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Old 07-14-2012, 01:28 PM
 
32 posts, read 119,371 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello all. I see that this has been asked many times over, but of course, every post is unique in it's own way. So, here is my first post on this forum. We have lived in Richmond and am familiar with Charlottesville from many short visits, however, this was in my pre-family days. I would appreciate any and all help/advice. This will probably be lengthy. We currently live in the Philly suburbs and can't stand it much longer (migrating Philly crime!). We want to relocate by next Summer and would like to narrow down our area/community search sooner than later. Here is the background:

My husband and I lived in Richmond over 10 years ago while at MCV for 4 years. We loved the fan area, but would not want to live there with school age children. Love the history/culture, architecture, etc. We have lots of extended family (husband's side) in Richmond but none that I would call on to babysit unless an emergency. Have a couple of old college friends there (but haven't seen in years). We have been to Charlottesville many times, but mostly for UVA football games. Again, prekids. We know next to nothing about what it is like to live there as a non-student. We have no family there, but in-laws are within an hour or 2 drive.

We have lived in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area in the past and while we liked it, we were not military and generally felt that most people were there because of the military or b/c they grew up there. It felt very transient to us. We had no family there so moved to Philly suburbs area shortly after my eldest was born. Anyway, even though I grew up in Philly suburbs, I can not stand it anymore. We are in a very "safe area" with award winning public schools, but still have seen way too much crime (theft/drug issues) creeping up into the burbs over the last couple of years. We never go into PHilly despite the cultural activities there anymore, because we know too many people who have been effected by random violence there and it is just not worth it for us. Also, in our experience, people are flat out rude here (sorry if I am offending anyone). We have seen both sides of the spectrum (the very wealthy Main Liners to the poor patients we serve) and most are super rude. We both GREATLY miss the Southern kindness and manners that were in VA.

Here are answers to the suggested questions in the forum:
1. We both work in the medical field and could find jobs in either area (hopefully) without too much issue.
2. We want single family home in a good neighborhood (low crime) with activities for kids.
3. We could commute up to 30 miles, but the shorter distance, the better.
4. Good public schools with option of private (if we felt public wasn't working out).
5. Safety is our top concern. We know no area is perfect, but Richmond has always gotten a bad rap for crime. We would consider the SHort Pump/Western End section of Richmond due to shopping/schools, etc. OUr kids are involved in sports, activities, so pretty sure we could find those in either area.

Our kids are elementary school age and we do not want to uproot/move again. We are considering these areas of VA, due to my husband's parents aging and the eventual need for us to be closer to them (they live in the Lexington area of VA).

Richmond has lots of hospital systems and Charlottesville has M. Washington and UVA mostly(that I am familiar with). Any medical professionals out there with feedback on these systems?

I know there is a lot in this post. I feel totally overwhelmed rereading it myself. Any feedback from anyone who has relocated from the North to either area (and perhaps has like-aged kids) would be truly appreciated. Thanks in advance for anyone's time and feedback!
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:17 PM
 
32 posts, read 119,371 times
Reputation: 13
Sorry, meant Martha Jefferson Hospital. I need more coffee.

Forgot to mention home price range we are looking for - would like to keep around $500,000 and below. I hope to stay at home initially with the kiddos until everyone is adjusted. Safe, quiet, family-friendly neighborhood at top of list (of course, in good school district). I am ready to downsize, so an older/smaller home would be fine. We have discovered with our new construction home that we have filled every space with toys/kids clutter, etc. I wouldn't mind cleaning out/not moving a lot of that.

After reading some other posts on this topic, it looks like there isn't any (or fewer) YMCAs in Charlottesville proper. Is this true? Our YMCA is very nice and we are heavily involved. I would like to have something similar to that if/when we move. Thanks again for any help/input
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 1,423,308 times
Reputation: 1172
Post in the Richmond section if you haven't already. There are more than one person there contemplating a move from PA, CT, etc. Richmond had a bad crime rep years ago but it's improved dramatically. Back in 2005 it was in the top (or should I say bottom) 10 nationally for crime.
City Crime Rankings by Population Group

Now look at it--it's not even in the top (worst) 50. That's a colossal improvement.

http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2011...Lo-Hi_2011.pdf
(sequence is reversed in this PDF, the worst are at the bottom)

Meanwhile, I think Charlottesville is a great place to live too.
But even it has some sketchy areas. Most places do.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:56 AM
 
32 posts, read 119,371 times
Reputation: 13
Archguy:
Thanks for your response. I truly appreciate it. I think I will post in the individual Richmon/Charlottesville sections. I have some reservations about both areas. We truly loved Richmond while living there for school even though it was supposedly even worse in the late 90s crime-wise(but his was before kids). I am glad to hear it has improved substantially in the crime area. Since we are contemplating such a big move for our family, I just don't want to move out of the Frying Pan into the Fire so to speak. Although, I don't think that you can get much worse than Philly these days. Again, we are in the burbs, but not far enough away in my opinion. Just yesterday there was an over 11 Million Dollar drug bust - in the Suburbs.......

Thanks again for your input!
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
1,765 posts, read 3,261,287 times
Reputation: 1041
JillyB123, why don't you check out the Harrisonburg, VA area? We lived there from 1999 to 2005 and loved it. It's an hour from Lexington - a straight shot down I-81. It is a safe area. You've got James Madison University, Bridgewater College and Eastern Mennonite University. If you don't like the public schools, there are private school options.

I suspect that UVA Hospital is NOT a good employer. I've seen too many complaints online. When the hospital reports its "profits," employees post about the fact that they have not seen a raise in ages.

My husband's job takes into hospitals frequently. After dealing with both facilities as a visitor and patient, we chose to use Martha Jefferson. UVA is great if you need a specialist in certain areas, but other than that, I would not go there again voluntarily. I started out with all my providers with UVA even before moving to the Central Virginia area. Before we left, I had switched to medical professionals associated with Martha Jefferson.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,656,448 times
Reputation: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by JillyB123 View Post
Archguy:
We truly loved Richmond while living there for school even though it was supposedly even worse in the late 90s crime-wise(but his was before kids). I am glad to hear it has improved substantially in the crime area.
Crime in Richmond was absolutely worse in the 90s. Today, Richmond's violent crime rate is the lowest it has been since 1970. The city's violent crime rate has dropped approx. 50% since 2002.

Crime down in central Va. for fifth straight year | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The homicide rate is at levels comparable to pre-WWII.
http://chpn.net/news/wp-content/uplo...1934-20101.pdf
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 1,423,308 times
Reputation: 1172
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
Crime in Richmond was absolutely worse in the 90s. Today, Richmond's violent crime rate is the lowest it has been since 1970. The city's violent crime rate has dropped approx. 50% since 2002.

Crime down in central Va. for fifth straight year | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The homicide rate is at levels comparable to pre-WWII.

http://chpn.net/news/wp-content/uplo...1934-20101.pdf
Wow--that's awesome. Even better than I thought.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:59 PM
 
32 posts, read 119,371 times
Reputation: 13
TN Lily:
Thank you for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to give me your input My husband actually went to JMU for undergrad prior to going to MCV, so he knows that area very well and we have revisited there many times. I am not sure why (maybe because we only every useit has a stopping point during travel/overnight stay these days), but I never fell in love with that particular area. I am not sure how many employment options would be available in that area vs. Charlottesville and/or Richmond.

RichmondPics: thanks for the crime statistics. It is good to see that it is on the decline. 2011 City Crime Rate Rankings still has Richmond as #333 (of top 405 highest crime areas -405 being worst). It has Philly as #379. If we decide on Richmond, we would stick to Glen Allen/Short Pump area or Midlothian due to the Public Schools there. Hopefully, we would find that a safe/low crime area. I do like that area and it seems as if there would be more options for the kids for activities (particularly non-sports/indoor activities) in Richmond. Thanks again to all!
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,656,448 times
Reputation: 656
No problem. Glen Allen/Short Pump and Midlothian are great, safe places with good public schools and plenty to do for families. Good luck on the move. You're close to the city's culture, restaurants, and activities when the kids are w/ the babysitter. And, you can get your Cville fix often as it's only an hour away.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
1,424 posts, read 2,095,814 times
Reputation: 661
I like cville, and loved living there as a grad student. But as an adult, I actually prefer Richmond. Living in the city though - fan etc. I'd prefer cville to henrico.

And yes, I have kid and live in the city. Crime isn't really an issue. Schools are though
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