Clients often ask us what we think about the different areas they are considering for their home purchase. This got us thinking… how can we best provide an insider’s guide to Richmond’s many neighborhoods? As a result, our neighborhood spotlight series was born. We will be connecting with clients, friends, and neighbors to see what they have to say about where they live. Who better to give you the scoop than the residents themselves?
In this ongoing series, we will pepper in articles on featured neighborhoods in the Home Sweet RVA blog and you get to be a part of it. You may even be our next call for insight on your area! For now, we’re going to start at home, and begin with the neighborhoods where the four of us live. Karina and Karen are in Bellevue, so let’s begin!
“It’s the best neighborhood, in the best city, in the best country.”
– Tom Wolfe, Author & Journalist
“I just love this neighborhood. I always wanted to live in it. We have everything we need within a few blocks of our house, and it just keeps getting better. I can get anywhere in 15 minutes. Also, I love our single level bungalow because we can grow old in it, and not worry about stairs. It’s just the best neighborhood in Richmond!”
– Resident since 2007
“Neil and I like to refer to Bellevue as “city plus” because we have that city feel, we have the walkability, we have that neighbor accountability, but you have the plus side of a full size home and a full size yard and full size streets. You’re not always having to jockey for parking. There are many times that I park my car on a Friday and I don’t get back into it until Monday. We can go to 5 different places within a day and not leave the neighborhood.
We have been here for 2 years but I’ve been coming to Bellevue since I was a kid. For me, it felt very much like home. I went from being in the Fan, which has great walkability, but we needed more space because of our animals. When we went searching for a house, we knew exactly where we wanted to be. We knew it was going to be Bellevue. And we were going to wait for the perfect house.
There’s so much going for us that I feel like, you almost don’t want the secret to get out. It’s that fine line of wanting people to move here, but not wanting people to move here.”
-Shelley E, Resident since 2016
“We love the close proximity to the city while still having a small local community feel. It’s a historic neighborhood with unique architectural charm, and great restaurants and shops. The local public schools, especially Holton, provide tailored programs for special education needs. There is also one of the largest parks with walking or biking distance from the neighborhood, Joseph Bryan Park, that provides walking, biking, tennis, soccer, ponds, & playgrounds. Of all the neighborhoods I’ve lived in throughout Richmond, Bellevue has by far been the best. It’s truly my favorite.”
-Resident since 2015
“I love it. It’s the first time that I’ve ever lived in a city-style area. I’ve always lived in either the suburban forest or in the sticks, so having walkability has been amazing. I can’t even believe that I can get up in the morning and walk over to Early Bird for breakfast, and if I really get ambitious I can get a sandwich for lunch somewhere, and for dinner I can go get something else! There’s so much variety within walking distance here, it’s incredible.
When I came to visit for the first time, it was great because it seemed like a really tight knit community where everything is communicated internally through the Facebook group or the newsletter or people passing out pamphlets. I felt like I knew people before I even moved here.[On Ironman training] I’ve run every road in Bellevue…I love how eclectic everything is, nothing is cookie cutter.”
-Lauren G, Resident since 2018
“Growing up here, it’s just always felt like home to me. The same smell is in the air of my home when I have my windows open as was when my mother would have ours open in our house when I was a kid. What keeps me here is the kindness of neighbors and the sense of community. Most everyone knows each other, and looks out for each other. Also, We have a number of great restaurants serving a variety of cuisine and cocktails, a specialty wine & beer store, and the best little grocery just blocks away. You can even leave your car at Decatur’s to get serviced and walk home so you’re not sitting in a waiting room.
My family and I love taking walks, and riding our bikes to Bryan park, a Squirrels game, or even into Scott’s Addition to enjoy what many things are offered just up the road there. Additionally, Bellevue is centrally located. You can get anywhere in the surrounding area within 15 minutes, depending on time of day and traffic of course, but you get my point. It’s like this little almost suburbia within the city limits. All of these things speak to its high demand in the real estate market.”
Before we got married in 2010, my husband and I found ourselves searching for a new home. As VCU alumni, we were familiar with Richmond’s downtown neighborhoods and had previously lived in just about all of them. We wanted more space, but we didn’t want to give up the city lifestyle and old house charm that drew us to Richmond in the first place. And then we stumbled upon Bellevue. We felt like we’d accidentally discovered a well kept secret. Hidden behind the stone archway on Pope Avenue was a tight knit community, with its own ecosystem of shops, restaurants and neighborhood happenings.
Fast forward eight years, and I still love everything about this neighborhood. Some of my favorite pastimes include walking to Friday night movies at Once Upon a Vine (aka Bob’s), grabbing a coffee at Stir Crazy or Early Bird Biscuit, and events at LGRA! There’s so much to do, and our centralized location can’t be beat. As Scott’s Addition and the Boulevard corridor continue to grow, we have access to even more restaurants, breweries and shops all within a 5 minute drive. But by far my favorite aspect of Bellevue is the sense of community. Literally every time I walk down to MacArthur Avenue, I run into someone I know from my kids’ schools, or the neighborhood cleanup or a block party. It’s no wonder that demand for homes here has skyrocketed – apparently the secret is out!
A special thanks to our participants in this project. We hope you found these interviews helpful and we look forward to bringing you the inside scoop on the next featured neighborhood. Be sure to keep an eye out for it.
Don’t forget to listen to the audio piece above to hear Karina & Karen tell you more!