EXPERT LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
Reading the news, following local city council meetings, and getting excited about new commercial developments is not what the average person enjoys doing. And that makes sense, unless you're Phillip.
Why Local Knowledge is Important and Crucial to Your Home Purchase
Step away from the fun of it all. You're literally buying a piece of land and property. That property and land is not moving. Before you buy, you should know what you're getting into, and more importantly, where you're getting into. I follow the trends in the area. And follow, I track the Envision Virginia Beach 2040 and Norfolk's plaNorfolk2030. These are the visions of each city, their goals, and their plans to accomplish those goals. For example, due the flooding issues Downtown Norfolk and its surrounding neighborhoods have, did you know the city is allocating resources and pushing development towards Military Highway near Military Circle Mall? Recent commercial expansions on Military Highway shows signs of their commitment to this. Having a Realtor that knows the area -- and where it's headed, can make all the difference in your decision to buy.
Access to Major Highways and Traffic
In some areas, traffic just never improves. In other cities, it does. And in other parts of Hampton Roads, traffic will improve when the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) completes projects. If you're driving down Interstate 64 near Fort Eustis and checking out homes, chances are you'll hit a nasty snail-of-a-pace highway that will set you back 30 minutes. But the state is widening the highway -- and longtime initiative that is finally happening -- and in just a year or so from now (these projects never finish on time), traffic should be smooth sailing. Access will be greater from Richmond to Newport News. It will be much easier to get around the area.
One major consideration to keep in mind when searching for a home in Hampton Roads: do not go commute through a tunnel. If your job is in Norfolk, live in Norfolk or Chesapeake. Do not fight the tunnel traffic every day. I highly recommend, as would almost any Realtor in the area, to live on the side of the tunnel you work on. There are eight major bridges and tunnels in the area, and many of them have tolls. But more so than that, the traffic is often horrendous -- an average backup of 30 minutes to 1 hour or more during rush hour. And when it's not rush hour, VDOT often does road work, which causes additional backups. The tunnel life is brutal. Work and live in the same city.
Major Tunnels and Bridges in Hampton Roads
-- Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (Connecting Norfolk to Hampton/Newport News)
-- Downtown Tunnel (Connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk)
-- Midtown Tunnel (Connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk)
-- Monitor - Merrimack (Connecting Newport News to Suffolk/Chesapeake)
-- High Rise Bridge (Connecting Suffolk to Virginia Beach)
-- Jordan Bridge (Connecting Portsmouth to Chesapeake/Norfolk)
-- James River Bridge (Connecting Isle of Wight County to Newport News/Hampton)
-- Coleman Bridge (Connecting York County to Gloucester)
-- Gilmerton Bridge (Connecting Portsmouth to Chesapeake)
-- Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (Connects Virginia Beach to Eastern Shore)
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