As a real estate buff and a naval officer with three residential properties OCONUS and in Va, I highly recommend buying in the Larchmont neighborhood in Norfolk - it is a wonderful, beautiful neighborhood of older, lovely homes with lots of character. Larchmont Elem is the best public lower school in the city filled with highly professional and devoted teachers and staff. Easily on par with any private school program and from what I hear, better than the new parochial school down the street. Super easy commute if you are stationed at the main base. It is a great area for runners and cyclists. There are die-hard runners who run up and down Powhatan Ave, thru the neighborhood and Hampton Blvd. There are other beautiful neighborhoods full of executive homes along the water to run thru as well.
Right now there are lots of homes to choose from in your price range and prices have come down significantly from '05-'06 pd. Definitely the time to buy as long as you avoid funny financing. Recommend avoiding the hassle of staying in a short term apt if you can. Check out http://www.ahrn.com and militarybyowner.com in addition to the commercial agency sites. Also, look at zillow.com and trulia.com to get insight on what people paid for homes you're interested in.
Good luck and Go Navy!
From corporate apartments to single-family houses, there are multiple options usually for short-term furnished leases. And remember that if you cannot find a furnished place for short-term leasing, there always are furniture rental places which can set you up relatively inexpensively with the basics for a monthly rental charge. What I have done for some buyers from out of town that I work with is even to take a place which requires a minimum one-year lease, and craft a provision allowing you to terminate it prematurely on 60-days notice and the payment to the landlord perhaps of one-month rental as a premature termination fee.
As far as looking for a house - I would love to help you with that. As I said, I am a native of the City and a big fan of it. Your desired price point range presents many good options in solid neighborhoods.
Let me know what I can do. Best regards.
I too have two young girls and can tell you that this is a great place to live for families - great schools, lots of activities, etc. I'm happy to give you any info you may need. There are many short-term housing options and I can be of more assistance if I knew more - such as pets, timeframe, etc? I'm a relocation manager so happy to give all that you may need for relocating to Hampton Roads. In terms of running, many of us love the trails at First Landing State Park in VB and your wife might be interested in the Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon Labor Day wknd. http://www.rnrhalf.com. It's fun!
In Norfolk, The affluent neighborhoods are Algonquin, Belvedere, Larchmont, Lafeyette Shores. You will pay some bucks for the first and the later. Lafeyette Shores is very nice for kids. Algonquin, if you choose the worng way to get in you go through a fairly rough area and you'll get some not-so-friendly looks. Norfolk, in general floods bad from a Summer downpour. Also, the public school systems are not the best for Middle schools in certain areas and there really only two decent high schools.
DO NOT move somewhere if you have to deal with a tunnel to get to work. If you live in Norfolk you will not have to deal with much traffic. You will be going against the flow each way. In the AM everyone is piling into ORF and leaving in the PM.
If you haven't found a short term rental yet you might want to check Wynne Residential Corporate Housing. I have had clients use them in the past for short term rentals. They have single family homes that are fully furnished, includes utilities and usually cable/internet connections as well.
There ARE lots of rentals available in many VA Beach areas. I guess they are just hard to find online. Keep looking, there is some great stuff available.
You certainly need to rent before buying in the area. Prices are still on the way down in most of the area and I would re-consider living in Norfolk vs. Virginia Beach. Generally, Virginia Beach is much nicer and has MUCH better public schools. I have two school age children I would never even consider letting go to a Norfolk public school. Of course, you will pay more to live in VA Beach, but it is usually worth it.
Here was the only news hit I found on Larchmont, which the other poster reccomended.
Would you just like to contact me directly, so we can chat a little more about some details that would be helpful to me?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
There has to be something like this around a military town? We have a place here that rents out on a weekly basis around $600 and this is a small military community....... and its Monterey.
Have you been able to locate a short term rental for you & your family yet?
I would still like to help if you,re interested. I just didn't want to jump ahead if you've already got something.
Let me know.
Long & Foster Realtors
I am going to check with our property management division and see what they may have in a short term rental now, or coming up. I can put them in direct contact with you if you wish. Just email me directly and I will take care of the rest for you, should you be interested in that help. It's good to have a One-Stop Real Estate Resource Center, as I like to call it.........and that's us at Long and Foster!
Visit my website as well to help with anything you may need and I am always just a phone call or email away to help you!
Vicki Woody REALTOR
Accredited Buyer Representative
Long & Foster Realtors
Toll Free: (800) 479-7355
Direct: (757) 685-3842