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Old 03-02-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
8 posts, read 14,709 times
Reputation: 10

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My family and I are looking to move to TN after I retire from the Navy. I work in the Electronics and Power Generation Field my wife has a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and we have a son that will be 2 years old when we make the move.

At first glance I was leaning towards the Knoxville and surrounding area but have read some information that might lead me to believe that is not the right place. I will give more about what my family is looking for but I'm looking for advice on the best fit places for us.

-Schools for my son are very important, with that I understand that it is not all about the school and the parents play a large part in the education of the child.
-Jobs we are both looking to work so the ability to find jobs is an obvious factor.
-Housing we plan to buy so we are looking for, not cheap but, inexpensive housing with some land.
-Safety, we want our kid(s) to be able to play outside with a minimum worry factor and I don't want to have to verify I locked the cars every night before I go to bed.
-We love outdoors activities, camping going, to the lake, cycling, if it's outdoors we either like it or will give it a shot and probably will like it. My wife and I also enjoy going to movies and dinner occasionally but Iím not a fan of monster crowds.

Thanks for any help or advice.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
20,042 posts, read 20,537,101 times
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Quote:
At first glance I was leaning towards the Knoxville and surrounding area but have read some information that might lead me to believe that is not the right place.
Knoxville sounds like a good fit for you. What is it that changed your mind?
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
8 posts, read 14,709 times
Reputation: 10
I got to reading some comments posted at bestplaces.net talked about issues with:
Crime (which I hopefully assume is actually in Knoxville not in the suburbs)
Good 'ol Boy Network (Coming from HI were that is the only network I was hoping to get away from it)
Low job openings in early 2010
Couple knock against being minority (my wife is hispanic)

just to name a few. Like I said before I kind of believe that this is talking about metro Knoxville so I guess I'm wondering about the outlying areas of Knoxville that you can live in but easily work a job possibly in town
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:10 AM
 
73 posts, read 190,170 times
Reputation: 62
rsc74

If I might suggest skipping E TN in general, and certainly skip anywhere close to Memphis on the other side of the state for it won't provide some of the things you are seeking.

Given your qualifications and your wife's skill, I would encourage your looking cloesly just south of the Tn area, close to Huntsville Alabama, or Madison county. Check out blogs about HSV on this site and many others. Huntsville is a powerhouse in technology, defense and ancillary/supporting industries, with a great cross-section of people from all over the US and the world....really. It's in alabama, but not Alabama if you know what I mean- it's not a Birmingham or a montgomery--not even close-- it's also fairly close to Atlanta, and of course nice areas of e TN as well. HSV is a progressive area generally with thinking people--and personally I think it will outpace lots of medium sized and even larger cities in the south. If I had to choose between Knox or Chat or anywhere near the tri cities, I would choose HSV handsdown.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,107,331 times
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Actually, the Huntsville area has an unemployment rate of 7.1 and the Knoxville MSA is 6.8.

For the life of me, I can't imagine why you wouldn't rely on the thousand of posts in the Knoxville forum. That other website has a lot of kids that pass through and post. Many of the people on our forum have been on for years. Lots of happy campers, including myself. We moved to the area because of the great schools, jobs, cost of living, housing prices, friendliness and tolerance. I'm originally from New England, lived in Florida for awhile, and we fit like a glove.

Powerhouse of technology? Four words. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oh, and its partnership with Knoxville's flagship University of Tennessee. If you are retired Navy you will want to explore the government job opportunities.

Yes, our crime rate reads a bit high, but TN also counts its crime differently than a lot of states. The truth is yes, there is some crime in the city but it tends to be among people that know each other. I actually live in the city limits - although it looks like the burbs, Knoxville seems more like a large town - but crime is practically non-existent in my neighborhood.

You owe it to yourself to check out Knoxville. It is a great place to raise children and the number one reason we moved here.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:30 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,378,678 times
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In regards to the concerns you listed about Knoxville:

Crime - Knoxville isn't the safest of cities, nor is it among the most dangerous. It's really in the middle. You won't find any sizable cities in the south where crime isn't an issue on some level. Among southern cities, Knoxville is relatively safe. It has it's bad parts, but they don't compare to the bad parts in a lot of southern metros. Most of Knoxville is a nice and relatively safe place to raise a family.

Good Ole Boy Network - You can find elements of this anywhere. I don't think the problem in Knoxville is particularly bad, although the county government has had some issues with corruption in the past decade. I think in most places the good ole boy network is slowly fading out. You might have some problems here or there (I didn't), but for the most part I think you wouldn't notice it.

Low Job Openings - That's a nationwide problem. I don't think it is all that much better in other places. When the overall economy picks up, expect Knoxville to have a strong rebound.

Racism/discrimination - People will have different opinions about this. I am white, so I cannot speak in depth about many of the issues that people of other races and ethnicities have, but in Knoxville is a fairly open-minded place. It helps having UT, a major research institution, to bring in folks of all races and colors from around the globe. Knoxville's population is mostly white, but I think a lot of the racial problems are fading fast, along with the rest of the south.

I'm not saying you won't encounter any of the problems/issues above. But I wouldn't cross Knoxville off the list because of those reasons. I think Knoxville, in general, fares pretty favorably in these categories compared to a lot of cities in this country.



And as for avoiding East and West Tennessee in favor of Northern Alabama...I like Huntsville, but you're not going to do better in Northern Alabama than you are here.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,107,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post

Low Job Openings - That's a nationwide problem. I don't think it is all that much better in other places. When the overall economy picks up, expect Knoxville to have a strong rebound.
I really don't agree. The economy is up and down throughout the country. People that say "it's bad all over" kind of irritate me, but only because some people are using that excuse and jumping from the frying pan into the fire. So, I don't mean you, Nash, but others. I've seen people move out of places with great unemployment rates only to move to an area with a horrible rate because they use that rationale and then become very stuck.

None of that really pertains to Tennessee except that the unemployment rate runs anywhere from 6.2 to 20.4 depending on the county in this state so it is important to choose wisely. Granted, 6.8 percent doesn't mean full employment but considering some parts of the country, and even the state, it is pretty darn good.

I do agree that Knoxville tends to be very libertarian with a "live and let live" attitude. Smaller towns may not be so accepting. I would never tell someone to move deeper South, though. Knoxville was even split during The Civil War, something a lot of people don't realize.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
1,050 posts, read 1,610,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSC74 View Post
I got to reading some comments posted at bestplaces.net talked about issues with:
Crime (which I hopefully assume is actually in Knoxville not in the suburbs)
Good 'ol Boy Network (Coming from HI were that is the only network I was hoping to get away from it)
Low job openings in early 2010
Couple knock against being minority (my wife is hispanic)

just to name a few. Like I said before I kind of believe that this is talking about metro Knoxville so I guess I'm wondering about the outlying areas of Knoxville that you can live in but easily work a job possibly in town

You should never get any information from that site. 90% of the people who post are miserable have nothing good to say. If you think the crime in Knoxville is bad you will have a hard time finding a place to live, and no one cares that your wife is Hispanic, so I wouldn't worry about that.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:11 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,378,678 times
Reputation: 6533
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
I really don't agree. The economy is up and down throughout the country. People that say "it's bad all over" kind of irritate me, but only because some people are using that excuse and jumping from the frying pan into the fire. So, I don't mean you, Nash, but others. I've seen people move out of places with great unemployment rates only to move to an area with a horrible rate because they use that rationale and then become very stuck.

None of that really pertains to Tennessee except that the unemployment rate runs anywhere from 6.2 to 20.4 depending on the county in this state so it is important to choose wisely. Granted, 6.8 percent doesn't mean full employment but considering some parts of the country, and even the state, it is pretty darn good.

I do agree that Knoxville tends to be very libertarian with a "live and let live" attitude. Smaller towns may not be so accepting. I would never tell someone to move deeper South, though. Knoxville was even split during The Civil War, something a lot of people don't realize.
Perhaps I should have been more clear. General unemployment is much higher than we are used to everywhere. Yes, some cities and states are faring much better than we are, some much worse. We are kind of in the middle...and like you said, it really varies from county to county in Tennessee. I would NOT pick to live in a very small county.

But you're right...you can't just say "the economy is good" or "the economy is bad" as a general statement.


As to your Civil War point, Knoxville may have been somewhat split, but the rest of Tennessee was quite pro Union. Nashville, as a city was somewhat split as well, but the vast majority of the surrounding area (mainly farms and plantations) was not. And no, not a lot of people realize that.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:35 PM
 
11,612 posts, read 31,803,837 times
Reputation: 8213
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
As to your Civil War point, Knoxville may have been somewhat split, but the rest of Tennessee was quite pro Union. Nashville, as a city was somewhat split as well, but the vast majority of the surrounding area (mainly farms and plantations) was not. And no, not a lot of people realize that.
The rest of Tennessee was pro Union? That simply isn't true. A big chunk of East Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau was pro Union, but West Tennessee and most of Middle Tennessee were decidedly pro Confederacy.
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