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Old 01-13-2013, 01:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,974 times
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My wife and I searching for a place to retire to from our home in central NJ. We are looking for a area that has a quaint downtown with local merchants and restaurants. We would like to be near medical and cultural facilities.

We would like a single family house of about 2,000 sq ft on a 1/2 acre lot with city sewer and water.

We prefer to not to have to go on superhighways to go places if we don't have to.

We were wondering if Hendersonville fits the bill. Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
196 posts, read 651,051 times
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What size town you want to be in is key. What size are you looking for? Do you mind driving 45 mins or so to the medical, cultural events. Little more info would be helpful.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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We currently have a nice town of about 13,000 near us, and have a hospital about a mile away.
We would prefer not to have to go more than a half hour to see doctors.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:07 PM
 
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Hendersonville is a great town, but it does not have a quaint downtown. It's a suburb that sprung up in the age of strip malls and subdivisions. It's a very, very nice suburb, however.

Are you looking specifically at the Nashville area? If so, I'll move this thread to the Nashville forum. Otherwise, there are several places in Tennessee that come to mind that meet your criteria.

Check out the state's official web site for retirees looking to move to Tennessee:

Retire Tennessee

If you're hooked on Middle Tennessee (the Nashville area) I would recommend Springfield or Cookeville, both of which are small towns with quaint downtowns. Cookeville is a larger town and has more to do, but it's farther from Nashville than Springfield. The American Association of Retirement Communities has given three Tennessee communities its Seal of Approval: Chattanooga, Cookeville, and Crossville.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
196 posts, read 651,051 times
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Look at Winchester TN. It has a quaint downtown and a population around 10,000. Very friendly and in close proximity to Nashville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville AL. Lots of festivals and community activities and is located on Tims Ford Lake..
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: SoCal & Mid-TN
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Don't know your budget but Murfreesboro is nice. Near Nashville, it is a college town with a lot of history and a quaint town square. Big new medical center as well and reasonably priced real estate. Franklin, the next county over, is also very nice but more expensive.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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If "quaint downtown" is something you are looking for, I don't think Hendersonville is in the running. But like JMT said, it's a nice place. It also has the added advantage of being a bit closer to large city amenities compared to a lot of small towns.

For the suburban towns with "quaint" downtowns, Franklin is the winner, though the majority of the city is just a very large suburb. Murfreesboro also fits into this category. It's a bit larger than Franklin, but the downtown/old city area is not as nice (though a bit larger)...but it's also a bit more affordable.

For Nashville suburbs/exurbs, I would also look at Lebanon. JMT suggested Springfield, which does have a pretty neat downtown...but I'm not as high on the place as some of the other options. Gallatin could work, too (a little down the road from Hendersonville).

Cookeville is a nice town as well. It's a little more than an hour from Nashville, so it's more independent than most of those other places. It would have all of the town amenities you are looking for, and it is the hub town/city of its region (Upper Cumberland).

Columbia is also an option. Closer to Nashville than Cookeville, but not a suburb (though some do commute). It has a nice size downtown area. Both Cookeville and Columbia have medical facilities that serve the surrounding area, so they're better than most "towns."

I think Tullahoma would also be worth a look as far as a small town in Middle Tennessee.


East and West Tennessee both have a lot of good small towns, too...but I'll let someone more familiar with those areas fill you in. Upper East Tennessee may be a good option, too. The Tri Cities are a collection of large towns/small cities (depending on perspective).



Climate varies a little bit across the state (but it's at least largely similar, except for the much higher elevations)...but your preference of landscape (flatlands, rolling hills, ridge and valley, or nestled in the mountains) would be helpful. Also, the size of the town (excluding true suburbs)...10-20,000 (small town), 20-50,000 (mid sized town), 50,000+ (large town)...or, if you would prefer to be in a suburb with a reasonable distance to a larger city (15-25 miles from Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, or Chattanooga). Most towns have at least some level of medical care -- but obviously the larger ones have more facilities.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:44 AM
 
880 posts, read 1,145,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyGolden View Post
My wife and I searching for a place to retire to from our home in central NJ. We are looking for a area that has a quaint downtown with local merchants and restaurants. We would like to be near medical and cultural facilities.

We would like a single family house of about 2,000 sq ft on a 1/2 acre lot with city sewer and water.

We prefer to not to have to go on superhighways to go places if we don't have to.

We were wondering if Hendersonville fits the bill. Does anyone have any advice?
Athens is nice, about mid point between Knoxville and Chattanooga
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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Thanks to all you for the information. It is appreciated very much. We are currently living in a township of over 100,000. There is a very nice town of about 10,000 about 2 miles away that has about a 10 block downtown business district with businesses, restaurants, and shops.

One thing that concers us about TN is that City-Data states that the chance for tornadoes in selected areas in quite a bit higher than the national average. We are less than an hour away from areas that had significant damage from hurricane Sandy. We lost power for 41 hours.

We are looking for a nice friendly pretty place to retire with:

single family home
1/2 acre lot
City water & sewer
Not to hilly
Within a half hour of decent medical facilities
Half a nice downtown with local merchants within a few miles
Be within an hour of cultural activities and events
Not have to go a super highway every time you go anyplace
Not have to worry about bad storms

I hope that we are not dreaming about a place that doesn't exist.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:50 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,374,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyGolden View Post
Thanks to all you for the information. It is appreciated very much. We are currently living in a township of over 100,000. There is a very nice town of about 10,000 about 2 miles away that has about a 10 block downtown business district with businesses, restaurants, and shops.

One thing that concers us about TN is that City-Data states that the chance for tornadoes in selected areas in quite a bit higher than the national average. We are less than an hour away from areas that had significant damage from hurricane Sandy. We lost power for 41 hours.

We are looking for a nice friendly pretty place to retire with:

single family home
1/2 acre lot
City water & sewer
Not to hilly
Within a half hour of decent medical facilities
Half a nice downtown with local merchants within a few miles
Be within an hour of cultural activities and events
Not have to go a super highway every time you go anyplace
Not have to worry about bad storms

I hope that we are not dreaming about a place that doesn't exist.
We do have quite a bit of severe weather in Tennessee. Nowhere is exempt, though there are areas that are certainly less prone to tornadoes.



This map shows the probability of strong tornadoes. As you can see, most of the state is covered in orange and red. Off the map alone, I think if you absolutely want to avoid tornadoes, upper East Tennessee is where you want to look. In general, tornadoes tend to be more common on flatter land (though that doesn't mean owning a house on a hillside is going to keep you safe).

FWIW, in my years of living here, I have never seen, nor heard a tornado, and there has never been one to strike near me or my family. We get a good bit of severe weather -- and lots and lots of tornado reports. However, MOST tornadoes are small and short lived -- they can still be dangerous...but the ones that wipe houses off their foundations and suck up asphalt are quite rare. To be on the safe side, finding a house with a basement is a good thing.

If tornadoes are such a concern, then you will probably have to weigh weather or not being somewhere "not hilly" is important. Most of Tennessee is relatively hilly. It's flatter in West Tennessee. There are rolling hills and small ridges in Middle Tennessee. East Tennessee has mountains and a ridge/valley system. You can find flat land in East Tennessee, but you're usually not too far from a major hill or ridge.

-Single family home -- that should be easy anywhere you look
-1/2 acre -- shouldn't be too difficult in small towns and suburbs -- probably more difficult to find in rural areas.
-city water and sewer -- look towards bigger towns.
-not hilly -- covered above...but the only true plains and flatlands will be in West Tennessee.
-within a half hour of medical facilities -- look primarily around towns of 25,000+.
-nice downtown with local merchants -- this can be tricky. There are a number of places that qualify, but that would probably be something to judge yourself once you've narrowed down your choices (check out google street view, town webpages, etc)...look for a grid pattern in town -- something that is absent from a lot of suburban places.
-within an hour of cultural events -- most of the state could be covered within an hour or so to a major city. Some small towns have events, too.
-avoid superhighways to go anyplace -- almost everywhere has alternate routes. You don't have to use the highway. But traveling farther than, say, 30 miles on a two lane road and you might wish you had taken one. For just "getting around town" it shouldn't be a big issue to avoid them (except in larger cities).
-not have to worry about bad storms -- you don't have to worry, but I'm guessing you probably will. I can't think of anywhere in the Southeast that doesn't have quite a bit of severe weather, or threat of either hurricanes, tornadoes, or both. Yet over 100 million people live in the South and get along with it.

Based on the criteria (or at least most of it), my recommendations would be Cookeville and the Tri Cities (Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol). Other places could work, too. But those would be at the top of my list.
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