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Old 10-07-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
13 posts, read 25,103 times
Reputation: 11

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We are a retired couple wanting to relocate to the Johnson City area in the next couple of months. But we live in California, so we need some advice about where to look. First of all, are there some areas (zipcodes?) that are desirable (including quiet, clean and safe)? Areas to stay away from? Walking distance to East Tennessee State University would be terrific (assuming that's a nice area?)

We are hoping to start by renting for $1000/month (or less if possible), either a nice house or a first-story apartment. Ideally it would include a fairly large living room, dining room (we have a big dining room table), and 2 bedrooms. Air conditioning. Also ideally ample storage that doesn't require stair-climbing (like a large garage or storage unit).

Any ideas about a nice area with houses/apartments like that would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 821,004 times
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The Tree Streets neighborhood will put you across the street from ETSU and right next to downtown. It's really the perfect location as far as walkability is concerned. Google "Tree Streets Johnson City" for a wealth of information. The neighborhood was primarily built in the 1920's-1940's so the housing stock is old. Some are beautifully restored and maintained, others not so much but it is an attractive area overall.

The population is probably the most diverse (and liberal) in the entire Tri-Cities with college students/professors, retirees, young families, same-sex households, etc. with everyone coexisting pretty amicably.

Whether or not it's a "nice" area is very subjective. There's nowhere else I would want to live in the Tri-Cities but others might think it is run-down or unsafe. It's all about your personal preferences. The great thing about Johnson City is there is a neighborhood and housing type to please just about anyone.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
13 posts, read 25,103 times
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Thanks so much for the quick reply! I'm very grateful. It's really helpful. It's very difficult to relocate to a place so far away.
We are planning to visit in late October to find a place to rent until we get familiar with the area and have time to look around for a place to buy. Obviously it would help if we could find a good/honest real estate agent or property manager. We are also considering finding a place on a site like Zillow so we don't have to physically have to travel and hunt around. But I don't know if that's a good idea to rent a place sight-unseen.
Besides the Tree Streets area I've also seen Mountain Home and Watauga/Unaka Avenues/the Gump mentioned as good areas. I'd love your opinions/comments on those areas.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
185 posts, read 236,291 times
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Are you looking to rent in those areas or possibly purchase? What size home or apartment?

I will tell you, both from personal experience and comments from others, it is REALLY difficult finding a rental while not living close. We ended up buying first, which isn't something I typically recommend, but it worked out for us. Few rentals seem to be advertised on Zillow or even with property managers, but maybe that was just us looking for a fairly large house.

Also, keep in mind that rentals in Tree Streets or other neighborhoods near ETSU are going to be geared toward college students most often. Might not be a problem for you, but rentals further from campus will have a more traditional mix of residents.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 821,004 times
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Quote:
Besides the Tree Streets area I've also seen Mountain Home and Watauga/Unaka Avenues/the Gump mentioned as good areas.
Mountain Home is not quite as "gentrified" as the other older neighborhoods in the city although there are some nicer areas along Highland Ave. and Lamont St. where some investment has been made in the housing stock. The northern part of the neighborhood (Hamilton St. and Wilson Ave.) is still on the rough side although not really dangerous. I keep thinking this will be the next "it" neighborhood after the Tree Streets but it hasn't hit that point yet.

Watauga, Unake, and Holston Ave.'s west of I-26 (West Davis Park) is a nice and often overlooked neighborhood. Homes and lots similar to the Tree Streets. Good proximity to downtown but not so much ETSU.

The Gump Addition was the first real planned subdivision in JC and mostly consists of large, stately homes on very large lots. Has a very "old money" feel. It's not a very walkable neighborhood, though, and is cut off from downtown by the interstate and some industry. Also immediately borders probably the worst parts of the city (E. Myrtle, E. Fairview, area around the JC Country Club).

If you would like some extensive readings on some of these neighborhoods, check out the links below.

http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf Tree Streets
http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf Mountain Home
http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf West Davis Park
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
13 posts, read 25,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenladybug817 View Post
Are you looking to rent in those areas or possibly purchase? What size home or apartment?

I will tell you, both from personal experience and comments from others, it is REALLY difficult finding a rental while not living close. We ended up buying first, which isn't something I typically recommend, but it worked out for us. Few rentals seem to be advertised on Zillow or even with property managers, but maybe that was just us looking for a fairly large house.

Also, keep in mind that rentals in Tree Streets or other neighborhoods near ETSU are going to be geared toward college students most often. Might not be a problem for you, but rentals further from campus will have a more traditional mix of residents.
Thanks very much for your response. We appreciate it!
We are planning to rent for a year or so until we can get familiar with the city and find a house to buy.
Size would be about 1000-1200 square feet living space and a large enclosed garage for storage and parking a car. At least two bedrooms, and fairly large living room and dining room. 1 and 1/2 baths would be fine. For about $1000 a month (less is better of course).
Yes, I was not comfortable with renting sight-unseen. We're coming to Johnson City about October 25 for about a week to look for a place to rent and sign a lease. Hopefully that's enough time(??) We plan to move our household goods from California on November 30 and fly back to JC, wait for the van, and move in in early December.
Does all of this sound doable?
Actually the college area would probably be OK. We may be in our 60s, but we're still young at heart. Being near the diversity and cultural events of a university sounds stimulating.
Thanks again. We are grateful for any advice you can give us.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
13 posts, read 25,103 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
Mountain Home is not quite as "gentrified" as the other older neighborhoods in the city although there are some nicer areas along Highland Ave. and Lamont St. where some investment has been made in the housing stock. The northern part of the neighborhood (Hamilton St. and Wilson Ave.) is still on the rough side although not really dangerous. I keep thinking this will be the next "it" neighborhood after the Tree Streets but it hasn't hit that point yet.

Watauga, Unake, and Holston Ave.'s west of I-26 (West Davis Park) is a nice and often overlooked neighborhood. Homes and lots similar to the Tree Streets. Good proximity to downtown but not so much ETSU.

The Gump Addition was the first real planned subdivision in JC and mostly consists of large, stately homes on very large lots. Has a very "old money" feel. It's not a very walkable neighborhood, though, and is cut off from downtown by the interstate and some industry. Also immediately borders probably the worst parts of the city (E. Myrtle, E. Fairview, area around the JC Country Club).

If you would like some extensive readings on some of these neighborhoods, check out the links below.

http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf Tree Streets
http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf Mountain Home
http://www.johnsoncitytn.org/uploads...ood%20Plan.pdf West Davis Park
Thank God for your help! That's a lot of great information. It's really scarey trying to start to investigate possible areas to live if you are totally unfamiliar with the city.
Actually Tree Streets sounds like a cool neighborhood. And if Watauga is similiar, but further from campus, that might be even better for older folks like us. Those parts of Mountain Home sound good, too.
We are planning to visit for about a week in late October. Hopefully we can find a fairly large rental house or apartment where we can live until we can buy. We've done some searching on Zillow, but hopefully a real estate agent or property manager can show us some places we'd like. We were going to call some agents before we come and let them know what and where we're looking for. Your information will be invaluable. We would be "in the dark" without your help.
Thanks again!!
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,950,117 times
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Just to make sure there's no confusion...

I believe "Watauga" as Rangerred referred to is West Watauga Ave. After you pass under I-26 West Watauga Ave turns into East Watauga Ave. East Watauga Ave passes close to some industrial areas. It also has some of the least desirable housing in Johnson City. In summary West Watauga = good; East Watauga= bad.

There is also the Town of Watauga, which is a nice enough town, but puts you 30 minutes from the ETSU area.
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Old 10-09-2015, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
13 posts, read 25,103 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the clarification. Is West Watauga the same as West Davis Park?
A realtor also recommended looking online for places in Mountain Home, Gray, Jonesbourgh, Colonial Heights, Elizabeton, and Hampton.
As far as apartment rentals we heard The Haven was good.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,950,117 times
Reputation: 906
Is West Watauga the same as West Davis Park? Yes

Gray, Colonial Heights - These are nice suburban areas between Kingsport & JC - 20 minute drive to ETSU

Jonesbourgh, Elizabethton - These are nice towns on each side of JC - 15 to 20 minute drive to ETSU

Hampton - Tiny town - a 30 minute mountain drive to ETSU

Last edited by Beretta; 10-10-2015 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: Corrected the spelling of Elizabethton
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