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SperlingViews - Winchester, Virginia

Overview, People, Health, Economy, Housing, Rankings, Climate, Crime
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81.65% of people are white, 10.95% are black, 2.52% are asian, 0.17% are native american, and 2.13% claim 'Other'. 15.13% of the people in Winchester, VA, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 84.87% are non-hispanic).

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Bp
Winchester, VA
Things we wish someone would have told us before w - 9/20/2012

As a military brat, I have lived all over the world in all kinds of different climates and cultures. My finance and I relocated to Winchester to attend the local university. Our move was dependent upon us securing a place to live. Four months before we planned to move, we flew up, stayed for a week, and explored. We found a place that was in our budget range and in a location we thought would be best for our lifestyles - we're both professional musicians (opera and jazz). While driving across the country to set up our new home - from Texas - our realtor called us to tell us the house was leased to someone else. Our realtor was working with another company and no one had ever mentioned that anyone else was interested in the home. We didn't think anything of it at the time and figured we would just give it the old college try and find a new place. We are an interracial couple - Puerto Rican(f) and White(m). Although we had excellent references, credit history - on both sides, and were prepared and lined up with work - we just had to find a place to live first - it took over a month for us to find anyone who would be willing to rent/lease to us...and we moved during a time of year when the market was full of listings. The comments that were reoccurring were that we "weren't the same color" and that "we don't get a lot of your kind around here". We didn't think a whole lot of it because the comments didn't come from everyone we met; however, the longer we were looking for a home, the more we began to notice trends in behaviors and the way people treated us. One real estate agent, who only had email and phone conversations, could not seem to hide her shock and appall when we showed up to view one of her listings. On the phone, she was very friendly, openly shared information about the "multiple" listing she was trying to fill, was willing to answer my questions, etc. The listing she met us at was a brand new row-house. When we showed up, she was adjusting a sign in the front yard. She gaped at us from the time before we exited our vehicle until we began to approach her. When we got into the house - it was beautiful and in a nice neighborhood with a nice-sized yard - she left us to tour; however, after we walked through the house and came to ask her questions, she told us the home was no longer available but that she could "take you to a place where I think you may be more comfortable". The listing she took us to next was in a rundown neighborhood, literally had plexiglass windows, a crumbling back deck, and was in need of general repair and had plumbing and heating issues. She would not answer any of our questions then...other than to say "this is the only other listing I have that would suit you two". We wouldn't have lived there if someone else had paid the rent. My fiance and I looked at, literally, 283 listings...we still have the listings we never heard back from. We could not find anyone who was willing to give us a home; almost all took an application fee, but never cashed the checks and never returned our phone calls. Finally we found a pastor and his wife who were out-of-state and felt we would make good renters. We found a really wonderful Thai restaurant downtown on the walking mall (Loudoun) and decided to go for lunch. When we came in, we noticed people staring, but didn't pay it much mind...even when the conversations stopped and silence ensued. When we sat down and ordered, an older White woman from across the patio, threw down her food and said to her companion, "I will not eat at a place that serves n!&&%#$ lovers" (she also used the n-word as she was exiting by wheeling herself out of the restaurant). These are not the only stories my fiance and I have. We have been in Winchester for just over 2 years now. I have been followed home by White men hollering vile things from their Confederate flag-covered pickup truck. Not a week goes by where I don't hear the n-word. We get called names in WalMart whenever we go together. People have left their carts in the isles and walked out of the store when they see us. I have seen burning crosses less than 5 miles where we live. We have been told on numerous occasions, "The people of Winchester are actively still fighting the Civil War and there's not much that can be done about that". We wanted to find a church, only to be told that "what you two are is an abomination to the Lord and you should be ashamed for bringing your sin into His house". The woman who said these things dissolved into mutterings about "race mixing" being an "abomination to the Lord". My fiance has been called a "White devil". Walking around Winchester is like having a live-viewing of every stereotype one would think only existed in movies. Most of the minorities in town live in the lower-class/rundown neighborhoods on the "other side" of the railroad tracks and seem to only be found in menial jobs. We have yet to see a person of color in any position of authority in any place other than the ethnic-owned businesses. Hispanics are majorly located in one area of town. People are not friendly - more often than not, they are rude and generally disrespectful; most will not speak...even when they are spoken to. There is an over-abundance of racial bumper stickers. Way too many of the locals use racial slurs as part of their conversation. I have walked into stores and been ignored, only for my fiance to walk in separate of me and get friendly service. Don't get me wrong, the scenery in Winchester is incredible. It truly is Small Town, America. However...it's a bit like stepping back into the past...the WAY past. If you are a person of color accustomed to being treated like a person and not a skin color, Winchester is not a comfortable place in which to live. [read more...]

anonymous
Winchester, VA
Flee for your life!! - 9/8/2012

I have lived in Winchester since 2010. My neighbors are into drugs- using and selling.Another neighbor has had his house broken into. Police do nothing even though the neighbor whose house was broken into spotted a suspect in their(the good neighbor)backyard. The police do nothing because the suspects are African American. The bad neighbors could be White and we are still concerned. As soon as I raise the funds for a move I am out of Winchester.[read more...]

Fred
White River Junction, VT
Don't be afraid to keep looking - 7/24/2011

Winchester used to be a great little town with perhaps an unhealthy emphasis on its self-perceived historic importance, but it is now being dragged into the 21st century unwillingly and the results are decidedly mixed. The population in this area continues to grow at an alarming rate. I've been a frequent visitor to see lifelong friends who live here, one of whom is an environmental engineer, who predicts dire times ahead for the area as far as fresh water supply. Unchecked development in the county has stressed the local water table to its max and yet development continues. The county supervisors ignore the problem as long as property tax rolls grow. Disaster looms on the horizon. That said, this area has the finest regional library system (www.handleyregional.org) I have ever seen. Schools are adequate but offer little encouragement for personal growth. Too much emphasis is placed on minimum competency rather than maximum potential achievement. Your son or daughter will HAVE to get out of here after high school to actually see and experience the real world. Bottom line: not bad but you could do significantly better. [read more...]

Donald
Winchester, VA
Rude factor - 8/4/2010

Do not move here! Rudest people I have seen in a long time![read more...]

Tim
Winchester, VA
Varies year to year - 2/8/2010

Bad winter this year with lots of snow. Summers are variable, but there have been some nice ones lately. Spring & fall are usually the best.[read more...]

Ed
Winchester, VA
Safe place to live - 1/2/2010

Winchester is like living in Mayberry. Very safe place. Like anywhere else, there is crime here, but you can sleep easy and not worry about your kids.[read more...]

richard
Winchester, VA
top of virginia - 4/27/2009

quiet and clean little city about 1 1/2 hours from dc. diverse economy provides jobs for most people with skills.[read more...]

Abhd
Winchester, VA
Little ole Winchester no more... - 6/18/2008

Born and Raised in Winchester, I've seen it all! From the small quaint little town where kids played on the streets until dark, no fear of crime or violence. The simple living indeed, but no nightlife unless you were a child. I've seen the town run by "old money, and old families" no room for new and brighter..Apple Blossom was huge as a child, now it's only a pain...no decent floats, no decent bands...same old politics, same old faces...please how many times do Winchester folk need to see Lenny M????? Who cares! Winchester needs new blood and new life, stop building the homes, stop building malls and shopping..traffic is so bad, for such a small town.. There isn't any room left! Beautiful stone homes, orchards, farms torn down to make room for more houses, more traffic and more malls and shopping..With the unnecessary growth, came more costs to the citizens. Did anyone care to ask the people who have lived here all their life what they wanted?? Nope... It's a shame, for I used to love living here..If I wanted noices, traffic, high costs of taxes, etc..I'd move to the city! I want my small quaint little town back...[read more...]

Patricia
Winchester, VA
Pleasant city nestled in pretty countryside but no - 1/1/2008

Winchester is an old town whose colonial roots are visible along the pedestrian mall downtown. Away from the charming downtown, the major streets are dominated by characterless yet convenient franchise businesses. That Olive Garden is the busiest restaurant in town tells you a lot about the dining scene here. The only authentic ethnic eats are to be found at deliciously Indian Sona's and cheap yet tasty Salvadoran Sweet Sunset. There is a growing Hispanic population, but hardly any Asians. Most Christian religious groups are represented, and there are two Korean-language worship services housed in local churches. A tiny unmarked building in the south end of town functions as a mosque. Buddhists or practitioners of Buddhist meditation will have to commute elsewhere. Winchester is a family town, and there isn't much of a nightlife. Most downtown businesses close up by 6, and the streets feel deserted. As long as you are content to live in ordinary middle America, you'll be quite happy here. Most folks are friendly and unpretentious. You'll like your neighbors, and your kids will like the schools.[read more...]

Tracey
Winchester, VA
it's okay - 3/25/2006

Winchester is not a bad town. It is growing like crazy. Our house value has doubled in the almost-five years that we've lived here. Apple orchards are being felled right and left to make room for cookie cutter subdivisions and retails chains are moving in. So the shopping is better than it was. I still have to go to Leesburg an hour away to do to what I would consider any "real" shopping. However, my children ride their bikes to friends' houses without fear and crime is extremely low. As my children get older though, I do wonder what they will do for entertainment. There isn't a lot going on here if you're a kid over 12. It's 75 miles to DC to see the museums over there. That can be as quick as an hour and half or as long as 2 1/2 hours depending on traffic. And even though we abut a lot of mountains around here, there are precious few trailheads within an hour. So depending on your perspective, this isn't a bad town to raise a family in. However, we are looking to move in the next year. I think it would be an awful place for a single adult.[read more...]

Tracey
Winchester, VA
it's just okay... - 3/24/2006

Things are, indeed, changing rapidly here in Winchester. Our home price has doubled in 5 years, more restaurants and retail businesses are moving in and cookie cutter, over-priced subdivisions are replacing the apple orchards everywhere you look. More shopping and eating options are nice, but they are all chains. Who needs another Olive Garden?? I have to drive an hour east to Leesburg to find what I would consider "real" shopping. The downtown pedestrian mall is pretty sad and empty, but it's quaint. Schools are good with lots of parent involvement, but there is very little for the kids to do. It can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours to get to DC to hit the museums depending on the traffic. It's not bad overall,but we are looking to move. [read more...]

Aaron
Winchester, VA
Winchester's going down hill - 3/22/2006

Housing prices are through the roof because of the DC rat race moving in, the elected officials are clueless about how the infastructure needs to be upgraded to accomadate for this influx, all in all it's a dirty little sh!thole town that only the rich can afford to live in and are too stupid to realize they could live somewhere better than Winchester.[read more...]

jim
Winchester, VA
winchesyer changing - 3/1/2006

Great small city 70 miles west of dc with some problems relating to changes in the demographics[read more...]