If you are considering moving to Virginia Beach, you’ll be surprised by the number of people who do the same every year! And why not? This coastal city is not only among the fastest-growing places in the country but also has a lot on offer, no matter what you are interested in.
Known for its pleasant climate, diverse economy, and numerous educational and employment opportunities, this city is among the best choices if you are looking to make a move. What can be better than living in a location that can easily compare to some of the most popular vacation spots in the country, right?
For anyone interested in relocating to Virginia Beach, finding the right property that matches your requirements is challenging. The growing population of the city, as well as the high demand for property, add to the difficulty. But with the right real estate professionals, the process of house-hunting is much easier.
But before you start your search for an experienced local real estate professional, it’s a good idea to know why people are attracted to settling down in this beautiful coastal city. So let’s take a look.
The Hampton Roads area is home to 1.7 million people and includes several cities from Williamsburg in the West to Virginia Beach in the East.
Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state of Virginia, with a current population of over 460,000 (in 2022), and growing due to the advantages the city offers. Virginia Beach boasts a 35-mile-long public beach- one of the largest in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The beaches can be found on the placid Chesapeake Bay as well as fronting the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
But, if you thought this was just another coastal city, you are totally wrong! This beautiful city has a long military history - it emerged as one of the important US military bases after World War I. Hampton Roads is home to the world's largest naval base (in Norfolk), a Naval Aviation air station, and major installations for all branches of the service plus the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and NASA installation.
Hampton Roads is made up of the cities of Williamsburg, Newport News and Yorktown, Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. Each city has its own unique history and charm and all are tied to the rivers emptying into the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
If you aren’t already fascinated by what this region has to offer, here are some other things that make this area special.
It’s difficult to get bored in the Virginia Beach area, thanks to the numerous experiences the region has to offer. Therefore, you won’t run out of things to do in the city. From enjoying fishing, surfing, or sunbathing in one of the many beautiful beaches to visiting the parks, museums, and other institutions - Virginia Beach is sure to delight you in multiple ways.
Virginia Beach and Norfolk are home to Naval and aviation history. The region produced one the first iron-clad warships- a Civil War Confederate monster called The Virginia (or more popularly called the Merrimack from the ship's hull the ironclad was built on). The first battle using ironclads happened in Hampton Roads and the first contest between ironclads. The Merrimack laid waste to wooden ships in a brief fight while hardly suffered a scratch. The Northern Monitor then arrived on the scene and fought the Merrimack to a draw.
The turret of the Monitor was recovered after sinking and is being preserved for display at the Maritime Museum in Newport News.
The area is also home to the first flight off of a ship and the first demonstration of the ability of aircraft to destroy naval ships.
Aviation enthusiasts can enjoy the Military Aviation Museum in southern Virginia Beach, where restored World War II planes are displayed and even flown. The Oceana Naval Air Station hosts an annual weekend-long free air show with demonstrations of modern military aircraft.
Boaters have access to calm freshwater lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the brackish Back Bay. Fishermen can catch everything from Tuna to freshwater carp.
Beach lovers have several options. To the southeast, in Virginia Beach, is the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge- a 4,600-acre preserve for waterfowl and turtles. The refuge is seasonally partially closed to visitors, but hiking and biking trails lead to an amazing remote Virginia state park. False Cape State Park is only accessible by foot or bike over a 3.5 mile trail or by kayak/canoe. Between False Cape and Back Bay, adventurers can see beaches as they were hundreds of years ago.
With a strong and diverse economy, Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads offer ample employment opportunities for people with varied skills and expertise. It is a well-known business hub within the state, helping it rank consistently among the top states for business within the US.
The city is renowned for its highly diverse industries, with manufacturing, defense, IT, retail, and bio being some of the key sectors. In fact, around half of the largest employers in the state of Virginia are located within this coastal city. The major employers in the city include the following:
The average annual income of residents of Virginia Beach is around $32,477. This is much higher than the national average, which is around $28,555 annually. This, combined with the fair tax rates within the city, is a major reason why people prefer to move to Virginia Beach.
The educational system in Virginia Beach is very well-developed - it boasts of being home to one of the best public school systems in the country. So, once you make a move to Virginia Beach, you need not worry about your child’s education at all.
The largest school division in the region, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, consists of a total of 55 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, and 12 high schools, in addition to several secondary/post-secondary specialty centers.
The city doesn’t disappoint in terms of higher education too. Several universities of eminence, including Virginia Wesleyan University, The College of William & Mary, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, and Regent University, are present in the region, offering different undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional programs and courses.
The Virginia Beach MSA has the highest concentration of college students within the state, with over 15,000 students graduating yearly. The well-developed education system ensures a sizeable pool of qualified individuals in the area, making recruitment easier for companies.
If you are considering moving to the area, one of the most important questions is which city, followed by which neighborhood you should choose to settle down in. One important thing to consider is that the region sits at the confluence of two rivers and the Chesapeake Bay where they all empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
That means bridges and tunnels. Hampton, Williamsburg and the historic triangle are to the north of the James River, traffic from there to Norfolk and Virginia Beach must go through one of two tunnels. Portsmouth and Suffolk are on the other side of the Elizabeth River from Norfolk and Virginia Beach and are accessed by additional tunnels.
One basic rule of thumb for living in the region is to try your best to avoid having a tunnel between you and your job or favorite activity. The tunnels can get backed up with traffic at peak times and during peak tourist seasons. You can, and many do, commute through tunnels but, it's your days will be calmer if you do not. Some take a different approach- they choose to live closer to their favorite activity and simply deal with the tunnel traffic.
The other interesting aspect of the region is that it is geographically huge. Highway drive time from Colonial Williamsbug to the Virginia Beach waterfront is over an hour. Virginia Beach itself is 25 miles long and 14 miles wide and includes very rural farming districts as well as high-density urban landscapes. Like many areas that are also popular tourist destinations, the citiies have housing in a staggeringly wide price range. You can find inexpensive condos or even WWII housing boom single-family homes all the way to multi-million-dollar beachfront mansions.
Whether you want your house to be just in front of the beach or prefer an area close to schools, hospitals, and shopping centers, Hampton Roads has it all. Here are some of the top suburbs and neighborhoods where you can purchase or rent a house:
The City of Virginia Beach is massive and includes dense urban spaces as well as massive farms. The most common housing developments are single family detached, duplex or townhomes, and condos.
Like many resort areas with fantastic beaches, the price of homes varies widely depending on location. The city has multi-million beachfront mansions and affordable townhouses in the interior.
The city is bisected by Interstate 264 that runs East and West and carries traffic directly to the boardwalk. To the North of the highway lie single family neighborhoods ranging from the neighborhoods around Virginia Weslyan University in the east, beach living along the Chesapeake Bay to the north, and tony large lot subdivisions on Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay.
At the easternmost end of this area of the city lies "North End," know as such because it's the northern part of the long beach fronting the Atlantic Ocean. A beach that runs 35 miles long to North Carolina in the South.
The area north of I-264 has one of the region's most beloved parks - First Landing State Park. This sprawling state park has beaches, camping, boating and miles of hiking trails that draw crowds year-round.
Right inbetween Norfolk and the boardwalk on I-264 is the Virginia Beach Towncenter, a planned urban community with high-rise office and apartment buildings, abundant restaurants and a world-class theater where you can catch touring Broadway shoes, the symphony, or ballet.
South of I-264 is a much larger and more ecclectic areas. In the east, you will find beachfront neighborhoods of Croatan and Sandbridge. Centrally lie large planned single family neighborhoods in the Kempsville and Redmill areas. One of the unique features of Virginia Beach is that much of it surrounds Oceana Naval Air Station- home to training grounds for fighter jet squadrons assigned to Navy aircraft carriers. A frequent bumper sticker says "I Love Jet Noise" which is a nice reminder to choose your neighborhood carefully if you do not!
Far to the south lies Pungo, home to large agricultural operations. In Pungo, you can pick your own strawberries (for which the area is famous) or visit the Military Aviation Museum and see WWII airplanes. Some may even be flying during your visit!
Norfolk lies in the heart of Hampton Roads and boasts it's largest urban core. The city has a variety of neighborhoods that offer a range of amenities, housing options, and community vibes. Here are a few of the neighborhoods in Norfolk, Virginia:
These are just a few of the best neighborhoods in Norfolk, Virginia, and there are many others to explore. It's always a good idea to work with a local real estate agent who can help you find the right neighborhood and home for your lifestyle.
Hampton, Virginia is a diverse city with many neighborhoods that offer a range of amenities, housing options, and community vibes. Here are a few of the best neighborhoods in Hampton, Virginia:
These are just a few of the best neighborhoods in Hampton, Virginia, and there are many others to explore. As always, it's a good idea to work with a local real estate agent who can help you find the right neighborhood and home for your lifestyle.
Chesapeake is a fast-growing city lying to the south of Norfolk. The city features lots of new construction in the past 20 years that nestles up to older, established neighborhoods.
Chesapeake is an easy (no tunnel) commute to Norfolk and is actually almost as close to the fantastic beaches of the North Carolina Outer Banks as it is to Virginia Beach. One other highlight of Chesapeake is the easy access to excellent road networks. Thanks to a series of (ongoing) improvements, Chesapeake is bisected by a major north/south highway that feeds into downtown Norfolk and an East/West highway that gives residents fast access to either of the two bridge-tunnels that carry freeway traffic west and north toward Richmond and Washington DC. The city also sits along an interstate that runs southwest to give access to Interstate 95 and all points south to Florida.
Like many of the cities in the region, Chesapeake encompasses a large land area featuring higher density semi-urban housing in South Norfolk all the way to very rural develoment in Deep Creek. In between are suburban developments and commercial districts that include:
Williamsburg is a historic city in southeastern Virginia, known for its colonial-era architecture, cultural attractions, and recreational opportunities. The city's real estate market is generally considered to be stable, with a mix of both residential and commercial properties.
According to recent reports, the median home value in Williamsburg is around $330,000, which is slightly higher than the median home value for Virginia as a whole. However, this value can vary depending on factors such as the size of the home, the location within the city, and the age and condition of the property.
Williamsburg, Virginia has several neighborhoods that offer a mix of amenities, housing options, and community vibes. Here are a few of the best neighborhoods in Williamsburg, Virginia:
Of course, there are many other great neighborhoods in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the best one for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. It's always a good idea to work with a local real estate agent who can help you find the right neighborhood and home for your lifestyle.
If you have been thinking of making a move to Hampton Roads, the first thing is deciding on the right area, depending on your requirements. While more than one of the neighborhoods mentioned above may seem appealing to you at first glance, the key here is to narrow it down after going through the advantages of each area. Keep those tunnels in mind.
Homes and properties in each area are in high demand, which makes it very challenging to find a suitable home in your chosen neighborhood. And that’s where we come in. At PrimeStreet, we have a team of some of the best local real estate agents in the region who can help connect you with the right house based on your requirements and budget.
Need help to make the process of finding a property and moving to Virginia Beach smoother? You can reach out to our highly-experienced agents through the button below. Get in touch with the best real estate agent today!