Location, Resale and Lifestyle: Three Parameters for Homebuyers in Richmond and Prince George County Virginia

Location, Resale and Lifestyle: Three Parameters for Homebuyers in Richmond and Prince George County Virginia

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By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

Homebuyers in the areas where I have sold residential properties in Virginia --Richmond and Prince George County Virginia - have been focused on obtaining the lowest possible price for a home. Though I understand their focus, especially when I'm working as a buyer's agent, I realize there are other important parameters homebuyers should be considering when purchasing a home in these, and other areas of Virginia.

Location of a primary residence is a concern for all buyers, especially if they must commute to a job. Resale values should be a major consideration as well, so the homebuyer should be looking in areas where growth is either already well underway or imminent, to obtain the best possible property value upon sale in the future. Lifestyle should inform all of the above, because quality of life, and the amount of time spent with loved ones, is becoming more and more important to many Americans. For many in this day and age, it is important to find a home close to recreation, dining and shopping centers so that less time is spent traveling and more time is available to pursue leisure activities.

Richmond and Prince George County are areas where growth is already underway, and more expansion is coming in the near future. Richmond is the capital of Virginia, and as an urban center the city and surrounding suburbs are in the midst of growth due to the influx of the professional and working classes into major cities to save time and gas while commuting. It is also home a large tech community, an expanding sector of the economy. There is an avid discussion underway about building a light rail system in Richmond, Virginia, which would make it an even more desirable location for those who need to commute to a job in the downtown area or from outlying districts and suburbs.

I will provide a brief overview here of the reasons why the Richmond metropolitan area (which includes Prince George County) is a good place to purchase a home right now.

Richmond VA: Cultural, Technological, and Educational Center of the South

Richmond has many positive points for the individual or family that wishes to relocate or purchase a home there. Richmond was the Confederate Capital of the South during the Civil War and by the time it was over - the city was burned. Many of the main government and historical structures were built in the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries. Richmond is home to Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond, as well as other fine educational institutions. With the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), the Museum and White House of Confederacy, The Edgar Allen Poe Museum and many other high caliber institutions, Richmond has a great deal to offer with regards to cultural opportunities. For entertainment, Richmond is nearby Kings Dominion, just north of the city, and is built up along the banks of one of the most scenic segments of the James River, where many public parks allow for maximum enjoyment for all. Downtown Richmond is defined by two districts where nightlife, dining and entertainment are widespread: Shockoe Slip, on the edge of the James River, and the Fan, a district nearby Virginia Commonwealth University. With all this easily accessible to residents of Richmond and the suburbs, it is a city that is fun to live in, and continues to grow and evolve. Richmond is an excellent city for professionals who want to live where they work, and it is a great place to raise a family, with numerous well-defined neighborhoods to choose from.

Prince George County, Virginia: Home to the Combined Arms Support Command of the U.S. Army

There are three main cities located in Prince George County, Virginia: Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Fort Lee. Prince George County is located within the same metropolitan area as Richmond, making it an easy commute of approximately one half hour to 45 minutes into the city from most places in the county. It has a mixture of urban and rural living, with plenty of places where properties with larger tracts of land can be identified. Prince George County is a main retail hub, because it is easily accessible from Interstate 95 and it is the last place in Virginia before crossing the North Carolina state line. The county's opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment are in abundance. As for resale value of properties in Prince George County, prices are on the move because of the major expansion of Fort Lee, and the county's close proximity to Richmond. While the announcement of the closure of military bases across the country has struck many areas quite hard, Fort Lee has benefited from these military base shut downs. During the process of consolidating bases, Fort Lee was identified as a place where army personnel would be re-assigned and trained, with the addition of thousands more personnel reaching the Fort Lee area as each year passes. As evidence of this, the Prince George County school district is expanding, and already in the process of building and opening a new school and redrawing the school district lines as well. For families and individuals that do purchase a home in Prince George County, the resale value of homes has great potential, and is a wise investment at this time.

Homebuyers need to remember that the three main rules of property purchase: location, resale value, and lifestyle preferences can and do play a major role in the selection of a primary residence. Price can also be a deciding factor in a home purchase, especially if the buyer is dependent upon a salaried income, but it should not be the guiding principle behind every home purchase.