Submitted Tom Masters
Are you considering a move to the Beckley, West Virginia metro area? Beckley is one of the least expensive places to live in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap and thread-bare. There are tons of free and low-cost recreational activities to do in beautiful Beckley, where the average home only costs $110,000. For comparison, the average home price in the country is $289,000. If you want to know what it feels like to have your dollar stretch further, Beckley is the place to be. Consider a moving and transportation company to deliver your household stress-free if you’re planning an interstate move to Beckley. Here’s what you need to know about this Appalachian city.
Beckley General Statistics
- Population size of about 17,000
- Located in Raleigh, County along the Appalachian Mountains
- Median income is $34,000
- Median age is 38
- Walkscore of 40
- Average commute time is 17 minutes
1. Low Cost of Living
Have you ever wondered how great it would feel to live in your home mortgage-free? That is before you hit retirement age? You can do that if you move to Beckley. Half of all residents here do not have a mortgage on their homes, with the majority of houses selling for under $100,000. The overall feel for the Beckley region is a suburban, small-town vibe.
About half of all houses in Beckley have at least three bedrooms, and the average listing price is $110,000. On average, residents who own their homes pay around $874 per month in mortgage, insurance, and utilities. Rentals go for around $798 per month on average. A little more than half of Beckley residents rent. Rent price in Beckley is lower than the state average, which is $950. What’s the national median rent for the U.S.? $1600 per month.
Homes and cars are some of the most significant expenses you’ll ever have in your lifetime. But when you move to Beckley, affordable homes aren’t the only thing you and your pocketbook will enjoy. Also, Beckley is a pretty walkable town, too. If you want to cut back on gas and other transportation costs, moving to Beckley can help you get closer to this financial goal.
2. Industry Growth
Beckley, West Virginia has a rich history. The town played a pivotal role during the Civil War, where soldiers were housed and set up camp. Beckley is an important stop on the Coal Heritage Trail, boasting more than 50,000 visitors per year. As such, the town thrives on tourism. Beckley also has booming technology, education, healthcare, and transportation industries. While the cost of living for Beckley is low now, that might not last for much longer. In 2017 alone, Beckley and the surrounding area’s GDP grew by almost 10%. As these diverse Beckley businesses and industries continue to grow, and more people decide to move here home, and property values, along with median household incomes, will most likely increase in the coming years.
The majority of Beckley’s residents are employed in the healthcare sector. 26% of the area’s residents work in either healthcare, education, or social services. About 7% of the working-age residents are employed in the mining, agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing industries. The Beckley metro area’s biggest employers are the VA Medical Center, Healthcare INC, and Appalachian Regional. Beckley is considered the heart of healthcare for this region of West Virginia.
3. Schools and Recreation
Beckley’s public and private schools are rated with A’s and B’s on several regional rating websites. Because Beckley is an excellent place to raise a family and send the kids to public school, the region is rated as the second most desirable place to live in Raleigh County. There are also a lot of cheap and fun activities that families can engage in. Since Beckley is located along the Appalachian Mountains, hiking and sight-seeing activities are abundant.
Another popular attraction for Beckley visitors and residents alike is the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. This mine is not in operation anymore, but it is a major focal point of the tourism industry in Beckley. Beckley is also known as the “town with a mine of its own” thanks to this particular coal mine. Visitors can tour the mine, traveling more than 1500 feet below ground. Veteran miners typically give the tours, which are highly detailed and provide an accurate picture of what working in the mine was like. There is also a thriving art and entertainment community in Beckley, with Smithsonian Magazine ranking Beckley in the top 20 regions for cultural enrichment.
West Virginia Institute of Technology, or WVU Tech, has just under 2,000 undergrad students enrolled for the school year. WVU Tech is world-renowned for its STEM and engineering programs and several sports teams, including soccer, volleyball, swimming, and track. The campus is comprised of 170 rural acres, and hosts several events each year, including concerts, talent shows, and food-eating contests that enrich and enliven the community. WVU Tech and Beckley may be small, but they are lively, and there is plenty for residents to do.
WVU Tech isn’t the only school in Beckley. In the last several years, the Beckley metro area has started to become an educational hub as well. The region is also home to Charleston University, New River Community and Technical College, and Appalachian Bible College.
How hard is it to move to Beckley, West Virginia?
If you’re moving just yourself and a little suitcase, moving to Beckley should be a breeze. But most people will want to take their furniture and other household belongings with them. You don’t want to spend your moving day wrestling with the couch, trying to fit it through the door. Before moving to Beckley, consider contacting a professional, state-to-state moving company to make your relocation stress-free.