5 Things I Wish I Had Known about Hampton Roads Before Moving Here
Hampton Roads is a large area geographically (approximately 526.8 square miles - not including the water), made up of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Poquoson, and Williamsburg.
These are some of the things I wish I had known prior to arriving:
1) THERE ARE A LOT OF BRIDGES AND TUNNELS - which means getting stuck in traffic. A LOT. Coming from Hawai'i, and being pretty much a native of South Florida, I am used to traffic. But if traffic makes you crazy, I would suggest finding a place to live on the same side of the water as the base you're stationed at. You can find more information on the bridges and tunnels here.
PRO TIP: if you'll be driving back and forth, getting an EZ-Pass is a time (and money) saver!
2) HAMPTON ROADS IS A VERY MILITARY-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY - This area is the east coast epicenter of military activity, including more than 7 military facilities. It's home to the largest Naval base in the world, and the only NATO command on U.S. soil. Since so much of the local economy is driven by military and their families, the appreciation is abundant and palpable. All major attractions offer military discounts and incentives, as do local restaurants and retail shops. All you have to do is ask!
3) SO MANY HOUSING OPTIONS - Whether you're looking to live by the beach, in the country, or in the middle of the city, your options are almost endless. Looking for a historic Cape Cod by the water? Want a place where you don't have to see your neighbors for miles? Do you prefer a close-knit artsy community? Or just want a traditional Colonial home close to shopping? The diversity in neighborhoods and housing styles is endless. This Neighborhood Guide can help you get started!
4) FLOOD INSURANCE - If you plan on purchasing a home, a lender will require that you have flood insurance if the home falls in one of the flood hazard zones. The price of insurance can range from a few hundred dollars a year to a few thousand. Be sure to factor that in to your monthly expenses and future mortgage payments. You can check out FEMA's flood map website by putting in a specific address or even a zip code here: https://msc.fema.gov/portal
5) THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO - Whether you're into farmers' markets, art, music, food, camping, beaches, or history, Hampton Roads has something for everyone during every season! It's easy to fit in and just as easy to get away. For a free "Things to Love about Hampton Roads Guide," just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although I didn't know much about the area before coming here, I quickly realized that finding good resources was easy. A good Realtor can not only help you find a home in a neighborhood you love, but will also help you get to know your new community!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG: Nadia Anac is a Realtor at Liz Moore & Associates in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She is armed with a law degree, a strong work ethic, and a genuine concern for helping families buy or sell their home. When she's not working, you can find Nadia hanging out with her family, reading, cooking, or trying to get in a workout. You can find out more about Nadia Anac by following her social on media. Just look for @milsporealtor or on Facebook.