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Old 05-08-2007, 06:09 PM
171 posts, read 786,594 times
Reputation: 67


Hi Everyone,
Can you please tell me in your opinion, what is the best lake community in Virginia, in regards to family living? We are a family of five, love the water, boating, swimming, biking, practically every outdoor activity
We need great schools, affordable home and a 1 hour or less commute to major airport for work. Looking for a neighborhood where you can make life long friends, etc.

Any ideas for me to check into? And why is that your favorite spot, ammenties, local culture, area events etc?? Places to steer clear from?

Thanks for your time, can't wait to here all about it.
PS We have narrowed it down to a few states. Please help us decide where to take our next visit and start our search for a new quality of life!
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:13 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,643,597 times
Reputation: 656
Try these... on the Swift Creek Reservoir in Chesterfield County, just outside Richmond. They've both been named best community in America:
Brandermill Woodlake

However, one drawback is that there are restrictions on the types of boats that can be used.

Also, while it isn't a lake community, it is waterfront on the James... same company too for some reason. Boating restrictions aren't nearly as tough on the James either.

River's Bend

Last edited by Yac; 05-09-2007 at 05:39 AM.. Reason: realtor site links removed.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:21 PM
213 posts, read 917,357 times
Reputation: 69
lake only? will riverfront also work? an idea of your price range - affordable too vague since it means something different for every one.

Lake Anna and Smith mountain lake both nice - although I consider smith mountain a little too far from a major airport and a little too cold in winter. If rivers work consider gloucester area, james city, smithfield - many options - and the winters a little milder. You could even go to far southestern virginia or northern north carolina and use norfolk airport. narrow down locale and price range a little - we're surrounded by water
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:46 AM
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,633,188 times
Reputation: 577
Lake Anna and Smith Mountain Lake are definitely very nice options. Lake Anna is certainly closer to a major airport than Smith Mountain but it's still over an hour from Lake Anna to Richmond International. Both Lake Anna and SML are under an hour to good regional airports. I know many families who commute out of Roanoke Regional; it's a not-too-small airport and like Charlottesville's airport, it's got direct flights to nearly all hub cities. Personally I prefer smaller homebase airports; less of a hassle to get into and out of.

I think williamsburgfan is solidly right about 99% of the time but I have to defend SML's winter weather. I ran a historical average high/low graph for both SML and Lake Anna and SML is in fact 1 to 3 degrees warmer year round. The elevation of SML is +/- 400' higher, which is counterbalanced by our slightly warmer overall microclimate in Franklin County, VA. If you wanted to run weather reports on your web site of choice, compare Moneta, VA (SML) to Bumpass, VA (Lake Anna). Over the next 5 days for example, SML highs are warmer by 2 to 4 degrees.

But anyway, if you're dead set on lake living an hour from a major airport, I'd almost rule out Virginia. You might look at Lake Norman in North Carolina. However, the SML and Lake Anna area meet all of your other criteria so I'd strongly suggest you look into them!

Here are some links:



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Old 05-09-2007, 08:51 AM
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,643,597 times
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Isn't Lake Anna used to cool the reactors at the North Anna Nuclear Power station? I'm sure everything is quite safe, but I personally would feel a little uneasiness. Aside from that, Lake Anna is attractive.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:15 PM
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,633,188 times
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Yeah see I wasn't going to mention that I'm sure it's totally safe but the whole Lake Anna as a living radiator for a nuclear power station is really not a selling point in my mind. Yes, folks who live on Lake Anna will say it's not a big deal. And it shouldn't be a big deal. But if you've got a choice between two lakes, and one lake has pipes circulating water from a nuclear reactor..... Well, all else being equal, the lake devoid of a nuclear reactor wins by a nose

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Old 05-09-2007, 09:08 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,560,738 times
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It's like a large heater, allowing you to use the lake well into the fall

But the water can get TOO hot during the summer... close to 100 degrees. In which case you can find yourself sweating while in the water.

If you go to the up-stream part of the lake in the summer though, it cools off a lot.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:20 PM
268 posts, read 1,553,334 times
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Lake Anna has the "warm" side and the "cool" side. I work with people who own rental properties and vacation homes there. The first question everyone asks is, are you on the warm or cool side? It's perfectly safe. The water is used to cool exterior of parts of the reactors and doesn't come into contact with radiation. It's just not convenient to much of anything. There are homes in places there that you have to drive 45 minutes just to get groceries. Others are closer to Fredericksburg and Charlottesville.
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:15 PM
12 posts, read 61,756 times
Reputation: 32
Default Lake Monticello

20 minutes to Charlottesville lies lak Monticello with a very nice lakefront community. It's very family-oriented and home prices are reasonable. Low crime also. Worth checking out and the closest lake community to Chalottesville. I know folks that live there and they speak highly of the area.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:11 PM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 7,934,859 times
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You can also check out Lake Chesiden in South Chesterfield County (south of Richmond). Google it. It is a nice lake that allows boating and swimming. Not huge like Lake Anna and Smith Mountain Lake. How about the River? check out the Rappahanock... for a town you can look into Deltaville. Also look around Glouster and Mathews County for a little rural area around the river.

and of course you can always come on down to Va. Beach and have the OCEAN and chesapeake bay.

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