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Old 01-31-2016, 07:47 PM
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Norfolk/Portsmouth area???

Possibly relocating to the area for a civilian job with the Department of the Navy and I have a few questions? Just wondering how the general area is.... I have two kids 4 and 6 with another on the way in July. Would be looking to rent a house, hopefully in a quite area with a less than 40 minute drive to the Navy yard. Also, schools are really important! Hopefully public as private would be out of the question due to $$! Any help would go along way!!!

Thanks, Jared

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Old 02-03-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Would be looking to rent a house, hopefully in a quite area with a less than 40 minute drive to the Navy yard.
The only "Navy Yard" is in D.C. Do you mean a shipyard, and if so, which one, Portsmouth or Norfolk?

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Old 02-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #3
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Sorry, Portsmouth or Newport News?
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:51 PM
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Sorry, Portsmouth or Newport News?
Yeah, sorry...I meant Shipyard. It would be the one in Portsmouth.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:10 AM   #5
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It would be the one in Portsmouth.
My second ship was homeported there. The immediate surroundings of the shipyard are rough, as is the case with all shipyards. There are good areas in Chesapeake with very affordable rental housing and decent schools. The Hickory school district ranks highly state-wide, and most areas of Chesapeake can be reached from the shipyard in 20-30 minutes in normal traffic. If you're willing to push out to the 40-min limit you can get into Va. Beach or Suffolk, but I don't know much about the schools in Suffolk. Housing's quite cheap there, though.

Stay away from Portsmouth or Norfolk.

You can get a lot of good info about housing and neighborhoods on zillow.com. I think they even have info on the schools.

PM me if you have any other questions.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:28 PM
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My second ship was homeported there. The immediate surroundings of the shipyard are rough, as is the case with all shipyards. There are good areas in Chesapeake with very affordable rental housing and decent schools. The Hickory school district ranks highly state-wide, and most areas of Chesapeake can be reached from the shipyard in 20-30 minutes in normal traffic. If you're willing to push out to the 40-min limit you can get into Va. Beach or Suffolk, but I don't know much about the schools in Suffolk. Housing's quite cheap there, though.

Stay away from Portsmouth or Norfolk.

You can get a lot of good info about housing and neighborhoods on zillow.com. I think they even have info on the schools.

PM me if you have any other questions.
Thank you for the info! We were def thinking of looking a little farther away from the shipyard.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:54 PM   #7
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Possibly relocating to the area for a civilian job with the Department of the Navy and I have a few questions? Just wondering how the general area is.... I have two kids 4 and 6 with another on the way in July. Would be looking to rent a house, hopefully in a quite area with a less than 40 minute drive to the Navy yard. Also, schools are really important! Hopefully public as private would be out of the question due to $$! Any help would go along way!!!

Thanks, Jared
I'm afraid you may not get all your wishes. Portsmouth has a very sparse tax base, which results in (among other things) a less than adequate school system and pretty sketchy municipal services.

You could live in Norfolk -- which has good schools -- and commute to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (in Portsmouth, VA -- the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in Kittery, ME) within about 40-minutes. However, this involves taking a tunnel under the Elizabeth River on I264. Our former Governor allowed the Elizabeth River Tunnel Commission (ERTC) to allow an contractor run both the tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth AND to set tolls on them, raising them every year for the next 30 years. The make these tolls worse, there are no toll booths or toll collectors -- you either must have an EZ Pass (electronic payment device) or an automatic camera will photograph your license plates and ERTC will mail you a monthly bill for your tolls plus a service charge.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:29 AM
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I'm afraid you may not get all your wishes. Portsmouth has a very sparse tax base, which results in (among other things) a less than adequate school system and pretty sketchy municipal services.

You could live in Norfolk -- which has good schools -- and commute to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (in Portsmouth, VA -- the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in Kittery, ME) within about 40-minutes. However, this involves taking a tunnel under the Elizabeth River on I264. Our former Governor allowed the Elizabeth River Tunnel Commission (ERTC) to allow an contractor run both the tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth AND to set tolls on them, raising them every year for the next 30 years. The make these tolls worse, there are no toll booths or toll collectors -- you either must have an EZ Pass (electronic payment device) or an automatic camera will photograph your license plates and ERTC will mail you a monthly bill for your tolls plus a service charge.
Thanks for the info! Is it unrealistic to live near the border in NC? I'm used to a lengthy commute and traffic working I DC. This is not a definite move yet, we're just looking for cheaper places to live while keeping my government job.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info! Is it unrealistic to live near the border in NC? I'm used to a lengthy commute and traffic working I DC. This is not a definite move yet, we're just looking for cheaper places to live while keeping my government job.
Not at all unrealistic. There's an interstate-like highway that goes south from Norfolk to Currituck. It's marked as a toll road, but there are no tolls until you get to NC. My house is right off that highway in Great Bridge, and at 6AM I was able to get from the house to the ship in 20mins. Also, if you're down in that area you can avoid jams on the east/highway side of the Elizabeth River by taking the surface roads on the west side of the river.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info! Is it unrealistic to live near the border in NC? I'm used to a lengthy commute and traffic working I DC. This is not a definite move yet, we're just looking for cheaper places to live while keeping my government job.
My parents moved to south mills, nc. It's close to va/nc border. My dad commutes to Norfolk during the week. I guess taxes are less compared to va. Google maps says it 35 mins away from Norfolk shipyard.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:55 PM   #11
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Thank you for the info! We were def thinking of looking a little farther away from the shipyard.
Western Suffolk would be a good place to look. I work in Portsmouth and can get from western Suffolk to Portsmouth in 40 minutes because there's less traffic. Also, if you live in Suffolk and work in Portsmouth, you can avoid bridges and tunnels which always mean more traffic and tolls. As for the schools, public schools are fair at best no matter where you go.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:55 AM
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Thanks guys
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:07 AM   #13
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I have lived in Norfolk, and though it has gotten better in the recent years it is still rough in some parts. Va beach (where I am now) and Chesapeake have better schools and are safer. Only adds a few more minutes to your drive. Have a lot of family and friends who are navy and commute from the pungo area of vb to Norfolk every day no problem.
If you're planning to stay for a long time you might want to buy/rent in NC just across the border. It is definitely cheaper in the long run and is not too far of a drive.

Oh and by the way, be warned. Your average driver in Hampton roads have the i.q. of a goldfish.... It's astonishing really.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:59 PM   #14
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Lots of Military neighbors in the Hill Point Farms area of Suffolk. Great neighborhoods, safe, friendly, etc.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:25 PM   #15
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Been in Hampton Roads for 16 years, I think. The military won't let me leave. Anywho - As others have mentioned, stay out of Portsmouth, Norfolk and probably Hampton. I'd look in Smithfield, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Moyock, NC (general area), VA Beach, Yorktown, Newport News in that order based on your needs.

As others have said, the public school system in the area is iffy everywhere around here. Each locality generally has one good district that comes with a premium to live in that neighborhood.

I've lived in Suffolk (generally not bad) and went to high school here at Lakeland (pretty bad), Portsmouth, which was horrible all around, and the NORTHERN area of Newport News, which in my opinion was excellent. I have a house for rent up there, but it'd be too small for you with a 3rd on the way.

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