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The 20 Best Places to Live in West Virginia in 2024

By Alex Moretti


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Are you thinking about leaving the big city for a more relaxed place? Do you want to improve your lifestyle by moving closer to nature? Not sure where you could go?

If so, why not consider checking out West Virginia, it is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse states you’ll find in the United States after all.

But how can we describe West Virginia to someone that’s never been to this state? It’s simple, really, you just mention the following: pepperoni rolls and fried ravioli. If that isn’t enough to convince you we don’t know what will.

West Virginia nature
Photo by David Mark / pixabay.com

All jokes aside, if you do want to move to West Virginia, which place here would be considered the best to live in? Is it the biggest one? The one with the lowest crime rate? The one with the most job openings?

That is for you to decide, which is why we decided to go over the top 20 best places you could live in while in West Virginia, as we hope to guide you through the top of the line when it comes to livability and comfort.

So, let’s just start off with our first pick of the day:

20. Charles Town

Charles Town, West Virginia
Photo by Raymond Whitacre / Pinterest.com

Charles Town can be found in close proximity of Washington DC, offering its residents a lot of work opportunities and commuter options.

It has a good variety of public schools for you to choose from, and crime rate is very rarely considered to be an issue around here too.

Most homes sell for around $201,000 too, which might be a bit on the expensive side, but do keep in mind that most families bring home around $59,500 per year too, so it equals out at the end of the day.

There are more than a handful of facilities for you to check out in your spare time here too, including horse racing tracks, casinos and cinemas to name a few.

19. Pea Ridge

Pea Ridge WV

Next up we have Pea Ridge, a small little town that boasts with having very affordable housing prices, alongside plenty of amenities that you’ll never grow tired of checking out.

The median home prices range around the $142,900 mark, which in itself is quite amazing, considering just how massive of a property you can get for that money.

On top of that, most schools have a very high graduation rate, and we can’t forget about the fact that the crime rate here is astonishingly low.

The only real complaint we have with Pea Ridge is the fact that the median income here rests around the $48,972 mark, which in itself is quite low even by West Virginia standards.

18. Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley, West Virginia

If the name alone isn’t enough to get your attention, then maybe the extremely affordable housing will. That’s because most homes will cost you less than $142,100 or so here, which in itself is amazing if you’re strapped for cash right now.

Pleasant Valley also has a lot of job opportunities, and since it is located so close to the interstate you can always just commute to the neighboring cities, if you want to take advantage of their jobs and amenities.

The neighborhood here is also very friendly and nice, and the cost of living is quite low, which makes the low housing prices all the better on the long run.

17. Wheeling

Wheeling, West Virginia

Commonly referred to as West Virginia’s “Friendliest City”, Wheeling has a total population of around 27,000 residents, and they couldn’t be happier here.

After all, living here in Wheeling is very cost effective, and not only that but housing in itself is very affordable.

Education is a priority for the entire city, and the streets are very safe, which is why so many people move in Wheeling to raise a family.

Most people also earn upwards of $41,911 per year, which in itself is great when you realize the fact that Wheeling’s unemployment rate stands at a very firm 6.5%.

16. Boaz

Boaz, West Virginia
Photo by Tim Kiser / Wikipedia.org

For as little as $143,300 you could get your hands on a very nice and spacious property here in the small rural town of Boaz.

That investment’s going to be worth it though, because once you’ve gotten your hands on the keys, you’ll instantly realize why the people here absolutely love living in Boaz.

First of all, the median household income is pretty high, with most families bringing home around $59,781 per year.

Second of all, the crime rate is very low and the public schools here in Boaz are amongst the best in the area for sure.

15. Hurricane

Hurricane,West Virginia
Photo by Tim Kiser / Wikipedia.org

Hurricane may be one of the smallest places on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth considering, especially when you see everything it has to offer.

For example, properties here are quite affordable, with most of them selling for as little as $152,600 per average.

That in itself is great, and when coupled with a decent median income and a very promising education system, it’s pretty easy to see why Hurricane’s on this list now, isn’t it?

The crime rate is also exceptionally low here, and we can’t forget about the fact that the community here is very friendly and welcoming too, hosting a ton of local events every year.

14. Dunbar

Dunbar, West Virginia
Photo by Generic1139 / Wikipedia.org

Dunbar is one of the most interesting places we’ve ever visited, and while we didn’t get the chance to actually live here past a weekend, from what we heard from the locals, it’s no wonder that the interest in Dunbar has grown steadily over the past couple of years now.

The unemployment rate is the third lowest in the state too, sitting at a very impressive 3.9%, and on top of that the median incomes are very high and the cost of living is more than acceptable enough.

Most homes here will cost you less than $98,400 too, making Dunbar one of the smartest and most financially responsible choices you could make here.

13. Shinnston

Shinnston, West Virginia
Photo by Tim Kiser / Wikipedia.org

The town of Shinnston’s a treat to live in, especially when you realize the fact that it has one of the most affordable housing prices in the state.

In most other places around West Virginia, you’ll find it hard to come across a place that has good properties under the $120,000 mark, but not Shinnston, as most places here can cost you as little as $105,000.

Most people here earn upwards of $55,750 too, and even though it’s not the largest of places, Shinnston has its fair share of amenities for you to check out, including shops, cafes and whatnot.

12. Vienna

Vienna, West Wirginia

Vienna is another great place to consider if you want to live in a small-town while also getting all of the advantages of living in a big city.

So, for starters, Vienna’s property prices are quite low, with most homes costing you around $126,800 or so, and if you prefer to test the waters before you move in, we wholeheartedly recommend that you rent out a place, as most of them will not as for more than $609 per month.

On top of that, Vienna’s community is safe, friendly and diverse, and when it comes to their food scene you couldn’t have asked for a better deal.

11. Westover

Westover WV
Photo by Antony-22 / wikipedia.org

The small and secluded little city of Westover is known for being one of the most perfect places you could live in while in Westover.

It has a total population of only 4,075 residents, and all of the facilities and amenities you could ever ask for. The median home value sits at $137,000 per property too, which is more than affordable enough, and rent usually ranges around the $700 mark.

Most of the residents here in Westover have also stated that the quietness here is to die for, and that it is a great alternative to the big cities such as Morgantown in case you want to get away from the noise.

10. Lewisburg

Lewisburg, West Virginia

The city of Lewisburg can be found in the Greenbrier County of West Virginia, and it makes its way on our list thanks to the fact that it is the perfect place to move to if you are an outdoor lover.

With a total population of just under 3,900 people, Lewisburg is nothing short of paradise, especially so when you consider the fact that the community here is very friendly and accepting, and the schools are nothing to shun at either.

The median income is a bit on the lower end though, with most people earning around $49,900 per household, but that in itself shouldn’t deter you from moving to the quiet and whimsical Lewisburg either.

9. Teays Valley

Teays Valley, West Virginia
Photo By steheap / stock.adobe.com

If you choose to move to the Putnam County, then chances are that you already know all about Teays Valley. That is because Teays Valley is known to be one of the best places for mountain lovers.

Not everybody wants to live in a loud and populous place, in fact, most of us just want to live somewhere quiet where we can relax for the rest of our days.

If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then definitely consider checking out Teays Valley. But don’t worry, there’s a lot more than meets the eye here.

Like for example, did you know that the median household income here is way above the national average, standing at around $79,722?

That in itself is amazing, and when coupled with the low crime rate and the outstanding range of amenities that Teays Valley has, it’s definitely worth a second glance at the very least now, isn’t it?

8. Bethlehem

Bethlehem, West Virginia

Most families here in Bethlehem bring home around $70,288 per year, which in itself is great, especially so when you realize the fact that most homes are also very affordable, costing you less than $140,100 per property.

Couple all of that with the fact that Bethlehem also has a lot of schools for you to choose from, a very diverse and welcoming community, and more than enough dining options and you can see why it’s ranked so high up on our list.

7. Morgantown

Morgantown, West Virginia

Are you a fan of the West Virginia University Mountaineers? What about Morgantown’s Personal Rapid Transit System, how do you feel about that? Maybe you’re just absolutely smitten by the idea of living in one of the safest places in the state?

If you said yes to any of those three questions then chances are that you will love living in Morgantown. It has a total population of around 30,000 residents and it is technically considered to be one of the fastest growing places in the state.

Most people here are quite young too and the cost of living is 0.9x lower than the national average. Sure, the median income is a bit on the lower end, with most people earning around $42,474 per year, but that is more than made up for by the low cost of living.

6. South Charleston

South Charleston, West Virginia
Photo by David G. Simpson / Wikipedia.org

The people of South Charleston have stated over and over again that this is by far one of the best cities south of the Mason Dixon Line, and we definitely agree with that statement.

It is one of the most affordable places you could live in, with most homes costing you around $127,500 per average, and most people earning upwards of $51,021 per year too.

That in itself is amazing, but what makes it even better is the fact that the unemployment rate is one of the lowest, standing at the 6.4% mark, and the cost of living is 1.0x lower than the state average which is not too bad either.

South Charleston also has a lot of commuting options and more than a handful of utilities that will be sure to make life easier too.

5. Brookhaven

Brookhaven,West Virginia
Photo by Barry / stock.adobe.com

Living here in Brookhaven may be a bit costly for the average West Virginian, with most homes priced at around $197,400 and the cost of living is also a bit on the higher end too.

But what it may lack in affordability it more than makes up for in quality, with Brookhaven having one of the best education systems in the state, a healthy number of chain stores and unique boutiques and one of the lowest crime rates in the state.

That in itself is great, but what makes it all the better is the fact that most people here also earn more than $66,364 per year, making this one of the best choices you can make as long as you can afford that initial investment.

4. Cheat Lake

Cheat Lake, West Virginia
Photo by Cheat Lake / Facebook.com

Cheat Lake has an incredibly low crime rate, one of the top school systems in the state, and a booming job market, that is more than capable enough to sustain an average income of $87,125 per year.

Most of the population here is also made up of young adults, and as such there re plenty of shops, bars and diners around every corner for you to enjoy during your spare time.

The only real downside to living here in Cheat Lake is the fact that housing prices are nothing short of extravagant, with the median property price standing at a hefty $273,800.

But regardless, if you want to elevate your current lifestyle you will need to up your budget too, as Cheat Lake is more than worth the investment.

3. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, West Virginia
Photo by JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ M.D. / Wikipedia.org

Bridgeport is the home of around 9,200 people, out of which as many as 80% of them live in owned homes. While the demographic is a bit more affluent than most other places in the state, it is still within most people’s budgets.

For example, you can get your hands on a pretty good 3-bedroom family home with off road parking and a decently spacious garden area for around $170,000, which is quite a good deal if we can say so ourselves.

On top of that, the crime rate is very low and the neighborhood is very friendly. There is also no shortage of working opportunities for you to check out if you are currently looking for something new.

2. St. Albans

St. Albans, West Virginia
Photo by Jim Roberts / Wikipedia.org

St. Albans can be found along the Kanawha River, being one of the most affordable, safe and fun places you could live in if you decide to move to West Virginia.

The median home value here lies around the $123,200 mark, which in itself is great considering the very low unemployment rate, and the fact that the cost of living here is astonishingly low too.

The median income is also around the $50,969 per year mark, which is not too bad considering just how easily you can find a property here in the first place.

1. Star City

Star City, West Virginia
Photo by Town of Star City / Facebook.com

As the name implies, if you are looking for the best of the best, it doesn’t get any better than Star City here in West Virginia.

With an average home value of $156,900 and an incredibly cheap cost of living, Star City really lives up to its name for being one of the most affordable options you could take.

But affordability isn’t always an indicator of low quality, as in this case Star City also has a great selection of public schools, a lot of bars and cafes for you to hang around, and more than enough parks for you to relax in after a hard day at work.

The median household income is above $45,000, which in itself is a bit on the lower end, but when you factor in the low cost of living and the low unemployment and poverty rate, it really doesn’t affect you as much as you’d think.


best places to live in west virginia
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park / Photo by Zack Frank / stock.adobe.com

If you are considering moving here to the Mountain State, then you should totally take a closer look at any of these 20 places we just listed for you.

Not every one of them is going to suit your needs, maybe you don’t have the budget for some, maybe you’d rather go for a bigger city for once.

Regardless though, if you do choose any of these, we can assure you that you won’t regret your choice anytime soon.

For more interesting places to live in, check out West Virginia’s neighboring states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio and of course, Virginia.

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About Alex Moretti

Adventure junkie, content creator and storyteller, Alex left his nine-to-five career lifestyle to become a full time world traveler. He started his journey to the unknown 5 years ago and visited more than 30 countries and 400 cities ever since. Learn more about Placeaholic's Editorial Process.

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