Moving to Virginia

What makes Virginia a Top 10 state in which to live? For starters, it offers charming small-town living and metropolitan thrills for enthusiasts of all kinds, from nature lovers to history buffs. But that’s not all.

Virginians are deeply committed to culture, education, business, and everything in between. This devotion continues to produce a booming economy, high-paying jobs, amazing education, and pride in the Old Dominion State’s celebrated past. Simply put, Virginia is a wonderful place to live.

Considering a move to The Mother of States? To help, Great Guys Long Distance Movers has included this helpful guide on all things Virginia:

  1. Key Points to Consider Before Moving to Virginia
  2. Best Places to Live in the Mid-Atlantic States
  3. Convenient Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Quality & Affordable Moving Services

When you’re ready, we can pair you with fully vetted Virginia movers. We make moving simple!

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Living in Virginia: What to Know Before Moving to Virginia

Relocating to the Old Dominion State? Consider the following points before heading to the 35th largest state by total area (42,774 square miles) and 12th largest state by population (8.57 million).

Pros and Cons of Living in Virginia

Pros: 

  • Thriving economy: Close to the Pentagon and Washington DC (along with having 20+ Fortune 500 companies), Virginia offers plenty of ways to make a great living.
  • Growing diversity: Large numbers of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minority groups have been moving here. This influx has resulted in diverse culture in the swing state.
  • Stellar schools: Home to the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech (two of the best schools in the country), the state has the second-best school system in the South.
  • Rich history: Steeped in historical significance – it’s one of the original 13 colonies, and the birthplace of eight US presidents – the Mother of Presidents is also one of the wealthiest states.
  • Unparalleled beauty: From Virginia Beach to Shenandoah Valley, you’ll fall in love with Virginia’s natural splendor. Speaking of the fall, the autumn colors are breathtaking.
  • Many of the nation’s firsts: You can thank Virginia for hosting the first Thanksgiving, all the way back in 1619. Chapstick was also invented here in the 1880s, among several other firsts.
  • Southern charm & hospitality: As well as being highly educated, residents are also known for being extremely polite (from a friendly smile to opening the door). 

Cons:

  • Traffic congestion: Due to its proximity to DC, North Virginia gets heavy traffic. It’s not uncommon to sit in a car for hours. Pro tip: check for traffic updates in the morning.
  • Housing prices: It can be difficult to find affordable housing, particularly in the northern part of the state. Fairfax County, for example, has a median home value of $547,000.
  • Peanuts in everything: Peanuts are popular here. If you have a peanut allergy, you should be aware that many dishes and packaged foods contain Virginia’s legendary legume.
  • Swing state: Yes, your vote counts here. As a battleground state, however, it comes with national attention, hordes of canvassers, and visits by politicians during the election cycle.
  • Cultural divide: From liberal cities to conservative country towns, the state features a diverse cultural variety. This divergence in political views has led to a chasm between many urban and rural areas.
  • Jet noise: Due to the vast number of military bases (27+) and training operations, there can be a lot of noise pollution (especially in places like Virginia Beach).
  • Weird weather: As with many states, Virginia is no stranger to wacky laws. For instance, kids can’t trick-or-treat on Halloween. It’s also illegal to swear at someone in public.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 0.80%. The state’s effective real-estate tax rate is ranked #18.
  • Sales Tax: Virginia state sales tax rate: 4.3%. Combined with local taxes: 4.3–7%.
  • Income Tax: 2–5.75%. Virginia has a progressive income tax.

Housing Market

Cheaper to Rent or Buy? This question depends on your location. For instance, it is much more expensive to own a home in Northern Virginia (NOVA) – Arlington County currently has a median home value of $691,800 – and it can cost nearly 50% more per month to own versus paying rent. On the other hand, places like Richmond and Salem offer a median home value of only $218,100 and $175,100, respectively. In these areas, it may make more sense to buy a place.

  • Median Home Value: $260,700
  • Median Rental Expense: $1,069 (1BR), $1,262 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Virginia:

  1. Pulaski
  2. Big Stone Gap
  3. Marion
  4. Bluefield
  5. Danville
  6. Covington
  7. Martinsville
  8. Richlands
  9. Christiansburg
  10. Bristol

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Virginia by BestPlaces, Virginia has a cost of living index of 113.8. This index is above the national average index of 100.

Let’s compare the average monthly costs in three Virginia cities by utilizing the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator. We’ll calculate the expenses of a family of four (2 adults + 2 children). 

Salem:

  1. Housing = $905
  2. Food = $789
  3. Childcare = $1,178
  4. Transportation = $1,143
  5. Healthcare = $1,127
  6. Other necessities = $683
  7. Taxes = $940
  8. Grand total = $6,766 per month or $81,190 per year

Virginia Beach:

  1. Housing = $1,095
  2. Food = $791
  3. Childcare = $1,323
  4. Transportation = $1,121
  5. Healthcare = $1,111
  6. Other necessities = $761
  7. Taxes = $1,055
  8. Grand total = $7,256 per month or $87,069 per year

Arlington:

  1. Housing = $2,040
  2. Food = $966
  3. Childcare = $1,801
  4. Transportation = $854
  5. Healthcare = $949
  6. Other necessities = $1,213
  7. Taxes = $1,670
  8. Grand total = $9,493 per month or $113,915 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

Overall, Virginia is known for its four seasons and relatively mild weather – not too hot and not too cold. It is also renowned for its varied and unpredictable climate, which is one of the most diverse in the US.

The Mid-Atlantic state has a mix of a humid, subtropical zone (Roanoke Valley, the southern portion of Shenandoah Valley, and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains) and a humid continental zone (west of the Blue Ridge). Virginia can be split up into five distinct climate regions: 1) Northern Virginia, 2) Tidewater, 3) The Piedmont, 4) Western Mountain, and 5) Southwestern Mountain. 

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall – 44 inches
  2. Average snowfall – 14 inches
  3. Sunshine – 205 sunny days
  4. Summer high – 87°F (July)
  5. Winter low – 25°F (January)

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Extreme Heat
  2. Drought
  3. Flooding / Flash Floods
  4. Tropical Storms & Hurricanes
  5. Severe Thunderstorms
  6. Tornadoes
  7. Winter Storms
  8. Earthquakes
  9. Landslides
  10. Tsunamis

Economy & Job Market

Virginia is currently ranked #25 in State Economy Rankings by US News & World Report. This ranking is based on several subcategories: business environment (#20), employment (#15), and growth (#40). The state’s GDP is $510.6 billion, and the median income is $37,442.

Top Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Retail
  3. Professional
  4. Education
  5. Government
  6. Hospitality
  7. Construction
  8. Finance & Insurance
  9. Administrative
  10. Transportation

Top Employers:

  1. US Army
  2. Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  3. Dollar Tree
  4. General Dynamics
  5. Northrop Grumman
  6. Brink’s
  7. DXC Technology
  8. Advance Auto Parts
  9. Smithfield Foods
  10. Capital One
  11. Huntington Ingalls Industries
  12. FCI Federal
  13. American Diabetes Association
  14. Leidos
  15. MCI
  16. Norfolk Southern
  17. The Salvation Army
  18. Sentara Healthcare
  19. Beacon Holding, Inc.
  20. Universal 

Looking for work in Virginia? Here are some helpful resources:

  1. Virginia.gov page: Job Seekers – Virginia Workforce Connection
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Highways and bridges
  2. Air (including Norfolk International Airport)
  3. Railroad (Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express, freight)
  4. Seaports (including Hampton Roads, the nation’s third-largest)
  5. Ferry systems (including the Jamestown Ferry)
  6. Commuter bus service
  7. Transit bus and paratransit services
  8. Subway (Northern Virginia)
  9. Personal vehicles
  10. Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc.)

Primary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 64
  2. Interstate 66
  3. Interstate 73 (proposed)
  4. Interstate 74 (proposed)
  5. Interstate 77
  6. Interstate 81
  7. Interstate 85
  8. Interstate 87 (proposed)
  9. Interstate 95

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Virginia is currently ranked #15 in the United States. This ranking depends on several subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#9), traffic & infrastructure (#40), safety (#29), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#15).

Things to Do

Looking for fun in Virginia? Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, foodie or a lover of the novel & obscure, there’s something for everyone in this culturally (and economically) rich state.

Tourist Destinations:

The Mother of States is home to rich American history and natural attractions.

  • Williamsburg: Love the American Revolution? You’ll find original and faithful reconstructed buildings, along with spots frequented by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Virginia Beach: A massively popular attraction, this resort town located just east of Norfolk offers a water park, museums, and various beach activities.
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Having lived here for approximately 45 years, the house offers a unique window into the first American president’s domestic life.
  • Shenandoah Caverns: Comprised of seventeen connected chambers, the mile-long cave system is a captivating attraction for adventurous visitors.
  • Arlington National Cemetery: Covering over 600 acres, this cemetery is the final resting place of famous American citizens, including JFK and the Unknown Soldier.

Food & Drink:

Virginia is a foodie’s paradise! Here are the top picks:

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: Sushi King (various locations)
  • Top Bar: PX (Alexandria)
  • Top Beer: The Veil Brewing Co. (Richmond)
  • Top Brunch: Trummer’s on Main (Clifton)
  • Top Burger: 2941 Restaurant (Falls Church)
  • Top Chinese Restaurant: Peking Gourmet Inn (Falls Church)
  • Top Chocolate Shop: Artisan Confections (Arlington)
  • Top Coffee Shop: Northside Social Coffee & Wine (Arlington)
  • Top Doughnuts: Sugar Shack (Arlington)
  • Top Food Truck: Captain Cookie & the Milk Man (Northern Virginia)

State Parks:

Want to explore Virginia’s stunning natural beauty? Consider these popular state parks:

  • Grayson Highlands State Park (Mouth of Wilson): Home to a historical craft museum, hiking trails, wild ponies, and the highest point in the state. 
  • Smith Mountain Lake (Moneta): As one of the largest lakes in Virginia, it’s the perfect spot for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and more. 
  • Chippokes Plantation State Park (Surry): Comprised of 1,950 acres, this site offers centuries of Native American, African American, and European history. 
  • York River State Park (Williamsburg): This beautiful park offers a great getaway from the city. Enjoy paddle boating, hiking, or a walk along the York River. 
  • Hungry Mother State Park (Marion): As one of the original six Virginia state parks, Hungry Mother offers a 108-acre lake, a sandy beach, campsites, and much more. 

Museums:

The list of museums in the Commonwealth is vast. Here’s our top 5 selection:

  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Houses thousands of space and aviation artifacts.
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps: A tribute to the United States Marines.
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Home to over 5,000 years of art from around the globe.
  • Military Aviation Museum: Dedicated to WWI and WWII military aircraft.
  • Chrysler Museum of Art: 30,000+ objects (including its famous glass collection)

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something off the beaten path in Virginia? Check out: 

  • Abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire: Here, you’ll find the remnants of a failed attempt to replicate a medieval square in the woods of Fredericksburg.
  • Presidents Heads: Just as the title implies, this is a collection of 43 giant statues of American presidents sitting in a Williamsburg field. It’s quite a sight to behold.
  • The Natural Bridge: Previously owned by Thomas Jefferson and King George III, this immense natural limestone bridge is in the aptly named Natural Bridge.
  • Dinosaurland: Filled with statues of (including a 60-foot Jaws and 20-foot King Kong), the park contains 50+ creatures to capture the imagination in White Post.
  • Edgar Allan Poe Museum: Last but certainly not least, we have a museum in Richmond dedicated to the renowned gothic author’s work and life. 

Schools and Universities

According to Geographic Disparity: States with the Best (and Worst) Schools by USA Today, Virginia is currently ranked #14 in the country. The state is considered to have the second-best school system in the South, behind only Maryland. It is also home to several prestigious colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia (a Top 30 national universities). Here are the top-ranked picks:

Top VA Colleges:

  1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
  2. College of William and Mary (Williamsburg)
  3. Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)
  4. George Mason University (Fairfax)
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond)
  6. Hampton University (Hampton)
  7. Old Dominion University (Norfolk)
  8. Shenandoah University (Winchester)
  9. Mary Baldwin University (Staunton)
  10. Regent University (Virginia Beach)

Top VA Public School Districts:

  1. Arlington Public Schools (Arlington)
  2. Falls Church City Public Schools (Falls Church)
  3. West Point Public Schools (West Point)
  4. Loudoun County Public Schools (Ashburn)
  5. Albemarle County Public Schools (Charlottesville)
  6. Fairfax County Public Schools (Falls Church)
  7. York County School Division (Yorktown)
  8. Charlottesville City Schools (Charlottesville)
  9. Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia Beach)
  10. Chesapeake Public Schools (Chesapeake)

How to Become a Virginia Resident

Someone is an official resident of Virginia (for tax purposes) if he or she:

  1. Lives in the state for more than 183 days per year
  2. Maintains an abode here for longer than 183 days per year
  3. Is a legal resident (domiciliary) of the Commonwealth

Qualifying for in-state tuition privileges is a somewhat complex matter. For example, these decisions are made by the Office of Virginia Status for the University of Virginia.

Moving to Virginia DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to Virginia, new residents have 60 days to apply for a driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Move to Virginia
  2. Visit VA DMV office
  3. Present a valid driver’s license
  4. Show proof: ID, Legal US presence, Virginia residency, social security number
  5. Submit a Driver’s License and Identification Card Application
  6. Pass vision screening test
  7. Take knowledge exam or roads skills test
  8. Surrender current driver’s license
  9. Pay applicable fees
  10. Wait for Virginia driver’s license to arrive by mail

Note: If you carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you have 30 days to obtain a Virginia CDL.

Vehicle registration:

New VA residents must title and register an out-of-state vehicle within 30 days

To title a vehicle or trailer: 1) Present documents (completed Application for Title and Registration, proof of address, current title or registration card, and proof of purchase price if you bought within the last 12 months). 2) Pay applicable fees 3) Record the odometer reading 4) Choose either electronic or paper title (if you select electronic, visit any customer service center to request a paper version)

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. A legal Virginia State resident
  3. At least 18 years old on election day
  4. Not be a convicted felon currently serving a sentence

You may register to vote online (must have Virginia ID or driver’s license), by mail, or in person at a local voter registration office (along with public libraries, voter registration drives, DMV offices, Virginia Department of Elections office, armed forces recruitment offices, and state or local government offices).

The state of Virginia does not permit early voting or absentee voting. All voters must present photo ID at the polls on election day.

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Best Places to Live in Virginia

Western Virginia (Valley and Ridge)

Harrisonburg

Population: 54,000
Median Home Value: $210,000

Harrisonburg, situated in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley region, has received numerous regional and national awards. The list is impressive: Top 10 place for millennials to live, Tree City USA recognition, and one of the best cities for students seeking higher education. And that’s just from this year. 

Offering modernity and vibrancy, Harrisonburg (also known as The Friendly City or Rocktown) is a gorgeous, developing town. James Madison University, a liberal arts school, strongly contributes to the ethnic diversity and strong local economy. As the heart of Harrisburg, Downtown Renaissance offers great restaurants, breweries, shopping, live music, creative pursuits, and job opportunities. 

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle, Rocktown is near several mountains, forest, and national parks. The city is also only two hours south of the Washington DC metro area.

  • Top public schools: Pleasant Valley Elementary School, East Rockingham High School, Harrisonburg High School, Thomas Harrison Middle School, and Waterman Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: Eastern Mennonite School, Woodland Montessori School, Minnick Education Center – Harrisonburg, Good Shepard School & Daycare, and Shenandoah Academy. 
  • Top colleges: James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University.

Whether you’re a retiree, family person, student or millennial first-time homebuyer, Harrisonburg is a wonderful place to live! If you’re looking for the perfect mix of rural and urban living, coupled with a collegiate yet relaxed environment, Harrisonburg may be just what you’ve had in mind.

Salem

Population: 25,000
Median Home Value: $175,100 

Next, we make our way to the independent city of Salem in Roanoke County. Bordered by the city of Roanoke, Salem is nestled in a valley surrounded by the captivating Blue Ridge Mountains. 66% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly rated.

As one of five government jurisdictions that make up Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Salem prides itself as an outdoor and recreational community (along with being huge football fans). Considered safe and friendly, Salem is known for its great neighbors and family-friendly living. With the lowest median home value on the list, the small city offers an affordable cost of living for families, retirees, and professionals alike. 

  • Top public schools serving Salem are Salem High School, East Salem Elementary School, West Salem Elementary School, South Salem Elementary School, and Andrew Lewis Middle School. 
  • Top private schools include Salem Montessori School and Hopetree Academy. 
  • Local colleges are Roanoke College and American National University – Roanoke Valley.

Ideal for families, Salem offers a suburban feel and escape from the congestion of Roanoke and other cities. If you’ve got kids, or you are planning on having some, give this small town a big consideration.

Central Virginia (The Piedmont)

Charlottesville

Population: 48,000
Median Home Value: $277,800

Shifting over to the central portion of Virginia, we find ourselves in Charlottesville. Nestled in the Piedmont region, the city has been dubbed “the happiest city in America.” This sentiment may or may not be completely true, but if you ask any number of local families, students, professionals, and retirees what they think, the consensus is that Charlottesville is one of the best places to live in America. 

Home to great schools and wide diversity, Charlottesville is the quintessential university town. The University of Virginia strongly influences the city, from culture to economy. There is always something going on, and the food, breweries, and concert venues are stellar. The Downtown Mall offers a mix of shopping and historical architecture, and Shenandoah National Park is right down the road.

  • Top public schools: Charlottesville High School, Jackson P. Burley Middle School, Greenbrier Elementary School, Walker Upper Elementary School, and Venable Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: St. Anne’s – Belfield School, Renaissance School, The Covenant School, Charlottesville Day School, and Montessori School of Charlottesville. 
  • Top colleges: University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, and Virginia School of Massage. 

In search of a central city that offers everything but still feels like a close-knit community? Charlottesville may be the next place you call home.

Richmond

Population: 227,000
Median Home Value: $218,100

Richmond, the fourth largest city in the state, is the capital of Virginia. Recently ranked #46 out of the Top 100 places to live in the United States by Livability, the city of less than 230,000 has transformed from a place of rich American history into a growing, creative city that fosters entrepreneurship. 

Filled with historical sites and wide diversity, Richmond is known for its award-winning cuisine and craft beer. The city is also a prime central location that is within a two-hour drive of mountains, Washington DC, and the Atlantic Ocean. From being named among the Top 10 coolest cities to Top 10 foodie destinations, Richmond ranks high in amenities and livability.

  • Top public schools: Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Open High School, Richmond Community High School, Mary Munford Elementary School, and William Fox Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: St. Christopher’s School, St. Catherine’s School, Veritas School, Trinity Episcopal School, and St. Gertrude High School. 
  • Top colleges: University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Bryant & Stratton College – Richmond, Fortis College – Richmond, and Reynolds Community College.
  • Top neighborhoods: Mary Munford, Three Chopt, Colonial Place, Malvern Gardens, Stonewall Court, The Fan, Monument Avenue Park, Windsor Farms, The Museum District, and Carytown. 

In search of a smaller city packed with rich culture, arts, music, and amenities? The City of Richmond is an ideal choice for those wanting all that plus proximity to the East Coast’s biggest metropolises.

Northern Virginia (NOVA)

Alexandria

Population: 160,000
Median Home Value: $537,900

Considered a Top 10 city for young professionals, Alexandria is only seven miles south of Washington DC. Situated along the western bank of the Potomac River, it is also considered one of the coolest suburbs in the country. 

Scoring high in diversity, nightlife, outdoor activities, and family-friendliness, Alexandria makes a clear case for being one of the Top 25 cities in America. Its proximity to DC greatly influences the area, which is full of federal civil servants and professionals. Coupled with awesome schools, a thriving business community, and even walking trails for dogs, Alexandria checks all the boxes of suburban life.

  • Top public schools: Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, Charles Barrett Elementary School, T.C. Williams High School, Key Middle School, and Maury Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: Episcopal High School, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, Bishop Ireton High School, St. Mary’s Catholic School, and Blessed Sacrament School & Early Childhood Center. 
  • Top college: CET – Alexandria. Nearby colleges include Georgetown University (Washington DC), George Washington University (Washington DC), University of Maryland (College Park, MD), and Marymount University (Arlington, VA).
  • Top neighborhoods: Taylor Run, Potomac Yard / Potomac Greens, Eisenhower East, Northeast, Southwest Quadrant, Old Town North, Braddock Road Metro, Old Town, Seminary Hill, and Landmark.

If you’re in search of suburban living with a short commute to the nation’s capital (combined with historic buildings and hip atmosphere), you’ll be hardpressed to find a better option than Alexandria.

Arlington

Population: 235,000
Median Home Value: $691,800

Our next stop in NOVA brings us to Arlington. Found on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River (and directly across from DC), it is home to the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, and the future location of Amazon’s co-headquarters (HQ2). It is also one of the most vibrant and livable places in the United States.

As a county and not an official city, Arlington is the second largest “principal city” in the DC metro area. It scores high in public schools, family-friendly amenities, and nightlife. Offering rich culture and loads of diversity, its neighborhoods are full of character and vibrancy. Of course, every place has its drawbacks. Cost of living is high here, but you get what you pay for in topnotch amenities.

  • Top public schools: Washington Liberty High School, Yorktown High School, Arlington Traditional Elementary School, Jamestown Elementary School, and McKinley Elementary School. 
  • Top private school: Bishop O’ Connell High School, Saint Ann Catholic School, St. Agnes School, St. Thomas More Cathedral School, and St. Charles School. 
  • Top colleges: Marymount University, Strayer University – Virginia, Chamberlain College of Nursing – Arlington, and DeVry University – Virginia.
  • Top neighborhoods: Bluemont, Colonial Village, Radnor / Fort Myer Heights, North Rosslyn, Waycroft / Woodlawn, Aurora Highlands, Clarendon / Courthouse, Ballston / Virginia Square, and Woodmont.

If you have the wherewithal, Arlington offers the advantage of Virginia’s lower taxes while virtually being a part of the District. Not to mention, it’s just an amazing “city.”

Eastern Virginia (Coastal Plain)

Chesapeake

Population: 242,600
Median Home Value: $266,200

Next, we make our way to Chesapeake. Located in Norfolk County, the city played a significant role in the founding of the country. It is now a strong economic hub, attracting new companies with a bevy of business benefits.

With a nice blend of country and city living, Chesapeake offers a strong sense of community. The schools are also exceptional. On the downside, there is a lack of things to do here compared to over urban areas. Nonetheless, though some may consider it a little too mellow, it is a safe and clean place perfect for raising a family. And if you’re looking for fun, Norfolk and the coast is less than 15 minutes away.

  • Top public schools: Grassfield High School, Hickory High School, Hugo A. Owens Middle School, Grassfield Elementary School, and Hickory Middle School. 
  • Top private schools: Veritas Collegiate Academy, Stone Bridge School, Atlantic Shores Christian School, Greenbrier Christian Academy, and Great Bridge Preschool. 
  • Top colleges: Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Chesapeake, Centura College – Chesapeake, and Sentara College of Health Sciences.
  • Top neighborhoods: Great Bridge East, Pleasant Grove East, Deep Creek South, Butts Station, Pleasant Grove West, Great Bridge, Greenbrier East, and Deep Creek West-Dismal Swamp.

In search of a prime suburb of coastal Virginia, close to Norfolk? You’ve found it in Chesapeake.

Virginia Beach

Population: 450,000
Median Home Value: $268,500

Last but certainly not least, we land in Virginia Beach. Known mainly as a resort city, the most populous independent city in Virginia (and the 45th most populated in America) attracts many tourists with miles of sandy beaches, restaurants, and hotels. Despite this, many people have fallen in love with the friendly inhabitants and relaxed atmosphere, proud to call it their permanent home.

Made up of a strong economy, educated workforce, and dynamic community members, Virginia Beach is the #1 suburb in the Norfolk area. It is home to 600+ life science and biomedical companies, as well as being a favorite locale for entrepreneurs. Housing prices are more than reasonably (along with a low cost of living), and there’s always something fun to do: beach activities, the Boardwalk, the Virginia Aquarium, the Maritime Museum, various events (like the Oceana Air Show), and phenomenal cuisine. 

The most obvious drawback is that this is a tourist town, and the higher volume of visitors (especially during the summer months) leads to higher congestion and crime. There is also a lot of jet noise.

  • Top public schools: Ocean Lakes High School, Princess Anne High School, Kingston Elementary School, North Landing Elementary School, and Thoroughgood Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: Cape Henry Collegiate, Catholic High School, OakTree Academy, Gateway Christian School, and Virginia Beach Friends School. 
  • Top colleges: Advanced Technology Institute, ECPI University, Regent University, Bryant & Stratton College – Virginia Beach, and South University – Virginia Beach. 
  • Top neighborhoods: Pungo, Kempsville, Hilltop, North End, Little Neck, Chesapeake Beach, Green Run, Pembrook Manor, Princess Anne, and North Central.

Offering gorgeous oceanfront homes, coastal living, and a healthy economy, Virginia Beach surprisingly checks all the boxes for year-round residency and high livability for all types.

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How to Move to Virginia

Without proper planning and execution, a move can be extremely stressful. Below, you’ll find an interstate moving checklist to help you keep on top of things and enjoy a smoother transition.

Two to Three Months Before Moving Day

  • Plan ahead: Remember, procrastination is not your friend. Start off on the right foot by giving yourself at least 2–3 months to prepare your Virginia move. There are a ton of logistics involved with interstate relocation. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
  • Stick to a budget: Out-of-state moving can be expensive. There’s a lot involved: finding new housing, hiring movers, furnishing your home, and so on. By following a budget and saving up, the cost of moving (either DIY or with the help of professional movers) won’t be so painful.
  • Hire VA moving company: Compare several fully licensed and insured movers. Minimum of 3–5 companies. Book ASAP to lock in the best deals and availability. Great Guys makes the whole process incredibly easy. Contact us today for a drama-free experience.
  • Notify important parties: Rent? Give a heads up to the landlord early on. This advance notice will help protect your security deposit. Own? Get a hold of a real estate agent for a successful sale or rental. Don’t forget to inform your family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Purge your place: To save space and money, perform a purge. First, take inventory of your home. Next, one room at a time, sort through your possessions. Choose which ones you want to pack or discard. You can either place them in piles or label accordingly.
  • Donate, sell, and recycle: Okay, so you’ve completed the sorting process. Now it’s time to let stuff go. Donate to charity, sell online, throw a garage sale, or recycle disused items.
  • Talk to kids: Moving is stressful for everyone, but it can be especially taxing for children. Explain what’s happening through story or playtime. Be kind and patient. Also, try to maintain routines.
  • Visit your new state: Whether you’re moving to Virginia or another part of the country, it pays to explore what your new town or city has to offer. Make an adventure out of it!

One Month to Go

  • Begin packing: Packing yourself? First, grab ample packing supplies. Refrain from mixing items from different rooms. Make an effort to pack fragile or valuable items properly. If you need a few helping hands, we can connect you with a cheap packing service.
  • Create a contact list: You’re beginning a completely new chapter in another state. Make a list of new contacts: doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers, insurance companies, and so on.
  • Transfer vital records and prescriptions: These include school transcripts and medical records. Also, make sure you have enough medications on hand during the moving process.
  • Change address: To do so, visit your local post office or go online to the USPS site to complete the form. Also, remember to update info for online services and subscription boxes.
  • Schedule utilities: Have your current utilities (electric, water, gas, etc.) turned off right after you move. Contact service providers (satellite, internet, etc.) to ensure that your new services will be up and running by the time you arrive at your new home.
  • Plan for special transport: If your pet or plants can’t travel with you directly, you can always schedule specialized transportation. Note that Virginia requires you to have a health certificate (with proof of individual ID and rabies vaccination) for companion animals.
  • Book cleaning services: To ensure a great showing or a happy landlord, hire professionals to perform deep cleaning. Also, consider other services you may need. These include painting, repairs, and resurfacing of hardwood flooring, to name a few.

Two Weeks Left

  • Service vehicle: If you’re driving to your new home, make sure your car is up to the task. Take it in for inspection and service (including oil change, tire rotation, and A/C check).
  • Check insurance coverage: To do so, contact your insurer and moving company. Look over current coverage and discuss options. Better safe than sorry.
  • Safeguard kids and pets: You’ll be distracted on moving day. To ensure the safety of children and furry friends, schedule babysitting, daycare, playdates, and pet care.
  • Throw a moving sale: Need or want to further downsize and declutter? Find new homes for your used stuff while connecting with neighbors and making a few extra bucks.
  • Celebrate your move: Take the time to honor the time you’ve spent here with close ones. Plan a dinner party, BBQ, group outing, or solo time. Spread it out over a few days or weeks.

Moving Week

  • Pack a first night box: Also called an essentials box, it should be filled with everything you’ll need for the first day or two at your new home: meds, prescriptions, clothing, bedding, snacks, toys, etc. Make sure it is easily accessible in your personal vehicle or moving truck.
  • Confirm with the moving company: Confirm arrival time and other details — exchange phone numbers for easy connection between you, the company, and the truck driver during transit.
  • Confirm travel: If you’re flying, double-check airline tickets and luggage restrictions. If you’re driving, look over vehicle and double-check your driving route and accommodations.
  • Rest up: It’s the night before moving day. You need to be fresh for tomorrow. Stay in, relax, eat a healthy dinner, hydrate, and get plenty of sleep.

Moving Day

  • Meet up with moving crew: The big day is finally here! If possible, be available in-person to answer movers’ questions or give any last-minute instructions.
  • Provide snacks: You aren’t obligated to do this, but it is a great way to boost enthusiasm: offer bottled water and a light snack. The moving team will certainly appreciate this gesture.
  • Perform a walkthrough: Now that the moving truck has been loaded, take this opportunity to tour the place for one last time. Keep an eye out for damage and overlooked items.
  • Enjoy yourself: Finally, take one last tour of your old community. Savor a meal at your favorite restaurant, food truck, or park. Commemorate your move and appreciate the journey!

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Quality Moving Services from Virginia Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers finds you top VA moving services at unbeatable prices.

Long Distance Moves

Who says a long-distance move has to be miserable? With the right movers, you can sit back and relax while everything is managed skillfully. Our vetted partners come fully prepared, equipped, and qualified to handle any type of interstate relocation to or from the great state of Virginia.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Moving to NOVA? Headed to the Shenandoah Valley? We’ve got you covered! Our local moving partners are highly knowledgeable and experienced. Whether you’re moving to a tiny town or sizable city, Great Guys is here to help you find affordable, reliable local movers

International Moves

Whether involving a corporate or military move, overseas relocation can be a formidable task. You need someone that can steer you in the right direction. From complex paperwork to confusing foreign customs, our international relocation service makes it easy to move abroad.

Small Load Moves

You deserve to enjoy the same level of convenience as big households. That’s why we work with top-rated small load movers. Quickly and effortlessly move out of your small apartment, studio, or college dorm. It’s never been easier or cheaper. Contact us today!

Furniture Shipments

Is it worth the risk of injury or damage to do it yourself? If not, consider one of our furniture moving companies. They come prepared with the right skills and tools to disassemble, transport, unload, and reassemble everything from antique curio cabinets to bulky leather couches.

Piano Transport

Looking to move a piano or organ to a new venue, church, or home? To ensure damage-free transport of your beloved instrument, hire one of our highly trained piano movers. Rest assured that they take every precaution to ensure a safe and sound delivery.

Art Shipping & Transport

When it comes to fine art, antiques, and collectibles, you need the best in the business. From non-abrasive packing materials to custom carpentry and display installation, our network of specialized art shippers covers every detail to safeguard your precious cargo.

Storage

From a lack of space to home renovation and world travel, there can be several reasons to use storage. Fortunately, our network of reputable moving companies also provides short-term and long-term storage options. Get hold of us today to book your ideal storage solution.

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Facing a last-minute move? We’re here to help. Whether you’re dealing with a new job, eviction, or even procrastination, our moving partners can help you out of a bind. Take a deep breath and know you’re in good hands. Quickly book short notice movers in your area.

Residential Moves

Moving into a new home? You may feel a little overwhelmed by all the logistics. Luckily, we can connect you with topnotch household moving services before things get out of hand. Breathe a sigh of relief while everything is covered, from packing to storage and even furniture arrangement.

Packing Services

Let’s be honest; packing isn’t fun. It’s extra taxing if you don’t have the time or capability. To ensure the safe transportation and storage of your belongings, hire our expert movers and packers. From partial packing to full packing service, they make it look easy!

Commercial and Office Moves

Whether you run an office or retail store, you can’t afford delays or downtime. Our partners provide outstanding commercial relocation services in Virginia and beyond. Stay focused on what matters – your work – while our partners expertly move your small business, office, or retail space.

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