Friday, September 12, 2014

Choosing a City: Why Richmond Won Out

A lot of people were shocked to hear that Todd and I are moving to Richmond. For us, it makes perfect sense. We have a list of criteria that we want in a hometown, and when we started thinking about moving, we carefully evaluated various cities (like Nashville, D.C., and Charlottesville) with those things in mind. Richmond won out for these reasons:

Richmond Mural Project
Culture. We love a city that loves its creatives, and Richmond clearly does. From colorful public art projects and galleries to cool music venues, indie theaters, festivals, and a thriving startup scene, Richmond is an undeniably creative city.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Green Space. We both love city life, but we also need our green — trees, gardens, parks, and urban escapes. Besides giving us a big backyard just steps away from a park, our new city is built right along the James River, with plenty of trails to explore.

The Roosevelt
Food. Richmond's food scene has really taken off in the last few years. I can't wait to explore its restaurants—and write about them, too.

Cost of Living. Home prices in Richmond are significantly lower than anywhere else we looked. We wanted to buy, and we wanted to get the most bang for our buck. Huge selling point.

Weather. After spending a winter in Boston, I learned that I can tolerate extreme cold and ridiculous amounts of snow. But would I choose it for my forever home? Heck no. I love that Virginia has four distinct seasons, with beautiful falls, long summers, and bearable winters.

Location. Richmond is close to both of our families as well as a quick drive to the mountains, the coast, and Washington, D.C.

Character. This factor is probably the hardest to define, but most important. It's some combination of history, architecture, people... and some other things, too. You won't know it until you visit the city in person. Nashville has its own character, but it didn't speak to us. Richmond did, loud and clear.

Choosing a hometown is a hugely personal decision. But when you break it down, it's actually pretty simple. What are your most important criteria when choosing a city?

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