Plant Roots in the River City: Achieve homeownership in Warren County
Published 2:00 pm Monday, November 15, 2021
Vicksburg and Warren County offer a variety of housing options for every lifestyle and budget.
From posh downtown condominiums and apartments to quiet countryside living on a few acres, residents have the opportunity to plant roots in the River City.
Vicksburg’s downtown district is a thriving mix of commercial and residential offerings, where many of the town’s
small businesses are located. Downtown residents are often seen enjoying an after-dinner drink at Cocktails 101 or 10
South, or catching a show at the historic Strand Theatre. Saturday morning brings the opportunity to enjoy brunch at
Cottonwood Public House and provides the perfect opportunity for strolls down Washington Street with its lively music.
Until recently, there were several rental options for those interested in living downtown, such as young people or empty nesters, but few opportunities for ownership. Realtor Mary Jane Wooten is working to change that, with her upcoming condominiums at the historic 1314 Washington St. building.
“This is a product that we’ve never had in Vicksburg. When you’re the first in the market for the product, you’re the biggest risk-taker,” Wooten said. “I think the demand is there. We have customers who are new to town who are asking if we have condominiums, and right now, I am having to say ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have those.’”
The building, which was constructed in 1870 and then rebuilt in 1939 following a fire, according to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, will feature three types of units. The first floor will be one bedroom, one bathroom; the second floor will include two-bedroom, two-bathroom; and the third floor will have three-bedroom units.
“If you come downtown, you can meet so many people quicker in a hometown Mayberry-Type setting,” Wooten said. “Mostly I think what people love about downtown is the friendliness, the walkability, the look and the quaintness where it’s a small-town feel and they can have friends.”
Vicksburg is also home to many established neighborhoods, from Fostoria to New Main to Glenwood Circle. Each neighborhood has a distinct architectural style: Fostoria features several homes built in the late 1800s to early 1900s, New Main features classic craftsman-style homes and Glenwood Circle offers an array of Americana, from midcentury modern to colonial.
The Rev. Brain Crawford, pastor of City Light Church on Depot Street and a chief of cybersecurity and analysis at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg (ERDC), lives with his family on Edna Drive at the edge of Glenwood Circle.
Crawford and his wife, Candi, are Vicksburg natives and first moved to the neighborhood in 2016 with their sons. Part of his church’s mission is to find an intersection of race, class and ethnicity in worship, and Crawford said he’s found a similar intersection in his neighborhood.
“We looked for neighborhoods that fused the history and future of Vicksburg and class and ethnicity, and Glenwood Circle fit that,” he said. “Our home was constructed in the early days, and it’s been beautifully maintained.
“It’s gone through some changes through the years. What was a garage at one point in time is now a bonus room. It’s a single level, right 2,500 square feet.”
Crawford said one of his favorite parts of the neighborhood in addition to its diversity is its safety. Glenwood Circle features a community playground and is highly walkable, with residents of all ages.
“The neighborhood is really good in that there’s a lot of life there, older couples, younger couples, young kids, empty nesters, even families where their adult kids have moved back to the neighborhood,” he said.
Quiet Country Living
For those who prefer the privacy only countryside living can provide, Warren County has several picturesque properties available.
One family who took advantage of an affordable tract of land is Stephanie and Keith Paxton, who recently moved to a newly constructed home on 63 acres near Bovina Cutoff Road in Warren County. The Paxtons are native Vicksburgers and lived in established neighborhoods for most of their lives, but Stephanie said they were looking for a change of scenery and a sense of privacy.
“We wanted the space,” Stephanie said. “We moved away from a neighborhood that was in city limits. My husband works in Jackson and travels back and forth, but we still wanted to live near our family in Vicksburg.”
The peacefulness and tranquility are exactly what the doctor ordered, she said, and the property’s open spaces provide ample opportunities to survey native wildlife.
In today’s competitive real estate market, she said her biggest advice to home buyers is: “If you see something, you’re going to have to go for it.”
A Home for Every Budget
Regardless of a potential homebuyer’s wants and needs, Vicksburg and Warren County provide the opportunity to become a homeowner at virtually any price point.
It’s a concept that’s not lost on Wooten, who devotes her career to helping residents and newcomers alike find a place to plant their roots.
“Just like all of our housing in Vicksburg, different people want different things,” she said. “If you’re a family with two children, you want a bigger house. If you’re just moving here and you’re single or married with no children, the condos are probably for you.
“Each type of housing meets a need.”