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Richmond
  • $650   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $853   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1371   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

80% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
mugging, purse snatching, car theft
former Confederacy historical sites, ballet, symphony 6
kevlar vest required, bring your confederate flag, so many breweries, old money, hood rat central, college parties, attention walmart customers, bankers and politicians, art students, where they shoot cops in the face, the motor mile begins, cigarettes, and cute grandpas live here are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Richmond roommate rundown:

Richmond is one of the oldest American cities, becoming the state capital of Virginia in 1782. And then a lot of Confederate and Civil War history followed. They now host over 100 registered landmarks described as genteel, in part because Richmond is also the historical home of several iron foundries from a previous century. Most are no longer operating, but their cast-iron architecture remains.

Many residents and tourists also appreciate their historic churches, cathedrals, and synagogues, quite a few also established before the war.

Now downtown still hosts many federal, state, and local governmental agencies as well as courts, legal firms, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. And while Richmond is otherwise easy to navigate, look out for narrow one-way streets in these older parts of the city.

And easy driving is good, as there's little public transportation. Especially if you'd like to leave downtown for the suburbs or even surrounding metropolitan areas, you'll find Richmond's transit focuses much more on getting folks to and from Richmond . . . rather than around?

So you and your roommates will want a reliable car.

But while you can't take Richmond's subway or light rail (because they don't exist), you can tube down its river! The James River running through Richmond offers its own white water rapids, good for rafting or tubing, all surrounded by park. It's urban, but it's also canoeing and kayaking and swimming, right in the city!

James can be unpredictable though, as this river is prone to changing currents with even minor rain. Tell your roommates they should always wear a life jacket, let longer-term locals who know the safer areas introduce you.

More on Richmond worth warning you about: The crime rate is still higher than average, and this has been true for decades. In recent years though, it's mostly localized. The violent crime rate is above average, but some of Richmond's public housing complexes feature both higher concentrations of poverty and violent crime. They're the chief contributors to the statistics. Don't go exploring neighborhoods that seem like they might be struggling late at night, particularly by yourself.

Richmonders also enjoy a lot of live music around Virginia Commonwealth U, the Fan District, and Shockoe Bottom. Your roommates who love music probably will too.

Unfortunately, that might also increased familiarity with Richmond's other above average crime stats on mugging, purse snatching, and car theft. These often take place during shows (cars) or right after closing time and/or end of show. Closing time is when numerous women, some intoxicated, predictably hit the street (purses).

If you need to park near shows after dark, never ever leave anything worth even a dollar visible within your car. Especially if you're alone, seriously consider a monitored garage, not just for your car, but personal security too. If you and a roommate can manage to leave together a little before the crowd does, that'd be clever too. Safety first!

Indeed, safety might mean leaving in time for GWARBar. They're located on a triangular street corner that stays well-populated as long as they're open, so no safety issues there. (GWAR is Richmond's native heavy metal band formed in 1984, still ongoing due to their self-refreshing lineup. When currently active members need a break, other fellow mythological Scumdogs of the Universe rise up to replace.)

Plus GWARbar's late night menu features demoned eggs and a Hail Seitan sandwich.

The rest of the Richmond roommate lowdown:

  • capital city in east-central Virginia, along the James River and near the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • about 225,000 residents
  • hot extremely humid summers, mild to moderate winters - snow and ice happen occasionally, but rarely stick around for long, but beware of flooding during any severe hurricane passing by
  • a little less than 2 hours south of D.C driving on the interstate, some residents commute to D.C. for work
  • historic interest as the former capital of the Confederacy, museums and historic sites abound
  • home to Randolph-Macon College, University of Richmond, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Union University
  • Richmond is known to have invented the "sailor" or "Marine" sandwich. It could be offered anywhere in Richmond, but almost always at local Jewish delis. It's hot pastrami, pork sausage, Swiss cheese, and hot mustard, grilled together on rye bread.
  • Richmond is also known as the first place to sell beer in cans.
  • In order to encourage urban density and population growth in downtown districts, Richmond has built a lot of nice town homes with mixed retail and dining on the first level, near major arteries. For many, their location and greater affordability (over detached dwellings) make them structurally and socially superior places to live.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Richmond's:

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Since 1936, over 22,000 works. Largest collection of Faberge eggs outside of Russia. General admission is always free. There are also Wednesday Jazz and Friday After 5 Art events.
  • Richmond Ballet: It's the state ballet of Virginia.
  • Richmond Symphony: Leading regional orchestra, founded in 1957, now performing both classical and pop repertoires.


Here's the city of Richmond's official .gov's blog of city news, some of which might interest you and your roommates. There are also online payments.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.