Please tell me about Richmond — The Bump
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Please tell me about Richmond

Looking into a job there and we would be moving from MCOL midwest.  I know nothing about Richmond (sorry!), so please fill me in.  What is the weather like?  What is the housing market like?  Where are the desirable neighborhoods/school districts?  Do most people do public or private school there?  What is the economy like there (I'm coming from MI, is it better there?)?  Anything else you can tell me would be greatly appreciated!
DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12

Re: Please tell me about Richmond

  • CRV83CRV83 member

    The weather in Richmond is really all over the board - you get all 4 seasons. We get snow in the winter and in the summer the temps are regularly in the 90s!

    If you have kids, I would not recommend living in the city if you plan to send your kids to public schools. The suburbs of Richmond are Henrico County, Hanover County & Chesterfield County. I live in the far west end of Henrico County (known as Short Pump) and the schools are the best in this area. There are also a ton of great private/parochial schools if that is your interest.

    The economy is fair here - not nearly as bad as it is in other places. New restaurants and businesses have been popping up in the last 6-8 months if that tells you anything.

    One of the great things about Richmond is its proximity to everything - 1 hour from the mountains and wineries, 1 1/2 hours from the ocean.

    We have a lot of museums, festivals and fun cultural events.  

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  • CRV did a great job of summarizing it here. i also live in the short pump/west end area and i'm definitely partial to this area. my neighborhood has a very 'homey' feel to it and we're close to all the shopping that's around here. i would definitely agree about avoiding the city if you have kids.

    i moved here from southern california 6 years ago and was surprised at what a great place richmond is. compared to southern california the housing prices were a total bargain, but i think even compared to the rest of the nation, they're still pretty good. oh and our gas prices tend to be a few cents under the national average :) 

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  • thank you!  What is traffic like there?  The metro area looks pretty spread out, does it take long to get downtown from the suburbs?  I have no idea where this job is, honestly.  They said Richmond, but it could be a suburb.  Do people use public transportation there to get downtown for work? 
    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • The two previous posters have been 100% correct about Richmond living.  Any of the mentioned suburbs are great places to live with a family, with access to the culture and resources of the city in less than 30 minutes, without actually living IN the city.  As far as working and commuting, it's really going to depend on exactly where you have to go.  If you have to go into the city, you'll most likely have to hit Interstate 95 or 64 which both have pretty ugly traffic during rush hours.  The shortest and most convenient of roads leading into the city all have TOLLS that you have to pay which range from .10 to .75, there are toll-free ways, but these are longer and out of the way.  The GRTC bus system runs through downtown and travels pretty far out into some of the suburbs however, I have never actually used it so I can not comment on its convenience or practicality.  
  • If you like a lot of traffic, then move to the Far West End or Short Pump. If you prefer less traffic with all of the amenities (and lower property taxes) I would advise to stay out of Henrico County when looking for homes. The schools on the western part of Henrico County are the top schools in the area, while Chesterfield County and Hanover County have very good schools as well.

    I have never had to take a toll road here, but that's because I don't live on that side of town. Public transportation here is a joke. I've lived in smaller towns in other states that have better systems.

    Most places are pretty accessible to the interstates, so you can get anywhere you need to in a short period of time. 

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  • I have a different view than most of the ladies here- we moved in November from NC and we live in the city in a neighborhood called Carytown.  It's beautiful, there are sidewalks and I can walk to museums, grocery stores, parks, shops, etc. in no time.  The city is super bike friendly and it seems like there is good bus coverage.  My husband commutes out of the city to Midlothian and it's about 15 minutes and 1.45 in tolls or 20 minutes and no tolls.

    We're renting a home at the moment because we're not sure how long we will be in VA, but if we buy we will stay in the Musuem District/Fan area, (historical homes, very walkable, etc.)  For us, it's what we like and what we want.  There are excellent elementary schools in the city, but from what I can tell the MS and HS are academically not bad- there are IB programs, etc at many of the schools but there is also a higher prevalence of low income students which, I think, influences peoples opinion on the schools. Where we live now it seems most people send their kids to private schools for HS.  

    (I do think my view might be skewed as I don't have a school age child and I'm a former high school teacher and I firmly believe most schools are what you make of them)

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