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The City of Chesapeake was created from a merger between Norfolk County and the City of South Norfolk, and folks began to take notice of the little town that seemed to be bursting at the seams: The population grew from 78,000 in 1963, the year of the merger, to a whopping 226,138 in 2012. People like the location adjacent to the world's largest natural harbor and naval base. They like the mild climate-an average high of 51 degrees Fahrenheit in January and 88 in June, with an average snowfall of just 1.8 inches (if that). They like being close to the action in Washington, DC, only 205 miles away, as well as the many local attractions such as Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA that are just over an hour's drive down I-64.

Related: Chesapeake real estate data & listings

With a wide variety of outdoors activities, entertainment venues and restaurants that emphasize both the outstanding local seafood and healthy, locally-grown produce, Chesapeake offers a high quality of life. The great outdoors is comfortably accessible much of the year and the locals enjoy biking, running, fishing and kayaking. Sailing enthusiasts love the fact that part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway flows through Chesapeake. In short, this is a very good place to settle. No matter what size and style of residence you prefer, an experienced local realtor is ready to review your wish list and show you many properties suited to your needs. Over the past five years, sales prices in the Chesapeake area have appreciated 4.5 percent and today the average price per square foot is $136. Popular Chesapeake neighborhoods include South Norfolk, Indian River and Great Bridge, once the scene of a Revolutionary War battle during which the Americans routed the British. Of course, you won't have to worry about a British invasion these days. You can relax and enjoy your new home in Chesapeake-and just read about it.