Lynchburg, Virginia

The Neighborhood
It's a head-scratcher that Lynchburg isn't as famous as other Southern historic architecture hot spots (think Charleston or Savannah). This city on the James River survived the Civil War intact and sports some of the best examples of antebellum structures below the Mason-Dixon line, as well as a stunning lineup of Federal-style houses. It's home to seven national historic districts, thanks to progressive city planning, tax breaks, and private donations. Arty Lynchburgers work for entities including the town's Academy of Fine Arts and the area's seven colleges, many of which emphasize the creative disciplines.

The Houses
The Federal Hill Historic District contains dozens of early Federal houses, which count among the city's oldest and finest dwellings. Other notable homes, built between 1817 and 1940, include examples of the Georgian Revival, Queen Anne, Italianate, Greek Revival, and Center Hall Colonial styles.

The Prices
A brick Federal fixer-upper in Federal Hill can be had for around $200,000, though some of the larger restored homes here are going for $700,000 and up.

Why Buy Now?
After years of neglect, people are restoring the old Federal buildings downtown; enterprising individuals have bought many buildings in order to turn the upper floors into residential space and rent out street-level space to local businesses.

Among the best for:
Retirees, Art Lovers, The South
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