Petersburg an exciting value for those who want to
Though there are people who rent in petersburg who work in nearby richmond, the rental market is not yet prohibitive in richmond. The real value is for those who want to own their own homes and thus participate materially in the economic boon in the richmond area, as most people are now priced out richmond proper.
Petersburg has a richly varied stock of beautiful and reasonably cheap housing. The city was reaching it's economic nadir just as richmond was really getting plucky in attracting new business.
Unfortuanately for newcomers, most of the housing stock nearest the rapidly improving down town has been priced to reflect the fact that petersburg has been "discovered," but there are still some great deals to be had in the less desireable (due to the inhabitants) neighborhoods. Petersburg has a large underclass, and this has slowed growth, but provided opportunity for middle class folks. The growth of richmond appears inexorable for many reasons, and little petersburg cannot help getting better rapidly. The pace in the last few years has been astounding.
For anyone thinking of moving here, I'd recommend a visit. Hang out downtown (esp the second friday evening of any month) and ask the many friendly newcomers their opinions on the real estate market. Everyone has one, and you will better find the best deal for you.
The pioneering days here are largely over, and life is better here than it was just a few years ago. BUT, if you are in your mid-twentys you will do better in richmond, and if you need clean streets, are from a place where people leave their doors unlocked, or are made uncomfortable by an underclass -- there are better places for you. Petersburg is for the long-sighted, but not the superrich. Also, the schools here are still struggling, so you may not want to bring your little over-achievers here (though there is a FANTASTIC magnet public highschool here with admittance standards.
Summers are muggy. Winters, sunny and beautiful.
shawn | Petersburg, VA