Author Topic: Advice On Possibly Moving to Virginia Beach?  (Read 5780 times)

RonMcCord

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Advice On Possibly Moving to Virginia Beach?
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:55:39 PM »
I've been thinking of moving to Virginia Beach and staying with my sister for a few months until I can get set up there, but I'll be visiting for the weekend in a couple weeks.  I'm looking for some input from any Mustachians in the area.  What do you like/dislike about it?  How expensive is it to live there and what tips do you have to live cheaply in the area?  How easy is it to find work, especially for someone who is relatively fresh out of school?  How much money would you recommend someone save up before moving there?  Any other input/advice/warnings would be greatly appreciated!

Axecleaver

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Re: Advice On Possibly Moving to Virginia Beach?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 09:34:13 PM »
I haven't spent much time there since 2005-2010. One of the offices where I had staff was in Virginia Beach, and I would visit it 2-3 times a year for a week. It is a very military-town economy. Lots of service industry jobs to serve the military, car dealers, restaurants, etc. My company at the time did a lot of defense work years ago and kept the office after that work dried up. Many of the defense industry jobs in the area are still there (shipyards, air base), but this area was not expanding very fast when I was around. Things may have changed in the years since.

In general, it is an inexpensive place to live and work. You get used to the sound of low-flying jets. There are some good neighborhoods West of the airfield (Oceana) and reasonably priced. Taxes are low. Things get a little hectic in the summer and it's a hassle to get out of town, one primary route out to the North through the tunnel gets congested fast.

captainawesome

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Re: Advice On Possibly Moving to Virginia Beach?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 11:28:11 AM »
I've lived here since 2009, so I could probably give you a pretty good idea of what to look for.
Likes:
-Generally low cost of living in comparison to other areas of the country I have lived.
-Depending where in the Coastal Virginia (or Hampton Roads as it is most referred do) you live, you have easy beach living vibes.
-Relatively easy to get up and down the coast (~5 hour trip to Philadelphia, 2-3 hour to DC, 3ish to Raleigh)
-Fresh seafood year round
-Moderate weather climate, though can get quite hot in the summer

Dislikes:
-Public Transportation isn't the greatest depending on where you work. There is a lightrail system, but it only runs from Norfolk to just inside Virginia Beach (and does not run to the Ocean front)
-Biking to and from work (depending on where you live) can be quite dangerous if not impossible.  Simply put, this area is not very well equipped to handle bike commuters.
-Disparity in living depending on area. This is one of those things that isn't readily apparent to an outsider. There are a few Cities in this area (Norfolk, VA Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, Yorktown)  And even within those areas, living arrangements can change drastically one block to another (Ocean View portion of Norfolk is a prime example, large, 5 bedroom waterfront homes on one side of the street, section 8 housing the other side) And your place of employment may not be where you would want to live. 
-Tunnels/Bridges - to get from Norfolk/VA beach to places like portsmouth/hampton/newport news/williamsburg, you have to go through a tunnel/bridge. No two ways around it. If any of those get congested (and they do quite frequently) be prepared to sit in traffic. I commute from VB to Portsmouth each day (15 miles one way by car, 10 miles by bike and ferry), but sometimes my commute can range from 30-45 min upwards of an hour. 
-Very defense industry centric. Great if you are in the service, not a big market otherwise.  Obviously other business opportunities, but for the number of people vs. established big corporations, the structure isn't there.  This is home to the largest naval station in the world, so can you blame the surrounding industry for being DOD focused?
-Flying in and out, while the airport is easy, is a PITA. There are no direct flights to major destinations (unless your major destination happens to be one of the big hub airports like Charlotte, ATL, Miami, NY) Generally raises the costs of your flights, and if you are a travel guru, kills the points/reward flights you have to use)


I can provide you a bunch of other stuff to give you an better idea of where to live, pros and cons based on your age, career, etc. Just send me a PM.

If I were looking for a job, I would look at USAjobs.gov as well as the traditional job hunting sites.

Like anywhere else, it's what you make of it. I'm not here out of choice (service) but you get used to certain aspects of it.  I like living at the beach so it fits for now. Good luck

oldfierm

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Re: Advice On Possibly Moving to Virginia Beach?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 11:43:42 AM »
YES to everything captainawesome said. 

Personally, I've been stationed a lot of places with the military, and Hampton Roads has been my least favorite by far.  The cost of living is nice and low, but I live 4 miles from work and could not ride a bike without risking death (this isn't me being wimpy, I have witnessed the few intrepid bikers I've seen get sworn at from car windows, nearly side-swiped, the works - it's awful).  My list of complaints goes on and on, but I don't want to get too negative on this forum, and your sister lives there, so she must like it.  I know a lot of people must like it, because a lot of people live here.   

When looking around the area, don't just limit yourself to Virginia Beach.  All those cities captainawesome mentioned are really one giant city separated by some tunnels and bridges, and there are different pros and cons to all of them.