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Moving From California To Virginia: Benefits, Cost & More

Are you considering moving from California to Virginia? If you're not sure whether you should make the transition, this guide should help you decide. We'll walk you through cost of living comparisons, best places to live, moving costs, and more.

    Best Movers from California to Virginia

    A coast to coast move is a major investment that is best trusted to a professional team. Here are some of the best cross-country moving companies available to help you move from California to Virginia today:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    Allied Van Lines

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    North American Van Lines

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support
    Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
    International Van Lines
    Best Full-Service Mover Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,400 – $5,400 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $4,200 – $7,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $2,100 – $3,100 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 2,000 mile two-bedroom move. Cost can vary significantly based on move weight and distance. Be sure to request a free quote to get an accurate estimate for your move.

    Should You Move from California to Virginia?

    Though Virginia’s growth has been slowing in recent years, it is still one of the most desirable states to live in. Scenic landscapes, well-paying jobs, and plenty of options between small town and big city living make it an excellent choice for many. Here’s everything you need to know to help you decide if Virginia is right for you and your family:

    Housing Costs

    California is the third most expensive place to buy or rent a home in the United States. Virginia is currently ranked #10. While housing costs are still higher than the national average here, you can enjoy significant savings compared to California. Here’s a quick look at how the two states compare:

    California Virginia CA to VA
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $683,996 $328,640 -$355,356 (-51.9%)
    Avg. Rent (source) $2,542 $1,606 -$936 (-38.1%)
    Utilities (source) $401 $357 -$44 (-10.9%)


    • Home Cost. The average home price in the United States is about $250k. As you can see, both states are well above this range. Even so, you can reduce the cost of your home by nearly half with a move to Virginia.
    • Rent. Monthly rental rates are also substantially lower in Virginia than California, by 38% on average. You can put the extra savings in your bank account or use the extra money to afford a nicer apartment.
    • Utilities. Savings on water, electricity and gas bills won’t be major, but $44 per month savings on average can put $528 back into your pocket each year.

    Cost of Living

    Overall, Virginia is a far cheaper place to live than California. Virginia’s overall cost of living is 3% above the national average, while California’s 50% higher—but this is primarily driven up by housing costs. Outside of housing, basic amenities aren’t substantially different between the states. Still, you can typically save more in Virginia. Here’s how they compare:

    Expense CA to VA
    Groceries -3.0%
    Restaurants -4.2%
    Transportation -1.0%
    Childcare +0.9%
    Entertainment -9.7%
    Clothes -6.3%
    Average Savings -3.9%


    Weather & Climate

    California has more varied climates across the state, but it generally offers a temperate climate with plenty of beautiful sunny days year round. Virginia enjoys mild summers with cold winters. Here’s how they compare:

    California Virginia CA to VA
    Average Temp July 87.1 83.9 -3.2
    Comfort Index Summer 8.7/10 7.9/10 -1.8
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 32 -21.5
    Comfort Index Winter 7.5/10 6/10 -0.8
    Average Sunny Days 69% 57% -12%
    Average Daily Rainfall (in) 1.69 3.01 1.32


    • Pleasant Summers. Both states offer gorgeous weather in the summer. Virginia can be slightly cooler, but not many people would complain about a lovely 80 degree day. Still, there tends to be more rainfall in the state, and summers can be slightly more humid than on the west coast as well.
    • Freezing Winters. January lows in Virginia can fall to a chilly 27 degrees on average. In its mountainous areas, snowfall can be quite heavy during the winter months. The state average snowfall is 14 inches per year, but you can expect even more in the mountains. You should come equipped with a full winter wardrobe if you live here.

    Job Opportunities

    With many companies offering remote positions, a job change may not be on your mind. If you’ll need to leave your job in California to move to Virginia, however, it’s important to be aware of the current market situation. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Unemployment Rates. A low 3.4% unemployment rate indicates that jobs are plentiful in Virginia. This is much lower than the 6.9% unemployment rate in California.
    • Major Industries. Virginia is close to Washington DC and home to numerous military bases. This makes it a popular destination for military families and those looking for government employment. Aside from that, finances, banking, and tech industries employ many Virginia residents.
    • Average Salary. While salaries in Silicon Valley are much higher, salaries in Virginia ($64,607) are slightly higher on average than in California ($62,356). The highest paying jobs in the state tend to be closer to the D.C. metro area. With comparable salaries and s substantially lower cost of living, finances can be a major impetus to move between the states.
    • Income Taxes. Both states have a graduated tax system with rates that increase with income. In Virginia, rates range from 2% to those making less than $3,000 annually to 5.75% for everyone making more than $17,000. In California, those making under $22,107 pay a 4% rate, but taxes can climb as high as 13.3% for income over $1 million.

    Things to Do

    As one of the original 13 colonies and the birthplace of eight US Presidents, Virginia is steeped in history. Colonial Williamsburg presents many great options for tours and winter getaways. For the more outdoors lovers, Shenandoah National Park is nationally renowned for its beauty and presents plenty of opportunities for exploration. In the summer, you can enjoy a trip to Virginia Beach for some fun in the sun.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    Virginia is known as one of the more competitive states when election season comes around. Voting behaviors are fairly split between cities and less densely-populated areas, which could possibly influence your choice of location. Living in the Northern or Eastern regions of the state may come with a faster pace of living than would be expected from Virginia’s reputation. Its proximity to Washington DC places it in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. However, you’ll be able to find plenty of small-town options alongside Virginia’s more urbanized areas.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to Virginia?

    Your move from California to Virginia will cover anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 miles. To help you plan your relocation, here are some estimates for top moving companies serving this route. Remember, you should always try to get your own moving estimates prior to booking with a mover. This is the best possible way to book at a competitive price.

    Average Moving Costs

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $2,400 – $5,400 $6,200 – $9,200 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $4,400 – $7,400 $10,900 – $13,900 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,700 – $5,700 $7,800 – $10,800 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $2,100 – $3,100 $4,100 – $5,100 Free Quote
    PODS $2,200 – $3,200 $4,200 – $5,200 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $2,000 – $2,700 $2,300 – $3,000 Free Quote


    Cost Factors

    It’s important to budget appropriately for a major move. The following are some of the leading factors that impact your bottom line:

    • Move Distance & Shipment Weight: These are the primary factors used to determine your charges for long-distance moves. Most moving companies will have standardized procedures around truck weigh-ins, which you should about your agent about.
    • Season: Moving season peaks during the summer. If you’re planning to schedule a move during this time, you should expect increased rates in response to higher demand.
    • Advance Booking: If you book your move within a few days of your move date, then you could see increased rates or fees. Not every company charges a fee for last-minute scheduling, but you should still try to book in advance when possible.
    • Service Requirements: Add-on services like storage or auto shipping can substantially increase your bill. Be sure to ask agents about associated costs for extra services when requesting a quote, and try to do as much work as you can yourself to save the most money.

    Best Places to Live in Virginia

    If you’re still on the hunt for a great place to settle down in Virginia, consider these cities. Each of these communities offers some of the best aspects of living in this beautiful East Coast state:

    Arlington, VA

    Adjacent to Washington, D.C., Arlington is routinely ranked in the top five places to live in the country. The remarkably high cost of living is among the highest in the state, but many find it worth the price. Top schools and low crime rates make it an excellent place to raise a family. Similarly, nightlife options and short commutes make it a solid option for younger professionals.

    Find the Best Arlington, VA Movers

    Falls Church, VA

    This small town of 14,000 is in high demand due to its proximity to Washington D.C. Average household income here exceeds $120,000, and housing costs are more expensive than average in the state. Falls Church is home to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate as well as Arlington National Cemetery, making it a highly-trafficked area for history buffs. Like Arlington, this town also offers excellent schools and a low crime rate.

    Find the Best Falls Church, VA Movers

    Chantilly, VA

    Chantilly, VA offers many of the same conveniences as other towns in the Washington D.C. metro area, at a slightly lower cost. Homes here are expensive, but median costs don’t exceed the $600,000 mark. Dulles International Airport’s nearby presence makes travel readily accessible, while a number of parks in town put relaxing scenery within walking distance.

    Find the Best Chantilly, VA Movers

    Lorton, VA

    Though in Fairfax County, Lorton offers a far lower cost of living. Median home costs here are $465,000, placing it far below other communities close to the D.C. area. Its population of 21,000 enjoys low crime rates, access to plenty of recreational activities, and a relatively easy commute to Washington.

    Find the Best Lorton, VA Movers

    Leesburg, VA

    Leesburg is a fast-growing town of 54,000. Home prices have risen rapidly over the last year, but high median household incomes offset that. Leesburg is quiet and is built around a historic downtown area. Many locally-owned shops and restaurants line these streets, creating an inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

    Find the Best Leesburg, VA Movers

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    Prior to booking, you should thoroughly evaluate each mover you consider. The following are some key factors to think about when making your decision:

    • Service Profile: No two moving companies are the same. They all provide different service options with varying rates and availability. Think about what you can do yourself and what you would prefer your mover to handle. Be sure to ask a company representative directly about your needs, and confirm they can handle your exact requirements before booking.
    • Agreeable Pricing: Shop around before booking. Getting quotes from multiple moving companies is the best way to book a move at an agreeable price.
    • Well-Reviewed: Look over customer reviews for each mover you evaluate. Some great sources for such feedback include social media, Google, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau.
    • FMCSA Registration: Interstate moving companies are required to register with the FMCSA and carry active USDOT and MC numbers. You can use these numbers to look up a mover’s complaint history and registration status through the FMCSA database.
    • Workers’ Compensation: All moving companies are required to carry this policy. It protects consumers in the event of a work-related injury during a move. Without this coverage, you could be held liable for damages.
    • Released Liability Coverage: At a rate of $0.60 per pound, per item, this provides for a baseline level of reimbursement for lost or damaged goods. It won’t cover the value of most items but is included in the base cost of your move. You can elect to purchase valuation coverage for high-value items if need be.

    Plan Your Move Today

    You should ideally begin planning your move around eight weeks ahead of your move date. Kick things off by researching movers near you and making a detailed inventory of your home and service needs. By the six-week mark, you should have multiple estimates scheduled. After evaluating your options, try to have your move booked a month in advance. Planning ahead like this will lead to a far smoother moving process all-around.

    Start your planning by requesting free quotes from the best companies who are ready to assist with a move from California to Virginia:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

    Most Reliable

    • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
    • Long-Distance Moving Only
    • Packing & One Month Storage Included

    Most Competitive Pricing

    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Moving from California to Virginia FAQs

    Is the cost of living high throughout the Virginia?

    Just as is the case with any state, the relative cost of living is far higher around urban centers. Fairfax County, near Washington DC, is one of the most expensive places to live in the country. If you move here, you’ll need a well-paying job to be comfortable. There are smaller, more affordable towns throughout the state as well.

    Will I need a car, even if I live close to Washington DC?

    You will likely need a car if you live anywhere in the state. However, you may not need to rely on it to get to work on time. Washington DC has a reliable public transportation system including bus and rail routes, which can help speed up your commute times.

    Can I get a discount on a cross-country move?

    If your mover packages your move onto a larger truck with other homes, then they may offer a cheaper rate. That said, such moves come with less reliable delivery dates, due to the increased potential for delays along the way.