West Virginia is a mountainous state located within the Appalachian Mountains. Thought of as a southern state, much of the state lies above the Mason Dixon line and its western corner is close to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while its northern corner is close to the Maryland/Virginia suburbs.

The state of West Virginia has a population of 1,818,470 spread out across over 24,078 square miles. The population has remained almost stagnant over the past two decades. Between 1990 and 2000 the population rose only .8%, and since 2000 the population has risen only .5%. The decade between 1980 and 1990 actually saw a decrease in population. The per capita income of the residents of West Virginia is $26,419, the third lowest in the nation.


What does this mean for those who are interested in commercial real estate in West Virginia?

It may seem as if investing in commercial real estate or using it to set up a business is a bad idea in West Virginia because the economy is so poor. There are bright spots in commercial real estate in certain areas, however. With real estate at such low prices throughout the state, looking into these bright spots is worth it.

One of those bright spots is Morgantown where West Virginia University is located. In recent years, several publications such as Inc. Magazine, Kiplinger's, and Forbes have included Morgantown on their lists of booming small cities and great places to do business.

The population of Morgantown has been growing and there is a need for real estate development in and around the city. Twenty thousand of the 28,000 residents are college students, and commercial real estate that is used for services that cater to college aged students is available for very reasonable rates. Commercial real estate in Morgantown is an excellent investment at the moment.

Another growing city is Huntington which is located along the Ohio River. There are many heavy industrial plants along the river that employ workers. Marshall University which is located in the city has a growing research department which is bringing in educated workers. The downtown of Huntington has many old architecturally prominent buildings that are being invested in and renovated. There is still plenty of commercial real estate in the city waiting to be invested in.

Tourism brings in a lot of the state's income. The mountains are a draw for outdoor sports enthusiasts and the state's natural beauty attracts visitors year round. Commercial real estate that is dedicated to tourist businesses is available for lease or purchase throughout the state.