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Old 01-19-2012, 01:36 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,154,225 times
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Hi. We are seeking a new home (ie. more affordable than Seattle, on the East Coast, state w/ good colleges), and VA is one of our top choices.

Richmond appeals to us b/c it has access to history and culture. We desire to live in an urban setting, something walkable w/ lots of independent shops, not the suburbs. However, we also need a safe area w/ good schools in which to raise our kids. Is there a safe and educated neighborhood located within Richmond?

Thank you!

Also, any photos/videos of local communities would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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The Near West End is a fabulous neighborhood. The area feeds into Mary Munford Elementary school which is a great school. (the 23221 zip code) Older homes, but not too old. Bigger lots. Walkable to Carytown. The problem is what to do after elementary school. The middle schools in the city are "iffy" at best and the high schools are not even an option. (Unless you're talking about Maggie Walker which is a hard governors school to get into.) Most people go the private route after elementary school. Actually a lot of people go private the whole way, but many people live near Mary Munford just because of that school.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,717 posts, read 3,915,211 times
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There's a photo thread at the top of the Richmond forum... you should check it out.

The Fan and Museum Districts meet the description of what you desire...and they are walking distance to Carytown. Elementary School's are usually fine... Richmond is challenging once kids reach middle school age unless you want to do private school.

I also shared this link on the Fan a couple weeks ago...
Richmond's Historic Fan District
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
2,436 posts, read 5,391,887 times
Reputation: 1443
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowGirl View Post
The Near West End is a fabulous neighborhood. The area feeds into Mary Munford Elementary school which is a great school. (the 23221 zip code) Older homes, but not too old. Bigger lots. Walkable to Carytown. The problem is what to do after elementary school. The middle schools in the city are "iffy" at best and the high schools are not even an option. (Unless you're talking about Maggie Walker which is a hard governors school to get into.) Most people go the private route after elementary school. Actually a lot of people go private the whole way, but many people live near Mary Munford just because of that school.
Agree completely.

SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools

All kinds of good data on schools in the state.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,717 posts, read 3,915,211 times
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Hey OP, you asked about a video - here's a few that give you a feel of Richmond:


"Greater Richmond: Come and Stay" - YouTube


River City (Richmond, VA) - YouTube
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:14 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,154,225 times
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Man, love those videos. Do people really go white water rafting right through or near the city? Is there tons for children to do? Is Richmond really that cool???

What about local jobs -- my husband is an electrical engineer, but refuses to work for anything remotely related to the military (including aircraft). He prefers manufacturing companies for electronics, medical devices, etc... And I'm an RN, soon to be nurse practitioner. What are our odds of finding jobs, and approx what kind of pay (if anyone knows)? Do you know anything about openings for NPs in public health, HIV/TB, refugee care, etc (my preferred area of work)?

Finally, I noticed that the video said that the "greater Richmond" schools are award winning, but it seems the in-city schools have problems -- would we really regret putting our two young children into local urban schools? It seems like schools are the big problem, for we can't afford 80K/child just for high school (would rather save up for college). I guess for most middle-class residents, the only real affordable choice is suburbia (yuck for us, no matter how big the house).

Any other info much welcome...
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
2,436 posts, read 5,391,887 times
Reputation: 1443
Quote:
Originally Posted by west seattle gal View Post
Man, love those videos. Do people really go white water rafting right through or near the city? Is there tons for children to do? Is Richmond really that cool???

What about local jobs -- my husband is an electrical engineer, but refuses to work for anything remotely related to the military (including aircraft). He prefers manufacturing companies for electronics, medical devices, etc... And I'm an RN, soon to be nurse practitioner. What are our odds of finding jobs, and approx what kind of pay (if anyone knows)? Do you know anything about openings for NPs in public health, HIV/TB, refugee care, etc (my preferred area of work)?

Finally, I noticed that the video said that the "greater Richmond" schools are award winning, but it seems the in-city schools have problems -- would we really regret putting our two young children into local urban schools? It seems like schools are the big problem, for we can't afford 80K/child just for high school (would rather save up for college). I guess for most middle-class residents, the only real affordable choice is suburbia (yuck for us, no matter how big the house).

Any other info much welcome...
City of Richmond schools after elementary school are a mess. You might be able to live in the Near West End and have County of Henrico schools and not feel like you are living in suburbia. The award winning schools, though, are mostly in the middle/upper-middle class suburbs of Richmond (Midlothian, Mechanicsville, and Short Pump) surrounded mainly by cookie cutter subdivisions.

Have you considered Raleigh? Inside the Beltline sounds like it might offer more of what you are looking for.

Last edited by sls76; 01-20-2012 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,717 posts, read 3,915,211 times
Reputation: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by west seattle gal View Post
Man, love those videos. Do people really go white water rafting right through or near the city? Is there tons for children to do? Is Richmond really that cool???

What about local jobs -- my husband is an electrical engineer, but refuses to work for anything remotely related to the military (including aircraft). He prefers manufacturing companies for electronics, medical devices, etc... And I'm an RN, soon to be nurse practitioner. What are our odds of finding jobs, and approx what kind of pay (if anyone knows)? Do you know anything about openings for NPs in public health, HIV/TB, refugee care, etc (my preferred area of work)?

Finally, I noticed that the video said that the "greater Richmond" schools are award winning, but it seems the in-city schools have problems -- would we really regret putting our two young children into local urban schools? It seems like schools are the big problem, for we can't afford 80K/child just for high school (would rather save up for college). I guess for most middle-class residents, the only real affordable choice is suburbia (yuck for us, no matter how big the house).

Any other info much welcome...
Yes, people really whitewater raft through the City and right by downtown (kayaking is popular too, and just saw a photo of someone paddle boarding down the James). For really good whitewater rafting though, you need to head to the mountains (1-3 hrs away).

Can't speak on the engineering jobs but my wife is in nursing and I can't imagine you would have an issue finding a job. VCU Health System, Bon Secours, and HCA are the three major healthcare groups in town.

Middle School and High School are tough in the City, unfortunately. If your kids are high achievers they can get into specialty schools, but that's not a guarantee. There are places like Bon Air and Westham which are close to the City and still have some charm. Further out and it's generally vinyl suburbia.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
2,436 posts, read 5,391,887 times
Reputation: 1443
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
Middle School and High School are tough in the City, unfortunately. If your kids are high achievers they can get into specialty schools, but that's not a guarantee. There are places like Bon Air and Westham which are close to the City and still have some charm. Further out and it's generally vinyl suburbia.

Hey! We have plenty of brick fronts and fiber cement siding too!

Bon Air is a very nice option.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,554 posts, read 1,880,309 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by west seattle gal View Post
Finally, I noticed that the video said that the "greater Richmond" schools are award winning, but it seems the in-city schools have problems -- would we really regret putting our two young children into local urban schools? It seems like schools are the big problem, for we can't afford 80K/child just for high school (would rather save up for college). I guess for most middle-class residents, the only real affordable choice is suburbia (yuck for us, no matter how big the house).

Any other info much welcome...
Yes, you would probably regret it. High schools in Richmond have serious problems unless you can get into one of the specialty schools, and that's not at all certain. You can either have the "walk to all stuff, buying organic groceries, I'm a city dweller feeling" in places like the fan, or live in the suburbs and have good schools.

You don't automatically get it both ways in any large city I am aware of. There's a reason "cookie cutter" subdivisions sell, and it's not because people that move there have no souls or are uncultured louts or actively want to live away from the "excitement": it's because it's affordable, relatively safe, usually have better school systems, and for the cost, the quality is acceptable (go ahead, spend half a million for a Fan townhouse that is half the size and has serious structural problems: I'll save my money, thanks).
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