On the western side of the Appalachian range is the cousin of Virginia, with the Western state making up the deep mountain rural territory deep inland. In its early years West Virginia was very much a frontier land, and in modern years the state is still highly rural and country. Coal mining runs deep in the history of the state, but it now shares the stage with other industries. Tourism, natural resources mining, wind energy, largescale retail, medicine, pharmaceuticals, chemical production and carmakers dominate the state's industry players. That said, the state actually has a very small population compared to next-door neighbors, being only rank 38 in national population by state.
The Mountain State is home to 1.8 million Americans, who reside in a state that is just 24,000 square miles, which ranks 41st in the US. The state economy produces a bit over $60 billion annually, which may be small for America but would rank in the top 70 globally.
As of this writing, WV is one of the most affordable states in the nation. The average home value is just over $100,000, and the median sale price is around $125,000. The Mountain State lacks the variance of other states - the most expensive areas, places like Hurricane and Hedgesville are less than $100,000 more expensive than places like Saint Albans and Martinsburg, which are the most affordable.
Charleston is WV's capital and largest city; its metro area is home to over 300,000. Major employers include Appalachian Power, the United Bank of WV, and MATRIC. The city has made major investments over the past 30 years, and downtown Charleston is now filled with restaurants, cultural attractions, and unique small businesses.
Huntington, home of Marshall University, gained some notoriety in recent years due to the movie We Are Marshall. The Charleston-Huntington metro area is home to nearly 10% of the state's populations with over 700,000 residents. In addition to the university, major employers include Amazon and DirecTV.
West Virginia University is located in Morgantown, and when school is in session the local population doubles. If you like the atmosphere of a college town or you're curious about the fascination Personal Rapid Transit system, Morgantown may be the city for you.
Whether you're new to the Mountain State or a native West Virginian, there are many choices to consider when it comes to finding your bank. Below, we've listed a handful of your options, from the small community institutions all the way up to the big banks that operate in WV. The right decision will involve weighing your needs, preferences, and of course who offers the best interest rates.
Big banks in WV:
Now that you've seen your options, it's time to make some comparisons. Get started using RateZip.com's free financial search engine. You can shop for anything from an auto loan to a checking account.
RateZip.com can help homebuyers who want to enjoy the old countryside of West Virginia by giving access to ongoing rates offered by regional lenders, allowing buyers to compete for the best home purchases in the state. If you're looking to refinance, our short form will help you get multiple quotes in a matter of minutes.
Two home loan options that may be of particular interest to residents of West Virginia are both government insured programs - FHA mortgages and USDA home loans. FHA mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are designed to make home ownership available to a larger percentage of the American public. These loans require much smaller down payments than conventional mortgages, and you can get approved with less than perfect credit, sometimes with a credit score in the low 600s depending on the lender.
USDA home loans are insured by the US Department of Agriculture. These mortgages are available to those who live in sparsely populated towns, meaning that many in WV will qualify. The other important factor is income - you cannot make more than 115% of the local median. If you do qualify, you'll have access to a very appealing product - minimal to no down payment and more flexible underwriting standards than Fannie and Freddie.