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Old 11-20-2009, 12:44 AM
 
4 posts, read 25,822 times
Reputation: 11

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I've relocated to the area but want to live in the City of Charlottesville or very nearby as long as I'm in Albermarle County. So I won't rule out Crozet, for example. But, when I was asked whether I preferred East or West Charlottesville, I had to admit I didn't know. What I didn't say is I don't know the difference. Moreover, C'ville and surrounds have morphed so much since I last visited in '99 (when my son was a student at a local private school--no, I won't say which one), it's almost disorienting to me. But, back then, I knew I wanted to live here someday and be able to see the mountains from my home. If I could live just off Skyline Dr., I would be giddy.

But, I want to be clear about what I do and don't want because I'd like to move into something around mid-month next month (December). Focusing on what I want and want to avoid should keep the suggestions and direction from members focused on what I'm trying to learn. I don't even want to consider places I wouldn't live because I don't have time. So, this is a long post directed to those of you know really know this area. It also addresses some of what I've read on this forum, including the North v. South debate that has raged going on two years on one thread here and placed C'ville (unfairly, IMO) in its crosshairs.

Because I anticipate getting into Virginia law for next fall, I'm not buying a home right now, no matter how good the market for doing so is. "Rent" v. "Buy" isn't my dilemma. "Where to rent" is. And, what I say next will show that I have either lived in or regularly visited this state so long (nearly 20 years; I lived in DC metro nearky ten) that I have a very clear understanding of how wonky it has become, with diverse cultures co-existing though sometimes uncomfortably but not usually clashing.

Accordingly, because I'm a mid-40-something, single, self-employed, professional female empty-nester, I'd like to live somewhat near UVA without living on college row. While I intend to rent, it won't be an apartment, condo or townhome--I refuse to share walls any longer. I intend to rent a newer, two-story, 1800 sf or better, SFH w/an attached 2CG in a safe, quiet neighborhood.

However, I want a house with mountain views. I won't even look at one without them since I'm living in a temporary spot about 25 miles outside C'ville where I'm surrounded by mountain views and that is one of the primary reasons I moved here. Based on what I've seen some of these kinds of homes renting for, I can definitely afford what I want so that is not a concern.

But, I don't want to live in a highly congested, busy neighborhood that replicates a big city in small town or I would have stayed in DC or Richmond Metro. (For instance, I'm not feeling some of those planned communities I've seen sprouting up here.) If I can't wave to my neighbor in their kitchen from mine, I won't be unhappy. In fact, I'd be happier if my neighbors needed to have binoculars to tell if I'm flitting past my windows naked (which I won't be) or not or see what the mail carrier is delivering to me. I'd much rather see mountains and horses when I look out of my windows than than know what kind of window treatments my nearest neighbor has chosen.

I'm not a total recluse but I'm a very private (meaning "discreet", not "nefarious") person who doesn't like others minding my business rather than their own. I sure won't be all in theirs. So while I do want to live in a community where neighbors care enough to watch each others' backs and homes, I don't want to live in a community of nosy gossips who've never met an 'outsider' who just happens to be 'of color' that they liked or who are reporting you to the VA fusion center because they can't get into your business or easily sniff your network activity, either.

(I read on this forum that some places in this area can be like that; somebody said something about gossip spreading at the speed of email in some places in Augusta and Highland County and others have mentioned a decided disdain for 'outsiders', especially those of 'Yankee' extraction or who are "nonwhite". I know where I am; I chose to be here but I also left where I'm from because I don't want to be there. But, the regional accent and and type of mullet aside, I don't want to deal with rabid racists as neighbors here anymore than I did in New England.)

Moreover, because I have serious food allergies (read: No, I don't get to eat out anymore--ever) I need to to be able to drive to stores like Whole Foods in approximately 30 minutes. I'd also like to get to UVA in about the same time. But, since I don't have to commute further than from my bedroom to my office, I don't want to live too near main thoroughfares. (I did that for nearly a year and got tired of buying earplugs so I could sleep.)

Because I do like to get out from time to time, I don't hang out like I did even a decade ago so, while I like the idea of cultural attractions in case I want to see a show or shop for antiques, I don't want to live right in or too near the thick of all that. Been there, done it for much of my life. I'm over it and looking for more quiet and a moderate to conservative neighborhood at this point in my life.

But, I'm neither looking for so progressive as to interpret "live and let live" to mean, "Dammit, I'm a hedonist and you'd better not question my lifestyle because I'm intolerant of any viewpoint that doesn't match mine and I'll burn you in effigy in the public square" nor "No, I don't fly a Confederate flag but it's tattooed on my soul and, because I interpret "confederate" to mean racist and/or anti-upscale anybody, I'd run your luxury SUV off the road in my pickup--if I drove one."

(I've seen much more of that kind of 'subtle as a brick' bigotry in this UpSouth region than the deep south "if-you-question-my-white-supremacist-authority-I'll-visit-you-driving-my-pickup-in-a-white-hood-a-shotgun-on-my-gun-rack-and-a-wooden-cross-drenched-in-flammable-liquid-in-my-pickup-bed-along-with-matches-and-lynching-rope" kind of stuff happening in Rush Limbaugh's home state of Missouri right now. But my Massachusetts hometown has long been known as a hotbed of racist ideology, too, and a lot of those folks have relocated here like they're looking for equally racist kindred spirits. I'd like to avoid both kinds of ignorant bigots, thank you. People tend to live with others who share their worldview and I'd like to avoid such neighborhood full of bigots of any kind.)

Moreover, despite being single, I prefer family neighborhoods with good schools because, in my experience, they tend have better amenities and government services like police and fire--although maybe that doesn't hold true here like it does in most large metropolitan areas. But, I want to avoid suburban neighborhoods where the teens are wanna be gangsta rappers and behave accordingly, tormenting their neighbors or those who hate hip hop so much that my driving by with my own clean hip hop playing might get me stoned. I'm good as long as I live in a fairly upscale area pretty far away from high crime areas (where real gangstas live regardless of "race") and downscale areas where meth houses are springing up.

That all said, what neighborhoods should I consider renting my home in and which should I avoid? Again, I only want to rent so I'm not interested in advice on buying or having the thread hijacked with a debate about renting v. buying.

Last edited by needamountainview; 11-20-2009 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:11 AM
 
Location: alive in the superunknown
542 posts, read 875,949 times
Reputation: 237
I've never really thought of C-ville in west to east terms before, I guess because it's not a big city. If I had to say, the western side of the city(in city limits) is dominated by UVA housing for students and professors. Locals of course are scattered in there too. I lived off of Fontaine Ave. for a couple of years and that was the feeling I got. The eastern side is kind of a seperate city with the less desirable neighborhoods, somewhat more industrial and working class. I'm not sure, but within city limits I don't think you can see mountains, but don't quote me on that. On the far east side of town on Pantops Mtn. just over the border in the county are some nice views of the city with mountains in the background. All apartments up there I think. Maybe Carters mountain, maybe. I've actually never even been up to it so I don't even know if there is any housing up there or not. As far as race relations go, I have never witnessed any and everybody seems to get along fine, barring the occasional idiot. But from someone elses perspective they may feel they have been discriminated against. But it's all perspective. Everywhere has racism to a degree, I would just say there is as much racism here as in New York. Question, Crozet sounds perfect for you, why would you want to move into town since it's not far away? -Disclaimer:I skimmed most of your post, and thought I saw you were in Crozet so I hope I don't sound like an idiot asking that. And also I thought I saw something on race relations too, so that's why I added that as well. I should have just quoted your post, oh well. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,737,641 times
Reputation: 241
I lived in several houses in Frye's Springs on the west side of Charlottesville and found it pleasant. You can walk or take the bus places and the pollution and noise are low. I'd try to minimize the commute because law school is intense.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:16 PM
 
37 posts, read 122,568 times
Reputation: 22
I work in downtown Charlottesville and live in Crozet; it takes me just under 1/2 hour - with traffic - and that's from the far western part of Albemarle. Charlottesville is a pretty small town, so you can get anywhere pretty much in 20 minutes. One area quickly turns into the next. We got a great deal on a rental in Crozet due to the real estate market; we're renting something new the builder couldn't sell. We still own our home in another state we can't sell. Crozet is the most picturesque part of the Charlottesville/Albemarle County area imo, if that is important to you. Since you can pretty much get everywhere in 20 minutes or so, I'd look for the deal on a rental I could get that suits your needs. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:12 AM
 
4 posts, read 25,822 times
Reputation: 11
Default Re: W. Charlottesville, E. Charlottesville or Surrounds--What's the Difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebat View Post
I've never really thought of C-ville in west to east terms before, I guess because it's not a big city. If I had to say, the western side of the city(in city limits) is dominated by UVA housing for students and professors. Locals of course are scattered in there too. I lived off of Fontaine Ave. for a couple of years and that was the feeling I got. The eastern side is kind of a seperate city with the less desirable neighborhoods, somewhat more industrial and working class. I'm not sure, but within city limits I don't think you can see mountains, but don't quote me on that. On the far east side of town on Pantops Mtn. just over the border in the county are some nice views of the city with mountains in the background. All apartments up there I think. Maybe Carters mountain, maybe. I've actually never even been up to it so I don't even know if there is any housing up there or not. As far as race relations go, I have never witnessed any and everybody seems to get along fine, barring the occasional idiot. But from someone elses perspective they may feel they have been discriminated against. But it's all perspective. Everywhere has racism to a degree, I would just say there is as much racism here as in New York. Question, Crozet sounds perfect for you, why would you want to move into town since it's not far away? -Disclaimer:I skimmed most of your post, and thought I saw you were in Crozet so I hope I don't sound like an idiot asking that. And also I thought I saw something on race relations too, so that's why I added that as well. I should have just quoted your post, oh well. Good luck with your decision.
Hey, I appreciate that you bothered to take the time to read my looooonnnnnggg post and respond so thank you.

And, no, you don't sound like an idiot asking me about Crozet. I've strongly considered Crozet but I know even less about it (other than Miller School) than I do about C'ville.

And, I've been to C'ville a few times since this post and have noticed distinct differences in population--and also that the streets are BIZ-ZY and congested! People are living on top of each other. C'ville is far more "urban suburban" than I'd remembered. It's rather crazy coming from Waynesboro, which is pretty quiet.

So, at this point, I'm considering staying closer to here, which is a bit more quiet and less congested. I appreciate that these days since I can drive to C'ville's amenities if I need them and there are plenty of them everywhere around here, which, coming from DC, surprises me. C'ville feels more like DC, too--kind of a pressure cooker. Not feeling that at all....

Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 25,822 times
Reputation: 11
Default Re: W. Charlottesville, E. Charlottesville or Surrounds--What's the Difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_61 View Post
I lived in several houses in Frye's Springs on the west side of Charlottesville and found it pleasant. You can walk or take the bus places and the pollution and noise are low. I'd try to minimize the commute because law school is intense.
I'm thinking about that; I know law school is intense and some days I'll want to roll out of the rack (bed) and into my vehicle to get to campus. I'm weighing quality of life when off campus, though, too. I need the tenor of life to be far lower than C'ville seems even when I go there briefly. I mean, I could've stayed in DC if I wanted no parking downtown!

Besides, I'll just do what I did during undergrad (at a highly selective very rigorous women's college in the Northeast). When things got intense, I crashed someplace on or near campus and pulled all-nighters in the library or whatever.

Thanks for your input; it helps confirm what I'm thinking about.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:24 AM
 
4 posts, read 25,822 times
Reputation: 11
Default Re: W. Charlottesville, E. Charlottesville or Surrounds--What's the Difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stpattylady View Post
I work in downtown Charlottesville and live in Crozet; it takes me just under 1/2 hour - with traffic - and that's from the far western part of Albemarle. Charlottesville is a pretty small town, so you can get anywhere pretty much in 20 minutes. One area quickly turns into the next. We got a great deal on a rental in Crozet due to the real estate market; we're renting something new the builder couldn't sell. We still own our home in another state we can't sell. Crozet is the most picturesque part of the Charlottesville/Albemarle County area imo, if that is important to you. Since you can pretty much get everywhere in 20 minutes or so, I'd look for the deal on a rental I could get that suits your needs. Best of luck to you.
I'm thinking about that, too; trying to get a deal on something a builder or seller can't sell but I'm not sure where to begin. I need to move in a couple of weeks and can afford a pretty decent rent. I mean, rents here for nicer properties are only a few hundred dollars more monthly than what I was paying in DC five years ago for an apartment.

What are utilities like in this area, in terms of cost? Does it cost a lot to heat?

If you've got any ideas (besides Craigslist) where I can find listings in Crozet or even S. Augusta county, let me know.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,737,641 times
Reputation: 241
I found rentals in Charlottesville in The Daily Progress and on the bulletin board at Integral Yoga (then Blue Mountain Foods). UVA might also have an off-campus housing office.

I'd choose a commute from South or West of Charlottesville because the roads are good and traffic is less. One other thing to consider is that road plowing of secondary roads in the county takes quite a while (days) or never (private roads and driveways).
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:10 PM
 
Location: milford Ma
1 posts, read 2,137 times
Reputation: 10
We maybe moving to Cville if my wife accepts a job there soon how did you make out with the house rental you seem to want what we want.We are from Milford Ma.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:18 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,595,437 times
Reputation: 3361
This thread is from 2009.....so you may want to start a fresh one for your question.

But this board doesn't seem to get much action at all. I asked about apartments days ago. And have no responses.
Good luck.
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