Thinking About Moving to Richmond?
Jump to any of the following sections to learn more about what to expect living in Richmond, VA.
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- Richmond At-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Richmond
- Economy and job outlook in Richmond
- Real estate in Richmond
- The top neighborhoods in Richmond
- How to get around in Richmond
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Richmond
- 10 can’t miss things to do in Richmond
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.
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.
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)
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.