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Old 07-18-2020, 06:33 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
16 posts, read 13,702 times
Reputation: 35

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My husband was born and raised in San Diego. He’s 41. He could tell you every back road anywhere in SD. It’s home. However the political climate here has really gone the way of lunacy. The taxes and regulations have driven out so many businesses and citizens. We can’t stand it any more and are looking for a much more conservative state with a low cost of living and space to live in. It’s so crowded here. The lowest rent you can find for a studio apartment in the most ghetto areas is over $1000. The electricity bills are so high it make me want to cry and our water bill is $95 before we even use any water because of fees. We have the highest taxes in the nation aside from NY. Literally every part of living here is expensive. And for what? Sunny weather? Meh! I am originally from upstate NY and I can handle weather.

We are a conservative family. We own fire arms responsibly, we like shooting off fireworks on July 4 and we go to church. We want land and horses and peace and quiet. My husband is an all-around computer guy. He can do software programming, managing, coding, you name it. I’m actually a Horse Trainer and live in one of the few areas in San Diego that many people own horses.

We also have a 12 year old son that we hope can have a good place to grow up and have a good education. Public school is fine with me but I do love the opportunity to have charter schools. Public charter schools that is. We most likely wont be paying for a private school. My son has an IEP and the one thing California does boast is special consideration for learning disabilities in children.

We would end up buying a home and want land for horses, dirt biking etc. we would be looking to buy something probably in the $150 to $450,000 range. we are not opposed to just buying the land, living in our fifth wheel and building a home also. Our plan is to rent for a little bit so that we can get an idea of where we would actually want to plant our roots before we commit to buying a house and property.

Questions:

1- does Tennessee match what we would love for our lifestyle?
2- what areas of Tennessee would match up best for what we are hoping for?
3- any and all tips or anything that comes to mind that you might think we would want to know or need to know.
(don’t hold back any information. I like to research as much as possible before I commit to anything.)
(And yes I am going through the forums and looking up everything that I can but I figured I should post my own topic so that I can get Taylor made answers)

Last edited by FloonieMcFloonieNue; 07-18-2020 at 06:44 PM..
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:52 PM
 
12,540 posts, read 35,001,817 times
Reputation: 9651
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloonieMcFloonieNue View Post
Questions:

1- does Tennessee match what we would love for our lifestyle?
2- what areas of Tennessee would match up best for what we are hoping for?
3- any and all tips or anything that comes to mind that you might think we would want to know or need to know.
(don’t hold back any information. I like to research as much as possible before I commit to anything.)
(And yes I am going through the forums and looking up everything that I can but I figured I should post my own topic so that I can get Taylor made answers)
Absolutely! Tennessee is a beautiful state, and outside of the big cities it's very much similar to what you described.

Regular readers won't be surprised by my recommendation: Cookeville. It's a small city of 35,000 that's growing quickly with thousands of new jobs in the last few years including many in the IT industry. Government contractor SAIC, a $7 billion company, has opened a technology gateway in downtown Cookeville which, when fully ramped up, will have over 300 IT workers. They're constantly hiring. I just checked their web site, and right now they have 24 job openings. I have friends who do IT work for companies an hour away in Nashville but are able to work out of their homes, so they moved their families to Cookeville. One advantage, in addition to the lower cost of living and better schools is that there's fiber optics internet available here even out in the boonies and not just in town. I'm 25 miles outside of town, 8 miles from the nearest gas station, yet I have gigabit internet at my little country farm.

Cookeville is very family friendly with excellent schools, a children's library, children's museum, and an award-winning children's theater. The school system is open enrollment, meaning you can live anywhere in the county and send your child to any school of your choice as long as there's room and you provide the transportation. It's one of only four school systems in the state to offer the International Baccalaureate Program at both the middle and high school levels. Being home to a mid-major state university with a large teacher college, the school district does very well at knowing what to do with students who have IEPs and 504s. I used to work with the Tennessee Department of Education, and I can assure you that Putnam County (Cookeville) is one of the highest regarded districts in the state, particularly for students with learning disabilities and other special needs.

If your budget is $450k, you can absolutely find lots of land and even very nice homes where you can do as you please and have horses and do dirt biking to your heart's content. There are very few zoning ordinances outside the cities, meaning you can do pretty much whatever you want on your own land, with a few obvious exceptions (no quarrying, rendering, or recycling, for example). The area is beautiful, with 100+ waterfalls and 1200 miles of lake shoreline within 40 minutes of town. Just today I was doing some jetskiing with some of my neighbors on Center Hill Lake, a massive lake just SW of town. I'm about the only person in my area who doesn't have a boat or an ATV, which is also very popular around here. And it seems that about 1/3 of the people in my church own horses. It's a big thing around here.

House Hunters had an episode earlier this year of a young couple from SoCal who moved to Cookeville to seek a better place to raise their growing family. During the follow-up visit at the end of the episode, the couple said they love Cookeville so much that they talked their extended families--siblings, parents, grandparents--to also make the move. Close friends of mine are from La Jolla but moved here about 15 years ago. Wild wolves can't make them leave now.

Here are samples of homes that have recently sold for less than $450k, 10 acres minimum, just to give you an idea what the area is like.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...1993478_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...6614898_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41989713_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...41982825_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7...7297755_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41993700_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...2000897_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5...41982538_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41983921_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41232065_zpid/
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Last edited by JMT; 07-18-2020 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:04 PM
 
1,432 posts, read 1,221,325 times
Reputation: 5884
You have my sympathy and empathy. I lived five years in Riverside County’s Low Desert area and worked in Temecula. I had moved my three horses with me from the OH/PA border. I couldn’t wait to move them and me back East to retirement in Middle Tennessee. Five years of that expensive state was all I could deal with.

I’m a trail rider and the riding was great until the last year when all the potato fields got sold to developers and I had an undercover drug cop tell me riding (my horse) alone in the rock hills really should become a thing of the past.

Are you looking to associate yourself with a training barn? If so, what area of horse training? Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, western? Since you are from the San Diego area, I may be falsely assuming that your preference(s) lean toward English

Or are you looking for enough property to have your own boarding/training facility?

What you specialize in might make the difference as to where you look for property. However, rather than the Cookville area, if specialized high end training is what you want to do, my thought is to look in Williamson County - still Middle Tennessee but the opposite direction from the Cookville area.

My understanding is that Franklin is pretty big in Hunter/Jumper - at least that’s what I have been told by my current and past farriers, and my lameness vet.

There is a great equine medical facility in Thompson Station. https://www.tnequinehospital.com/

If you lean toward the Cookville area, your option would be UT Knoxville’s equine facility.

https://vetmed.tennessee.edu/Pages/utcvm_home.aspx

Real estate in Williamson County, bare or with buildings is not cheap. I cannot speak to their school systems. I am retired so schools are really out of my wheel house, these days unless they are in my county, which I live in an Ag County, literally in the “Cradle of Walking Horse Country”. I have ridden TWH’s since 1990 but to reiterate, I am strictly a trail rider. Sadly, even if you have gaited horse expertise, associating yourself with a TWH training barn would not be my recommendation.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:54 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
16 posts, read 13,702 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Absolutely! Tennessee is a beautiful state, and outside of the big cities it's very much similar to what you described.

Regular readers won't be surprised by my recommendation: Cookeville. It's a small city of 35,000 that's growing quickly with thousands of new jobs in the last few years including many in the IT industry. Government contractor SAIC, a $7 billion company, has opened a technology gateway in downtown Cookeville which, when fully ramped up, will have over 300 IT workers. They're constantly hiring. I just checked their web site, and right now they have 24 job openings. I have friends who do IT work for companies an hour away in Nashville but are able to work out of their homes, so they moved their families to Cookeville. One advantage, in addition to the lower cost of living and better schools is that there's fiber optics internet available here even out in the boonies and not just in town. I'm 25 miles outside of town, 8 miles from the nearest gas station, yet I have gigabit internet at my little country farm.

Cookeville is very family friendly with excellent schools, a children's library, children's museum, and an award-winning children's theater. The school system is open enrollment, meaning you can live anywhere in the county and send your child to any school of your choice as long as there's room and you provide the transportation. It's one of only four school systems in the state to offer the International Baccalaureate Program at both the middle and high school levels. Being home to a mid-major state university with a large teacher college, the school district does very well at knowing what to do with students who have IEPs and 504s. I used to work with the Tennessee Department of Education, and I can assure you that Putnam County (Cookeville) is one of the highest regarded districts in the state, particularly for students with learning disabilities and other special needs.

If your budget is $450k, you can absolutely find lots of land and even very nice homes where you can do as you please and have horses and do dirt biking to your heart's content. There are very few zoning ordinances outside the cities, meaning you can do pretty much whatever you want on your own land, with a few obvious exceptions (no quarrying, rendering, or recycling, for example). The area is beautiful, with 100+ waterfalls and 1200 miles of lake shoreline within 40 minutes of town. Just today I was doing some jetskiing with some of my neighbors on Center Hill Lake, a massive lake just SW of town. I'm about the only person in my area who doesn't have a boat or an ATV, which is also very popular around here. And it seems that about 1/3 of the people in my church own horses. It's a big thing around here.

House Hunters had an episode earlier this year of a young couple from SoCal who moved to Cookeville to seek a better place to raise their growing family. During the follow-up visit at the end of the episode, the couple said they love Cookeville so much that they talked their extended families--siblings, parents, grandparents--to also make the move. Close friends of mine are from La Jolla but moved here about 15 years ago. Wild wolves can't make them leave now.

Here are samples of homes that have recently sold for less than $450k, 10 acres minimum, just to give you an idea what the area is like.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...1993478_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...6614898_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41989713_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...41982825_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7...7297755_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41993700_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...2000897_zpid/?
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5...41982538_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41983921_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41232065_zpid/
Thanks so much! I appreciate all the information! Very helpful! Cookeville sounds amazing! I’ll be looking into it for sure!
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:02 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
16 posts, read 13,702 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Normashirley View Post
You have my sympathy and empathy. I lived five years in Riverside County’s Low Desert area and worked in Temecula. I had moved my three horses with me from the OH/PA border. I couldn’t wait to move them and me back East to retirement in Middle Tennessee. Five years of that expensive state was all I could deal with.

I’m a trail rider and the riding was great until the last year when all the potato fields got sold to developers and I had an undercover drug cop tell me riding (my horse) alone in the rock hills really should become a thing of the past.

Are you looking to associate yourself with a training barn? If so, what area of horse training? Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, western? Since you are from the San Diego area, I may be falsely assuming that your preference(s) lean toward English

Or are you looking for enough property to have your own boarding/training facility?

What you specialize in might make the difference as to where you look for property. However, rather than the Cookville area, if specialized high end training is what you want to do, my thought is to look in Williamson County - still Middle Tennessee but the opposite direction from the Cookville area.

My understanding is that Franklin is pretty big in Hunter/Jumper - at least that’s what I have been told by my current and past farriers, and my lameness vet.

There is a great equine medical facility in Thompson Station. https://www.tnequinehospital.com/

If you lean toward the Cookville area, your option would be UT Knoxville’s equine facility.

https://vetmed.tennessee.edu/Pages/utcvm_home.aspx

Real estate in Williamson County, bare or with buildings is not cheap. I cannot speak to their school systems. I am retired so schools are really out of my wheel house, these days unless they are in my county, which I live in an Ag County, literally in the “Cradle of Walking Horse Country”. I have ridden TWH’s since 1990 but to reiterate, I am strictly a trail rider. Sadly, even if you have gaited horse expertise, associating yourself with a TWH training barn would not be my recommendation.

Hope this helps
Great info. Thanks. I’m not going to actively look for training jobs. I’m probably going to just ride for pleasure for a while.
And yes I ride English. Haha mostly Dressage right now but also hunter/jumper. I’m just going to want my own horses and land to ride them on. I might step back from training unless I see some amazing opportunity.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:22 AM
 
1,432 posts, read 1,221,325 times
Reputation: 5884
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloonieMcFloonieNue View Post
Great info. Thanks. I’m not going to actively look for training jobs. I’m probably going to just ride for pleasure for a while.
And yes I ride English. Haha mostly Dressage right now but also hunter/jumper. I’m just going to want my own horses and land to ride them on. I might step back from training unless I see some amazing opportunity.
Then you probably do want to focus more in the Cookville area, especially since folks think highly of the school systems in that area

If trail riding is of interest (Dressage saddles make excellent trail saddles. East Fork Stables has some great riding. It’s about an hour east of Cookville.

https://eastforkstables.com/

The horse forum I belong to, while international, has a few folks with horses who live up in the Putnam County area. They would be able to give you a much better view of the horse real estate, horse scene, vet’s, farrier’s, hay, etc. in that area.

I will PM you the link to the forum - for all I know you may already be a member, lollol
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:52 AM
 
1,002 posts, read 579,494 times
Reputation: 1015
Quote:
Originally Posted by MemGrizz View Post
You want land and horses but can't pay $1000/month for an apartment?

And what kind of horse ranch do you think $150k is going to buy?
HORSE HELL
WHY NOT STAY IN KALI - UNLESS YOU CAN PROVE NEGATIVE
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:45 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
6,671 posts, read 4,470,179 times
Reputation: 11762
Translation. Our job skills put us in the lower income bracket and we can’t afford California. News flash. It’s a free country and you can move anywhere in the US that is more affordable. And San Diego is one of the most conservative cities in Southern California. What I see here are a lot of ill informed stereotypes. There are large portions of this state that are as conservative and affordable as anywhere in the US if you stay away from the coast.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,334 posts, read 22,169,500 times
Reputation: 36321
I agree that your budget will have issues.

I live in extreme northeast TN, which is one of the most reasonable parts of the state aside from maybe rural western TN.

$150k is going to get you a ranch in this area, maybe on an acre or two in a rural setting, that is likely to need some updating. You are not going to find a property for horses anywhere near that budget.

The problem is that rural properties with land are almost always zoned to county schools, and county schools in rural TN are generally poorly funded and poorly performing. You would likely be taking a significant step back in school quality from where you are.

I'm in IT. Outside of metro Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville (to a point), IT/software work is hard to come by and often pays poorly compared to bigger cities. The major IT employers in my local area (a hospital system, VA, local government, and a Fortune 500/contractors) have furloughed and laid off IT staff due to COVID, and finding a job right now would be nearly impossible.

Also, conservative by CA standards is probably a lot less conservative than rural TN standards.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:11 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,821 posts, read 16,357,872 times
Reputation: 31076
Quote:
Originally Posted by MemGrizz View Post
You want land and horses but can't pay $1000/month for an apartment?

And what kind of horse ranch do you think $150k is going to buy?
That's not how I read that at all. They said 1k only gets a crummy studio in a nasty area, not that they can't afford that. However a nice 2 or 3bdroom, for the family, in an area with decent schools probably runs quite a bit more.

150K won't buy much, but it gets a pasture and a home here in east TN
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...41500199_zpid/
168k will get a pasture, a home, and a barn
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...66600686_zpid/
And they mentioned going to 450k, for the right property. Doable.
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