Find out what's drawing people to this stunning and bustling region of West Virginia.
The secret’s out about Advantage Valley, a metro area of 633,000 residents in West Virginia that includes Charleston and Huntington. It’s a region where major companies, research institutions, artists and entrepreneurs all call home.
Housing is affordable, the economy is diverse, career opportunities are abundant and the natural features are absolutely awe-inspiring.
Advantage Valley, indeed, provides plenty of advantages. Here are three reasons why you should consider moving to West Virginia.
1. Advantage Valley is friendly on your wallet.
The region offers widespread appeal for those who want to stretch their dollars further while having access to spectacular natural attractions in their own backyard, whether that’s young professionals launching careers, people raising families or remote workers searching for a new home.
No longer an experiment, remote work is here to stay. That means those who are part of the dispersed workforce are now free to choose where they want to live. Without being tethered to offices, remote workers can, say, work from home or a coffee shop in Charleston, then meet up with friends at Haddad Riverfront Park for a free concert.
The overall cost of living in West Virginia is among the lowest in the U.S., and housing prices are just 81% of the U.S. average. Home ownership is within reach as median home prices are $161,700 in metro Charleston and around $143,800 in metro Huntington.
2. You can find a good job here.
Helping to get the word out about the opportunities in Advantage Valley is the Charleston Roots Initiative. Available to remote workers and innovators, the incentive package includes $5,000, mentorship and networking opportunities, and memberships tailored to the applicant’s lifestyle.
Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin says the region is a draw for remote workers who want to live affordably and find activities to fit every lifestyle.
Urban or Rural? You Can Find It Here.
Those who relocate to Advantage Valley have their pick of living options, from downtown urban living to farmland and wide open spaces.
Both Charleston and Huntington have revitalized their downtowns
into walkable residential communities.
For those who are looking to change careers, or grow in their existing one, the region boasts abundant opportunities in sectors that span advanced manufacturing, aerospace, health care and more. Plus, there’s access to higher education options for those who want to learn a new skill. The region’s universities have carved out a niche in cybersecurity, including degree programs at Marshall University and the University of Charleston.
But not only do residents here have ample job and education opportunities, they’ve got access to world-class recreation, from the miles of hiking and biking trails in Kanawha State Forest to kayaking along the Elk River to whitewater rafting in Gauley River National Recreation Area.
3. The parks here are amazing.
The region boasts parks galore, including the Haddad Riverfront Park on the banks of the Kanawha River in Charleston that has emerged as a favorite gathering place.
Coonskin Park is a family-favorite riverside park in Charleston with thousands of acres of woodlands, hiking and biking trails, an Olympic-size pool, disc golf, a soccer stadium and an 18-hole golf course. The Schoenbaum Amphitheater at Coonskin Park plays host to theater productions and concerts.
In Huntington, the Harris Riverfront Park features a waterfront amphitheater used for events and concerts, and Ritter Park in Huntington has a lovely rose garden plus a dog park.
Bonus advantage: It’s easy to get around here!
Advantage Valley offers commute times that are among the shortest in the nation. The average daily commute is less than 18 minutes, a third lower than the U.S. average. That means there’s more time to hit the trails or check out one of the many locally owned restaurants after work.