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Old 04-21-2019, 09:09 AM
2 posts, read 657 times
Reputation: 10


Hey Yíall,

To anyone who makes it to the end of this: thanks! I know I wrote a lot.

I am looking for opinions and advice regarding the best cities to live for someone with my current limitations and resources. I am a single mom to 4 children, ages 9 months to 12 years. I have support and cooperation from both of my childrenís fathers, so there are no issues there. However, I have spent most of my adult life as a stay at home mom. My credit needs work and I have no savings, possessions of value, or completed higher education. Following this move, I will be enrolling in college online until my youngest is old enough to attend school. Following that, I will then be in the position to attend a physical college. I also had a semi-successful online business for five years that I intend to revamp and begin again.

We will be relocating from South Carolina. The mountains have felt like home to me since the moment I first ventured to them, and some of the best memories for my children and I have taken place there (Upstate SC in this case). Out of all the states close to home that I considered, Virginia was chosen for your superior schools and career opportunities.

Side note: It will be just me and 4 children. I have no family nor do I know anyone in VA.

Truthfully, I am looking for the place that will become my familyís home for generations to come, and I hope to make friends who will become our family. I will be starting from the ground up as Iíve wanted to do for over a decade. Yet it was just this year that I questioned what was stopping me. With that said, I realize that the road is long to the future I am creating. I donít expect to have everything on my list immediately or even in the next few years.

My only requirements are

1. We are living in a mountain city/town. I want to be able to drive to the store and see mountains. This is a quality of life thing. If Iím going to take this huge, scary leap (weíve never lived anywhere but here) with all of these kids... I want to be where I belong, and I want all of the sacrifices Iím going to have to make to be worth it.

2. The school districts are at least B rated. I will be moving us into an A rated district for all tiers as soon as it is possible.

3. The crime rating is no lower than C. We live in a rough neighborhood on the border between one really crappy city and another mediocre one. Both are full of drugs, violence, and various crime. Sadly, weíre used to it. I accept that it may likely be what we can afford until I progress my education and am qualified for better jobs.

4. There needs to be neighborhoods with at least C ratings for safety (rural with no one around would be excellent really) that are no more than $1200/month. Really, I need 800-950 a month but Iím good at making things work when necessary. The nicer the opportunity for my family, the more Iíll make it work. We also need at least 3 bedrooms.

5. Job opportunities there or within 30 minutes... I need at least $10/hr right now. I have experience in veterinary clinics, bookstores, retail, and hobby stores. I have also rehabilitated and released a lot of orphaned or ill wildlife. I have a strong interest in careers outdoors and that will be my career path once I return to school.

Side note: Beekeeping, farming, gardening, wildlife centers, state or national parks (the visitors centers, pay stations, etc would be fine to start), most jobs involving books, antique stores, handmade stores, historical sites, hiking trail maintenance, summer camps, and virtually anything else with a strong focus on nature are my strongest interests. Any jobs (I donít care what position) in these fields would be amazing but I donít expect it until Iím more qualified.

6. The cost of living needs to be reasonable

I really like Salem... and Iíd take Roanoke for now. Iím open to all recommendations for or against any area though.

Thatís it for now. Iím not hoping to make this move overnight. I am currently working toward it. I would love to be moved before school starts back there. That is my goal, but if not, then I plan to work towards relocating over winter break. So, my timeline is either approximately 4 months or 8 months, ideally.

Again, thanks for reading. I will be grateful for any advice or recommendations you guys have to share.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:48 PM
2 posts, read 624 times
Reputation: 11
Christiansburg sounds like it could be a good possibility based on what you described. In the mountains, low crime concerns, decent schools. Within 30 mins of multiple colleges (VA Tech, Radford).Rent would be about 1,000 dollars for a 3 bedroom townhouse generally. If you do school research, remember that many websites give grades comparing schools to other schools within the same state (aka... a "C" in Virginia would likely be higher quality than a "C" in South Carolina). Over the years you could eventually look to the Blacksburg area (nearby) for really strong school performance (rent may be too high for you now).
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:01 AM
2 posts, read 657 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks! That’s very helpful. I am researching Christiansburg now.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:58 PM
2 posts, read 624 times
Reputation: 11
Your welcome. I attended grad school at Radford and lived in Christiansburg. Loved my time in Christiansburg as it was a beautiful area and a "real town" but near several college towns. Endless amounts of great outdoor areas to explore around there (just plan your life to stay off the roads around the Virginia Tech football season home games-- traffic is crazy anywhere in that area).
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:09 AM
Status: "Back in the Blue Ridge Mtns..." (set 4 days ago)
Location: Green Mtns
925 posts, read 829,373 times
Reputation: 535
Check Marion, Chilhowie, Damascus and Galax. Mountain towns in or near mtns, I-81 and bigger cities. Lower rents/real estate than larger cities.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:20 AM
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,553 posts, read 10,842,297 times
Reputation: 5555
How far north would you go in VA? If further then look at Woodstock. I'm just outside it and this is a quintessential small mountain town. Not sure on the schools as we moved here after the kids moved on. We love it here and this little town has it all. And what it doesn't have you're in between Winchester and Harrisonburg.
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