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Old 01-23-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Lyons NY
22 posts, read 51,458 times
Reputation: 23

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More South, stay East - Little homestead kinda place... Western NC/Eastern TN?
Hi, This is my first time on a forum of any kind so feel free to give me pointers...I'm a retired USAF 100% DAV living in the Finger Lakes area of NY. Kids are grown and living in other states but have one son who is interested in moving more south to be closer to some extended family that's in Virginia and Maryland. My mother, who lives in senior apts, doesn't drive, has COPD, and will be moving with me. (and of course my two standard chihuahuas)

Finally, totally debt free. I am in the 35-40K income for the remainder unless something amazing happens (it could happen). But little to no expenses except living, some inexpensive outdoors fun and paying off the land I buy for my kids. Most important decision I have every made concerning material things and I don't have any real assistance so send me whatever you think might help. This will be my first time buying a home, so I have all the first time and VA benefits, & house tax discounts for 100% DAV

I prioritize: God, State Parks, fishing, camping, get togethers w/neighbors or new friends (if people still do that somewhere), gardening (which there is barely a season for here), conservative values, but not predjudice (5 of my six kids are adopted from Liberia West Africa during their civil war) so they are truly African American and I really have no time for ignorance. There are issues everywhere but want my kids/grandkids to be able to visit without being routinely mistreated. Don't wanna be where people already don't like "transplants."

IDEAL characteristics of my new home (but I'll take the closest I can get, to the most I can get

1. Looking for a more temperate climate, lowest in relative humidity I can get in the eastern US, with as little pollution as possible for my mom's breathing and my arthritis issues (and to garden more). Any SERIOUS insect issues, I'd need to stay away from for my mom.
2. Must be within 30 min of a full service, well rated Veterans Medical Center as I get all my med from VA. Also, a good full service civilian hospital for my mom who only has medicare and me.
3. Good selection of low income senior apts for my mom who wants her own place.
4. Within 45 min of an active airport.
5. Mom is very concerned to not be near a tornado or flood zone.
6. Country life with neighbors but not looking in my windows.
7. Must have trees and creeks, streams, rivers, lakes around close by
8.Must be within 45 min of a few substantial cities where my son can find employment (working to finish up CCNA Certification (computer networks), just taking his CCent Cert. That is why Johnson City, TN caught my eye after I had been looking at Asheville, NC.
9.Must have a good selection of nondenominational churches within 30 min-ish. First Christian Church has what I'm looking for "on paper." Other similar recommendations...
10. Looking for at least 1 acre, ideally 3, simple but solid basics in a home. (2bd/1.5bth min.-ideally 3/2)
for 100K. I know it's hard but I only need the solid structure, found., wiring, plumbing, if the basics are good, I can remodel non essentials & cosmetics as I go. But I really want the land w a creek/stream...

If anyone reads this and says "Ah, I know just the place," and its not where I'm asking, tell me. I have no restrictions or commitments except to my mother. I have a wide open mind toward whatever God sends my way and I'm confident there's a place just right out there somewhere. Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 25,676,138 times
Reputation: 5504
Hi there!

Well it sounds like this area is good for you! There is a VA medical center (my dad goes there too) right on the south side of Johnson City... I am sure that Asheville has one too, but not sure? I like Johnson City, but live in Bristol, about 20 miles away.

The weather in western NC is more rugged and higher in elevation than eastern Tennessee, so the weather is a little colder in the winter (especially in NW NC), but cooler in the summer which is a good trade off. Asheville is a little further south than Tri-Cities, but a little higher in elevation, so the climate is much the same.

I could go on with more and more, but I am about 1/2 asleep, so I will stop. I am sure many more will be able to chime in here.

Good luck with move!
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
30,490 posts, read 23,877,274 times
Reputation: 38748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadow1958 View Post
More South, stay East - Little homestead kinda place... Western NC/Eastern TN?
Hi, This is my first time on a forum of any kind so feel free to give me pointers...I'm a retired USAF 100% DAV living in the Finger Lakes area of NY. Kids are grown and living in other states but have one son who is interested in moving more south to be closer to some extended family that's in Virginia and Maryland. My mother, who lives in senior apts, doesn't drive, has COPD, and will be moving with me. (and of course my two standard chihuahuas)

Finally, totally debt free. I am in the 35-40K income for the remainder unless something amazing happens (it could happen). But little to no expenses except living, some inexpensive outdoors fun and paying off the land I buy for my kids. Most important decision I have every made concerning material things and I don't have any real assistance so send me whatever you think might help. This will be my first time buying a home, so I have all the first time and VA benefits, & house tax discounts for 100% DAV

I prioritize: God, State Parks, fishing, camping, get togethers w/neighbors or new friends (if people still do that somewhere), gardening (which there is barely a season for here), conservative values, but not predjudice (5 of my six kids are adopted from Liberia West Africa during their civil war) so they are truly African American and I really have no time for ignorance. There are issues everywhere but want my kids/grandkids to be able to visit without being routinely mistreated. Don't wanna be where people already don't like "transplants."

IDEAL characteristics of my new home (but I'll take the closest I can get, to the most I can get

1. Looking for a more temperate climate, lowest in relative humidity I can get in the eastern US, with as little pollution as possible for my mom's breathing and my arthritis issues (and to garden more). Any SERIOUS insect issues, I'd need to stay away from for my mom. The higher elevations of TN and NC would probably suit you, but this conflicts with some of your other wants. It can still get reasonably hot and VERY humid here in the summer, so the best relief is found at higher elevations.

2. Must be within 30 min of a full service, well rated Veterans Medical Center as I get all my med from VA. Also, a good full service civilian hospital for my mom who only has medicare and me. This means you need to be within thirty minutes of JC or Asheville. The Asheville area is out of your price range, so this leads me to closer in sections of Unicoi County (between Erwin and JC), Carter County (JC and Elizabethton), and some rural areas of Washington County.

3. Good selection of low income senior apts for my mom who wants her own place. Again, this tends to come with living closer to town, which you probably can't afford with your land requirements. I doubt you'll find much if any senior, low income housing in the outlying communities.

4. Within 45 min of an active airport. Tri-Cities and Asheville both have regional airports. They're convenient, but expensive to fly in and out of.

5. Mom is very concerned to not be near a tornado or flood zone. Severe weather really isn't an issue here. You probably want to avoid a valley.

6. Country life with neighbors but not looking in my windows. As long as you mind your own business, people should mind their own...

7. Must have trees and creeks, streams, rivers, lakes around close by Don't know what you mean by close by, whether it's your back yard or public access.

8.Must be within 45 min of a few substantial cities where my son can find employment (working to finish up CCNA Certification (computer networks), just taking his CCent Cert. That is why Johnson City, TN caught my eye after I had been looking at Asheville, NC. There really is NO IT market here. The largest private employer in JC, MSHA, announced major layoffs last week. The university is also scaling back. He will not find decent employment. I guarantee it. Direct message me for more info.

9.Must have a good selection of nondenominational churches within 30 min-ish. First Christian Church has what I'm looking for "on paper." Other similar recommendations... Not religious, so I don't really know.

10. Looking for at least 1 acre, ideally 3, simple but solid basics in a home. (2bd/1.5bth min.-ideally 3/2)
for 100K. I know it's hard but I only need the solid structure, found., wiring, plumbing, if the basics are good, I can remodel non essentials & cosmetics as I go. But I really want the land w a creek/stream...

This is your real breaking point. You want a structurally solid place with some acreage and a stream for $100k. TN is cheap, but it is not that cheap. You are being unreasonable with this when combined with other factors. You might be able to find a property like this, but it will be farther out in the rural areas and violate your other requirements. You may be putting in a lot more work than you'd imagine or it may have serious problems.

If anyone reads this and says "Ah, I know just the place," and its not where I'm asking, tell me. I have no restrictions or commitments except to my mother. I have a wide open mind toward whatever God sends my way and I'm confident there's a place just right out there somewhere. Thanks.
You want everything and you want it for next to nothing, so you're going to have to compromise. The TN natives answer lots of questions from Northerners like this, so if I seem rude, I'm sorry, but all your desires are unrealistic. Read above.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:11 AM
 
7,039 posts, read 8,247,596 times
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Just to correct a misconception about humidity in the Tri Cities area...Johnson City, etc.

I came from CNY and the humidity level, on average, is about the same or LOWER in Northeast Tennessee than it is in, say Syracuse, during most of the year. I think there are a couple of weeks in August when the humidity is higher here, but only borderline uncomfortable.

Go across the mountains to North Carolina and the humidity levels jumps markedly.

As far as 'pollen', as relates to 'breathability', because you are surrounded by forest here in the tri cities, and there is plenty of annual rainfall, trees and everything else, grows prolifically, and hence pollen is a big issue. Lots of folks here deal with runny noses, stuffy sinuses and teary eyes during the spring and early summer. It is not the nasty kind of polluted pollen which you get in, say, New Jersey, but it is still quite irritating and bothersome for a large portion of the population here.

There are bugs...but the snakes eat them! Just kidding. Big bugs here, but the mosquitos which you are used to in CNY are a lot less. The area here is higher, less wet, and so the small bugs which are troublesome when you are out of doors are not an issue for the most part.

Gardening.....well...when you are here, try to put a shovel in the ground. It makes CNY clay look like loam! The best way to do it here is with raised beds, but I have persevered and have ground level gardens which are almost sort of maybe tillable each year. It is NOT easy. But the good news is that plants seem to really like the soil, so once you get them in, they do quite well.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,697 posts, read 6,313,838 times
Reputation: 1765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadow1958 View Post
1. Looking for a more temperate climate, lowest in relative humidity I can get in the eastern US, with as little pollution as possible for my mom's breathing and my arthritis issues (and to garden more). Any SERIOUS insect issues, I'd need to stay away from for my mom.
3. Good selection of low income senior apts for my mom who wants her own place.
8.Must be within 45 min of a few substantial cities where my son can find employment (working to finish up CCNA Certification (computer networks), just taking his CCent Cert. That is why Johnson City, TN caught my eye after I had been looking at Asheville, NC.
10. Looking for at least 1 acre, ideally 3, simple but solid basics in a home. (2bd/1.5bth min.-ideally 3/2)
for 100K. I know it's hard but I only need the solid structure, found., wiring, plumbing, if the basics are good, I can remodel non essentials & cosmetics as I go. But I really want the land w a creek/stream...
Welcome! I did a search on Realtor.com and found 20-25 homes that appear to meet most of your requirements (< $100K, 2+ br/ba, 1+ acres, within 30 min. of JC); I did not check, however, for streams on the properties.

IMO, the biggest challenges you & your family face in finding a place in most of the Southeast, not just NE Tenn will be:
* No. 1 - humidity, pollen, air pollution in some areas, and what specifically are insect issues? Insects are pretty much ubiquitous...
* No. 3 - smaller cities will have a limited selection of such apartments
* No. 8 - smaller cities will also have limited employment opportunities

But as long as you're willing to compromise on some things, NE Tenn. offers most of what you're looking for.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Lyons NY
22 posts, read 51,458 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks for another perspective on the "possibility" of a place to live. I know it won't be easy to find but I too checked some of the real estate sites and found a number of places (of course you don't have the details and inspec) but at least some of those are probably fundamentally sound. The stream is the dream part, like most of the population would like, but a dream doesn't hurt as long as it's not ALL that matters.

The humidity/pollen/pollution is what I am trying to get a good comparison on. It isn't great here for mom either but I think I will just have to visit. Once I do that in the right season, I'm sure I will have a good feel for how it stacks up against what she is struggling with now, and whether it will be an improvement or at least positive tradeoff.

The low income senior apts will be the challenge but I am putting together lists from a few sites and will be checking those out too.

The location closer to the NC Triad would be best for my son to find work and may not be best for mom, not sure, that's why I thought more north and west of the Triad...? But then that depends on the small towns and other things...

I really like what I hear, read about JC alot but then it sounds like there isn't much job opportunity for techies nearby. One poster informed me of layoffs and cutbacks recently announced in a couple bigger employers in JC. What about the other two cities of the Tri, Kingston and...? What are the roads like in Eastern TN for commuting?
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Lyons NY
22 posts, read 51,458 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks everyone, I love getting such varied responses but all with valid points. It was good to hear from Ted Bear who knows what it is like up here. Have had warnings about the harsh Asheville region winters and tough humidity but unless you've lived in Central or Western NY, you probably wouldn't know that NY temps and wind can probably make NCs averages feel warm in comparison and while I'm sure there are areas that are more oppressively hot and humid in NC than in NY, I am getting the idea that the all but the worst areas for that will be about the same as what we already have here. The wonderful tradeoff for me is that it is warm most of the year which is much better than cold most of the year if the humidity isn't much different.
Can't wait to visit - any suggestions on a clean inexpensive place to stay for a night (possibly two) when I come in Apr...?

P.S. I'd love to see the pictures folks raved about on your site Kamashiko but I am seriously having trouble figuring out the operation of all the features/tools of this site.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Lyons NY
22 posts, read 51,458 times
Reputation: 23
Patience is a virtue...sorry to folks who see me repeat info on posts. I keep getting two confused and think I have switched over, my eyesight can give a problem sometimes. Is there a tutorial for this site?
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:10 AM
 
7,039 posts, read 8,247,596 times
Reputation: 18862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadow1958 View Post
... while I'm sure there are areas that are more oppressively hot and humid in NC than in NY, I am getting the idea that the all but the worst areas for that will be about the same as what we already have here. The wonderful tradeoff for me is that it is warm most of the year which is much better than cold most of the year if the humidity isn't much different.
Can't wait to visit - any suggestions on a clean inexpensive place to stay for a night (possibly two) when I come in Apr...?

P.S. I'd love to see the pictures folks raved about on your site Kamashiko but I am seriously having trouble figuring out the operation of all the features/tools of this site.
Not to beat a horse to death, but the difference in climate on the Northwest side of the Mountains (Tennessee) and the Southeast side of the mountains (North Carolina) is HUGE. Asheville, not so much. But over towards the Triad it is VERY hot and VERY humid. Oppressive. In my opinion you would not like it at all. Turn the A/C on in April/May and turn it off in September/October.


Stay at the Hampton Inn in Johnson City for a decent hotel at a decent price. Use your military/VA/AAA/AARP card to get a good discount.

Click on the pictures link at the beginning of these Tri Cities threads to get a very well documented and lovely pictogram of the area.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,685 posts, read 15,236,644 times
Reputation: 3197
The Red Roof Inn in Johnson City is very inexpensive and remodeled 1-2 years ago. A very nice, cheap hotel centrally located in JC.
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