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Hampton Roads area Chesapeake - Hampton - Newport News - Norfolk - Portsmouth - Suffolk - Virginia Beach
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:18 PM
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3 posts, read 5,477 times
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Hello! My husband has accepted a job in VAB which he begins next month. He will commute for the remainder of this school year so our 4 children (elementary school students) can finish this school year. My husband has visited the area several times, and has even spent one full day with a realtor. I plan to visit during October to join the house hunt as well. We're moving from Arlington Heights, a suburb about 18 miles northwest of Chicago. We love our town and our friends, but we hate the weather and the taxes. Schools are excellent here.

My question is this: which area of VAB is for us? Our price range is up to 1 million so we have lots of options. We are already working with a realtor who highly suggests the North Shore area, specifically homes within the Cox school district. Though we can afford many homes in that area, I want to ensure we don't move into an "old money" community. I like Great Neck (at least virtually, anyway). A friend of mine mentioned Southeastern VAB is up and coming. My husband saw a home he really liked on S Bay Shore Drive, and another on Couple's Court (which is in Heron Ridge Estates). What do you think of these areas? Are we better off in the Kellam HS district?

What about Chesapeake?

We're looking for a family-friendly, "hip" community with open-minded, hard-working people. Great restaurants are important to us. Shopping doesn't matter near as much as I trust I can do all of my "big-box" shopping in VAB. I plan to make trips to DC or NYC (my home town) for any serious shopping.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Chesapeake, VA
10 posts, read 19,873 times
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Kellam and Cox are great school districts. One thing about the Virginia Beach area is that nothing is close. You are always traveling 15-20 miles to do something. It's not like the Chicago area where most things are nearby. This area is like one huge suburb. The Great Neck area is very nice with a lot of families and about 5 miles from Town Center and 10-15 miles from downtown Norfolk. Heron Ridge is nice, but it is in the country and about 3-5 miles from any stores. If you don't like jet noise, make sure to stay away from NAS Oceana. If you have any other questions, just ask. I have been here since 1983 and know the area quite well.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,703,409 times
Reputation: 3723
Quote:
Originally Posted by img View Post
Hello! My husband has accepted a job in VAB which he begins next month. He will commute for the remainder of this school year so our 4 children (elementary school students) can finish this school year. My husband has visited the area several times, and has even spent one full day with a realtor. I plan to visit during October to join the house hunt as well. We're moving from Arlington Heights, a suburb about 18 miles northwest of Chicago. We love our town and our friends, but we hate the weather and the taxes. Schools are excellent here.

My question is this: which area of VAB is for us? Our price range is up to 1 million so we have lots of options. We are already working with a realtor who highly suggests the North Shore area, specifically homes within the Cox school district. Though we can afford many homes in that area, I want to ensure we don't move into an "old money" community. I like Great Neck (at least virtually, anyway). A friend of mine mentioned Southeastern VAB is up and coming. My husband saw a home he really liked on S Bay Shore Drive, and another on Couple's Court (which is in Heron Ridge Estates). What do you think of these areas? Are we better off in the Kellam HS district?

What about Chesapeake?

We're looking for a family-friendly, "hip" community with open-minded, hard-working people. Great restaurants are important to us. Shopping doesn't matter near as much as I trust I can do all of my "big-box" shopping in VAB. I plan to make trips to DC or NYC (my home town) for any serious shopping.
When you say "old money" what do you mean exactly? Virginia Beach was not incorporated until 1952. The old money is in Norfolk, which was incorporated in 1736. Virginia Beach is a suburb of Norfolk; its on independent city, politically, but practically it is a suburb of Norfolk, as is Chesapeake (1963). These are new, suburban areas.

Considering that Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are going to have older residents that no longer live in Norfolk, because of the problems in that city, you might want to come and visit to get a feel for what you actually want out of a city. You might be better off in Norfolk; there is little "open minded" about Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, other than Black flight from Norfolk.

You also mentioned shopping; both Virginia Beach and Norfolk have what you need. Not on the level of DC, NYC or Chicago, but good enough for the residents around here (still relatively out of reach for some). Richmond is pretty interesting as well. Chesapeake does not have anything you could not find in any other city in Hampton Roads. I do like the look and feel of Greenbrier, even though most on here might tell you that mall is stuck in the seventies, as far as the look and feel.

As long as you stay on the Southside (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk) you shouldn't have more than an hour commute anywhere, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hours during "rush hour" (pretty much any time during the day when the majority of citizens are working).
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
154 posts, read 344,847 times
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If you want a "hip" community I would recommend Ghent in Norfolk. A lot of the restaurants in Virginia Beach are chains, whereas Norfolk has a lot of local joints (and chains). Some could criticize the schools, but they're not that bad, and with your housing budget, I would assume you could afford private schools.

Most of HR is not hip (vinyl sided houses and stripmalls) but Norfolk comes closest.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,703,409 times
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Originally Posted by stva View Post
If you want a "hip" community I would recommend Ghent in Norfolk. A lot of the restaurants in Virginia Beach are chains, whereas Norfolk has a lot of local joints (and chains). Some could criticize the schools, but they're not that bad, and with your housing budget, I would assume you could afford private schools.

Most of HR is not hip (vinyl sided houses and stripmalls) but Norfolk comes closest.
This is what I tell everyone. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, about Virginia Beach that screams diversity, culture, or anything else cool and hip. The place is a suburb on steroids. The harder Virginia Beach tries to be a city, the more of a suburb it becomes. Everything about the place is artificial, plastic, polyester, Styrofoam, ugh! Too many CFCs floating around in the air. Just to move to Norfolk, a real city; why anyone would want to downgrade from a true city with rich history to a place like Virginia Beach is beyond me.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Chesapeake
179 posts, read 443,246 times
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People are looking for different things in the places they live at different points in their lives. What was important to me in my 20's early 30's without kids is very different than what is important to me now with a family. Norfolk has it's charm, but unless you want to send your children to private school you can find much better schools in neighboring cities. That is hugely important to a lot of people and not a big deal to others. I would give up the convenience of a walking neighborhood for great schools and safe streets my kids can play on.

Virginia Beach offers a lot to families. No it isn't urban and gritty, and yes it does sprawl out..... I don't live in Virginia Beach now, I did for 5 years, but I do live in Chesapeake which is just as sprawled out and burblike. We moved here for the schools mostly, and for a bit of a quieter setting than Virginia Beach, less congestion.

I like Norfolk, but I wouldn't want to live there. I am happy driving 15 minutes to get to some of the places there I like to go.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:05 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 5,393,647 times
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I would look at Indian River Plantation. I owned a home in that neighborhood for several years before retiring and leaving the area. It has that country feel to it but just minutes from anything you will ever need. The big plus is you have very little to zero jet noise from Oceana jet base, something you can't say when dealing with parts of the Cox school district. Kellam is a great school district and they will be building a brand new Kellam high school just a few miles away from this neighborhood
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:41 AM
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I would give up the convenience of a walking neighborhood for great schools and safe streets my kids can play on.
I agree with you. The school system that our 4 children attend is our number one priority. We do LOVE our current walking neighborhood, but the kids come first. My husband and I are not opposed to private schools, but prefer public schools. If it's a matter of Norfolk for us and VAB for the kids, we'll choose VAB.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:42 AM
img img started this thread
 
3 posts, read 5,477 times
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I would look at Indian River Plantation. I owned a home in that neighborhood for several years before retiring and leaving the area.
I was very interested in this area actually, but our realtor dismissed it when I brought it up to him. Not sure why....perhaps I will ask to see some homes there. Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Chesapeake
179 posts, read 443,246 times
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Also be sure to check out Chesapeake too, we live in the Grassfield HS zone and it is a wonderful family friendly area. There are some lovely homes in the area and it is safe with easy access to most areas of Hampton Roads.
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