Moving to Roanoke, VA (Chesapeake, Franklin: low crime, neighborhood, buying)
Roanoke areaRoanoke - Salem area
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I left Roanoke after college(about 25 years ago) and moved to Washington, DC. Many of my pals moved to places such as Richmond, Charlotte and beyond. Now that I am nearing retirement age, I find Roanoke to be a perfect fit for my needs. It has all of the amenities of much larger cities such as shopping, theatre, opera, art, etc but one doesn't need to fight traffic to some far flung area. It has become much more cosmopolitan. In Washington I had Vietnamese neighbors, in Roanoke I have Hispanic, Chinese and Korean!
Also, one can travel from one end of town to the other in about 45 minutes(depending on traffic). I understand the Smith Mountain Lake area(south of Roanoke) is attracting many "upscale" baby boomers who have money to spend in the area. The New River Valley(next door to Roanoke) has evolved into an important research center with many "brainiacs" with high incomes.
The City of Roanoke has become a magnet for the arts, with a new $70 million futuristic art museum under construction. It is hoped Roanoke will attract world art recognition. Even D.C. can't build an art museum of such a calibre!! Anyway, I am very pleased with my hometowns' progress in 25 years!!
Having visit Roanoke in the summer of '05, I was impressed with the layout and friendliness of the people there. My wife & I are considering relocating to this area in a few years, and I'm hoping to convince the owner of the company I work for to move there too! (small electronics manufacturer).
One thing I have noticed in reseaching the real estate web sites is a lack of garages on homes in the city itself. Am I missing something here? Or are carports the norm? I am not looking for the large mansion on the hill to purchase, just something large enough, with room for visitors.
Also, besides SML, are there many areas close by to put in a canoe? Upstate New York has an abundance of water to paddle on, and we are kinda spoiled. (I assume SML isn't really decent canoe water anyway).
Been looking at Blueridge and Vinton, and others near the BRP. Coming from a city twice the size of Roanoke, I don't anticipate much trouble getting around. We like the urban lifestyle in small cities, and don't need to be isolated from our neighbors so much.
If you're looking at the city, a lot of the houses are driveway/carport only unless you buy a home built in the last 15 years. In the Vinton area you may encounter the same problem but it does have several newer neighborhoods to choose from, but you will pay for them. Blueridge is a little more rural than you may be bargaining for it you're looking for a city lifestyle but the houses on average are probably newer with slightly more land.
You mentioned canoeing and also the Blue Ridge pkwy.... Around Roanoke you may be limited to Carvin's Cove or the north fork of the Roanoke River for Canoeing waters. If you go a little farther up the BRP, to Rt. 130 in Amherst Co. you'll find the James & Maury rivers (specifically at Glasgow or Buena Vista). Excellent for light rafting/canoeing!
Thanks jballa for the reply. I suspected the carport thing was standard in this area. I'm not sure that would be a deal breaker regarding us moving there... and I'm not sure I want to spend big bucks on too new a house just to get a garage! I guess I'll just keep looking and researching online.
Keep in mind I am born and raised in Buffalo NY. I do know this area.
My wife and I plan on moving to Roanoke the summer of 08' after our son graduates.
We had visited Roanoke this past summer and found the people to be no worse than anywhere else I have lived.
Snow and wind? We're talking Buffalo NY, you have no idea what real snow is like. Well except for Upstate Dave, he knows.
Traffic? I-81 needs a couple more lanes.
Up/down hills? - I live on hill. No problem. I like hills. Better yet, mountains!
Jobs? Try finding a job in WNY where plants/schools/hospitals are closing faster than you can change your underware.
Housing? House pricing is dropping here and I may loose money on my house. I did buy my home at a bargin 10 years ago. To not recieve a profit on this investment of 10 years is a crime.
Just to give you an idea. My home is in very good condition (I am a carpenter by trade) The assesed value was $150,000 now the assesed value is $113,000. Housing is not a good investment in WNY. Affordable yes but plan on loosing your butt when your ready to move.
The most important reason I'm leaving NYS. Politics. This state is the state of ever increasing taxes. Just check some factoids.
Over all I say Roanoke has a good thing going and I cannot wait to get there!
Less snow than here means a shorter winter for me. 7 months of winter is 4 months to long.
We in WNY have the following seasons, (Winter-Construction-Winter) That's about it!
Keep in mind Construction season is only 5 months.
I would like to stay up to date with your plans and such regarding your move to Roanoke. I couldn't agree more with your reasons to relocate south. Yes... housing here is reletively stable and cheap, but values have dropped in some areas, like in Buffalo.
Regarding any attitudes in a new area... nice folks and real jerks everywhere... I don't look for problems and can learn to get along with most anyone. Upstate New Yorkers are really not so different than folks in the south.
With your skills, I think you'll find work easily, since it looks like a construction boon is happening in Roanoke.
My wife & I are looking maybe at leaving NY by '09 or '10...(I know, why start talking about it now? But some dreams take lots of time to ferment...)
We started thinking of moving out of NYS about 10 years ago.
Well; I have had enough of the BS with the State/County/Local politics, the never ending taxes and lack of leadership in NYS. Leadership that is needed to move WNY forward, will not be found in my lifetime and I will not wait for that leadership.
I look to retire in 20 years and most of my income goes to support government workers unions, teachers unions and welfare recipients.
FYI for Virgina land owners. I own a 2000sqft home on less than 3 acres of land. Located near a ski resort and my annual property taxes, including school taxes exceed $5,000. Now include the taxes you pay on almost every item you purchase, sales tax of 8.75%, leaves very little for me to put away for retirement.
Wages in WNY are not that great unless you are in a union and around 24% of the NYS labor force belongs to a government union. Our largest employer.
Not good. Not good at all.
Hell our whole economy is dependent upon tax dollars for projects and bail- outs for county and city governments.
I am certain Dave is aware of all this.
We like the fact that Roanoke is only 9 hours from Buffalo and we can get back in a days drive when we need or choose to return for visits.
There are far more positives to Roanoke than exist in WNY.
A forward moving economy is just one positive and a very important one at that.
Hope to see ya there Dave.
I do enjoy all the outdoor activities.
A great place to stay when you go down is Sherando Lake outside of Lexington off I-81 and near the Parkway. Excellent National forest Campground and I have stayed at many national sites and this is the best by far.
I gotta ask where your disdain for Roanoke comes from. I've seen a few posts where you bash the city a bunch, and I'd like to find out what specifically you don't like about the place.
I don't live there, but I am planning to move there in the next year or two. I just wonder if it's really as bad a place as you say or if you and I just want different things from a town/region. (for ex: you might hate the fact that it snows in Roanoke while I hate the fact that the coast gets no snow at all)
Just curious. Some specifics about the place would help a lot. Thanks.
Actually, if you can stay a little north of Roanoke you might be better. Lexington and Buena Vista are really nice. I went to college in that area-I would like to move there myself.
LHardy, My wife and I have lived in Fincastle (just outside of Roanoke) a little over a year now and we love it. The people are laid back and nice. There's a running joke in the area about Yankees you might find interesting: "You know what the difference is between a Yankee and a Dam Yankee? A Yankee comes to visit and leaves... a Dam Yankee visits and then moves in!"
Also keep in mind this is the Bible belt. If you're not from the right religion (namely, Baptist), they will look down on you a bit. To give you an idea: I'm a Seventh-day Adventist and our church got a new convert from a local Baptist Church. The Baptist preacher who lost one of his "flock" then told his congregation to "keep away from those Adventists because they do animal sacrifices" (Adventists don't and never have). I've lived in alot of different places and people could care less what religion I'm with, but around here they do care. Overall they are a nice bunch but they aren't without their prejudices and bigotry.
Lastly, even though you are a Carpenter, housing has slowed down around here. I would definately do a little research first before moving down to make sure there is plenty of work. There's an old saying I like... "You get what you inspect, not what you expect". As an Accountant, I would also suggest you keep at least six months (preferably one year) cash reserve on hand to weather any tough times that might come your way. Best of luck in your move and thanks for all the interesting information you posted about Western NY. I'll be sure to never move there!!
Thanks for the input.
I don't do religious wars within the Christian community.
I figure if your that immature in spirit there still is a long way for you to go.
I am a carpenter by trade.
By profession; I am an Industry Sales Rep.
So if anyone you know is in the market for a highly qualified sales rep within the Residential industry.
Have them send a PM.
Housing is always up and down and is market specific.
Roanoke is the Hub to future development.
Housing will stabilize to slow the economy while in a lame duck Executive Office and change in authority. Kind of like a time out for the big kids.
The mid Atlantic is looking very favorable for the masses coming down from the north to escape the Democrat party controls of the North East.
Under proper management Virgina will do very well. North Carolina is full and
many from the North East are looking south or north west.
These people are going to raise families and establish new state ties based on the masses that have already established themselves in North Carolina.
Virgina has top ten Academies of excellence.
Besides there is a town there after my name.
My daughter and her family are down there now.
Grandma sez it's time to be down there to be with her first grand-baby!
Which would leave me free to:
Live outside the watchful eye of a Fascist state.
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