Why is VA Beach so darn expensive?

Asked by Looking, Georgia Mon Nov 26, 2007

My family and I have a strong desire to move to the VA Beach area due to family there. We have been looking at property online for about 1.5 years and are just amazed at prices. Our current GA home is 13 years old, 2400 sq ft, 4 brdm, 2.5 bath on a basement with a double garage and large lot in a nice neighborhood. Homes values in our neighborhood have risen in the past 3 years so our value has climbed from $220K to $280 - $300K if we listed today. When we try to find something comparable in VA beach, the house is much smaller, a lot older, with a single garage (what is up with that too - don't most people have 2 cars?) and in a questionable neighborhood. We don't want Norfolk, Portsmouth or Hampton if we can help it. Why are the prices so out of sight? Are there subdivisions we should be keeping an eye on that we have missed? We'd prefer to be in th 23451 zip code and not have jets constantly overhead.

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Charles Farl…, Home Buyer, Chantilly, VA
Sat Dec 15, 2007
The reason is because Hampton Roads has been a part of the housing bubble. If you look at the rapid appreciation of prices between 2001 and current prices, you will see 100% gain in prices or more. If you look at salaries, they haven't kept up with inflation between like 2002 and current. The jobs in the Hampton Roads region aren't really that great in pay, and most are pretty unchallenging. Lenders were willing to make loans to anyone who could fog a mirror because the loans are sold off to investors, so they are willing to ignore simple things like... will the borrower ever be able to pay it back. People bought (often with 0 down) homes at any price (when you have no money in the game, you are less likely to be wise with it). Lots of people with shady loans chasing a fixed number of houses led to a housing mania. Now it's dead. People can't sell their homes at the nutty asking prices. Teaser rates are coming to expire and people can't refinance into better loans (since they can't really afford the houses). The income versus the housing prices are so out of wack, and so many other markets are blowing up... Hampton Roads home prices are most likely going to fall between 25% and 50%. Once other areas become bargains people will leave. You've got lots of unworthy (paid too much, can't really afford it) people sitting in homes that are going to get bumped out. Also, with the downturn of the market jobs that were high paying from the real estate market will go away. This is already happening. This mania, which is pretty much fraud on a national level, could bring down the major banks and our entire economy.
3 votes
Richard, , Norfolk(ex Va Beach)
Wed Dec 19, 2007
Virginia Beach isnt much better than Norfolk now..It used to be a great city but urban sprawl and the re-development of Norfolk its neighboring city has sent many of Norfolks lower income people to Va Beach in search of affordable housing. For a period of time "white flight" was a factor for Norfolks problems but even the black populations fled the city to Virginia Beach as well. Traffic in Va Beach is a nightmare and that doesnt even include rush hour. Some streets will take 30-45 minutes to travel about a mile. The schools were good til the ghetto students infiltrated them and many of the administrators and principals are very weak on discipline or fear being labeled racist so they take no action. Your best bet is Chesapeake, but the prices and availability are just as bad.
2 votes
Charles Farl…, Home Buyer, Chantilly, VA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
There is a good chance the market won't bounce back until 2012 or later.
1 vote
Spivey76, , Chesapeake, VA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
To Connie - it looks like your in a pickle. Anyone trying to sell a house in the next year or two is going to have a hard time, just because the lenders aren't giving out the crazy mortgages any more. The median income per household (read HOUSEHOLD, not per person) is around $60K. Do you think this area is full of wage earners that can pay $315K towards a mortgage?

The second issue is it looks like your close to Oceana, and that means jet noise. That might not be a problem if BRAC relocates Oceana, but if they do the hole left by all the service men and women would push real prices even lower than they are already going to go.

Before you think of a selling price, think about those first 2 points and ask yourself if it's really worth it right now.

To the original poster - that's how it is right now. To many people either bought to high with 0 down and need to recoup the cost, or they refi'd the heck out their house and bought 3 new cars and a camper. Look at the prices again after the summer (When the spring bounce turns out to be a flop) and then consider. I believe prices with drop 40%-50%.
1 vote
Charles Farl…, Home Buyer, Chantilly, VA
Tue Apr 8, 2008
Ashley - you need to go back to Realtor school. Prices are starting to "level off" before the HUGE FALL! All this debt these people took on to try to get rich quick, or because people like yourself talked them into buying now before being priced out forever.... now they are all loosing their places. So many industries had infusion of cash from the debt of people buying overpriced housing stock, now it all reverses. Hampton Roads salaries are WEAK. The Military depresses wages. The contractors are often not as rewarding of an employer as private sector jobs (although, if you like sitting around doing nothing collecting what amounts to welfare contractors are cool... but if you are smart and dislike this, then it's easy to get annoyed working for these places watching the insane amount of gov't waste). There is nothing that justifies the prices in Homicide Roads other than speculative mania. Like people buying all the playstation 3 game machines before Christmas so they could sell them for $3500 on Craigslist. Only it was funded by debt, and we can see the results as the gov't gives BILLIONS to our top banks to KEEP THEM SOLVENT. Trillions in home value must be lost to fix things, as hyperinflation probably won't work.
0 votes
so glad to see someone speak up about how the Military depresses wages here; let's also include that they cause an increase in housing prices as they get certain discounts and supplements that the working class here does not get. I have lived here my whole life, (I am now 69 years old), and cannot afford to live here any longer.
Flag Thu Feb 25, 2016
Stanley Jones, Home Buyer, Sourthern MD
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Richard, Ghetto kids. You are an idiot and I see why the world is strill missed up - row up
0 votes
Ashley Sutton…, Agent, Chessapeake, VA
Thu Jan 31, 2008
Prices in this area have actually started to level out. In my opinon the differences in pricing across the country is the location. Here we have a strong economy backed by a lot of military. Prices here 3 years ago were through the roof! I deal with a lot of buyers that are not from this area and when they compare how far their dollor goes here and back home they are shocked. Sometimes you have to determine what is most important to you. Is the neighborhood and garage most important, or the size of the bedrooms and living space? You also have to look at how much mortgage you an afford. If you purchased your home for $100k and the payment is $850 but when you sell it you are making $100k-$130k in profit, you could possibly afford to put a nice chunk of change down and afford to look in a higher price range.

It is difficult to compare what you get in another state to what you get here. My goodness, look at NYC and California! But...it's all relative. Cost of living from state to state varies, along with home prices.

Best of luck
Ashley Sutton Tullio
Atlantic Coast Realty of NC & Va., Inc.
Po Box 388 Powells Point, NC 27966
0 votes
Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Sun Jan 20, 2008
Yes, if you like the beach, then you will pay to be near the beach. I wouldnl't completely rule out Hampton -- after all, I live here ;)

Hampton is located exactly in the middle of Hampton Roads; it's 25 minutes to Virginia Beach, 20 minutes to the new Riverfront Yorktown beaches, and 20 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg. My house is also within walking distance to the James River/Chesapeake Bay where I enjoy great walks and biking along Chesapeake Ave. Prices are about 20 percent less than the southside, and the area is a lot more diverse.

Hampton has a lot of older Cape Cod styled homes, and iit's a lot more laid back than the southside. Some areas remind me of Cape Cod itself, only without the sub-zero temperatures. I moved here from south Florida 5 year's ago, and simply love it!

If you've not yet moved, contact me and I'll be happy to mail you a great publication titled, "Living in Hampton Roads."

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
Accredited Buyer Representative
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Um.......cause it's near the BEACH? :)
0 votes
Connie Doeri…, Both Buyer And Seller, Virginia Beach, VA
Tue Jan 8, 2008
I am looking at buying a bigger house and I live in VA Beach, my house is 4 bedroom, 3 full bath, 2 car garage, nice neighborhood.....23454. We were at 1752 sq ft but we put an addition on 14 X 19 vaulted ceiling and took out an attic, expanding a room...so I think we are around 2200 sq feet??
I just had it appraised 2 years ago and was valued at $315K . Would this interest you?
0 votes
Calie, , Charlottesville, VA
Sat Dec 1, 2007
Well, if you're preferring to be in the 23451 ZIP code... you're not going to find anything in your price range that's relatively nice and comfortable. I grew up in Va Beach, but in the 23456 ZIP code. Actually, I lived in Hillcrest Farms (mentioned below), and it's a great area! They've more recently started to build up the Landstown area with some very nice shopping centers, which are very accessible. The high schools there (Salem, Landstown, and Kellam) are all great schools. So, my advice to you would be to give up on trying to find a house in your price range in the 23451 ZIP code and look for something a little more southwest.
0 votes
Sam Ward, Both Buyer And Seller, Glen Allen, VA
Fri Nov 30, 2007
I am an old Georgia Boy (born in Savannah & teen years outside Atlanta)...retired from the USN...raised my last 2 sons in VB as a single dad...Schools are great as are all county/city facilities(VB is an incorporated county as are most of the 7 'cities' that make up HAMPTON ROADS)...Just an all around outstanding area!

For an absolutely GREAT location/Nieghborhood/with the best nieghbors anywhere!~ {it is near 23451}
(((The listing is renewing today and the price is being reduced!)))

Check out:


and call or email:
4098 Foxwood Dr.
Office: 757-748-6877
0 votes
Alice Sheldon, , 23518
Mon Nov 26, 2007
that same home in Virginia beach would run 350k and up. Th fortunate thing for you is that same house was probably 450k two years ago , so you are buying at a good time.. You can find some nice houses in that price range in Park Place and Hillcrest Farms and several other areas. Most of those houses do have a two car garage, however you will not have a basement. Please feel free to you my website to search properties, I can certainly get you looking in the right direction.
Web Reference:  http://www.alicesheldon.com
0 votes
Lorie Gould, Agent, Duluth, GA
Mon Nov 26, 2007
One word... beach. Virginia Beach is a very popular area and a sought after place to live which keeps the prices up.

In Georgia, our real estate is still more reasonable compared to most. When people move here from the North or from the West they feel like they hit the jackpot.

If you do not have an agent in Virginia Beach then I would recommend doing so. They can alert you to any deals that would put you in your price range.
0 votes
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