Is Roanoke, Virginia A Good Place To Live?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Roanoke is 168 miles west of the state capital, Richmond, on Interstate 81, halfway between New York and Atlanta. The city is the heart of Virginia’s most populous metropolitan areas and transportation, financial, and industrial hub in southwestern Virginia. In 1874, the town of Big Lick was established. Two years later, it became the City of Roanoke.

Roanoke is a good place to find affordable rent as well as a great job market and plenty of things to do. However, the cost of living is a little higher than average, and it’s also a high crime area.

The city is a four-season destination for ardent hikers, rock climbers, recreational boaters, and sportfishing enthusiasts and is located in the picturesque Roanoke Valley in southwestern Virginia. In addition to these reasons, there are plenty of others that make Roanoke a great place to live. Let’s discuss the city a little further.

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What Is Roanoke Like?

Roanoke is a medium-sized city in Virginia’s Botetourt, Roanoke, Roanoke City, and Salem counties. After a recent drop in individuals moving away, it has witnessed a recent increase in new inhabitants relocating to the city. Roanoke has an urban feel to it, which is typically faster than the neighboring suburban regions but not as quick as more densely populated cities.

In comparison to other cities, finding fresh things to do is usually not a problem, and your money goes a bit farther for the space. Downtown Roanoke is a thriving neighborhood with a diverse population and a diverse range of entertainment choices.

The downtown region is more than simply a commercial district; it also has lovely Elmwood Park, plenty of shopping, and the Roanoke City Market. Live music, summer festivals, holiday festivities, and so much more take place year-round in downtown living. You’ll find entertainment, excellent cuisine, the arts, culture, and music outside your front door.

Roanoke Residents

Roanoke, Virginia, has a population of 99.6 thousand people in 2018, with a median age of 38.7 years and a typical family income of 43,028 dollars. Roanoke’s population increased by 0.0492 percent, from 99,572 to 99,621, and its median household income increased by 3.72 percent, from $41,483 to $43,028, between 2017 and 2018.

White (Non-Hispanic) (59%) is the most common ethnic group in Roanoke, VA, followed by Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (28.2%), White (Hispanic) (3.49%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (3.07%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (3.07%). (3.05 percent ). 0 percent of Roanoke, VA households speak a non-English language as their primary language at home, while 94.3 percent of Roanoke, VA inhabitants are citizens of the United States.

Is Roanoke Virginia A Good Place To Live?

Roanoke has its great aspects of living there, which we’ll talk about below. That way, you can know what to expect if you ever decide to move to this marvelous city.

Low Cost Of Rent

The cost of renting in Virginia is comparable to the cost of owning a house in the state. Given the high prices in the state, if you’re still debating whether to rent or purchase, you might not be able to save enough for a down payment by renting.

Roanoke’s average rent is $790. You may expect to pay as little as $604 or as much as $1,255 for an apartment in Roanoke, depending on the location and size of the unit. Roanoke, VA, has an average rent of $604 for a studio apartment. In Roanoke, VA, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $877. The Roanoke FMR region is more costly than 57 percent of the state compared to the rest of Virginia.

Lots Of Things To Do

Roanoke is a beautiful city encircled by Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Or you can visit the Taubman Museum of Art, the City Market, a culinary tour, and Mill Mountain Park for a morning.

The Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium, and the Mill Mountain Zoo are two of the best things to do in Roanoke, VA, especially with kids.

Taubman Museum of Art

The museum building is a prominent element of the local skyline, and its strikingly contemporary façade, which was completed in 2005, is a must-see Roanoke destination. The museum aims to give art to the community to promote and inspire discovery, learning, and enjoyment.

Food Tours

Roanoke Food Tours focuses on what it deems to be some of the city’s most distinctive and famous cuisine while also highlighting historical and cultural aspects that distinguish the city. While passing through important historical sites, the 3-hour walking tour delivers anecdotes and stories about the city’s past.

Mill Mountain Park And The Roanoke Star

Mill Mountain Park, which is home to the famed Roanoke Star, offers over 10 miles of multi-use trails (hiking, walking, and bicycling) where visitors may experience the region’s all-season natural splendor.

Take the Mill Mountain Star Path, a 3.5-mile round-trip trek from the base trail that takes you along the adjacent Roanoke River to the summit of Mill Mountain, the city’s highest point at 1,703 feet. Connect with the short Watchtower Trail for the most fantastic panoramic views and photographs at the foot of the Roanoke Star, one of Virginia’s most famous landmarks.

Roanoke Valley Greenways

The linked Roanoke Valley Greenway lets visitors see the city up and personal by walking or bicycling along the miles of trails found in its surrounds. It is safe, well-populated, and well-maintained.

A popular route in and around Roanoke is directly along the Roanoke River, where deer, herons, geese, and other wildlife that transit the urban river may be seen even in town.

Growing Job Market

The unemployment rate in Roanoke County is 4.1 percent. The average in the United States is 6.0 percent. The job market in Roanoke County has grown by 1.6 percent in the last year. Future job growth is expected to be 30.3 percent over the next ten years, which is lower than the US average of 33.5 percent.

Vivian, Carilion Clinic, and LewisGale Medical Center are the firms with the most job openings in Roanoke, VA. The most popular job opportunities are full-time positions. Roanoke, VA, Lynchburg, VA, and Danville, VA are some neighboring places to consider if you’re seeking work outside of Roanoke.

Cons Of Living In Roanoke Virginia

As with all things that have a positive side, there are also downfalls. Let’s go over some of the cons of living in Roanoke Virginia.

Higher Cost Of Living

The income tax system in Virginia is progressive. The rates vary from 2% to 5.75 percent at the top. Anyone with taxable income over $17,000 is subject to the highest marginal tax rate. It has the nation’s 24th highest state income tax rate.

Roanoke, VA, has a typical household income of $43,212 and a median home value of $146,301. The typical salary for an Hourly range widely (up to $12,778), indicating that there may be several chances for promotion and higher compensation based on skill level, region, and years of experience.

High Crime

Roanoke has one of the highest crime rates in America, with a rate of 48 per 1,000 people, when compared to all communities of all sizes – from the tiniest villages to the greatest metropolis. There is a one in twenty-one risk of becoming a victim of violent or property crime in this city. More than 99 percent of Virginia municipalities have lower crime rates than Roanoke.

According to research, Roanoke’s violent crime rate grew more than that of other large Virginia cities over the last two decades, after another study that ranked Roanoke the state’s second-most-dangerous city.

Expensive Healthcare System

Healthcare in Virginia is generally more expensive than in the rest of the country. This tendency is notably noticeable among Richmond residents. According to a 2016 research by the Health Care Cost Institute, the city’s median healthcare expense is 14% more than the national average. Virginia Beach and Roanoke, on the other hand, are 8% above and 2% below the national median, respectively.

The healthcare business in Virginia’s Blue Ridge continues to grow and progress, with the Roanoke Valley at the forefront of technological and medical breakthroughs. Health care institutions, such as the Virginia Tech Medical School and a college specialized in health sciences, draw top experts and medical services to the region, making it a significant resource for locals and visitors.

Quality Of Care

Individuals and families can count on obtaining world-class treatment from our local institutions, and the vast network of service providers throughout the region as the number of experts in Virginia’s Blue Ridge grows.

One of the many reasons the Roanoke Valley is consistently ranked as one of the finest locations to retire in the United States is the easy availability of high-quality healthcare. Check out the pros and cons of living in Charlottesville, VA.

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Related Questions

What is the Roanoke Star?

The Roanoke Star, the world’s biggest free-standing, man-made, lighted star, is one of the area’s most photographed sights, and the scenic overlook at the structure’s base is a popular stop for a unique perspective region. It was built in 1949 as a Christmas adornment for the holiday shopping season.Three stars are made by 2,000 feet of neon tubing that make up the sculpture. The star was lit for the first time on November 23, 1949. It has been synonymous with the region throughout the years, and it is today one of Virginia’s most talked-about and identifiable symbols.This is a must-see attraction for anybody visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge area. The star, which is located atop Mill Mountain and looks out over the surrounding valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains, serves as a beacon and a welcome sign for tourists. Every night, it is lit.

What is Roanoke famous for?

Roanoake is famous for the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its location, which brings many people to come to visit, as well as move to the area. It’s growing so quickly but they nicknamed it “Magic City.”

What food is Roanoke Va known for?

The most popular food that’s in Roanoke is the biscuits that are made from scratch as well as the country ham. This is a must-have meal when visiting or living in Roanoke.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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