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Old 04-30-2009, 05:15 AM
19 posts, read 46,361 times
Reputation: 32


We are looking at Virginia for possible relocation. Currently, we are living in Florida.

We have 3 small children. We are in our late 30's. We are looking for a place where the average age of its residents are in their 30s or 40s.

We currently homeschool because we are greatly disappointed with the educational system here. We hope to find a good school system. We do not homeschool due to religious reasons. So, a good public school system is important.

We have a renewable energy business. We love the field and would like to bring our business with us. Our business plan involves a small retail shop and employing local tradesmen(plumbers, electricians, roofers) for installations. We really need a community to help support us. A community that supports local businesses in favor of big box marts. I don't know if that exists but we are looking for it. We favor small town bordering on rural.Our business stimulates the local economy by giving out work to local tradesmen.

We are looking for some land to live on. Probably 5 acres.

We would love to be near elevated land for micro hydro and then perhaps driving distance to the ocean. A sunny place would be beneficial as well, not weeks of rain.

Instead of a city being the center of everything, I am looking for a place that has a large university as its big attraction. If we lived about an hour away (or closer) from a large university, we could still take advantage of programs and opportunities that are part of a large university yet I would imagine that the sprawl would be different then your typical bedroom community suburbs where a city is its focal point.

Please no Walmarts, Targets , Home depots in large abundance. In fact, I wouldn't mind if they are not there. I would love to see a local hardware store again. We have no need of a nightlife but a restaurant would be nice.

We want four seasons. My two youngest have never seen snow but I am looking forward to it again. Wind, for wind generators would also be nice.

Low crime. Currently, I have never experienced so much violent crime in my life and I have lived in big cities in the Northeast and rough ghettos of Europe. So comparisons are relative.

Florida housing is cheap, so I would expect to pay more in VA. However, I don't know if we will rent a house, live in an RV to really make sure VA is the place for us, or buy a home. Of course a lot depends on selling our current home. Right now, I am just concentrating on checking it out.

Of course, this is a dream list of desires. So, I can be realistic. We plan on visiting Virginia this summer. Any suggestions on where we should land? I was thinking of Charlottesville and exploring in a radius around it. Any other suggestions?

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Old 04-30-2009, 02:15 PM
Location: Virginia Livin', Maryland Dreamin'.
290 posts, read 1,040,169 times
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Blacksburg, VA.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:40 PM
96 posts, read 350,603 times
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I'd look at the following:

Blacksburg, Va (as mentioned, good place...pricey though)

Farmville, Va (centrally located, small uni town...good price on land)

Luray, VA (nice mountain town, close to major university, good price on land, not far from DC)
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:46 PM
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,328 posts, read 23,926,337 times
Reputation: 8834
Look up Louisa across the the I64 corridor. Follow 33 in that county west and you will find a small shopping area in the middle of nowhere. Also look at Gordonsville up on route 15. This area should give you nearly everything you listed. And just in case to be citified a little bit, you can be in Charlottesville in 20-40 minutes (highway minutes). I've rarely seen any type of traffic in the area. Traffic in VA means slowing down to 55 for rain and 35 for snow.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:17 PM
Location: Virginia Livin', Maryland Dreamin'.
290 posts, read 1,040,169 times
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Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
Traffic in VA means slowing down to 55 for rain and 35 for snow.
Not in HR and NoVa
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:25 PM
1,288 posts, read 2,225,575 times
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Hanover County. Ashland or Montpelier in particular. Louisa County wouldn't be bad, but as I understand it, the school system is less than stellar. Hanover has pretty good schools, 15 miles north of Richmond.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:53 PM
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,629,048 times
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Blacksburg, but also the Roanoke Metro area. Roanoke would have a larger customer base than Blacksburg, and there is a sizable and growing "green" population. I would say that the median age of Roanoke is higher than the 30s/40s. However, there is a healthy population of young families here. It's not a community of largely older folks, like much of Florida apparently is.

FYI, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op is the state's largest natural foods co-op. Many new commercial buildings are being built with sustainability in mind. For example, North Cross private school's new middle school is being designed by VMDO Architects with environmental sustainability in mind.

Charlottesville is an option, but I would also strongly recommend Roanoke. You'd be less than an hour from Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, which is of course an ag/engineering college. There is some ridgeland in the fringes of Blacksburg that are infamous for wind, thanks to the Appalachian Plateau. Blacksburg has great schools, which is not surprising since 62% of Blacksburg is white collar. But basing in Roanoke would put you on the radar of a 300,000+ strong metro area and right next door to Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford's +/- 160,000 metro population. By comparison, the Charlottesville metro is +/- 190,000. Roanoke is under 2 hours from Charlottesville, so I would recommend including the Roanoke Valley in your itinerary!


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Old 05-05-2009, 01:26 PM
Location: Jefferson County
380 posts, read 997,740 times
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Take a look at Shepherdstown WV. There is Shepherd University, a growing university. Jefferson County is still mostly rural but centered in the midst of residential growth areas that may support your business. We are within working distance of the Baltimore, DC, Northern Virginia areas. Taxes here are still fairly low. There has been a slow but growing demand for green, eco, & renewable energy systems in this market. Most I have seen (I'm a real estate appraiser) have been a little further to the west. It seems that the people who desire to be off the grid typically desire seclusion as well.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:47 PM
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Hanover County public schools have an excellent reputation.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:29 AM
6,561 posts, read 12,852,683 times
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I live in the Winchester, VA area and while Winchester itself doesn't fit what you're talking about, there are LOTS of small towns in the Northern Shenandoah Valley that fit what you are looking for.

Stephens City, Middletown, Strasburg, Mt. Jackson, Tom's Brook, Edinburgh, New Market....

As far as renewable energy, there are current ongoing negotiations between the town of Front Royal and some investors that are looking to build a MASSIVE solar panel array in the town and use it as a source of energy for the town and to re-sell the clean energy produced by the array.... (all of this on a proposed site that used to be an EPA Superfund site.... What a turnaround that would be?).

That said, some school districts around here are better than others. Where I live has the demographic you're looking for with a lot of couples in their 30s and 40s with small kids....
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