17 Reasons Not to Move to Richmond, Virginia (Voted by the locals!)

The railroad line travels along the riverfront heading into Richmond Virginia

Although Richmond, Virginia is considered a great place to live because of its rich history, amazing restaurants, available outdoor activities, many museums, and the variety of events held there, it is not a perfect place to live. To help you decide whether or not you want to move to and live in Richmond, Virginia, here are 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to this city. Keep reading to find out more about Richmond, Virginia, and why you shouldn’t move there!

1. Bad Drivers

Richmond, Virginia is full of horrible, aggressive drivers. The streets are often full of the ear-rupturing music of honking horns and angry yells, especially during rush hour, when the roads seem to come to a standstill.

Richmond, Virginia drivers are notorious for getting speeding and parking tickets, drunk driving, and causing car accidents. You will definitely want to get really good car insurance before moving to Richmond, Virginia.

Many drivers in Richmond, Virginia seem to ignore crosswalks and bike lanes. They often don’t stop for pedestrians, which puts everyone at risk when they want to cross the road. You will definitely need to keep a lookout for angry drivers that don’t want to wait for you to cross the street if you move to this city.

2. Roads

One of the many reasons why Richmond, Virginia drivers are so bad at driving might be because of the roads they are driving on. The roads in Richmond, Virginia are full of potholes and extremely damaged. The city tries to repair them quickly, but as soon as one is filled, it seems like three more appear.

These potholes are notorious for damaging cars. Some drivers get lucky, and only a small amount of damage is inflicted by the potholes they drive over. Others are not so lucky, and they wish they only had a busted tire caused by a pothole.

65% of roads in Richmond, Virginia need to be repaired. One of the reasons why so many roads need to be repaired constantly is because they are not properly supported. Asphalt roads cover cobblestone roads that have been there since the 1800s, and they simply can’t support the weight of the asphalt and cars as they drive over it.

Large potholes in Montreal street, in Winter

3. Tourists

Millions of tourists flood the streets of Richmond, Virginia from April to September. In fact, more than 7 million tourists visit Richmond, Virginia each year.

Tourists love learning about the history of Richmond, as there is a lot of history to learn about. They also enjoy going to local restaurants and museums before they attend some of the events that are held in the area each year.

4. Poverty Rate

The poverty rate in Richmond, Virginia is quite high, especially for an area that many politicians visit regularly. The poverty rate in Richmond, Virginia is 25.2%, which is higher than the national average. It is not much higher, but it is higher, which is extremely unfortunate if you want to move or live in the area.

Also, nearly 53,000 people in Richmond, Virginia live below the poverty line and are struggling to pay their bills each month.

5. Homelessness

Over 800 people that live in Richmond, Virginia are homeless, and there are likely many more that are unaccounted for. Homelessness seemed to be in control in Richmond, Virginia a few years ago, but this is no longer the case. From 2020 to 2021, the number of homeless people increased by 53%, which is shocking, even with the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are currently not enough resources to help or house the number of homeless people that live in Richmond, Virginia, so don’t be surprised if you see someone asking for help or work if you choose to move there.

However, many people are currently trying to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets of Richmond, Virginia, especially because how many are there partially because of the recent pandemic. This means the number of homeless people in Richmond may be reduced soon.

6. Climate

The climate in the city of Richmond, Virginia is relatively mild, but the humidity will overwhelm you. During the summer, Richmond is hot and muggy, and it may seem like you are being drenched in water when you step outside. Temperatures often reach over 96 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, so you won’t be able to escape the heat.

During the winter, Richmond, Virginia is snowy and extremely cold. The weather during the spring season is relatively mild, but you will be too busy mentally preparing for the coming heat and humidity to fully enjoy the spring weather.

If you hate humidity and the cold, Richmond, Virginia is not the best place for you to live, especially during the summer when the number of tourists in the area increases.

7. Taxes

The businessman running away from high taxes

Although many people think that taxes are high where they live, that is actually the case for the people that live in Richmond, Virginia. They have a 6% sales tax, but that is not the main form of tax that many people have to worry about or find irritating.

On top of the sales tax, there is a 7.5% meal tax that is applied every time you purchase a meal or drink that you did not prepare. Although Richmond, Virginia is known for its amazing restaurants, many people find the food less satisfying and delicious after they receive the bill and see the applied taxes.

If you go to a place that charges you a fee for admittance, such as a museum or event, you will have to pay a 7% admissions tax. This makes going out to events while in Richmond, Virginia more expensive and less appealing, especially for tourists that don’t know about it.

8. Schools

The public schools in Richmond, Virginia are extremely underfunded, run poorly, and the school buildings are often in desperate need of repair. Most students are using extremely old, outdated textbooks that are almost useless. However, it seems like the teachers that are hired at the public schools in Richmond, Virginia are doing their jobs extremely well, as test scores are relatively high.

The closer you get to the rich neighborhoods in Richmond, Virginia, the better the schools become. However, many Richmond public schools struggle to pay bills and teachers every year, so they often get in trouble with the local government.

9. Allergies

If you have allergies, especially severe allergies, you do not want to move to Richmond, Virginia, as it is currently rated the #4 most challenging place to live with seasonal allergies by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Richmond, Virginia is full of different tree varieties, but with all of these trees comes the pollen. Because of how tree and nature-rich the area is, as well as the humidity and dryness that seem to make the pollen count worse, many seasonal allergy sufferers are miserable from March to October every year.

10. It’s Partially a College Town

Richmond, Virginia is home to the Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Union University, as well as many other schools and lesser-known colleges and universities. Because of the number of universities in the area, downtown Richmond basically becomes a college town during the school year. At the beginning of every semester, the area is flooded by college students and their parents, which makes traffic impossible to get through.

However, luckily most college students in Richmond leave at the beginning of the summer to visit or go back home. However, this makes local businesses suffer slightly, as there is less business, and the college students are soon replaced by tourists that outnumber the college students.

11. Nearby Nuclear Power Plants

Soaring steam towers of a nuclear power plant.

There are two nuclear power plants in or around Richmond, Virginia. They do not typically cause issues, but they could cause issues if problems occur in either of the power plants. Many homeowners and renters that live in Richmond, Virginia are told when they move in that they should be aware of the available escape routes, just in case something bad happens at one of the nuclear power plants.

Also, these nuclear power plants are not visually appealing. If you drive by one of them, you may find that you are irritated because of how they look, especially when you compare them to the surrounding area, which is much more visually appealing.

12. Crime Rate

The crime rate in Richmond, Virginia is extremely high, especially the violent crime rate. Murder is rampant in Richmond, Virginia, as the murder rate in that area is 23.84 per 100,000 people.

The violent crime rate in Richmond, Virginia is 24.6, and the property crime rate in the area is 55.9. Both of these crime rates are higher than the national average. This is extremely worrisome, especially when you consider that the crime rates in the area have been steadily rising every year.

13. Public Transport

Richmond, Virginia may have a lot of public transport, but that doesn’t mean that the system works well. Oftentimes, trains, buses, and other public transport options run late and are extremely crowded.

Although Richmond, Virginia doesn’t have the worst public transport system in the country, it definitely needs to be improved in the near future if you don’t have a vehicle and don’t want to purchase one, but want to move to the area.

14. Cost of Living

The cost of living in Richmond, Virginia is relatively high and is increasing every year, especially if you want to live near or in the best neighborhoods in the area or near one of the many schools or universities.

The cost of living is increasing every year, especially for renters. If you rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Richmond, Virginia, expect to pay a minimum of $850-$1,000 per month, not including utilities. You can rent a 2 bedroom apartment and get a roommate or two, but the overall cost of the apartment will still be relatively high, especially if your apartment is located near a university.

15. Cost of Healthcare

Although the cost of healthcare in the United States is high, it is higher than normal in Richmond, Virginia. The cost of healthcare is 8% higher in Richmond, Virginia than the average cost in the nation. That may not seem like a lot now, but when you get your hospital bill you will notice the difference.

Although the healthcare in Richmond, Virginia is great, the higher cost is frustrating to many people that live in the area.

16. Lack of Sports Teams

Sports lovers should absolutely avoid moving to Richmond, Virginia if they enjoy supporting local professional teams. Richmond, Virginia is the home of two sports teams, but they don’t play in a professional league.

The two sports teams that call Richmond, Virginia home are the Richmond Flying Squirrels, which is a minor league baseball team that was established in 2010, and the Richmond Kickers, which is a minor league soccer team that was established in 1993.

However, Richmond is home to many school sports teams, so people that live in the area can still watch and support local sports teams. They just won’t be part of any professional sports leagues.

17. The Bug Problem

Many mosquitoes fly over green grass field

Richmond, Virginia has a major termite and mosquito problem. Richmond was ranked #14 out of 50 in Orkin’s 2022 Most Termite-Infested Cities list. The termite infestation is likely partially caused by the amount of old wood in the area, as many historical buildings are still standing.

When it comes to mosquitos, Richmond has a problem, but it has gotten better in recent years. They used to be ranked #14 in Orkin’s Top Mosquito Cities list, but it is currently rankedOpens in a new tab. #29 out of 50, which is a major improvement. Mosquitos run rampant in Richmond, Virginia because a majority of the city is located near water, which is one of the reasons why it is often called the River State.

Although Richmond, Virginia is considered a great place to live by many locals, the city is not perfect, and there are many reasons why you shouldn’t move to the area.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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