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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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My fiancee just received a job offer today for a company in Kingsport. I've never lived outside of San Diego so I was hoping some of you could provide some insight to me on the town.

Are there many jobs open there?


How many people live in the town?

Where is the closest major city?

What is the weather like during the summer and winter?

What kind of bugs are there? (I know it seems like a silly question, but I'm preparing myself for everything that will be different)

What is there to do in town for fun?

Do you recommend a certain area of town to live in?

Finally, is there anything else I should know about the town?
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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Also, are there tornadoes in this area? If so, how frequently do they happen?
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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The job situation is tight like most areas of the country. The medical field is a bright spot. Be prepared for most jobs to pay less than what you are used to.

Kingsport Pop. is ~50k. The greater Tri Cities area pop. is ~500k.

The closest major cities are Knoxville (1.5hr) and Asheville (1hr).

The summer is hot and humid. Winter is cold with a couple minor snow storms each year.

There are plenty of bugs - bees, wasps, ants, but no fire ants and only a few mosquitoes. Not too bad.

I don't live in Kpt, but for fun there is FunFest, other festivals, summer concerts, rookie league baseball, and a decent reviving downtown.

Can't say for sure where you'll want to live. What are you looking for with respect to housing?

Some folks complain about a manufacturing smell in certain areas of Kingsport. This smell is largely due to a paper factory and is nothing to worry about health-wise. Sometimes the smell is falsely attributed to Eastman Chemical.

This time last year I would have told you we NEVER have tornadoes, but in late April 2011 we did have a tornado outbreak. However I still wouldn't expect to have anything happen like that in the next 20 years. It certainly hasn't ever happened in my lifetime, and hopefully it won't happen again. IMO it was a freak occurrence as this area is absolutely not "tornado alley".
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Thank you for your advice.

In regards to housing we would ideally like to rent a house while we are out there. In San Diego, we rent a two bedroom for $1200 which was bout 900 sq ft. We would like to find something around that price or even less would be great, but we would like try to avoid living in an apartment again
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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Sounds reasonable but the house will likely be bigger. There aren't many houses that small around here. There actually aren't that many free standing houses for rent in this area, but if you're vigilant they can be found.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:09 PM
 
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If you lived in San Diego and had a chance to move there what would you do?
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:13 PM
 
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Default Culture shock

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcg1231 View Post
I've never lived outside of San Diego so I was hoping some of you could provide some insight to me on the town.

What is there to do in town for fun?

Finally, is there anything else I should know about the town?
You might find Kingsport incredibly small and boring. Some of us like it that way (me!), but others, such as my grown children, always complain of "there's nothing to do." (Except hiking and fishing.) I moved here from the Buffalo, New York area, but lived in a rural town and worked in the city back then. There is definitely far less shopping, and VERY few bars. I don't even know if there are any clubs.

I live in Church Hill, which is only a few miles from Kingsport, but Kingsport is where the stores are.

The "smell" is pretty much relegated to the downtown industrial area. Although on really hot humid days it "floats" - but there's tons of houses in Kingsport that aren't affected by the smell.

However, you will have no traffic stress, and it's amazing how good that makes you feel!!! Gas and utilities are MUCH cheaper!!! There's no state tax taken out of your paycheck, but there is tax on food (we had high taxes in NY too, but no tax on food except candy-like stuff).

Also, if you like the nightlife and don't mind driving 1/2 hour, Bristol and Johnson City aren't too far. I can't comment on any of that though because I have no social life

You have plenty of restaurants, and your basic shopping needs will be met. Very small mall, but has all the basics.

Keep in mind if your husband doesn't mind driving to work 1/2 hour, you could live in Johnson City or possibly Bristol and drive to Kingsport, it's an easy drive. You can research the "Tri-Cities" and Northeastern TN to learn more about what's around.

I think you'll be in for a culture shock, but we'd love to have you!!! It is absolutely beautiful here, and the weather is awesome...however, you're coming from California and I'm coming from Buffalo NY So our opinions will likely differ!

I really like it here. But if you're a social active young person, you might get bored. And the majority of people and politics are conservative, but there are a lot of liberals here too.

Beaches are far and few between...and my northern southern transplant friends and I all agree we miss the beaches the most. But the parks and lakes here are great - and there's lots of beautiful hiking areas around. Because of all the hills, there's bike paths in some parks, but not a lot of places to bike ride as in other cities.

If you're a small town girl at heart you'll like it just fine

Oh here's a link to the local paper and rentals so you can see you're WELL within your range! http://www.timesnews.net/classifieds...s%20for%20Rent
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,155 posts, read 10,448,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcg1231 View Post
If you lived in San Diego and had a chance to move there what would you do?
San Diego, as someone else commented on, is night and day to Kingsport. You probably already realize that, but San Diego is first and foremost--a major city and metropolitan area of what, like 3 million people? San Diego gets all of the concerts, has a ton of culture, is very liberal, has a wonderful and amazing climate, and of course has the "big city" options that simply cannot be found anywhere in East Tennessee.

Kingsport has about 50,000 people, with the tri-city metro area at around 450,000--including Johnson City and Bristol. The geographical area is gorgeous--the mountains are not "claustrophobic all up on the area" like in southwest VA and other further east TN mountains. You have beautiful mountain vista views, rolling hills, and amazing amounts of green everywhere. The summers are hot, sticky, and humid. Lots of thunderstorms.

The spring and fall are pleasant, and the winters are chilly, can get below freezing for LOW temperatures, but only expect minor snowfall, of like 2 or 3 inches--maybe 3 times a winter. The weather is extremely easy, overall.
Kingsport is a GREAT place to raise a family--it is safe, quiet, and very much "all Americana" type of place.

I grew up in and around Kingsport and my parents and sister live there now--so I do visit about once a year. The area is in the BIBLE BELT. It is very, very religious-themed and conservative. Tons of baptist churches and a lot of people socialize in and around a church. Expect to run into a lot of folks trying to convince you to go to their church, get involved, even ask you if you are "saved."

It can be a culture shock. There's not a ton of culture the is pervasive in the community. It's not highly advertised, anyway, although Kingsport has a lot of culture to offer. The arts tends to get overshadowed by Jesus and religion everywhere--just keep this in mind.

The city has a couple of AMAZING parks--Bays Mountain and Warriors path are STILL some of the best city parks I've been to and I have lived in NYC and now Connecticut and they really do measure up!!

Cost of living will be very inexpensive for what you are use to. So it's all a good thing!! Kingsport offers a lot, but just know that you will be living in a religious/church-oriented majority population. If all good with that, hey, it's a great area!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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Whether or not it is a good move for you really depends on what you enjoy doing when you're not working. Kingsport and the surrounding area is very much a small town atmosphere with many having lived there all their lives, where many people still have the same friends they had in high school. The area is beautiful and offers a lower cost of living, but there aren't many jobs. College graduates from the area often move to larger cities such as Knoxville, Nashville, Atlanta, or Charlotte for work. Johnson City is home to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and feels more open minded and progressive. If you enjoy hiking, kayaking, and rafting, the area is excellent. If you want to go to the beach, its Charleston, SC or the Outer Banks of North Carolina (or you get on a plane).

Whether or not you will like it depends on what you enjoy in life. It is possible that your fiancee's job is a great opportunity and worth the move. But it is very, VERY different from San Diego. If you aspire to have some land and enjoy the outdoors (forests) then it would probably work, but if you're both "city people" you'll probably hate it.

The weather is very different than in San Diego. I have never heard of tornados in the area until the past year. Who knows if they will ever be another tornado in our lifetimes. Expect frequent cloudy days and severe thunderstorms. It does snow in the winter, but it generally isn't a big deal. People do not use snow tires year round like they do in some parts of the Rockies.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:16 PM
 
362 posts, read 436,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcg1231 View Post
My fiancee just received a job offer today for a company in Kingsport. I've never lived outside of San Diego so I was hoping some of you could provide some insight to me on the town.

Are there many jobs open there?


How many people live in the town?

Where is the closest major city?

What is the weather like during the summer and winter?

What kind of bugs are there? (I know it seems like a silly question, but I'm preparing myself for everything that will be different)

What is there to do in town for fun?

Do you recommend a certain area of town to live in?

Finally, is there anything else I should know about the town?

Hello, I grew up in the Tri-Cities and my SIL lives in San Diego. What part of SD do you live in now? That may provide more info as to good neighborhoods for you in KPT. There is nothing like La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, or the beach areas or Hillcrest.


Kingsport is a small town and the nearest MAJOR city is Atlanta about 4.5-5 hours away. Nashville is about the same distance and Charlotte, NC is a bit closer. One great thing about the area is the proximity to many other areas within a reasonable drive. From NYC (about 9 hours) to Orlando (10.5 hours). You will have access to many areas for long weekends. Knoxville is a minor metro that offers more than the TRI and is about 90 minutes. Asheville offers a more crunchy vibe and is about 1-1.25 hours from KPT.

Jobs aren't super plentiful and the pay will likely be lower than SD. However, the area is not as competitive either. If you have strong qualifications there are fewer people to compete against. Not sure if your fiancee will be working at Eastman. I know they've been actively recruiting at CA universities.

Overall weather will vary much more than in SD. More cloudy and rainy days, hotter in summer and colder in winter. It is a fairly moderate climate though. It usally isn't super hot, nor is it usually extremely cold. Snowfall happens, but it isn't much. Spring and Fall are gorgeous and summer nights are great.

I did not experience tornadoes there ever. They are unusual as the area is buffered by mountains. People use those mountains for recreation, hiking and biking. The Applachain trail runs through parts of the TRI. Boating on the area lakes is very common for sun in the summer. If you like nightlife, you will probably find KPT and the TRI as a whole lacking compared to SD. There are more places in JC and not ALL of them are college aged, but there aren't that many.

Some here have described SD as liberal. I'm not sure of your take, but I live in the Bay Area now and many here call SD conservative. It is a different kind of conservative than in NE TN. Very religion based cultural values. Some will see out of state plates and ask if you've found a church, sometimes called "home church". There are fewer transplants so the community can be very insular.

If you plan on having a family, then TRI is a good place to raise children. KPT city schools are outstanding academically and athletically. There is great community support for the schools. It isn't as diverse as SD, but I would rate a DB education competitively to one from San Dieguito or Poway districts.

If you get more specific, then I will try to provide more info.
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