Located roughly equidistant to Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA, the city of Fredericksburg, VA has experienced significant population growth over the past 20 years. The city’s population has ballooned from under 20,000 in 2000 to just under 30,000 at last count. As the cost of living increases dramatically in Northern Virginia, workers and families are being forced to make the move down I-95 for a more affordable place to live.
The median home cost in Fredericksburg for a three-bedroom, two-bath is $279,500. Fredericksburg has a cost-of-living index of 107.1, meaning it is just under 10 percent more expensive here than the national average. The higher cost of living in Fredericksburg is driven by its transition from rural outpost to bedroom community for Washington D.C. and the rest of Northern Virginia.
The minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25 an hour, which is in line with the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Fredericksburg does not have a separate city minimum wage. This falls far below the livable wage for a single adult, which is $19.92. Fredericksburg is not as expensive as larger cities in Virginia, but it is still difficult to make ends meet here on a minimum-wage salary.
Fredericksburg is growing quickly, but the cost of living remains reasonable. That might not last forever as more residents are forced out of Northern Virginia. Public transportation options like buses and trains make it possible for workers to keep their jobs in more expensive areas and enjoy a less stressful day-to-day life in Fredericksburg.
Table of Contents
- Where Is Fredericksburg Located?
- Cost to Buy a Home in Fredericksburg, VA
- Rental Prices & Rates in Fredericksburg, VA
- How Much Are Taxes in Fredericksburg?
- Utilities In Fredericksburg
- The Cost Of Child Care
- Food Costs in Fredericksburg, VA
- How Much Will Entertainment Cost?
- Education in Fredericksburg, VA
- The History of Fredericksburg, VA
- Related Questions
- Is Fredericksburg, VA Right For You?
Where Is Fredericksburg Located?
Fredericksburg is approximately 50 miles from both Richmond and D.C. and both cities can be reached quickly (traffic notwithstanding) on I-95. As housing costs spike across larger cities in Virginia, Fredericksburg has seen an influx in population as workers look for affordable housing. Despite its much smaller size, Fredericksburg can offer residents the same rich history, fine dining, trendy shopping, and outdoor recreation.
Cost to Buy a Home in Fredericksburg, VA
New homes are typically plentiful in Fredericksburg as the suburbs spread out from the historic heart of the downtown core. Homes in Fredericksburg are newer and larger than many of the homes in Northern Virginia, but often cost less. That being said, real estate in this area of Virginia is still more expensive than the national average. The housing cost index in Fredericksburg is 120.9, and the median home cost is $279,500.
Rental Prices & Rates in Fredericksburg, VA
Renting is another option for housing in the Fredericksburg area, and there is a mixture of apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes for rent in the city. Fredericksburg rental costs are over 20 percent lower than the Washington, D.C. metro area, but remain higher than the statewide average for Virginia. For renters willing to make the daily commute to Northern Virginia, making Fredericksburg home is a good way to save money.
Here is what you can expect to pay based on the size of the unit:
|Style Of Home||Price Per Month|
How Much Are Taxes in Fredericksburg?
Income and property taxes in Virginia are reasonable. There is a personal property tax assessed on vehicles at the rate of $5.33 per $100 of value and a 6% sales tax, which is higher than the 4.3% charged by the state of Virginia. Virginia also has a progressive income tax ranging from 2% to 5.75%. The city of Fredericksburg does not charge any specific taxes of its own aside from its property taxes.
Utilities In Fredericksburg
Utilities in Fredericksburg are reasonably priced, with a price index of 98.9. This means it is just slightly cheaper than the national average to power your house or get the drinking water and other services you need in Fredericksburg. In addition to the typical utility bills like electricity, water, and trash pickup, the costs of internet, cable television, and cell phone service can also vary significantly by location and provider.
Besides heat and air conditioning, what other utility costs should be considered in the city?
In Fredericksburg, typical monthly energy costs are just under $150 depending on the size of the home. This covers electricity, heating, water, and trash pickup. Internet service is between $60-70 for 60 Mbps, with an additional $100 or more for cable television. Gas and transportation costs are also substantially more expensive than the national average. Transportation costs may be over $5,000 per year if commuting to Northern Virginia each day for work.
The Cost Of Child Care
Child care options may be limited in Fredericksburg are plentiful and include typical daycare centers or preschools. The average monthly cost for child care in Fredericksburg is over $700 per month, putting it in line with the national average. However, families who work outside of Fredericksburg and pay for childcare closer to their office may pay a higher cost.
Food Costs in Fredericksburg, VA
The cost of groceries in Fredericksburg closely mirrors the overall price index for the city, checking in at 107.7. Groceries, as with most living costs are more affordable in Fredericksburg than their neighbors to the north or south in NoVA or Richmond. With salaries aligned to the cost of living, groceries are fairly reasonably priced in this city.
Here is a list of some grocery items in Fredericksburg for commonly purchased items:
|1 Gallon Of Milk||$2.80|
|1 Loaf Of White Bread||$2.12|
|1 Carton Of Eggs||$1.76|
|1 Pound of Bananas||$0.52|
|1 Pound Of Chicken||$3.47|
|1 Pound of Ground Beef||$4.59|
|1 Pound Of Apples||$1.98|
|1 Head Of Lettuce||$1.49|
|1 Bottle Of Mid-Range Wine||$12.00|
|0.5 Liters Of Domestic Beer||$1.86|
How Much Will Entertainment Cost?
The most prominent entertainment options in Fredericksburg are the historic attractions such as the battlefields, Colonial architecture, and museums. These are inexpensive options, often free. The Fredericksburg Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic places and includes the building where President James Monroe practiced law and the home of George Washington’s mother.
The historic district also includes streets lined with restaurants and shops. Entertainment options are aplenty in the cities of Richmond and Washington, D.C. which are both just a short drive away. Mary Washington University also offers performances and cultural displays.
|Restaurants (dinner for two, higher end)||$50|
|Fitness Club (one adult, low price range)||$35|
|Movies (basic movie)||$13|
|Craft beer (12 oz bottle)||$7|
Education in Fredericksburg, VA
The public schools in Fredericksburg are run independently of the surrounding counties and outlying areas. The city has one high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools to educate its students. There are also several private schools, including Fredericksburg Academy and several religious schools.
Fredericksburg is home to Mary Washington University, which is part of the Virginia state system of four-year colleges. The university was originally founded as a teacher’s college, but has grown over time to offer a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Mary Washington offers affordable in-state tuition and its academic programs are rated highly.
The History of Fredericksburg, VA
The city dates back to America’s Colonial days and was also a key battleground during the Civil War. There are over 350 buildings in the city’s downtown Historic District that date back to the 18th and 19th Centuries, including the Mary Washington House and James Monroe Museum. Just outside the city limits, history buffs flock to tour battle sites of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania.
How much do you need to live comfortably in Fredericksburg, VA?
On average, to live comfortably in Fredericksburg as a single adult with no children you will need to make at least $41,433 a year. As the family grows, the living wage obviously increases. A family of four with one working adult needs $77,334, while a family of four with two working adults needs a total income of $99,008.
The available private-sector jobs in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding suburbs typically support this cost of living, however, the cost of transportation and a lengthy commute is something to consider if you plan to live in Fredericksburg and work in one of the larger cities.
Is Fredericksburg a good place to live?
Fredericksburg is a quiet college town with a historic vibe, low crime rate, and plenty to do to keep yourself entertained. Fredericksburg packs in many of the same amenities as Northern Virginia and Richmond, but at a fraction of the cost.
Fredericksburg is a great place for American history buffs to call home and is still just a quick drive away from larger cities. Fredericksburg is quickly emerging as one of the best places to live in the state of Virginia.
What are the main industries in Fredericksburg?
Tourism and hospitality are the primary industries in Fredericksburg. Over 1 million tourists visit the battlefields and historic downtown district each year. Additionally, Mary Washington University is also a large source of jobs in the city. Many residents also commute from Fredericksburg to Northern Virginia or Richmond for work, with the overwhelming majority working white-collar jobs.
Is Fredericksburg, VA Right For You?
Commuter rail lines and buses make it much easier to manage the commute between Fredericksburg and Richmond or D.C. Many Fredericksburg residents take advantage of these transportation options to cut down on their living expenses without having to find a new job. This has made Fredericksburg a very attractive living spot.
Fredericksburg is a great place to live, especially if you love history. The city is also within a short drive from hundreds of great entertainment and cultural options in Richmond and Washington, D.C. The city is also close to great golf, the Potomac River for boating and fishing, and only a fairly short drive to Virginia Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. All in all, Fredericksburg is a great place for families looking to escape the rat race up north closer to D.C.