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Old 03-08-2020, 07:36 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,066 times
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Hi there! My wife and I will be purchasing our first home soon(-ish), and all we know for sure at this point is that it won't be here in the state we currently live in. Like so many others, we've been researching TN for quite awhile now, and it definitely sits at the top of our list. We've already made a few trips there in the last couple of years, with another trip coming up at the end of the month.

I'm wondering if anyone might help me out here and let me know if there's anywhere in eastern TN that has an above-average public school system, yet (and here's the catch I didn't mention in the title...) has any "mother-in-law" or "multi-family" housing for around $150,000 or less? (I know, might as well be asking for the moon, right?)

We both work from home, so location doesn't matter as far as commuting is concerned. Also, we've lived in urban, suburban, and rural settings before, and enjoyed the experience of each, so we're pretty much open to anything in that regard.

Our biggest priority, besides staying in budget, is that our son would continue to succeed academically in a school environment that matches, or at least comes close to matching, what we've been fortunate enough to have here. (Of course, like most people, safety is also a concern, but I figure good schools and safe areas usually go hand-in-hand) Figured it couldn't hurt to at least ask about the public schools in the area before starting to look into private schools as an alternative.

Any help would be much appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Cookeville/Crossville
310 posts, read 340,383 times
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Oak Ridge/Anderson County comes to mind. I'm not sure about the zoning requirements today, but I did have a friend who lived in Roane County near Kingston but attended Oak Ridge High School about 10 years ago.


Also, maybe check out the schools in the Tri-Cities area Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennet seem to be (at least locally) renowned. I would think that any of the better schools near Knoxville may be out of your budget. Chattanooga schools aren't great.
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,359 posts, read 22,196,390 times
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$150,000 is going to be a tough pricepoint in metro Knoxville. It would work in Kingsport, but not really Johnson City unless you're willing to go to a townhome or an older home that needs work.

The issue is that in eastern TN, city schools are generally better funded and better supported than county schools. City properties tend to be more expensive then country properties, all things equal. There are some exceptions where county schools in an affluent area may be better than some city schools.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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Oak Ridge.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:44 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,066 times
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Thank you all very much!

I definitely know I need to look into the Tri-Cities area more, haven't gotten that far east yet in much of my research.

And I am somewhat surprised to hear Oak Ridge suggested. (As far as affordability, not the good schools aspect) From what little I've read, I took that to be a more affluent area, and so even though I'm sure the schools would be great, I probably skipped over looking too hard at the available RE there. I'll definitely be looking there soon, thanks again!
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,359 posts, read 22,196,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageVic View Post
Thank you all very much!

I definitely know I need to look into the Tri-Cities area more, haven't gotten that far east yet in much of my research.

And I am somewhat surprised to hear Oak Ridge suggested. (As far as affordability, not the good schools aspect) From what little I've read, I took that to be a more affluent area, and so even though I'm sure the schools would be great, I probably skipped over looking too hard at the available RE there. I'll definitely be looking there soon, thanks again!
Metro Knoxville tends to have a much stronger job market with better pay than the Tri-Cities. Here is a recent summary of the Tri-Cities labor market against other regional labor markets (Knoxville, Asheville, Chattanooga). The Tri-Cities lags in job growth by over twofold vs. Knoxville. Wages are much lower (Knoxville is close to top of state wage levels while Tri-Cities is at or near bottom in previous reports) in the Tri-Cities.

https://donfenley.com/2020/02/03/tri...-area-markets/

While property prices are less, aside from Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol aren't as nice of places to live. Even then, $150k is going to be a tight fit in a single family, reasonably up to date home zoned to good schools.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:02 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Metro Knoxville tends to have a much stronger job market with better pay than the Tri-Cities. Here is a recent summary of the Tri-Cities labor market against other regional labor markets (Knoxville, Asheville, Chattanooga). The Tri-Cities lags in job growth by over twofold vs. Knoxville. Wages are much lower (Knoxville is close to top of state wage levels while Tri-Cities is at or near bottom in previous reports) in the Tri-Cities.

https://donfenley.com/2020/02/03/tri...-area-markets/

While property prices are less, aside from Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol aren't as nice of places to live. Even then, $150k is going to be a tight fit in a single family, reasonably up to date home zoned to good schools.
Yeah, that was pretty much my basic understanding of the Tri-cities job market vs Knoxville and Nashville. Fortunately we do work from home, so that shouldn't really factor in too much. Except of course, there is something to be said about not wanting to live in too much of an economically-depressed area. But since I'm running into limitations finding what we want, I'm just trying to look into as many options as possible. Also just now considering the possibilty of living somewhere relatively inexpensive, and then going with the private school option.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:03 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,066 times
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Again, appreciate your input!
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:20 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,066 times
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By the way, to those that recommended Oak Ridge, thanks for that! There does seem to be a good amount of housing in general around our price point, and I even saw one with the "mother-in-law" setup. It seems that although difficult to find, there are houses to be found that will fit our needs. I have a feeling it's just going to be a case of when the time does come where we're actually there looking with a realtor, we'll probably need to act quickly on something that we spot that works for us.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,359 posts, read 22,196,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageVic View Post
Yeah, that was pretty much my basic understanding of the Tri-cities job market vs Knoxville and Nashville. Fortunately we do work from home, so that shouldn't really factor in too much. Except of course, there is something to be said about not wanting to live in too much of an economically-depressed area. But since I'm running into limitations finding what we want, I'm just trying to look into as many options as possible. Also just now considering the possibilty of living somewhere relatively inexpensive, and then going with the private school option.
I'm really surprised that Maryville wasn't mentioned. Its schools generally rate a little better on somewhere like Great Schools than Oak Ridge, though your housing dollar will stretch further in Oak Ridge. Johnson City's real estate is sort of in the middle between Oak Ridge and Maryville.

One thing to keep in mind is that, in general, most city schools are fairly well regarded in east TN. Personally, I don't see any need to try to cut costs by living in the county, then paying private school tuition to get out of poorly performing county schools. At least here in the Tri-Cities, I doubt any of the private schools have better resources or education than Science Hill at the high school level or Towne Acres in Johnson City at the elementary level.

If $150k is truly the top of your budget, you're going to have to make some compromises on property size, type, or condition if you want to keep the good schools.

Johnson City is far from depressed. Parts of Kingsport and Bristol are fairly rundown, but there are still nicer parts of those cities - Bristol especially has some moneyed areas around several of the country clubs.
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