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Old 04-26-2018, 09:10 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,686 times
Reputation: 14

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Hello all,
I hope I am not repeating anything recent; most of my searches have given me dated information. I thank you all in advance for your words of advice and insight!

My family and I recently moved to NOVA (for work) from a working farm in TN. We HATE it here in NOVA! (Probably mostly the culture shock!) It's nice to have pizza and Chinese delivered to your house, but seriously, (most of) the people are terrible. We are transferring jobs to the Richmond area and are looking for some country. We have kids that will be spread across high school, middle school, and elementary school. We would love to get our kids back in country schools, perhaps even K-8 schools, with good, friendly kids who are not trying to outdo one another or show off their "goods". What we want is a country environment for our children, with good and friendly people, within about 30-60 minutes from the center of Richmond.

We are very much country people, with good hearts and friendly attitudes. Our kids are the same and they are being crushed in the area we currently live. We'd like some acreage, but also about 15 minutes from a nice town with amenities and people who wave and say "hello". I'm not worried about finding a house at this point, just would like to pinpoint an area in which to investigate. We would prefer to be on the south/southeast side of Richmond, but are willing to go to any area that would be best to raise our kids. No planned communities or areas with a lot of HOA's, please.

I know there is a lot of space between Richmond and an hour's drive from there, which is why I am turning to y'all for help! We are looking for rural communities with do-it-yourself, help-(not judge)-your-neighbor, type of people. The top requirement is schools with good kids.

Is there anyone out there living in one of these places that can offer advice? Insight on schools would also be helpful!

Thank you so much! I'm trying to research as much as possible to avoid making another mistake in our move.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Baltimore - Richmond
935 posts, read 740,916 times
Reputation: 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusflyer81 View Post
Hello all,
I hope I am not repeating anything recent; most of my searches have given me dated information. I thank you all in advance for your words of advice and insight!

My family and I recently moved to NOVA (for work) from a working farm in TN. We HATE it here in NOVA! (Probably mostly the culture shock!) It's nice to have pizza and Chinese delivered to your house, but seriously, (most of) the people are terrible. We are transferring jobs to the Richmond area and are looking for some country. We have kids that will be spread across high school, middle school, and elementary school. We would love to get our kids back in country schools, perhaps even K-8 schools, with good, friendly kids who are not trying to outdo one another or show off their "goods". What we want is a country environment for our children, with good and friendly people, within about 30-60 minutes from the center of Richmond.

We are very much country people, with good hearts and friendly attitudes. Our kids are the same and they are being crushed in the area we currently live. We'd like some acreage, but also about 15 minutes from a nice town with amenities and people who wave and say "hello". I'm not worried about finding a house at this point, just would like to pinpoint an area in which to investigate. We would prefer to be on the south/southeast side of Richmond, but are willing to go to any area that would be best to raise our kids. No planned communities or areas with a lot of HOA's, please.

I know there is a lot of space between Richmond and an hour's drive from there, which is why I am turning to y'all for help! We are looking for rural communities with do-it-yourself, help-(not judge)-your-neighbor, type of people. The top requirement is schools with good kids.

Is there anyone out there living in one of these places that can offer advice? Insight on schools would also be helpful!

Thank you so much! I'm trying to research as much as possible to avoid making another mistake in our move.
I would look into Mechanicsville, King William, York, Goochland, Powhatan. I believe that all of these areas have pretty decent schools. York will put you within a few mins of Williamsburg and about an hour from Richmond. Mechanicsville will keep you close to Richmond(about 15-30min depending on where you are going/coming from). You can get a lot of land in Goochland and still be within a few mins of great shopping options at Short Pump. Goochland is really strict on development within the county so you would probably get some of that country feel that you like, a lot of hunting etc in that area. New Kent is another option to look into but I am not sure about the schools in the area. Not that they are bad, I just don't know. I hope this helps some.
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:12 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,686 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you so much! Your advice definitely helps my research! I'm happy to learn more about Goochland, and I didn't realize York county is within that drive time. I will check out the areas you mentioned. Again, thank you!
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:13 AM
 
2,064 posts, read 2,020,430 times
Reputation: 2343
Sorry to hear. What part of NoVa are you in?

Like the previous poster, I was going to recommend Mechanicsville or Goochland, both are good areas and offer what you're looking for.

The good thing about Richmond is there are a lot of rural suburban areas. NoVa doesn't really have that, everywhere within a decent proximity to DC is pretty built-up.

Best of luck to you and your family!
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:50 PM
 
5 posts, read 3,686 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks, NOVA_guy! Sorry to dog your area. :/ We are in Gainesville and had a real estate agent help us in finding our rental house. I think he completely mis-judged us because of what I drive. We definitely do not fit in!!

I will be sure to check out Mechanicsville and Goochland; thanks for the suggestions! There appear to be a lot of rural housing options around Richmond with the acreage for which we are looking so I am confident we will find what we want. Yes, there is not a lot of country up here!

Thank you, again, for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate your insight.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
1,508 posts, read 2,581,177 times
Reputation: 797
goochland or hanover probably. Maybe powhatan
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
14,430 posts, read 25,443,124 times
Reputation: 24673
Here is the Richmond forum: http://www.city-data.com/forum/richmond/
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:19 PM
 
277 posts, read 558,501 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusflyer81 View Post
Thanks, NOVA_guy! Sorry to dog your area. :/ We are in Gainesville and had a real estate agent help us in finding our rental house. I think he completely mis-judged us because of what I drive. We definitely do not fit in!!

I will be sure to check out Mechanicsville and Goochland; thanks for the suggestions! There appear to be a lot of rural housing options around Richmond with the acreage for which we are looking so I am confident we will find what we want. Yes, there is not a lot of country up here!

Thank you, again, for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate your insight.
As a relative native Washington/Northern Virginian (for most of my life) I often tell newcomers this area isn't for everyone, in fact I would say isn't for the majority of people. Personally, I'm used to it, have my job and family here and have found my own niche within this environment and grown to appreciate it for what it is but I probably wouldn't have relocated here from outside the area on my own. Your story is very familiar to me, especially coming from a more rural area. Back in the 1980s or maybe even 1990s you probably would've fit into Gainesville very well. At that time it was a pretty rural place untouched by suburban sprawl and I knew some people from around that area back then as a kid and they were very down-to-Earth solid folks. In the last 20 years, though, Gainesville has absolutely exploded and completely transformed into one of these (in my own opinion) hideously bloated outer McMansion suburbs. Depending on where you live I can easily imagine you having trouble connecting with neighbors or any sense of community in a place like that. Richmond generally is much friendlier and less careerist and status oriented. I've known several people over the years from NOVA who have moved to various parts of the Richmond area and most of them have been success stories. Good luck! I hope you find what you're looking for!
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:29 PM
 
5 posts, read 3,686 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks so much, Mikey! I keep hearing how much the Gainesville area has grown and I think you hit the nail on the head with the McMansion suburbs comment. It's too bad we are 30 years late getting here! It is hard to relate and find much in common with those around here, but we are looking forward to not hearing sirens at night and fighting traffic. Thanks for your well-wishes; we do appreciate them! I'm glad you have found where you fit, and I can see how it is home to many people. I hope the area continues to treat you well!
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Lynn Haven, Florida
19 posts, read 53,322 times
Reputation: 38
Ashland is also a great place to live! It's nicknamed "The Center of the Universe". Also agree with the Mechanicsville suggestions. Atlee is another outside RVA small town with acreage. I could never live in NOVA either!
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