Learn what makes Virginia Beach, VA a great relocation destination.
Wondering if Virginia Beach is the right destination for your family? It’s a beach town, with a 38-mile coastline, meticulously groomed beaches, and even the East Coast Surfing Championships. It’s also home to numerous naval and military installations, military contractors, and is the US headquarters for numerous global companies. With low unemployment and lower than average cost of living and housing, Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area (including Norfolk and Chesapeake) is a good destination for families and retirees.
With all the military installations, it’s not surprising that defense contractor and civilian jobs with the military make up a good share of the local economy. Other high employment sectors include healthcare, insurance, and hospitality and tourism. Due to economic incentives, Virginia Beach is the US home to Stihl, Randstand and Siemens Building Technologies, among others. But be forewarned: Commutes can be rough, partly due to numerous bridges and tunnels, and partly due to shift traffic at the bases. Public transit is minimal, and the city has a large footprint, pushing average commute times to 28 minutes.
Median home prices at $247,300 and average 2-bedroom rent is $1250. What’s not average is the jet noise from the Naval Air Base and Langley Air Force Base, and sellers are legally required to disclose what jet noise zone your home is in. Buyers should also keep the tourists in mind; beach housing will be at a premium, and neighborhoods near the beach will have a high proportion of vacation and short-term rental properties.
If you’re looking for laid back and semi-rural, head for Pungo, in the southeast corner of Virginia Beach. Want a more walkable and urban experience, and easy access to the beach? Hilltop might be right for you, with lots of shopping and restaurants. Little Neck is good for young families and people just starting out, and due to the military, there are a lot of options, from older homes with large yards, more compact, newer neighborhoods, and affordable rental options.
Virginia Beach is family friendly. Really family friendly: There’s a public ordinance against swearing in public. Schools are generally well regarded and have a 13:1 student-teacher ratio. Neighborhoods are safe and pleasant.
For those looking to retire, Virginia Beach has lower than average taxes and good health care. The pleasant weather and access to state parks, beaches and other activities make it a great place for seniors with an active lifestyle. It’s an established retirement spot, especially with service members who enjoyed their postings to the area.
The Guinness Book of World Records named Virginia Beach the Longest Pleasure Beach. With a three-mile Boardwalk, a bike path and the yearly Neptune Festival, there’s always something to do. But many locals prefer Chesapeake Beach because there are fewer tourists. The beaches and pleasant weather mean locals are outdoors focused, heading out to kayak, surf, swim, fish and hike. The city has plenty of parks (including Mt Trashmore, a park created over landfill) and biking paths, and the Hampton Roads area is a golfer’s mecca. Winters are mild, and the Atlantic Ocean keeps summer temps from climbing too high.
Welcome to Virginia Beach, VA
Beautiful beaches, low cost of living, and good jobs: It’s easy to see why Virginia Beach is an ideal city for lots of people. If you decide you can tolerate the jet noise and you’re ready to move to Virginia Beach, you’ll want a great partner to help you get there. Find an agent.