Author Topic: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?  (Read 326 times)

HovEratoTo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« on: November 25, 2017, 08:18:10 AM »
Hi everyone - long-time lurker, first-time poster and I'm hoping you can lend us some wisdom! (If I should move this to Ask a Mustachian let me know.)

My husband and I are considering a move to Richmond, Virginia next year. We currently live in NoVA with a young son. Is there anyone familiar with the area that can lend some recommendations on affordable, enjoyable neighborhoods we should consider?

Reasons we want to move to RVA:
- Lower cost of living compared to NoVA/DC
- Close to some family and friends
- Big city with many attractions and amenities without some of the downsides of NoVA/DC (traffic, expensive housing, etc)
- Less driving for outdoor adventures

A few thoughts:
- This will be our first home purchase.
- Our jobs pay well and are fairly flexible for remote work, we expect both of us could keep our current positions if we were to move, at least in the short term. It does make it tricky planning around a commute if we'll be remote at first.
- My husband is from the area so has some stronger opinions of what are "good" neighborhoods. Yes, there are some more crime-prone areas of Richmond, but I'm trying to challenge us to be open to ideas.
- Without posting a full case study we are well on our way to our FIRE goals (no consumer debt). We don't want a house purchase to derail those goals.
- We are open to city living or suburbia if the price and nearby amenities are good (walking distance to something is important to me - grocery store, park, library, trails, etc).

Questions:
1. What are some good options for young families?
2. Which neighborhoods are bikeable or walkable to schools, grocery stores, library, trails etc?
3. Are there any areas that absolutely should not be on our list?
4. Is $200-$300k a realistic budget? My husband thinks we'll be living in a questionable area if we stick to that budget.
5. Anything unique about the RVA market we should know about?

Thank you for any words of wisdom!

tralfamadorian

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 04:24:24 PM »
Questions:
1. What are some good options for young families?
2. Which neighborhoods are bikeable or walkable to schools, grocery stores, library, trails etc?
3. Are there any areas that absolutely should not be on our list?
4. Is $200-$300k a realistic budget? My husband thinks we'll be living in a questionable area if we stick to that budget.
5. Anything unique about the RVA market we should know about?

I'm not an expert but I do know a bit about the city so I'm going to pick and choose what I feel like I can contribute.
1) For a young family, I would stick to the West End and Near West End for the high quality schools.
2) The most trendy, walkable areas are generally not good for families (bad schools- Church Hill, Scott's Addition, Jackson Ward) or not very mustachian (Museum, Fan, Carytown).
3) North and South.
4) Yes.
Examples in areas with good to very good schools:
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8632-Oakcroft-Dr-Henrico-VA-23229/2092089363_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1210-Beverly-Dr-Henrico-VA-23229/2093106056_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10409-Gayton-Rd-Henrico-VA-23238/2092025494_zpid/
5) The West End/Near West End is popular and your price range is quite sought after so you have to be ready to jump when a house you like goes on the market. Also, in general the good and bad areas of Richmond are quite intertwined; make sure you have a good realtor who has lived in the area for a long time.   

JanetJackson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • Location: United States
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 04:41:44 PM »
Hello,
Current RVA resident (last 7 years, hoping to move soon, but not because of RVA)
Church hill is coming up a LOT over the last year or so.  I've experienced some crime when living in that area, but nearly everything closer to downtown has been torn down and rebuilt and the neighborhood is experiencing a big resurgence.  200-300k would put you in one of the bigger nicer homes near the revitalized area easily (my friend did this) and you'd be within walking distance of everything.  It's literally like an expanding leak.  Unfortunately, I live PAST the wealth leak, so I do still experience some crime.
There are so many little neighborhoods to choose from in that budget that have become young family oriented and it would put you in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Henrico easily, or in one of the up-and-coming areas near town.
Here are the young-and-hip family areas I am most familiar with and where there are lots of walking options: Union Hill, Church hill (anything before 25th street and M), Willow Lawn (this is a good mix of close to the city and suburbia, plus they just put an AWESOME library near there), or maaaaaybe the Museum District (but that may be a bit out of your budget).  The area of Forest Hill, which is on the other side of the river, has really come up too (close to Forest Hill Ave or Semmes), and the main stretch of Forest Hill Ave near the park has all been re-done into little restaurants, etc.
I dog walk as my side hustle and have clients ALL over these little hubs because they're all within about a 5 mile radius of downtown.

If you want to be a bit out in the country, but still a VERY short drive (like 10 minutes) to downtown, there are some great deals in both Sandston and Varina- and it's very pretty out there.

>I hate Short Pump and Innsbrook, but that's only because it reminds me of some lifeless shopping center in Orlando or something... lots and lots of starbucks, chain restaurants, and soulless consumerism.  Just my opinion though.
>In terms of crime, I'd avoid Manchester and Avoid North Church Hill (along nine mile rd.).

Good luck!  Happy Hunting!  I think your budget is right on.  My friend got her house as a foreclosure near Union Hill for 90k, she put another 9-10k into it and it's gorgeous!

Hi everyone - long-time lurker, first-time poster and I'm hoping you can lend us some wisdom! (If I should move this to Ask a Mustachian let me know.)

My husband and I are considering a move to Richmond, Virginia next year. We currently live in NoVA with a young son. Is there anyone familiar with the area that can lend some recommendations on affordable, enjoyable neighborhoods we should consider?

Reasons we want to move to RVA:
- Lower cost of living compared to NoVA/DC
- Close to some family and friends
- Big city with many attractions and amenities without some of the downsides of NoVA/DC (traffic, expensive housing, etc)
- Less driving for outdoor adventures

A few thoughts:
- This will be our first home purchase.
- Our jobs pay well and are fairly flexible for remote work, we expect both of us could keep our current positions if we were to move, at least in the short term. It does make it tricky planning around a commute if we'll be remote at first.
- My husband is from the area so has some stronger opinions of what are "good" neighborhoods. Yes, there are some more crime-prone areas of Richmond, but I'm trying to challenge us to be open to ideas.
- Without posting a full case study we are well on our way to our FIRE goals (no consumer debt). We don't want a house purchase to derail those goals.
- We are open to city living or suburbia if the price and nearby amenities are good (walking distance to something is important to me - grocery store, park, library, trails, etc).

Questions:
1. What are some good options for young families?
2. Which neighborhoods are bikeable or walkable to schools, grocery stores, library, trails etc?
3. Are there any areas that absolutely should not be on our list?
4. Is $200-$300k a realistic budget? My husband thinks we'll be living in a questionable area if we stick to that budget.
5. Anything unique about the RVA market we should know about?

Thank you for any words of wisdom!

HovEratoTo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 06:05:10 PM »
Thank you tralfamadorian and JanetJackson! Very helpful information, and appreciate the Zillow examples. I'll dig into your suggestions!

There do seem to be a lot of foreclosures and auctions in the area, which intimidates me as a first-time homebuyer but may be a good option to consider if we want a good deal. We'd be ok rolling up our sleeves and learning first-hand but I don't want to buy a complete rehab job.

fluffmuffin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
  • Location: VA
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 02:15:14 PM »
Also an RVA resident! JanetJackson has some great suggestions, and I will heartily second tralfamadorian's suggestion to get a realtor who is very familiar with the city--there can be some extreme of variation within even a few blocks.

The one place in Richmond that I haven't seen mentioned that should hit all of your criteria is Northside. Northside has kind of a bad rap, but if you stay west of Chamberlayne Avenue it's safe, family-friendly, and there are plenty of beautiful homes in your price range. (East of Chamberlayne is more up-and-coming, with a lot more variety in terms of what you're going to get. It might be worth checking out the area around Battery Park if you want a $280k mansion but...personally I wouldn't, if safety is already on your radar as a concern.) You probably want to look in Bellevue for the most walkability to amenities, but Lakeside and Rosedale are also very nice. Check out these listings for examples:
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/pmf_pt/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile,townhouse_type/12533737_zpid/3-_beds/0-300000_price/0-1105_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/37.617801,-77.434945,37.561419,-77.497687_rect/13_zm/
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/pmf_pt/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile,townhouse_type/2130146798_zpid/3-_beds/0-300000_price/0-1105_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/37.617801,-77.434945,37.561419,-77.497687_rect/13_zm/
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/pmf_pt/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile,townhouse_type/12530404_zpid/3-_beds/0-300000_price/0-1105_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/37.615897,-77.428508,37.559514,-77.49125_rect/13_zm/

I would recommend coming down for the weekend and spending some time exploring each neighborhood, since they all have very different vibes. Church Hill is very urban and you're going to feel like you're in a city, vs. Northside, the Near West End, or Forest Hill are going to feel like leafy suburbs. But the three of them still have very different feels.

HovEratoTo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 06:09:33 PM »
Awesome, thank you for the suggestions fluffmuffin! Great to see we have so many good options in our budget.

nurseart

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 10:59:26 AM »
My husband went to school at VCU and we lived there for a couple years after college, there are lots of options.

We actually just bought our first investment property in Richmond (we live in Charlottesville) and closed last week :)

Other posters are right, different neighborhoods have different feels. For us, Northside (specifically Chestnut hills) appealed because of the proximity to VCU/MCV and likelihood of dramatic appreciation over the next say 10 years. Richmond is experiencing a significant urban revitalization which moves neighborhood to neighborhood. For example, church hill underwent huge changes and now areas of Northside are.  If you have a child in public schools Chestnut Hills isn't the neighborhood I would pick but it was the right fit for our needs.
Your budget is sufficient for almost any neighborhood in Richmond. I'd suggest a couple weekend trips to checkout the different areas. If you happen to need a realtor, ours was fantastic and not pushy.

fluffmuffin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
  • Location: VA
Re: Mustachian neighborhoods in RVA?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 02:33:48 PM »
Okay nurseart raised the elephant in the room of any discussion about raising a family in Richmond, unless you plan to homeschool or go private: schools. I won't venture any specific opinions, but make sure that you do your due diligence.