Anyone know Danville area? (Chesapeake, Hampton: sale, real estate market, how much)
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And I advise readers to take the advice of someone who's lived in Danville for 22 years. I'm not biased toward the south as a whole, I'm biased toward areas like Danville who are close minded and stuck in the past indefinitely. Forgive my ignorance and bland wording.
If you want to move to Danville, that's fine. If slow life with absolutely no solid careers that pay well at all is your thing, that's just perfectly fine. In fact, if you're into crippled remaining factories that frequently go on strike that can't hire anyone because hundreds of employees that are left over from the entire reason that Danville had a textile industry closed, then this place is for you.
Some folks have different ideas of what "close" is than others.
You're right. Some people do have different views as to what close is. However, if I want to go shopping at a fabulous mall or see a play, I don't think a 30 minute drive to Greensboro or a 45 minute drive to Raleigh is far. There are many cities in this country where people commute for over two hours just to go 20 miles to work.
What I know about Danville and "Southside Virginia"
Median YEARLY HOUSEHOLD Income: $26K
Median YEARLY income FOR MALES: $17K
Now, I'm no mathemetician, but what does that say about MEDIAN INCOME for FEMALES?
EMPLOYMENT: The two major employers (Textiles & Tobacco) in the area have pretty much ceased all operations in the area. Small, "low-tech" manufacturers move in and out creating waves of employment/unemployment in the range of a "couple-hundred-employees". Some "high-tech" companies have PERMANENT signage on their property advertising employment opportunities (THAT'S telling). I know quite a few prosperous 30-40 year olds in the city and MOST work in NC or Richmond during the week and come home on weekends, while their wives raise the babies and dabble in real estate.
CRIME: Friends of mine living outside the area often tell me, "Hey, I saw Danville on the news again last night! I know the Crimestopper's Telephone number by heart!" Why not? No jobs, no opportunity for education IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA beyond the community college level, is it any wonder that the disenfranchised and apathetic turn to drugs, and then to crimes related to drugs? And of course, if you are employed and not doing drugs...how do you live on $17K/year?
POLITICS: IF you belong to a handful of wealthy and well connected families who have managed the area's politics for generations, Danville politics will work well for you. Newcomers to the area are not readily accepted into politics here unless they have some connection to the families already involved. Most "grass-roots" initiatives are squashed by the eltists or they die on their own, of apathy due to the inbred disallusionment of the ordinary citizens. ("The same people have always been in charge around here and ain't nothing gonna ever change.") Get used to hearing that kind of attitude in regards to local politics.
SCHOOLS: I dunno...I don't have kids; but what I see of the products of the local system who stay in the area doesn't impress me. I had an opportunity to employ many of them and was seldom impressed, unless of course, an individual managed to show up for work for more than three out of the five days scheduled.
HIGHER EDUCATION: There's a private college here...pretty expensive, but, then again, it's private. (Actually, for the most part you wouldn't even know it was here unless you were on the campus.) It's kind of a cheap education for people living in more affluent areas who want to send their kids to a small town college. But after they graduate, they move on, or go back to wherever they came from. Outside of the community college, you'd have to go all the way to VaTech or Radford or out-of-state to NC, to get a four year degree. But there are a few small initiatives in the area to if you can root them out.. degrees in Criminal Justice or Motorsports Technology in Martinsville at the "New Institute"...or teletechnet classes from ODU in Business management through the community college. If you want to work on your Master's you can take video-linked classes through the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research...no one is really sure what exactly they do out there, but I hear they offer classes on things like "How to E-Bay" and important scholarly issues like that.
SOCIAL LIFE: Most Friday's everyone goes out to eat at the local national chain restaurants, Outback, Texas Steakhouse, etc. If you want FINE DINING, you'll need to go sompelace else, or redefine "FINE DINING"...in Danville Outback is as "FINE" as it gets. Most of the locals prefer the seafood places that serve anything you like, as long as it's deep fried. Go early on Friday nights, usually be ready to wait to get in by 6pm, and forget finding anything but fast food after 9pm. Driving aimlessly up and down Riverside Drive on weekend nights is a big draw...to see who you can see. There's the Virginia Independent Raceway, if you're into racing. An art museum is here. There are a couple of bars, but "LIVE MUSIC" usually means either "open-mike" or karaoke, unless one of the local country bands is playing. Beer is the official city beverage.
RELIGION: Don't be Jewish or Catholic, and remember, it's a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning so even the well-heeled deacon will be arriving for 11am services still burping up the bourbon he swilled down at the country club last night. Just remember that, because he's a pillar of the community and got hammered out at the club, he's a lot better than you since you got drunk with your redneck friends down at the bar. Ask the preacher, he'll tell you that's how it is.
I gotta stop, I'm cracking myself up. But hey, if you want more info, just ask!
I have heard alot of "feelings, thoughts, beliefs and other non truths" in this forum. First of all, lets tackle things one at a time. Danville's crime is lower than Orlando (3x more than Danville per capita), same as LA, and a tad higher than NY. This being said, this does not make Danville a unsafe place. You just have to be very clear about were you hang out. Believe me, a middle age couple with kids has no business walking down North Main or Bradley St at 1:30 am on a weekend. This is when crime happens!!! Housing cost are a huge plus. Average income is 28k vs 85k avg home, you can buy avg home for 3x earnings, as in la or ny, you will shell out 10x earnings and 6x earnings in orlando. They also have higher property taxes. Employment is an issue, but if you are relocating there it is usually for a job that you are offered up front. If you are moving there to look for a job, then you are probaly too stupid to ever get a job anywhere so just dont worry about it (10% unemployment). There is plenty to do in nearby Greensboro or Lynchburg as well in town. The problem is that few actual Danvillians actually do these things. Ask around and see how many locals have been to VIR, gone to Christmas in Chatham, or rode the Dan River. If you can get 3 out ten to say yes to any of the three, send me your name and theirs and I will send you a dollar. Anyway, wanted to give it a fair shake.
I lived in Danville for almost 18 years. My IT job was in textiles and I relocated there from Tennessee in the late 1980's. Danville has it's pros and cons.
1. If you can find a job, the cost of living is inexpensive. Houses are very inexpensive. $150,000-$200,000 will get you a nice home. The key here is finding a job. Unemployment is always at least 9% and can run as high as 12%. Danville often times has the distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the state of Virginia. Textiles, tobacco, etc have closed down. The powers that be are very proud of the fact that they have brought many new jobs to the area. Unfortunately, what they don't tell you, is that they pay maybe $8.00 an hour tops. Most are in retail and in the service sector.
2. Traffic is very light all around the area.
3. Beautiful historic district with homes built in the Victorian era. Drive down Main street on a sunday afternoon and take in the lovely architecture. I for one would not walk down Main street unless accompanied by several people and maybe a policeman. (I has several encounters with street people and was very frightened.)
1. Crime is way up. Many homes in the neighborhood I lived in were broken into and several elderly folks were assaulted. This was a neighborhood that had never had any crime up until around the year 2000. It's a shame when you come home at night and wonder how quickly you can get into your house and if someone might have broken in while you were gone.
2. Few decent paying jobs. My job was in IT and I lost my job when Dan River was sold to an Indian company. I searched there for a while and then had to realize that a new job just wasn't going to happen for me in Danville. Fortunately, found something in NC.
3. The schools in the city of Danville are NOT desirable. The drop out rate is awful. G.W. High School feels more like a prison than a high school. Security cameras and locked gates surround the entire campus. The county schools are somewhat better but not much to write home about either.
4. Last, but not least, after living there for almost 18 years, I never felt like one of the "accepted few". Everyone I became friends with were transplants like I was. The locals are not interested in outsiders and, most importantly, if you are not from Danville, then your ideas, thoughts, and opinions can't be worth considering. As a whole, Danville is a very small minded community and that is what has kept it from growing when it had the chance to prosper. Danville was the 3rd largest city in VA during the civil war. It went down hill from there.
Danville was bigger than the city I grew up in VA so it was an upgrade. Let me think of some of the positives. There are some amazing homes in the area that are beautiful. Rolling hills of VA are just great in that area. Virginia International Raceway a 3.1 mile road course is about 30 minutes away, cheap to live there, and the pace of life is slow. Nice growth and rebuilding of the Dan river area and downtown area. So so so many wineries in the area and VA...at least 70 + in the state.
Hum, what is bad. People can not drive there...some how...they designed these wonderful on ramps for 58 there...the acceleration lane must be 1/4 mile long. But some how...somebody seems to always stop at the beginning of the acceleration lane...just waiting for their big chance on a sunday afternoon. There is a lot of low income people in Danville. There are a lot of rough areas in the city...it is amazing though the quickness the nice and bad areas change while driving through the city.
Anyways, I would not live there again...I enjoyed college and actually had a blast there. But it was because of the school. Not city and what it had to offer.
My husband has been transferred to Danville from Jacksonville FL. I was there at Christmas and thought Danville to be a quaint little town considering Jacksonville's population is over a million. But, after reading all the negative posts about Danville I don't know what to think. We will be buying a house there and am wondering which neighborhoods we should be looking in and which ones we should avoid. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
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