Moving to Richmond, VA

Thinking About Moving to Richmond?

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Richmond At-A-Glance

Ever dreamt of a city that whispers tales of the past while humming the tune of today’s rhythm? Meet Richmond, Virginia’s capital and its 5th most populous city. Don’t be fooled by the aura of tradition around its historic landmarks; Richmond’s pulse is very much present-day.

We’re talking about a city that’s earned itself a spot as the 27th best place to live in America, according to Livability’s 2021 rankings. If we had to guess why, we’d point to its high quality of life and great amenities paired with a relatively low cost of living and a relaxed and inviting demeanor. That pretty much sums it up.

As for location, Richmond strikes gold again. Just over an hour from Jamestown Beach or Lake Anna State Park and under two hours from Lydia Mountain Lodge or Shenandoah National Park, it makes for a fantastic base for those craving weekend beach trips or quick mountain getaways.

And, while it’s close enough to Washington, D.C., for taking in the occasional big-city vibes, once you’ve tasted the charm of this mid-sized wonder, we have a feeling you won’t be in a rush to leave.

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A City of Diversity, Inclusivity and Lifestyle Variety

From young professionals seeking their first big break to families laying down roots and retirees looking for a serene retreat – Richmond is home to all. 

The city doesn’t just cater to various lifestyles — it stands tall as the 8th most diverse midsize city in the U.S., according to WalletHub. It also shines with religious diversity, ranking 2nd across the nation. This cultural potpourri is part of everyday Richmond life, influencing its food, festivals and neighborhood vibes.

But the city’s commitment to diversity goes beyond numbers. It is home to Diversity Richmond, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community and fostering inclusivity. Through initiatives like art exhibits, community events and financial support to various organizations, it adds a valuable layer to the city’s social fabric.

The city also ranks highly in terms of the quality of life for people with disabilities, ensuring a more inclusive environment. Foodies will find paradise in its over 900 eateries, and shopping addicts will be able to indulge in their drug of choice: shopping malls, craftsmen boutiques, luxury brands or vintage shops.

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A Recipe for Economic Opportunity and Job Growth

With Virginia regularly earning accolades as one of the top states for business, Richmond’s economic landscape offers job-seekers and entrepreneurs alike a hearty helping of opportunity.

In fact, the city is akin to a perfectly baked economic pie, as it is home to a diverse spread of industries with eight Fortune 500 companies comfortably nestled within its crust. The main fillings? Finance, healthcare, merchandising and government jobs, with a sprinkle of startup zest to top it off.

What’s the secret sauce, you ask? It’s a diverse tech workforce that brings the zing. With a spot in the top 50 tech talent markets, the city has turned into a powerful magnet, pulling in those who speak ‘Python’ better than English. Employees interested in moving to Richmond will also find a welcoming home here. Virginia ranks as the 8th best state to find a job, while Richmond boasts a laudable 13th place for ‘economic environment.’

Unemployment rate: 2.6% (as of April 2023)

Average weekly wages for all industries in the Richmond area: $1,289 (Q4 2022)

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A Renters’ City With a Side of Homeownership

If you’re a first-time home buyer dreaming of laying down roots, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot than Richmond. The city has been recognized as one of the top midsize cities for first-time home buyers, landing a cozy 13th spot out of 99 in WalletHub’s 2023 ranking.

In Richmond, 43.4 percent of residents are homeowners, a figure slightly below the state and national averages. Richmond’s homes have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes them as attractive as a perfect slice of Virginia apple pie. The city’s median home value stands at $263,000, providing a range of affordable and high-end options for all types of buyers.

For those who favor flexibility, Richmond’s rental market might just hit the sweet spot. With a median gross rent of $1,132, it’s a touch lighter on the pocket than the state average and aligns closely with the national median.

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Diverse Neighborhood Vibes for Varied Tribes

Whether you’re playing the field or ready to commit, Richmond’s real estate scene is much like its diverse neighborhoods — there’s a spot for everyone! Let’s take a closer look at them.

Scott’s Addition

What do you get when you revamp an industrial district into a hub of craft breweries, cideries and entertainment hotspots? Scott’s Addition — the ideal spot for young professionals and party lovers.

Colonial Place

West of Downtown Richmond, this neighborhood is the silent guardian of suburban serenity, offering a tight-knit community, beautiful homes and easy access to parks and job opportunities.

The Fan

Education, history and gastronomy converge here. Located close to Virginia Commonwealth University, this neighborhood is a history-laden retreat for foodies and scholars.


Tailored for those who shop ‘til they drop, Carytown features over 230 shops and restaurants, marrying residential calm with commercial buzz.

Church Hill

Stitching together history, affordability and nightlife like a well-tailored suit, it is known for its housing variety and historic sites. A popular choice for young professionals and singles.

Woodland Heights

Just a 10-minute drive from Downtown Richmond, it calls to those who crave outdoor adventures. Offering affordable housing amidst green spaces, it’s a great pick for families and young professionals.

Monroe Ward

Perfect for young professionals, especially in the medical, government or healthcare fields, this neighborhood offers walkability, easy access to work and plenty of entertainment options.

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There Are Ways To Beat the Traffic in Richmond 

You’d think Richmond’s 46th ranking on TomTom’s Traffic Index would be a bummer. But guess what? Even at its peak, you’d only need about 10 minutes to zip through five miles. So, even at its busiest, Richmond’s traffic won’t keep you pinned down.

Don’t feel like driving? The Greater Richmond Transit Company, or GRTC for short, offers comprehensive transit services across Richmond, as well as parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties, from dawn till after midnight. In an effort to promote sustainability, RideFinders, a division of GRTC, supports carpooling, vanpooling, walking and biking.

With walk, transit and bike scores of 93, 64 and 79 respectively, Downtown Richmond facilitates an active lifestyle and ensures most errands can be run on foot or bicycle. The overall city walk and bike scores are lower, at 51, but the ConnectRVA 2045, a long-range transportation plan, is bound to change things for the better.

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Richmond Values Education and It Shows

In Richmond, schools are as much a part of the city’s DNA as the historical landmarks. Lying within Virginia, the 7th most educated state in the nation and with the one with the 4th best public school system, Richmond holds its own as the 36th most educated city. It also grabs a high-five for efficiency in educational spending.

The city’s schools also play a significant role in fueling Richmond’s dynamic tech and business scenes. The star of the show, the University of Richmond, holds the 18th spot among National Liberal Arts Colleges and ranks 15th in Most Innovative Schools.

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Experience All Four Seasons in Richmond

Richmond’s climate is like a lively, somewhat unpredictable guest at a party — you’re never quite sure what it’s going to do next, but it’s always interesting. Here, you get to experience the full swing of four distinct seasons.

Richmond summers are like a thrilling blockbuster movie — hot, humid and packed with the suspense of afternoon thunderstorms. But don’t worry about packing away your coats and scarves! Winter in Richmond is a real scene-stealer, creating a beautiful, frosty set from December to March. When the snow falls (and it does, especially in February with an average of 4.8 inches), the city transforms into a winter wonderland, if only for a little while.

Richmond’s shoulder seasons are the reliable character actors of the climate. In fact, the ideal times for outdoor activities here are from late May to late June, and from mid-August to early October.

Summer average (June – Aug): 87℉ high, 67℉ low

Winter average (Dec – Feb): 50℉ high, 30℉ low

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10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Richmond

From exciting history lessons, inspiring art and great outdoor fun, to heart-pounding thrills and rich traditions, this city has it all. So, here’s a quick glimpse of what you can do when living in Richmond:

  1. Explore world art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Lose yourself in the extensive collection of over 10,000 European artworks, around 2,000 photographs, African art from 100+ cultures, ancient Mediterranean art spanning over 5,000 years, as well spectacular examples of South and East Asian art, offering a panoramic view of world history.
  2. Embrace nature at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: This 50-acre garden just outside of Richmond brims with blooming flowers and unique plant life, offering a peaceful retreat. The best time to visit it is during the Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, when it sparkles with thousands of LEDs.
  3. Step into history at Richmond National Battlefield Park: Trace the paths where soldiers once stood and immerse yourself into America’s Civil War history.
  4. Roam the grounds of Maymont: This stunning 100-acre Victorian estate is a world unto itself, with a mansion, over 25 historic buildings, magnificent gardens, a farm and a nature center to explore.
  5. Get moving at the Dominion Energy Riverrock Festival: This annual event mixes outdoor sports and music for an electrifying, unique experience.
  6. Ignite your curiosity at the Science Museum of Virginia: Experience four floors of interactive labs, hundreds of hands-on exhibits and films that make learning a blast on the largest screen in Virginia, The Dome.
  7. Uncover the mystery at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum: Walk through the life and works of this famed writer, showcasing his unique influence on literature.
  8. Seek thrills at Kings Dominion: Just 25 miles north of Downtown Richmond, this amusement park combines exhilarating rides and a water park for a day of non-stop family fun.
  9. Revel in diversity at the Richmond Folk Festival: Celebrate the roots and richness of American culture through music, dance, storytelling and traditional crafts. It is a free, three-day event in October on downtown Richmond’s riverfront and everyone is welcome.
  10. Ride the waves on the James River: Embrace the adrenaline rush with a whitewater rafting adventure down the Falls of the James. This is the only Class III-IV rapids in the U.S. that runs through the heart of a city.

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Plan Your Move to Richmond With SpareFoot

Planning a move to Richmond? SpareFoot can help. Use SpareFoot to find special deals and discounts on Richmond Moving Truck Rentals. If you need a storage unit as part of your move, SpareFoot makes it easy to find storage units in Richmond too.