Is Roanoke, VA Good Place To Live?

Definition of "Is Roanoke, VA good place to live?"

David  Stephens real estate agent

Written by

David Stephenselite badge icon

Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates

Are you thinking about moving to Roanoke, VA? The “Star City of the South” might be your new place to call home. Explore the beauties of this fantastic city and all its diversity, and let it charm you into moving here.

Roanoke is a middle-sized city between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. The Roanoke River cuts across it. 

The city has a great side to life; this is something we'll explain below. That way, you know what to expect if you decide to move to this fantastic city.

History of the Roanoke City

Known as the "Capital of the Blue Ridge," Roanoke's history as a trading center began in the 1740s. Mark Evans and Tasker Tosh came from Pennsylvania and landed near Salt Lick, where Indian and animal trails intersect in the middle of the valley.

For generations, the salt marshes were a place where diverse animals could gather from the Indians who were hunting them.

Located in the heart of Blue Ridge, today's Roanoke city is the product of a long and diverse history. The land itself is sculpted from an ancient mountain range that left a large basin of fertile soil at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. Over time, the area attracted wild herds and, with them, the valley's first inhabitants.

The Native Americans settled in the area and established a farming community that later became the Roanoke Valley. These early settlers created a currency called 'rawrenoc' from which the word 'Roanoke' may have originated.


Reasons to live in Roanoke, VA.

Roanoke is a great city to retire, live and work in at any stage of your life, whether you’re single, married with a family, or retired. Based on reviews, most people think it's an excellent or perfect place to live. The city has a healthy combination of factors and diversity, so Roanoke is a great place to call home.

Unemployment Rate

Based on statistics, the unemployment rate was 3.2% in August 2022, which is lower than the average of 4% in the U.S. As we can see, the unemployment rate has grown by 0.6% over five months.


Education is a big plus to consider if you decide to move here. The education in Roanoke is rated a "C+," and it's regarded as pretty good nationally because it's above average.

School districts with a "C+" for student academic performance are average, but they continue to improve their performance, and they are heading in the right direction at achieving better results.

Easy access to other cities

Roanoke is 5 hours away from Atlanta, 7.5 hours away from N.Y., and 4.5 hours away from Washington, D.C. Maybe you're thinking of making a trip to visit the beautiful surroundings of your city. Well, this is your chance! Transportation costs are 13% cheaper than the national average, and it's convenient if you want to visit other cities or states.

Fun activities 

Are you an outdoor enthusiast? You love spending time in nature, or maybe you like to learn more about the city's history. No worries, we've got you covered!

The Mill Mountain Star & Park

Roanoke is a beautiful city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It sits in a beautifully landscaped city park, and you can go hiking or biking. Exploring Mill Mountain Park is one of Roanoke's most popular activities and a favorite of both visitors and residents of Virginia's Blue Ridge region.

Taubman Museum of Art

The museum building is a prominent feature of the local skyline, and its modern façade was completed in 2005 and is a Roanoke must-see. The museum aims to make art available to the community to encourage and inspire discovery and learning.

Live music

If you love listening to live music, Roanoke has plenty to offer and an outdoor arena where you can go to live concerts. To be more appealing, they shut down their farmer's market and transformed it into a stage where residents can come to listen to live music and enjoy tasty food.

Reasons to not live in Roanoke, VA

Annoying bugs

The stink bugs are widespread in Roanoke! If you try to squish them, they will leave a stinky smell, so the best way to handle them is to pick them up and leave them outside. They will not bite you.

Besides the stink bugs, some other common bugs in this city are mosquitos and gnats that live near standing water, and they can carry diseases. Just take your bug spray, and don't be afraid to use it if you feel they are all around you.


Crime rate

The crime rate in Roanoke is higher than the national and state averages, but this doesn't mean living here or raising a family is unsafe. It depends on the area of the city.

The rates show that 3.9 in 1000 are violent crimes, while 44.2 in 1000 are property crimes.

Crime rates usually significantly impact a city's social and economic life because the citizens might feel unsafe by it and tend to leave the city, which can cause the economy to drop.

Another factor that can lead a city to have a high crime rate is the gender imbalance of the town. For stability, a city must be more balanced in population. Based on studies about gender imbalance, we can see that the imbalance of gender in a community can lead to social problems.

High poverty rate

Poverty can create stress and instability, leading to aggression and violence. There is a close relationship between poverty and crime because crime rates are usually higher in cities with levels of income inequality. Poverty is also an essential factor in juvenile law. Young people from poor backgrounds are more likely to be arrested, charged with crimes, and sent to detention or correctional facilities.

Education is an excellent tool to prevent poverty for young people to stay out of trouble. Schools can do this by keeping them out of the streets and teaching them how to behave in society.



As we’ve seen before, there are a lot of positive aspects that make Roanoke a good place to live in and make a fresh start if you want to, and some that make it not so attractive. If we were to balance the grounds, we could say that Roanoke is an excellent place to live in because of its many positive factors.

Of course, there are a few inconveniences, but which city doesn't have them? If you want to move to another town or start fresh, always make the choice that benefits you the most and makes you happy at the moment. Who knows, maybe Roanoke might be the fresh start you need.

You can leave your thoughts in the comment section below and let us know if you think Roanoke is an excellent place to live.

image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.


Popular Real Estate Questions

Popular Real Estate Glossary Terms

A public foreclosure sale where public notice is given anyone is allowed to participate. Normally, a public sale occurs because of the property owner's failure to pay taxes. ...

Legal action by an owner of property to oust or exclude an individual or business form using the property. ...

Inverted gable roof design where the two side slope upward from the center to the eaves with a valley in the middle. The roof resembles the wings of a butterfly, hence, the name. ...

Agequake is not the era of earthquakes! It’s a term that was coined by author Paul Wallace in his 1999 book “Agequake: Ridding the demographic rollercoaster shaking business, ...

When a person dies, a distribution of their estate takes place. The estate’s distribution is done through deeds depending on whether or not the deceased left a will. Two types of ...

Lien on a given property, such as an person's house as a collateral for a loan. ...

The label American Land Title Association, also known as ALTA, is a trade association that helps in managing the title insurance industry. Another focus of ALTA is the abstract of title of ...

The two terms used to describe professionals in the real estate industry are “realtor” and “real estate agent”. These two terms are used interchangeably or as ...

Items of real and personal property that usually have a long life, such as housing and other real estate. ...