The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In Virginia For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Virginia have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

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Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2021.

There's a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Virginia:

Should I buy a place or rent? Well, we aren't here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you'll do the right thing and a buy a place. And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Virginia, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Old Dominion.

To do that we are going to look at places in Virginia that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in Virginia at the moment? That would be Woodstock according to our analysis.

Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Virginia for 2021.

The 10 Best Places To Buy A Home In Virginia For 2021

  1. Woodstock
  2. Big Stone Gap
  3. Richlands
  4. Dumfries
  5. Emporia
  6. Covington
  7. Marion
  8. Bridgewater
  9. Buena Vista
  10. Galax

What's the best place to buy a home in Virginia for 2021? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.

The methodology that wen't into this can be a bit complicated, so we'll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below. If you're not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Virginia and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Virginia.

For more Virginia reading, check out:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In Virginia For 2021

Woodstock, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,210
Median Home Price: $215,100
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: 5.6%
More on Woodstock: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Big Stone Gap, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,257
Median Home Price: $126,100
Population Change: -1.3%
Home Price Change: 3.3%
More on Big Stone Gap: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Richlands, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,368
Median Home Price: $84,600
Population Change: -1.3%
Home Price Change: 3.9%
More on Richlands: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dumfries, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,373
Median Home Price: $206,300
Population Change: 2.9%
Home Price Change: 4.6%
More on Dumfries: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Emporia, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,442
Median Home Price: $116,800
Population Change: 1.1%
Home Price Change: -5.7%
More on Emporia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Covington, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,598
Median Home Price: $72,900
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: -1.8%
More on Covington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Marion, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,706
Median Home Price: $99,800
Population Change: -1.4%
Home Price Change: -4.9%
More on Marion: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bridgewater, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,032
Median Home Price: $234,300
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 6.9%
More on Bridgewater: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Buena Vista, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,484
Median Home Price: $126,600
Population Change: 1.3%
Home Price Change: 3.7%
More on Buena Vista: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Galax, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,517
Median Home Price: $96,600
Population Change: -1.8%
Home Price Change: -4.5%
More on Galax: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Virginia for 2021?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we've put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we'd approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Virginia. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Virginia with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2015-2019 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It's still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still "cheap" for Virginia with the following caveats:

So of the 0 cities and towns in Virginia, only 61 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 61 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a "best place to buy" index with the place having the lowest index being the best. You can download the data here.

Turns out that Woodstock is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Old Dominion.

Read on for more on these places.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Purchase A House In Virginia for 2021

There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Virginia. And, to be clear, we aren't necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.

So if we'd could rent or buy in these cities, we'd definitely buy.

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Virginia

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Woodstock 1 $215,100 0.3% 5.6%
Big Stone Gap 2 $126,100 -1.3% 3.3%
Richlands 3 $84,600 -1.3% 3.9%
Dumfries 4 $206,300 2.9% 4.6%
Emporia 5 $116,800 1.1% -5.7%
Covington 6 $72,900 0.3% -1.8%
Marion 7 $99,800 -1.4% -4.9%
Bridgewater 8 $234,300 0.8% 6.9%
Buena Vista 9 $126,600 1.3% 3.7%
Galax 10 $96,600 -1.8% -4.5%
Strasburg 11 $206,500 0.4% 1.4%
Lexington 12 $235,700 1.8% 15.8%
Ashland 13 $191,900 1.2% 6.3%
South Boston 14 $132,300 -0.8% 9.3%
Wytheville 15 $159,700 -0.5% -9.4%
Abingdon 16 $169,500 -0.7% 5.1%
Vinton 17 $148,000 0.1% 1.6%
Farmville 18 $185,800 0.5% 6.7%
Franklin 19 $164,100 -0.8% -2.5%
Smithfield 20 $282,800 0.5% -0.1%
Pulaski 21 $117,600 0.1% 9.0%
Purcellville 22 $464,200 1.9% 2.2%
Warrenton 23 $342,600 0.4% -0.5%
Poquoson 24 $323,100 0.4% -0.6%
Martinsville 25 $87,700 -1.9% 1.0%
Falls Church 26 $789,300 0.4% 4.2%
Williamsburg 27 $306,000 0.9% 2.0%
Front Royal 28 $214,500 -1.1% 2.9%
Vienna 29 $743,500 0.0% 4.6%
Bristol 30 $111,700 0.4% -0.4%
Manassas Park 31 $308,000 3.4% 9.4%
Colonial Heights 32 $171,700 -0.9% 2.2%
Radford 33 $170,800 0.3% 3.8%
Culpeper 34 $263,600 1.3% 7.3%
Waynesboro 35 $174,100 1.0% 3.9%
Christiansburg 36 $190,000 0.5% 0.5%
Hopewell 37 $122,900 0.2% 2.7%
Fairfax 38 $560,400 -1.4% 5.1%
Staunton 39 $169,000 -0.1% 2.5%
Herndon 40 $442,700 0.0% 2.7%
Salem 41 $181,900 -0.8% 2.9%
Winchester 42 $244,900 0.4% 3.4%
Fredericksburg 43 $367,200 0.5% 6.0%
Petersburg 44 $108,100 -1.5% -0.1%
Danville 45 $90,500 -1.1% -0.7%
Manassas 46 $324,600 -0.7% 3.7%
Blacksburg 47 $298,400 0.1% 3.5%
Charlottesville 48 $299,600 0.1% 5.6%
Leesburg 49 $434,300 1.7% 5.1%
Harrisonburg 50 $203,600 -0.2% 3.1%
Lynchburg 51 $160,100 0.5% 0.8%
Suffolk 52 $254,400 1.0% 3.2%
Portsmouth 53 $170,900 -0.2% -0.5%
Roanoke 54 $135,100 -0.4% 1.4%
Hampton 55 $186,700 -0.4% 0.2%
Alexandria 56 $572,900 0.7% 2.9%
Newport News 57 $194,000 -0.3% 0.5%
Richmond 58 $230,500 1.3% 4.4%
Chesapeake 59 $273,700 0.9% 3.0%
Norfolk 60 $206,700 -0.4% 3.7%
Virginia Beach 61 $280,800 0.0% 2.4%

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.