Virginia is a diverse state, with regions varying in several aspects: economic drivers, political ideology, cultural and historical attractions, and natural environments which are some of the reasons to love living in Virginia. When considering a move to Virginia—which has something to offer residents of all affinities—you may factor in the state’s breathtaking scenery, balance of urban and rural areas, and other attractive features. Another important factor you should consider, though, is the cost of living in Virginia.
As with any state, the cost of living in Virginia can differ greatly depending on the city, town or county, although some economic aspects remain consistent, such as the $7.25 minimum wage in Virginia.
The cost of living in the Hampton Roads area — which incorporates the cities on the Southeast Virginia coast—tends to be at or above the national average, when you take into account a number of factors, such as housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation, along with relevant Virginia taxes.
A Closer Look at Hampton Roads Cost of Living
Sperling’s Best Places, a research-based website that provides economic, social and other data on individual U.S. cities, compiles cost of living indices that are based on a U.S. average of 100. According to site’s data, the cost of living in Chesapeake, VA, is 115.8—well above the national average. Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. The average cost per square foot of a house in Virginia is $145. The sales tax rate in Chesapeake is 6 percent, below the U.S. average of 7.3 percent, and is a combination of city, county and state sales tax rates. Virginia’s current state-wide sales tax rate is 4.3 percent. Chesapeake’s income tax, however, is 5.8 percent compared to the U.S. average of 4.6 percent.
The average income of an individual in Chesapeake is $29,735 per year and the median household income is $70,176. Chesapeake’s unemployment rate is 3.1 percent—compared to the U.S. average of 3.9 percent—and the job growth is predicted to increase by 35.2 percent over the next 10 years.
The local real estate tax rate is $1.04 per $100 of assessed value for non-mosquito-controlled properties and $1.05 for mosquito-controlled. Virginia residents also pay personal property tax, which is $4.08 per $100 of the assessed value for automobiles, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles and $3.20 per $100 for machinery and tools, to name a few.
As with other cities in the Southeast coastal region of Virginia, the cost for groceries and utilities tends to be below the national average.
Related: How to Budget for the Right Amount of House
Virginia Beach, VA
The overall cost of living in Virginia Beach, VA, is on par with that of Chesapeake, or 115.6. Again, housing is a large influencer, with the median home price hovering around $257,000, which is a factor to consider before moving to Virginia Beach.
Virginia State property taxes are currently set at $1 per $100 assessed value for most real estate and $0.85 per $100 assessed value for energy-efficient buildings; personal property tax is $4 per $100. The sales and income taxes in Virginia Beach are the same as those in Chesapeake.
The city boasts an envious unemployment rate of 2.9 percent, with future job growth on a similar trajectory as that of Chesapeake, or an estimated 33.2 percent over the next 10 years. Salaries are also similar in Virginia Beach, with the average income for a single person about $32,477 per year and the median household income at $67,001 per year.
The overall cost of living in the Norfolk—currently 99.9—is comparatively lower than its Hampton Roads counterparts and even slightly below the U.S. average. In Norfolk, the average cost of groceries, utilities, transportation and even housing are below the national averages. The fact that the median home price in Norfolk is $181,000 makes a difference.
The sales tax and income tax rates in Norfolk are identical to those of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Salaries are significantly lower, though. The average income for an individual is $24,252 per year and the median household income in Norfolk is $44,150 per year. Norfolk’s unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.
As of June 2018, the city’s real estate tax rate is $1.25 per $100 of the assessed value and the business district tax rate is $1.41 per $100 of the assessed value. The personal property tax rate for automobiles, trucks motorcycles, utility trailers and leased vehicles is based upon the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Blue Book value and they are assessed on a prorated basis at the rate of $4.33 per $100.
Moving to Virginia
These numbers can give prospective residents an idea of the cost of living in Virginia, and the Hampton Roads area particularly, as well as property taxes in Virginia. An important trend to note is that housing makes a big difference. No matter where you live, your home should meet your needs and preferences, supporting other areas of your life. To that end, Kroll Enterprises, headquartered in Virginia Beach, is dedicated to providing personalized and quality homes optimized for comfort and utility.
“Chesapeake Home Prices & Values.” Zillow. Accessed online at https://www.zillow.com/chesapeake-va/home-values/
“ Local and Sta te Tax Rates .” Virginia Beach Economic Development. Accessed online at https://www.yesvirginiabeach.com/Business-Environment/cost-of-doing-business/Pages/taxes.aspx
“SITE SELECTION – TAX COMPARISONS.” City of Chesapeake Economic Development. Accessed online at http://chesapeakeva.biz/site-selection/tax-comparisons/
Chesapeake, Virginia page. Sperling’s Best Places. Accessed online at https://www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/virginia/chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia web page. Sperling’s Best Places. Accessed online at https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/virginia/virginia_beach
“Personal Property Taxes.” City of Norfolk web page. Accessed online at https://www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=805