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Old 06-24-2017, 05:30 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,139 times
Reputation: 10

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Currently live in Moore County, NC and despite loving certain things here, there are some major drawbacks, mainly the high housing costs, older population, and lack of jobs. We're not looking to retire anytime soon and our options here in NC are either out by Fayetville (:\) or up in the Triangle (2 years into the job hunt up there and no luck yet) so we're feeling a bit stuck.

We are thinking about relocating to Harrisonburg/Rockingham County but curious to know how our first impressions may very from actual living

We visited the Cross Keys-Elkton area for a wedding and on first impression loved the following:
Proximity to mountains
Abundance of wineries/breweries
Land/Open Space

Please tell me more about your experience living in the area, specifically:

Is the population more liberal leaning or conservative?
(I know it's the South but trying not to draw conclusions)

What are sentiments about guns?

How is safety/crime? What areas are worse than others?

What is your favorite thing about the area and least favorite thing?

Are there opportunities or enthusiasm for green technology, gardening/small farms?

How is traffic, specifically on 81?

Thank you!
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:26 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,736 posts, read 11,236,213 times
Reputation: 5871
Please tell me more about your experience living in the area, specifically:

I live a little north of Harrisonburg but still close. Will be in H'burg today actually.

Is the population more liberal leaning or conservative?
(I know it's the South but trying not to draw conclusions)

It's definitely conservative but you'll certainly see people of all party affiliations.

What are sentiments about guns?

Again, conservative and Virginia. Guns are a way of life here although you'll likely see less open carry in Harrisonburg.

How is safety/crime? What areas are worse than others?

This region is a low crime area but I'm not sure what area fits your budget so it's hard to recommend.

What is your favorite thing about the area and least favorite thing?

As you said. Proximity to the mountains was important to me and a reason we left NOVA. You'll find plenty of family activities here and close enough to visit other areas such as Winchester, Staunton and others.

Are there opportunities or enthusiasm for green technology, gardening/small farms?

Not sure on the Green but it certainly seems gardening and farming would be easy here but I don't do this so someone else can answer better than I can.

How is traffic, specifically on 81?

81 is an interstate and a heavily travelled truck route. With it being 2 lanes it can be a PITA at times but I'll still take it any day over I 95. Traffic once off 81 is easy with a few points in Harrisonburg that can get a little congested.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:43 AM
 
2,549 posts, read 1,477,696 times
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I graduated from JMU and love the Burg. There are much better places to go without a job, though. Same with Charlottesville which is more expensive. While it is affluent, it doesn't appear that many got jobs, bought homes, and moved up the ladder there. 18 an hour in Manassas is 12 per hour in the Burg.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Virginia
58 posts, read 111,364 times
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Harrisonburg itself is a liberal, progressive ,multi-cultural city. Outside it can vary but in my opinion the South has been largely conquered by northern armies, northern migration and northern ideas and lost much of its cultural and ethnic identity. here is the typical rural mix running from white trash, rednecks to high southern types, but also many into farming. Rural areas are governed by family heritage shaped by centuries and hardships - even if you are culturally conservative you may have a hard time finding friendships with real Virginians.


If you are interested in a more liberal farming area you may like Charlottesville or even Floyd better.

The counties in the valley are some of the most productive farm enterprises in Virginia. There are also many green technologies and organic ventures.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,736 posts, read 11,236,213 times
Reputation: 5871
OP never came back. Another waste of time answering a newcomer.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:39 PM
 
17 posts, read 14,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsToGrowUp View Post
Harrisonburg itself is a liberal, progressive ,multi-cultural city. Outside it can vary but in my opinion the South has been largely conquered by northern armies, northern migration and northern ideas and lost much of its cultural and ethnic identity. here is the typical rural mix running from white trash, rednecks to high southern types, but also many into farming. Rural areas are governed by family heritage shaped by centuries and hardships - even if you are culturally conservative you may have a hard time finding friendships with real Virginians.


If you are interested in a more liberal farming area you may like Charlottesville or even Floyd better.

The counties in the valley are some of the most productive farm enterprises in Virginia. There are also many green technologies and organic ventures.
What you say is true. Although we do have some family here, meeting new people and developing
Friendships (if you aren't 'from here') is difficult. We moved here from Southern Maryland. Frankly, we
miss contemporary churches, going to places like the Kennedy Center, jazz clubs, rock concerts, and the like.
The people I've become friends with aren't originally from 'here.' We've spent 7 years here, accomplished
what we set out to do, now retiring to the coastal region of North Carolina.
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:07 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,376 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
OP never came back. Another waste of time answering a newcomer.
Don't say that, your response has helped me out a lot.

I am looking at houses in Rockingham County and am not familiar with the area. I have lived in Roanoke County for a while but it has never been the right fit. I love my house and the area but I feel like I am still a stranger even after all these years. I have family that is looking to move near Charlottesville. I don't really consider Charlottesville because it's a nice place to visit but not my kind of town and thought maybe near Harrisonburg around Rockingham county might be a better fit.

We are looking at places around Broadway and a home at Fulks Run, what is your opinion on those towns? We're self-employed now but if we needed to look for work could we find work within 40 minutes?
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,736 posts, read 11,236,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imik View Post
Don't say that, your response has helped me out a lot.

I am looking at houses in Rockingham County and am not familiar with the area. I have lived in Roanoke County for a while but it has never been the right fit. I love my house and the area but I feel like I am still a stranger even after all these years. I have family that is looking to move near Charlottesville. I don't really consider Charlottesville because it's a nice place to visit but not my kind of town and thought maybe near Harrisonburg around Rockingham county might be a better fit.

We are looking at places around Broadway and a home at Fulks Run, what is your opinion on those towns? We're self-employed now but if we needed to look for work could we find work within 40 minutes?
I'm a little north of those areas. Broadway is a small town but you'd be close to Harrisonburg. I too prefer H'burg over C'ville. As far as looking for work keep in mind that Shenandoah Co, north of Broadway, is not a hot bed of jobs, at least not what you would find in areas with larger populations. But with H'burg close enough that might give you more options. You can find homes out this way with some beautiful views which brought the wife and I out here. I've found the folks here in this part of the valley to be very welcoming to us which we appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:54 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
I'm a little north of those areas. Broadway is a small town but you'd be close to Harrisonburg. I too prefer H'burg over C'ville. As far as looking for work keep in mind that Shenandoah Co, north of Broadway, is not a hot bed of jobs, at least not what you would find in areas with larger populations. But with H'burg close enough that might give you more options. You can find homes out this way with some beautiful views which brought the wife and I out here. I've found the folks here in this part of the valley to be very welcoming to us which we appreciated.
I know, it seems to be a trend in jobs across the board which is why I want to be within an hour of an urban area. I'm used to commuting an hour to work (or to get anywhere) so if we can be a bit closer it would be a bonus.

It is a beautiful area and we really like the climate. Fall is one of our favorite seasons and the mountains don't disappoint. We don't mind moving further north, it means we'll see more vibrant colored trees in the fall.

Welcoming neighbors would be refreshing. Roanoke was kind of a shock after living in different of places. After not hearing from anyone a few months after moving in, we dropped an introductory card in their mailboxes that basically said 'hello, we're your neighbors, call us if you need anything' and later a new years card with no response. We don't need social neighbors but some acknowledgment of existence would have been reassuring (my husband's sentiment, personally, I felt shunned after 3 years and was ready to move). With family moving near C'ville and us near H'burg we hope to feel a little less isolated.

Thank you for responding, I feel better about looking for houses around those areas now.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:55 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,648 times
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I've lived in Harrisonburg now for five years. I went to JMU as well, moved away and then came back because I liked the way Harrisonburg was changing. There are a lot of positives, but like everywhere, there are negatives too.

Positives:
1) Lower cost of living. It is much cheaper than many major metro areas. However, it is not as cheap as it was when I moved here. Housing is getting expensive (relative to wages) and food costs have gone up tremendously in the past 5 years. A beer at the local brewery is now $6+. It was $4 when I moved here.
2) Great access to the outdoors. There are literally thousands of miles of hiking trails within an hour's drive. Tons of mountain biking, rafting and other outdoor activities available.
3) Slower pace of life. It is definitely much more chill here than anyway else I have lived, which is nice.
4) Community. People here seem to care about each other more than the other, larger, areas in which I lived before. The local government seems to really weigh things and I like the way they are moving on things like bike paths.
5) Crime/Safety. It is a very safe town, in general. My daughter bikes to school and I never worry about her.
6) Diversity. You get people from all over the world in Harrisonburg, so you (and your kids) get exposed to all kinds of different cultures.

Negatives:
1) Jobs. I brought my job with me and work online. Besides JMU and the poultry industry, there are very few jobs. Most jobs do not pay a living wage. JMU is a public school and knows it is the only game in town, so it does not pay well. There are usually many applicants for each job opening as well.
2) Community. I know I said it was a positive, but the entire time I have lived here, I have not made any really close friends. I believe this is a factor of not being in the JMU community. If you work at JMU, you have instant community. If you don't, then it is harder to really get to know people. Of course, I work at home, so it is especially difficult for me. YMMV.
3) Politics. The city is very liberal and progressive. However, the counties outside of it are very conservative. There is quite a divide between the two. 5 minutes outside of town you will see confederate flags.
4) Fiscal issues. Harrisonburg is running a deficit in its budget. It has seen rapid growth over the past 5-10 years and is struggling with it in terms of providing services. The schools are over-crowded. They are currently deciding whether to build a 2nd high school. If they do, it will raise property taxes in the city pretty significantly.
5) Winter Weather. The winter in Harrisonburg is very cloudy and quite windy. It can be brutally cold or fairly warm. This year, we were under freezing for over 3 weeks and did not get a single snowflake during that time. It usually warms up when precipitation comes in and you get rain or a wintery mix. The local ski resort, Massanutten, has to blow snow, so it tends to be very icy. There are a few more in driving distance, but you have to go into WV to get decent powder.

Hope that helps. It really is a great place to live. I've really enjoyed my five years here, but will likely be moving soon because of the lack of economic advancement.
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