As a relatively new resident to Charlottesville, we looked at every neighborhood known to mankind within the area. From Greene County to Fluvanna, and then within Albemarle County. How were the schools? Frankly, this didn't help, as ALL of the county middle and high schools are excellent...we have a middle school age child. So, once we met with every principal, every guidance counselor, had a tour of the three middle schools (Jouett, Sutherland and Burley - We determined that Western was too far, well, west) and the two high schools (Monticello and Albemarle), it was important to find the right neighborhood.
Now, I'm not saying anything nasty about any of the neighborhoods we didn't choose, but something about Dunlora just felt right from the moment we first drove through. It is heavily wooded, with abundant wildlife. The homes are not cookie cutter, and the pride of homeownership is apparent in the way that the homes are maintained. Then there is the cost of the homes themselves.
At first, we didn't think that we'd be able to find a home within our price range. Then we were fortunate that there were two in the neighborhood on the market within the neighborhood in our budget when we were really ready to buy. We'd sold our home in the Washington, DC area and were living in a 2 bedroom apartment. Not enjoyable. We were determined to find the right neighborhood and the right house. We were lucky. The house that we bought had been vacant for over two years and the price had fallen by 50%. This was AWESOME!! What a deal!
Dunlora is all that we wanted in our home. The neighbors are welcoming and very friendly...something that was missing in my old neighborhood in the Washington, DC suburb where we had lived previously. The location is awesome, as it is less than 10 minutes from downtown and the University, and yet, the same distance from the shops located up at 29 North in the Hollymead Shopping Center. We are near to the mall, churches, and shopping. What more could a gal ask for?
Then there's the fact that there are TONS of kids. We love this aspect as it is important for our only child to be able to find friends to hang with. There just so happen to be several.
Overall, the welcome we've found in our new neighborhood has supported me fully throughout my husband's deployment. Also, the new friends and social gatherings I've been fortunate enough to enjoy have really made life in Charlottesville so much more than I imagined.