Welcome to Hampton Roads, Va
Magazine | Cost of Living Summary | Virginia
Hampton Roads is one of the most diverse
metropolitan areas in America. The area is steeped in history, culture
and the tradition of years gone by. But don't be fooled, Hampton Roads
is a major hub for many technology based operations including NASA, Gateway
and Canon. It is a place where both old and new cultures exist, and
thrive, in harmony.
The area's proximity to the Atlantic
Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and many lakes, rivers, creeks, and inlets is both a
source of employment and entertainment for many residents of the area.
On any given day you can observe people boating, swimming,
surfing, sailing, fishing and clamming, canoeing, water skiing, windsurfing, wave jumping
- this is the place for it all.
With our appealing climate, there's plenty to do on land year 'round, too.
Biking, tennis, and golf are big. So are minor-league pro sports, like
baseball from the Norfolk Tides, ice hockey from the Hampton Roads Admirals,
soccer from the Hampton Roads Mariners, football from the Hampton Roads
Sharks, and fastpitch softball from the Virginia Roadsters. But if you'd
rather play than watch, recreational leagues and sports groups abound.
The neighborhoods in Hampton Roads are
very diverse. Each city has a very distinct lifestyle and feel. From
the farm land and rural living in Suffolk, Smithfield and York County to the
glitter and eclectic feel of downtown Norfolk to the soothing atmosphere of
ocean front living in Virginia Beach - you can find any type of
Hampton Roads is one of the most
desirable locations on the Eastern Seaboard because it is central to many
major metropolitan areas and historic sites. Colonial
Williamsburg is a mere 25-45 minute drive and offers plenty to do and
see including Jamestown and Busch Gardens. If you prefer the great outdoors,
head a few hours west and
you're hiking in the mountains. Or drive a few hours north and you're exploring D.C.
and New York. An hour south and you're escaping to North Carolina's scenic Outer Banks.
In its 1998
ranking of best places to live in America, Money magazine said Norfolk is
the best big city in the South
For our 12th annual ranking of
the best places to live in America, we interviewed people in 500
households across the country about the factors that are most important in
choosing a place to live. This year's top five: clean water, low crime,
clean air, good public schools and low property taxes. Then we gathered
data on the 300 largest metropolitan statistical areas, crunched the
numbers and ranked all 300 according to size (1 million plus, 250,000 to
999,999, and 100,000 to 249,999) and region (East, South, Midwest and
Virginia, it seems, has a lot of what Americans covet - all three
of this year's winning cities in the South are in the state.
Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's
Monticello estate, ranked as the region's best small city. One key
attraction: the public schools. According to Expansion Management, a
management consulting firm that specializes in educational research,
Charlottesville spends $5,927 per pupil, well above the national average
of $3,187, and the schools boast a student/teacher ratio of 10.3 to 1,
compared with a national average of 17.8 to 1. Other pluses: excellent
water quality, a lower cost of living than the national average,
relatively modest property taxes and proximity to the scenic Blue Ridge
The best medium-sized city
(250,000-999,999) is Richmond; the best big city (1,000,000+) is Norfolk.
Only three metropolitan areas were less expensive
overall than Hampton Roads, in this 1999 cost-of-living survey of 23
metropolitan areas with more than 1.5 million population.
|St. Louis, MO
|San Antonio, TX
The cost of
housing in Hampton Roads is among the nation's lowest. The region's
housing index as of second quarter 1999 registered 88.6 - eleven percent
below the average for all areas tracked in the report. Only two metro
areas with over 1.5 million population reported lower housing costs than
Hampton Roads: Houston, Texas, at 14 percent below the all-areas average,
and San Antonio, at 17 percent below the average.
The ACCRA housing index reflects the cost of a 950 square foot, 2 bedroom,
2 bath apartment and an 1,800 square foot new home. As of second quarter
1999, the average cost of these items in Hampton Roads were, respectively,
$581 per month and $126,460. A comparable apartment in the most expensive
major metro area tracked - New York - averaged $3,280 per month, while an
1,800 square foot home priced out at $633,000.