Moving to Richmond? 11 Reasons Why That's an Awesome Idea

Moving to Richmond? 11 Reasons Why That's an Awesome Idea

Have you been thinking about moving to Richmond? In 2016, Zillow declared Richmond the “4th Hottest Housing Market”, while the Huffington Post proclaimed Richmond as one of the “Ten Best Cities to Relocate to in the U.S.” in 2015! Why? What do they know that you don’t know? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to take a look at in this article, so read on for the 11 reasons why moving to Richmond is an awesome idea!

Before we elaborate on all of this awesomeness, let’s take a look at some interesting stats about Richmond, Virginia, locally referred to as RVA:

  • Population: 1.3 million.
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
  • Average Sales Price for a Home: $248,808
  • Average Household Income: $60,713

Now, about all those reasons on why moving to Richmond is an awesome idea:

Moving to Richmond?11 Reasons WHY you should.

1. Richmond is Home to Eight Fortune 500 Companies

Most likely if you are moving to Richmond, you need a job and a great one at that. Luckily for you, Richmond is home to eight Fortune 500 companies, including: Altria, Dominion Resources, CarMax, Genworth Financial, Ownes & Minor, WestRock, Markel, and Performance Food Group.

In addition to the Fortune 500 list, RVA also has several companies in the Fortune 1000, such as: Brinks, Universal Corp, and NewMarket Corp.

Moving to Richmond and are in the medical field or teaching profession? You are in luck as RVA is home to several large hospitals and higher learning institutions, including: VCU Medical Center, Bon Secours, HCA Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, Virginia Union University, J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College, and more!

 Search for Jobs in Richmond

2. Foodies Chow Down in Richmond

Moving to Richmond as a foodie? From downhome cooking to fancy meals with an elegant backdrop, RVA knows food. Check out some of the press Richmond has generated, all centered around FOOD:

  • The Local Palate, Oct. 2014: One of “the most impressive emerging food locales in the South”
  • Conde Nast Traveler, Sept. 2015: L’Opossum and Sally Bell’s Kitchen both named “10 Unmissable Restaurants in the American South.”
  • Departure Magazine, Sept. 2014: “Richmond: The Next Great American Food City”
  • Wine Enthusiast, July 2015: named Richmond one of “The Foodie’s 5 Must See Wine Country Destinations”
  • Zagat Aug. 201: named RVA one of “8 Best Day Trips for Foodies Around D.C.”
  • Conde Nast Traveler, July 2015: proclaimed Richmond as “The Southern Destination You Need to Know About”

And the accolades just go on and on!

When we were moving to Richmond, my husband and I found our personal favorite restaurant, Lemaire, located in the historic Jefferson Hotel. The beef tenderloin is fantastic, but the real star for me was the macaroni and cheese, OMG! Need a less formal destination? Mama J’s is just great for the soul and easy on the wallet. Catfish is my go-to, and the pork chop is amazing, too!

Have a sweet tooth? We have you covered! Proper Pie, located in Church Hill, has nailed sweet & savory pies. Alton Brown, of Food Network fame, declared the pumpkin pie, “the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had in my life. That’s right, best ever.” Now, that’s some high praise! Prefer a slice of cake? Look no further than Shyndigz! Here you will delight in a towering slice of Salted Chocolate Caramel cake or, my husband’s favorite, The Spotted Cow! Go ahead, indulge! Moving to Richmond never tasted so good!

 Search Best Restaurants in Richmond 

3. Richmond is your Playground with The James River

James River

Those moving to Richmond will soon discover that The James River Park System is Richmond’s top tourist attraction, with close to a million visitors each year! No matter what your adventure poison, The James River has you covered with the following activities: canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, tubing, whitewater rafting, swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, and even various tours and camps.

One of my favorite stops along the River is Pony Pasture, where you can pack a picnic and sit on a rock as you watch Fido frolic in the water and enjoy kayakers’ drift by.

Learn more about The James River Park System

4. Richmond Boasts Festivals and Expos Galore

No, there is no chance you will be bored when moving to Richmond, I pinky swear! From Food Festivals to Film Festivals, there is something for everyone in your family. Check out some of the events lined up for 2017:

  • Virginia Renaissance Fair, May 2017
  • Strawberry Street Festival, May 2017
  • Lebanese Food Festival, May 2017
  • Dominion Riverrock, May 2017
  • Innsbrook Afterhours Concert Series, May 2017
  • Richmond Festival of Arts, May 2017
  • Ashland Strawberry Faire, June 2017
  • Broad Appetit, June 2017
  • Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival, June 2017
  • Hanover Tomato Festival, July 2017
  • Amazing Pet Expo, July 2017
  • *Richmond Jazz Festival, August 2017
  • Carytown Watermelon Festival, August 2017
  • Wizard World Comic Con, September 2017
  • Benedict Oktoberfest, September 2017
  • 43rd Street Festival of the Arts, September 2017
  • Virginia State Fair, September 2017

This is just a sampling of the festivals, expos, and fairs that Richmond hosts each year! When you find yourself moving to Richmond which event will you attend first?

Search Richmond Events 

5. Wine Down at Wineries in Richmond

Like to unwind with a nice glass of wine? Yep, so do I and I love that we have so many local choices here near Richmond! Here is a list of some of the great wineries for when you are moving to Richmond:

  • James River Cellars Winery, located just 10 minutes from RVA
  • New Kent Winery, located approximately 35 minutes from Richmond
  • Ashton Creek Vineyard, located approximately 40 minutes from RVA
  • Saude Creek Vineyards, located just 35 minutes from Richmond

Go ahead, plan a fun girls day out or that romantic tour with your significant other and enjoy all our local wineries have to offer! Worried about driving? Take an Uber or call James Limousine and be chauffeured around like the King or Queen that you are!

6. Museums, Museums, and more Museums in Richmond

Did you know that there are forty museums in Richmond for you to explore? Yes, there is something for everyone moving to Richmond to discover! Take a peak at some on this list and plan your next staycation:

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA)
  • The Valentine
  • The Science Museum of Virginia
  • The Virginia Holocaust Museum
  • Virginia Center for Architecture
  • Virginia War Memorial
  • Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA
  • American Civil War Museum
  • Virginia Historical Society
  • Children’s Museum of Richmond
  • Edgar Allen Poe Museum
  • Virginia Aviation Museum

Moving to Richmond with children in tow? I can certainly vouch for a membership at The Children’s Museum of Richmond! Imaginative play is the theme throughout, providing different stations where your child can act out a play on a little theatre, grow some crops on the farm, or even learn math skills in the bank! Definitely a place for kids or the kid at heart!

7. History Lives in Richmond

Washington Monument

Richmond, known as “The Confederate Capital Capitol”, is steeped in history. It is where Patrick Henry gave his impassioned speech, exclaiming, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” at St. John’s Church, and where Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to General Ulysses S. Grant, bringing an end to the American Civil War.

In 1877, Monument Avenue, a popular tourist attraction, became the home to several statues, displaying Confederate leaders, such as JEB Stuart, Robert E Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. In addition, there is a statue of international tennis star, Arthur Ashe.

If you are history buff moving to Richmond and like a little sense of adventure, you will LOVE the Segway of Richmond tours! These guided tours take you around our amazing city with visits to places, such as” Hollywood Cemetery, Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, Public Arts Tour, Lincoln Tour, Black History Tour, and more!

8. Paint the Town Red with the Art Scene in Richmond

Craving a little culture when moving to Richmond? RVA serves it up well with a vibrant art scene! The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a fabulous place to view wonderful exhibits, such as: Early 20th Century European Art, Faberge and Russian Decorative Arts, and The McGlothlin Collection of American Art. In addition, you will marvel at amazing street art with the Richmond Mural Project, with Buzzfeed proclaiming RVA as the “Best Street Art in the World”. For a complete list of where to visit these wonderful murals, click here: Murals.

Theatre more up your alley? The stunningly beautiful Altria Theatre offers a variety of shows and concerts, such as The Book of Mormon, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Indina Menzel World Concert, Comedy’s Most Wanted, and more!

Upcoming Shows at Altria Theatre

9. Richmond Farmers Markets are Glorious

Farmers Market

When you are moving to Richmond you will find RVA embraced the Farmers Market scene long before it was “on trend”, with several popular destinations for wholesome goodness! My favorite? The South of the James Farmer Market, located in the lovely Forest Hill Park! On any given Saturday you can shop locally grown and handmade items from a variety of vendors, such as:

  •  Agriberry Farm
  •  Barham Seafood
  •  King’s Produce
  •  Lady Jamz, LLC
  •  Reginald’s Homemade (My FAVORITE peanut butter!)
  •   Ninja Kombucha

When visiting the market make sure you come hungry and partake in one of the many food trucks that are onsite! In particular, RUN, don’t walk, to the Mrs. Yoder Kitchen to snag a delicious, just made, hot donut! Trust me on that one!

Richmond VA Farmers Markets

10. Cheer on a Local Sports Team in Richmond

Are you a sports fan moving to Richmond? Go ahead and rejoice as Richmond boasts an impressive sporting landscape!

America’s favorite pastime (baseball) shines with the Double A Richmond Flying Squirrels, an affiliate to the San Francisco Giants clubhouse. The Richmond Kickers (soccer) show us what it means to bend it like Beckham. The Washington Redskins (pro football) has set up training camp in the heart of Richmond, while friendships are tested mid-winter when basketball wars ensue with the Richmond Spiders facing off against the VCU Rams. Have the need, the need for speed? Then you can't miss probably RVA's biggest sporting claim to fame, NASCAR! That's right, head on out to the Richmond International Raceway to catch a race OR purchase a ticket for the Richard Petty experience and have a bucket-list opportunity to drive your very own car!

No matter what you favorite sport it, RVA has something for every sports enthusiast in your family!

11. Richmond Real Estate is Affordable…and Charming!

Richmond Real Estate, RVA Home Team

As a Richmond Realtor, I LOVE when people are moving to Richmond from out of state and discover just how affordable RVA can be! It’s no wonder in 2016 Zillow named Richmond the “4th Hottest Housing Market” in the United States!

So, what does a home cost? The average home price (2017) in Richmond is approximately $250,000, compared to the national average of $384,000. That is about a $600 - $1,000 difference in a mortgage each month! Imagine the savings!

Church Hill Home for Sale in Richmond VA Richmond Real Estate

Richmond real estate is not only affordable, it is also charming! Sure, if cookie-cutter homes are your thing we have plenty of those, but if you like little character, Richmond oozes it! Take my neighborhood, for example. I live in the beautiful community of Salisbury, in Midlothian, about a 20-minute drive outside the city. My home is a 3000 square foot Dutch Colonial while the neighbor to the right of me has a traditional Colonial style home and the neighbor to the left of me has a Cape Cod style home. My friend around the corner has an English Tudor, while my other friend owns a Contemporary style home. This variation makes our homes unique! And charming! Another example is the super popular Fan District in the heart of the city. Here you will discover stately row homes or detached homes from the early 1900’s with original hardwood floors and vintage finishes. How cool is that?

Search Homes for Sale in Richmond

What the Locals Have to Say

What do the locals have to say about WHY they love Richmond so much? Check out these responses from our super high tech, state of the art...Facebook poll! (HAHA!) Jeff P. "Relatively small town, but still with a lot of cool things to do, and always within reasonable travelling distance. I've always found that, for the most part, people are generally courteous and friendly around RVA and the surrounding areas as well " Katy M. "Festivals! Parks! Close to beach! Walking/bike paths! The food!!!! Beer!!!!" Ward C. "Small town with big city amenities" Laura T. "Feels like a bigger city without the crazy commute/congestion/cramped houses." Jay M. "Close to beaches, mountains, and major cities while still being affordable." Cherie T. "Close to many rivers???" Jeremy F. "The Pipeline...Belle Island...Brown's Island...Footbridge...History...Festivals...Carytown...The Bottom...Church Hill!" Kim L. "We have almost everything you can think of to do here. There's always something going on and there's always somewhere cool to take my kids." Jim G. "I don't even know where to begin ! From the mountains to the sea , Virginia is just such a beautiful place with so much to offer , And living in RVA puts you right in the center of all of it , I have move away a few times but I always come right back home here to RVA " What do YOU think about RVA?

Moving to Richmond Wrap Up

Moving to Richmond is an exciting, and maybe a little overwhelming, time. Of course, there are many more reasons to move here than these 11, such as four-season weather, award winning schools, and mild traffic, but we focused on just a few of our favorites. Have a favorite of your own not on this list? Share with us in the comments!

About the Author

The article, "Moving to Richmond? 11 Reasons Why That is an Awesome Idea" was written by your 40 year old Snapchat loving, Facebook Live embracing Richmond Realtor who has a passion for marketing and all things real estate. Meet Shannon Milligan, owner of RVA Home Team powered by eXp Realty.

As a top producing Richmond real estate agent, Shannon assists buyers and sellers in achieving their real estate goals while offering a customer EXPERIENCE that is unforgettable with an MVP Program, customer appreciation events, and good old fashion ongoing communication.

Questions about moving to Richmond or about buying or selling in the Richmond Metro area? Connect with Shannon on Facebook, SnapChat (@rvahometeam), Instagram, Twitter, or via phone at 804-248-8207.

 

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