Virginia Beach is a coastal city that’s the perfect location for those who love the sun and the sand but also the convenience of city living. Known for its stunning beaches that stretch for miles, eclectic nightlife, and rich history, this beach town continues to attract aspiring homeowners and investors.
To help you make a more informed decision on whether moving to Virginia Beach is for you, let’s take some time to get to know the city a bit more and learn why it has become such a desirable place to live for many.
Welcome to Virginia Beach
This beach city is perfectly situated right where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Its location makes it a great place for various activities, such as surfing, water skiing, kayaking, whale watching, and fishing. However, water activities are not the only thing the city has to offer. Virginia Beach’s inland areas have sports complexes, nature parks, museums, and historical landmarks.
Virginia Beach provides easy interstate access, making it a great choice for professionals who have to travel for work. Parents will also be happy to know that the city has a highly rated public school system and an array of top-performing private schools, so they can be sure their children have access to quality education should they decide to move here.
A Deeper Look
Now that we’ve introduced Virginia Beach, let’s take a closer look at just some of the great things that await in this coastal city.
Economy and job market
Virginia Beach has long held a reputation for being an international business location. As a coastal travel destination, the city’s strong and diverse economy is mainly driven by tourism. Its proximity to the Naval Station Norfolk and the Pentagon makes the city a great location for companies affiliated with maritime and defense work. Other major industries in the area include manufacturing, logistics, and retail.
The city enjoys a robust economy. Virginia Beach’s unemployment rate is around 1.2% lower than the national average, and it offers plenty of opportunities for young professionals in various fields.
Some of the major employers in the city are Naval Air Station Oceana-Dam Neck, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Ft. Story, Sentara Healthcare, GEICO General Insurance Company, and STIHL Incorporated. Technology conglomerate Amazon also revealed its plans to build a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center and delivery station in Virginia Beach, both of which are expected to be fully operational by 2025.
If you’re someone looking for job stability while also having some fun under the sun, moving to Virginia Beach might just be the best decision you can make.
Popular attractions in Virginia Beach
There’s more to Virginia Beach than its 35 miles of beautiful coastline. The city offers visitors and residents fun and adventure at every turn –– from fantastic food destinations, awe-inspiring art that’s part of its vibrant cultural scene, and exhilarating outdoor activities.
Here are just some of the things you could do in Virginia Beach:
- Explore the trails of the First Landing State Park
- Go kayaking at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- Fly a warplane at the Military Aviation Museum
- Get an adrenaline rush at the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium
- Get to know our ocean friends at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
- Take a stroll at the famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk
- Appreciate the city’s art and culture at the Virginia Museum Of Contemporary Art
- Discover the great restaurants in the area.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! All year round, Virginia Beach has something to offer to everyone, from budget-friendly activities to full-on vacation tours.
There are many attractive communities and neighborhoods in the area. To give some insight into some of the best here are 4 that you might raise your interest in moving to Virginia Beach.
- Alanton. What makes this upscale neighborhood delightful is its perfect blend of history and luxury. From the vintage houses that line its streets to its households, many of which are made up of intergenerational families, it’s easy to see why Alanton has captured the hearts of many homebuyers.
The picturesque, tree-covered lanes of Alanton offer scenic views you can’t find anywhere else in Virginia Beach. The neighborhood is also located near great restaurants such as the Coastal Grill, which is famous for its soft shell crabs and tuna. For your daily needs, you have the Harris Teeter, Exxon, and CVS, all within the Great Neck Square Shopping Center located right next to Alanton.
Home prices vary here. A modest three-bedroom home can start at around $725,000, and waterfront mansions can reach up to $5 million.
- Kings Grant. This neighborhood was one of the largest planned communities in Virginia Beach back in the 60s and 70s. Thanks to its strategic location and nearby establishments, it has become a highly sought-after neighborhood with a strong home resale value.
Kings Grant is home to the award-winning Kingston Elementary School, ranked as #1 in Virginia Elementary Schools and VA Beach City Public Elementary Schools. Plus, the neighborhood is just a stone’s throw away from top shopping, restaurant, and entertainment destinations in this Hampton Roads locale.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly community in a great location, Kings Grant should be included in your homebuying shortlist. As of Jan 2024, the median price for homes in Kings Grant was $522,000.
- Bay Colony. In Bay Colony, you get the best of both worlds –– quiet residential living away from traffic as well as being biking distance from the beach.
One of the amenities that Bay Colony residents take pride in is the Princess Anne Country Club. This country club is equipped with a well-maintained golf course, pool, and tennis courts. Deep water access is also available in Bay Colony via the Linkhorn Bay, which connects to Broad Bay and Chesapeake Bay.
Bay Colony is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Virginia Beach. You can see properties for sale here in different sizes and designs, from ranch-style to contemporary. Prices start at around $500,000.
- Ashville Park. This upscale neighborhood is one of the newest and largest master-planned communities in the southern part of Virginia Beach. Developed in the mid-2000s, this residential gem is designed to provide its residents with a luxurious and enjoyable living experience.
Evaluate your finances
The first step to take, even before home shopping is to evaluate your finances. Buying a home with a mortgage is a commitment that can last up to 30 years. It is most likely one of the biggest financial endeavors most people will undertake in life, so take a moment to sit down and assess your current financial situation and how you’ll handle mortgage payments in the coming years.
You’ll need to consider your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and the amount of down payment you can afford. Plus, you’ll need to take into account the additional costs that usually come with buying a house and moving to Virginia Beach, VA, such as moving services, home inspection, and other fees.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
If after going over your finances you find you’re financially ready to buy a home, it’s time to prepare for the next step. You’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Getting preapproval puts you at an advantage when house hunting, making offers, and negotiating with sellers. Being pre-approved will give you an idea of how much you can spend to buy your new home. Additionally, having proof that you’re already preapproved for a mortgage, will give your seller confidence that you have the financial capacity to close the transaction.
When choosing a mortgage, the most important factors you need to consider are loan terms and the interest rate. Typically, lenders offer mortgage terms of 15, 20, or 30 years. A longer-term loan may be easier on the pocket every month, but keep in mind that the longer the term, the higher the interest rate will likely be. This means you’ll pay more interest over a longer period and the overall cost of the home will be more expensive in the long run.
Compare offers from multiple lenders and decide which one works best for your financial situation and goals. Mortgage applications require a thorough credit check, so make sure you’re in good credit standing to increase your chances of being approved and getting favorable loan terms.
Work with a local realtor
The Virginia Beach real estate market is a competitive one, so working with a knowledgeable local realtor will give you an advantage. Plus, it’ll take the stress out of the homebuying journey!
A seasoned realtor knows the ins and outs of the locality, and they will have the experience to navigate the complexities of Virginia Beach’s real estate market. This puts you in a favorable position when looking for properties and negotiating with sellers. Your realtor will advocate for your best interests and will work with you closely to ensure a smooth homebuying experience from start to finish.
When choosing an agent, you should consider their years of experience, the number of closed deals in the past year, and their work experience in handling transactions within your price range. If you can find reviews about them from their previous clients, the better.
Conduct a home inspection
Moving to Virginia Beach means enjoying the ocean breeze any time you want, but along with this perk comes a consideration. Due to the coastal nature of Virginia Beach, properties here are prone to issues such as moisture problems, saltwater corrosion, and damage from flooding or coastal storms. So before you seal the deal, it’s highly encouraged you don’t skip home inspection in your buying process.
Work with your agent in finding a certified inspector who is experienced in inspecting coastal properties. Taking this careful approach is an important step to protect your investment, and gives you peace of mind knowing you’re moving to a home without safety issues.
Check out neighborhoods and the nearby schools and establishments
This is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process: house hunting. But before you go house hunting, make a list of your non-negotiables and nice-to-haves in a home. Review your list with your agent so they can help you find the property you’re looking for based on your budget. This will help you streamline your search, saving you valuable time and effort.
As we’ve seen, Virginia Beach has various neighborhoods, each with its own charm and character. Do you enjoy hanging out with friends on a Friday night? The Oceanfront is a lively neighborhood where you’ll find your daily dose of food, fun, and social life. But if you love your peace and quiet, the Chesapeake Bay area can give you the serene moments you’re looking for.
Ashville Park provides easy access to the beautiful beaches of the Virginia coast. Its location also offers its residents a myriad of options for shopping, entertainment, and recreation, giving you and your family plenty of opportunities to have fun and make memories together.
While other neighborhoods also offer the same access to Virginia Beach’s attractions and adventures, Ashville Park’s main selling point is its breathtaking natural landscape. Living in Ashville Park means being able to bask in the beauty of 30 acres of preserved forests and 15 community lakes any time of the day.
Tips for Buying a Home in Virginia Beach, VA
Buying a new home is an exciting time for anyone –– it’s a milestone worth celebrating! But it’s also not without its challenges. To help you get started on the right foot, here are important tips to know when buying a home in Virginia Beach, VA.
OWN YOUR PIECE OF COASTAL PARADISE IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
When it comes to a community that’s perfect for both work and play, few other coastal cities can match Virginia Beach. It offers everything you can imagine and more to enhance your quality of life –– a growing job market, a thriving economy, an abundance of outdoor adventures, and some fantastic housing properties.
Take the first step toward moving to Virginia Beach with the help of our team at The Agency Coastal. We’re a boutique brokerage firm specializing in luxury real estate in the local area.
Our team is made up of experienced local agents committed to providing you with excellent real estate services. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, we’ll leverage our skills and knowledge to help you seal the deal as smoothly as possible, and at terms most favorable to you.
We’re a proud recipient of Coastal Virginia Magazine’s annual Best Of Awards in the small business-real estate category ––– a testament to our expertise and dedication to customer service. But more than the award, what we’re most proud of is our commitment to helping families find their place in our wonderful community.