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Old 03-27-2010, 10:31 AM
5 posts, read 6,513 times
Reputation: 10


I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a city for my husband & I to move to this summer.

I've lived in Asheville my entire life and I'm desperately looking to get out. It has become way too congested in recent years and I feel like a stranger in my hometown. The cost of living has also become too much for us. We're looking to stay in the South and not stray too far from home (our families are still in Asheville).

I'm looking for a place that still has southern qualities but isn't ultra-conservative. Neither of us like crowds, but don't want to end up in a stagnant ghost town with no job opportunities. Traffic is definitely one of the things pushing us away from Asheville, so that's important. Athens seems promising, but I'm a little worried about the traffic and the population. Neither of us is grounded in a particular industry. We'd like for rent to be $700/month max.

We've researched pretty much everywhere in eastern TN and northeast GA and I'm starting to get overwhelmed. We're planning a road trip to check out prospective cities soon, but of course we have to narrow it down first.

He's 23, I'm 28 and we have no kids yet.

Thanks so much in advance for all your help!
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:05 PM
1,474 posts, read 3,187,563 times
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You can do a search and find a lot already said about Athens, GA. It is certainly "progressive".

Personally, I cannot think of another city in the region that might be an "improvement" over Asheville. You might check out Johnson City, TN. Tn has no state income tax I believe. That might change given the economic times.

Our unemployment rate here in Athens area is 8.5% and there seems to be a move afoot to cut a LOT of jobs from the University. If you come here needing a job, then I think you might well be unemployed for a long time. Besides, wages are low here.

It has been my experience that the grass is never greener elsewhere.

Good luck to you.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:51 PM
Location: Dixie's Sunny Shore
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Johnson City is a good suggestion. What about Greenville SC or are you only into TN and GA? Areas around Knoxville TN, like Maryville.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:36 PM
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,385,546 times
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From my experience, a lot of the smaller towns in the South will have a Conservative vibe for sure. I mean you'll see postings of the 10 Commandments in people's front yards and such. When we drove around Dahlonega, I saw other strange homemade religious signs that I didn't even understand. From my own experience here, there are also a lot of people who seem to have never even seen a Jewish person (and I'm not Jewish) or anyone who isn't Southern Baptist.

I haven't been over to Athens but I'm about 30 minutes away here in Gainesville. We have a definite gang problem and that's one of the reasons we are leaving. The latest incident involved a bunch of teenage SUR-13 gang membrs who are from Athens. They beat a 68 year old man to death in a trailor park here. I just don't see good things on the horizon in terms of gangs around here. We also recently had gang tags painted around the "good" areas of town (the main shopping district). Many of the tags still remain because they are on a boarded up former Sonic building. The glass was also broken out. Rival gangs have even painted their own tags over the original ones.

I kind of think you are looking for someplace that may not really exist. With jobs comes traffic and crowds. With "country" comes a strong Conservative vibe in most places (and fewer jobs). I guess if you are in the medical field, you could move to a smaller town as long as there were medical jobs. Ditto with teaching (although teaching jobs are really, really being hit hard in GA these days. It looks just terrible for next school year with layoffs and massive pay cuts)

Keep up your research. It will also be interesting to see the updated census numbers for 2010. I think they are going to be released in December.


Last edited by MovedfromFL; 03-27-2010 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:12 AM
5 posts, read 6,513 times
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Thanks for the input, everyone.

I believe unemployment is 12% in North Carolina as a whole. We have jobs, but they don't pay the bills, and I'm overqualified for mine, so we're looking for better ones.

We were actually looking into Maryville for awhile, but it seems like there's not a whole lot going on there. I had heard about all the crime in Gainesville too. We're open to places other than GA and TN, but they seem to be the closest. I know Greenville has quite a bit of crime as well... it's gotten bad enough here in Asheville.

MovedFromFL, you're right that I'm likely not going to find a perfectly happy medium. I kind of knew that, and that's why I asked for suggestions. We're headed out to Johnson City today to take a look around. I've been there years ago, but my husband hasn't.

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:15 AM
Location: Floribama
16,079 posts, read 33,345,644 times
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Seems like the closest place to home would be Knoxville or Chattanooga.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:48 PM
1,236 posts, read 3,669,317 times
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Originally Posted by claddaghlove View Post
Athens seems promising, but I'm a little worried about the traffic and the population. Neither of us is grounded in a particular industry. We'd like for rent to be $700/month max.
Athens - traffic? Some minimal rush hour is needed to have some kind of economy going. Traffic is not a concern, IMO (unless you are totally into small town living).

Nicknamed "The Best Seat in the South", it has shown up in the past in best places lists for the young and the old. It is a great choice for a place to live. See link below:
College Towns: An Honor Roll
College Towns: An Honor Roll - 2 - MSN Local Edition
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:38 PM
Location: Athens
470 posts, read 1,348,627 times
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Athens traffic is not bad at all except maybe on Friday afternoons on about 3 routes out of the city, Lexington Rd - Hwy 78 at the loop. Also, game days it can be a problem, but that is about 6 times a year.
Athens is very diverse, socially, politically, economically, etc. The U has a strong influence on the area.

Traffic here is nowhere near as bad as Knoxville (of course, I only know it from trying to drive through Knoxville, about 30 times in the last 4 years).
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