thinking of relocating to Athens Tn..from MI (Knoxville, Chattanooga: sales, to rent)
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My husband and I are looking to relocate in Tennessee. Am considering Athens. How are the schools there 9-12?..Is there work there manufacturing/home health aide?..apprx how much to rent a 2 bdrm home?
Would prefer a small community with friendly people is Athens this place? If not then where?
The people are only friendly to those that have roots here, or are just visiting. If you have kids in high school, keep them the hell away from here.
Lived here four years and spend every day regretting it. I wouldn't recommend this are to anyone.
I think you are considering a very beautiful area of the country - both for Tennessee and also the Athens area in particular! Actually, the whole area in between Chattanooga and Knoxville is quite beautiful and still very country. It is not quite like other country areas of Tennessee, however, because it is considered a didstna subertan area to either Chattanooga or Knoxville so many of the shopping and activities benefits are beginning to appear in the area.
I’m not too sure I can agree that Athens is a terrible place to live and that the ‘natives’ are not friendly. My wife and I have loved here in McMinn County for about 11 years – about 6 miles “down the road” from Athens and we love it! We were at one time outsiders ourselves but we never had any problems making friends and ‘learning the language’ so-to-speak. It all depends on how a person approaches live in a new area. To put it simply, When a person moves to a new place, they shouldn’t bring all the old with them and expect everything to be the same in the new place as it was in the old place. For example, folks talk slower down here and if you’re coming from New England, that could be a real challenge! We're up in Athens all the time and eat out there quite often. We love the people and the place.
The schools are not the best in the country – I guess a person gives a little and takes a little when making decisions about moving to a new part of the country. However, if you’re coming from a large city like say, Chicago, then there are probably a ton of benefits for raising kids which balance less-than-perfect schools. Then there are some quite good private schools, which may be an option. That’s just a personal decision…
As for work… There are some manufacturing type companies in the area but they are not all in Athens. I do believe this is a soon-to-boom area because new clean industries are moving into the area and work can be found up-and-down the I-75 corridor between Chattanooga and Knoxville. Another good point for the Athens area in particular is that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is bringing the second nuclear power generator on-line over at Watts Bar Lake on the Tennessee River in the next couple of years and the Athens area stands to gain the most. Property values are already beginning to go up since the announcement – many new jobs are expected.
The next larger city in the area is Cleveland, which is around 18 miles further down I-75 toward Chattanooga – it has a population of around 48,000. Either Chattanooga and Knoxville are about an hour’s drive away and both have many things to do and see, and all the places you might ever need for shopping and major, specialized healthcare facilities. Locally, in either Cleveland or Athens, there are also regional hospitals. And if you really need a dose of “big city”, Atlanta is a little over two hours away. Around here, however, it’s country and three cars at a stop sign means heavy traffic!
We live on about 7 acres of land, with several out buildings. We own one of the oldest homes in McMinn County - built in 1838 - and we have just recently finished a complete restoration. It has been featured in the local paper twice and will be included in a new book being published by the McMinn County Historical Society of important historical buildings in the county. The interesting part of this is that we have decided to sell our home - probably next Spring.
Incidentally, 2 of our neighbors have horses and there is fishing and hunting aplenty for those interested. The Tennessee River runs through the Tennessee Valley and both Chattanooga and Knoxville are on the river. The TVA is here (remember Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ after the Great Depression where he created, among other things, the TVA?) and it manages a number of dams along the river for hydro-electric power. That, together with several nuclear plants, gives us some of the cheapest electricity in the country.
Related to that, I should mention that Tennessee is one of the last states not to have a state income tax. Sales taxes run from around 8.0% to 9.5% which would include both state and local taxes.
I would be more than happy to try and answer any questions you may have.
I have been in Athens for just two weeks and have found the people to be open, hospitable, and simply wonderful. I have never seen a community go so far out of its way to make us feel welcome! Perfect strangers have even had us over for tea and sent us away with an armful of produce from the garden--no kidding! I have found that if we're open and friendly that the local folk consider you one of the family right off the bat. I can only imagine that comments about people being unfriendly have more to do with attitudes/behaviors of the person making the comments than any general proclivity of Athenians to be unfriendly. Hell, it's slogan is "The Friendly City" and they have lived up to it on every level. Also, the area is simply gorgeous, with lots of biking, hiking, fishing, floating/paddling, camping, etc etc merely minutes away. When people really discover this place, they're gonna come in droves and ruin it---the way they ruined Austin (where we're from)--so I should probably keep my mouth shut. However, I have been so impressed with Athens, I just couldn't. It also has much art and theatre, etc for a town its size, probably because of the college. I suggest you come and visit--we did, and that's when we decided to move here. Something we do not now, nor do I think we will we ever regret!!
Botts: I think I must live very close to you. I live between Piney Grove and Goodsprings.
I agree with what Bott says. I have lived here all my life however. ON just my road, we have 3 families that have moved here from Michigan. They make good neighbors and fit well in the community.
As for schools, that are getting bad pretty much everywhere. You will have yoru choice of two high schools, one about the same as the other, but it seems most of the money goes to McMinn High as opposed to Central (on the east side of the county). I wold say the school is what you and the child make of it to be honest. Enter with an attitude and you will get one back....just like anywhere else.
There are tons of thigns to do in this area and lots of good people. If you get involved with others in the community, you will be accepted I am sure.
Wherever you choose, good luck. And if it is Athens, drop me a line or give me a call and we will do lunch or something. I can give you a list of lots of cool things to do in the area and such.
Oh as for prices...
my future inlaws rented a 3 bedroom ranch style house in the country on 5 acres of land for $600. It has a formal dining room, front aand back porch adn two full baths. It is between Athens and Etowah in the country.
That seems to be the average price. My daugher rents a 4 bedroom in town for $500.
I have some meetings this morning but will do my best to get to it later today
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