Located in the Northern part of Virginia, Fairfax County is one of the best places to live in that comes with a suburban feel. Fairfax County is also the first county in the United States to reach a six-figure median household income.
Only miles away from Washington D.C., Fairfax County has many government agencies, several Fortune 500 companies, and the largest concentration of technology jobs of any major U.S. market.
5 Living Expenses in Fairfax County
While Fairfax County is considered one of the most expensive areas in the country, most people forget that its residents make way more money working in the county. If you’re wondering just how much is the cost of living in Fairfax County, here are some of the living expenses you can expect to incur when living in the area.
#1: Fairfax County Housing Costs
The only way to know how much money you spend living in Fairfax County is through determining how much income you make. When it comes to income, Fairfax County has the third-highest income in the country.
At number one, there’s Loudoun County that borders Fairfax County to the west. And at number three, there’s Howard County to the east, which is right across the Potomac in Maryland.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four needs an annual income of $114,000 to live comfortably in Fairfax County, while the median household income in the area is $122,000.
The recent census data states that like most places in the country, your most significant expense in Fairfax County has something to do with housing costs. With that being said, the median home sales price in the area is $546,000, which is twice higher than the national average.
If you’re thinking that a half a million dollar home could get you an estate sitting on an acre of land, that’s not the case in Fairfax County. At this price point, you can expect to buy a very nice large condo or a townhouse with a decent commute.
When making your calculations, be sure to consider the local annual property taxes. The base tax rate in Fairfax County is 1.15% or $1.15 per $100 of assessed property value. To keep the math simple, if your property has an assessed value of $500,000, you’re looking at a $5,750 annual property tax bill.
#2: Fairfax County Vehicle Tax & Transportation Costs
Virginia is one of 27 states in the country that charges an annual tax on personal vehicles, and this goes for all motor vehicles. Whether you have a car, truck, or motorcycle, they’re all subject to this vehicle tax.
Although, there are some exceptions. Most notably, there’s a reduced tax rate for qualified disabled veterans.
If you want to know your vehicle’s assessed value, Fairfax County uses the National Automobile Dealers Association’s used car guide to determine your car’s value. Note that your car’s value never reaches zero, so you’ll always have this tax as a privilege to drive a vehicle in Virginia.
As for the transportation costs in Fairfax County, this includes expenses like gas, car insurance, maintenance, and public transportation. On average, Fairfax County residents are looking at paying 29.2% more than the national average for transportation.
But then, the transportation costs in Fairfax County are just similar to other major metropolitan areas. Now, why is this the case in large metropolitan areas?
The answer is quite simple. Evidently, most residents have a long commute to work. Hence, living somewhere with a long commute increases your expenses.
#3: Fairfax County Food Costs
Now that we have finished covering the income, housing costs, and how much it costs to get around in Fairfax County, it’s time to talk about the cost of food in the area.
Without taking into account the cost of dining out, the average cost of groceries is 13.8% higher in Fairfax County than the national average.
The cost of eating out is generally not tracked, but I have conducted my own research on dining out expenses as a resident of the Kingstowne area in Fairfax County.
Personally, I’ve lived in Fairfax County since 2013, and I don’t think my food costs have increased in any meaningful way from my hometown, which is New Orleans.
So, in my neighborhood, we have an Applebee’s Grill + Bar restaurant. Now, do you think that the steaks they serve on all their menus are more expensive in Fairfax County or in Dallas, Texas? If you guessed that it’s just the same, then you’d be right.
This means that Fairfax County residents make more money and spend about the same on eating out as other areas in the country.
Applebee’s Grill + Bar
Address: 6310 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306, United States
Phone: +1 703-768-1636
#4: Fairfax County Healthcare Costs
It is a known fact that the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country. Healthcare costs in the U.S. have been rising dramatically over the past several decades and are expected to keep increasing.
If you’re thinking of moving to Fairfax County, you’re in luck. Fairfax County residents actually save a few dollars on healthcare. Healthcare costs in the area are almost 8% lower than the national average.
#5: Fairfax County Utility Costs
The final expense that you can expect to pay less in Fairfax County is on utilities. Fairfax County residents save about 2.8% annually on utility costs.
Now that you have an idea about the cheapest living expense in the area, the next step is to not make a decision before checking out the Pros and Cons of Living in Fairfax County.
Hopefully, when you’re searching for properties online, you’re using our website as well.
If you’re interested in working with us, fill out our Perfect Home Questionnaire, and we’ll schedule a time to meet online and answer any questions that you have about moving to the Fairfax County area.
Overall, you have learned about the true cost of living in Fairfax County.
Which of the mentioned living expenses do you most agree with?
We’d like to hear your thoughts.