Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Relocating to richmond with child going to St. Catherine's School

Relocating to richmond with child going to St. Catherine's School

Old May 17th, 2010, 12:59 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Relocating to richmond with child going to St. Catherine's School

Can anyone let me know of neighborhoods to consider near this school? i will be visiting tomorrow and would love some tips. is carytown an option nearby? We would love to be able to walk to restaurants, groceries, etc. we are also avid bike riders and wanted to know of any cycling groups in the area.
AlexFam is offline  
Old May 17th, 2010, 02:49 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A great site to ask this kind of question is:

city-data.com
bachslunch is offline  
Old May 17th, 2010, 03:30 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 123
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's on Grove Ave., right? I don't live in that neighborhood but driving around it, it looks like a nice area to live. You'll see when you visit Carytown that you don't actually want to live there, it's more of a shopping district, with some apartments. But that stretch of Grove near the school you're looking at has several shops and restaurants.

Depending on your budget, you might look into houses in the Museum District, which is only a few minutes by car from the school. It's an old neighborhood of old houses, mostly set close together, and not a lot of yard space, if that's important to you. A lot of the houses have plaques that say they're from around the 1910's to 1920's, and they don't come cheap. The east-west streets (Grove, Kensington, Floyd, Monument) are busier, traffic-wise, but seem to have bigger lots/houses. Some blocks are nicer than others. You can walk to Carytown from parts of the Museum District.

I'm a renter and I don't have kids, so I'm no expert on what homeowners look for.
Hellion is offline  
Old May 17th, 2010, 03:42 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why is it the museum district? i know it sounds ridiculous.
AlexFam is offline  
Old May 17th, 2010, 06:46 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,817
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Windsor Farms is a very upscale neighborhood (older) that is near St. Catherines (a very nice school) and near carytown area as well.
The area around the University of Richmond is nice too and the Country Club of VA. All are near St. Catherines.

I saw your post that you replied to that was very old. I was the last reply I think and that was back in 06. We moved here in 1998 and we have been very happy. Good friends of ours have a daughter at St Catherine's in the high school.
I am sure you will find the area very nice for a small city. Carytown is a fun greenwich village type place, but i would live a little out from it. Windsor Farms is just a few blocks west and has very nice homes. If you look all around the River Rd area, you will find nice homes near the city, but far enough out and also near the school.
Good luck and feel free to post questions. I will try to help if I can.
Oh and my friends still come from all over and some native richmonders as well.
girlonthego is offline  
Old May 18th, 2010, 06:24 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have a condo at the Tuckahoe, directly across the street from St Catherines. We are there four months out of the year and walk the neighborhood frequently.

There is a wonderful small shopping area at Grove and Libbie, around the corner from St Catherine's, with a small cafe, a large sandwich and wine shop, upscale clothing for men and women, a Starbucks, and a good seafood restaurant. There are antique and decorating shops, a cupcake shop (!), and even a wonderful movie theater. To be within walking distance of this would be wonderful.

There is a similar, less diverse and possibly less upscale area at Randolph and Libbie, about a quarter of a mile away. It is near the branch public library, the main post office for the west end, and a good seafood shop.

Where you live is going to depend a great deal on what you want to pay. Since your daughter is going to St C's, you don't have the whole issue of whether to live in the city or in the county.

There are things in Richmond real estate that make outsiders shake their heads. For example, the closer you get to the James River in Windsor Farms, the higher the price. The price is higher even though you can't get to the river because of the N&W railroad and a canal. All night long, trains of coal rattle along those tracks while you are trying to sleep. But being close to the river is more prestigious.
Go figure.

There is no good way to get from the University of Richmond/River Road area into the city without going down Cary Street and/or Three Chopt Road. Morning and evening traffic on these streets, I kid you not because I can see their intersection from my condo, is a nightmare, like crossing the George Washington Bridge at rush hour (but in a nicer neighborhood). If you live west of The Country Club of Virginia, you will have to fight this traffic twice a day because St Catherine's backs up on this junction.

I would strongly suggest that you look within the area between Grove and Cary and between Grove and Patterson. Metoaka and the streets that branch off it are all very nice, if pricy. Young people, esp those with young children, love an area called Stonewall Court.

The Museum District has the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, newly reopened after a fabulous refurbishment and enlargement, the Virginia Historical Society, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy museum. It is mostly 1900-1920 area buildings, and many of them are occupied by students, but it would be an easy walk to Carytown.

The Fan is terrific -- it looks like Georgetown -- but it is a traffic hassle as far as St Catherine's is concerned, though people do work it out. Let me know if I can help more.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 18th, 2010, 07:15 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,817
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Ackislander, how do you like living in the Tuckahoe? I have often thought that would be a great building for my parents. Can you tell me more about the building?
girlonthego is offline  
Old May 18th, 2010, 07:53 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We love the Tuckahoe, and while _everyone_ thinks it would be a great place for their parents, there are a lot of younger people living there too -- esp lawyers and professors from VCU/MCV and U of Richmond. There is a woman on our floor who came there as a baby from the hospital when the building was brand new and who has never left! The building was brand new in 1929.

The building is gracious, old and somewhat quirky, and there are four steps from the lobby to the elevator, so it won't handle anyone who is in a wheelchair. Parking is assigned, and your unit may or may not have parking in an area that is convenient to you. But the staff are fantastic and the location could not be better.

Our unit looks like a unit in a prewar Upper West Side building in NYC and cost less than a quarter of a similar unit there. We have moldings galore, real diagonal parquet floors and views out over St Catherine's and the CCV.

Downsides. There is no central air for the building, so each occupant must choose between having their own central air installed for their unit or using window units. The wiring has been updated but you can't use a garbage disposal because of the drain pipes.

We bought our unit fully renovated by a young man with exquisite taste, and by our New England standards, it was dirt cheap, and he had done all those things and put in a Bosch washer and dryer as well. We have a fabulous bath(multiple sprays and a rainwater head) and an amazing kitchen all in ten feet square.

Condo fees are steepish but they include heat, water and electricity. The building is wired for Comcast, but FIOS was being installed when we left last week.

No pets, which is a-one okay by us given our experience in other condos. The building is very quiet, partly because a number of people only use their units part time, like us, and also because it is very, very solidly built. I am a big classical music fan, and I play Beethoven loud, and you can't hear it out in the hall.

Let me know if you have more specific questions.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 18th, 2010, 05:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,514
Received 7 Likes on 3 Posts
Your return, Ackislander, could be an excuse for our oft mentioned central Virginia gtg. Let us know when you come back.
Birdie is offline  
Old May 19th, 2010, 02:47 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How does one get to the river then to kayak or canoe? we started looking at houses on franklin. i notice some of the sreets do not have driveways which might be a hassle if it snows. or maybe it doesn't do much of that. many thanks to all for your kindness and wealth of information. in general, what is the market like their now? has the area between grove and cary and grove and patterson sustained thru this economy? do things appear to move pretty regularly?
AlexFam is offline  
Old May 20th, 2010, 03:38 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm going to take these questions in sort of reverse order.

A great many houses even in this upscale area do not have off street parking. It is one of those weird Richmond things I mentioned above. As you explore, even on Google Maps, you will see that many areas have alleys between the major streets, and many houses had garages opening off the alleys. The problem is that most modern cars won't fit in the garages, and many modern cars won't make the turn into the garage from the alley. If you had a Prius or a Corolla or a Minicooper, you wouldn't have any trouble, but most people don't. This is serious Mommymobile territory, with giant SUVs full of infant seats.

It does not snow most years enough to make a difference. It snowed a lot this year, and many of the side roads waited a long time to get plowed. It was not much fun. There are no "opposite side of the street" regulations that I have observed, so your car could get plowed in enough for it to be a pain to dig out,

The area between Cary and Patterson has pretty much maintained its value through the recession, with houses close to Patterson actually increasing in demand. This is non-scientific and entirely anecdotal, but when we left at the beginning of May, 2009, there were quite a lot of houses on Patterson itself for sale. When we got back the first week in January, there were no real estate signs in the neighborhood we are talking about. Many houses were bing spruced up and given a lot of tender loving care. At the beginning of May, 2010, when we left again, there were still very few for sale signs on the streets we regularly drove, suggesting that it was not just places coming off the market for the winter. Prices have come down from their peak, and I attribute the sales to prices being more reasonable (cheap if you are from the northeast).

Liquidity (do they sell quickly?) partly has to do with the fact that Mary Munford School is a very good public elementary school, and though it is not relevant to you for educational purposes, houses in its district do maintain their value well. There are stretches of Franklin, Monument, etc west of I-195 and north of Patterson that are very nice. The houses are mostly brick colonials and the streets have gorgeous trees. I would check out the school district before committing in this area.

Most people who want to get to the river to kayak seem to do it from the other side. You can see them when you cross the bridge that is a continuation of Boulevard (check the map to see what I am talking about because I don't remember its name). You may be able to get in somewhere around Tredegar Iron Works as well, but I don't really know. I am the wrong age group, and it is the wrong kind of boat for me! I will only say that there is a huge kayaking community in the Richmond area.

Hope this helps. Still willing to help more if I can!
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 21st, 2010, 08:18 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many thanks again for all of your help.

Do they rent units out in the Tuckahoe? I saw how beautiful it was. i thought it was a beautiful hotel, actually.

Are there any families in the building or mostly single professionals? if we could rent for a bit, it might give us some time to acclimate and find a house we love instead of possibly settling for one that is listed. we currently live in sperryville, va in rappahannock county and it is very rural. (there are cows across the street and mountains on the other side). we are excited about the move, but this is a big switch for us. if there are school families in the building, it might be easier to fit in with kids at the school. although, anyone can make a situation feel special if it is working for them.

we are heading down to look at places on the 28th.

Thank you so much again!!!!
AlexFam is offline  
Old May 21st, 2010, 11:45 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are rentals available but it would not be a good place for anyone under fourteen or fifteen. There is no outside play area nor one any closer than the Episcopal Church at the corner of Grove and Three Chopt. There are good playgrounds for younger children at First Prez (1st Presbyterian Church on Cary Street) and at Mary Munford School.

Our granddaughters love to visit, but it would not be a good place for them to live.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 26th, 2010, 08:56 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 58,297
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My daughter's sister-in-law and husband just bought a house near Wilton between Patterson and Grove. My daughter bought a home in Westover Hills, but that area has more 20 somethings and is closer to downtown.
JanetKMR is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Guanacox
United States
8
Nov 25th, 2013 10:00 AM
Catherine
United States
30
Jun 5th, 2008 02:23 PM
mei
United States
6
Aug 4th, 2007 02:33 PM
MelissaBeckoff
United States
64
Aug 11th, 2006 07:29 PM
HonestAbe
United States
11
May 2nd, 2006 04:58 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -