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Old 04-27-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,842,106 times
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Hi all. I think I should give you my assessment of Tellico village. This past weekend DW and I took a trip to Tellico Village (TV) Tennessee. If you are trying to place it on the map it is just south-southwest of Knoxville. It is in Loudon County and along a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) water resource. Tellico Lake as it is know is a man-made lake on the Little Tennessee River and the Tennessee River. TVA did a great job of preserving some of the historical sites affected by its construction and things like Fort Loudon and other historical sites were raised in place. In fact they took the bones of a Cherokee Indian Chief Oconostota and reburied him right above the spot he was originally buried.

Anyway I am not here to give you a history of the area or the lake but what I observed when visiting. Now my views might be a bit biased as I was quite taken by the area just in what I had learned from searches and talking to a couple of folks in TN and even a couple of people I know that live in TV. In my mind I went there hoping that DW would see the village the same way as I did. She came away from there with a clearer understanding of what is available and a liking for the area. She is not convinced yet but..... It might be because we are still at least 5 years out from any move.

So here is what I saw. We went comparison shopping and found that food stuffs and other items were the same or less expensive than we have it here in Massachusetts. Housing prices about a third less to build than we have in our area but we are not in Boston and TV is not in Nashville or Knoxville. It is country living and you cannot even see all the neighborhoods as you drive down the main drag route 444. There is one stop light in the village and a sort of village common. It has a full time police staff and fire department. I imagine this is paid for by the low by comparison to other places POA fee of $116 a month. I am told by folks that they have a 4 minute response time by emergency personnel.

Lenoir City is the biggest city in the area and in combination with the surrounding area towns does provide a good place to find other necessities that the Food Lion and hardware store cannot. For us the closest Asian market of any size is in Knoxville about 40 minute drive away. It is comparable to what we have now in Massachusetts.

The people there are absolutely wonderful. We were treated very nicely and even given contact information from them if we had any questions we would like to ask that we couldn't think of at that time. We were escorted around by a real estate agent that sells property there. He is also a property owner though he currently lives in Lenoir City to be closer to his wife's work in Knoxville. He didn't try to push us into buying in, He was very understanding and just gave us a good history of the village and the development. He brought us through a good portion of the neighborhoods and all the common areas. He is very knowledgeable and if you are interested his name is John Tuck. I think he works for a Remax but don't quote me on that.

We also had residents Dan and Nancy (last name withheld) take us out in their boat. This was a wonderful couple of hours where my wife finally understood why I was looking at boats for the last few months. They have a wonderful home on the water front. Their 23 foot center console made for a fun boat ride. Just a note here we were their first volunteer guests greeting. They were nervous but did a great job and early on warmed up to us in the first few minutes. My wife prior to the boat ride could not grasp the size of the lake and how much navigable water there is. It really eluded her as she has no concept of distance until she physically can see it.

Anyway more on what I saw. Please understand that we were only there for two days. It is absolutely impossible to see much in two days. At least not much that you can truly observe and assess. It would require another trip or two to really get the feel for the village and the people there. Still we got to see them in their normal day to day activity. Most went about the business of working on their gardens (is it spring by the way) or they were at the pool or gym. There must also be some that were at work. Dan worked out of his home with his computer at something I didnít ask but everyone that I saw was happily at something.

One thing mentioned and this is something oft told of a lot of communities that have HOAs or POAs that they are poorly run. That even this one struggled is true but I can explain most of this. No one came out to tell this of the village but it is from listening between what isnít spoken. Early on the village did get into the red and probably pretty deep but they are no longer. Their police force is full time and they have two cars on patrol at all times. They also have a dispatcher on duty 24/7 as well. So as near as I can tell this is what put them in the red for a time. All the neighborhoods have buried utilities. The main roads are on poles but each residential area has the wires that would normally be overhead buried. This is an expensive way to do it on the outset but it is cheaper in the long run. The roads are well maintained. I saw no pot holes but that might be normal but for us it is quite nice. Another thing that tells me that the village is in good financial shape is they have common area expansion in plans that look like they are near to beginning the start of. A playhouse and amphitheater are two of those ideas. With two hundred plus clubs and groups that playhouse will get a bit of use.

John Tuck told us that about 30% of the families/households here are not retirees. They in fact have school aged children that get picked up by school buses. Now that doesnít mean that the rest do not work. It just means that it isnít exclusively inhabited by old folks. What we saw were people our age and a bit older and some that were much older. Everyone was happy to be there and were laughing and enjoying life.

The last observation I have is one that disturbed me most. There wasnít much that bothered me but this one did. Yes the village has 3 of its own golf courses and one from a neighboring community to occupy most folks and it is spring but in our trip on the lake Dan and Nancy both said they then rarely saw boats on the lake. Yet in the several docking areas and the lakeside homes with docks there were boats. If I were to move there I would probably spend more time on that lake than at the golf course. True Iím not there and if I go things could change but I know I would be out there a lot more than I saw of boats moving. It is a bit early still so maybe because of the size of the lake or the fact that the lake is just a gateway to a much bigger waterway to hear that they donít see many boats when they go out makes me scratch my head.

Now for the one down point that I have with the village. It is that the airport is more regional than I would like. Yes we can fly in there and there is parking for flyers but the flights are limited. The airport I would need is Atlanta and that is about 3 hours by car away. Nashville is okay but still the flights there are kind of limited as well. It is 4 hours to Charlotte. The reason this is important to me is family. For my wife some of her family would need to use Atlanta and so that would be a lot like the current situation for us now since we live in MA and her family have insisted on flying to JFK in NY. That is the same 3 hour drive as well. Does that put a nail in the coffin of Tellico in my mind? Nope. In fact it was after having driven 17 hours to get there (traffic jams in the east) that I looked at the cost of flights to Atlanta from Boston. It is much more reasonable for us to use that and rent a car on our next trip. I know I will not drive there like that again. In fact I might sell my car. Fly there and buy a new one when there given the right circumstances.

So this is a long explanation of what I observed in 2 days. I hope you will find it helpful if you are considering Tellico in retirement. We are. Tennessee is tax friendly to us so that helps a lot. The area also has good weather. If you have questions that you think I might be able to answer PM me here. I will answer to the best of my ability.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,768 posts, read 4,822,990 times
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Sorry to have missed you while you were here, but it sounds like you had a pretty full two days. Glad you enjoyed the village. I know there are not many boats out on the lake yet. It's still early here for boaters. Our actual "boating season" doesn't start until next month. TVA is still raising the water levels and the water temp is a little nippy for swimming just yet. Come back after late May and you will see plenty of activity on the water from raft-ups to jet skiers, water skiers, fishermen, etc. Another reason you don't see many boats is the sheer size of the lake and it's connecting lake, Ft Loudon lake. Tellico lake is over 30 miles long, so is Ft Loudon, with many twists and turns in the course of the lake, so you can't see for miles down the water way. There's a lot of water and a relatively small metro population in relation to the amount of water to spread out on. We have a cruising club for boaters. It's a great way to meet other boaters. They have a raft-up every Saturday all summer long. There's also a fishing club, and a Coast Guard Auxiliary.

I agree about the airport. It's small and you just have to resign yourself to taking flights with a stop in Chicago or Atlanta, and then the one hour flight to Knoxville. Last time I went threw Dulles, and that was okay. We are getting a new airline this month, Allegiant. They will only fly out of Knoxville a couple days a week, but they do have low-cost, non-stop flights to some interesting places and could possibly be used to link with other airlines. No place is perfect, and there is always some drawbacks. This is one I can live with. YMMV.

Glad to hear your other half liked what she saw. If either of you have any lingering questions or thoughts that bubble up, feel free to ask or PM me.

Last edited by TheShadow; 04-27-2016 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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I used to hear advertisements on my local radio station back home in east TN for TV lots and homes frequently. It's an absolutely beautiful area, and I browsed some of the homes when TV came up on a previous retirement thread a few months ago. I have to say that I was extremely impressed - many of the homes were priced on par with or less than those in the more affluent areas of Knoxville (Farragut) but were staged so much better and just seemed more polished overall.

If you want to fly from ATL to BOS, I'd look closely into it. You're counting on a three hour drive each way, plus whatever it takes to park, to get through the TSA and other lines in ATL. Flying THROUGH ATL is far less hassle than flying FROM ATL. Add in layovers or a holiday jams, and I think it would be less hassle to to drive to MA. I drove from western MA back to Kingsport, a couple hours east of Knoxville, in a one day sitting.

I would rather boat than golf as well and TR is a large lake. If you're a boater, there are a lot of wonderful options in east TN.

Housing prices and taxes of all types are going to be massively cheaper than MA. Food in east Tennessee is somewhat more expensive than where I am in Indiana, with less of a selection, but it may be cheaper to you. Auto insurance for me in Kingsport was almost $1000 every six months for a 2013 Elantra with no tickets since 2009 and one small claim of $800 in 2011. I shopped around, and only found a nominal difference in quotes. TV is probably cheaper, but expect to pay an arm and a leg for auto insurance.

One thing I'd want to advise you of is that TV and similar retirement areas like this are virtually enclaves from the surrounding area. I would say that most of the residents are probably transplants from wealthier areas, like MA would be. While the property prices may be cheap to you coming from MA, they're pretty expensive for the average Tennessean to be able to afford, in retirement or while working. I wouldn't say there is outright hostility to "rich Yankees" coming in, but there is some bit of unease, especially among working class Tennesseans who cannot afford the nice properties that someone from MA/CA/NY/CT etc will call "a bargain." As long as you don't bring an attitude of "but that's the way it's done in MA!" or talk about your nice lake home, people will be nice.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,842,106 times
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Thank you both for your input.

I knew that the weather was not as good for the boating crowd but it was Dan and Nancy who gave me that observation and I didn't see much maintenance being done in preparation for boating.

Yes the wife had a great time. We both got to see so much in a short time. We got to look at stuff in the stores in comparison and found nothing crazy low or high. In fact it was quite telling that the area expenses would be nearly the same for many things.

Serious I will say one thing that houses where I live in MA are about the same as it is in TV and that may in fact be higher than in the general population of East Tennessee. But there are reasons that I can see and those things are some of what I want in retirement.

We did go out to an area restaurant and did not find that the common Tennessean thought us rich Yankees and full of ourselves. Our server was very happy to talk about her feelings for those like us that move or consider moving. I thing she thinks that it is partly because there is so much we bring with us. The wife and I are also easy going and blue collar folks and that is easy to see in us.

TheShadow we did have a very busy two days. I don't know when we will go back there again but I am very sure we will. She does think it is worth another look. If I were to guess the next time we go will be a couple of years from now and probably during the summer when the nephews are back at home in Korea.

The airport situation is not something that I can't live with. In fact it isn't much different than what we enjoy now so Atlanta airport is what we would use for most of our travels anyway.

Oh one last thing I just remembered Serious that drive was much longer than I would have liked. Yes we hit traffic jams both ways and in basically the same area. It made what should have been 14 hours into 17 each way.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,454 posts, read 5,917,794 times
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As one who has explored TN in great detail I can tell you Interstate 81 is a mess with no end in sight. I heard it has the most trucks of any highway in the country. With only 2 lanes and a lot of hills you have a wall of truck in the right lane and as a result a wall of cars all going 80 MPH 10 feet apart in the left. One guy taps on his breaks and it sends off a chain reaction. Absolutely terrifying. And you can not simply slide over to the right and relax because ultimately the trucks will bog down as they climb the hills.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:46 AM
 
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golfingduo......great feedback....Thanks! The boss and I are heading to TV in May. Am hoping to get her on board for retiring there. She's a bit reluctant, wants to go back to TX, but the TX real estate taxes keep me looking to TN. We got "retired" this month so our timetable moved up a bit. Housing market is hot here in Denver so figure we have 90 days to make a decision before we are homeless. Boss and I are in our mid-late 50's, how did that compare with the population you guys saw while visiting? We don't have a realtor in TV so may look up your guy to show us around.

Anyone have a realtor (buyer agent) recommendation for TV? Really want someone who can answer all the Boss' questions.

TheShadow...thanks for the feedback on my other thread and sending me to this site. Maybe we will catch up when we are in TV?
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
As one who has explored TN in great detail I can tell you Interstate 81 is a mess with no end in sight. I heard it has the most trucks of any highway in the country. With only 2 lanes and a lot of hills you have a wall of truck in the right lane and as a result a wall of cars all going 80 MPH 10 feet apart in the left. One guy taps on his breaks and it sends off a chain reaction. Absolutely terrifying. And you can not simply slide over to the right and relax because ultimately the trucks will bog down as they climb the hills.
I've never noticed it having severe truck traffic and I've driven 81 from the VA line to 40 dozens of times. It is much less congested than I-65 going from Chicago to Indianapolis, for instance.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,917,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
...I agree about the airport. It's small and you just have to resign yourself to taking flights with a stop in Chicago or Atlanta, and then the one hour flight to Knoxville. Last time I went threw Dulles, and that was okay. We are getting a new airline this month, Allegiant. They will only fly out of Knoxville a couple days a week, but they do have low-cost, non-stop flights to some interesting places and could possibly be used to link with other airlines. No place is perfect, and there is always some drawbacks. This is one I can live with. YMMV...
TV seems to be about 30 minutes from the Knoxville airport. Which seems to have about 7 Delta flights to Atlanta daily. Pretty much our situation in terms of JAX. And - from Atlanta - it's very easy to get to many domestic and international destinations non-stop. So I think the airport situation is fine.

FWIW - I totally agree with SC in terms of flying *through* Atlanta as opposed to flying *from* Atlanta. Robyn
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Chesapeake Bay
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Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I've never noticed it having severe truck traffic and I've driven 81 from the VA line to 40 dozens of times. It is much less congested than I-65 going from Chicago to Indianapolis, for instance.
I have. Maybe because it was close to Christmas - Dec 23-24 - a few years ago. We got on 81 at Charlottesville, VA, it was trucks as far as I could see ahead as well as in the rear view mirror all the way to Bristol. And they were moving on with us in our little Ford Focus right in the middle of it all. It was scary, I told my wife, one crunch and its all over. But we made it ok.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:05 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weichert View Post
I have. Maybe because it was close to Christmas - Dec 23-24 - a few years ago. We got on 81 at Charlottesville, VA, it was trucks as far as I could see ahead as well as in the rear view mirror all the way to Bristol. And they were moving on with us in our little Ford Focus right in the middle of it all. It was scary, I told my wife, one crunch and its all over. But we made it ok.

Those are two of the heaviest travel days of the year. Normal traffic is a lot less.
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