Relocating to Virginia? Here are some Pros and Cons to Consider
Regardless of why, or where you are moving for that matter, it is always important to educate yourself on the area you may be calling home. And, like anywhere in the country, you will likely find both positive and not-so-positive aspects of living in Virginia
So whether you are considering settling in the charming city of Fairfax or the urban center of Richmond, here are a few pros and cons about moving to Virginia.
Pro: Excellent Real Estate Options
Virginia has long been known for its embodiment of Southern hospitality, so it should come as no surprise that many of its cities are incredibly welcoming and friendly. From Fairfax to Richmond, Arlington, and beyond – the options truly are endless. Whether you’re looking for a bustling city life with plenty of culture and career opportunities or peaceful green enclaves nestled between flowing hillsides, Virginia offers a diverse mix of urban districts and small communities.
Throughout the many different towns and cities which make up Virginia, prospective homebuyers can find a wide assortment of homes for sale. There is a mixture of housing styles and sizes which cater to all different lifestyles, making the state suitable for both individuals and families looking for their ideal home.
Con: High Cost of Living
Virginia’s cost of living is significantly higher than the national average, making it an expensive place to live. The cost of housing is especially high, with mortgages costing more than the national average and rental rates also exceeding what one can expect in other parts of the US. One should however, take into consideration where in Virginia they may be planning to move to. For example, some of the more rural areas may be significantly cheaper than the city centers.
According to bestplaces.net, the cost of living in Virginia is 104.2, meaning it is more expensive than the national average of 100. While this may be discouraging, there are still ways to manage your finances and get the most out of your move to Virginia.
Pro: Great Schools and Universities
Virginia is home to some of the best schools and universities in the US. The state boasts a plethora of public, private, religious and charter schools that are each dedicated to providing pupils with an excellent education – from elementary to post-secondary. Some of the most highly-regarded colleges and universities in Virginia include the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and James Madison University.
Virginia is also a great place for those interested in continuing their education beyond college. The state offers various graduate or professional degree programs as well as certificate courses that can help people gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career.
Con: Traffic Congestion
Again, this “con” is going to be situational and only really affect those living in the city areas. As many of Virginia’s major cities have experienced a surge in population over recent years, the roads and highways connecting them can become heavily congested during peak hours. This is especially true for commuters making their way into D.C., as there is no other route around its notoriously busy traffic.
Although there are public transportation options available, the majority of people still opt to drive and the state’s traffic can be an issue for those looking to avoid heavy congestion.
Pro: Access to Outdoor Recreation
No matter where you live in Virginia, there will always be plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy. From boating, hiking, skiing and more – the state is filled with opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are particularly beautiful and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside while providing plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure. Virginia Beach is also a great place to visit, with its boardwalk and miles of golden sand beaches.
Con: High Taxes
Virginia has a relatively high tax burden compared to the rest of the US, with residents paying state income, property and sales taxes. The rates for these taxes vary depending on where in Virginia you live, with cities like Alexandria having higher than average rates. While the sales tax rate (approximately 5.3%) is in line with the national average, income taxes and property taxes can add an additional burden to homeowners.
Pro: Job Opportunities
Moving to Virginia can be an exciting, life-changing opportunity! With some of the best job opportunities in the region, Virginia has something to offer almost everyone. In fact, various industries like the defense, healthcare and biomedical fields, high-tech industries, telecommunications services and advanced manufacturing are just a few examples of areas where one might find employment. The population is diverse and growing with more than 8 million people now residing in Virginia offering boundless career possibilities.
Living in Virginia certainly has its virtues and drawbacks, but the benefits can outweigh many of the potential concerns if given careful consideration. While it comes with its own set of costs, taxes, and job availability, Virginia offers an abundance of amenities ranging from educational opportunities to varied cultural experiences. With multiple major cities boasting entertainment options, not to mention being located conveniently between Washington D.C. and the Atlantic ocean fronts – there’s something for everyone here. For those who want a little bit of everything (with subtle differences city-by-city) all at their fingertips, Virginia is a great place to call home.