Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Virginia

Virginia is a state in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the United States. It’s a beautiful and historic place with tons of beautiful beaches. 

No matter where you are in Virginia, you’ll get to find beautiful places and some delicious food at every corner. 

So, if you are considering moving to Virginia, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 7 things you need to know when moving to Virginia.

Moving to Virginia: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Virginia

For your move to Virginia, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Virginia, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Virginia? Take a look at our selection of the Best Moving Companies in Virginia Beach and Richmond.

Finding a job 

The field of agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry. However, Virginia offers a range of in-demand jobs. These include retail sales associates with a state salary range of $30,956 to $59,018 annually, registered nurses earning from $63,883 to $133,555 per year, and cooks with salaries between $33,453 and $56,808 annually.

Other in-demand jobs are software engineers, physical therapists, maintenance technicians, security officers, and teachers. These roles span various industries and salary levels, providing diverse opportunities for jobseekers in the state.

Indeed (Oct 2023) & VA Gov (Oct 2023) 

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Virginia from different parts of the country include:

  • Flying: For flights to and from Virginia, Richmond International Airport (RIC), situated seven miles southeast of Richmond’s central business district, serves as the primary gateway to Virginia’s. It’s conveniently located within an hour’s drive of Williamsburg and two hours from Washington, D.C., the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Virginia Beach.
  • Train: Traveling to and from Virginia with Amtrak is now more convenient. Amtrak offers connections to various long-distance and short-distance trains through Amtrak Thruway buses, expanding your reach to Virginia’s attractions.
  • Bus: Booking a bus ticket to Virginia Beach through FlixBus is easy by booking online.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable long-distance moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival in Virginia

  • If you’re moving to Virginia, sign up for USPS mail forwarding on their website or at your local Post Office. It costs a bit over a dollar for 6 months and around $20 for a 6-month extension to redirect your mail to your new address. 
  • When moving to Virginia, sell or donate what you won’t need to simplify your move. Sell or donate household items and personal belongings that won’t be useful. Decide if you want to sell them on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or donate to a non-profit organization

2. Upon your arrival in Virginia

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers. 
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
  • Roaming around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily transit pass to save money.

Getting around in Virginia is easy with various options. Walking, biking, and train travel are common. Greyhound offers affordable and convenient nationwide bus service. 

Amtrak is a great choice for traveling to and from Virginia. Other public transport options include the Metrobus, King Street Trolley, and DASH, operated by the Alexandria Transit Company.

Type of fare

Rate

Day pass

$13.00

Monthly pass

$192.00

WMATA (Oct 2023)

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Virginia, you must exchange your driver’s license to a VA license within 60 days of your move. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you only have 30 days to obtain a VA CDL. You must visit your local VA DMV office in person and pass the vision exam. In some cases, you might also be required to pass a driving test and a knowledge exam. For details regarding the documents required, you can visit the “Apply for your Virginia Driver’s License” page. You can also fill out the Application Form online (Form DL 1P).

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Virginia, you’ll have 30 days to title and register your out-of-state vehicle. To register your vehicle, you must appear in person at your county’s DMV office. Submit a proof of insurance and a Registration Application Form

Review your registration after every 1 or 2 years. Visit the DMV Website to check out all the documentation requirements and details.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Virginia like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Virginia, you can register to vote online, in person, by mail or by phone. If you would like to register in person, you can visit your local VA DMV office and request for a voter registration form. You should also change your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

When moving to Virginia, it’s essential to establish a local presence by setting up a bank account. In Virginia, Truist Bank has the most number of branches with 286 offices, making it accessible to locals. 

Getting health insurance

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, no longer mandates health insurance for Virginia residents. While some states have established their own health insurance requirements apart from the ACA, Virginia is not currently one of them.

The healthcare costs in Virginia City are as follows:

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$145.08

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance (average cheapest)

$663

Gym

$57.50

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Virginia

Best places to live in Virginia

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Charlottesville. It’s an ideal place in terms of safety, job opportunities, transportation, and outdoor activities. On top of that, it has excellent housing, dining, and shopping facilities. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Arlington. It has some of the best schools, a strong job market, a good economy, and a diverse population.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Virginia Beach. It is a vibrant and the most populous place in Virginia, ideal for millennials and college students. 

Setting up home services 

  • The State Corporation Commission is a state agency with regulatory authority over many businesses in Virginia. The SCC will encourage you to work directly with your utility regarding payment plans. You can visit their website and find out the list of companies for setting up water supply, natural gas supply and electricity when you move to Virginia. 
  • The best internet providers offer bundling, multiple speeds, and affordable packages.

Below are the monthly cost in the most populated city in Virginia:

Utilities

Cost

Basic

(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment

$163.12

Internet

(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

$73.12

Total

$236.24

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

Should you rent or buy?

In September 2023, home prices in Virginia were up 6.3% compared to 2022. However, for rental pricing, the median rent price in Norfolk, VA, in October 2023 is $1,545; this is $45 more than in September 2023.

If you’re searching for an apartment in Virginia, websites like Apartmentguide, Zillow, and Apartments.com are valuable resources. When it comes to finding a house, turn to Realtor, Century21, and Zillow. These websites will make it easier to look for rental apartments and houses in Virginia.

Zillow (Oct 2023) Redfin (Oct 2023)

Cost of rent in Virginia City

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Norfolk (Outside of Center)

$1,800.00

$2,300.00

Cost of buying a property in Virginia City

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Norfolk

$284,367

Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance in Virginia is particularly important. Due to its location, Virginia is prone to having natural disasters like floods, wildfires, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Home insurance provides a sense of security in case a natural disaster affects you. It provides coverage for your home and the property that you own. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & Zillow (Oct 2023)

4. Cost of living in Virginia

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,800.00

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($62.22 multiplied by 4)

$248.88

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$163.12

Internet with 60 Mbps

$73.12

Transit pass

$192.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$72.50

Gym membership 

$57.50

Total

$2,607.12

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

 

5. The weather in Virginia

On average, there are 205 sunny days per year in Virginia. The highest temperature in Summers is 87° and the Winter low is 25 degrees. Virginia averages 14 inches of snow per year and 44 inches of rain, on average, per year. January is the snowiest month in Virginia. 

The most pleasant month of the year in Virginia is September. Virginia experiences all four seasons, showcasing its beauty and nature in a different way in every season. With the mountains, lakes, beaches, and landscape, you can experience a full year of breathtaking views and beauty.

6. What to do as a local in Virginia

Once you’ve settled into your new home or decided to retire in Virginia, it’s essential to explore the place. 

Visit the family-friendly and historic Williamsburg.

Explore the scenic Shenandoah National Park.

Go out and check Richmond with its warm weather and attractions like The American Civil War Museum

Bring your friends or family and check the Virginia Beach, a vibrant spot for entertainment and relaxation. 

When it comes to shopping and dining, Virginia offers grocery stores like Traders Joes, Whole Foods Market, and Wegmans, along with major chains like Walmart and Costco. 

For dining, check out options like A Chef’s Kitchen and The Ashby Inn & Restaurant.

7. Fun facts about Virginia

  • Fun Fact #1: Virginia has more than 250 wineries, making it the country’s fifth-largest wine producer.
  • Fun fact #2: The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.
  • Fun Fact #3: In 1619, the first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia.

Conclusion

Moving to Virginia offers a diverse range of experiences. With its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities, the state has something to offer for everyone. 

You can explore the historic streets of cities like Williamsburg, enjoy the beauty of Shenandoah National Park, or relax on the shores of Virginia Beach. The state’s mild climate and cultural attractions make it a desirable place to call home.

Prepare for Virginia’s cost of living, pros and cons, check the crime rate for your safety, and discover local activities. Fun facts about the city add a unique touch to your move. 

Are you planning on moving soon? Find out the best Virginia movers to assist you. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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