Richmond (or “RVA,” as the locals call it) is not only the capital of Virginia, but the oldest city in the state. So, yeah…you’ll find plenty of history here, but there’s also lively nightlife, a bustling foodie scene, and festivals galore. It’s no wonder that it was recently voted the “Most Content City in America.” With so much to offer, there are many reasons why moving to Richmond is the perfect next step.
Since Richmond is Virginia’s capital, government and law remain top job industries. But finance is big as well. In fact, Richmond is home to Capital One headquarters, and many other banks are among Richmond’s top employers. Finance not your thing? There are plenty of other opportunities in the area. Walmart, Food Lion, Amazon, and UPS top the list as well. With such an array of high-quality employers in Richmond, job hunting should be a snap.
A favorite with students, “old money,” and everyone in between, The Fan is a fun and fashionable Richmond neighborhood. It’s conveniently located near the city center, so there’s plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Add in low crime rates, diverse residents, and top-rated schools, and you have an area in high demand. Housing prices can creep toward the $1 million mark, so if you’re looking for a similar neighborhood with a lower price tag, check out the nearby Museum District.
Bellevue blends city amenities with suburban living. Charming homes with modest price tags ($250,000 will buy you plenty of square footage) house a diverse, yet close-knit community. Bellevue is perfect for young families, singles, and retirees who want to experience a sense of community without missing out on “city life.”
If you can’t decide which of these neighborhoods sounds right for you, check out Woodland Heights. Just 5 minutes from downtown Richmond, the area provides a solid mix of urban and suburban life. And the architecture is as diverse as the residents: people of all ages, races, and income levels love Woodland Heights.
Richmond’s summers might remind you a bit of Florida, with highs reaching into the 80s and 90s. Winters will be a bit colder than Florida residents are used to, but still milder than the rest of the country. An average January day might range between 27 and 43 degrees. Unlike Florida, Richmond residents experience all four seasons and the activities that come along with them. And since the beach and the mountains are equally accessible, you can enjoy surfing and swimming without having to give up on snowboarding and skiing.
Richmond might be one of America’s oldest cities (it was founded in 1607!), but that doesn’t mean it’s made up of outdated cobblestone streets. In fact, Richmond’s streets are not only well-maintained, but relatively traffic-free. (Seriously. “Bad traffic” might mean an extra 5 minutes on your commute.) Plus, the city’s grid pattern makes finding your way around very easy.
Low fares and routes all over the city make transportation by bus fast and easy, but why not take the trolley? Richmond was home to the world’s first trolley system, so channel your inner Mister Rogers and tour the city by the old fashioned way.
Cost of Living
Perhaps the best part about moving to Richmond is the cost of living. Richmond’s average household income is $62,000 (a full $9,000 more than the national average), and the unemployment rate is also lower than the national average. This means $50,000 a year will get you about the same in Richmond as it does in Orlando. That’ll certainly make job hunting a bit easier.
It won’t surprise anyone to hear that you can find history around just about every corner in Richmond. There’s the Richmond Slave Trail, the American Civil War Museum, Black History Museum, and Edgar Allan Poe Museum (just to name a few) within city limits. And, if you don’t mind a bit of a drive, Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello are both roughly an hour away.
Music fans will love the number of festivals that come to the area each year. Dominion Riverrock blends music with outdoor sports. The Richmond Folk Festival showcases folk music, art, and food (psst…it’s free!). There’s also the Richmond World Festival, various food festivals, and so many cultural events you’re sure to find something for the whole family.
But if you’re looking to live like a local right away, there’s no better spot than the 17th Street Farmers Market. This farmers market has been a popular spot for Richmond residents since 1737, offering a great location for produce shopping, people watching, or picking up tips for life in RVA.
Richmond is a city that seamlessly blends old and new, so if you’re looking for a happy, diverse, eclectic, and family-friendly place to experience the best of Southern hospitality, look no further than Richmond. You’ll be glad you did.