Why You Should Consider Making Radford Your Home

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Shiza Manzoor | smanzoor1@radford.edu & Tristan Blake Rines | trines@radford.edu

With the beautiful New River, an expanding university community, and affordable living, Radford is a city that you could seriously consider living in post-graduation.

Average costs of a one bedroom apartment in Radford is around $570 monthly. Meaning annually, $6,870 is spent on a home of your own. With a stable food budget of let’s say $300 per month, this being $3,600 annually, you would have food and shelter for $10,470 per year.

One online user on bestplace.net, under the identity of Nick Allgauer, noted that there wasn’t much around the city to secure a livelihood, as many businesses were either heading to Christiansburg or Blacksburg. “So long drives should be expected when going to places, such as the mall.”

However, some new companies are moving into Radford; From restaurants like Golden Bowl and Viv’s Place to facilities like Cryptix Escape Rooms, 24/7 access to gyms, and theatre shows open to the public mid-April. The community is expected to “grow and evolve and compete well in the 21st-century” according to David Horton.

Horton, the president of the Radford Chamber of Commerce and administrator for Radford University, is running for mayor in the May 1 elections. He talks and believes in a “Radford Renaissance.”

As quoted in The Roanoke Times: “I’m seeing neighborhoods develop. Our central business district is starting to return to a sense of vitality,” Horton said. “We have the right elements coming to place. We have to help those neighborhoods and enhance those property owners. We can reinvent ourselves.”

For those perhaps looking to raise a family in Radford, Virginia, the area also provides excellent public education. With graduation rates of high schoolers at 87%, according to startclass.com. Radford, as of a January 2018 has an unemployment rate of 4.6% according to the Department of Labor Statistics. Not much higher than the rest of the country, 4.1%, or the rest of Virginia, 3.7%. Meaning there is work in the New River Valley for those who are willing to seek it.

In fact, according to the Virginia Employment Commission, the populations are projected to reach up to 18,392 by 2030 and 19,320 by 2040. This means that the increase in desired jobs and businesses is anticipated to increase.

Darryl Campbell is a leasing agent with CMG who’s considering making a move to Radford in the coming few months. Currently, he is a resident of Blacksburg, another college town about 25 minutes away.

“It’s affordable,” he said. “And the area is really beautiful, too.”

The university itself plays a significant role in the region’s sustainability.

The city of Radford has sizeable economic investment placed upon the student population. With over 9,000 students attending Radford University, this accounts for over 50% of the 17,000 plus residents in the area. Meaning student spending and involvement with the community is a tremendous source of income for the city.

During the summers when students are away, and the place is more commonly known as a “ghost town.” Radford University opens up Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts’ kids from around the State of Virginia.

Part of their four-week program involves interacting with the Radford community from “opportunities for recreations, field trips, concerts, guest lectures, movies, student performances” which helps maintain businesses in the area.

Students and adults from all over consider Radford to be a great place to start, retire or for second chances in general.

Grace Dhondt is a freshman at Radford University who said she’s staying for the university’s Interior Design program. “I like the community and the program.”

Will Christman, another freshman from Richmond, said he chose the campus because of its location. “It was in-state, and far enough away, so I can just be away (from my family).”

On top of all of that, the overall crime rate in Radford is 20% lower than the national average according to areavibes.com. The University Police works alongside the Radford City Police Department, offering assistance to the city whenever possible.

This includes everything from “crime reports, investigations, medical emergencies, fire emergencies, traffic accidents, enforcement of laws regulating criminal activity” and all other incidents that require their assistance.

In addition, the university strives to educate the community on sexual harassment, alcohol safety, personal safety, offers unique services like the Women’s Resource Center, Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support Services (SAVES), Residential Life, and Student Health Services.

With an expected increase in the population and local businesses, Radford could very well be a gem of a community to settle in at any point in life, be it post-graduation or for retirement.

Photo Credit: (Tristan Blake Rines-Contributing Writer)