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Exchequer
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A dear friend of mine, a guy I've known since we were toddlers, recently retired and moved to Johnson City, TN. This past week, I took a road trip to visit him. While there, we looked around at some more rural areas / towns and I was hooked. The people, the vibe, the lower cost of living ....pretty much everything really got me thinking seriously about moving to that area (Hawkins County).

My wife and I are interested in maybe buying a couple of acres (maybe a bit more) and building a house there. We figure we could buy the property now and make the move in a year or so - when we're better situated to do so.

If there are any forum members here who live in that area or know that area well, I'd sure appreciate any insights you might be able to offer.
 

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There's not a whole lot out there. A visit is different from living somewhere. If you have lived outside a big city then you know what it's like. Boone lake is nice and nearby and I forget the name of the other one W..?
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #4
There's not a whole lot out there. A visit is different from living somewhere. If you have lived outside a big city then you know what it's like. Boone lake is nice and nearby and I forget the name of the other one W..?
Yep. Over the years, my wife and I have lived in big cities, suburbs, and in small towns. As we've gotten older, we're more open to the idea of getting away from the crowds and stresses of urban areas. We're both ready to simplify our living situation and take on life's next adventure.
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #5
C'mon on down! I lived in NY for kost of my life and have been in the Knoxville area for 6 years. It's much cheaper and friendlier here.
My buddy was in Chicago and moved to TN about 6 months ago. He and his family are enjoying the more laid-back lifestyle and the better cost of living.
 
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My son is considering a move to TN. If he does we will follow shortly after to be near the grandkids. Due to the type of work he does he has to be near a big city to have enough work. For us, at our ages, we need to be near a bigger city due to medical concerns. From what I've seen of the area though (south of Nashville 30 minutes or so) there are a lot of areas that are sort of "out in the country" yet still within 30-40 minutes of the "big city" needs.
 

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Grand Inquisitor
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We used to go to the National Storytelling Festival nearby, and it is a lovely area. I am unlikely to move again, but it has the sort of scenery I like, and good fishing!
 

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One Star
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If you make that move,congrats!
 
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It's truly beautiful country over there, if you really can live a simpler life and don't NEED grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, and if you don't need a lot of "culture type entertainment." I'm not sure what their medical facilities are like now. 35+ years ago they were not great but that's an AWFUL LOT of time gone by. I know the area has grown exponentially, as has the Cumberland Plateau where we live. Too many people are wanting to live in Tennessee! A lot of the rural charm is gone already.

Do be prepared for a slower lifestyle and for goodness sake, if you are having any work done DO NOT TELL THE CONTRACTOR that you are not in a hurry to get it done!!!!!! Hubby made that mistake when we were in process of moving to TN and totally redoing the kitchen in the house we purchased. Weeks later the very nice, very talented local cabinet maker hadn't even started on our order. We learned a good lesson. Without being "northerner pushy" try to get a start date and maybe even a project completion date. You are in the south now - this is serious advice. Oh, and the locals speak a different language which you will need to learn, but do not try to imitate.

Do not buy land unless you have it tested to make sure it "perks" or you will be stuck without being able to have a septic system, and probably no city amenities. A well can be problematic sometimes also. You know: "Good Old Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee!"

You do know that TN sales tax is around 10% and that includes on groceries, right?
 

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"The Real Deal"
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More and more are finding the south a lot better suited to them, more laid back, polite people, and firearms friendly versus the anti north. Born and raised in the south, if i moved, it would be further south, i dont go up north.
 

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OOPS!!!

It appears that the population of Johnson City is now over 66,000 and still climbing. It is now the 9th largest city in TN, and it now has not only Whole Foods but a lot of other stores of that type, including a Sam's Club. Gosh, things sure do change.

To me that population is "Big City" but to some other people it is still small. I wonder if the area is still as solid republican as it used to be?
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #12
Do not buy land unless you have it tested to make sure it "perks" or you will be stuck without being able to have a septic system, and probably no city amenities. A well can be problematic sometimes also. You know: "Good Old Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee!"

You do know that TN sales tax is around 10% and that includes on groceries, right?
Thanks, Shooter Granny. I think my wife and I are prepared for a slower lifestyle and are aware of some of the potential issues if we buy a lot to build a home. I'd probably want to get a soil and water test before I sign on the dotted line and get something in writing from the local municipality about installing a septic system. We're also looking into a modular home versus stick build. So that's another consideration before we pull the trigger on buying some acreage.

And yes, the sales tax is about 3% higher than where I'm at now, but property taxes seem to be about 20% lower. All in all, TN seems like a more affordable and affable place to live compared to our current locale.

Ideally, we would like to buy the property sooner than later and then get the house built sometime in the next 18 months or so.
 

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And yes, the sales tax is about 3% higher than where I'm at now, but property taxes seem to be about 20% lower. All in all, TN seems like a more affordable and affable place to live compared to our current locale.
Then there's this too... Tennessee has no income tax but does have a "hall tax" -- that is, a 6% tax on interest and dividends, which is specifically allowed by the state constitution.
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #14
Then there's this too... Tennessee has no income tax but does have a "hall tax" -- that is, a 6% tax on interest and dividends, which is specifically allowed by the state constitution.
Good to know. Thanks for the heads-up.
 

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Then there's this too... Tennessee has no income tax but does have a "hall tax" -- that is, a 6% tax on interest and dividends, which is specifically allowed by the state constitution.
The Hall Tax is for interest and dividends on out of state accounts and investments. It behooves you to move your "stuff" to TN along with your belongings.
 

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Good luck to you,hlg! My brother lived in TN and I had the opportunity to visit with him there. I agree, a very different atmosphere if you're used to urban life. Different folks, different lifestyle. Appealing!
 

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Spellign Bee Champ
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I was in Nashville for a conference last year.
My wife and daughter tagged along and they were able to drive around, even crossing the border to Kentucky.
They liked what they saw and TN is now part of our future plans.
 
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I was in Nashville for a conference last year.
My wife and daughter tagged along and they were able to drive around, even crossing the border to Kentucky.
They liked what they saw and TN is now part of our future plans.
Remember that TN is actually "the three states of Tennessee."

Eastern TN is beautiful, with its mountains, still large areas that are rural and mostly conservative thinking residents. This may be changing with the huge influx of northerners.

Middle TN is a combination of hills, small mountainous areas and flat lands. It has a very high percentage of liberal/left wing residents due to the state capital being there and the universities in that part of TN. There is still some room for conservatives. So far.

Even though it is more "Southern" in lifestyle and people's accents, West TN is ultra left wing, for the most part, and is the home of "Mogadishu on the Mississippi" - otherwise known as Memphis. Even the more rural counties tend to be heavily left thinking. Do not expect the state's gun laws to be seen in the same positive light (in which they are written) in this area of the state.

That said, there are wonderful people living in all parts of TN. TN also has one of the highest problems of meth production and use, which has made for increases in crime in all 3 areas. Also, expect your car insurance premiums to be high due to the unbelievably high numbers of people who are driving without licenses and without any insurance.

We live here, on the western edge of East Tennessee. We love it. We are also realistic about it.
 

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There's not a whole lot out there. A visit is different from living somewhere. If you have lived outside a big city then you know what it's like. Boone lake is nice and nearby and I forget the name of the other one W..?
Watauga Lake is gorgeous with emerald green water. I lived in Boone and Banner Elk NC for about 15 years. It is beautiful country. I moved to AL for work 5 years ago and miss a lot about that area.
 

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A dear friend of mine, a guy I've known since we were toddlers, recently retired and moved to Johnson City, TN. This past week, I took a road trip to visit him. While there, we looked around at some more rural areas / towns and I was hooked. The people, the vibe, the lower cost of living ....pretty much everything really got me thinking seriously about moving to that area (Hawkins County).

My wife and I are interested in maybe buying a couple of acres (maybe a bit more) and building a house there. We figure we could buy the property now and make the move in a year or so - when we're better situated to do so.

If there are any forum members here who live in that area or know that area well, I'd sure appreciate any insights you might be able to offer.
We live in Russellville TN which is a small community on Cherokee Lake. We are half way between JC area and Knoxville. TN is a great state to live in and even retire. You get a lot for your money here. We like to shop up in JC more than Knoxville, It’s a nice drive and very pretty.

Hope you find something nice!

JR
 
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