Need some help/info about Charlottesville... (Arlington, Tysons Corner: apartments, for rent, how much)
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I skimmed over some of the other threads and did receive some useful info.
I am relocation back to the US from Baghdad in the next month or so and recently was given an offer in Charlottesville and Tyson's Corner Virginia. I have been trying to compare the two and see what would be in my best interest.
I'm a 25 year old male that was offered 86k to work in C'ville. I'm single and am looking to rent an apartment my first year there and maybe purchase a house the following year. I don't need anything to glamorous, and would like to stay within' my means but would like to rent something nice and convenient. I have a lot of questions, some of which were answered in other threads.
I'm curious what the cost of living is for the average family in Charlottesville? What are the demographics for the dominant age group in the area minus the students at UVA?? What kind of city is C'Ville? Is there a decent social/night life??? What I mean is, are there places to go for locals who are in their mid-twenties and don't have to deal with the young college riff-raff??? How much of the campus takes up the city?? Also what is a good place to rent an apartment, any suggestions, specifically something you think I could afford with my offer?? What is the dominant political stance in the area?? How liberal, how conservative, etc etc..
I really do appreciate any time and attention anyone takes to read and respond to my post. Thank You.
Unfortunately I will not be of much help, since I'm not living in Charlottesville yet ... just trying to get there from TX! Other than bookmarking this site, I also bookmarked ReadTheHook dot com ... it is the city's alternative weekly paper. The 'headlines' on the site are updated regularly, and it is informative to check in there occassionally to find out about what issues people are talking about ... and to read ppl's comments on the articles. Plus, I really like the tone of the paper. Have you visited? My husband and I did in the fall and LOVED it immediately. We have two young kids, so our situation is different than yours. Based on what we saw, I would think that your salary being a single guy would allow you to live very comfortably. There are tons of bars/restaurants on the mall and in the corner ... when we went, we did not at all feel like we were surrounded by college kids. I've lived in several places (chicago, south beach, tempe, NYC, alexandria ...) Charlottesville seems to me to be very well-rounded. Also ... on this website I learned of a group called Charlottesville Sports Club .. or Outdoors club ... something like that. The group organizes outings, and it seems to draw not just college students but ppl of all ages. That might interest you. So I'm just kind of rambling off the top of my head, so at least ONE person replies to your post!
Well, I don't think i can be a whole lot of help except to give my first impressions of Charlottesville. My husband and I went there for five days in April. We flew into Dulles airport and drove, we've never even been to Virginia before and I must say I had no idea Virginia was so beautiful! Everywhere we went was beautiful. As far as the city itself , on first impression I liked the Pantops area. Outside of the city, Highway 20, or Stony Point north was gorgeous. From what I could tell it seemed like the college was from downtown to highway 29(but not sure), it seemed fairly compact. I've always heard Charlottesville is the most liberal area of the state, surrounding suburbs somewhat more conservative. There seemed to be a lot of people in 20's and 30's age group upon impression. Again, this was our first time there so maybe a local would be more accurate. We went there to see if we would like it enough to move there, and we loved it!
I could go on and on about the positives, didn't really have any negative impressions except maybe that the traffic was a little worse than expected but moved smoothly, except we got honked at a couple of times at yellow lights, I think you're not supposed to slow down, just run them. Also, there's no Sak's there, darnit. One other thing there that I did notice, and I hope I don't offend, but there seemed to be somewhat of a rough element at the Downtown Mall, may just be a wrong first impression, since I was only there a short time. All in all, loved it and nothing bad enough to stop us from moving there.
Sounds like heck of an offer. For Charlottesville, that's really good! There are two main spots for night life in Charlottesville - the Corner (near UVA) and Downtown. There are also a few spots in between. In general, it's a small town, but quality of life here is superb. Some of the popular night spots: X-Lounge, Miller's, Orbitz, Blue Light Grill, Ten, Outback Lodge, Gravity Lounge, Rapture, etc. You will find a very diverse and eclectic music scene. A lot of "night life" is about seeing a show or a great local music group Gravity Lounge is especially cool with very comfortable atmosphere.
My impression is most of the downtown area is pretty liberal where the outskirts of town and surrounding counties are more on the conservative side.
Apartments to rent: well...this all depends on where you work. If you get a job up 29North - There are some 3/4 bedroom townhomes with 2 car garages for rent for about $1,600. Forest Lakes is up on 29 North. South of town Lakeside is popular with 20 somethings, Villas at Southern Ridge, etc. There are occasionally cool places to rent right downtown - which could be convenient if you work there.
There is no escaping the UVA influence in town - but that also creates great opportunity for further study, sports, music, etc. Hope this helps. I'd be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
Its all in what you're looking for in a town but at first glance being that you're younger and single - Tysons may offer you more of a metropolitan scene (if you will) with access to Arlington, DC, etc. Northern VA also has a plethora of jobs but with that comes a higher cost of living, more traffic, etc. C'ville is a nice casual college town with a cute downtown area with bars, restuarants, etc. But thats about it... for miles. The cost of living is lower in C'Ville so your 80K will go further (at least further than if you had a similar offer in NoVA).
Hope that helps with a start to compare the two and its totally my opinion. I have lived in NoVA for 20+ years and have only visited C'Ville so I may be off in my assumptions.
I personally think the Tysons Corner (Northern VA) area would be better suited for a young single guy. The cost of living is much higher but your salary will be enough to off-set the high cost. It all depends on whether you want to deal with the higher cost of living, heavy traffic/longer commutes to work etc. Northern VA/DC area has a lot more to offer a young single person as far as the social scene. If you are more laid back and like a smaller town then C'ville would be a good choice.
I work in Tyson's corner. My girlfriend lives in Charlottesville and I go down there 2 to 3 weekends a month.
Honestly, I would rather live in Charlottesville. It is just a much nicer place to live. There is less traffic, there are more things to do during most of the year it being a college town, there are always concerts going on there, there is a great music scene there. The homes are nicer and cheaper there.
I love to visit Manhattan but I wouldn't want to live there.
In the same vain, I love to visit DC, but I couldn't make a permanent home there. Especially since to me it seems such a cold, concrete, preservation
showplace. Please, I am NOT trying to insult, I have many friends who make the DC area their home--and quite happily. It's just too crazy to drive around, too built up and tight. And quite honestly, for less money and a much better quality of life, I can live in C'ville and go visit anytime I want.
I haven't spent nearly enough time in and around DC, yet. So all this probably comes biased from years living in the very small, provincial city of Boston, I don't know. So take it for what it's worth--an opinion, and you know about THOSE. I did my research when I recently relocated, and I looked countrywide, any place was game. And you know? I ended up here and am glad I did. But I'm an old fart with a wife and 2 children. I wasn't looking for necessarily the same things.
Interesting, though, if you ask people what claim to fame Tysons Corner has They'll tell you about the mall there. Ask someone about Charlottesville and they'll usually have quite a lot to say--and 9 times out of 10, favorable things, I think.
Look into the various activities and happenings around C'ville. Charlottesville has quite a night life and quite a young crowd 'cause of the university. There's also a stong art and music scene. And consider the history, the geography, the horses and farms, and the winerys. God, I sound like the Chamber of Commerce president.
I don't regret my years in New England, but boy, I wish I HAD found Charlottesville 25 years ago! Good luck on your search. Let me know if I can bore you further with my opinions!
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