Ready to settle into the house of your dreams? Imagine you have decided that you want to move to Virginia but feel ill-informed about what to expect. Better familiarizing yourself with the average cost of living in Virginia can help you make the necessary preparations before your move.
The area’s affordability determines the kind of quality of life you can have living there. Living costs nationwide are rising and Virginia is no exception. The real estate market of Virginia has not been doing well due to rising costs of housing prices as well as increased costs of bills, utilities, transportation, health, and medical.
We do not want to scare you away from planting roots in Virginia, but rather equip you to confidently go forward, not be blindsided by the cost of living. Our article condenses that information so that you can be an educated home buyer to make the best decision for your family. We have done the research for you to give you peace of mind because the information is the most powerful tool.
Real Estate Market in Virginia
There has been much fluctuation in the real estate market in Virginia. Over the last year, housing prices have risen significantly while the amount of homes sold has dropped, so it has become slightly difficult to sell a house fast in Virginia. The national average for a home is $453,700 and the average cost of a home in Virginia in May 2022 is $448,000. With the increased prices, many Virginia residents have been reluctant to sell their homes due to the lengthy period they remain on the market.
While there has been an exponential rise in housing prices over the last year or so, you can rest assured that there will not be any cause for concern. Virginia’s housing market expects to slow down its price climb. However, the market should continue to thrive as buyers are plentiful along with “persistently low inventory”.
Some trends suggest that buyers may look to congregate around the metropolitan areas out of convenience, which means that if you are in the market, these are the areas with the most competitive and the most expensive home sales in VA.
The metro areas of Virginia are rapidly growing. Some of the fastest-growing areas are Glen Allen, McNair, Powhatan, and Bristow. Roanoke, another city in Virginia, has been considered a seller’s housing market because of the quicker sale of homes and the higher-than-average cost of a home. These Virginia cities are seeing an influx of people.
Other places in VA are more competitive, as there are fewer newcomers than in metropolitan cities. Virginia Beach and Norfolk cash home buyers, for instance, could be an interesting option for those looking to buy and sell, as they can save on commissions or other fees.
In the metro areas, it is common for people to be renters instead of buyers for better affordability. However, property taxes remain in the lower half of the U.S. average, which is a good sign, and the cost to sell a house in VA is not high.
Costs of Living in Virginia
Below, we will explain in depth the cost of living in the state of Virginia.
Bills and Utility Costs
Utilities can vary for Virginia residents depending on whether you live in a rural or metro area. As a state, the utility costs are lower than the national average. Electricity will cost roughly between $120 – $140 per month. Water and natural gas are both close to about $70 per month.
For the Internet, a Virginia resident can expect to pay between $50 and $70. 92.4% of Virginia residents have access to high-speed Internet of at least 25 Mbps to download. If you choose to get cable, that will be just under $90 per month.
The average transportation costs in Virginia per year will range. A single adult can expect to pay just over $5,100 in transportation expenses. A small family with two working adults and two children can spend up to almost $14,000 yearly.
You have two options: you can either drive yourself around or use public transportation. If you choose your own motor, gas prices have risen slightly higher in Virginia than the U.S. average. The Virginia resident’s commute is also higher than the rest of the nation, so you will be spending more on gas.
If you decide to use public transportation, there are a few choices. You can get a 30-day pass for the Greater Richmond Transit Company for about $60. The pass allows you to ride as often as you like within those 30 days. The other popular choice is the Metro. You can obtain a 7-day-pass for just under $18.
Housing Prices in Virginia
Housing costs are typically the largest portion of a family’s monthly expenses for homeowners and renters alike. Monthly mortgage costs have a rate of approximately 5%. Average rent prices are slightly lower than the monthly mortgage rates in Virginia. On the lower end, a studio apartment’s mid-range rent is $1,264. A one-bedroom apartment’s mid-range rent is $1,153. On the higher end, a four-bedroom apartment’s median rent is $1,790.
Food and Shopping
Food costs will have a higher charge in certain Virginia cities, particularly the metropolitan areas. The positive is that overall, food cost rankings for Virginia were slightly lower than the national average. You are looking at spending anywhere from $250 – $400 per month depending on how often you dine out and what region of the state that you live in.
For example, Fairfax, which is part of the Washington D.C., Alexandria, and Arlington metro area, experiences slightly higher costs for food than other cities in the state.
Health and Medical Costs
Healthcare costs in Virginia are subject to each insurance plan. Some insurance plans will cover a larger portion of these costs alleviating that budget item for the Virginia resident. However, a rough estimate for healthcare expenses would be between $6,000 and $7,000. Health care will also differ depending on the health of the person.
Average Cost of Living in Virginia
The average cost of living in Virginia is $42,757 a year. Compared to national averages, the average living expenses for a single American is $38,266. The average living expenses for a family of four is $85,139. To determine the cost of living index, you would include bills, utilities, transportation, medical, food, shopping, and taxes.
Taxes in Virginia are another factor to affect the affordability of the state. The sales tax rate is 5.30%. Property taxes paid are 0.87%. Virginia ranks lower in the tax rates versus the rest of the country.
Virginia is more costly to live in comfortably than the majority of the country. However, this is not true of the whole state. Lynchburg, Richmond, and Norfolk ranked lower than the state average in cost of living. If you are looking for more affordable areas in Virginia, staying away from the metro areas would be a start. Compared to the rest of the country, Virginia ranks lower than New York in its overall cost of living.
The most expensive cities to reside in are Virginia Beach, Arlington, and Alexandria. This is not to deter you to move there, but make sure that you have allocated enough funds and have a decent income to afford to stay there.
When deciding whether to move from one city to another, keep in mind the cities’ housing market trends and cost of living. A quick way to see both is to search up “We buy houses Virginia Beach” (or the name of the city), then also search for “Living cost Virginia Beach.” Check and compare both trends to determine if moving is worth the money.
Virginia is a prosperous state with much to offer, but that does not come without a cost. However, there are still areas of the state with substantial affordability if you decide to move there. Knowing the average cost of living in Virginia should enable you to budget mindfully if you become a Virginia resident.