There are many factors to consider in determining which area you’d like to settle in and call home when you are moving to a new area. The beauty of the Hampton Roads is that we have so much diversity when it comes to the dynamics of neighborhoods that there truly is a place for everyone to hang their hat and comfortably call home.
Based on what I’ve seen and experienced during the couple of decades that I’ve lived here, I have found the following information helpful for home shoppers when they are narrowing down the right neighborhoods to buy or rent in. School systems, tourism, and the boondocks are three areas that are equally important to our community yet vastly different for a potential resident as they are preparing to buy or rent.
Ahh… young parents… This category usually involves one parent, sometimes both, that are adamant about being in a particular school district. Most in this category have spent hours upon hours scouring sites such as Schooldigger.com or Greatschools.org in order to develop the blue print of what they believe will be the best educational foundation for their children in the years to come. While many of the homes in the top school districts yield square footage just slightly bigger than a backyard shed, as long as the neighborhood is safe and they are inside those golden perimeters of their desired school district, they are perfectly content. The proud nods and smiles among neighbors, the waves to fellow PTSA members, or even the combined family gatherings in someone’s tiny yard, are all characteristic of families living in a neighborhood solely for the school. What happens when your kids are a bit older and you are ready to make a move? Well not so fast mom and dad! Making a significant move before your children start into middle or high school is key to avoid and/or minimalize any devastation the child may encounter when switching schools after they’ve already begun. So, the lesson learned here is that if your kids are teens, you’ll have to time your move between grades and act swiftly.
Tourism is a multi-million dollar business in this area. According to VisitVirginiaBeach.com travelers spend an average of $3.6M per day and we have roughly 6.9 million day-visitors. What does that mean to someone buying or renting? Well, those 6.9 million people will be flooding into potentially your neighborhood looking for parking, loitering in your yard as they make the trek down to the busy tourist area, and desolating the shelves in your local grocery store of any morsel of food available. The Virginia Beach oceanfront has the lion-share of visitors, but tourists flock to all of our beaches in the Hampton Roads including: Chick’s beach, Shore Drive area, Sandbridge, Buckroe Beach, Chesapeake Bay, Ocean View and many more. While the beauty of living so close to the water offers some popularity points among your friends, the reality is that being so close to the beach can be a bit of a nuisance as well. So, as you are shopping for a place to lie your head to rest every night, be sure to review the neighborhoods and closest tourist attractions to be sure you aren’t destined for a nightmare.
As hectic as the downtowns are for each of the seven cities, each of the cities also offer rural, peaceful neighborhoods some would call the “boondocks.” Pungo is a prime example of an area in Virginia Beach that offers tranquility and nature, with most homes sitting on multi-acre lots. Suffolk and Chesapeake have also earned the reputation in the Real Estate world as cities you can “get more bang for your buck.” As the majority of homes there offer much more square footage on average and newer construction versus what you may pay for its equal in the densely populated Virginia Beach.
As diverse as our population is here and as heavily saturated the military market is throughout the region, we truly offer home buying/renting solutions for everyone. Which is pretty spectacular if you think about it from a broad perspective. It doesn’t really matter where you lived before you came here, there is a high likelihood you can find a home within an area that is similar to where you came from.
Photo Credit-Montreal Gazette