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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #41
My brother bought some land a few years ago in a rural area about 30 minutes drive east of Johnson City. The place is beautiful. Only problem he is having is getting ridiculous quotes for his house. He'll end up ok, but if it were me, I'd probably have to sell the land cause I would not be able to afford those prices. His land is in a gated expensive community... but not the super expensive ones. Just look into the builders in the area... there are not many east of Johnson city in the mountains and they seem to know it and are taking advantage of it.
Don't ever want to live in a gated community. Besides, I'll have dogs, guns, and a clear field of fire.
 

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The word "snowmobile" throws a wrench in that whole idea. I like going to higher elevations to play in the snow, but I just don't understand living in it? 😉
Hahaha ... yeah, I understand, especially given your location. ;)

I had some trepidation about the climate before I moved here in 2010 (from Oregon, motivated by a relationship that didn't work, but loved the state). But even though this is my first time living in such a harsh climate, I've been a high-altitude backpacker/mountaineer for decades and have the gear for it, so even my first year wasn't bad. The three secrets to winter here are layers, layers and layers.

And -- as a surprise to me -- during the first few years here, my body acclimatized automatically (a well-understood feature of humans) so that now, mid-30's F feels like shirt-sleeve weather after January and February daytime highs in the singles and teens.

I've actually enjoyed the snow. Where I am now in the middle of the state we get a 2' - 4' snow base every year from late December through early April followed by mud season as it melts (though last winter was strange with little snow). I've not ridden snowmobiles -- they're called "sleds" here -- but did a lot of snowshoeing. Loved it. Snow makes everything so quiet in the woods.

Having said that, I'm looking forward to far less snow and cold downeast. Up here, we get into the minus teens F often in January and February; there, usually not below zero (and it's 10 - 20F cooler in summer due to sea breezes). I'm good with that.

Back on topic: does the Johnson City area get much snow? I remember snow in the Great Smokies during a backpacking trip in November.
 

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Guess I have been lucky, all the locals we have interacted with have been super nice and consider us locals now (not natives). Tradesmen haven't been a problem so far. I got recommendations through the church for a builder and plumber both are great and have used them multiple times and I thought the rates fair. I call the contractor when I need other tradesmen and he has set me up with everyone I have needed. Again for what I thought were fair prices.

I told a store owner in Jonesborough that I really appreciated how nice they treating us Yankees and she said we are nice to everyone. I asked a fellow that was delivering some lumber for a project how long I had to wait to complain about the Yankees moving down. He said, do you have your TN drivers license, I said first week we were here, he said then you can start complaining and smiled.
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #45
Guess I have been lucky, all the locals we have interacted with have been super nice and consider us locals now (not natives). Tradesmen haven't been a problem so far. I got recommendations through the church for a builder and plumber both are great and have used them multiple times and I thought the rates fair. I call the contractor when I need other tradesmen and he has set me up with everyone I have needed. Again for what I thought were fair prices.

I told a store owner in Jonesborough that I really appreciated how nice they treating us Yankees and she said we are nice to everyone. I asked a fellow that was delivering some lumber for a project how long I had to wait to complain about the Yankees moving down. He said, do you have your TN drivers license, I said first week we were here, he said then you can start complaining and smiled.
Jeb, I'm going to look you up if/when we get to your area. Looks like you've already done all the heavy lifting for me. :)
 

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Guess I have been lucky, all the locals we have interacted with have been super nice and consider us locals now (not natives). Tradesmen haven't been a problem so far. I got recommendations through the church for a builder and plumber both are great and have used them multiple times and I thought the rates fair. I call the contractor when I need other tradesmen and he has set me up with everyone I have needed. Again for what I thought were fair prices.

I told a store owner in Jonesborough that I really appreciated how nice they treating us Yankees and she said we are nice to everyone. I asked a fellow that was delivering some lumber for a project how long I had to wait to complain about the Yankees moving down. He said, do you have your TN drivers license, I said first week we were here, he said then you can start complaining and smiled.
As a kid reading Outdoor Life I was unhappy when Jack O'Conner retired as shooting editor. He was replaced by Jim Carmichael who quickly became one of my favorites and wrote some great articles and books. I recall him writing about his hometown of Jonesborough Tennessee. Every man (or women) into shooting/hunting should own his Book of the Rifle.
Apparently he is still in that area and still active in shooting.
 

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I live not far away in NW GA. You will love TN or GA. I hunt and shoot in my back yard. I have a pistol range set up with steel targets. If you can, get more land than a couple of acres. They give it away here. My back yard is 44 acres.
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #49
We found it much, much cheaper to buy an existing house than build.
That may be. We'll have to see what's available within our price range. The modular option holds a lot of appeal in that we can pretty much customize it, get new construction, and it takes a lot less time to put up.
 

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As a kid reading Outdoor Life I was unhappy when Jack O'Conner retired as shooting editor. He was replaced by Jim Carmichael who quickly became one of my favorites and wrote some great articles and books. I recall him writing about his hometown of Jonesborough Tennessee. Every man (or women) into shooting/hunting should own his Book of the Rifle.
Apparently he is still in that area and still active in shooting.
I know of Jim Carmichael but have never met him.
 

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Jeb, I'm going to look you up if/when we get to your area. Looks like you've already done all the heavy lifting for me. :)
Please do. We made a trip the year before we actually moved to look over a few areas that we liked from previous vacations and picked NE TN as our first choice. Then we made a trip down that Winter, partially to experience Winter here and spent 4 days with our realtor driving all over the area looking at houses. Took a day to tune the realtor that we were looking for a smaller house on a bigger piece of land not a big house on a small piece of land and that being able to shoot on the property was a big bonus. After we went back North we actually found this place on Zillow and sent our realtor the info and asked him to look at it and take some none real estate pictures when he could. He drove out the next day and sent us a bunch of pictures and said this was the house we were looking for and we better get down quick. We could not come down for a month because of some surgery my wife was recovering from and it was still available and the rest is history. We bought it with 5.5 acres of land and added another 2 to be sure we didn't get a house built to close. The Cherokee National forest is out our back door so that gives us a lot more land that will never be developed. We are on a 1200 foot driveway back in the woods.
 

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Here in the Ozarks you are not considered local until you have 3 generations in the local cemetery.
There's a similar criterion here in Maine. If you weren't born here -- I mean, the instant of birth, and in some more northern and eastern towns, at least 9 months prior -- then you're considered from "away". If you moved here by being carried across the NH or Canadian border 1 hour after birth, you're not a true Mainer, but from away.

I long ago accepted my permanent status as "away". 😉
 

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That may be. We'll have to see what's available within our price range. The modular option holds a lot of appeal in that we can pretty much customize it, get new construction, and it takes a lot less time to put up.
There are some extremely well built modular homes available. We have purchased existing homes and remodeled them "to our liking" but if I were going to get a new house, I would very seriously consider a modular one.

As a former interior decorator, I can assure you that if you are not on site every single day while a new stick built house is being built, the result will NOT match the blueprints. There may be some slight discrepancies like the kitchen and/or living room being 3" more narrow or wider than the blueprints, but that little difference means that standard width flooring will not fit, and pre-ordered kitchen cabinets may not work at all. That is minor. There are major differences that occur regularly also. And it does not matter where you live. This is universally true!
 

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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.
well i've lived in just about every state on the east coast and canada for a bit all due to work. but ive been to tennessee many times more to the east side, or the pretty side! haha and its absolutely beautiful in every way, the people are awesome, the prices are right, and of course the natural beauty is amazing. I always dream of having me a cabin in the mountain area one day...... I think it would be a great move for you and yours
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #55
There are some extremely well built modular homes available. We have purchased existing homes and remodeled them "to our liking" but if I were going to get a new house, I would very seriously consider a modular one.

As a former interior decorator, I can assure you that if you are not on site every single day while a new stick built house is being built, the result will NOT match the blueprints. There may be some slight discrepancies like the kitchen and/or living room being 3" more narrow or wider than the blueprints, but that little difference means that standard width flooring will not fit, and pre-ordered kitchen cabinets may not work at all. That is minor. There are major differences that occur regularly also. And it does not matter where you live. This is universally true!
Agreed.
Another long-time friend is a Master Carpenter and lifelong tradesman. I asked him for his thoughts on modular construction homes and he said that, nowadays, they are better built than before and to higher standards and tolerances, don't have the same issues from exposure to weather that stick-built homes have, and are typically up to or better than most local codes call for.

Besides, my wife found a model she adores .....so there's your answer right there! Too, in all the homes we've owned, we've never had new construction. Always had to spend time and money getting them up to what we wanted. This time, it'd be really nice to be able to move in and not have to do much of anything at all.
 

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The new modular homes really are better nowdays. Ours is 26 years old and still in good shape. A poured foundation is a good idea, 26 years and our floors are still level. Also check out the tax exemption for homesteading.
 

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What a great Thread. Like others, my wife and I are considering land and a retirement home in TN. We built here in NC, on 6 acres, with a 125 yard Range...but we want 4 seasons...and I want 40 acres. (No Mule...maybe a John Deere, Ha!)

We have always liked Eastern TN, but we liked living in the Central Time Zone. Mountains are more important than time zones, however. I have 8 weeks of Vacation a year and I can retire anytime I feel like it. (I will be 70 in Oct, and my Social Security will start and my wife's will be increased.) I work from home and all I HAVE to have is quality internet, and I can work from anywhere!

As others have said, at our age, 70 and 66, we need to be no more than 30-60 minutes or so from Medical Care. So Tri-Cities or Greater Knoxville in the East, Crossville in the Center or North or South of Nashville might work.

Good Luck to all of you looking!
 

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What a great Thread. Like others, my wife and I are considering land and a retirement home in TN. We built here in NC, on 6 acres, with a 125 yard Range...but we want 4 seasons...and I want 40 acres. (No Mule...maybe a John Deere, Ha!)

We have always liked Eastern TN, but we liked living in the Central Time Zone. Mountains are more important than time zones, however. I have 8 weeks of Vacation a year and I can retire anytime I feel like it. (I will be 70 in Oct, and my Social Security will start and my wife's will be increased.) I work from home and all I HAVE to have is quality internet, and I can work from anywhere!

As others have said, at our age, 70 and 66, we need to be no more than 30-60 minutes or so from Medical Care. So Tri-Cities or Greater Knoxville in the East, Crossville in the Center or North or South of Nashville might work.

Good Luck to all of you looking!
Good luck on finding 40 acres within less than an hour's drive from a good medical facility! Seriously.
You mentioned Crossville, which is on the far eastern edge of the central time zone. This means it gets dark an hour "earlier" than it does 40 miles east of Crossville. Just saying. You didn't mention the Cookeville area. There is an excellent hospital/medical center there. I'm not sure about significant land availability in that area.
 

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Exchequer
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Discussion Starter #59
We listed our current home with our realtor last week and got an offer within a day. Another showing coming up next week. If we get what we hope to get for this place, we might be loading up the PODS and hitting the road within the next 60 days. Oddly, one of the most vexing concerns my wife I share is how well our 17-year old pup is going to handle the move.

Excitement, fear, and hope all rolled into one bundle.

145620
 

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We listed our current home with our realtor last week and got an offer within a day. Another showing coming up next week. If we get what we hope to get for this place, we might be loading up the PODS and hitting the road within the next 60 days. Oddly, one of the most vexing concerns my wife I share is how well our 17-year old pup is going to handle the move.

Excitement, fear, and hope all rolled into one bundle.
If people come along with cash and want to close quickly you may be on the road a lot sooner than 60 days.......almost time for me to say "Welcome Home to Tain'isee!!!!"
 
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