Cost Of Living In Herndon, Virginia (Taxes, Housing & More)

Mary Newman
by Mary Newman

Looking for small-town living in an Arlington suburb? Herndon, Virginia might be your next new home. Located just outside of Reston, Virginia, and only 20 minutes to McLean, 30 minutes to Arlington, or 35 minutes to Washington DC, Herndon is well within reasonable commuting distance.

With a cost of living index at 149.7, however, life in Herndon doesn’t come cheap. Housing is the biggest offender, with a housing cost of living at 232.9. Groceries are also high, with a cost of living index at 112. In fact, utilities are the only thing that is cheaper than the national average in Herndon, at just 99.5.

Thinking about making the move? This small city with big roots has a lot to offer – but make sure you’re ready for it before you commit!

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Cost of Homeownership in Herndon, Virginia

Median Home Value in Herndon, Compared

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rate
United States$320,00065.8%

Housing is going to by far a resident’s biggest expense. With a housing cost of living index at 232.9, it is more than twice as expensive as the national average to buy or maintain a home. The biggest reason is the area – Herndon is in Fairfax County, in the Washington, DC metro area. Just outside of Dulles and less than 20 miles to Arlington, Virginia, Herndon is a highly-valued place to live for commuters.

Median Home Prices in Herndon, Virginia

Price RangePercentage of Homes
$837,000 and Above6.9%
Sub $112,0004%

As you can see, the inventory of homes quickly drops when you get into a ‘cheaper’ price range. There simply aren’t many houses in the Herndon area that are less than $200,000. There are over 7,700 homes and apartments within the city itself.

38.8% of homes in Herndon are single-family homes, and 27.8% are townhomes. Over 75% of homes in Herndon were built between 1970 and 1999. Just 12.4% were built in the last 20 years.

34.4% of homes in Herndon have 3 bedrooms. 22.8% have 2 bedrooms, and 22.2% have 4 bedrooms. Just 9.1% of homes have 1 bedroom. It’s clear that Herndon is an area catering to families, with such large home sizes!

The Cost of Property Taxes in Herndon, Virginia

The average county property tax in Fairfax County, Virginia is slightly lower than the national average. Fairfax County sits at 1.030%, where the national average is 1.070%. This is higher than the state average of 0.800%.

For a home valued at the median, or $489,131, a homeowner can expect to pay $5,038 annually in property taxes. This works out to be about $200 less than the national average price, but over $1,000 more than the state’s average.

The Cost of Renting a Home in Herndon, Virginia

Housing SizeHerndonMetro AreaVirginiaUnited States
1 Bedroom$1730$1454$1030$930
2 Bedroom$1980$1665$1209$1148
3 Bedroom$2590$2176$1614$1537
4 Bedroom$3180$2678$1968$1791

Renting in Herndon is significantly more expensive than the national average, the state’s average, and even more expensive than the surrounding metro area. Herndon is highly desired for many reasons, including its location and amenities, so it makes sense that comes at a premium.

41.1% of residents in Herndon rent their homes. 31.9% of the housing in Herndon is made up of larger apartment complexes, and 1.3% is small apartment buildings.

Utility Rates in Herndon, Virginia

With a utility cost of living index at just 99.5, utilities are actually cheaper in Herndon than the average US city – though not by much! For a typical 915 square foot apartment, residents can expect to pay about $132/month for all their basic utilities. This includes water, electricity, heat, and cooling. The average high-speed internet connection in Herndon is just $65/month.

The typical residential electricity rates in Herndon are 11.04¢/kWh, which is less than the state’s average of 11.08¢/kWh. This is also less than the national average of 11.88¢/kWh. Overall, if you can afford the housing, you’ll get a good deal on the utilities!

Transportation in Hendon, Virginia

Surprisingly the average one-way commute in Herndon, Virginia is 27.1 minutes, just below the national average of 26.4 minutes. For many, this number is lower than you would expect… at least, if you’re familiar with Northern Virginia traffic. 70% of residents drive their own vehicles to work, while 11.7% carpool, and 7.3% take mass transit options.

The transportation cost of living index is 120.3, which is noticeably higher than the national average.

The Cost of a Gallon of Gas, Compared

LocationPrice Per Gallon
United States$2.60

Public Transportation in Hendon, Virginia

With the Silver Line of the DC Metro System undergoing its phase 2 construction, Hendon is well on its way to being even more accessible. The current closest Silver Line station open right now is in Reston, Virginia, which is just a 10-minute drive from downtown, less than 4 miles. The Metro system is currently working on phase 2 construction that will open a station in Hendon as well.

A rider can get on the Silver Line and go directly into Washington DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Rockville, Maryland, Bethesda, Maryland, and more. Fares range depending on where you choose to get on and off the metro system.

Fairfax County also has a bus line that runs through Herndon. There are 7 bus routes in the city total that will connect with a much larger bus system. A regular route is just $2 one way, or $1 for seniors or those with disabilities. Other express routes range in price from $0.50 to $7.50.

Child Care Costs in Herndon, Virginia

There is no shortage of childcare options in Herndon and the surrounding areas. There are 145 total home-based daycares, and 128 of them offer infant care, as well as toddlers. 67 also offer part-time care, or drop-in care.

The average cost of daycare in Herndon is $1,984/month. This is a full-time rate. Despite the fact that there are many places to choose from, if you’re looking to move, you should consider getting on a waitlist as soon as possible. According to many parents online, the daycare system in Herndon is highly competitive, and waitlists can be extensive.

Grocery Costs in Herndon, Virginia

Item of Food in Herndon, VirginiaPrice
Average Meal for 1$15
Mid-Range Meal for 2$65
Gallon of Milk$3.30-$3.50
Loaf of Fresh Bread$2.30
12 Eggs$2.25
1lb of Chicken$4-$5
1lb of Bananas$0.55-$0.70

With a grocery cost of living index at 112, it is slightly more expensive than the average US city to eat in. However, with so many places within a reasonable traveling distance, you are never in a shortage of grocery stores to visit and opportunities to shop around.

Budgeting experts recommend 11% of your household income goes to groceries. With a median household income of $112,835, residents can budget up to $12,411 on groceries and food annually. That works out to a staggering $1,034 a month. This should be more than enough for the average family, even when you consider the higher cost of groceries!

Entertainment in Herndon, Virginia

Herndon is so centrally located, all you have to do is hop on the Metro to get to DC, Arlington, or other exciting places with great nightlife. Herndon itself, however, is a smaller town with less to do.

Frying Pan Farm Park is a local park that is free to visit and offers hiking (check out the Nature Trail) and recreational space.

Herndon also has the NextStop Theatre Company, the only professional theatre company in the area. Tickets range in price from $10-$15/ticket, and discount rates are available for students or seniors.

Education in Herndon, Virginia

There are 20 elementary schools, 8 middle schools and just 4 high schools in Herndon. 13 schools are within the public school district, and there are 55 total private schools. The public school district serves about 6,400 students annually.

Herndon public schools rank in the top 20% of Virginia public schools and have a student: teacher ratio of 17:1, which is higher than the state’s average of 15:1.

There are zero higher learning facilities, like colleges or technical schools, within the city itself.

Other Things to Know

The median household income in Herndon is $112,835. This is significantly higher than the national average, which sits at $68,400. Herndon is perfectly located west of Arlington, Alexandria, and other major Northern Virginia cities. If you end up moving, though, you should know the locals call it NoVa!

The top employers in Herndon itself include the NIH, the University of Maryland, and Booz Allen, a consulting firm. Lockheed Martin, The World Bank, and Capital One are also all major employers in the area. Many of the 24,532 residents living in Herndon commute outside of the city for work.

Crime in Herndon is about on par with the rest of the United States and ranks 45% safer than most US cities.

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Is Herndon Right for You?

Herndon is a popular commuter destination for those looking to live in a smaller town while working in a big city. You can easily see this by the median household income, and the commute time of average residents – not many people work in Herndon itself!

Whether or not this city is right for your family remains to be seen. While it’s a cheaper option to live in than some of the surrounding areas, it certainly isn’t the least expensive option. If you can afford the housing costs, though, and you’re interested in being so close to the action without being on top of it, Herndon could be perfect for you!

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Mary Newman
Mary Newman

Mary Newman thought that home improvement was all painting and putting down throw rugs... until she bought a fixer upper, and realized it's so much more. With a passion for helping others NOT make the mistakes she did, Mary seeks to always improve her home - and yours, too!

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