Richmond Virginia is an old city.
this article is from late 2012 for the Luxury Homes site. Having lived in Richmond for my entire life and having lived in Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover and the City, I see both the obvious and the subtle differences between the various areas that make up Metro Richmond. Housing is deeply personal and helping people to understand our market is gratifying, especially at the upper end of the market…
Any buyer that is looking to purchase a home in the Richmond area that would be considered luxury or upscale must first attach a value to history. Many of Richmond’s most expensive neighborhoods are older and located within the city limits. These older homes typically have features and floor plans that are less desirable than their newer counterparts in more suburban settings. Much of Richmond’s highest valued real estate was built during or just after the turn of the century making most of these homes anywhere from 75-100 years old. Windsor Farms, The Fan District, Westhampton and the homes along (and neighborhoods south of) Cary Street were all built ‘pre-open concept’ typically meaning less flow, smaller closets and kitchens and an overall higher level of formality. While most have undergone significant renovation and/or additions, they still lack the design elements incorporated into the newer stock of luxury housing. The buyers who select these older neighborhoods typically feel that the age and stability as well as the amenities inherent in a more urban setting overpower the less inviting elements in early 20th Century residential architecture.
Generally speaking, those from Richmond hold Richmond’s history in more regard than those who come to Richmond from other metros. The newer neighborhoods that frame River Road, Nuckols Road and Robious Road all generally feature a more casual version of luxury and usually contain features that provide more creature comforts. Open kitchens with an abundance of space and light, closets that are the size of bedrooms and master suites with baths that rival many of the finest spas are more the norm in the suburban luxury market. Founders Bridge, Rosemont, Grey Oaks, Barrington, Riverlake Colony and a host of others target buyers that seek a new version of luxury. Proximity to upscale shopping, interstate and the region’s finest public schools are what drive suburban luxury values.
Neither suburban or urban luxury are better than the other, they are just different and driven by a different set of circumstances and factors. A buyer that understands his/her own motivations will make a better decision.