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Old 01-15-2012, 07:52 AM
 
2,626 posts, read 4,952,863 times
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I have to leave after an event where I work so I will probably begin the trip on April 21. I am anxious to see some mountain wildflowers!

 
Old 01-15-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 426,627 times
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Default Middle Tennessee

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Interesting post. May I ask where in Tenn you are? Is it more rural or within a town? Are you in a mountainous area that might be cooler in summer? When you say good food, what kind? What about income taxes for seniors, and are there any property tax breaks?
NEG, we are in middle Tenn about 90 miles SE of Nashville. We live in the small town of McMinnville, population 13,000. McMinnville is the "Nursery Capital of the World" with several nurseries growing trees and shrubs. Once you get out of town, it is mostly rural. There are rolling hills but it is not mountainous. We are at the base of the Cumberland Plateau, but our climate is not any cooler than higher elevations. We have a Wally World, several grocery stores and all the fast food joints there are.

For any major shopping, Murfreesboro (pop.150,000) is a 30-minute drive, and Nashville is about 90 minutes. I try not to go to the "big cities" because I can't handle the traffic anymore. Besides, I like to shop local.

You asked about the food in the South. Really, anything you desire, but I think what is so common here, especially in the mom/pop type diners, is a "meat and three," a meat (usually chicken, meatloaf, catfish...and 3 vegetables (white beans, cabbage, greens, okra....to name a few). It is just good 'ole home cookin!!

I hope someday to make many trips to eastern Tenn. We have been to the Smoky Mountains (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville) and they are glorious. They are part of the Appalachian Mountains and have so much history. I am very interested in the Appalachians and have had the opportunity to see several documentaries about them....rich in history and just fascinating to me. We know a couple of young people that are attending college ETSU (Eastern TN State University) in Johnson City, which is NE Tenn. I would like to visit there someday. I've researched online and it has anything you would need, is a little more mountainous and probably a little cooler than here.

Yes, there are no state income taxes, and I don't know about any tax breaks for seniors, but to give you an example, we live about 5 miles out of town, in the county, in a 3BR/2BA 1400 sq. ft. home on 1/2 acre, double garage, and our property taxes for the year are $450. Pretty reasonable and low as I compare to others that have discussed taxes on this forum.

Tenn is so full of history and I can't read enough about it. I don't know if you are fond of yard sales, but one noteworthy event in Tenn occurs in August each year, the "Hwy. 127 Yard Sale," and it goes through Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. I have never been, but I've heard people come from all over to attend it somewhere. I have seen documentaries on it and it is like the mother of all yard sales

We knew no one when we moved here. We have been here 6 years next month, and have made some lasting friendships. People, for the most part, are friendly and honest and eager to help anyone out. Yes, there is meth and drugs but that is everywhere.

As someone else said, Cookeville has a great reputation as a good place to live. I have not been there (easy trip from here) but know many who have and it has all the shopping and conveniences you need. My husband's home health nurse went to Cookeville to have her last baby because of the reputation of the hospital.

We have a nice big hospital here, River Park Hospital. I have never been there other than for a MRI on my back. The people could not have been nicer.

So, all in all, I really am considering just staying put in the event I truly retire. Except for the humidity in summer, it has everything we need, and we truly feel at home here.

Gosh, didn't mean to write a book here, but one more thing....last Thursday we had our first snow, just a dusting, gone the next day. The seasons are distinct and beautiful. We are having a mild winter, and our high today is supposed to be 47 and sunny.

And we even have a great Farmer's Market!!
 
Old 01-15-2012, 09:57 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,068 posts, read 9,531,033 times
Reputation: 5806
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I live in SD and I don't know anywhere you could get a home for $160k, even inland...not even a condo really. Maybe way out in East County. ... .
Actually, a condo for $160k in a good neighborhood is not out-of-line. I just double-checked using Trulia.
 
Old 01-15-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by tngirl205 View Post
NEG, we are in middle Tenn about 90 miles SE of Nashville. We live in the small town of McMinnville, population 13,000. McMinnville is the "Nursery Capital of the World" with several nurseries growing trees and shrubs. Once you get out of town, it is mostly rural. There are rolling hills but it is not mountainous. We are at the base of the Cumberland Plateau, but our climate is not any cooler than higher elevations. We have a Wally World, several grocery stores and all the fast food joints there are.
On the map, your town looks like it's in the middle of a hugely rural area, not near any highways easily into any city. I'm curious as to why you chose that particular spot in Tenn. Did you decide from many trips there, from where you were living before? Or did you decide largely from the Internet? Did you feel you wanted to be so rural even as you age?

I must say I'm REALLY impressed with your property tax, though I think I read that if you are in the city you pay both city and county taxes. Being rural, you probably pay only county tax and have septic and well?

Again, wherever I move if anywhere, I want to live in town and will venture out on day trips from there. I want the town to have all good neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and front porches for swinging on and sipping iced tea.

My mental images of Tennessee:
Attached Thumbnails
Men and Women retiring alone to a new city/state -- where will you go and why?-40320.jpg   Men and Women retiring alone to a new city/state -- where will you go and why?-maryville-tennessee-park-1.jpg  
 
Old 01-15-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 658,079 times
Reputation: 862
NEG- The picture of the home looks more like what you would find in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. No southern mansions around here but plenty of older bungalow type of homes with front porches in all sizes. The second picture looks like our greenbelt along the Holston River minus the gazebo that stretches across the city (Kingsport).

For those of you who want to see the Tri-cities area of TN and surrounding towns & counties, see the link below.

Kamoshika, a felllow Kingsport resident has taken some gorgeous pictures of our area in all seasons. He has stated numerous of times that we can feel free to share his photos.
miscellaneous NE Tennessee pics.... I hope sharing this link is not illegal.

In about 10 days, I am flying back home to Phoenix to look at Apt. style homes in Sun City. While NE TN is a gorgeous place and great for retirement, I feel as I age, it will be better for me to relocate to a 55+ community where all ammenities & services to serve the older generations are close by and in place. That is the thought, but things could change and I will end up staying in place here in TN.
 
Old 01-15-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 426,627 times
Reputation: 704
Default Choosing to move to Tennessee

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
On the map, your town looks like it's in the middle of a hugely rural area, not near any highways easily into any city. I'm curious as to why you chose that particular spot in Tenn. Did you decide from many trips there, from where you were living before? Or did you decide largely from the Internet? Did you feel you wanted to be so rural even as you age?

I must say I'm REALLY impressed with your property tax, though I think I read that if you are in the city you pay both city and county taxes. Being rural, you probably pay only county tax and have septic and well?

Again, wherever I move if anywhere, I want to live in town and will venture out on day trips from there. I want the town to have all good neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and front porches for swinging on and sipping iced tea.

My mental images of Tennessee:
Well, to be honest with you, we decided generally on Tennessee after our trucking days travels. Of all the places we had been, considering scenery, weather, cost of living, small town charm, we chose "somewhere" in middle Tenn. We had decided to move here with our camper, live in the camper until we found a house, and take our time house hunting. (I know, we were really vagabonds and taking a chance.....but it's what we wanted to do.)

Let me also mention that on one of our trucking trips a year or two earlier, we had a layover in Knoxville. It was October, and we had heard all sorts of things about the Smoky Mountains in the fall. So we parked our big truck, rented a car and spent the weekend in the Smokies. We were not disappointed. We became official "leaf lookers," and made the drive through Cades Cove (spectacular), and Gatlinburg is like a little Germany in the mountains. It's quite touristy, though, but well worth the trip.

So the year before we moved here (living in Prescott, AZ at the time), we came to middle TN for a 2-week vacation. We drove around the general area and looked for lakes to fish in. We fell in love with the area. We were looking for small town. We really didn't care what town, as long as we could fish. We had planned to tour the entire state with our camper. I had done a lot of previous research on the internet for the area. We were blown away with the low cost of housing, compared to Arizona. Talk about taking a leap of faith!

After our vacation, we went back to AZ, sold our house in 3 months and made our way to TN. To make a long story short......we got with a realtor who took her time and showed us around McMinnville (which was one county over from where we had parked our camper), and we found our house on our 3rd day in TN! We could have waited and looked longer, but the house was perfect and a steal of a price. Our house is within 30 minutes of 5 lakes...perfect fishing opportunities.

There are some areas in town that have the tree-lined streets that you are wanting. There is a civic center near the center of town that is surrounded by those streets. To tell you the truth, I have not even seen all of downtown. I work in another county and only go to downtown McMinnville for grocery/other shopping.

We are not cultural people and going to cultural events is not a priority. We do have a movie theater, Cumberland Caverns that offers underground entertainment (cumberlandcaverns.com), and a very nice library.

My husband goes to the VA Hospital in Murfreesboro for his doctor appointments. We could go to Manchester and go on the Interstate, but we take a more direct route that shaves a lot of time off, and it is a breathtakingly beautiful drive. I work in Manchester (the county over where we originally parked our camper while looking for a house), and it is right on I-24, 30 minutes to Murfreesboro and then on to Nashville.

In retrospect, had we known then what we know now (husband's health decline and me going back to work), we would have bought a house in Manchester, since I travel 30 miles each way to go to work But in this economy, I don't know how long it would take to sell this house and would probably have to take a beating on it. We have no mortgage, and the 30 minute drive is on a 4-lane highway, smooth sailing across rural countryside and farms. Manchester is the county seat of Coffee County and smaller than McMinnville, but being on the interstate has its advantages. Don't know if you've heard of the Bonnaroo music festival, but it's a big deal there in the summer for the economy of the town.

We have a septic tank and our water is provided by a local water company that serves the county, somehow connected with the city water, I think.

There are plenty of day trips to be had around here. I forgot to mention Chattanooga is about 40 miles the other way from Nashville. There is a lot to see and do there as well.

Even as we age, this area has everything we need. There is a senior citizen bus that provides transportation, but I have not looked into the details of it.
 
Old 01-15-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBaker View Post
NEG- The picture of the home looks more like what you would find in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. No southern mansions around here but plenty of older bungalow type of homes with front porches in all sizes. The second picture looks like our greenbelt along the Holston River minus the gazebo that stretches across the city (Kingsport).

For those of you who want to see the Tri-cities area of TN and surrounding towns & counties, see the link below.

Kamoshika, a felllow Kingsport resident has taken some gorgeous pictures of our area in all seasons. He has stated numerous of times that we can feel free to share his photos.
miscellaneous NE Tennessee pics.... I hope sharing this link is not illegal.

In about 10 days, I am flying back home to Phoenix to look at Apt. style homes in Sun City. While NE TN is a gorgeous place and great for retirement, I feel as I age, it will be better for me to relocate to a 55+ community where all ammenities & services to serve the older generations are close by and in place. That is the thought, but things could change and I will end up staying in place here in TN.
Re: the porch photo, that does look a little upscale for me! But the general idea is to have a porch to sit on in old age, in a rocker sipping iced tea Thanks for the link!

I understand your wanting a 55+ community--are there none in your area in TN? If you have family back in AZ, I can understand your wanting to age there. Personally, I would not want to live in that area of the country, even though I know it's beautiful. Will you rent or buy? Do let us know how the trip goes!
 
Old 01-15-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 426,627 times
Reputation: 704
Default NE Tennessee

SCBaker, thanks for sharing that link. I loved the pictures, especially the old barns. I hope to travel there to see it all for myself someday.
 
Old 01-15-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 658,079 times
Reputation: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I understand your wanting a 55+ community--are there none in your area in TN? If you have family back in AZ, I can understand your wanting to age there. Personally, I would not want to live in that area of the country, even though I know it's beautiful. Will you rent or buy? Do let us know how the trip goes!
I lived in Michigan for 29 yrs. and then I moved to Arizona. It took me a long time to adjust to the desert and the laid back Phoenix area. After 33 yrs. I became acclimated even with all it's warts. No doubt, the summer heat is intense. I will not say it is a dry heat, so it isn't bad. It is bad but 4 million people in the Phoenix area learned to adjust including myself.

I do not have any family in Arizona anymore. My parents are interned at a local cemetery. I have a good friend who lives in central Phoenix. I know several other people but they live on the other side of the Valley about 35 miles away. The Phoenix area is huge and very spread out into outer ring suburbs. It wasn't always that way but the phenominal growth over the past several decades created what exists today.

There are a couple of 55+ communities here in Kingsport but I would not want to live in them. All they have is a clubhouse and minimal activities. Plus, I think smaller communities can be rather cliquish. I belive that will change in the future as more & more people seem to be retiring to the area. But as more upscale retirement communities are built I am sure the homes will be rather pricey.

Because of the housing bust in Arizona and the fact that Sun City homes are old; some being 50 yrs. old, I can buy a nice 1,000 - 1,200 sq. ft. Apt. style home for $50,000 in Sun City. But these type of homes if priced right are selling fast. So, I may have to be patient and wait for the right deal. Sun City is huge with 43,000 residents ; most all being from somewhere else. Lot's of people from the Mid-west & Canada. For 40.00 a month I will have access to all of the 7 rec. centers, 9 golf courses (don't golf) and over 120 chartered clubs. Grocery stores, restaurants & other retailers are within the community. One of the chain grocery stores will deliver groceries. There is transportation for doctors appts. and many people get around on golf carts. If I get tired of old people then Surprise, Peoria, Glendale & Phoenix are nearby. I don't think that will happen because there are many younger very active seniors living within the community.

Here are a few of the reasons that I would like to leave Kingsport, TN

1. When I moved to Kingsport 2 years ago there were about 43,000 people. It is growing very fast. People here of all ages are very active and constantly on the go. The grocery stores, shopping centers, malls and restaurants (mostly chains) are jammed packed with people all day long. No going to a restaurant at 3:00 to avoid crowds because there is no let up. The streets are busy & crowded all day long. The senior center added 1,000 members last year. It is getting very difficult to get on the bus to go on a day trip. Some people have began standing in line before the center opens to purchase a ticket to an event.

2. The pollen in this are is very high year round and my allergies flare up constantly. Absoultely no relief. However, the dust in Arizona bothers me too.

3. I have degenerative disc disease that has gotten steadily worse. I had spinal fusion surgery in 2010 and it has helped some. But still can not walk long distances or stand or any period of time. It is very hard to participate in activities and get out and meet new people. In Sun City, there are tons of activities at my finger tips that I can participate in even with a bad back.

So that pretty much sums it up. I will report back after returning from my trip.
 
Old 01-16-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
1,362 posts, read 3,806,552 times
Reputation: 793
NEG, I'm north of Nashville. If you'd like a nice town, I'd take a look at White House, TN. I live close to here and go there regularly for food shopping, vet, restaurants (not big fancy ones), etc. When I want to go to a place that feels like Long Island with lots of stores, restuarants, etc., I go down to Hendersonville which is just south of White House.

What did I find in TN: lower property taxes, lower housing costs, very friendly people, all kinds of food to eat (even ones I thought I wouldn't find from living in the northeast), and made good friends down here. I forgot to say that we don't miss the constant "rushing" up north and the crazy drivers on the roads. It's a slower pace, not that slow, but it gives you time to enjoy what life is all about.

I would definitely take a trip down and see for yourself. If you're in my area, let me know. I'd love to show you around.
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