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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Kriegsspiel on July 26, 2012, 10:06:25 PM

Title: Charlottesville
Post by: Kriegsspiel on July 26, 2012, 10:06:25 PM
I may be moving to Charlottesville, VA for a job.  I saw Bartelby used to live there, anyone else able to offer any tips, recommendations, or thoughts?
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: stevep522 on July 27, 2012, 08:29:38 AM
My wife and I moved to Charlottesville from Baltimore last summer.  We love it down here.  There's tons to do: Shenandoah National Park, Wineries (dozens of them), the Downtown Mall, Breweries, Monticello, Luray Caverns is nearby, plenty of biking and hiking trails, summer festivals and farmer's markets, some decent artists come through here, too (Wilco, Willie Nelson, CSN, Aretha Franklin, Ron White, Dave Matthews of course). 

There's an interesting mix of people here, too.  While UVA and Downtown are relatively "cosmopolitan", it's pretty rural once you go 15 or 20 minutes in any direction.  My wife and I live right on the border between the two.  It makes for interesting trips to the grocery store and Target.  You'll see an F350 truck with a Palin sticker literally parked right next to a BMW reminding you to Buy Fresh, Buy Local. 

The pace of life is definitely slower here than it was in Baltimore.  It took us a little while to adjust (I think we're still adjusting), but we're liking the slower pace more and more.  People will actually take the time to talk to you when you're out and about. 

With UVA here, there are lot of folks who have jobs affiliated with them, whether it's medical or academic-related.  Martha Jefferson Hospital is another big employer in the area.  The other big employer (which brought us here) is DoD.  A lot of folks have moved here from Northern VA, DC, MD, and all over the country to work in DoD-related jobs over the past 3 or 4 years.  As a result, there's quite a lot of development going on along 29, especially north of the city.  We haven't figured out whether this is a good or bad thing yet. 

What other kinds of advice/recommendations were you looking for?
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: Kriegsspiel on July 27, 2012, 09:08:46 AM
My job is on the southern edge of town, so I was mainly looking at the Fifeville, Belmont, and areas just south of Main St. for apartments and housing.  The rent vs. buying calculation is right about at that area where buying is better than renting.  I've been on Trulia a lot.  A quick trip through Google street view seems like it's not terrible for biking, but what are your thoughts?
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: Kriegsspiel on July 27, 2012, 09:10:21 AM
Oh yea, how far outside town are the hiking and hunting spots?  I know Cville is near the Blue Ridge mountains, but it's tough to tell on Google maps realistically how far it is.
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: stevep522 on July 28, 2012, 05:42:23 PM
There are a couple of not-so-nice areas south of Main St, but you'd be in good shape going with Belmont.  Belmont is a cool little neighborhood.  It's very walkable and bikeable.  It's definitely hilly though so you'll get a good workout wherever you bike or walk to. Depending on where you end up living, you should be close to the Rivanna Trial Loop which goes around all of C'ville:

I can't really comment on whether to buy or rent in C'ville.  My wife and I only looked north of the city in Albemarle and Greene when we bought our house.  Plus, we knew this is where we wanted to settle for the long run.  I will say though that it seems like prices for the entire area (C'ville proper, Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna), while definitely depressed the past few years, seem to have hit bottom and are starting to inch back up.  Between the ridiculously low interest rates (our 30 year fixed rate is 3.99) and prices starting to head north, if you're going to buy, I'd probably do it in the next year.  If you need a realtor, I'd recommend the guy we used, Charles McDonald.  Here's the link to his website:  He's a pretty savvy buyer's agent and knows the area very well. 

I don't hunt, so I can't help you much there.  As for hiking, from south C'ville it's about a 30 minute drive to get to either the Blue Ridge Pkwy or Skyline Drive off of 64.  There are plenty of trails on either end you can hit up.  The Appalachian Trail runs both ends.  Here's a link to all of the Albemarle County parks:  There are too many to mention, but I've been to a lot of those parks to hike and mountain bike.  They're between 10 and 20 minutes away from where you would be.  One of my wife's favorite trails is the one by Monticello:  It's a relatively short one, but it's really scenic during the spring and fall.  You could definitely bike there from Belmont, although riding along 20 would be a bit tricky.

Hope that helps.  Good luck with the move and welcome to Charlottesville!
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: Kriegsspiel on July 28, 2012, 07:48:11 PM
Thanks for the write up man, I appreciate it.  Hopefully they invite me down for a second interview.
Title: Re: Charlottesville
Post by: stevep522 on July 29, 2012, 09:23:06 AM
No problem.  I hope the job works out for you.