I've never lived there, but I can hardly imagine a worse place in Richmond to buy a house. Still, I've seen a lot of positive change in the last few years.
A friend of ours who moved here from out of state loved the look of the homes. And they have had a so-so experience there.
When you watch the news it appears like day-to-day living is quiet. The feel of the neighborhood can change dramatically from one block to the next, so I would recommend that your brother get to know the locational nuances of the neighborhood before signing a contract.
Some blocks are as nice as any in Battery Park, but others can be intimidating.
Chances are, at some point after he moves in someone will knock on his door with a story about a broken down car or furnace in an attempt to fleece him for a few bucks. On rare occasions, he may even hear gunshots.
I think because of that and proximity to downtown, it will turn around like some parts of Northside are right now.
But not for another 20 years.