The lucky people who already call Northern Virginia home know that living in this diverse region means that no matter who you are, or how you choose to live your life, you’ll find a niche where you belong – a place to call home. If you’re in the process of relocating to Northern Virginia for the first time, here are what we consider the top five useful facts to know about the area before you make the move.
1. The Region
Relocating to Northern Virginia means you’re moving to the economic hub of the state, an area filled with vibrant communities and a high quality of life. The three main counties here – Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County – provide a nice mix of environments, with Fairfax County providing a wide spectrum of suburban neighborhoods and Loudon and Prince William Counties offering a blend of rural and suburban communities.
Whether you’re looking to buy an existing home or build a custom one, there’s a unique method people relocating to Northern Virginia use when choosing a location to live. Forget about considering the distance on a map – due to the daily traffic and rush hours, everything is based on your commute time, with home prices reflecting the ease of that commute. In the end, you’ll need to decide if you want a short commute with its larger mortgage, or a smaller mortgage that comes with a longer commute.
Northern Virginia is easily accessible to Washington, D.C., and many government employees live in the area. The area boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, well below the U.S. average, and recent job growth is positive. The cost of living here is higher than the national average, but higher wages tend to compensate for that.
Virtually every nationality is represented in Northern Virginia, with many immigrants moving here thanks to the robust job market, excellent educational facilities, the World Bank, and easy airport access. Next to the people themselves, one of the best benefits to such a diverse community is the multitude of authentic bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants.
The area’s schools are great, and families with kids find there is no shortage of activities to enjoy. There’s a real sense of community in the neighborhoods here and it doesn’t take long to feel you belong.
3. Career Opportunities
Northern Virginia isn’t about federal government workers alone. There’s no denying the government is a huge employer here, but the area’s economy continues to evolve as more and more corporations choose to move to the region, in no small part due to its favorable business climate. Career opportunities exist in such diverse occupations as telecommunications, health care, hospitality, financial firms, retail and real estate.
4. History and Culture
For those who love American history, Northern Virginia is a dream come true, with plenty of monuments and historical sites to see. From Mt. Vernon in Alexandria, to the Manassas National Battlefields, there is an awe-inspiring element to living in an area that contains so many reminders of our country’s place in world history. A quick trip across the Potomac River takes you into Washington D.C. where you can spend days wandering the mall and halls of the Smithsonian institutions.
The people who live in Northern Virginia love being outdoors. Bikers and walkers alike love the 45-mile long W&OD bike trail which runs from Arlington to Leesburg along an old railroad line turned path. There are teams to cheer in just about every sport imaginable and Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna is a gorgeous outdoor concert, theater and symphony venue.
If you love the changing seasons, Northern Virginia is for you. The region experiences all four, with snowy winters that lead into spring’s beautiful cherry blossoms. Summers can be humid from July through September, but the reward in autumn is the brilliant display of foliage on the oak and maple trees.
If you’re starting to look for a home or are considering building a new one in Northern Virginia, we invite you to contact us to learn more about relocating to Northern Virginia and what you can expect when you arrive.