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Old 05-01-2007, 05:52 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,251,975 times
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Hi I have been lurking in the forums for a while and finally had my chance to see some of Tennessee for myself last weekend. We loved half of what we saw and are feeling Tennessee might be the place for us to move to.

Hubby and I are intending to be relatively early retirees sometime next year and have begun looking for a place to call home. Our son is AF bound as soon as he finishes college and we have no family to tie us to our current address.

We began in a semi rural/suburban town because of job offers nearly 30 years ago and have watched it become much too suburban/urban. We both want a place with space and are not looking for the usual retiree amenities (ie golf, "culture" and shopping) but would like places to hike, ride motorcycles (hubby) and star gaze without city lights.

We loved what we saw of Maryville, Greeneville and some of the points between them. If we can swing a return trip soon we'd like to seriously begin looking into a realtor and all the stuff that goes with purchasing a house.

I'd love to hear the pros and cons about either place and places that are similar, that we might have missed. We do know that we would like some acreage and a view of the mountains would be gravy! We found one home through Realtor.com near Greeneville that fit the bill only to actually see it and find it had been abandoned in mid-build and so overpriced for the fixing that would be needed we couldn't make a serious offer. So we also would need some recommendations of good Realtors who could work with long range buyers to line up some possibilities.

Em

 
Old 05-01-2007, 06:14 PM
 
1,775 posts, read 7,209,545 times
Reputation: 777
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Hi I have been lurking in the forums for a while and finally had my chance to see some of Tennessee for myself last weekend. We loved half of what we saw and are feeling Tennessee might be the place for us to move to.

Hubby and I are intending to be relatively early retirees sometime next year and have begun looking for a place to call home. Our son is AF bound as soon as he finishes college and we have no family to tie us to our current address.

We began in a semi rural/suburban town because of job offers nearly 30 years ago and have watched it become much too suburban/urban. We both want a place with space and are not looking for the usual retiree amenities (ie golf, "culture" and shopping) but would like places to hike, ride motorcycles (hubby) and star gaze without city lights.

We loved what we saw of Maryville, Greeneville and some of the points between them. If we can swing a return trip soon we'd like to seriously begin looking into a realtor and all the stuff that goes with purchasing a house.

I'd love to hear the pros and cons about either place and places that are similar, that we might have missed. We do know that we would like some acreage and a view of the mountains would be gravy! We found one home through Realtor.com near Greeneville that fit the bill only to actually see it and find it had been abandoned in mid-build and so overpriced for the fixing that would be needed we couldn't make a serious offer. So we also would need some recommendations of good Realtors who could work with long range buyers to line up some possibilities.

Em

Sent you a PM about a realtor i dealt with and who did my closing for me from out of state.
 
Old 05-02-2007, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,797,895 times
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Maryvile and Greeneville, to me, are very different, so you might want to consider what you're looking for in a relocation. Gville is still very much old-school Southern town. The school systems generally do not prepare their students for life outside of NE TN, most of the focus is on finding some kind of job without much regard to what makes one happy and on finding a spouse to have a house and kids. True smalltown America, totally conservative and ultra-religious. Even our democrat politicians are conservatives.

I hope I don't sound bitter. I tried not to, but the truth is, after spending nearly 20 years there, it gets old, very old, for people who like new things, peoples, and cross-cultural stimulation.

I tried to list some good things about Greeneville here, but, really, they're all available in other places too. If you're looking for beautiful rural land (one of Greeneville's strongest attractions), you can find the same easily closer to Maryville/Knoxville/OR, Chattanooga, Asheville, Nashville, or even the big NC cities and at the same time benefit from people who are more educated and open-minded (while still retaining values, if that's your dish) and a more vibrant city with variety and success.
 
Old 05-02-2007, 04:16 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,251,975 times
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Thanks for the quick replies.

daniellefort I appreciated the PM and replied.

jabogitlu Your answer is certainly food for thought. We do not have children of school age to worry about anymore so schools are not as much of an issue as it would be for someone who has a young family. Your point about being around people with more education is probably valid, especially if people feel defensive about the lack of education they might have. We both have been around people of all walks of life, and levels of education, from very educated (multiple degrees) to barely getting out of HS and have rarely found it hard to find common ground. On the other hand we don't wish to stick out like sore thumbs either!!

We loved the scenery southeast (more or less) of Greeneville but weren't enamored of the down town and bypass areas. Maryville struck us as just the right mix of urban and suburban for driving into and doing the necessary shopping and possibly having part time jobs, but what we most loved was the areas leading to the mountains, like rte 129. This is why we are still looking and asking about other towns and villages in the general area that might have the same "looks" but not be a tourist trap like Pigeon Forge or cater to the wealthy second home owners and renters of some of the mountain areas. We spent just 2 days driving hundreds of miles looking but we probably missed tons of great places.
 
Old 05-04-2007, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 18,720,196 times
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Have you checked out the Tri-Cities area? It is a bit further east than Greeneville and between two mountain ranges: Smokies and Clinch. There are many housing areas that are not in town or close to city life, but you can have easy access/short drive to cities: Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol are all close then just a little bit further out are Abington VA and Asheville NC.
I love living in this area because you can live rather rurally, have mountain access and still city amenities.
Just my 2 cents.
 
Old 05-04-2007, 03:36 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,251,975 times
Reputation: 2713
Thanks, we did, very briefly on our way north again . We went thru Rogersville and a portion of Kingsport on our way back to I-81. We didn't see much "mountain" terrain so we obviously missed a lot.

I think we both have a hankering for being near but not in the mountains, outside of, but not really really far away from, a small city/town. We have had enough of things being built up around us and would like to move to where it will stay a bit rural for a while longer. Kingsport and the Tri-cities area struck us as looking like it was growing much as the area we are trying to escape is.

I'll take any and all suggestions for study.
 
Old 05-04-2007, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,797,895 times
Reputation: 2764
How rural is "a bit rural"? You can live around the Tri-Cities metro and still be quite rural, there might even be some places (Especially in western Washington County) where you could be "isolated." The TC area is also more educated, more cultural, and more active, IMHO, than a lot of other small cities in TN (Crossville, Cookeville, Jackson, Lawrenceburg). I know I keep repeating that, but it's really important to me.

The third tri-city, Bristol, might suit you if you're looking for "small town." Kingsport and Johnson City are no metropolises (polii?) but they're not on the small scale of Rogersville or Greeneville.
 
Old 05-05-2007, 01:23 AM
 
161 posts, read 559,498 times
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Default Greeneville

J&Em, We're looking for land similar to what you're describing and took a trip to the tri-cities area over Easter.
The Greeneville Partnership has an excellent relocation package/brochure available at no cost that you might want to request. It seems to be marketed to retirees as well. We didn't have time to check out Greeneville but plan to during our next visit (soon we hope Greeneville sounds like it offers the basics and then some but is surrounded by many rural areas with mountain views: Chuckey, Afton, etc.
The two main cities of the tri-city region, JC and Kingsport, do seem to be somewhat busy but we found during our April trip many areas that are reasonably convenient to them but still rural as Jab said. Elizabethton has a small town feel and almost all the immediate area that surrounds it has nice mountain views, as you're close to the Cherokee Forest there. Same with Erwin (pop. 5000) and Unicoi. Fall Branch and Church Hill, on the other side of Kingsport, are similar. All these towns will put you close to the mountains without actually being on one.
We found a very good realtor in this region, so PM me if you'd like a referral. She's actually driven to a few lots we were interested in, then took and emailed us digital photos from different angles to give us a much better feel for what they looked like. Good luck and have fun
 
Old 05-05-2007, 04:10 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,251,975 times
Reputation: 2713
Cougar thanks. I will look into getting the Greeneville package.

On rural... hmmm.... I know it is so hard to define rural when we all have different views of what that is. I want to still see farms around me, open land and a stretch of road that doesn't have any strip malls on it for starters. At night I would like to look up and see stars, lots of them, not the glow of a city on the horizon. I am not a city girl and never will be. I don't need city lights or night life or "entertainment." That is the very bottom line the rest is a whole lot harder to put into words! Ya know it when ya see it! LOL
 
Old 05-07-2007, 12:58 PM
 
141 posts, read 893,391 times
Reputation: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Maryville struck us as just the right mix of urban and suburban for driving into and doing the necessary shopping and possibly having part time jobs, but what we most loved was the areas leading to the mountains, like rte 129. This is why we are still looking and asking about other towns and villages in the general area that might have the same "looks" but not be a tourist trap like Pigeon Forge or cater to the wealthy second home owners and renters of some of the mountain areas. We spent just 2 days driving hundreds of miles looking but we probably missed tons of great places.
I think that Maryville/Blount may be your answer, as it meets all of those requirements. If you were out US129, you saw the scenery. Also, Maryville has an active cultural scene, a new library, plenty of part time jobs, and a very balanced mix of more educated/less educated people. The community is vibrant, the schools are good, the retirement activities are even there if you want them. Also, there's the Smokies right at your back door, if you should need to get out and hike.

And if you have a hankering for the city, Knoxville is just a short 20-30 minute drive. They are having a Rossini Festival (opera) this coming week, talk about culture! Maryville is also home to the famous flatpicker Steve Kaufman, if your musical tastes are a bit more countrified.

Good luck with your decision, but you can't go wrong with Maryville.
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