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Old 10-08-2008, 07:09 AM
 
38 posts, read 77,810 times
Reputation: 11
Default Roanoke or Lynchburg

Morning Everyone,

We (me, my wife and 21month old) are looking to relocate within 12-18 months, depending on the housing market. I know I know it might be longer than 18 months. We are in North Florida (Ocala) so we are not as badly hurt as the rest of the state. Anyway, I am trying to decide between (in Virginia) Roanoke and Lynchburg. Safety and Great schools are top of the list but a couple of other things to cosider are: my wife wants new construction and nice shopping areas even if we have to drive an hour or so to shop. I would be happy just sitting on my porch watching the leaves change in the fall.
I saw some info on the city of Roanoke website about revitlizing the downtown which looks great. So how is that progressing?

Also, how is it driving in the winter? It will be our first crack at driving in winter out of Florida.

I have so many questions but I do not want to be the new guy flooding the board at once with miles of questions. We hope to visit sometime soon.

Thanks to all,
Tony
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
246 posts, read 512,899 times
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Hi and welcome. I live in Roanoke. The Roanoke Valley is a bigger place than Lynchburg, probably by a factor of 2, but both have typical small-city shopping and amenities. Roanoke has two malls and a lot of strip mall-type shopping. Roanoke's downtown is a happening place if you like condos, museum, restaurants, and a farmer's market.

New construction should not be hard to find in Roanoke County or Botetourt County, which are kind of suburban areas for Roanoke. There was never really a housing boom here, and there's not really a bust now, compared to parts of Florida or northern Virginia. Hope that helps...
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:24 PM
 
38 posts, read 77,810 times
Reputation: 11
Default Thanks Dave

The info does help and I thank you for it. Do you have any take on local schools in Roanoke or Salem etc.?

Thanks
Tony
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:42 PM
 
657 posts, read 843,963 times
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Roanoke is a great place, and is larger than Lynchburg (though not by a factor of two). Lynchburg is actually one of the few cities in VA that are growing. The economy is pretty vibrant and has placed highly in many publications for its quality of life and its potential as an area for new business. There is a high concentration of engineers here, and the area is recognized and an engineering center (particularly nuclear and electrical/wireless) in the state. Roanoke, on the other hand, has a large number of medical professionals and medical jobs. Info on both areas is easy to come by; if you rely on this venue, you will likely get some info with a lot of holes and half-truths. We all seem to toot the horn for the areas we live and rarely share the positives about other areas- usually because we don't really know that much about the other areas. Most Roanokers have perceptions about Lynchburg and vice-versa. I have significant business interests in both cities, know a lot about both, and have them both at the top of my list of places to live in VA- though Lynchburg edges out Roanoke by a bit!
As for safety, see this: Lynchburg safest in the state

Last edited by sregorat3; 10-08-2008 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,347,735 times
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I'd really recommend visiting both. Spend a few days in and around each city. They've both got different vibes, and different aesthetic qualities. While sregorat3 prefers Lynchburg, there are others (including myself) that prefer Roanoke. That underscores the importance of seeing things with your own eyes

From a strict statistics perspective, if you visit SimplyHired.com, you'll find 4,647 Roanoke area jobs and 1,878 Lynchburg area jobs posted. The Lynchburg unemployment rate is 5% compared to 4.5% for Roanoke. According to the BLS, the Lynchburg metro has about 102,000 jobs while the Roanoke metro has 156,000.

When you say engineering, you really need to be more specific. For example, according to the BLS, there are only 230 computer application/systems software engineering jobs in the Lynchburg metro, compared to 1280 in Roanoke. However, Lynchburg has 2,200 architecture/engineering jobs while Roanoke only has 1,800. Lynchburg only has 110 electrical engineering jobs while Roanoke has 200. Lynchburg has twice as many CEOs as Roanoke, but half as many Managers, if that makes sense. I'm guessing Lynchburg has alot of corporate headquarters but engineering actually takes place somewhere else (*cough* *cough* India *cough* *cough*). Overall, Roanoke jobs pay slightly more across all ranges, but I'm not sure if that is canceled out by a cost of living difference.

So, depending on what specific industry you're in, it's either going to be a wash, or one metro or another is going to be a fiscal no-brainer.

Sean
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:06 AM
 
38 posts, read 77,810 times
Reputation: 11
sregorat and seanpecor,

Thank you so much for input and links to visit. I appreciate it. I know I have to take everything I read here for what it is. Every now and then you might get someone who is having a bad run and will blame the city or someone who just won the lotto and loves everything all of the time. I just want to get as much info and listen to as many opinions as possible. Both of your posts were great.

Thanks,
Tony
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:37 AM
 
192 posts, read 383,413 times
Reputation: 65
Hi Tony,
I'm a Roanoke native and my husband is from Lynchburg. You have chosen well - both cities are amazing in their own right. Very few if any problems driving in the winter. No problems should be found with new construction close to shopping. Check out school ratings on city sites - once again, some are excellent. There are some bargains to be gained in real estate - but we have held up very well!
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:54 PM
 
38 posts, read 77,810 times
Reputation: 11
Matthews,

Thanks for you input. I only hope we get a turn around in home sales here soon, 31 years with 80 degree Christmas Days are enough.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:59 PM
 
657 posts, read 843,963 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanpecor View Post
Lynchburg only has 110 electrical engineering jobs while Roanoke has 200. Lynchburg has twice as many CEOs as Roanoke, but half as many Managers, if that makes sense. I'm guessing Lynchburg has alot of corporate headquarters but engineering actually takes place somewhere else (*cough* *cough* India *cough* *cough*).

Sean
Good stats, though I'd venture to say that between Tyco, Andrew, and Framatome, there are a bit more electrical engineers in the burg than 120. Also, BWX has NO foreign Nuclear engineers and Areva is in the process of hiring an additional 500 engineers and engineering support staff... in Lynchburg. The last time Lynchburg lost engineering jobs, it was to Raleigh; it was several years later that those jobs went overseas. In support of the influx of engineering positions in Lynchburg, UVa has 4 full four year engineering tracks in Lynchburg (some classes taught by distance ed., some taught on the CAER site at CVCC).
Engineering School Enters Partnership with CVCC
Check out the economic dev't office sites in each locality; I think that will show the job strengths in both areas.
There is too much bias here!!!
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,347,735 times
Reputation: 526
Well, this IS the Roanoke area forum, and NOT the Lynchburg area forum You'll notice that I simply referred to the BLS statistics, which aren't biased. I'd suspect that Tyco et al have a strong base of project managers and embedded software engineers in Lynchburg, which is why the actual electrical engineering jobs reported to the BLS are lower than what you'd expect.

Sean
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