Tell me about Hampton, Va

Other than the hurricane damage, that is.

I’ll be there Monday for a job interview, so moving is a probability. What are the good neighborhoods, schools, etc, for the general area?

Just looking at the map, I want to try to settle somewhere between Hampton and Williamsburg, but I’ll also cosider the area on the south side of the James River, too, if there is a decent area.

I’m from the Hampton Roads area, and I can tell you that Williamsburg would be a beautiful place to live, if you can find an affordable place.

I’m not very up on my Hampton geography, but it definitely has a more savory reputation than the other cities nearby. In terms of good schools and neighborhoods, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth would be towns to avoid, while Chesapeake, Hampton, and Virginia Beach are definitely on the higher end of the educational stick.

Just out of curiousity, are you coming to Hampton because of the AROTC or COMTek? (If you like, you can respond in an email, I think it’s in there.)

I just moved from that area. You might also want to consider living in NC just over the southern border–there are a lot of people that work in VA and live in Moyock, Currituck, and Elizabeth City to take advantage of less expensive property and lower taxes (or so they told me) and the commute doesn’t seem that much different. Plus, you’d be living a helluva lot closer to the Outer Banks!

Northeastern North Carolina seemed more like “South Virginia” to me.

I went to William & Mary, which is in Williamsburg as you may know.

I will contradict previous advice and say that I think Williamsburg is kind of a pain-in-the-butt place to live. There is a lot of traffic certain times of the year (all summer, then again at Christmas) and there is no “town” feeling to the town. You have Colonial Williamsburg at one end, W&M in the middle, then basically, a bunch of strip malls… many containing pancake houses and cheap hotels. There’s not much there there. Also, Williamsburg schools are VERY racially divided at the high school level. Ugly but true.

Other items of interest… the Mets’ AAA farm team (the Tidewater Tides) plays out of Norfolk. They’re not bad at all.

I have no intentions of actually looking at Williamsburg. Even though I have lived in Indiana for the last 37 years, I still know about the high cost of living and snotty reputation the area has. It was mentioned to merely identify that spit of land between the rivers.

What I want is either a quiet middle class neighborhood (racial makeup doesn’t matter so long as the grass gets mowed and the kids are well-behaved), or a semi-rural location.

I lived in Williamsburg for a while, and while I wouldn’t recommend that you live there since there isn’t much to do, I wouldn’t call it snotty. I found to be more of a tourist town than a college town with no real sense of community.

I think that there are some nice neighborhoods in Norfolk, but I couldn’t speak with any authority to the schools there. Something to look at is the how long a commute are you willing to accept. I worked in Norfolk one summer and I recall that the Bridge tunnel tends to get backed up easily. This might not be a factor if you are commuting from VA Beach to Hampton, but you should still check it out.

The Ghent neighborhood in Norfolk is nice for an inner-city neighborhood, but I’d op for living on the Hampton side of the river if you’re also going to be working on that side - tunnel traffic can be a bitch.

You may check in York County or James City County if you’re looking for a more rural atmosphere north of the tunnel.

If you’re gonna work in Hampton, I’d recommend finding a place on that side. I live on the southside and used to commute to Hampton from VA Beach 23 miles each way. This could be a 25 minute to 1 hour commute each way, depending on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The HRBT gets almost 3 times the amount of traffic it was built to handle. Then in the summer time, with tourist traffic, the average commute time through there on a Friday afternoon is an hour and a half. The cost of living on the peninsula is a bit lower, and I think it’s fair to say the pace of living is a wee bit slower too.

Now to the nitty gritty, got a bud who lives in Newport News, his son is cop in Gloucester, from whom I got this info.
[li]In Hampton, mid-class neighborhood with houses 1600 to 2200 sq feet, <>$125K, FOXHILL.[/li][li]In Hampton, upscale neighborhood with houses 2000 to 3200 sq feet, >$225K, ELIZABETH LAKES.[/li][li]In Hampton, mid-upscale neighborhood with houses 1800 to 3000 sq feet, >$155K, FARMINGTON.[/li][/list]
Hope this helps.

Yep, if you will be working in Hampton, you’ll want to stay on that side of the water. Traveling every day thru the bridge tunnel is a giant pain in the ass, particularly during the summer, and especially on summer Fridays.

IMO, Hampton is the nicest area on the Peninsula, and living costs there are reasonable. The downtown area is really nice.

Eh…except there’s nothing really there. I mean…a couple of malls, some movie theaters. But not a lot else…IMO. Well…let me rephrase that. Not a lot else that’s publisized. I open the paper, and I’ll see things posted down at the beach, or at Norfolk Scope. Always shows at Chrystler Hall, or Harrison Opera House. The Virginia Zoo (such as it is) is in Norfolk, as is the Museum. Portsmouth has old town, and some great antiquie shops, and the commodore theater, which is just neat.

I definatly agree that you should choose your house based on where your job is. If you’re not sure where you’ll be working, get an apartment for a year, so that you can look for a house when you’re more familiar with the area. And the commute isn’t just difficult , if you have to go between Portsmouth and Norfolk, it can be a pain. My wife works 13 miles away. On a good day, that takes 30 minutes. On a bad day, like now with one tunnel closed, it can take over 2 hours. Good luck.