Military PCS Orders to Norfolk VA

9 Replies | Norfolk, Virginia

My wife has orders to Norfolk and we plan to PCS next summer, so I'm getting a head start on reasearching the market. I'm looking for some advice on where to buy a home. Ideally, I'd like to buy a SFH or small multi unit with a VA loan where we can buy at a discount or force appreciation with some renovations while living there to gain equity quickly, then rent it out or sell when we move.

Any advice on some areas with a reasonable commute to the Naval Station, good schools and low crime? We have two young children with our oldest starting kindergarten there.

Thank you all for your help


If you’re looking for good schools with low crime you’ll probably want to check out Virginia Beach. We were stationed in Hawaii, now Norfolk, and we’ve got two little kids also. In general, the VB schools are much better than the Norfolk schools so for that reason, and many others, we settled on a house in Virginia Beach. We also have a few rental properties in VB so happy to answer any questions or recommend a solid realtor or property manager. 



VA has a new loan program that gives you some rehab money on top of the purchase price. It's new as of this year, so not many lenders are aware of it. I wanted to force appreciate as well, but I got overruled by the boss who wanted turn key SFH. Rhett is right about VA Beach being great for schools. Chesapeake also has very highly rated schools. Norfolk is very spotty on crime rates - Ghent is upscale but surrounded by impoverishment, then the city goes into a pattern of good street, bad street, good street, bad street.. for about 20 blocks. Strangest thing I've ever seen. Flood zones are all over the place too, so be sure to check that.

TLDR - for a primary residence considering schools and crime, stick to Chesapeake or VAB or maybe Ghent.  

Hey Matthew! Aloha iā Norfolk! Thanks, @Jonathan New for the mention! Just to add to the usual Virginia Beach/Chesapeake, Ghent list, check out Larchmont (9/10 elementary in Norfolk) and Chick's Beach (@Rhett Z Begley lives there). Be careful with flood zones in Larchmont, but it is a great neighborhood sandwiching ODU between it and Ghent. There are some great pocket neighborhoods in all of the cities, but it is the "feel" I always try to get from people. Do you want to feel you live at the beach or a hip city? Do you want breweries or art museums? Do you like green nature or water? Word on the street is that the VA reno loan increased from $35k to $50k...

Early welcome to Hampton Roads @Matthew Hime ! Hawaii - Lucky peeps! Our beaches can't compare to HI, but VA's investment ratios will trump HI's all day long! It's always a great day in real estate here! As others have mentioned, depending on your family situation - IE schools - you should be able to find a 2-4 unit that you can purchase with your VA loan. Similar to HI, you want to be careful about avoiding flood zones to keep your costs down. Any idea what base you wife will be assigned to?