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Old 04-11-2012, 12:12 PM
 
17 posts, read 22,482 times
Reputation: 23

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Hey everyone,

I've lived in Southern California my whole life and have been thinking of relocating for about the past 10 years (My fiance and I are in our early 40s). I just got laid off from a very secure company here, and am now thinking that now is a perfect time for relocation quite possibly to somewhere in the tri-cities area. I had a few questions for the members of this group, if you don't mind taking some time to answer and possibly from more then one person, I'd really appreciate it.

In southern California, people aren't terribly friendly here. If you don't know someone, walking by them on the street, you just don't say hello. If you are in your own neighborhood, or condo complex, then I usually say hello, but about 1/2 the people don't. So friendliness is a big deal to us.

#1: What's the weather like there? I can look and find the mins and
maxes online, but any serious dangers I should worry about?
(hurricanes or tornadoes). I don't mind a little snow, but anything
under 10 degrees is probably a bit too much.


#2: What is your general impression of living there, love it or hate
it?


#3: What is the cultural and/or the religious diversity like there? Is it a
pretty diverse place (California is very much so)?


#4: What are the entertainment options? Are there a lot of
restaurants, movie theatres? My fiance' and I really like staying at
home so a huge night life isn't that important, but going out once a
week would be nice.


#5: What is the hospitality like? How friendly are people in and
around the area?


#6: What's the job market like? My Fiance' has product development,
and project management experience. I have a lot of people management
experience. I've been a supervisor / manager of people for 18+ years
now.


#7: How are the home prices? We're looking for a somewhat decent
single family home / property for $90-$150k. Right now we live in a condo, that would sell for about $200k, and my condo would sell for about $300k. We're looking to buy somewhere much more affordable.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm very excited to have found these forums. I saw a few posts about some other questions (about school and crime) that had definitely helped, so please forgive me if these answers are located in the forums somewhere. I really wanted to get the freshest view I could. Thanks in advance for any assistance that could be provided.

-Pat
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,336 posts, read 15,915,419 times
Reputation: 29725
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfeinauer View Post
Hey everyone,

I've lived in Southern California my whole life and have been thinking of relocating for about the past 10 years (My fiance and I are in our early 40s). I just got laid off from a very secure company here, and am now thinking that now is a perfect time for relocation quite possibly to somewhere in the tri-cities area. I had a few questions for the members of this group, if you don't mind taking some time to answer and possibly from more then one person, I'd really appreciate it.

In southern California, people aren't terribly friendly here. If you don't know someone, walking by them on the street, you just don't say hello. If you are in your own neighborhood, or condo complex, then I usually say hello, but about 1/2 the people don't. So friendliness is a big deal to us.

#1: What's the weather like there? I can look and find the mins and
maxes online, but any serious dangers I should worry about?
(hurricanes or tornadoes). I don't mind a little snow, but anything
under 10 degrees is probably a bit too much. IMO, gorgeous! Initially it was what drew me to the area.
I find that other than a month or so in late winter, and a few weeks at the peak of summer, the weather is perfect for being outdoors in shirtsleeves or a light jacket. Every once in a while the winter temps dip pretty low and then a few days later climb right back up again. Wunderground has a handy dandy history calendar that gives you temps and precipitation to give you an idea what you might expect.


No hurricanes, not usually prone to tornadoes- but lately there has been more activity than normal, although I think that has been true for a lot of the US, not just east TN


#2: What is your general impression of living there, love it or hate
it? Love it! Lacks some of the amenities of larger cities. However Knoxville and Asheville are just an hour or two away. The opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors in beautiful surroundings more than makes up for it IMO



#3: What is the cultural and/or the religious diversity like there? Is it a
pretty diverse place (California is very much so)? NO, not really very diverse. Not totally white bread, but you aren't going to find a lot of authentic ethnic cuisines in the area. OTOH I haven't noticed the kind of racial tension I've experienced elsewhere either. I'm not religious so I couldn't tell you anything about that, except that not being religious is not a problem.


#4: What are the entertainment options? Are there a lot of
restaurants, movie theatres? My fiance' and I really like staying at
home so a huge night life isn't that important, but going out once a
week would be nice. Between the three cities there are a lot of dining options, a few movie theaters, a drive in, plenty of festivals and outdoor music events in the summer. Abingdon is pretty close and has some entertainment options too.



#5: What is the hospitality like? How friendly are people in and
around the area? People will chat you up every where you go.
In my experience most people are polite and many will go out of their way to help others. Making close friends might be a little harder, I think that sort of depends on each situation though. I know a guy that's been here about three years and he's made a ton of friends, but he's also very outgoing. YMMV.



#6: What's the job market like? My Fiance' has product development,
and project management experience. I have a lot of people management
experience. I've been a supervisor / manager of people for 18+ years
now.


#7: How are the home prices? We're looking for a somewhat decent
single family home / property for $90-$150k. Right now we live in a condo, that would sell for about $200k, and my condo would sell for about $300k. We're looking to buy somewhere much more affordable. Shouldn't be a problem at all. I've noticed that there aren't a quite as many homes at the lower end of your range, and of those that are many seem to be foreclosures, but I'm still seeing a lot of houses in the 130-150k range that look decent online. If you want I can send you a direct message with a fun link to area listings.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm very excited to have found these forums. I saw a few posts about some other questions (about school and crime) that had definitely helped, so please forgive me if these answers are located in the forums somewhere. I really wanted to get the freshest view I could. Thanks in advance for any assistance that could be provided.

-Pat
~from my POV after 3 yrs living here

History : Weather Underground

Visitor Information — Abingdon, Virginia

Last edited by DubbleT; 04-11-2012 at 05:35 PM.. Reason: Links being weird!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:55 PM
 
199 posts, read 467,840 times
Reputation: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfeinauer View Post
Hey everyone,

#1: What's the weather like there? I can look and find the mins and
maxes online, but any serious dangers I should worry about?
(hurricanes or tornadoes). I don't mind a little snow, but anything
under 10 degrees is probably a bit too much.

#2: What is your general impression of living there, love it or hate
it?

#3: What is the cultural and/or the religious diversity like there? Is it a
pretty diverse place (California is very much so)?

#4: What are the entertainment options? Are there a lot of
restaurants, movie theatres? My fiance' and I really like staying at
home so a huge night life isn't that important, but going out once a
week would be nice.

#5: What is the hospitality like? How friendly are people in and
around the area?

#6: What's the job market like? My Fiance' has product development,
and project management experience. I have a lot of people management
experience. I've been a supervisor / manager of people for 18+ years
now.

#7: How are the home prices? We're looking for a somewhat decent
single family home / property for $90-$150k. Right now we live in a condo, that would sell for about $200k, and my condo would sell for about $300k. We're looking to buy somewhere much more affordable.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm very excited to have found these forums. I saw a few posts about some other questions (about school and crime) that had definitely helped, so please forgive me if these answers are located in the forums somewhere. I really wanted to get the freshest view I could. Thanks in advance for any assistance that could be provided.

-Pat
1. The weather is pretty great, we have a distinct and four mild seasons. Summers can be a bit humid but are tolerable, Spring is about perfect, and winters are mild.

2. I don't care for the area much its too small and many of my friends have moved elsewhere as the job market and pay rate here is quite low. Also if you are fairly social you'll need to quite often travel to really do anything.

3. Somewhat close minded, the area is mostly christian although you find pockets of divesity. However the area is mostly white and mostly christian and if you arent that at times you may feel out of place.

4. Movies are tolerable but the nearest IMAX threate is in Knoxville and its not that great. Resturants is mostly chains but there are a few local good ones.

5. People generally keep to themselves and what you do find as friendly keep to themselves. I have friends in Nor Cal and I'vd found Northern California people to be FAR more friendly than people in East TN. If you can establish a "group" here its good but honestly we somewhat have an issue of accepting our own and not others. Also people have a tendacy here to be nice to your face but talk really bad about you behind your back, a lot of two faced attitudes here.

6. The job market STINKS!!!! Most of my friends have moved to larger cities for a job. Most everything here is retail, call center, factory work, and restaurant work. Yes the cost of living is cheap but the jobs are sparse and lower pay than other areas. DO NOT move here unless you have a job lined up.

7. Home prices are very affordable here and TN is one of the cheapest states to live in.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,950,402 times
Reputation: 906
#1: There might be a couple days each year below 10. No major weather hazards. Coming from SoCal, be more worried about the July-August humidity, it can knock your socks off. The pollen allergies are very strong.


#2: I like it. I've been here for 27 years.


#3: It is not a diverse place when compared to SoCal, not even close. NE TN does have its own unique culture that you either appreciate or you don't.


#4: There are enough entertainment options to handle what you described - plenty of restaurants and adequate theaters.


#5: In my experience people are as friendly as you are. If you are authentic and friendly, causal conversation is easy to come by.


#6: The job market is sluggish, just like most places right now. Wages tend to be a bit below the national and state average. There are a few good employers, just maybe not enough of them.


#7: $90-$150k. For that price range, you can get an incredible condo, a decent city house with a yard toward your top range, or a good country house on acreage.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,281 posts, read 21,198,685 times
Reputation: 34666
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfeinauer View Post
Hey everyone,

I've lived in Southern California my whole life and have been thinking of relocating for about the past 10 years (My fiance and I are in our early 40s). I just got laid off from a very secure company here, and am now thinking that now is a perfect time for relocation quite possibly to somewhere in the tri-cities area. I had a few questions for the members of this group, if you don't mind taking some time to answer and possibly from more then one person, I'd really appreciate it.

In southern California, people aren't terribly friendly here. If you don't know someone, walking by them on the street, you just don't say hello. If you are in your own neighborhood, or condo complex, then I usually say hello, but about 1/2 the people don't. So friendliness is a big deal to us.

#1: What's the weather like there? I can look and find the mins and
maxes online, but any serious dangers I should worry about?
(hurricanes or tornadoes). I don't mind a little snow, but anything
under 10 degrees is probably a bit too much.

East TN has had a rough spell with tornadoes the last two years, but this isn't normal. Flooding can cause a problem in valleys. Sub 10 degree cold may come a few times on a bad year. Some significant snow can accumulate in higher elevations. Overall,climate is temperate and inoffensive.

#2: What is your general impression of living there, love it or hate
it?

Fair to middling. I'm 25, lived there until March, and found the area boring, full of retirees, and economically dead. I moved to Iowa (!) and have better professional and cultural opportunities.

#3: What is the cultural and/or the religious diversity like there? Is it a
pretty diverse place (California is very much so)?

There is very little cultural and ethnic diversity. Most people are white Southern Baptists and Republican. If you want diversity, you better look elsewhere.

#4: What are the entertainment options? Are there a lot of
restaurants, movie theatres? My fiance' and I really like staying at
home so a huge night life isn't that important, but going out once a
week would be nice.

There are many excellent restaurants in the area for the local cuisine and even some good ethnics here and there. Chains are very strong. Dining is not bad at all for such a low population, ethnically homogeneous area. Can't comment on theaters as I don't go to them.

#5: What is the hospitality like? How friendly are people in and
around the area?

People are friendly, but this also comes with them being nosey into your personal life. Many people will ask you to church or where you go to church before they know you well. I prefer the Midwest style, not as outwardly friendly, but live and let live. East TN is far from live and let live.


#6: What's the job market like? My Fiance' has product development,
and project management experience. I have a lot of people management
experience. I've been a supervisor / manager of people for 18+ years
now.

The area is essentially economically dead outside of the three-legged economic stool - education, medical, and restaurants/retail. Your fiancé sounds like he or she is in IT. If so, those skills are likely not transferrable to east TN. The best you could hope for, if in IT, is to get a job at Eastman, ETSU, or a medical chain. I am in IT, moved to Iowa last month and my pay went up by a third for an equal position in an area with an equal cost of living relative to the Tri-Cities. The cost of living in the TRI is low, but wages are at least equally depressed on a relative basis, if not below parity, even if adjusting for COL.

#7: How are the home prices? We're looking for a somewhat decent
single family home / property for $90-$150k. Right now we live in a condo, that would sell for about $200k, and my condo would sell for about $300k. We're looking to buy somewhere much more affordable.

Home prices, for better or worse, have been relatively stable in TN. If your combined property value is $500k, why are you scaling back so greatly? $90k will get you a starter home or condo, or a fixer upper. $150k will get you an average property, not a nice one. Property prices in east TN are not in line with the poor wages of the average resident.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm very excited to have found these forums. I saw a few posts about some other questions (about school and crime) that had definitely helped, so please forgive me if these answers are located in the forums somewhere. I really wanted to get the freshest view I could. Thanks in advance for any assistance that could be provided.

-Pat
See above answers.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
330 posts, read 934,137 times
Reputation: 234
^^ those answers make me even more excited to be moving to jc in September!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Western, NC
118 posts, read 207,513 times
Reputation: 95
We bought a place just across the NC border. I am in my mid-fourties and my husband is 10 years older. Everyone has been so nice to us. We love it. I am answering because for shopping and dining, we usually go to Unicoi, Erwin, or johnson City. We got an older house with acerage, a creek, mountain views, and a waterfall for less than your price range.

Last edited by llovin; 04-16-2012 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:08 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,741 times
Reputation: 10
I grew up in Johnson City, TN and the surrounding area. I also lived in SoCal for 9 years. I loved San Diego and the desert areas.

The Tri-Cities are friendly..yet backwards...religion and politics are not topics to discuss. I like visiting Tennessee but I would not live there unless it was Nashville, Chattanooga or Knoxville.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
330 posts, read 934,137 times
Reputation: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by m123n43 View Post
I grew up in Johnson City, TN and the surrounding area. I also lived in SoCal for 9 years. I loved San Diego and the desert areas.

The Tri-Cities are friendly..yet backwards...religion and politics are not topics to discuss. I like visiting Tennessee but I would not live there unless it was Nashville, Chattanooga or Knoxville.
So...people with differing religious and political opinions than yours are "backwards?" That's nice. How fantastically tolerant.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:08 PM
 
17 posts, read 22,482 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks so much for all the information. I think it's smartest for us to experience it firsthand. We're going to go out there in the next 2-4 weeks for a weekend and drive around all over.

It still sounds like a decent place to me. I got VERY lucky with my house, and how much equity is in it. So the job market isn't terribly that big of a deal with us. I was the manager of a call center at my last job, so are completely familiar with that line of work. It also sounds like it may even be a nice place to open up your own business.

Thanks again!

-Pat
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