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Old 03-20-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: upstate ny, hills south of syracuse
10 posts, read 15,708 times
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Default Looking for country setting, yet close to JCMC

We are moving from rural upstate NY to Johnson City. Currently, we have a 45 acre little farm with horses and donkeys right next to a 9,000 acre state forest, very private and peaceful setting, about 35 minutes from Syracuse. We can't take the animals with us to TN, but we would still like an area that has privacy...I don't think we're used to tract housing and having neighbors right next to us. Plus, TN houses with land are more expensive than ones up here, so we couldn't afford anything like 45 acres.

That said, it would be nice to have something closer to the city and the conveniences of a quick run in for groceries, etc. I'm hoping we can find something kind of private, with views of the mountains, lots of trees, and a short commute. We love the outdoors, nature, hiking, canoeing- that's one of the reasons we chose Eastern TN, it's hilly and scenic like upstate, but without 5 months of snow on the ground.

So, I guess we'd like to be close to trails and greenspace areas. The wife will work at JCMC, and would like to keep the drive to 15-20 mins max. We've heard about Jonesborough, Piney Flats, and Erwin...any suggestions or comments?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
5,356 posts, read 8,635,623 times
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Jonesborough is nice and has an interesting downtown with lots open land outside the city proper. Check out the area between Jonesborough and Boones Creek (part of JC) up Boones Creek Rd or Old Boones Creek Rd. It's quickly growing, though.

Piney Flats is a bit more open-land feeling to me (read: flatlanders), but has two grocery stores right there in Bluff City. I think there's a CVS or Walgreen's, too. Other than that, this area is just a very wide spot in the road, so you'd find yourself driving to Johnson City or Bristol quite a bit, I'd imagine. It also seems to be on an inconvenient side of Johnson City for your wife's commute (though the city is small enough so that you could truly live anywhere around it).

Erwin is a little of a different beast. It's close to Johnson City (probably topping out that 20 minute commute time to JCMC depending on where you'd live), but still feels -- and is -- very much its own city and community. There aren't a whole lot of transplants living in the area. It still feels very East Tennessee 30 years ago. The upswing is you might actually be able to find some land that sits next to some national forest property.

One area I might suggest is looking down Cherokee Road (or Greenwood Drive, for that matter). Once you get outside of the Johnson City limits, these roads turn pretty rural. Right along the road there are lots of houses but if you turn down the side roads there are some gems to be found. And they have the convenience of being a straight shot into South Johnson City for Kroger, Walmart, Earth Fare, ETSU, JCMC, downtown, Maze Feed Supply if you do have any animals, etc.

Similarly, the Okolona area (actually between Erwin and Johnson City, there's an exit off I-26) isn't really a place proper, but it's very close to South JC for grocery at Food City and to downtown.

As far as trails go, to be truly "close" to them you'd have to live a pretty mountainous existence. Erwin would be fairly close to a few around Flag Pond, but it would be better if you lived somewhere like Roan Mountain, Shady Valley, etc. All of these put your wife's commute time to 45+. Most of us here are content with using the city's parks through the week (Willow Springs is a great one right in Antioch, off Greenwood) and dashing up to the mountains on the weekend.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: upstate ny, hills south of syracuse
10 posts, read 15,708 times
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Jabogitlu,

Thanks for the comments! I'll be down in a few weeks to do some scouting, but you've given us some areas to focus in on. I heard that we should look outside the city limits, because we would only have to pay county taxes, so we'll have to figure that in too I imagine. Can't wait to get there!
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,489 posts, read 3,290,438 times
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Piney Flats would be a good choice if you can find something fairly isolated, but it's an area that will probably see considerable development in the next 10 years or so.

The area between Jonesborough south to Embreeville is mostly rural but it's not quite as scenic, IMO, as the rolling hills north of Jonesborough. You could look there up to about Sulphur Springs and still have a drive time to JCMC under 20 minutes.

Downtown Erwin is about 20 minutes from JCMC, so most areas north of there (including Unicoi) to the city limits of JC would probably be suitable. From there you'd have relatively quick access to the mountains surrounding Erwin, with their trails and waterfalls. Erwin also has a paved linear trail several miles long.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
5,356 posts, read 8,635,623 times
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Funny, I consider the Embreeville area and the 81/107 interchange to be some of the most scenic in the region. Of course there are no mountain views, because you're so much closer to them and there's that range of tall hills right there. Guess that goes to show that everyone really is different!

The area kamoshika is talking about, Jonesborough south to Embreeville, more or less encompasses 81 (not I-81, I guess it's state route 81) and also Greenwood and Cherokee that I mentioned. If you continue on 81 through Embreeville you eventually end up in Erwin.

He also mentioned J'borough north to Sulphur Springs. I agree with that recommendation!

Quote:
I heard that we should look outside the city limits, because we would only have to pay county taxes, so we'll have to figure that in too I imagine.
That would be better for you, probably, unless you want city services like trash and foliage collection. I'm not a homeowner, so I don't know specifically, but city taxes would probably double your overall tax burden.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:32 PM
 
302 posts, read 465,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cody View Post
We are moving from rural upstate NY to Johnson City. Currently, we have a 45 acre little farm with horses and donkeys right next to a 9,000 acre state forest, very private and peaceful setting, about 35 minutes from Syracuse. We can't take the animals with us to TN, but we would still like an area that has privacy...I don't think we're used to tract housing and having neighbors right next to us. Plus, TN houses with land are more expensive than ones up here, so we couldn't afford anything like 45 acres.

That said, it would be nice to have something closer to the city and the conveniences of a quick run in for groceries, etc. I'm hoping we can find something kind of private, with views of the mountains, lots of trees, and a short commute. We love the outdoors, nature, hiking, canoeing- that's one of the reasons we chose Eastern TN, it's hilly and scenic like upstate, but without 5 months of snow on the ground.

So, I guess we'd like to be close to trails and greenspace areas. The wife will work at JCMC, and would like to keep the drive to 15-20 mins max. We've heard about Jonesborough, Piney Flats, and Erwin...any suggestions or comments?

Thanks for your help!
Hi Cody,
I am from Syracuse (city area) and living here for now, I am dependent on job transition so I move frequently all over the country and am not sure how much longer I will live here.

I think you'll find the area very similiar to upstate NY and not that hard of a transition. When I tell people from this area that NE TN is just like upstate NY, they can't seem to believe that TN and NY would have anything in common! It's kind of funny Southerners don't seem to like thinking they would have anything in common with Yankee's

I think being that you like farm country and privacy that you will probably not have too hard of a time finding a home here. Being a city girl myself, I prefer larger cities (size of Syracuse or larger) but I do like it here because it reminds me a lot of home.

I will leave it to the people who have lived here longer to tell you what areas to look at for housing but good luck with everything, I hope it all works out. Let me know if you have any other questions about the transition.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,489 posts, read 3,290,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
Funny, I consider the Embreeville area and the 81/107 interchange to be some of the most scenic in the region.
Oh, I agree w/ you on that. I think it's a tad less pretty than the terrain a bit north of Jonesborough, but I love both areas.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,285 posts, read 13,623,493 times
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I will just add my agreement on the Sulpher Springs, Telford areas and maybe even add in the East, North/East Limestone area as well. I would also suggest that you look more towards the west of the JCMC because of the traffic if you are looking for 20 minutes or so commute time. If you are in Pinney Flats, you would have to go down Roan St, which has lots of traffic and stop lights for several miles. If she travels from the west on 11E, there is still traffic, but not as much and a lot less lights.
I take it you have already looked at the MLS listings for properties? Depending on your budget, you may still be able to find a home with a few acres and still have some animals. You can go less than 2 miles outside of city limits in many directions and find farm animals and pasture land.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
5,356 posts, read 8,635,623 times
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Quote:
Southerners don't seem to like thinking they would have anything in common with Yankee's
I had someone tell me the other day that they didn't know how people from New York drove here. I asked them why, and they said they figured New Yorkers were used to driving around tall buildings, concrete and lots of people. I very patiently explained that New York City is only a very small part of New York proper.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,491 times
Reputation: 10
We hear you! We live in upstate NY and NYC is 4 hours away, yet Canada and the Great Lakes are a little over an hour away! It us very rural- coyotes, deer, turkey in our fields, we've even seen bear a couple miles from the house. Not everyone from NY talks with a Brooklyn accent and is that typical "New Yorker," pushy and aggressive. I go to NYC a few times a year for work and my blood pressure goes up as I near the city and encounter all that traffic! I would rather negotiate around deer than drivers!
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