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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,409 posts, read 21,315,039 times
Reputation: 34851

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poety View Post
Hi Everyone,

Well I am back from my visit. I really enjoyed the area, the weather, the beauty, but I'm seriously struggling with the home prices in the area. For someone with a farm now who makes a decent living in my profession, I was shocked that the homes I'd be most interested in are in the 300-400 range!!! IS this new for eastern TN? I am hoping to relocate to pay off some debt, get some cheaper land, etc - perhaps middle TN would be a better bet for me? I'm just surprised that for the same money I make up here in the NE I get essentially the same product at a slightly but not much lower price. Aside of weather, Im not sure I see a big reason for the move. Is this primarily in the Bristol/JC tri cities area or is this pretty much going on across TN? People were great, I'm in a non-tax state so I was a bit sticker shocked by sales tax - 9% is a bit high. What have been others thoughts after visiting?
Taxes overall are going to be a lot lower. 9% sales tax is high, but for large purchases, just go over to VA. I always shopped at the VA Sams or Sears for big purchases, tires, mowers, large grocery loads, etc. Remember you have no income tax and no personal property tax on vehicles, most boats, etc.

I live in IN now after fleeing from the Tri-Cities because of no job opportunities. I make more than double what I made in Kingsport in INDIANA, not a high cost place. The area is just dirt poor overall.

Johnson City is the city undergoing the property boom. Much of the housing stock in the area is older and not what people from prosperous areas, like the northeast, would want. JC is the most desirable of the Tri-Cities, though I think parts of Bristol, VA, especially around Blackbird Bakery to the interstate, have retained a good deal of class. Kingsport is more affordable, but is an also ran and has a terrible smell from the factories. Crime is just unbelievably high in Kingsport, and high overall in the Tri-Cities.

I have an uncle who made nearly $400k last year buy a $365k house last year that needed some updates, but was well over 6,000 sq ft with a monstrous yard, huge in-ground pool, and amenities out the wazoo. He had a small army fix the place up, and it is palatial from when I went over there Memorial Day. If you refuse to go below houses at that level, then you need to move to somewhere with better housing stock that is more prosperous.

Yes, newer construction here is expensive, because there is a demand for it by the people moving in from elsewhere and there isn't much of it. JC has the most of it.

Property, especially in JC, has become unaffordable on the pitiful local wages. As a mostly lifelong resident, the area is not on a sustainable track. It relies on the money of mostly the Silent Generation and when these people die off, the area is going to be struggling for answers. Under very few circumstances could I recommend a move there.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:42 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,385 posts, read 15,964,700 times
Reputation: 29853
Have you factored in property tax rates, income tax difference, etc? I don't think TN land has ever been dirt cheap, not in the way a lot of people from out of the area expect it to be, at least not anywhere near cities. Out in the boonies, maybe...and the further west you go the cheaper it gets, to a certain extent, as in more towards the MS River.
Not that you're looking to buy atm, but just a few of the listings out there. Is this the sort of thing you are looking for?
13381 Highway 67 W., Butler, Tennessee 37640
17936 Horton Highway, Fall Branch, Tennessee 37656
7460 Kyles Ford Rd, Kyles Ford, Tennessee 37765
514 Treadway Trail, Telford, Tennessee 37690
1580 Horse Creek Park Road, Chuckey, Tennessee 37641
227 Winegar Road, Rogersville, Tennessee 37857

ETA: newer construction? I think that's an oxymoron when referring to farm property, at least in most of the various areas I've lived in

Last edited by DubbleT; 06-17-2014 at 09:54 PM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,409 posts, read 21,315,039 times
Reputation: 34851
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Have you factored in property tax rates, income tax difference, etc? I don't think TN land has ever been dirt cheap, not in the way a lot of people from out of the area expect it to be, at least not anywhere near cities. Out in the boonies, maybe...and the further west you go the cheaper it gets, to a certain extent, as in more towards the MS River.
Not that you're looking to buy atm, but just a few of the listings out there. Is this the sort of thing you are looking for?
13381 Highway 67 W., Butler, Tennessee 37640
17936 Horton Highway, Fall Branch, Tennessee 37656
7460 Kyles Ford Rd, Kyles Ford, Tennessee 37765
514 Treadway Trail, Telford, Tennessee 37690
1580 Horse Creek Park Road, Chuckey, Tennessee 37641
227 Winegar Road, Rogersville, Tennessee 37857

ETA: newer construction? I think that's an oxymoron when referring to farm property, at least in most of the various areas I've lived in
But if the area isn't dirt cheap, what else does it have to offer? There is little high culture, little in the way of city amenities, little in the way of jobs, and now property prices in the decent parts of the area are far out of touch with regional incomes.

It sounds unsustainable, and even though the taxes are low, the COL/taxes don't even come close to making up the huge wage differential that exists between the Tri-Cities and normal America.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 06-17-2014 at 11:29 PM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:21 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,385 posts, read 15,964,700 times
Reputation: 29853
And I've said it countless times in reply to you. We do not all want the same things from life that you apparently place a high value on. For instance you are muuuch more focused on career, status and money than I ever was. If someone can find what matters to them here does it matter that you don't think it's all that?
I've had all the 'city amenities' I ever want. If I decide I want more I'll drive to Knoxville or Asheville to get it, something that apparently you have a hard time understanding, in that sometimes other people are just fine with that kind of thing.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,409 posts, read 21,315,039 times
Reputation: 34851
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
And I've said it countless times in reply to you. We do not all want the same things from life that you apparently place a high value on. For instance you are muuuch more focused on career, status and money than I ever was. If someone can find what matters to them here does it matter that you don't think it's all that?
I've had all the 'city amenities' I ever want. If I decide I want more I'll drive to Knoxville or Asheville to get it, something that apparently you have a hard time understanding, in that sometimes other people are just fine with that kind of thing.
That's also a sure fire way to get yourself into financial trouble.

As long as these people bring enough money to support themselves, who cares? But I do have a problem with transplants taking what few jobs there are for skilled natives. You're not a native and brought your money from elsewhere, so you never had to experience the full brunt of the pathetic labor market here.

The area is in a state of decline for the foreseeable future and people deserve to know this. I am following a completely rational path and am not abnormal because I want to better myself beyond what I grew up in in the Tri-Cities.

If the OP wants a more objective analysis, just go to http://www.donfenley.com

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 06-17-2014 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:41 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,385 posts, read 15,964,700 times
Reputation: 29853
Nope, not a tri-cities native. Have lived in TN 25+ years. Didn't 'bring money', didn't take a skilled job, took a transfer in that *gasp* retail market you despise. Make under $40K, bought a nice small house, in a nice neighborhood, live modestly, take advantage of the many free or low cost activities available here. Spend a lot of time outside year round, something not possible in a LOT of other places, and my main draw here. I ENJOY this area, it is possible.
My daughter is here and roughly your age, so I do get that this is not the best place for a career, it's also not the worst. It doesn't have many of the types of activities she enjoys, she's city raised, so I do get it! But again, not every one is looking for the same things.
If OP can find what they want here, fine, if not I'm sure they'll move on in their search, but really why all the unnecessary junk thrown in. New construction? High culture? Skilled jobs? Is any of that mentioned as important to them?

(Not being 'well off' is not the same as being in financial trouble, where do you come up with this stuff???)
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:49 AM
 
Location: SW Pennsylvania
838 posts, read 1,337,289 times
Reputation: 779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Taxes overall are going to be a lot lower. 9% sales tax is high, but for large purchases, just go over to VA. I always shopped at the VA Sams or Sears for big purchases, tires, mowers, large grocery loads, etc. Remember you have no income tax and no personal property tax on vehicles, most boats, etc.

I live in IN now after fleeing from the Tri-Cities because of no job opportunities. I make more than double what I made in Kingsport in INDIANA, not a high cost place. The area is just dirt poor overall.

Johnson City is the city undergoing the property boom. Much of the housing stock in the area is older and not what people from prosperous areas, like the northeast, would want. JC is the most desirable of the Tri-Cities, though I think parts of Bristol, VA, especially around Blackbird Bakery to the interstate, have retained a good deal of class. Kingsport is more affordable, but is an also ran and has a terrible smell from the factories. Crime is just unbelievably high in Kingsport, and high overall in the Tri-Cities.

I have an uncle who made nearly $400k last year buy a $365k house last year that needed some updates, but was well over 6,000 sq ft with a monstrous yard, huge in-ground pool, and amenities out the wazoo. He had a small army fix the place up, and it is palatial from when I went over there Memorial Day. If you refuse to go below houses at that level, then you need to move to somewhere with better housing stock that is more prosperous.

Yes, newer construction here is expensive, because there is a demand for it by the people moving in from elsewhere and there isn't much of it. JC has the most of it.

Property, especially in JC, has become unaffordable on the pitiful local wages. As a mostly lifelong resident, the area is not on a sustainable track. It relies on the money of mostly the Silent Generation and when these people die off, the area is going to be struggling for answers. Under very few circumstances could I recommend a move there.
I've been interested in this region for a while and like visiting. I did some research on the crime rate using City-Data as my source. Kingsport was the only city in the Tri-State with what I consider somewhat high. JC and Bristol, TN were very slightly above the national average and Bristol, VA was below the national average. Indianapolis has a rate twice above the national average.

I was raised in a sort of Tri-Cities area as well: Clarksburg-Fairmont-Morgantown, WV with a somewhat similar set up. Morgantown is the college town, and Clarksburg and Fairmont are the two blue collar towns.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,243 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Nope, not a tri-cities native. Have lived in TN 25+ years. Didn't 'bring money', didn't take a skilled job, took a transfer in that *gasp* retail market you despise. Make under $40K, bought a nice small house, in a nice neighborhood, live modestly, take advantage of the many free or low cost activities available here. Spend a lot of time outside year round, something not possible in a LOT of other places, and my main draw here. I ENJOY this area, it is possible.
My daughter is here and roughly your age, so I do get that this is not the best place for a career, it's also not the worst. It doesn't have many of the types of activities she enjoys, she's city raised, so I do get it! But again, not every one is looking for the same things.
If OP can find what they want here, fine, if not I'm sure they'll move on in their search, but really why all the unnecessary junk thrown in. New construction? High culture? Skilled jobs? Is any of that mentioned as important to them?

(Not being 'well off' is not the same as being in financial trouble, where do you come up with this stuff???)
Excellent post. Any area is what you make of it. And if you like the outdoors and not "big city" things, the tri-cities seems like a good area to check out.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,409 posts, read 21,315,039 times
Reputation: 34851
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallydude02 View Post
I've been interested in this region for a while and like visiting. I did some research on the crime rate using City-Data as my source. Kingsport was the only city in the Tri-State with what I consider somewhat high. JC and Bristol, TN were very slightly above the national average and Bristol, VA was below the national average. Indianapolis has a rate twice above the national average.

I was raised in a sort of Tri-Cities area as well: Clarksburg-Fairmont-Morgantown, WV with a somewhat similar set up. Morgantown is the college town, and Clarksburg and Fairmont are the two blue collar towns.
There is a similar site to city-data that ranks cities with a number as a measurement of overall crime rates, property and violent. We can't link it directly, but if you like this stuff, you'll know what I'm referring to.

Bristol, VA scores a 15/100, with lower scores being worse, and that Bristol, VA is safer than only 15% of other cities in the country. 85% are less safe than Bristol. With that said, here's a description.

The crime rate in Bristol is considerably higher than the national average across all communities in America from the largest to the smallest, although at 40 crimes per one thousand residents, it is not among the communities with the very highest crime rate. The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Bristol is 1 in 25. Based on FBI crime data, Bristol is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to Virginia, Bristol has a crime rate that is higher than 92% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes.

Importantly, when you compare Bristol to other communities of similar population, then Bristol crime rate (violent and property crimes combined) is quite a bit higher than average. Regardless of how Bristol does relative to all communities in America of all sizes, when NeighborhoodScout compared it to communities of similar population size, its crime rate per thousand residents stands out as higher than most.


Johnson City scores an 8, Kingsport scores a 3, and Bristol TN 11. I don't fully agree with these numbers, as they seem to just lump in every recorded crime and divide by the number of people and arrive at a raw number. I'd rather be in a place where people are being arrested for stealing bicycles than beheading, but in any event, the Tri-Cities is a high crime area. I looked at a couple more area cities (Church Hill, Greeneville, Jonesborough, Abingdon, Rogersville) and while they do better than the three main cities, some just bat around the national averages, to significantly below. You will have a difficult time finding a community in east TN that has lower crime than the national average.

People deserve accurate information coming in. No one is expecting high rises and Bloomington's for shopping, but want to do something as basic as going to Costco? You're going to Knoxville. Any department store other than a few relatively small Belks and JC Penney? Knoxville or Asheville. Professional sports? Charlotte is your closest option. Whole Foods? Greenville, SC. Macy's? Greenville. Major division 1 college sports? Knoxville or Blacksburg. Want to go to a big name concert? Probably going to Knoxville or Charlotte. Obviously the area is not going to have professional sports, but there are a lot of shopping options that just aren't available. I like Clarks shoes, but it's rare to even find them in the Tri-Cities. That certainly isn't a high end item, but it's hardly available. Things like that, while fine by some, are major nuisances to others, especially for those from more populated areas who may expect more.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
185 posts, read 236,797 times
Reputation: 177
"People deserve accurate information coming in."

This...where is anyone spreading inaccurate information about the Tri-Cities? I don't see it. I see many of us satisfied with what we have here and love it. How is that inaccurate? I don't need or want many of the things you list, however, I don't try to make it out like the area has much more. It has what I need and honestly what a lot of people need and THAT is what matters.
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