Virginia is a beloved state with miles of beaches and mountains. If owning land in Virginia is in your plans, learn about the pros and cons before jumping in.
It’s easy to be charmed by Virginia’s scenic beauty and friendly people, but since owning land can have long-term personal and financial impact, you should consider Virginia’s good and bad points to avoid getting a raw deal.
Owning land in Virginia can be a good idea due to its prime location, healthy economy, and pleasant living conditions. It can be a bad idea due to Virginia’s higher living costs, considerable traffic issues, and the presence of military bases and nuclear power plants in the state.
The value of land in Virginia depends on many factors, but learning about the state’s primary attributes are a dependable way to gauge a general price range. We will explore the pros and cons of owning land in Virginia to help you figure out if it’s a wise decision for you.
Land in Virginia can be used for a number of purposes including home building, commercial real estate, and agricultural farming. The possibilities of how you use your land are endless, but the factors listed below should help you measure the viability of owning land in Virginia.
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Is It A Good Idea To Own Land In Virginia?
When weighing your options for buying land in Virginia, you should factor in every aspect of the land and its surroundings, which can all affect the land’s future selling price.
Even if you’re not personally affected by certain characteristics of the land, potential buyers, renters, or lessees may be affected by them, which could drive the price up or down.
Though financial value is a practical reason to own land in Virginia, owning it for sentimental value is a worthy reason to own it as well.
For instance, if you enjoy being in Virginia’s lovely natural surroundings or have a deep connection with U.S. history, you could bring more happiness to your life by building a home in Virginia.
If philanthropy is important to you, you can benefit others by allowing charitable farming, education, and recreation projects to be developed on your Virginia land.
The Pros Of Owning Land In Virginia
The state of Virginia can be a wonderful place to live, work, and do business for just about anyone.
It has a variety of contrasting natural settings, entertainment activities, and agreeable weather conditions throughout the year.
Though the weather in Virginia can be intense at times, the temperature extremes are generally milder compared to the cold in northern states and heat in southern states.
Regardless of personal interests and preferences, you (and your potential future buyers or renters) will likely find something attractive about the Old Dominion State.
Below are some of the best qualities of Virginia that could contribute to higher land values there.
Virginia is located in a picturesque part of the United States with many natural wonders including Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Rogers, and miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean.
Land in Virginia can be especially valuable to people that appreciate the outdoors and nature-related activities.
There are many business establishments and entertainment activities in and around Virginia to satisfy a wide range of tastes and interests.
Though many types of food are available in Virginia, seafood such as crab and oysters are particularly popular in the state.
Apples, grapes, and peanuts are well-known Virginia commodities tourists and residents alike enjoy eating there.
As Virginia is home to one of the first British colonies, it’s a state packed with American history that can be explored through Civil War battlefield parks, former U.S. president homes, and other historical places.
Since Washington, D.C. is very close to Virginia, only a short trip is needed to enjoy everything the D.C. area has to offer.
There are few attributes that have a stronger effect on a state’s land value than its economy.
A substantial number of well-respected employers from various industries are located in the state of Virginia and nearby in Washington, D.C.
Some of those employers include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and hospitality companies, so there’s a wide selection of jobs for people seeking employment.
Virginia’s sustained productivity and output has enabled it to ride a long wave of economic stability and growth that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.
For many years, Virginia has maintained a commendable unemployment rate that is regularly under the national average.
Having a healthy economy in Virginia can help to attract individuals looking for jobs, businesses wanting to launch or expand, and those looking to hold onto land as an investment property.
Pleasant Living Conditions
Virginia residents are thought to be among the happiest people in the United States.
That happiness is a solid reason why owning land in Virginia is a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to be around happy people?
Aside from its magnificent natural environment and thriving economy, the state of Virginia has plenty more to offer to enrich the living standards of its residents.
The public school system in Virginia ranks as one of the best in the country.
It has high graduation rates and distinguished private and public universities like the University of Virginia, William & Mary, and Virginia Tech.
The state of Virginia also has a continually low crime rate compared to other U.S. states.
Virginia’s strong economy and cordial community probably help to keep crime down, but the military bases in the state might also play a role in making it one of the safest states in the nation.
Owning land in a place with positive life qualities, such as the one’s Virginia possesses, tends to make the land more valuable than land without such qualities.
Since land is a finite asset in limited supply, the value of land in Virginia will likely trend upwards since it’s a geographically-smaller state packed with growing opportunities for businesses, families, and individuals.
Reasons to own land in Virginia can’t always be quantified with figures and statistics, so you should keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to the way people act and feel to get a better sense of the land’s true value.
The Cons Of Owning Land In Virginia
As wonderful a prospect it is to own land in Virginia, there are surely downsides to owning land there you should bear in mind.
The beautiful scenery, robust job market, and everything else that’s good about Virginia make the demand for land there go up.
However, greater luxuries often come with greater costs, so you should consider everything that might reduce the demand and value of your land in Virginia before owning it.
We’ll now go over some of the downsides of Virginia that can make it less desirable for companies and individuals to own land there.
Higher Living Costs
From higher home prices to higher tax rates, Virginia’s higher-than-average living costs could negatively affect its land value.
Property taxes are often lower in Virginia compared to other states, but Virginia’s income and sales tax rates typically run higher than the national average.
In terms of goods and services in Virginia, though the average cost of groceries, utilities, and transportation is lower, the cost of healthcare and housing are higher.
With higher miscellaneous costs, the net result is that Virginia has a higher overall cost of living.
Costs for particular living and business needs can be vastly different, so be sure to perform a detailed analysis of costs for your situation to determine how much costs will actually affect you.
Considerable Traffic Issues
Though the population in Virginia is relatively small, traffic can get quite congested in the northern part of the state due to its close proximity to the busy Washington, D.C.
The daily rush-hour commutes to and from Washington, D.C. often make morning and afternoon highway drives extremely slow in Northern Virginia.
In regards to transportation options, though public transit in Virginia is readily available in metro areas, catching a public ride in less-populated areas can be downright impossible.
If you plan to own land that isn’t in a high-traffic vicinity, such as a rural town, then Virginia’s general reputation for congested traffic probably won’t affect your land value as much.
Military Bases and Nuclear Power Plants
As much as a land’s favorable surroundings can boost the land’s value, the opposite can happen if those surroundings are less favorable.
The significant presence of military bases and nuclear power plants in Virginia are not ideal for land owners due to the nuisance of military aircraft noise and threat of a nuclear accident.
Though you may not be bothered by the noise or nuclear threat, if you plan to sell or rent out your land in the future, those annoyances could diminish your pool of potential land buyers or renters.
The further your land is from off-putting locations, the less likely those locations will affect your land’s value. Before owning land in Virginia, be sure to check out your desired land’s surroundings far beyond its immediate locale.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling