Living Near The Beach, in Virginia Beach
So you're thinking about buying a house near the beach and you're wondering if Virginia Beach is the right place for you. Check out this video where I cover all of your options and discuss the pros and cons of living in some of the different Virginia Beach neighborhoods that will give you that beach living experience. We’ll start up on the Chesapeake Bay which provides some fantastic neighborhoods including East Beach, Chic’s Beach, and Cape Henry Shores which is right next to the state park. We’ll cover the North End and the neighborhoods around the oceanfront including Bay Colony, Beach Borough, Shadowlawn, and Croatan. Lastly but not leastly, we’ll move down to Sandbridge Beach, which I like to call Virginia Beach’s version of the Outer Banks. All of these neighborhoods have different personalities, different types of homes, different prices, different beach living experiences , and different locations.
The location is the big one because that determines ease of access, things like flooding and jet noise, and proximity to restaurants and grocery stores. Which neighborhood will offer you the best beach living experience? That depends on your wants, needs, and expectations. But you’ll probably have a much better idea after watching this video. Read More...
Let’s start at East Beach up on the Chesapeake Bay. The first thing you'll notice about East Beach is that it's not in Virginia Beach, it's in Norfolk. But it needs to be included in this discussion because it has a lot more in common with beach living than Norfolk living. And It's on the border of Virginia Beach. East Beach takes the top spot for most attractive neighborhood. It's beautiful. It's a planned community. The streets are beautiful, the landscaping is beautiful, and houses are beautiful. Also, if proximity to Norfolk or the airport is the most important thing to you, East Beach will be near the top of your list. Here you’ll find single family homes with cottage apartments that can be rented out. They’re also great for visiting guests and kids returning from college. There's a neighborhood pool and clubhouse and of course the beach is right down at the end of the street. Sounds perfect right? Why even bother looking anywhere else? East Beach has some secrets, but you’ll have to visit my East Beach web page to learn more about them.
Condo $300,000 to $500,000
Single family home $500,000 to $2,000,000
Beachfront $1,000,000 +
Moving into Virginia Beach, but still on the Chesapeake Bay, you find Chic’s Beach, or Chick’s Beach, or Chesapeake Beach, it’s all the same place. Technically, it’s just the neighborhood surrounding the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which I like to call the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel bridge tunnel bridge, because it has three bridges and two tunnels. Here you will find a mixture of single family homes, duplexes and apartments. The area was originally developed in the 50s and while many of the homes have been remodeled, some have been torn down and replaced. So you'll find new construction, mostly three story duplexes. Some even have elevators. Chic’s Beach has its own unique vibe with several cool bars and restaurants tucked away off the beaten track. Neighborhoods like Aeries on the Bay, aren't technically in Chic’s Beach, but no one is going to fault you if you call it Chic’s Beach anyway. There are tons of older more affordable townhomes here with garages. Again, it has its own vibe and it's great because you can walk to the beach. On the other side of the Lesner Bridge, which crosses the Lynnhaven Inlet, it gets a bit more crowed with some gated condominium complexes with pools and many more restaurants and bars. The Chesapeake Bay side of Shore Drive has more duplexes, townhomes, and low rises, while the inland side, with neighborhoods like Lynnhaven Colony and Cape Story by the Sea have more single family homes with yards. All of the neighborhoods in Chic’s Beach look different. It’s eclectic. And outdoorsy. And close to the marinas and boat ramps. And of course close to the beach. For a closer look at Chic’s Beach, visit the Chic’s Beach web page.
Condo $200,000 to $1,000,000
Single Family Home $300,000 to $1,500,000
One of the best pieces of real estate in all of Virginia is at the north east corner of Virginia Beach. But you can’t live there because Uncle Sam and Virginia own it, Fort Story and First Landing State Park. But you can visit, and you should.
Continuing our beach living journey, Shore Drive turns into Atlantic avenue and The North End. The North End is about 3 miles long and almost completely residential. Most of it is only two blocks wide, so no matter where you are, you are less than two blocks from the beach. At the bottom, near the Cavalier Hotel, you are within walking distance of some great restaurants. At the north end of the North End, it’s a 3 mile bike ride. You will find people walking, biking, surfing, swimming, exercising, walking the dog. Walking the dog is a big one. Who doesn’t want to walk their dog on the beach. If you move to the North End and you don’t have a dog, you’ll probably get one just so you can walk it on the beach. A few years ago we found out that my daughter is allergic to dogs so we had to give away Riley, our yellow lab. Where does he live now? You guessed it. The North End. Here you’ll find single family homes and no-fee condos. Most of the residents live here year round which is in stark contrast to Sandbridge Beach, which we’ll cover later, where most of the homes are rentals. If your idea of beach living is waking up in the morning and walking down a quiet street to a boardwalk that goes through the dunes and opens up to a deserted beach as far as the eye can see, then you want The North End.
Visit The North End web page at WilliamLayton.com to learn more about the North End and check out the homes for sale.
Duplex $300,000 to $2,000,000
Single Family Home $500,000 to $5,000,000
The boardwalk starts at 40th Street, or ends there, I suppose it depends on which way you are going. We call this area the oceanfront. The landscape changes from residential to a combination of residential, commercial, and high rise hotels and condos. There are lots of fun things to do here year round. For the tourists, there’s the beach. As locals, we tend to avoid the oceanfront during the summer because it gets crowded and touristy. But the air and water are still warm through October and there are plenty of festivals and happenings year round. For those that want to live in the middle of it all, the oceanfront could be for you. It includes part of the North End, Beach Borough, and Shadowlawn. Again, you guessed it, check out the oceanfront web page at WilliamLayton.com
Hi rise condo $200,000 to $1,000,000 (condo fees $500+/month)
Duplex/townhome $150,000 to $1,500,000
Single Family Home $350,000 to $2,000,000+
Bay Colony is a residential neighborhood with an entrance on the road that would be called 47th Street if it wasn’t called Bay Colony Drive. If you’re in the market for a home over eight hundred thousand dollars, chances are, Bay Colony will make your short list. The neighborhood is beautiful, private, gives residents both the big house and the big yard that every suburban home owner dreams about, AND you can jump on your bike and go surfing as the sun comes up before going to work, to help pay for your big house. Bay Colony really deserves its own video, and as chance would have it, there is one! Learn more on the Bay Colony web page at williamLayton.com
Single Family Homes $500,000 to $3,000,000
The boardwalk ends, or begins, down at Rudee’s Inlet. Just on the other side of Rudee’s Inlet is Croatan. It’s hidden away from the tourists and offers both beach living and Bay Colony type living, but right on the beach. There is a city parking lot and showers at the back of the neighborhood, but it kind of feels like no one knows about it. Other than that, there’s no parking on the street on the beach block which definitely deters tourists and day trippers. So if you live in Croatan, you kind of have your own beach.
Single Family Homes $500,000 to $2,500,000
Just south of Croatan is the Damn Neck Naval Base, but you can’t live there, unless you’re a SEAL. Next comes Sandbridge Beach, which I like to call Virginia Beach’s version of the Outer Banks. While it’s just down the beach from Croatan, it will take you 25 minutes to get there by car because you have to go around Dam Neck. Sandbridge is about 5 miles long and is predominantly single family homes used as summer beach rentals. That said, there are still plenty of people who live there year round, but the place empties out during the winter. It backs up to The Back Bay National Wildlife refuge and there are homes that have deep water access into the bay. But the real draw is the beach. During the summer, the beach is full of weekly vacation renters and local day trippers. There are no hotels, restaurants, or bars like the oceanfront, so it doesn’t have that touristy vibe during the summer. Sandbridge is a great place to buy a second home that you can rent out during the summer to help cover the expenses. And then you can also bring your entire family to visit over Thanksgiving and everyone can have their own bedroom. Just remember, that’s hurricane season and Sandbridge is one of the first places to require hurricane evacuation because there is limited access for emergency services. Looking for more info, there’s a Sandbridge page at WilliamLayton.com where you can browse homes for sale.
Single Family homes $500,000 to $2,500,000
That’s the big picture summary of where to find the best areas in Virginia Beach that will give you that beach living experience. Visit WilliamLayton.com for more videos that will drill down into each area and browse homes for sale near the beach. Just so you know, searching online and looking at videos will only get you so far. By far, the best way to figure out which area is best for you, if you want to live near the beach, is to spend a day driving the neighborhoods and looking at houses, in person, with me. Just shoot me an email. If you still have some time because you’re early in the planning process, I can put you on my email list just to keep you up to date. Hope to hear from you soon! Show Less...