11. Richmond, Virginia
Anyone who wants a certain degree of independence should definitely consider the city of Richmond. This capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia is a city independent of any county, according to the city’s website. The region is known as an important site in the history of early America.
Before Richmond, per City Data, there was a village that served as part of the Powhatan Confederacy, a group of American Indian tribes in the region. But early in the 17th Century, English colonists created a settlement there. This area, in fact, is home to some of the earliest surviving English settlements in the Americas. Virginia, then, stands as one of the oldest parts of modern America.
Richmond was crucial to the United States independence from British rule, and retains that perspective to this day. And, Richmond’s longevity allows it to maintain its status as an excellent location for culture and the arts. The weather in Richmond, is typical of other cities in the Chesapeake Bay. The city boasts warm summers and fairly mild winters.
Richmond’s position as one of Business Insider’s top five cities for economic confidence, in the wake of the Great Recession, makes it a great place to establish a business. Tax incentives make it easier for entrepreneurs to launch startups. A low unemployment rate and exploding growth, along with talent coming from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond, establishes Richmond as an important contender.
Home prices are increasing dramatically to reflect these improving economic conditions. Average home values in Richmond are $140,300, according to the Zillow home value index. However, homes have recently sold at a median $198,455, well above the national average. A 6.3 percent increase over the past year leads Zillow to name Richmond’s housing market “hot,” with even more development to come.