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Start Your Review of Charlottesville, VA


  3/18/2018
Did not want to leave!
I went to UVa in the late 70's and spent nearly 6 years there as an undergrad and afterward as a townie. Probably the best years of my life. I only left to pursue opportunities in the DC area. I loved the small-town atmosphere and the plethora of things to do. C'ville is a small town with limited things to do for a young person beyond the university. It is close to DC to the north and Richmond and Atlanta to the south so I never felt at t loss for things to do or places to see.I have not been back since the early 90's but my memories are fond of this little city. I am thinking of going back to retire after decades in LA- a welcome change!

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  3/7/2017
loved it here and sick missing it.
Want to start by saying we have lived in Boise, San Francisco, Seattle, Corvallis-Oregon, Yakima-Washington, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Manhattan-Kansas, Enterprise-Alabama, Charlottesville, Eugene-Oregon, and now Ann Arbor, Michigan. The college towns of Corvallis, Manhattan, Eugene, and Ann Arbor all had much in common with Charlottesville. But Charlottesville has a southern charm/uniqueness not found anywhere.
The weather is occasionally brutally hot or cold or wet but mostly wonderful.
There are so many restaurants, parks, hiking trails, cultural and sporting events, festivals, art galleries and museums, concerts and just a huge variety of things to do in this town. You have to pick and choose because you cannot do it all--too much going on at all times. Other places we have lived didn't seem to have half as much happening... Even if much bigger.
It is ethnically diverse, has a huge amount of country folk commuting into it everyday giving it somewhat of variety of cultures, and it is just way more quaint and charming than any place I have ever lived--except maybe San Francisco which I found a bit too much for my comfort.
However, the public schools are some of the worst we have seen--other than Baltimore--with many people choosing private or homeschool. And there is a bit of a racism problem--the town still hasn't shed some of its slavery past/white supremacy values quite yet. Sometimes the "white genteel" thing is too much with English riding get-ups and posh clothing boutiques. But, there is some old-fashioned charm there, too. Definitely a town that is experiencing some issues with shedding some parts of it's past.
The crime rate isn't that bad but it could be better. Just comparing it to where we live now, Ann Arbor is also a college town but a bit bigger and the cost of housing is a lot more (but average salaries are also higher). Ann Arbor is also much safer but less Democrat and mostly Lutheran (vs. more flavorful southern Baptist). Ann Arbor schools are top notch but spend a bit less per student--but teachers here are a lot more educated and paid better--although Charlottesville's adult crowd is still fairly educated.
Despite it's small warts, I miss, miss, miss Charlottesville so much. People were way friendlier, more colorful, relaxed, the weather was awesome and housing was more affordable, albeit still expensive. I never felt so much at home as when I lived there. I think we are settled into Ann Arbor for good but it will never quite measure up to Charlottesville.
Personally Charlottesville is number one, followed by Eugene, Corvallis,, Ann Arbor, and Manhattan-Kansas (yes, I did like it there....)

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  1/6/2016
Not for seniors
Nice downtown mall but parking is expensive. If you plan on doing activities at U of Virginia parking is awful and expensive and expect lots of walking and stairs due to hilly campus and poor location of parking. Basketball tickets for UVA are more expensive than the NBA team I left. No pro or semi pro sports. Due to poor road planing, traffic is much worse than it should be for a city this size. Eating out is already expensive and the city is adding taxes on restaurants meals. Golds Gym and ACAC have a shared monopoly on the gym market so you have to pay $40 to $50 a month to join a gym. No Planet Fitness here. Probably due to all the transplants, city has absolutely no southern charm. Living here for two years and very disappointed. The area is pretty though.

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  9/22/2015
Life Quality
C'ville is one of the best areas I've lived in. As a father and business owner, the quality of life is far superior to Upstate NY, Chicago, NYC and anywhere in NJ I've lived. The University of Virginia, two hospitals, and nice weather was a reason for us to move. The weather is moderate and taxes are low. We are 2-3 hours from the Chesapeake Bay and less than an hour from the Blue Ridge.

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  12/31/2014
Affordable Housing
Charlottesville is a great place to retire but there is a lck of affordable housing.Check out this site to see where you can build a custom home from the 200K range.Lots of amenities for the retired to live and play.There is also 24 hr security and medical facilities 15 minutes away at the VCU medical complex.www.newhomesatthecrossing.com

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  8/27/2014
Great Area But Cost of Living is Expensive
I came to Charlottesville for a new job opportunity working at NGIC as a Software Engineer. I stayed there for about a year till my job ended. While I was up there, I noticed there is a huge cap with income inequality. Most of the middle class people lived outside of Albemarle County due to the high cost of real estate and taxes. Most of the jobs do not pay enough to justify for the high cost of living. Unless, you get a job at the hospital, UVA, or NGIC (like me) that pays well, you will be struggling living in Charlottesville. Now Charlottesville does have a lot of history here; however, I do not think most people are willing to pay for the high cost just to live in. Yes the sales tax on merchandise and stuff is 5.30%; however, if you dine out at restaurants a lot like me the sales tax is 9.3%. All groceries you purchase at the supermarkets there is a 2.5% sales tax, even on water and milk which I think is crazy. Also, if you are new to Virginia like me to register your car in the state you have to get your car inspected and pay a high registration tax base on the value of your car, which could cost you over $1,000 per year just to register it. So I just left my license plate in Florida which only cost me $50 a year.
In my opinion, I would only move here if you have a very good paying job or if you really want to go to UVA for college. I believe UVA is too pricey for the middle class families and is over rated. If you really want to stay in Virginia, I think you should check out Lynchburg. The cost of living is a lot cheaper and it’s still a college town. Also if you really like history, then it is only an hour drive to Charlottesville whenever you want to visit Monticello. For me, I have moved back down to Florida to appreciate the low taxes and the beautiful weather.


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  8/14/2014
Real Estate is Expensive When Comparing to Income
I came to Charlottesville for a new job opportunity working at NGIC as a Software Engineer. I stayed there for about a year till my job ended. While I was up there, I noticed there is a huge cap with income inequality. Most of the middle class people lived outside of Albemarle County due to the high cost of real estate and taxes. Most of the jobs do not pay enough to justify for the high cost of living. Unless, you get a job at the hospital, UVA, or NGIC (like me) that pays well, you will be struggling living in Charlottesville. Now Charlottesville does have a lot of history here; however, I do not think most people are willing to pay for the high cost just to live in. Also, another thing this site does not mention is yes the sales tax on merchandise and stuff is 5.30%; however, if you dine out at restaurants a lot like me the sales tax is 9.3%. All groceries you purchase at the supermarkets there is a 2.5% sales tax, even on water and milk which I think is crazy. Also, if you are new to Virginia like me to register your car in the state you have to get your car inspected and pay a high registration tax base on the value of your car, which could cost you over $1,000 per year just to register it. So I just left my license plate in Florida which only cost me $50 a year.

In my opinion, I would only move here if you have a very good paying job or if you really want to go to UVA for college. I believe UVA is too pricey for the middle class families and is over rated. If you really want to stay in Virginia, I think you should check out Lynchburg. The cost of living is a lot cheaper and it’s still a college town. Also if you really like history, then it is only an hour drive to Charlottesville whenever you want to visit Monticello. For me, I have moved back down to Florida to appreciate the low taxes and the beautiful weather.


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  3/17/2014
Real Estate is very expensive
Charlottesville, Va is a beautiful place to live, work and raise a family. However it is also very expensive.

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  12/26/2013
Too expensive too snooty
I came to Charlottesville five years ago, and cannot wait to leave. Unless one has family here, or is affiliated with UVA, it can be a lonely experience. Very hard for one to find one's niche; I am a friendly person, and have lived all over the country,but I have found this town to be too rude, and "full of itself." I do not understand why it made"best place" lists, unless someone paid for that. It's way too expensive for basic necessities(especially housing) in proportion to salaries. The traffic is a nightmare; the infrastructure is too small for the growth; the weather is extreme, because of the Blue Ridge Mountains.(ice storms, high wind turbulence, hot humid summers)The town has a lot of trees, so when there are storms, many times the power is out sometimes for quite a while, because the power lines are above ground. The crime rate for a town of this size is high. Last year I heard on the local news there are 150 distinct gangs here. I have spoken with people who have lived here a long time, and the consensus is that it use to be a nice friendly Southern town. No longer.

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  12/26/2013
Too expensive too snooty
I came to Charlottesville five years ago, and cannot wait to leave. Unless one has family here, or is affiliated with UVA, it can be a lonely experience. Very hard for one to find one's niche; I am a friendly person, and have lived all over the country,but I have found this town to be too rude, and "full of itself." I do not understand why it made"best place" lists, unless someone paid for that. It's way too expensive for basic necessities(especially housing) in proportion to salaries. The traffic is a nightmare; the infrastructure is too small for the growth; the weather is extreme, because of the Blue Ridge Mountains.(ice storms, high wind turbulences, hot humid summers) The crime rate for a town of this size is high. Last year I heard on the local news there are 150 distinct gangs here. I have spoken with people who have lived here a long time, and the consensus is that it use to be a nice friendly Southern town. No longer.

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  12/1/2012
Weather
Charlottesville is located just east of a mountain that protects it from most of the bad weather. The weather patterns show that the bulk of any bad weather circles around Charlottesville.

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  4/5/2012
Good College Town
Not too big and quiet during the summer...

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  2/12/2011
Saying I live in Charlottesville is a little bit o
I've lived in Virginia my whole life. After attending school in Richmond and beginning my professional life there (VCU, Virginia Museum), I moved to Charlottesville in then early eighties. My husband and I are not wealthy people, but we've worked hard and built a wonderful life for ourselves here. Over the years, we've considered opportunities to move back to the Tidewater area, where the lifestyle was more affordable. Honestly, and even though we do miss the water, we never gave t serious thought. We agonized a little more over a career move to the Northern Virginia area, because the money would have been so much better. In both cases, we ultimately opted for staying in Charlottesville for the quality of life it affords us. We live in Albemarle County, which is 750 square miles surrounding tiny Charlottesville. Though I moved here in my mid-twenties from a rockin' life in Richmond and resented the pedestrian-ness of the place in the eighties, that really has changed. The availability of good music, food, theater, and recreation is pretty astounding, really. I'm sorry that certain commenters on this page think the town is "full of itself". I think they just got in with people with whom they do not share a commonality. Personally, having been raised in Virginia, I do enjoy a certain level of comfort here, and I really like the big-fish-in-little-ocean ambiance. There are a lot of highly-educated people always moving in and out of the area, thanks to the University of Virginia. Also, the area is dripping in historical significance, and I do believe that sort of environment attracts a different sort of person, and that person doesn't want the city of new suburban sort of lifestyle. We're really lucky that there is a significant contingent of people who want to restrain development in the area, who hope that we can retain the rural character that does still exist outside of the city-proper. Speaking of the city-proper... it can be a very cool place to live, but I do think it warrants a little sophistication. Charlottesville, the city, is a tiny microcosm of a larger city. Cool restaurants that aren't cheap, art film theaters, great live theater, some very cool bands, etc, along with... and then, there's the bad stuff that you find in cities, like the projects and a concentration of crime, mostly larceny. I just don't think it's realistic to believe we could have all of the amazing lifestyle qualities and avoid some of the bad. We had opportunities to leave, and we could certainly consider leaving when we retire, but we can't think of any good reason to do so.

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  2/11/2011
Charlottesville Virginia Horse Country
If horses and riding are your passion, Charlottesville and the surrounding area is the perfect place to live. The gently rolling countryside provides an excellent setting for a horse farm and is a delight to ride through. Albemarle County is home to two foxhunts and there are numerous horseshows year round.

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  9/12/2010
Why Visit Charlottesville Virginia?
The majestic mountains of Virginia, crisp fall breezes, locally owned and operated wineries, and luxury accomodations at some of the finest bed and breakfasts are just a few of the things that you'll experience when you visit Charlottesville, Virginia. Home to UVA and several U.S. Presidents, our town is steeped in history and culturally diverse.
Rated #1 by Frommer's as one of the best cities to live in, Charlottesville offers the convenience of a big city with Charlottesville Albemarle airport servicing several major airports, as well as the hospitality of a small town.
Looking for fun things to see and do? The UVA Cavalier Football team is in full swing behind their new coach Mike London playing several home games at Scott Stadium. With the edition of John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville now allows its residents to stay right here instead of having to go to a larger venue to see their favorite entertainers. Just announced, Dave Matthews is returning to Charlottesville in November!


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