By American standards, Richmond is quite an old city.
There aren’t many places to go in the United States if you’re looking for structures built in the 1700s. Perhaps it’s just, given Richmond’s critical role in our country’s history, that the city has a wealth of historic properties.
History has had a part in shaping Richmond’s neighborhoods, and that history has value. To truly understand the upper end of the Richmond real estate market, buyers and their agent must understand Richmond’s history, geography, and architecture.
Does History Equal Luxury?
How much value should you attach to a property’s history? There’s no formula to answer that question.
Older homes located inside the city limits often have features and floor plans that are less desirable than their newer counterparts in more suburban settings. Yet much of Richmond’s high-end real estate was built during or just after the turn of the century—not necessarily historical but historically important, yes.
Windsor Farms, the Fan District, Westhampton, and many of the homes along (and neighborhoods south of) Cary Street were all built before open designs became preferred, typically meaning less flow, cozy closets, possibly cramped kitchens, and a more restrictive formality to the layout.
While many homeowners have launched major renovations, these distinguished homes might still lack contemporary design elements found in newer high-end housing. The buyers who select these older neighborhoods typically feel that the age and stability—as well as the urban amenities that come with these neighborhoods–outweigh the less inviting elements in early 20th century residential architecture.
Does Being ‘From Richmond’ Change Your Opinion?
Generally speaking, Richmond natives tend to prize the city’s history, and the architecture and real estate reminiscent of it, more so than outsiders who settle in Richmond.
The newer neighborhoods that frame River, Nuckols, and Robious roads generally offer a more relaxed version of luxury with far more amenities meant to deliver convenience on comfort. Light-flooded open kitchens, walk-in closets that could fit a sofa, bathrooms that feel more like a spa—these are standard in the suburban luxury market. Founders Bridge, Rosemont, Grey Oaks, Barrington, Riverlake Colony, and a host of other new developments target buyers that want a 21st century version of luxury, with less concern for when the first bricks were laid. Proximity to upscale shopping, interstate and the region’s finest public schools are what drive suburban luxury values.
Suburban versus urban luxury is simply a matter of choice. Buyers who think hard about what exactly they want from a home-living experience will find their dream home more quickly, with less stress.