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Old 06-21-2012, 09:05 PM
 
8 posts, read 16,454 times
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Hello everybody I've been trolling on this forum for some time now. Im interested in relocating from Houston to Norfolk. I have a wife and a small daughter. I've been working in Houston as an Accounting Clerk / Accounts Payable Specialist for the past 8 years. I have excellent work history and a strong work ethic. My wife is a RN. We both agreed that we would like to relocate from Houston to Norfolk. I have a couple questions for the locals.

How is the economy in Norfolk?

How is the economy in the nursing industry?

Although I have my own vehicle how is public transportation?

Which areas or section of Norfolk should I avoid?

What's the average price for a 2/1 or 2/2 bedroom apt between 900 -1200 sq ft in Norfolk?

How is traffic in Norfolk? Because Houston is just like NY with worst public transportation.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,173,628 times
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Originally Posted by AnthonyJFranks View Post
Hello everybody I've been trolling on this forum for some time now. Im interested in relocating from Houston to Norfolk. I have a wife and a small daughter. I've been working in Houston as an Accounting Clerk / Accounts Payable Specialist for the past 8 years. I have excellent work history and a strong work ethic. My wife is a RN. We both agreed that we would like to relocate from Houston to Norfolk. I have a couple questions for the locals.

How is the economy in Norfolk?

How is the economy in the nursing industry?

Although I have my own vehicle how is public transportation?

Which areas or section of Norfolk should I avoid?

What's the average price for a 2/1 or 2/2 bedroom apt between 900 -1200 sq ft in Norfolk?

How is traffic in Norfolk? Because Houston is just like NY with worst public transportation.
Public transportation sucks. There is light rail though. But keep your vehicle.

Norfolk can change from one block to the next. I'm not really sure what the bad areas are. Even some of the housing projects are downtown across from relatively nice areas.

Norfolk is a lot smaller than Houston. Hampton Roads in general is a lot smaller than Houston. You do realize that the city itself is three times larger than all of Hampton Roads? It would be a very, very, different pace here.

You can get a $500 apartment in Norfolk if you do not mind being shot at. If that is a concern, there are more expensive apartments downtown that will run a bit more, say $1,200 or more. I don't think Norfolk has neighborhoods that look as bad as some of the slums in Houston but looks can be deceiving. I haven't found anything in Virginia that looks as bad as what you find elsewhere, but that doesn't necessarily mean the place is any safer.

A decent place in Norfolk is going to have a lot of working poor. Norfolk is the type of city, where everything new is out of reach and everything old is in a bad neighborhood. Ghent might be an exception to the rule though. A lot of what you find there looks to be from the 40s, 50s, war time construction. Old stuff without central air where you stick an air conditioner in the window, and one room is warm but the rest of the place is hot. I've lived in that type of place before back in Ohio, it looks great, but it may or may not be in the best condition. Ghent is not a poor area though so I would imagine the place would be a lot different than what it looks on the outside, sort of like what you often see in New York.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Public transportation sucks. There is light rail though. But keep your vehicle.

Norfolk can change from one block to the next. I'm not really sure what the bad areas are. Even some of the housing projects are downtown across from relatively nice areas.

Norfolk is a lot smaller than Houston. Hampton Roads in general is a lot smaller than Houston. You do realize that the city itself is three times larger than all of Hampton Roads? It would be a very, very, different pace here.

You can get a $500 apartment in Norfolk if you do not mind being shot at. If that is a concern, there are more expensive apartments downtown that will run a bit more, say $1,200 or more. I don't think Norfolk has neighborhoods that look as bad as some of the slums in Houston but looks can be deceiving. I haven't found anything in Virginia that looks as bad as what you find elsewhere, but that doesn't necessarily mean the place is any safer.

A decent place in Norfolk is going to have a lot of working poor. Norfolk is the type of city, where everything new is out of reach and everything old is in a bad neighborhood. Ghent might be an exception to the rule though. A lot of what you find there looks to be from the 40s, 50s, war time construction. Old stuff without central air where you stick an air conditioner in the window, and one room is warm but the rest of the place is hot. I've lived in that type of place before back in Ohio, it looks great, but it may or may not be in the best condition. Ghent is not a poor area though so I would imagine the place would be a lot different than what it looks on the outside, sort of like what you often see in New York.
From my understanding I heard most people work in Norfolk, but people stay on the out skirts of the city. How long have you stay in Norfolk and Hows the economy up there?
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,173,628 times
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Originally Posted by AnthonyJFranks View Post
From my understanding I heard most people work in Norfolk, but people stay on the out skirts of the city. How long have you stay in Norfolk and Hows the economy up there?
There are no outskirts. This is a seven city metro, contiguous, exurbs are like an hour and a half away. No need to go to the outskirts. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are cities that border Norfolk. They're both large cities that serve as suburbs of Norfolk.

Both areas are more expensive than Norfolk, but they're safer. You also get more elbow room, as Norfolk is an old city. I've been in the area since 2005. I stayed in South Norfolk, which is a poor neighborhood South of the city of Norfolk in Chesapeake, for 3 years. Now I'm in Virginia Beach. To be honest, even though Virginia Beach is preferable for most, I would rather be in South Norfolk. I am too far from the action, still have to commute back into Chesapeake to drop my wife off at work, which is a 15 to 30 minute drive on I-264, an expressway that runs from the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, through Norfolk, through Portsmouth, until it connects to I-664 out in Suffolk.

I used to take I-264 to I-64 and then drive to work in Chesapeake, when I was working. Now I take I-264 into downtown Norfolk and drive across a bridge back into South Norfolk. That is actually quicker than getting off of I-264.

As far as the economy here, it is stable because it is based in the military. There are more military bases in this metro area than there are anywhere else in the country. So it is all government.

If you have a security clearance, or can easily get one, this is the place for you. Aside from the obvious, the primary criteria is usually a good credit score. If an employer really wants you, they may actually tell you what is wrong with your credit and show you to pay it off, and give you a period of time which to do so.

This is not a center for anything other than the military. If the federal government is your thing, you might want to look at Washington DC. If working for a contractor that does work for the federal government is your thing you might want to look at Northern Virginia. This not an energy/healthcare place, like Houston.

If you're not working for the military, or the federal government, it can be rough. An entry level job here means working in a call center, or as an administrative assistant. Pay is not that great here. Housing is expensive because the people who work for the military can afford it. Or you can overcrowd a small apartment. Take a look through Craigslist; there is a never ending array of articles where someone is looking for someone else to help them pay their rent. It is really that simple; they bought/rent more home than they can afford and are looking for a roommate to help them out.

People usually stay for one or more of a few different reasons. It grows on them. They can't go back home or the working situation wherever they're from is far worse than it is here. In the case of a city like New York that is severely overpriced $700 a month seems cheap for a one bedroom apartment. It is better than paying $1,200 and dealing with the riff raff in some ghetto in the Bronx. It is a lot quieter than most places. One guy from Rhode Island I used to talk to actually likes the 8 lane roads.

Say you're from a place like Detroit, Michigan, with rampant corruption, a declining population, poor infrastructure, declining city services, etc. This place is like a breath of fresh air. You have to ask yourself if whatever it is that drew you to where you're from; the arts, skyscrapers, millions of people, etc. is worth losing for what could be a higher quality of life here. You can get real comfortable here though. It happens to the best of us.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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My only concern is that Im not in nor have I ever been in the miltary or federal government. My credit score is fairly average although that is one of the thing that I will work on before I move any where. I work in the bussiness /accounting field with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting so I would assume that I can find some form of work up there. I see there are some temp agencies that are hiring but I dont want to take a chance on working temp in a city I dont know.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,173,628 times
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Originally Posted by AnthonyJFranks View Post
My only concern is that Im not in nor have I ever been in the miltary or federal government. My credit score is fairly average although that is one of the thing that I will work on before I move any where. I work in the bussiness /accounting field with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting so I would assume that I can find some form of work up there. I see there are some temp agencies that are hiring but I dont want to take a chance on working temp in a city I dont know.
TBH I wouldn't recommend anyone moving here without a degree and some experience under their belt. You get trapped here. East Coast just isn't that great of a place to live without the credentials. You'll be stuck in mediocrity trying to live off of assistance, forever going to school, forever doing jobs you hate. See if you can get a job here from out there before making the move.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
TBH I wouldn't recommend anyone moving here without a degree and some experience under their belt. You get trapped here. East Coast just isn't that great of a place to live without the credentials. You'll be stuck in mediocrity trying to live off of assistance, forever going to school, forever doing jobs you hate. See if you can get a job here from out there before making the move.

Yeah thats the plan I have the degree plus 8 years doing accounting its just a matter of finding a job. Outside of Monster and Careerbuilder do you know any other helpful sites or local job boards.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,173,628 times
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Originally Posted by AnthonyJFranks View Post
Yeah thats the plan I have the degree plus 8 years doing accounting its just a matter of finding a job. Outside of Monster and Careerbuilder do you know any other helpful sites or local job boards.
I actually like Indeed. I subscribed to the RSS feed of Craigslist using Feed My Inbox. You can also do a Google Alerts on Norfolk; a lot of jobs come up that way.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:53 PM
 
8 posts, read 16,454 times
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Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
I actually like Indeed. I subscribed to the RSS feed of Craigslist using Feed My Inbox. You can also do a Google Alerts on Norfolk; a lot of jobs come up that way.

You gave me some great info, Now i guess its back to trolling and lurking the threads..
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,173,628 times
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Originally Posted by AnthonyJFranks View Post
You gave me some great info, Now i guess its back to trolling and lurking the threads..
lol.
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