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Renter's Guide to Richmond
Richmond is every colonial era lover’s dream. It originally served as a shipping and transport crossroads, Richmond has now developed into a modern capital with an economy supported by diverse fields, ranging from biotechnology to finance. Richmond is doing well for itself, too - it landed a spot on Forbes’ list of 10 best cities for commuters.
Richmond was first founded by English settlers in the 17th century, but wasn’t incorporated until 1742. It served as a major player in both the American Revolution and Civil War. In the 20th century, an industrial economy allowed it to maintain its position as a major east coast city.
Richmond is both the capital of Virginia and the state’s fourth largest city. Interestingly enough, it is an independent city and not formally located in any county. Richmond is 220% larger than Roanoke, VA, but is one third the size of Baltimore. Atlanta is about twice as large as Richmond, while Charlotte is about four times larger.
Lynchburg, VA is 113 miles away from Richmond. Richmond is located at a distance of 108 miles from Washington, DC and about 189 miles from Roanoke. This makes it convenient for visiting your friends up and down the east coast.
The weather in Richmond is rather temperate, with dry autumns. It offers a nice balance for your new home. Snowfall rarely exceeds 3 inches. Summer temperatures average about 80°F, with the winter average at around 39°F. A particularity for the city are Atlantic hurricanes.
Richmond experiences four distinct seasons, with winter in December through February, March to May for spring, June until August making up summer, and September to November for autumn.
Richmond, VA Demographics
- Total Population220,892
Female 104,853Male 116,039
- Median Age33.5
Cost of Living in Richmond, VA
Although the Richmond International Airport and a large Greyhound Bus hub serve Richmond’s external public transportation needs, the only internal public transit option is the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) bus system. It serves only select sections of the city. A single fare is $1.50 and 30-day passes will cost you $60.
Fortunately, multiple cab companies service Richmond. Napoleon Taxi, Taxi Richmond, Veterans Cab and Henrico Taxi all run in the city. The average commute time is 19 minutes, well below the national average of 26 minutes. This ensures you’ll spend less time in your car and more time enjoying the city.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-priced restaurant in Richmond will cost you from $35 to $60. The average price of a regular cappuccino is $3.95.
The average cost for utilities like electricity, heating, water, and garbage for a 915-square-foot apartment in Richmond is $181.35. This is higher than the national average of $147.
Average Rent in Richmond, VA
- Richmond, VA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,111 /mo
Richmond, VA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0001%
Richmond, VA Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Richmond
Most Richmond citizens would say the pros of their city outweigh the cons. For instance, traffic congestion is incredibly low and finding a parking space is not usually a problem. It’s also a great city for college sports fans.
However, the city lacks a comprehensive public transportation system. Additionally, some people have reservations about the continued downtown expansion of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Richmond has a lot of African American culture in its veins and this is best represented by its food and art. You’ll find outstanding soul food restaurants in the city, along with Jamaican eateries, and African American heritage festivals.
Things to do in Richmond
Families with kids can go see a Richmond Flying Squirrels game, the city’s minor league baseball team, or take their canine pal over to the Barker Field Dog Park. Another great Richmond park for you to enjoy is Belle Isle, located downtown. In fact, Belle Isle was rated among the best parks in the city by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
For a family outing, the Richmond Zoo is always an excellent choice, and the Science Museum of Virginia has interesting exhibits for both adults and children. If you want to spend some time in the great outdoors, the James River is a great spot for fishing, boating, and picnics.
Some worthwhile free things to do in Richmond include visiting the Virginia Holocaust Museum, a powerful experience. If you’re a Civil War history buff, then the historical battle site of Fort Harrison is an excellent choice for you.
They say Virginia is for lovers, and Richmond perfectly reflects that. Estilo, a local favorite Latin American restaurant, is a great choice for your next date. Afterwards, consider stopping by Blue Bee Cider in Old Town Manchester for a couple’s tasting.
Every year, the Carytown Watermelon Festival in Richmond is a big draw, especially if you enjoy tasty fruit. The Hanover Tomato Festival is equally popular. Also, Richmond’s African American culture has been celebrated for over 25 years with music, art, and food at the annual 2nd Street Festival.
If you’re looking for shopping options in Richmond, you won’t be disappointed. For example, there’s Careytown, a trendy district with over 200 shops. You can also shop at Chesterfield Towne Center, a more traditional mall with over 125 stores. Finally, Short Pump Town Center provides you with outdoor shopping venues, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
Employment & Economy
Besides the obvious economic stimulus from its universities, Richmond is also home to Altria Group and Genworth Financial. Two additional financial companies located in the city, Capital One and Suntrust Bank, show the importance of this industry to Richmond’s economy and provide plenty of jobs in the banking sector.
Biotechnology and research firms have been moving to Richmond recently, bringing along opportunities for those searching for STEM jobs. Finally, Richmond may give you the chance to make an appearance on the big screen, as it’s an up-and-coming location for the film industry, with many features and short films being shot in the city.
Richmond, VA Households
- Total Number of Households89,238
Family 40,367Non-family 48,871
Children 19,932No Children 69,306
- Average People Per Household2.35
- Median Household Income$42,356
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,007
Top Colleges in Richmond
The major universities in the city include The University of Richmond, a liberal arts institution with high-ranked business and law programs, and Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU boasts both a school of medicine and a dental school if you’re an aspiring healthcare provider.
Richmond, VA Education Statistics
- No High School5%
- Some High School34%
- Some College21%
- Associate Degree5%
- Bachelor Degree22%
- Graduate Degree13%
Tips for Renting in Richmond
Virginia provides you with many rights as a renter, including limiting security deposits to the equivalent of two months’ rent. Also, a landlord is required to refund your security deposit within 90 days of the premises being vacated. Additionally, landlords are obligated to ensure necessary services are provided to you, like hot water and functioning locks. Finally, Virginia law compels all landlords to tell you whether mold has been found on your premises.
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