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Transitioning from the bustling streets of Washington DC, to the scenic landscapes of Virginia can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. Whether it’s for work, family, or the love of new experiences, many choose to make this journey. So, if you are planning to make this move from DC to Virginia, it’s crucial to get the lowdown on what to expect from this major life change. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything from understanding Virginia’s varied landscapes to getting to grips with the local lifestyle. We will also give some pieces of advice on hiring some of the most reliable movers, such as Helix Moving and Storage Northern Virginia. Our goal is to equip you with all the necessary information to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Understanding your new home before you move from DC to Virginia

Colloquially known as the “Old Dominion,” Virginia is steeped in history and cultural diversity. Its landscape is a mosaic of captivating contradictions that are bound to enthrall anyone who chooses to call it home. From the energetic pulse of bustling cities like Richmond and Virginia Beach to the tranquil serenity of places like the Shenandoah Valley, there is an abundance of diverse environments to explore. It’s a state that encapsulates the cosmopolitan charm of the urban sprawl and the rustic appeal of countryside tranquillity, providing a rich tapestry of experiences for its residents. The state’s charm is complemented by its friendly communities and warm hospitality, adding an inviting allure to the scenic beauty that Virginia so effortlessly offers.

Beige and white houses for living after a move from DC to Virginia
Learn all the differences between DC and Virginia

However, before you contact interstate movers Northern Virginia and start your process of relocation, there are some differences between DC and Virginia you need to learn and then make a decision. Find out more about:

  • The cost of living
  • Employment opportunities
  • Education and schooling
  • Navigating transportation
  • Exploring local attractions
  • Embracing the local cuisine

Doing research on these aspects of your future home state will help you settle in sooner and easier.

The cost of living in DC and Virginia

Washington DC’s reputation as an expensive city is well-earned, with a cost of living index that consistently hovers around 152.8. This figure is substantially higher than the US average of 100, and the difference is especially noticeable when considering housing costs. In contrast, Virginia’s cost of living index averages around 103.7, slightly above the national mean but far more manageable than DC’s. The housing market in Virginia presents a broad spectrum of opportunities, depending significantly on the location within the state.

For instance, Richmond, the state capital, offers an appealing blend of urban amenities and Southern charm. Here, the median home cost is around $230,500, significantly less than DC’s median home cost, which can exceed $636,000. If you’re looking to stay closer to the DC area, Fairfax County might be a perfect choice. The median home cost in Fairfax is approximately $561,200, still high but considerably less than DC’s. This is an attractive option for those wanting to maintain proximity to DC, so find one of the high-ranking moving companies in Fairfax VA, and the process of your relocation can start.

Property taxes rate

On average, the property tax rate in Virginia is about 0.80% of a property’s assessed fair market value. This figure is considerably lower than DC’s property tax rates, which range from 0.85% to as high as 1.35%. For those considering hiring one of the moving companies Arlington VA and moving to this popular location, it’s important to know that Arlington boasts a property tax rate of just 1.013%. Also, the tax money in Arlington contributes to high-quality services, including excellent schools and well-maintained infrastructure. Taking these tax rates into account can have a significant impact on your financial planning and budgeting. Nevertheless, the luxurious life you get in Virginia is more than worth it.

Taxes sign on dollar bills
Property taxes are lower in Virginia

Employment opportunities

As you plan your move from DC to Virginia, examining the job market is crucial. The state’s economy is robust and offers excellent prospects, particularly in technology, defense, and government-related work. Northern Virginia is a hotspot for job opportunities. For instance, if you choose Vienna as your destination, but you are not sure you will find a job in this town, don’t worry. You can relax, reach out to movers Vienna VA, and set the moving date. Even towns in Northern Virginia offer great business opportunities. In addition to the thriving tech industry, Virginia hosts 21 Fortune 500 companies, including renowned names such as General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Capital One Financial. These corporations are spread across the state, providing a multitude of opportunities. The breadth of industries represented in Virginia ensures a dynamic job market adaptable to various skill sets and career paths.

Education and schooling

Virginia takes immense pride in its strong educational system. For families with children, a move from DC to Virginia can provide access to some of the top-ranking public schools in the country. Virginia consistently ranks among the top 10 states for education, with an average school rating of B+. Moreover, Virginia is home to several prestigious universities, such as the University of Virginia, ranked #26 among National Universities according to US News and World Report, and William & Mary, ranked #39. These top-tier educational institutions contribute significantly to the state’s intellectual landscape.

An empty street in Virginia
Even rural areas have good transport networks in VA

Navigating transportation

While Virginia’s transportation system may not be as comprehensive as DC’s, it nonetheless offers a variety of efficient public transport options, particularly in urban and suburban areas. For instance, the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) services the Richmond area, while Hampton Roads Transit caters to those in the Hampton Roads region. Additionally, Norfolk boasts The Tide light rail system, providing a convenient and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. If your move from DC to Virginia leads you to the DC suburbs, such as Arlington or Alexandria, the Metrorail and Metrobus systems offer substantial coverage. These transit systems extend into Northern Virginia, ensuring that the region remains well-connected.

In areas like Great Falls, although public transportation is less prevalent due to the community’s rural nature, the region’s road network is well-developed. Moreover, some of the best movers in Great Falls VA know how to navigate the area, so your move from DC to Virginia will be seamless, whichever area of VA you choose.

Penaut on a wooden plate
After a move from DC to Virginia, enjoy food made from peanuts since VA is famous for it

Exploring local attractions

Moving from DC to Virginia not only opens up an array of employment and housing opportunities but also introduces you to a wealth of local attractions. Virginia has numerous colonial landmarks. Sites such as Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown Battlefield offer a glimpse into America’s past. For those keen on outdoor activities, Virginia doesn’t disappoint. The state is home to 38 state parks and the stunning Shenandoah National Park, with hiking trails that showcase breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains. The beautiful vineyards in Loudoun County offer a great weekend getaway, while the Atlantic coastline’s stunning beaches provide a perfect summer escape.

Enjoy attractions in Falls Church

Falls Church, while small in size, is not lacking in attractions. The Cherry Hill Farmhouse and Barn, built in the 1840s, serves as a historic museum depicting life during the mid-19th century. The Falls Church, from which the city derives its name, is another historic site dating back to the late 1700s. So, if you are a history-lover, you can start preparing for your move, since some of the best moving companies Falls Church VA have their professionals ready and at your disposal at any time.

Don’t miss other places

In Annandale, for instance, Lake Accotink Park is a major draw for outdoor enthusiasts. This park offers a 55-acre lake, an antique carousel, and a mini-golf. It also features a 4-mile loop trail ideal for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Arlington, while known for its urban landscape, is also home to many parks and trails. The Mount Vernon Trail, a scenic 18-mile pathway, offers views of the Potomac River and Washington DC’s skyline. Arlington’s Lubber Run Park, with its amphitheater, hosts free concerts in the summer. In Alexandria, the historic Old Town area with its waterfront provides plenty of outdoor opportunities. One can enjoy a stroll through the marina, explore the scenic Mount Vernon Trail, or take a riverboat tour to observe landmarks like the Washington Monument.

The Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County, a short drive from Alexandria, is another highlight. As one of the largest parks in the area, it offers wetlands, forests, and meadows, which can be explored through its extensive boardwalk and trail system. This park is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. We have already mentioned that a move to Great Falls is a good idea. If you decide to do so, Great Falls Park can’t be missed. This national park offers stunning views of the Potomac River’s waterfalls and rapids, along with 15 miles of hiking trails.

A person exploring Virgina's nature
You will always have something to do in Virginia

Every corner of Virginia offers opportunities for outdoor activities, whether you’re into hiking, cycling, boating, or simply enjoying a picnic in a beautiful setting. As you make your move from DC to Virginia, you’ll find that the state’s natural beauty and the wealth of outdoor activities are among its most enticing attractions.

Embracing the local cuisine

Virginia’s food scene is a delightful fusion of diverse flavors and time-honored traditions. The state’s rich agricultural history and proximity to the sea have contributed to a culinary landscape that is both unique and exciting.

The seafood from the Chesapeake Bay is a hallmark of Virginia’s cuisine. Blue crabs, often prepared as crab cakes or enjoyed in a traditional crab boil, are a seasonal delight. The Bay’s oysters are another standout, enjoyed raw on the half shell, roasted, or featured in dishes like an oyster stew. The Rappahannock River and its tributaries are famous for their oyster farms, contributing to Virginia’s reputation as an oyster lover’s paradise. Virginia country ham is another iconic food in the state. This cured ham, comparable to Italian prosciutto, is renowned for its salty-sweet flavor and is a staple in many Southern dishes. Don’t miss a chance to try it on a biscuit for a traditional Virginia breakfast.

Moreover, Virginia’s status as one of the nation’s largest peanut producers has led to unique regional dishes. Those include peanut soup, a creamy, savory concoction that dates back to colonial times. But the culinary journey doesn’t stop with food. Virginia is also making its mark on the wine scene. The state boasts over 300 wineries spread across seven American Viticultural Areas. From the robust reds of the Shenandoah Valley to the crisp whites of the Eastern Shore, the variety of climates and soils in Virginia allows a diverse range of grapes to flourish. In addition, the craft beer scene in Virginia is thriving. With over 200 craft breweries, beer enthusiasts will find an impressive array of options, from rich stouts to refreshing IPAs. Many of these breweries offer tours and tastings, providing an excellent way to explore the local beer culture.

How to find reliable movers?

Finding reliable movers as you plan your move from DC to Virginia can make the transition smoother and stress-free. First, look for companies that have a solid presence in Virginia, as local knowledge can be invaluable. Check for movers registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia. This is a requirement for all moving companies. Consider their services – some companies offer comprehensive solutions, including packing, unpacking, and even storage Northern Virginia for those needing to house their belongings temporarily.

A oving carrying moving boxes and ready to relocate you to Virginia
When you find reliable movers, your relocation will be seamless

Reviews can provide a wealth of information about a company’s reliability and customer service. Look beyond the rating and read about other customers’ experiences. Finally, request detailed, written estimates from several companies to compare costs and understand exactly what’s included. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best – consider the value, safety, and peace of mind offered, and a company such as Helix Moving and Storage Northern Virginia can offer exactly that.

Enjoy everything Virginia has to offer

As you plan your move from DC to Virginia, remember that this new chapter brings exciting opportunities. Virginia offers a vibrant job market, diverse attractions, and a warm community spirit. The state is rich in history and full of natural beauty. Its food scene caters to diverse palates, and the cost of living is more balanced than in DC. From finding reliable movers to exploring your new neighborhood, each step is a part of the journey. Now that you have all the information, you can make the most of it and enjoy your new home.

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Helix was great!!

Helix was great!! We moved from VA to PA and they handled everything efficiently and effectively. We had some issues with freight elevators at both our old and new apartments and they were able to handle it well.

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