ULTIMATE Living in Richmond VA Guide | 😀 Is Moving to Richmond VA for You?

Richmond, nicknamed the “River City”, is the capital of Virginia, and the state’s beating heart. Well-supplied in the industrial sector, Richmond is primarily known as being a hub for Virginia’s legal and governmental industries, which make up most of the beautiful city’s economy. While only the fourth most populous city in the state, it is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Area. Richmond has all the nightlife, industry, and culture one would expect out of any city worth its weight.

Among the most rich aspects of Richmond’s culture is its ties to American history. Shortly after Jamestown was settled in 1607, settlers moved into the area of Richmond, coming into conflict with the Powhatan. After around a century of warfare and exploration, the initial town layout was platted by William Mayo in 1737, named Richmond after an English town of the same name.

If that historical pedigree isn’t impressive enough for you, Richmond was also an important site of other American historical events. It was here that Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech in St. John’s Church, a vital aspect of Virginia supporting the American Revolution. It was also the setting of many Civil War battles, bitterly being fought over by both the North and South.

Through all the turmoil of America’s history, Richmond still came out on top. With such an array of appealing job opportunities, historic sites, and colonial urban beauty, it’s easy to see why so many choose to make Richmond their home. This extends to many famous people as well, including Iron Man actress Leslie Bibb and The Orville actor Chad Coleman.

Richmond, VA Population & Demographics

The city of Richmond has a population of 230,436 distributed out over 59.9 miles at a population density of about 3,800 people per square mile. The median age here is 34.2, which is a few years less than the Virginia average of 38.5. The median household income in Richmond is $51,285, which is about two-thirds lower than the average household income for the state of Virginia, being $76,456.

Richmond is a very diverse community – Richmond’s demographics show 45% of the population being black, 44% being Caucasian, and Hispanics making up 7% of the population. 8.2% of Richmond’s population are foreign-born, with 58% of the foreign-born population coming from Latin America. Richmond’s gender ratio is skewed towards women, with 52% of Richmond’s population being female.

Richmond’s zip codes include 23218–23242, 23249–23250, 23260–23261, and more, while the area code is 804. As one might expect of a large city center, Richmond is run through by several interstate highways, including Interstate 195 and Interstate 95, and more. It’ll be easy to get to where you need to go while you’re living in Richmond.

Richmond, VA Crime

Thinking about moving to this community, but wondering if Richmond is a safe place to live? Crime-wise, Richmond score isn’t stellar, to say the very least, but its property crime rate accounts far more for Richmond’s F rating on Areavibes than its violent crime rate. Richmond’s violent crime rate is 22% higher than the national average, with the murder rate here being 23.8 per 100,000 people, rape at 19.8 per 100,000, robbery at 166.9 per 100,000, and assault at 252.7 per 100,000.

Richmond’s property crime rate is worse than it’s violent crime rate by several degrees, being 59% higher than the national average, primarily because of a massive amount of theft. Burglaries occur at a rate of 427.4 per 100,000 people, theft at 2,702.0 per 100,000, and vehicle theft at 370.1 per 100,000.

Richmond has a serious property crime problem, there’s no getting around it. However, violent crime here is significantly lower than property crime, which most good practice can prevent you from ever being the victim of. You can see a map of Richmond’s crimes here.

Cost of Living in Richmond, VA

Richmond may surprise you with just how affordable it is, considering it’s the fourth most populous city in the state, with the cost of living here being 4% lower on average than other places in America, according to Payscale. Homes in Richmond are around 10% less expensive than the average home in Virginia, with the average home costing you $249,500.

Utilities here cost around 6% more than the national average, and groceries around 12% lower than the national average. Meanwhile, transportation fees are around 8% lower than the national average. The average utility bill you can expect to pay here will set you back $178.22.

Richmond, VA Typical Living Expenses

Here are some common items you might buy, and their prices as according to Numbeo:

  1. Milk – $2.80
  2. Loaf of Bread – $2.34
  3. 12 Regular Eggs – $1.76
  4. 1 lb. Chicken Filet – $3.47
  5. 1 lb. Apples – $1.98
  6. 1 lb. Tomatoes – $1.85
  7. Gasoline, 1 Gallon – $2.27
  8. Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant – $15.00
  9. Monthly Internet Cost – $68.82

Those looking to make a living in Richmond should know that the city has an income tax broken into separate tiers according to income, being 3%, 5%, and 5.75%. Richmond also has a total sales tax of 6%, accounting for both state and city taxes.

Richmond, VA Transportation

Need to know how to get around Richmond? Richmond is a modern and well-routed city center, so getting to where you need to go won’t be much of a problem at all. As previously mentioned, the highways Interstate 195 and Interstate 95 run right through the city, giving easy access to the rest of the country, as well as other interstate highways like Interstate 295 and Interstate 64. If you want to take to the skies to get to where you’re going, the city is served by the Richmond International Airport, which, as its name implies, serves national flights and flights abroad. Local public transportation, such as buses, is served by the Greater Richmond Transit Company.

Richmond, VA Schools & Colleges

Living in Richmond, you’ll be served primarily by the very large Henrico County Public School District. The district is home to 81 schools, of which 33% are rated as Above Average, according to GreatSchools. With such a large base of schools in the area, it should go without saying that you will not be starved for options when it comes to elementary, middle, or high schools. Notable ones include Short Pump Elementary School, Pocahontas Middle School, and Open High School.

If you or a loved one are looking to get into higher education, you’ll have easy driven access to excellently-rated campuses like the public University of Richmond, the private Randolph Macon College and Virginia State University. Those are all within 25 miles of Richmond, and there even more not covered here. You’ll have plenty of choices for higher education while living in Richmond!

Richmond, VA Climate & Weather

Being on the east coast, the entire state of Virginia is often very humid, but also is much hotter than other eastern states owing to its position in the south, leading to hot and humid summers but mild winters. That being said, Richmond’s climate is much nicer than somewhere like Boston, and should be fairly enjoyable year round. You can expect lows of 28 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, and highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. Richmond experiences more than the average amount of rainfall when compared with the rest of the United States, with 44 inches per year as compared to 38. Meanwhile, Richmond experiences less snow than most places in America, with only 11 inches per year as compared to the average of 28. The best times to visit Richmond, in terms of comfort rating, are September and May.

 

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Best Neighborhoods in Richmond, VA

Richmond, like any good city, has plenty of distinct communities to settle down in. If you’re looking for something family-friendly, looking for a senior community, or looking for something with a younger crowd, there’s going to be something for you here. Additionally, many of Richmond’s neighborhoods include those outside of Richmond’s city limits, known colloquially as the Greater Richmond Area. Check out some of your neighborhood options below:

Walkable neighborhoods with lots to explore outside of the car are a common theme in Richmond. Among these, the Fan District, named for its distinctive fan-shaped road layout, is among the best. With plenty of lovely 19th century architecture, tree-shaded streets, and charming local businesses, the Fan District has a lot of fans! A close neighbor to the Fan District, in terms of both location and reasons to move there, is Carytown, better known as the Museum District. Within walking distance of the Fan, many of the same benefits come to the forefront, with the additional benefit of being an epicenter of historic sites for the city.

Both the Fan and Museum districts are in the West End of Richmond, but if you’re not too keen on the urban life and want something a little more suburban, neighborhoods like the Near West End provide bigger lots and properties, perfect for someone who wants a more spacious lifestyle while still enjoying the benefits of the big city.

Richmond, VA Real Estate

Richmond gets an 89 on Redfin’s competitiveness rating scale, which should come as little surprise. Richmond is a bustling urban center with an influx of new arrivals, and the housing market reflects that.

The median sale price for Richmond homes is $276,100, which has been on an upward trend within the last few years, of about 20% year-over-year. However, the number of homes sold has actually trended downwards, with 484 homes sold during the latest year. On a sharp downward trend is the median days on the market, which has sharply decreased by 66.7% throughout the last three years, and now sits at 10.

44% of Richmond residents own their own homes, with the rest renting. Renting here is fairly pricey, with an average monthly rent of $1,193.

If you want to make yourself a part of any of these communities, you should check out the latest listings for homes for sale in Richmond, VA.

Jobs in Richmond, VA

Those planning on making a living in Richmond should know that wages have been going up while cost of living has been going down, according to Payscale. The most popular positions of employment are Project Manager, Operations Manager, and Software Engineer. The largest employers in the area are Capital One Financial Corp, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and VCU Health Systems. The average salary for a worker in Richmond is $62k a year, while the average hourly wage is $17.81.

As stated in the intro, Richmond is home to a large base of financial, government, and industrial industries. No matter who you are, you’re sure to find gainful employment here! Check out the latest listings for jobs in Richmond, VA here.

Things to Do in Richmond, VA

Like any city worth its salt, Richmond has a whole host of excellent shopping centers, family-friendly attractions, and more for you and your loved ones to enjoy. You should check out some of the best things to do in Richmond, VA below:

Top Attractions:

  • Arthur Ashe Athletic Center – This sports venue seats around 6,000 people, and usually hosts a variety of tennis matches, but the center also hosts other public sports events.

Museums & Arts

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Art – If you’re looking to experience some of Richmond’s finest cultural artifacts, the VMFA is the place to do so.
  • Science Museum of Virginia – Interested in the sciences? The Science Museum of Virginia is a general-purpose museum that showcases all sorts of science-related exhibits, fun for kids!

Shopping

  • Willow Lawn – A well-established shopping center that’s served Richmond residents for quite some time, Willow Lawn has a mix of commercial retailers for all your shopping needs.
  • Stony Point – A more high end shopping center, this area features a movie theater and a multitude of high-end joints for an upper class clientele.

Places to Eat in Richmond, VA

Alongside its host of things to do, Richmond is also home to plenty of great eats! Check out some below:

The Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing

With multiple locations across Richmond and Virginia, the Boathouse is one of the local’s favorites when it comes to seafood, grilled American fare, and beautiful waterfront views. Founded long before Richmond’s restaurant boom during the 2010s, the Rockett’s Landing location was built in 1988, and has been a staple in the diet of seafood lovers across the city ever since. With a 4.4 star rating with almost 2,000 reviews on Google, The Boathouse’s pedigree is impressive.

4708 E, Old Main St, Richmond, VA 23231, (804) 622-2628

Lunch or Supper

Since 2012, this modern eatery located in historic Scott’s Addition has pleased Richmond foodies with their innovative takes on traditional American and Southern cuisine.The rustic space evokes the historical heritage of the surrounding area, but the dishes are sure to surprise you! The restaurants position right in the middle of several other new up-and-coming restaurants and breweries makes it even more desirable for those in the area. With a 4.7 star rating on Google, and over 2,000 reviews submitted, Lunch or Supper is a guaranteed hit!

1215 Summit Ave, Richmond, VA 23230, (804) 353-0111

Perly’s Richmond

 

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Jewish cuisine! Bet that’s one you don’t hear often outside of NYC. And yet, Perly’s has become a favorite of Richmond residents for their interesting takes on classic Jewish dishes. Whether it’s matzo ball soup or any other traditional Jewish dish, Perly’s is sure to blow your socks off! And with a 4.7 star rating and over 2,000 reviews, many other people think the same way.

111 E Grace St, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 912-1560

Sports in Richmond, VA

While not the home city of any major league professional sports team, the Washington Redskins have summer training camp in the city, and the area is also home to a wide variety of minor league sports teams, such as the Richmond Kickers and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. In terms of sports venues, the most prominent is the 6,000-seat Arthur Ashe Athletic Center, which is usually host to tennis games, tennis being a favorite in Richmond.

Moving to Richmond, VA  Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable compared to the rest of the state
  • Lots of bustling industry for gainful employment
  • Walkable neighborhoods

Cons:

  • Semi-serious crime problem

There’s a lot to desire about Richmond. While Richmond struggles with crime like many American cities, the historic architecture, walkable neighborhoods, and bustling law and government industries more than make up for it. For many, Richmond is the dream city.

Ready to take that last step and start your journey to making Richmond your new home? Give On The Fly Moving a call at 804-836-4954! Our crew of highly-trained professional movers will ensure your move is a stress-free process at affordable rates! Call now or fill out our online form for a free quote!

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