Community Message Boards
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 63

Thread: OK Virginians- why do you love/hate where you live??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782

    Smile OK Virginians- why do you love/hate where you live??

    Hi!
    DH and I would love to move from NJ. We are particularly interested in moving to VA because we really like it there. We also have some vacation property there. Although we'd love to live at our vacation property, we don't think we'd be able to get jobs in that area. The property is in Drakes Branch (near Keysville and Farmville, if that helps any).

    So I am on a search to see what areas we should check out and consider. We'd prefer to be out of the more congested north eastern section. We like the central/western part of the state a lot. Our property is about 90 minutes west of Richmond and an hour south of Lynchburg - or an hour or so north of Roanoke and South Boston.

    Thanks!!
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,663
    I used to live in Richmond, which was nice, although it sounds like you may enjoy living somewhere like Charlottesville. Very nice place to live, not far from where you're talking about.

    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  3. #3
    Hi Susan. You said an hour or so north of Roanoke - anywhere near Lexington?

    My parents live in Raphine (about a 1/2 hour northwest of Lexington) - a very rural area - but my Dad was a professor at UVA in Charlottesville - about 45 minutes east of where they are. Charlottesville is quite lovely, but growing and a very popular place to live, something to take into consideration. CH has UVA. Lexington has Washington and Lee University and VMI (Viriginia Military Institute). I mention this because college towns tend to have many nice qualities - nice places to eat, an artsy, creative atmosphere, etc.

    I would live in that part of the country in a second!

    If you do end up looking there, I'm sure I could get more info from my parents and I know there's at least one BB member who lives there, but I can't remember who!

    Good luck! VA is beautiful and a great place to live.

    Alysha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,663
    Oh, I so miss Virginia!

    Just popping back in to say... Lexington is GORGEOUS. My best friend went to W&L and I just loved to visit her. Such a gorgeous place with a neat town.

    Okay, I'll shut up now and try to remember that I live in SC now. Sigh.

    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  5. #5
    Originally posted by ellery
    Okay, I'll shut up now and try to remember that I live in SC now. Sigh.
    Any time you want to wax nostalgic, just shoot me a note! I'm from the east coast and have not lived there for over 10 years now, so I'm ALWAYS thinking about how much I miss it!

    Did you ever eat at the Blue Heron in Lexington? It's a funky little vegetarian place with the BEST tofu sandwich! Yum!

    Alysha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    We've never been to Lexington. We're looking for semi-rural. We want some stuff within a reasonable driving distance, but we're also concerned about our kids having things to do as they grow up. Ideally, I'd like to work part time so I could be there after school and whenever needed for the kids. DH is a machinist so a place with manufacturing might be good for us, too.

    Farmville actually has 2 colleges - Longwood and Hampdon-Sydney. I like that area a lot, but I'm thinking it might be too small town to raise children.

    NJ is so crowded right now that we're feeling suffocated. It takes me just about 90 minutes to get to work, one way and even more time to get home because of all the traffic. We have a mall 10 minutes away, but it can take 25 minutes to get there. And summer traffic? I am NOT looking forward to that. It gets worse each year and we're about 15 minutes from the beach! Not to ramble, but the overcrowding is horrible and it keeps getting worse. I don't mind a populated area in VA, we're just trying to avoid any areas that may become as congested as NJ (the state with the most roads per square mile- I'm serious!).
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    716
    I'm from Roanoke but now live in NC. Roanoke has a lot to offer like Richmond or No.VA. but with out so much of the congestion. Center in the Square and the Farmers Market are neat places to visit and you have Mill Mountain Zoo and vineyards in the area to visit. It is not too far from a lot of places so you can see a lot of other areas with a short drive. I miss Roanoke sometimes but fortunately my parents are still there and we go visit periodically. It is beautiful with the mountains surrounding the valley.

    Laura

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,925
    I'm in northern Virginia- I know you want to stay out of this area, but wanted to contribute my perspective anyway. Overall, Virginia is a wonderful place to live. We have everything, from the beach to the mountains. The population is diverse and the climate is moderate.

    Have you thought about the Winchester area? The city has a small town atmosphere and is home to several manufacturing plants. It's in the Shenandoah Valley- just beautiful! It seems very family oriented. Shenandoah University and Conservatory is located there. Plus it's a good drive from Baltimore and Washington, but I know people who take day trips to those cities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,267
    I live in the top crowded part (which is just fine with me) but we love taking drives out into the country (usually insearch of farm stands with good sweet corn!)I second Roanoke and Winchester as places to live.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    I have never heard of Winchester,but we know of the Shenandoah Valley. We've been down the Blue Ridge Parkway twice, always meaning to drive the whole distance, but ending up camping in VA. So beautiful. I feel so alive when I'm there.

    VA does have much to offer and we really like the people there, too. DH and I have lived in NJ our whole lives (well, I was in NY for a few years when I was much younger). There's so much country to see out there and NJ is so tiny. We're a bit spoiled in that we do have so much at our fingertips living where we do. We know that people live in more rural areas just fine, we just can't seem to figure out how it's done. I know that I will have to do the research as DH needs me to light a fire under him to get him to move on something. He wants these things, but he's not much for planning. I figure if I can come up with some areas, we can plan some trips there.

    We've never been to Roanoke and I definitely wanted to check it out. T
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,764
    Originally posted by tmsl
    I'm from Roanoke but now live in NC. Roanoke has a lot to offer like Richmond or No.VA. but with out so much of the congestion. Center in the Square and the Farmers Market are neat places to visit and you have Mill Mountain Zoo and vineyards in the area to visit. It is not too far from a lot of places so you can see a lot of other areas with a short drive. I miss Roanoke sometimes but fortunately my parents are still there and we go visit periodically. It is beautiful with the mountains surrounding the valley.

    Laura
    My sister lives in Roanoke. She and her husband moved there because his parents live there and they wanted to live in the South. It is a pretty place but was a tough adjustment for them. They were used to living in a much less blue collar area since they had lived in the Philadelphia area prior to the move. It didn't help that my sister was pregnant with her first child at the time and didn't know anyone other than her inlaws.

    She likes it a lot more now, but it isn't their final destination. They would love to move to North Carolina in the next few years.

    Laura, I go to Roanoke periodically. I wonder if we've crossed paths.

    Beth

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,663
    Well, if it's any incentive to your husband, point out the difference in housing prices between NJ and VA. My best friend from college moved to VA from NJ (of course she did this right as I was moving to SC, thanks a lot!). They had a teeny cute little house in NJ and now live in a brand new HUMONGOUS house in VA and I think still had a little money left over from the sale of the NJ house to play with.

    Roanoke is beautiful too. Sigh.

    And yes, there are parts of VA that I don't think are wonderful and fabulous and beautiful, but those would be the really rural areas like Covington or something where it's really a small town...

    Really. I'm going to do some work now. I promise.

    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sykesville, Maryland
    Posts
    2,696
    Hi Mrs REber.
    I think its great that you are doing reserach and analyzing before taking the big step (moving).
    DH & I have spoken about this many times. Because of his job (federal) we are in MD with access to DC, VA and MD.
    When the time comes to move I always wanted to live in a small town etc but after having the convinience of living in the suburbs with access to so many things we have decided a not too small a town might be best.
    My brother & family lived in Chesapeake Va for several yrs and loved it. They moved to Charlotte and they are very happy there (have 3 little ones).
    One of the things to really look at he was telling me was the schools and of course prices (houses and the cost overall of living there) Since you are coming from NJ you will find Va prices more affordable.
    Right now MD is so expensive Houses are out there in price which unfortunatelly not much we can do since DH has certain rules with his job (cannot be farther than certain miles from work etc).
    In your case may I suggest you guys take a trip to Va and check out several areas see how you like it.
    Also check out jobs in the area. You can run a search on prices and compare them in yahoo etc.
    I hope it all works out for you. My brother liked Va but they are doing much better in NC now.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    4,729
    I went to school in Roanoke and just loved it. My college roommate lived in Richmond for years after school and moved back to Roanoke because her husband insisted it was a great place to raise kids. They only lasted a year - jobs are much more difficult to find in a small town and don't pay as well, and they didn't think the schools were as good as the one they left. They're back in Richmond (technically Glen Allen) now.

    I have no idea of their experience is typical or not. I happen to adore Roanoke and go back periodically because my grandmother lives just south of there.

    A good friend from high school lives in Fredricksburg, which may better fit your criteria. She didn't ever expect to leave the northeast (we're from the Philly suburbs), but she loved Fredricksburg's location, housing prices, and quality of life (less traffic, great neighborhoods, etc.) and has been there for 10 years.
    "Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?" - attorney Bob Loblaw, Arrested Development

    "Spend time with your kids so we don't have to" - Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice bumper sticker

    www.nostinkycheese.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Marietta, Ga
    Posts
    7,693
    Susan,

    You can go to http://www.homefair.com and use their 'cost of living calculator' I'm sure there are other sites out there with a COL calculator. It's useful for determining how your salary in NJ compares to one in VA or even how much $$ you need to live on.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Near my friends.
    Posts
    8,930
    I live further south than Roanoke, but Roanoke is a great place.
    Good restaurants, a couple of shopping malls, Sam,s, Costco, Best Buy, Target....Lots of good places to shop. Good hospital/heart center. Airport, he Blue Ridge Parkway (beautiful ride in early spring and in the fall when leaves change)

    I have heard they have good schools. Roanoke is centrally located, the City is a busy place, but then you can ride for 15 minutes or so and you are in the country. Smyth Mountain Lake is not far from there, And Claytor Lake (a State Park) is about 30 or 40 minutes there.

    Someone mentioned the Center in the Square, and the Farmers Market, which are really neat. There is a Transportation Museum there and a Science Museum. There is the Mill Mountain Dinner theater, and there is a Mill Mountain Zoo.

    Roanoke is big enough without being too big and is centrally located to several colleges. It is a lovely town.
    Good luck in your search. Be sure to let us know what you eventually decide on!
    Joyce
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  17. #17
    i live about a half hour south of roanoke, and the only thing that i hate about where i live are the college kids. they're a little wild, but exams are over next week so it'll be peaceful soon. unfortunately, i dont know much about roanoke even though i live so close. i can get to all the restaurants and the malls and the airport but thats about all i know. center in the square is supposed to be really fun, if i'm not mistaken they have a planetarium. like mom said above, smith mountain lake is not far from roanoke, so if you have a boat or jetski or just want a quick trip to a beach, that's your place. and you're a half hour above the new river which is fun fun fun! you can go tubing on it or just watch it go. it's one of only 2 rivers in the world that flow north instead of south. anyway, thats all i have for you, hope it helps!

    -jori

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    Thanks everyone! This is absolutely helpful. I know we could sell our house for more than twice what we (DH) paid for it. We talked about going down and renting somewhere for a while, but I hate the thought of renting. I like to own. Also, if we rented and didn't have money coming in, we'd be in trouble by next year.

    I did look on line at some properties and houses. DH and I do this periodically anyway. Our vacation peice has been paid off for a while so we thought about buying more property for investment.

    I know we definitely have to check out Roanoke now. We never quite got that far south.

    My sister lives in NC so our vacation property is only 60-90 minutes north of her. I'd like to be closer to her. DH and I spent some time in NC and (I hate to say this here- don't mean to offend anyone!) the people didn't seem as friendly. Being from NJ, we're pretty sensitive to how many southerners feel about us moving down there. And I really, really, don't mean to offend- I know that not everyone is like that.
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,663
    Oh yeah, forgot to mention this, but the war is definitely not over down here. (The Great Unpleasantness, known as the Civil War in other states)

    In SC I'm considered a Yankee, even though I'm from VA. As far as friendliness, I think it depends on where you are. I've found smaller towns to be slightly less welcoming than larger towns... I don't know enough to be able to say whether it's a North/South thing.

    I can't wait to hear what you decide on!

    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    Okay, so it's not just me? We went to visit my sister in NC a few times and some people in the stores were a bit rude to us. We have never encountered any of that in VA. Guess that's why you're still considered a Yankee?

    Again, that's not to say it's like that everywhere. I know that people from NJ do not have such a good reputation. For the record, DH and I have been told many times that we don't sound or act like we're from NJ. We have had a couple of instances where people couldn't even figure out where we were from. With the popularity of The Sopranos, I think that's a good thing! In Keysville, we have run into quite a few people from our area of NJ. When we ate lunch in Farmville, the young waitress had us pegged right away. She was from Manasquan, which is about 15 minutes from our house. Her parents moved there when she was in grade school. She said she loved growing up in that area.

    We're still, obviously, in the very early stages of planning. DH always said we'd be out before the kids got to kindergarten (he said this while I was still pregnant). Well, DD will be 3 this month. Not much longer to go.
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,663
    Ack! Blasphemy!

    There's nothing worse, down here, than being called a Yankee. (speaking just for myself in my limited experience, not trying to start a battle this early on in the week... ) A similar insult in VA would be telling someone that they seem as if they're from West Virginia. (Truly, no offense to WVA meant, it's just Virginia's weird persona) Gasp! I firmly believe that I'm a southern girl - after all, I grew up in the Capitol of the Confederacy. (Did I mention that the war is not yet over?)

    People are funny no matter where you are. I've lived in VA, NC, NY and Mass (oh yeah, and SC, sigh). People are pretty much the same no matter where you go, so it seems silly to pigeonhole. I truly think that the difference comes depending on whether you're in a small town versus an urban area. Urban areas attract more people who aren't natives, and it's easier to fit in if you're not from there. Smaller towns tend to be more a closed system and harder to break into.

    I believe that if you're warm and friendly and a nice person, you'll do fine anywhere, but that moving to a small town (and I don't think any of the towns you're considering are all that small) may make it a smidge more difficult to fit in.

    After moving here, and working in a teenie tiny small town (not HHI, but outside of HHI), I would never personally move to a small town. (Just me, my opinion) The particular town that I work in is stifling - everyone knows everyone, everyone is related to everyone, you're judged according to your "people", and it's ridiculously hard to even get a toe in the door here. Oy.

    That's why I liked Richmond - it was a city, had many job options, wasn't a huge city, but had lots of neat little historic areas, fun restaurants and a pretty good music scene, and affordable housing in the suburbs.



    Leah
    "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads VA
    Posts
    8,067
    I'll chime in - I live in Norfolk and have family that live in the DC area and also in Appomattox. If I had my druthers I'd go for just about anywhere between Farmville and Lynchburg. My parents live in Appomattox and I love to visit (and they love living there having only lived there for about 6 years now). It's got a lot going for it - about 2,000 in the city proper and 12,000 in the county. They are about 25-30 minutes from both Farmville and Lynchburg and about an hour from Richmond. Really can't beat the pace or the cost of living. It's fairly rural but still has enough city things either in town or close by to make it a nice place to live.

    Just my $0.02 and I hope that helps you keep your eye on Southern Virginia.

    'nother subject - I have also heard the same thing about being called a Yankee in NC if you are from any place north of the NC/VA border. Like Leah said (sort of) it's hard to convince them that Richmond VA was the capital of the Confederacy. But then...

    Les
    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut. 31:6 (NIV)

    Reflections on life and spirituality can be found at https://revles.wordpress.com

    Visit my new ministry site: St. John's Episcopal church, Suffolk VA.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    Les, thanks. DH actually has a friend in Appomatox. DH used to work with the guy. He and his wife met us in VA last year for the annual picnic. All the property owners in our little community get together for the picnic each year, although last year was the first year we could attend! Appomatox is probably 30 minutes from us, not sure exactly which direction.

    I think our two main concerns are:

    Finding jobs (ideally I will work part time)
    Decent education for the kids.

    I hear that the Charlotte County schools are the best in the state. I can't verify this since I have nothing to base it on, but several people in the area have told us so and I see that the schools received national recognition recently- though the website wasn't working properly so I couldn't see exactly what they were talking about!
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,925
    Originally posted by MrsReber
    I hear that the Charlotte County schools are the best in the state. I can't verify this since I have nothing to base it on, but several people in the area have told us so and I see that the schools received national recognition recently- though the website wasn't working properly so I couldn't see exactly what they were talking about!
    Hey (in a fake indignant voice) - I happen to think that Loudoun County schools are the best!!

    Out of curiosity, what website were you looking at? I'd be interested to know what indicators they were using. You probably want to look at more that standardized test scores- you want to see student-teacher ratios, graduation rates, enrollment in AP classes, opportunities for gifted or special education, extracurricular activities, etc.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    Posts
    8,782
    This is from a real estate website (davenport-realty.com) so, of course, they want to paint a pretty picture. However, DH and I stayed in a B&B in Farmville. The owner was a retired teacher who taught at the local college. He said that all of his best students came from Charlotte County. I don't know why.


    Charlotte County schools have achieved state
    and national recognition. Eureka Elementary
    School was featured on the NBC Today Show
    as a leading example of multimedia educational
    technology. The high school students run
    Statesmen Computers, one of the nation's first...


    Sorry, I was pasting and I lost the tail end of that. It was a classroom based computer manufacturing operation of sorts.
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Near my friends.
    Posts
    8,930
    (Did I mention that the war is not yet over?)
    Most of us accept that the war has ended, but I am telling you this, there are people from Charleston, Savannah and Cities of the like, who are still upset over what happened during the Civil War. My friend was talking and when she started discussing it, she became visably upset. The war is still very near and dear to their hearts, and they feel that the North did not have to come and do the damage that they did. They took and still take it very personally.

    Now back to the regularly scheduled thread.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  27. #27
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    408
    Those people in NC probably weren't trying to be rude--they probably couldn't understand you. Just kidding--I have lived all my life in NC and (mostly) Virginia. My in-laws (after 27 years) still make fun of my accent, which I think is gone (They are from Ohio).

    I have lived in Culpeper, South Hill (Mecklenburg County, an hour east of South Boston), and Richmond. I love Richmond, but if you are looking for rural, this is not it. Traffic is not that bad here though and it doesn't take long to get to rural. My children attend (and attended) the Richmond Public Schools. Some people think we are crazy, but what they missed in academics they made up for in life lessons. It's all about choices. I really do not know a lot about the Charlotte County schools but would be wary of that report. I will ask DH tonight and post on that later. He works in Powhatan County schools--and has worked in Hopewell city, Richmond city, Chesterfield County, and Henrico County also.

    I also lived in Appomattox for a short while as a child. DH serves on a board that meets in Lynchburg and DD has looked at Lynchburg College. I think that it is a neat small city. The in-laws live in Charlottesville now and they love it. The only draw back there is cost-of-living, but coming from NJ, that probably won't faze you.

    Just for the record, older DH goes to college in Greensboro, NC. She loves it there. I think you will love Virginia--whereever you choose to settle.
    Michele

    Garnett had long known. . . that God's world and the better part of daily life were full of mysteries known only to women.
    --from "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    In front of my computer
    Posts
    4,130
    The Sherman/Grant team are my favorite Generals of all time.

    --Sherman is famous for his unopposed march to the sea--burning a mile-wide path through the heart of the south, and pillaging/destroying everything in his way.

    Sherman was able to march unopposed because Grant was willing to engage the bulk of the Confederate Army...

    --Grant is more famous for his willingness to put his troops in harms way. He understood that to win the war, you had to fight, and to him a 50/50 casualty ratio was acceptable, because he knew he had more men, supplies, and money than his opponent...and history certainly proves him right.

    Both these men knew that war is cruel, mean, viscious, dirty and treacherous....and both knew that the fastest way to end it is to utterly annihililate the opposition.... relative losses or public opinion be damned, total victory is the only acceptable outcome.

    With that said, I think that the southerners were on the morally correct side (State's rights should take precedence over Federal rights). To say the war was about "Slavery" is to miss the forest for the trees.....
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

  29. #29
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    408
    That's older DD living in Greensboro--oops!

    The word here is that Charlotte County schools good. Probably not the ringing endorsement you heard from the realtor, but not bad.
    Michele

    Garnett had long known. . . that God's world and the better part of daily life were full of mysteries known only to women.
    --from "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    1,286
    Hi Susan,

    I haven't had the chance to read all the posts. I have lived in NoVA, which you probably do not want to live in. We moved from there, but kept our house thinking we would move back. We are now in Charlottesville and in love with it. I am not sure that we will go back to NoVA, but I would not be sad if we didn't. The things I miss about NoVA is the diversity, more events and things to do, my family, friends, etc. I don't miss the traffic, the cost of living, the crazy housing market, etc. Now, Charlottesville was recently ranked #1 place to live, so we will see what happens in the future, but it really is a great place. It is so beautiful here...and I love living in a college town.

    I hope you find a place you love!
    Anita

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •