Northern Virginia is an area in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and while often less expensive than the District of Columbia, it is still pretty pricey. Northern Virginia is dotted with Metro stations that make commuting into the city or even within the Northern Virginia area very easy. The suburbs of Northern Virginia are becoming larger and larger as more and more people move farther out into Virginia in the hopes of finding a reasonably priced home with a yard. The least expensive city to live in, according to City-Data, is Dale City, situated just west of Woodbridge.
Real Estate Costs
The median cost of a home in Dale City is $298,430. This is a good price for an area of the state growing in cost of living and population. If this is still too expensive for you, consider starting off with a condo or a townhouse, with prices starting at $175,000. The median home price in the state is $329,517; this is a great deal for what is considered the most expensive part of the state.
If you're not ready to buy real estate yet, consider renting first before you buy. The median gross rent in Dale City is $1,160. While this is the median price, you can find one- and two-bedroom apartments that start off at an average rate of $700.
Cost of Living Rates
The cost of living percentage in Dale City is 108 percent, while the state of Virginia's is also 108 percent. This is a very good percentage considering that the city of Washington, D.C., has a cost of living index of 137.8 percent. Even though the cost of living rate is in line with the rest of the state, the median household income far exceeds the rest of the state. Dale City's median income is $76,626, while the rest of the state is at $57,643. People are making more money than in the rest of the state and paying less for homes.
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Dale City has ample public schools, so you don't need to pay to send your kids to private school. High schools include CD Hylton and Gar-Field schools. The middle school is Mills E. Godwin Middle School, and the elementary schools are Dale City Elementary School, Neabsco Elementary School and Minnieville Elementary School.
According to BestPlaces.net's cost of living calculator, when compared with the US average of 100, Dale City's food cost rate is at 101, while nearby D.C.'s rate is 113. Cost of health care is at 104, while D.C.'s rate is at 120; the miscellaneous costs rate is at 99, with D.C.'s rate at 110.