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Looking for locations in Tennessee
Old 08-09-2017, 08:58 AM   #1
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Looking for locations in Tennessee

I'm looking to retire to Tennessee. That will happen in 5 years. I'll be 54 years old. Employment, schools, and some other issues aren't a concern for me as they may be for younger people with families. I am concerned about the overall cost of living, the weather and the area I'll be living in.

I would like a modest home that is somewhat secluded. I'd like the home nestled in a wooded area with privacy from neighbors. Despite the seclusion I desire, I enjoy convenience. Since Jefferson City has a Walmart, Lowe's and plenty of restaurants, it doesn't seem that I'll need to go out of my way for shopping and the like, That's important to me.

It seems the Jefferson City area has temperatures that are generally a few degrees cooler in the summer than Maryville or some of the other areas I'm considering. I don't golf, fish or do much else. I like nice views, walking in the woods with my dogs, and enjoying the nice views in comfortable weather where I'm not always perspiring as I currently do in Florida.

Right now, the Jefferson City area is the front runner of places I'd like to check out. Any reason I should consider a different location?

Thank you
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!


I don't know Jefferson City. I did live in Knoxville for a short time and have mostly been in metro ATL and will retire soon to very rural Alabama. We have tried out living in a rural location and are pretty confident it suits our style. We are also from the deep south and know what we are getting into by relocating to a southern rural community setting. Have you tried out an extended stay in the area?
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:18 AM   #3
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If you haven't already, you may want to check out City-Data.

Jefferson City, Tennessee (TN 37820, 37877) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:31 AM   #4
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I'm from SoCal and am thinking of moving to Nashville, TN area.

I like how you want a rural area. That's never been in my radar, but thought provoking.

Presently I live in a populous area, but for me, where I live, it's relative country. Living in outer Nashville would give me that and more, but able to go into the city.

Good luck on your search.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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Take a look at the Tri-cities area (Kingsort, Johnson City, Bristol) as it might meet most of your requirements. I have family in Elizabethton and it most certainly meets their needs for retirement as it's a relatively small community but only a few miles from Johnson City (less than 10 miles).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabethton,_Tennessee

As far as Nashville is concerned, the costs of the "outer areas" may be very high. We were up there last week and the amount of growth is astounding...really, too much for me.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:00 PM   #6
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I wonder, what kind of savings you're looking for, by relocating into rural TN? One obvious difference compared to major metro area (especially in CA) is RE cost. But from other side, the cost of health insurance for those who does not qualify for Medicare can be terribly high and potentially eat into the most of RE savings. Also the choice of medical providers can be very limited. What other savings are expected? From what I can see at numbeo.com (comparing Johnson City to Sacramento), most of items are definitely cheaper in TN, but some fruites or wine can be actually much more expensive in TN than in CA. Although they claim tennis court is 8X more expensive, but I'm not sure if this is true and for me personally it won't make much difference
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:27 PM   #7
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I grew up in Nashville but lived in Memphis 18 years. Forget West Tennessee. I moved home at age 37 and continue to love the Middle TN lifestyle. But home prices are out of sight in The Big City. We were transferred to Atlanta but bailed out due to an overdose of traffic.

I now live 2 hrs. south of Nashvile in Muscle Shoals, with the incredible Tennessee River in my front yard. I absolutely love the river life and it's 650 miles of navigable water. There are a bunch of nice towns on it--big and small.

I worked East Tennessee on my job for years and am familiar with all the cities. Jeff City is fine, but it is not far from Pigeon Forge and massive tourism. Many prefer Morristown that's the next town north. I personally prefer Johnson City-Jonesborough. Another nice city is Greeneville. Upper East TN is a terrific place to live without state income taxes and a very inexpensive housing market.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:09 AM   #8
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We vacay a lot in western NC and eastern Tennessee. It is a gorgeous part of this grand nation. You could do a lot worse. As Bamaman suggested, steer clear of west TN; did a lot of project work in that region and was just glad to depart.

The area can get "touristy," but I just avoid those periods.

Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:05 AM   #9
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Love the Tri-Cities in eastern TN. a little further out Jonesborough is a historic, touristy town.

personally I'd pick Elizabethton (iirc, pronounced bath not beth) for its proximity to Roan Mt. & Johnson City.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:51 AM   #10
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My sister lives 1/2 the year in a luxury equestrian neighborhood in NW NC. What she likes about the Western N C and East Tennessee region is the local people.

The locals are very different personalities --gentle souls that like to laugh and tell stories. They're almost like they are from a place where time has stopped.

And there are still hillbillies in those mountains that some call th "Forgotten People". My sister ran Into three such ladies recently in a country store. They asked Sis where she was and she said she lived in Memphis. One lady thought for a minute and said, "I went to Nashville once.". She had no idea where Memphis was but she went to Nashville once to the Grand Old Opry. These are people that never leave their hollow, much less ever go anywhere . And they're very special people.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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And there are still hillbillies in those mountains that some call th "Forgotten People". My sister ran Into three such ladies recently in a country store. They asked Sis where she was and she said she lived in Memphis. One lady thought for a minute and said, "I went to Nashville once.". She had no idea where Memphis was but she went to Nashville once to the Grand Old Opry. These are people that never leave their hollow, much less ever go anywhere . And they're very special people.
Reminds me of a wonderful, captivating documentary I saw many years ago on HBO called American Hollow. This was filmed in Kentucky, but I'd guess it's pretty similar to certain parts of rural Tennessee.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:30 AM   #12
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Nashville is the spot these days. I could move there. Nice city, beautiful country, not horrible weather, nice people....
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:34 AM   #13
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And there are still hillbillies in those mountains that some call the "Forgotten People". My sister ran Into three such ladies recently in a country store. They asked Sis where she was and she said she lived in Memphis. One lady thought for a minute and said, "I went to Nashville once.". She had no idea where Memphis was but she went to Nashville once to the Grand Old Opry. These are people that never leave their hollow, much less ever go anywhere . And they're very special people.

Agreed. And these folk are very much "Americans" because they have been in place for more than 200 years. I have hundreds of kin like this on my father's side of the family. They hold an annual reunion at a West Virginia fairground that is so very remote that no one from outside Appalachia can get to it. In fact I can get to Paris quicker and cheaper than I could get to that reunion. I last saw these folks about 40 years ago and hope to see them again at a reunion ... after I retire.

Bamaman's point is really two points: The Forgotten People don't get out to visit with us much, and neither do we go deep into the interior to visit with them; hence their name. More's the pity.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:49 PM   #14
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I live in Lenoir City TN. Really nice area with easy access to Knoxville and the Smokies. You can find rural property fairly easily but it is starting to get away from the mountains. Another consideration may be Cookeville or Chattanooga.
I'm on 12+ acres, mostly wooded, but can be at Walmart or a very modern shopping area (Turkey Creek) in less than 10 minutes.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:45 PM   #15
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Forbes says Maryville. They have to be right....don't they?

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Old 08-14-2017, 01:24 PM   #16
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Welcome to the forum!


I don't know Jefferson City. I did live in Knoxville for a short time and have mostly been in metro ATL and will retire soon to very rural Alabama. We have tried out living in a rural location and are pretty confident it suits our style. We are also from the deep south and know what we are getting into by relocating to a southern rural community setting. Have you tried out an extended stay in the area?
Where in rural Alabama?
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:18 PM   #17
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Where in rural Alabama?
I don't know where he is talking about but as a Tennessean expat living in Alabama, I may give you a little.guidance. My favorite part of.the state is north of.Birmingham.

If someone needs to work, Huntsville is close to the highest technology place in the world--missiles, bombs, rockets, satellites, helicopters, armaments, space exploration, etc. It is a highly educated place and there is plenty of culture. The Tennessee.River runs thru town and it is mountainous. There are plenty of really nice small and medium size towns close.by.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:28 PM   #18
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Forbes says Maryville. They have to be right....don't they?

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/58e7.../#7a975ba1f47e
I usually disagree with such articles but Maryville is great. It is over the mountain south of Knoxville maybe 10 miles, but it's a completely different world. There is a huge mountain to the east and the West entrance to the Great Smokey Mountain National is close by at Townsend. The famous Tail of The Dragon road is.southeast--214 turns in 11 miles.Lenoir City and the Tennessee River is to the west. It is some green lush countryside.
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