Thoughts on moving to Virginia?

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My family is very well-rooted in MA, but I have been itching to get out for about 10 years now. After a somewhat miraculous turn of events, the wife is getting on board with the idea, provided a few things line up. It would not happen quickly, but maybe in the next year or two.

My analytical approach to figuring out where to move to pointed us to the midwest (which does not appeal to us), but pretty close to the top of the list was also Virginia. I have never even visited Virginia, but the more I look into it, the more I think I would like it.

Provided I can figure out the job situation, I am leaning towards the western part of the state (Roanoke to Charlottesville). The only bad thing I have heard so far is that it is humid in the summer, which I think I would gladly take over freezing in MA winters.

Thoughts out there on moving to VA?
 

FiremanBob

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We moved from VA to NH a few months ago. VA is politically purple, quickly turning blue. If you like the mountain country, you might like Tennessee better, especially around Knoxville (named after General Henry Knox, who hailed from Boston). No personal income tax, much more freedom. In both states, the cost of living is MUCH lower than it is here. Climate is only about 10 degrees different from MA.

What do you do for work? Most of the high-paying jobs are east of the Blue Ridge mountains, in the triangle between Charlottesville, DC and Richmond. Look for companies in your industry and see where they are located.
 

DispositionMatrix

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The entire east coast is hot and humid.

The political power in Virginia is in the east, and the northeast part of the state is a suburb of D.C. If you are not a fan of firearm ownership for the masses going forward, Virginia is for you.
 

C. Stockwell

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I have been to different parts of Virginia during different times of the year, although I'm no means an expert on the state.

First, if you're looking to move to VA to experience more individual liberty, don't. VA is going back to its Democrat roots and will probably move more and more to the left each election cycle due to increasing urbanization and suburban sprawl in NOVA (Northern VA, the DC metro area). This has been a pretty steady form of growth for the state since the 70s and likely isn't going to stop. Put it this way, Amazon is moving to northern Virginia and those 36k software engineers aren't all wearing MAGA hats. On top of that, the state was never high on personal liberty before. Quite a lot of individual rights case law comes out of VA, like Loving and cross-burning cases. Oh, and woe betide the driver who does one mile-per-hour over the speed limit on the highway. There's a reason why Virginia drivers are creepy slow.

Second, the entire East Coast, from Maine to New Orleans, is humid. The further south you go, the more intense the heat and humidity, so it becomes more noticeable. VA has snow, especially near the mountain area. So if you're trying to escape snow, keep moving south. Overall I would say the climate of VA is tolerable. Neither scorching or sweltering hot nor freezing cold. We're not talking about Alabama or Florida here.

Third, while the mountain area may seem appealing, it's the poorer cousin area of VA. So rather than waiting to find a job after arrival, you should find a job before arrival. You're also going to experience a noticeable pay cut moving from most parts of Mass to western, mountainous VA.

I also loathed North Carolina and Georgia for similar reasons. If you're looking to move to this part of the country, keep driving down 81 until you hit Tennessee. There's a bigger economy in Knoxville and TN is overall more friendly to emigres (low taxes, 2A priority, cheaper living, etc.).
 

TrashcanDan

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Friend of mine lives in Amelia Va. Where he is , is pretty rural but "the moonbats are moving in"
Richmond and a lot of the bigger cities are going "full libtard".
Which also may the case for a lot of the big southern cities, save the ones where theres a military base nearby.
Wife and I were looking into it as well, seems like northern Ga, southern Tenn is our ideal spot, factoring in employment, taxes, 2a stuff and other personal liberty related items.
 

Supermoto

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I have lived in NOVA and out in Harrisonburg, which is out west in the Shenandoah valley. The summers aren't that bad. a couple of weeks of on and off brutal humidity, but you just go out later in the day instead of the heat. The west side of the state is beautiful. There really is a lot of stuff to do if you are an outdoors kind of person. The problem is NOVA politics are ruining the state. Things are good now, easy to get a CCW, open carry is legal, but the stupidity is coming. So as others have mentioned, there are now better places to go to experiences the same natural beauty, but with lower cost and more freedom
 
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Climate, employment, cost of living, 2A, etc. All factors you need to prioritize and analyze. Not many place can offer them all.
Do you mind sharing some of the criteria you used when determining places to move? I would also leave MA if I could find the right place as well. Last kid graduates high school in 3 years, and Mrs Warpig is starting to come around to a relocation. My firm has offices in Raleigh, Dallas, even Jacksonville, that I could start to consider at that point.
 

scatter

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Did my last active duty tour in MA, retired, and we moved just south of Roanoke in the mountains. Virginia is like 3 different states--northern, coastal, and southwest. The area around here is VERY conservative. Northern and coastal (incl Richmond) are pretty blue. We're on 26 acres and can literally see 43 miles across the Blue Ridge from our living room. Blue Ridge Parkway is 10 minutes away. We can, and have, shot from our deck, but usually prefer to take the UTV down to our little private range. There are deer and turkeys everywhere; they come up and scavenge the birdseed my wife puts out. A few black bears now and then. My LTC took 15 minutes and cost me $50 for five years. Winters are colder and summers are hotter than we would prefer, but nothing like the extremes in the north and south. Down in Roanoke it's usually right at ten degrees warmer than it is up here on top. Worst thing up here is the wind. Being on top of the ridge, the wind can blow for days at a time, hard enough that I wear ear plugs to sleep. Prices aren't bad, people are good, views are fantastic, traffic is ALMOST non-existent (unless you're dumb enough to drive past the mall on a Saturday). If you want to know anything specific about any area around here just hit me up.
 

M1911

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I spent a summer in Wise County VA, back around 1980. That is the far western corner.

As others have said, it is hot and humid in the summer. It is very much of a southern / Appalachian culture, which you like or you don’t.

I’m sure things have changed since then, but I will tell you what I saw. There is a lot of deep poverty in the rural areas. Back then, the main employers were coal mining companies and they weren’t doing well — that has gotten worse since then. I suspect the economy is even worse today.

The second largest “industry” was likely growing marijuana. IIRC, at the time Wise County was a dry county. There was a rumor that the largest bootlegger and drug dealer was related to the Sheriff (I don’t know if that was true). There were only a couple state troopers for the entire county.

Education was poor. There were many people who had never been out of the county. Going to the county seat (Wise, VA, a town of a few thousand people) was a big deal for them. I wasn’t quite viewed as a Martian, but clearly I was unusual.

I expect that part of Virginia has been very hard hit with opiate addiction.

It was a very pretty part of the country and quite rural. But it was also very depressed and depressing. There wasn’t much opportunity in the far western part of the state at the time.

Oh, and don’t speed in VA. If you are caught at 20 over, that is reckless driving in VA and they will send you to jail for that. Seriously, not just a fine, but jail time.
 
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Supermoto

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Oh, and don’t speed in VA. If you are caught at 20 over, that is reckless driving in VA and the will send you to jail for that. Seriously, not just a fine, but jail time.
Not only is it 20 over, it is also 80mph and over. so if its 65 speed limit, you still have to do less than 80 not to get screwed
 

scatter

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Poverty definitely gets worse the further west you get and the closer you get to WV. Not so bad here around Roanoke/Blacksburg/Christiansburg. Not much of a drug problem here either, unless you count the annual Floyd Fest full of aging hippies.

Second the speeding caution. And it's not just 20 over, it's also ANYTHING over 80. Do people typically go to jail for that? No. Have people gone to jail for that? Yes.

Oops, Super beat me to it.
 

Asaltweapon

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Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the nicest drives on the east coast I've ever done. Liked it so much did it a few times even for short durations if I didn't have to go too far out of my way to get there.
 

scatter

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All I can add is that I've driven I-81 in western VA a few times, it sure looks like pretty country.
Here's a picture I took night before last from our deck. Looking west from Copper Hill directly toward Christiansburg/Blacksburg. The furthest ridge you can see in this pic is about 30 miles away. During the daytime, if it's clear, you can see further. It really is beautiful country. We looked all over, in TN, KY, NC. Never found anything we liked better than here.
 

GaryO

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My daughter went to UVA Charlottesville and even though the area is beautiful, Charlottesville and the surrounding area are becoming more like Cambridge. I would still rather live down there than Massachusetts.
 

scatter

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My daughter went to UVA Charlottesville and even though the area is beautiful, Charlottesville and the surrounding area are becoming more like Cambridge. I would still rather live down there than Massachusetts.
FWIW, Charlottlesville area has a Trump winery, owned by the Donald himself and now run by his son. We visited a couple years ago, stayed in a B&B nearby, did the Monticello tour. Bought a few year by year bottles at the winery and labeled them for our anniversaries as they (and we) mature. Kind of fun. But yeah, Charlottesville, being a university city, is kind of blue.
 
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I moved from MA to NC in 2017. I've driven through VA a few dozen times now. You're safe going nine over any speed limit. If the limit is 70 (as most of Route 95 is), you're fine going 79. I'm OK with that, and have never had an issue.
 

GaryO

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I moved from MA to NC in 2017. I've driven through VA a few dozen times now. You're safe going nine over any speed limit. If the limit is 70 (as most of Route 95 is), you're fine going 79. I'm OK with that, and have never had an issue.
Don't go 1 mph over the limit on 29 going into Charlottesville or you'll get pulled over.
 

C. Stockwell

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I moved from MA to NC in 2017. I've driven through VA a few dozen times now. You're safe going nine over any speed limit. If the limit is 70 (as most of Route 95 is), you're fine going 79. I'm OK with that, and have never had an issue.
I first noticed VA drivers' proclivity for driving like cooked death on I81, where OP intends to move. Rural areas are great places for speed traps, regardless of the state, and VA has particularly ornery speeding laws.
 
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I'm good friends with father/son pair of realtors that serve Arlington and Strasburg/Middleton area. Pro 2A guys I hunt with. Hit me up for their info.
 

Garys

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I agree with FiremanBob about VA versus TN. Knoxville is getting more purple, but that's mostly because of the the college. I've been through Knoxville a few times, but never stayed there. The weather is supposed to be nicer in the eastern part of the state than the western part.

VA is definitely Purple at best, and deep blue in NoVA.
 
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Climate, employment, cost of living, 2A, etc. All factors you need to prioritize and analyze. Not many place can offer them all.
Do you mind sharing some of the criteria you used when determining places to move? I would also leave MA if I could find the right place as well. Last kid graduates high school in 3 years, and Mrs Warpig is starting to come around to a relocation. My firm has offices in Raleigh, Dallas, even Jacksonville, that I could start to consider at that point.
I had state rankings on 17 different criteria ranging from how conservative each state is, how 2A friendly, property crime, violent crime, education, job opportunities, average mi driven per year, cost of living, average wage, weather, etc.. Each ranking set was broken up into a 5 tier system and given a weight relative to the other sets. The wife and I plugged in our own weights and both came up with the same #1 state: Iowa.

MA for me was #33 I think. Each category for MA was hit or miss. There are some great things about MA and just as many things that make me want to leave and start new somewhere else.
 

C. Stockwell

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Just read through all this feedback with the Mrs., very helpful. Thanks all.
The best thing you and the missus can do is go for a trip down south. 81 goes right from Winchester, VA near the Maryland border until it merges into 40 and goes into Knoxville. Spend a week or a long weekend down there. Winchester to Knoxville is about a 6.5 hour drive. You could also make a couple other trips to the Richmond and maybe Newport News areas and maybe down to Danville (I have never been to Danville, I have been to Richmond and areas south and the 81 corridor).
 

C. Stockwell

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I had state rankings on 17 different criteria ranging from how conservative each state is, how 2A friendly, property crime, violent crime, education, job opportunities, average mi driven per year, cost of living, average wage, weather, etc.. Each ranking set was broken up into a 5 tier system and given a weight relative to the other sets. The wife and I plugged in our own weights and both came up with the same #1 state: Iowa.

MA for me was #33 I think. Each category for MA was hit or miss. There are some great things about MA and just as many things that make me want to leave and start new somewhere else.
Well... move to Iowa then [rofl][rofl][rofl]

In all seriousness, stats are a good way to filter things out. Like say for example salaries. Comparing median salaries + income tax rates can filter out some crap options, like say if you're considering Louisiana. But you don't want to pick a place to live purely on a spreadsheet.
 

M1911

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As someone who grew up in IL, there is a reason that I left the Midwest. Actually, more than a few reasons. I’m not moving back.

Iowa? Cold in the winter. Hot and humid in the summer. Tornadoes. And it’s a long way for mountains and oceans. Cheap land, though.

Not the place for me. YMMV.
 
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