General Area in Richmond>Question Details

Chin12345, Home Buyer in Richmond County, VA

In Richmond, VA: would anyone who lives there recommend the "near" west end vs. the "far" west end

Asked by Chin12345, Richmond County, VA Tue Aug 4, 2009

Relocating to Richmond and wanting to choose the most family friendly, safest neighborhood possible. Love the older architecture but want to be far away enough from downtown. I know agents can't remark on school districts one over another, but that is top priority to us too . Does anyone who lives in Richmond mind remarking on their neighborhood if they love it and which area they think would be most ideal to move to with small children? Thanks in advance. I REALLY appreciate any and all suggestions/opinions

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I grew up in the far west end and was a teacher out there. My husband was down in the fan. As for far west end schools...you will find online (check out http://www.schooldigger.com) that most every school out there is good.
For Elem you have Gayton, Twin Hickory, Glen Allen, Tuckahoe, and the new one Colonial Trail that I personally like. Middle & High Schools are all also very good.
Don't judge a school by it's SOL (Standards Of Learning) scores. They are good indicators but some schools with a little lower scores have fantastic arts programs and really teach the children...not to the tests. Like others have said, there is lots of shopping...& lots of traffic. Before we moved I tried to avoid Broad St as much as I could but you needed to be on it to get everywhere.

The near west end has also be described really well by other folks. The 2 main schools in the city are Mary Munford and William Fox. While they are trying to improve the middle and high schools most people do move or send to private after elem. I love the near west end style homes, sidewalks, families and "walkability" to school playgrounds/parks and shops. Also look at the Museum District, just below near west end which is the William Fox district.

Good luck! I hope that helped some.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 23, 2009
It depends on the age of your children. The near West End (I live there) is very charming; an established neighborhood with older homes and lots of young professionals, many with children. It is very suburban in feeling, but a very short drive from downtown, and close to lots of restaurants/shopping areas (the Fan, Carytown, Libbie & Grove). The elementary school (Mary Munford) is very good, but after elementary school, many people either move to the far West End (Henrico County school district) or send their children to private school. The far West End is typical newer construction, subdivisions, strip malls, etc. There is a lot of traffic out there and it is farther from downtown.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Any school district where the parents are involved tends to be pretty good around Richmond. The near west end of the City tends to be popular with folks buying their first house and starting a family while lots of families tend to migrate west as the kids get older due to lower taxes, larger yards and top-notch schools in Henrico County.

You asked for personal experience; my wife and I both owned houses in the City (and still do) but chose to live in the Westham/U of R area when we started our family, as we both grew up nearby and felt the schools to be some of the best available. We have one in pre-school and one at Tuckahoe and have been very impressed with the schools as well as with our neighbors, many of whom have moved from out of town. There is lots of interaction with other parents and their kids and everyone takes time to volunteer at the school and be part of their kids' education.

As for finding the perfect house, that can be tough since lots of other people are looking for the same thing for their family. We bought our house sight-unseen for well over the asking price before it came on the market, as there was a waiting list of buyers.

When it comes to some neighborhoods, it is important to know about everything on the market as well as homes that may be coming soon.

We look forward to having you in town. Let me know if you need a hand finding the right place.

Willson Brockenbrough
Keller Williams Realty
804-928-7878 Direct
wbhouses@kw.com
Selling Fine Richmond Homes for Over 25 Years
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 15, 2009
The near West End is considered to be basically from the Downtown Expressway stretching West to Three Chopt Road. Some extend this boundary farther West to Forest Ave and some even as far as Parham Road. For architecture and easier access to the city, the near West End is a better choice keeping in mind that most of this area is in Richmond CIty and schools are not as good as those farther West in Henrico County. Once you get far enough West you are then in Henrico County and if you have kids and need public schooling for them, the far west end would be a better choice, unless you have the funds to send them to private schools. Some of the most expensive and desirable Real Estate in Richmond is in the near West End but those with children send them to private school for the most part. Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 12, 2013
How familiar are you with the area? Have you ever been to the west end? personally I like the short pump area because of the shopping. They just opened a Trader Joe's and Whole foods which is great for me. Why do you want to be far away from the downtown area? Is it because of congestion? I personally grew up in NYC, so that part doesn't bother me. It's all relative. The best thing to do is take a trip and spend a few days driving around.
For information on schools you can visit my website, I have links to all of the schools in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 23, 2009
Honest answer: Most school districts in the surrounding counties are really good. Several are excellent however. As far as "city" schools districts, do your homework. There are only a few schools districts within the city limits that are good. You can get very helpful information on school districts from http://www.greatschools.com.

Also, if you prefer to live within in the city limits, there is a charter school due to open in July 2010 in the Richmond Public School System: http://www.patrickhenrycharter.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
Near West End is highly desirable school district. It's a very pleasant neighborhood built mostly in the late 1940s. Good access to downtown and the city, and all kinds of shopping, but quiet and removed from those things as well. Depends what kind of lifestyle you want. Far West End is very typical suburban, very sprawly, winding streets, traffic snarls. NWE has more charm and real convenience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Where are you coming from? What type of house are you looking for. Richmond has some wonderful areas for you to explore. Check out my blog at http://www.richmondhomeownersdepot.com for information about the area.
If you would like to send me an email of the amenities that you are looking for I will send you a MLS search of potential houses.
Wythe

Wythe Shockley
Century 21 Option 1
wythe@wytheshockley.com
804-270-1600
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
Hello Chin12345

I recommend you select the best schools in the area and base your decision on that, there's no bullet proof neighborhood (no pun attended) however, if you select the best schools for your children many times it commensurate with the neighborhood.

Regards

Mike Allen
Keller Williams Realty
1061 Technology park dr.
Glen Allen, VA 23059
804-591-3893
804-262-2611
Miketa@kw.com
http://www.Mike2VA.yourkwagent.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 4, 2009
Richard/agents:
We are familiar with Richmond as we lived there while attending grad school. However, that was many years ago prechildren. We loved the westhampton,south of cary area and U of R areas and love more traditional homes. A 4BR/2Bath home that is in a safe/low crime rate area/very family friendly neighborhood with the best available public schools would be our top priority. We also have family in Short Pump and know that area has really grown, but don't know much about the schools there. We know agents can't recommend one SD over another, so we were looking for local richmonders opinions that have had recent firsthand experience. Commuting a bit is not of large concern as we know that Richmond is pretty easy to get around and the traffic isn't anything like Hampton Roads. We have researched and seen lots of homes that we like/find attractive, but really narrowing down to a particular neighborhood/general area is our top priority right now. Thanks again. CHIN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 4, 2009
I understand your request for information but there is such a variety of options for housing available in the Richmond area, near and far west end, as well as other nearby to central Richmond City communities. Could be provide a little more specificity regarding your housing needs/desires? Some helpful parameters would include minimum number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet of finished living space, home style (rancher, cape, etc.), gated or non-gated community prefernce, required/desired amendities (contained within or nearby such as recreational, medical, etc.), lot/yard size, price range of interest,

Most county websites provide overviews and ratings of their school systems. You may want to look up Richmond City, Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Goochland, and Powhatan for comparsion purposes.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you in your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 4, 2009
Richmond, Va. is a great place to raise a family . . . my suggestion is that you visit Richmond under the guidance of an experienced realtor. Each area has a unique lifestyle and each area has families with children. I live in the near west end and find it very convenient to shopping and major roadways. The downtown area is accessible by the downtown expressway and takes about 10 minutes from the near west end. There are also a lot of young families with children.

The far west end has newer neighborhoods and some older more established neighborhoods. It really just depends on what lifestyle you are looking for. It may take a little longer to get downtown however Richmond is very easy to get around in and a good highway system makes getting just anywhere in a very short time.

Please visit my website at http://www.susancottrell.com or call me at 804-840-7186. I will introduce you to the historical older neighborhoods to the newest subdivisions. I am a native of Richmond and know all the areas very well. I look forward to hearing from you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 4, 2009
Hi Chin12345,
I have to agree with you, life is very different before and after children!
Schools in Short Pump area are excellent with great involvement of parents and community. I live in this area and YES! you can find (4bed2bath) at a reasonable prices. Lis lives in Richmond with her husband and kids and she loves the area. http://www.greatschools.com, http://www.schooldigger.com
Give us a call we will love to help you find your next home! 804 475-7420 Jackie & Lis Team
Flag Sun Mar 29, 2015
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