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Old 12-13-2009, 09:02 PM
 
6 posts, read 12,491 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm in the process of separating from my husband and will be relocating to the Hampton Roads area. I would like to move to the Western Branch section of Chesapeake in the next several months. I have many questions regarding homes, schools and employment and would greatly appreciate any information and feedback.

HOMES
What is the MLS website for the area? I've been looking at realtor.com but wondered if there is a better site. Also, what does the buyers market look like in that area? Are homes selling at asking price? If not, how much lower than the asking price are they typically selling for? Can I get a decent 3br/2bth home in this area for under 250k?

SCHOOLS
I noticed that there are several elementary and middle schools in the Western Branch area and was wondering which ones are better so that I can focus my search in that area. In reading through other posts, many indicate that the best schools are in Great Bridge and Grassfield and the worst in Deep Creek, but I don't see much about Western Branch. I compared test scores between the top two and Western Branch and they all seem comparable, so I'm wondering what other factors folks are considering when they are judging these schools. Any information about Western Branch schools is greatly appreciated.

EMPLOYMENT
Are Spanish language interpreters in demand in the area? I did not see any jobs through careerbuilder.com. Any ideas where elese I can look?

Thank you in advanced for your help.

MJ
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 5,037,173 times
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I cannot be very specific, but I will help a little. I live in Portsmouth, right on the edge of Western Branch. The WB schools are just fine. They are all located right there together which is convenient if you have one in middle school and elementary. The area is quiet and pretty safe. Most of the homes are brick ramblers or 2 story colonials - the neighborhoods are well kept and family friendly. Shopping is very close by. Grocery stores either in Portsmouth or at Chesapeake Square.

I looked at the paper this weekend and noticed that in general, most of the homes are selling at or very near list price. There are definitely houses for sale in WB right now.

I do not know about the jobs in your field though.

Overall, I am sure you would be very happy in WB. Most people on this board will tell you to move to Greenbrier - which is fine - but that area is WAY too congested for me. I like the peace and quiet of WB, yet shopping and the highway are very nearby.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:45 AM
 
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I like the greenbrier area, but it does seem congested. Are there safety issues with the schools in Western Branch?
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 5,037,173 times
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Not that I have heard. However this may be unbelieveable to some on this board.... but the high school probably has more problems with drugs and 'normal' teenage behavior than Churchland High.

Coming from Northern Virginia, the high schools there had many, many problems with drugs. I feel there is a direct correlation to family income level and availability of drugs to teenagers. WB has some nicer home areas, which means a higher income level and more access to drugs. Churchland, not as much. I know, unbelieveable because everyone thinks Portsmouth is some crime ridden drugland. That is really not the case in the Churchland area. The school has good kids, good teachers and good security.

By no means is WB a horrible school - far from it!!! But it is not perfect - no where in HR is like that. However, WB high puts out some fantastic athletes. You never hear of problems at WB. I would definitely send my children to WB schools - no question.

I'm not sure that helped.... I really love the whole Western Branch area. Very stable, family friendly and safe.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
25,612 posts, read 37,377,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
Not that I have heard. However this may be unbelieveable to some on this board.... but the high school probably has more problems with drugs and 'normal' teenage behavior than Churchland High.

Coming from Northern Virginia, the high schools there had many, many problems with drugs. I feel there is a direct correlation to family income level and availability of drugs to teenagers. WB has some nicer home areas, which means a higher income level and more access to drugs. Churchland, not as much. I know, unbelieveable because everyone thinks Portsmouth is some crime ridden drugland. That is really not the case in the Churchland area. The school has good kids, good teachers and good security.

By no means is WB a horrible school - far from it!!! But it is not perfect - no where in HR is like that. However, WB high puts out some fantastic athletes. You never hear of problems at WB. I would definitely send my children to WB schools - no question.

I'm not sure that helped.... I really love the whole Western Branch area. Very stable, family friendly and safe.
I can attest to high schools in Northern Virginia having some serious drug problems. Spent last 2 years in HS in NoVA and first two in HR. Drug problems will be in every school and any family who moves to a rich area to avoid it is fooling themselves.

I went to argubably the best public school district in Hampton Roads (York County) and I wouldn't have a problem with Western Branch schools. Not being far removed from HS, I can attest that any kid who knows how to avoid the riff-raff can thrive at most high schools. My father until recently lived in Western Branch and I think it's a great area and pretty underrated.

Everyone in Chesapeake will steer you to Great Bridge, Hickory, and Grassfield but I can safely say it will not make a difference to an average child if they go to Western Branch or Hickory.

Homes in my father's neighborhood were going for around 250k and they were small newer 4 bed/2.5 bath homes. I think homes in Hampton Roads are overpriced as it stands now but not too bad.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:30 AM
 
61 posts, read 144,167 times
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I live in WB, and we picked this area for the schools, based on recommendations from a professor at ODU's education department. Our children aren't in high school yet, but we have heard mostly good things about the high school. We know many children that went to good colleges after attending WB High. Our children attend Chittum Elementary, and we have been impressed with the quality of teachers and parental involvement. We have heard excellent things about the administration at Joliff Middle School.
Western Branch has lots of updated older homes on large lots. There is very little traffic compared to other areas of Chesapeake and Suffolk shopping is close.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Chesapeake
36 posts, read 105,157 times
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My family and I moved to Western Branch from Newport News last year specifically for the schools.

As far as homes, they are selling near list price, but sellers are generally helping out with closing costs. For $250K you can probably find a nice brick rancher in the Western Branch school district.

You are right about realtor.com, if an agent is not a realtor, their llisting doesn't show up there - but I would say about 90% of them are there. The local non-agent branded MLS website is Real Estate Information Network, Inc. Most agents who have a website should also have the same feed from the MLS. Another option, if you are working with an agent already, is to ask them if they use the "client gateways" through the MLS - this program allows access to search the MLS, save listings and searches and easily communicate with your agent.

Hope this helps!
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