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Old 06-03-2010, 12:28 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,607 times
Reputation: 15

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Greetings,

I just spent the better part of a year planning my move to Charleston, SC from overseas. We even had a home site picked out and was in the process of closing. Then today, I got the job offer, it was in Norfolk instead.

So, I spent the better part of two years researching Charleston and had a good feel for it, mostly from reading the posts in their forum and a few visits. I don't have much time to make my decision, and I am not finding a lot of information in the Hampton forum to help me decide. I have been to the area several times, and it seemed nice. According to the myspot survey, Norfolk should be our number one choice.

I must now do the only intelligent thing, I will leave the decision up to you good netizens. Should I take the job and move to the Hampton area? Where should I live? Where will I get my haircut? All of this will be left entirely up to you, the great faceless rabble of the Internets. This is your chance to decide the fate and destiny of a 40 year old couple, who like motorcycling and a little refined partying as well as good seafood.

Have at it, I have two days to decide.

Thanks in advance

JB
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Norfolk
37 posts, read 75,260 times
Reputation: 18
Okay then...you didn't mention children-so I'll leave schools out of the equation-I'm not qualified there anyway-no kids-

I would definitely focus on Norfolk-having lived in all the hampton roads cities-except Portsmouth-I feel Norfolk has the best thing going. There are areas you'll want to avoid of course-what city doesn't? But overall my wife and I enjoy it immensely.

There are areas that do suffer some jet noise either from NAS Norfolk or Norfolk International-but it is nothing compared to Virginia Beach-even in the low to no noise zones you will hear it there-having lived in Va Beach-even in a no noise zone-I speak from experience.

I would say to focus your search around the Broad Creek/River Forrest sections of the city-which also happens to be where we live-older brick homes built like fallout shelters (ours was built in '52). Established neighborhood, quick and easy to just about anywhere you need to go.

Since you will be working in Norfolk I strongly urge you not to consider Hampton/Newport News and Portsmouth-you will go mad trying to get thru the tunnels!

If you need expansion on anything feel free to shoot me a message! Hope this helped a little...
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:03 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,120,264 times
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^^^^ good advice.

Need more info to give a complete answer, where are you moving from? Do you want an urban or suburban environment? Do you expect to use mass transit or drive? What kind of income will you have (not to pry)?

Norfolk can be a cool area, if you work there you probably want to live there because of all of the tunnels and water surrounding it (traffic can suck). There are places to ride out to the west with smooth roads and no traffic but it is pretty flat and a lot of farm land. It is at least 3hrs to start to get into the mountains. Seafood is plentiful in the area and nightlife for an older couple is probably adequate.

Last edited by UHgrad; 06-03-2010 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:53 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,607 times
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Thanks for the input Thomas and UHgrad. I am feeling better about this already. To answer a few of the questions, I was born and raised in Alabama, my wife in New Mexico. We lived the 25 years prior to 2006 in New Mexico, and the last four years in Germany near Frankfurt.

The aircraft noise would not bother us too much, we lived the past couple years in the flight path of Frankfurt International. I think we are most comfortable living suburban, but near a fair amount of action. We like to visit the city, partake in urban culture and then retreat to our own little area.

I am a network engineer and will be working for the Federal Government. I think our household income will be between 80 and 120K. I am okay with mass transit, do like to drive, and would probably rather ride my motorcycle. I did hate riding my bike here in Europe, thought I would love it but not so much. Too dangerous and frenetic here.

My ideal house is big enough to have a photo studio/office and a lot large enough to build an extra garage. I also need a place for a very large wood burning grill and smoker. When we find a place we'll invite you all out for a barbecue.

Thanks again for the advice and any information you may have to offer.

JB
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Va Beach
3,508 posts, read 11,904,302 times
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You are older than most, so I will say Virginia Beach, near Mt. Trashmore on Edwin St. area. Quiet, nice place to live and versatile if you like to walk, jog and enjoy nature. My second recommendation is Sandbridge. A drive to Norfolk, but pleasant area when you aren't at work.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:40 PM
 
23,931 posts, read 31,151,810 times
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I'd say Chesapeake - in the Great Bridge area near the bypass. Easy quick access to Norfolk, but away from the crime and gridlock traffic in Norfolk. The beach is a straight shot with no traffic at all. Lots are larger here as well.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:40 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,120,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I'd say Chesapeake - in the Great Bridge area near the bypass. Easy quick access to Norfolk, but away from the crime and gridlock traffic in Norfolk. The beach is a straight shot with no traffic at all. Lots are larger here as well.
Given what he said I would tend to agree with this. I grew up in the crestwood area in chesapeake and it is only about 10-15 minutes to downtown norfolk (waterside/mcarthur area) if you take 464. It is definitely the suburbs, there is nothing going on in Chesapeake in terms of night life but there are a lot of nice, quiet, safe suburbs that you should be able to easily afford with your salary adn with the bypass, I64, and I464 right there you can get to norfolk, VB, or out in the sticks pretty quick. The area lacks parks, there really aren't many to speak of. It is a trade-off I guess.

Other areas suggested like Broad Creek, Freemason, or central VB near mt trashmore are also good areas in my opinion. The only downside of central VB is traffic and houses cost a little more, but you are closer to the ocean and have more access to parks and trails so it is a trade off... plus with your salary you should be fine. Norfolk may not afford you the large lot that you desire but you are closer to things so that is a trade off as well.

Since you aren't coming from a big city and don't seem overly concerned with trendy nightlife and "culture" I will not get into a lot of details but I will give you the standard warning about the area... the area for the most part is a suburb that caters towards military, government contractors, and tourism so take that for what it is worth. Norfolk is improving rapidly, but there is not much "urban" life to speak of. There are some good museums (nauticus, chrysler, living museum, Aquarium) and some culture (harrison opera house, scope, fine arts center) but it is not NYC by any stretch. Not sure if that matters to you but I figured it is worth pointing out before someone else does in a slightly less diplomatic way.

Last edited by UHgrad; 06-03-2010 at 11:16 PM..
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Norfolk
37 posts, read 75,260 times
Reputation: 18
I have to agree about the lot sizes-Chesapeake and southern Va Beach will have more to offer with that-some of the older neighborhoods like Edwin Drive in Va Beach will have decent size lots-my neighborhood in Broad Creek is unique in Norfolk-my lot is 125x150. The older neighborhoods will offer larger lots as compared to the newer ones-which are mostly built using 'zero clearance' guidelines-barely enough room to walk between two houses-
I just looked at Google Earth-seems they have updated imagery-now April '10-you might want to check that out-it will give you an idea how the area is laid out.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 8,768,082 times
Reputation: 2530
I would say, its not a terrible area if your job is providing you amble income to live here. If you are getting 80k plus, I say go for it. If not, I might consider other options.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 8,768,082 times
Reputation: 2530
Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
Given what he said I would tend to agree with this. I grew up in the crestwood area in chesapeake and it is only about 10-15 minutes to downtown norfolk (waterside/mcarthur area)

If hes working for the feds, my guess is he may be closer to Little Creek or the Naval Base, which would actually make some of the big lotted properties in Virginia Beach comparitable in distance and time.
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