesque park welcomes visitors to explore its charming streets, admire the historic architecture, and delve into the stories that shaped American history. From Civil War battlefields to the John Brown's historic fort, there's plenty to see and learn as you wander around this captivating area.

4. Conquer the Appalachian Trail

If you have a taste for adventure and a love for the outdoors, taking on the Appalachian Trail should definitely be on your West Virginia bucket list. The trail stretches for 72 miles through the state's eastern panhandle, offering hikers the opportunity to traverse rocky ridges, lush forests, and scenic overlooks, all while soaking in the breathtaking mountain vistas that make West Virginia so special. You may also stumble across the unique swinging bridge and enjoy the peaceful solitude that comes with venturing off the beaten path.

5. Feast on Fresh Seafood at the Inland Sea Smokehouse

Surprise your taste buds with a trip to the Inland Sea Smokehouse in the small town of Great Cacapon. This hidden gem reels in seafood lovers with its mouthwatering selection of smoked salmon, trout, and shrimp, all sourced from local aquaculture suppliers. Not only is the menu delicious, but the restaurant itself sits on a beautiful piece of land, making for a truly unique dining experience.

6. Soak in the History and Culture at the Greenbrier Resort

Located amid the breathtaking Allegheny Mountains, the Greenbrier Resort is an exquisite destination rich in both luxury and history. While its immaculate golf courses, fine dining options, and lush spa services attract high-class visitors, the resort also holds a secret: a once-hidden underground bunker built during the Cold War to house Congress in case of a national emergency. Taking a tour of this fascinating facility is an experience you won't find anywhere else.

7. Get Spooked at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

If you're a fan of all things paranormal, then a visit to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum should be at the top of your list. This menacing, gothic-style building once housed thousands of mentally ill patients and is now said to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. Take a guided tour to explore its chilling halls and learn about its grim history, or, if you're brave enough, partake in a paranormal investigation and see if you encounter any ghostly residents.

Well, there you have it! With so much to see and do in West Virginia, you'll never be bored while living in this beautiful state. Take your time to explore everything West Virginia has to offer, and you'll find yourself falling in love with its charm, history, and natural beauty. Don't be surprised if you start feeling more West Virginian than Mountaineer!

Things to do in West Virginia?

Find Movers for Your West Virginia Relocation

Now that you're well-acquainted with all the essentials for relocating to the beautiful state of West Virginia, it's time to tackle the most critical aspect of your journey – finding the perfect moving company to ensure a seamless transition. Allow Great Guys Moving to be your trusted partner in this process. We pride ourselves in connecting you with top-notch, licensed, and insured movers, all dedicated to providing quality service at affordable prices. To embark on your exciting new adventure, simply request a free moving quote with Great Guys Moving today and move one step closer to your West Virginia dream!

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