Relocating to Hampton Roads: Insider Advice

Are you considering a move to Hampton Roads, Virginia? You're not alone; many people are drawn to this vibrant area known for its blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. Hampton Roads is also home to many military installations, including Norfolk Naval Base, the largest Navy base in the world.

If you're looking to purchase a home, there are many neighborhoods to choose from. Regarding pricing, you'll get more bang for your buck when buying a house in Hampton compared to cities like Virginia Beach or Chesapeake, making it an attractive option for new residents.

It's important to know that Hampton Roads is very large in land size, with over 3,700 square miles. Living close to where you work can save you from traffic headaches, as the area is notorious for its busy bridges and tunnels.

In addition to housing, daily living expenses like groceries and transportation are slightly lower than the national average, which can help ease your budget.

Whether you're moving for work, retirement, or a fresh start, this guide will offer valuable tips to help make your transition to Hampton Roads smooth. Read below as we review some information and tips about moving to Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Understanding the Hampton Roads Area

Hampton Roads, known for its distinct geography and diverse weather patterns, offers a balanced mix of urban and suburban environments. The real estate market provides various options, from affordable homes in Hampton and Portsmouth to pricier areas such as Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

Sandbridge Virginia Beach

Geography and Weather Patterns

Hampton Roads includes cities like Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. The region is defined by its waterways, including the James River, Elizabeth River, Atlantic Ocean, and the Chesapeake Bay. This network of rivers and bays shapes the local lifestyle, offering plenty of opportunities for water activities and scenic views.

The weather in Hampton Roads varies throughout the year. Summers are hot and humid, with average temperatures in the high 80s °F. However, there are a few times in the year when the temperature will get close to or exceed 100°F. Winters are mild, often in the 40s and 50s °F, though occasional snowfalls can occur. We haven't had a significant snowfall(over 4-5 inches) in over 4 years.

The area is also prone to hurricanes and storms along the Atlantic Ocean, especially during the hurricane season from June to November. Understanding these weather patterns is essential for planning your move and daily life.

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Local Real Estate Overview

The real estate market in Hampton Roads is diverse. Hampton and Portsmouth offer more affordable housing options, making them ideal for those on a budget. Using information from our local MLS, REIN, the median home value in Hampton Roads in May 2024 is $343,000. If you're looking for larger homes, Chesapeake and Suffolk are good choices with newer builds and larger lots.

Virginia Beach is one of the more expensive cities to live in, with higher home values. Still, it offers the benefit of proximity to the ocean and a vibrant residential community. Norfolk combines urban living with historical neighborhoods, offering a unique vibe. When choosing a home, consider the traffic, especially near the tunnels, as it can significantly impact your daily commute.

Hampton Roads Real Estate Stats May 2024

Lifestyle and Recreation in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads offers a vibrant lifestyle with diverse dining and entertainment options and a variety of outdoor activities. The area caters to both food enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Dining and Entertainment Options

Hampton Roads is a food lover's paradise. If you enjoy seafood, you will find plenty of options within Hampton Roads. A few of my favorite spots are Catch 31 Fish House and Captain George's in Virginia Beach. Several other restaurants offer a range of cuisines, from Southern comfort food to international flavors. I just love seafood, so that is what I wanted to highlight.

For music entertainment, head to the NorVa Theater in Norfolk or the Veteran's United Home Loans Amphitheater, both of which host live music concerts. Museums and galleries such as the Chrysler Museum of Art provide cultural experiences. Seasonal events are popular, with festivals like the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival or Sand Soccer Championships drawing large crowds.

Virginia Beach Sand Soccer

Outdoor Activities and Water Sports

Hampton Roads is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The Oceanfront in Virginia Beach is the hub for activities like surfing and boating. Also, in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park offers trails for hiking and biking.

Being surrounded by water, as you might expect, water sports are abundant. Kayaking and paddle boarding are common in local rivers and bays. Fishing is also a favorite, one I particularly enjoy, with spots like the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier providing excellent opportunities. Whether you are catching waves or exploring waterways, there's something for every adventurer.

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Settling into Your New Community

The good news about moving to Hampton Roads, Virginia, is that it provides opportunities to connect with local services and explore education and employment options. Focus on integrating into your new community for a smoother transition.

Hampton Roads Local Services

When you move to an area like Hampton Roads, connecting with local services is crucial. Start by setting up utilities like water, electricity, and internet in your new home. All the cities have several service providers ready to assist.

As previously mentioned, the area has several military and naval installations; if you’re active duty military, make use of medical facilities on base. Cities in Hampton Roads often have community centers that offer a variety of programs and resources to help you adjust.

Don't forget to update your address with the postal service and change your driver’s license and vehicle registration to your new location. Stay informed about city events and local news by subscribing to community newsletters or joining local online groups.

Exploring Education and Employment Opportunities

Hampton Roads offers numerous educational opportunities. Whether you’re looking for K-12 schools for your children or higher education options like Old Dominion University or Hampton University, you'll find ample choices. Research local schools and consider visiting them to get a feel for the environment. I created a video about the local schools vbelow.

For those exploring job opportunities, the region has a diverse job market. Hampton Roads hosts a variety of industries, with strong ties to commerce, military installations, and naval operations. Newport News, for instance, has a significant shipbuilding industry, providing numerous job opportunities.

Naval and military bases in the area support a range of employment, especially for those with military backgrounds. Community job fairs and online local job boards can be valuable resources. Networking can also be beneficial, so consider joining local business associations or attending community events to meet potential employers.

By focusing on these areas, you can start feeling at home in your new community, build connections, and create a fulfilling life in Hampton Roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

When moving to Hampton Roads, VA, it's essential to consider various factors like neighborhood suitability, living costs, moving strategies, safety, transportation, and finding reliable moving companies.

What should I consider when choosing a neighborhood in Hampton Roads for relocation?

Look into the neighborhood's amenities, schools, and proximity to your workplace. Some neighborhoods have a more suburban feel, while others offer an urban lifestyle. Research community reviews and visit potential neighborhoods to get a sense of the area.

What is the cost of living comparison across different cities within the Hampton Roads area?

Hampton Roads comprises several cities like NorfolkVirginia Beach, and Chesapeake. Hampton generally offers more affordable housing options compared to Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Check out our Cost of Living articles and videos, which can be found here. These articles highlight where the median home value and household income are for each city.

What are the best strategies for a smooth moving experience to Hampton Roads, VA?

Start planning early. Make a checklist of tasks like transferring utilities, updating your address, and hiring a moving company. Declutter your home and pack in stages to make the moving day less stressful. Visit online forums for firsthand advice from local residents.

How does the crime rate vary among the different cities in Hampton Roads?

Crime rates can vary significantly between cities in Hampton Roads. Research crime statistics for each city to understand the safety levels better. Generally, suburban areas tend to have lower crime rates than urban parts, but specifics can vary.

What are the transportation options available in Hampton Roads for daily commute?

Hampton Roads has a network of highways, public buses, and light rail. The area is known for heavy traffic during rush hour. If you rely on public transportation, check the availability and routes in your chosen neighborhood.

If there is anything you think I missed or you have any questions about Hampton Roads, please comment below or reach out to me here.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the video, then you may have missed out on some extra tips about moving to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Check out the video, and for more content, head over to our YouTube Channel, “LIFE IN HAMPTON ROADS”. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!


Want To Schedule A Time To Talk?

Get in contact with my team and I on how we can help you with your move to Hampton Roads, Virginia. 


DJ Parker is your local Realtor and guide to Hampton Roads, Virginia. As a native of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia for over 30 years, he has the local knowledge you need. He has helped clients with Real Estate throughout Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk and all of Hampton Roads Virginia.

Hampton Roads Virginia Better Business Bureau
Local Hampton Roads Virginia Realtor