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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 12-23-2021, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Southern California
22 posts, read 44,371 times
Reputation: 29

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I feel better about what I am hearing about the Johnson City and TRI-Cities areas in regards to Crime, Healthcare, and Humidity. Is Elizabethton a good place to live (as far as crime & healthcare)? Or are there any other small towns/cities in the area with populations over 5000 people ? My wife is still nervous about tornadoes, but my understanding is that tornadoes in the upper north-east Tennessee areas are rare, and they are NOT that bad when they do happen. Or am I wrong?

Last edited by JMT; 12-24-2021 at 07:14 AM.. Reason: Please keep this thread about just Tennessee.

 
Old 12-23-2021, 01:05 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,057 posts, read 31,271,982 times
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The tornado threat is really only credible for middle and west TN. We’ll occasionally get a tornado warning or a small tornado, but they really destroy buildings or cause the destruction you see farther west in TN, much less the Deep South or “tornado alley.”

We have very little in the way of weather/climate dangers here. Significant drought is rare. We’ll occasionally get 6+” of snow, but the roads are generally drivable the next day. Tornadoes are rare. Hurricane/tropical storm rain hits the NC side of the mountains worse, and really breaks up coming into TN. Likewise, tornadoes and severe storms sort of break up coming in from the west.

Elizabethton is a small city that is basically a suburb of Johnson City now. It has the essentials, but you’ll be going to Johnson City for anything beyond basic groceries, Walmart, and a handful of decent restaurants.
 
Old 12-23-2021, 03:45 PM
 
143 posts, read 220,318 times
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Serious Conversation is right about Elizabethton. It does have the basics and I can get to Johnson City in about 20 minutes. In case of a medical emergency, the local hospital can airlift to the Johnson City Medical Center.

Elizabethton is more conservative than Johnson City. There are lots of churches and a very strong believe in 2nd Amendment rights. But the people are friendly and helpful.
 
Old 12-24-2021, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Southern California
22 posts, read 44,371 times
Reputation: 29
We're all for the 2nd Amendment as well (another reason we have to get out of California). Are there any areas of Elizabethton and also Johnson City that we should stay away from? (usually because of crime/drugs). After living in southern CA for over 50 years i could tell you what areas to avoid (areas you would avoid if you didn't want to get robbed, have your car stolen, your home or car broken in-to, and/or rampant drug use). Not living in Tennessee I/we are dependent on locals to warn us off of bad areas. So please, I/we would appreciate any advice folks here could offer. real estate agents used to be able to tell you or warn you about certain areas, but not now. Hopefully people here can help with this info. **Also, out of all the hospitals in the TRI Cities area, which one(s) are the best. Thanks in advance.
 
Old 12-24-2021, 04:12 PM
 
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Reputation: 261
I would avoid any area that appears particularly 'run down' but as others have said most crime is between people who know each other and that can occur in the best neighborhoods. I do not know of any real estate agent around here who wouldn't give you the heads up about crime in any neighborhood.

I've never had it confirmed but I'm guessing the best hospital is Johnson City Medical Center. It has one of the six Level I trauma centers located in the state of Tennessee.
 
Old 01-05-2022, 05:28 PM
 
605 posts, read 1,258,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Kingsport has a crime rate roughly twice the national average, by C-D's own records. Johnson City and Bristol hover around the national averages. Most of the violent crime in this area is drug and/or domestic related, and generally contained among people who are already known to each other. Some property crime is an issue, particularly in Kingsport, downtown JC, and some rural areas, but basic protections like keeping things out of sight and doors locked are enough to deter it.

I've been a property owner on the south side of JC for about a year and now in Bristol for going on three years at two different condo complexes. I've had packages left for a couple of days on my front porch in Bristol with no issues.

Prices are up all throughout this area - to the greatest extent in Johnson City. Keep in mind that Johnson City has the area's regional state university, VA hospital, HQ of the regional hospital system, and is the region's shopping/dining/nightlife hub. It is simply the best place to live in the area, and also has proximity to Asheville, NC and mountain recreation is Carter/Unicoi counties, and western NC.

Bristol and Kingsport might be at somewhat of a discount compared to metro Knoxville. Johnson City is likely to be priced somewhere between Farragut and maybe Maryville. Bristol is smaller, but coming on strong with The Pinnacle (newest and probably best area retail development), The Falls (slow start on the Bristol, VA side, but improving), and a highly rejuvenated downtown area. There's also a secondary economy in Bristol geared around NASCAR, country music, and tourism in southwest VA.

I live in Bristol, and generally like it. With that said, I bought in 2019 right before COVID, and my commute (then) was to Kingsport. Kingsport was a no-go, and the commute between JC/KPT on I-26 at rush hour is a bear. Had I known I'd have been working from six months after the purchase, permanently, I'd have just bought in Johnson City. FWIW, I bought for $96k in Bristol in 2019, and comps in the condo complex are now $130k-$140k.

The healthcare thing is a sore spot for me. The basics are fine. I've seen numerous friends and associates referred out of area for anything even semi-sophisticated. If I had a significant health condition, there's no way I'd live here, if I needed to depend on local healthcare resources. I'm not faulting the staff - but there are major systemic problems in the region's main healthcare system. Send me a message if you want more details.

The job market here, at least for white collar professionals, has been historically depressed and low paying. Pay from CA will be lower, and it might even be lower relative to cost of living. They'd definitely need an offer, and some backup plans, before moving here. I started my career here a decade ago, and had to move to various Midwestern metros for about five years to "skill up" enough to get a good job here. If my current, local job vaporized, I'd be looking for something remote or moving.

It's a decent place to live, but there are a lot of shortcomings. Prices are now becoming extremely out of whack with what most local wage owners can afford, except in rural areas and undesirable places. The airport basically connects you to CLT/ATL, with a handful of flights to other places (Dallas, seasonal FL destinations). We're also an hour or two from "upper middle class" retail like Costco/Whole Foods. Three or more hours away from an NFL city with a serious airport (Charlotte).

It's up to you. The best aspects are the natural beauty, temperate weather, and virtually no likelihood of a weather disaster. The geographic isolation, poor healthcare, and difficulty to get anywhere else can be a challenge.
Private message me if you wish. My son and his wife live in Piney Flats and it is God's Country! The rolling hills and farmland are incredible. He works at the Airport (Tri Cities) and has a quick commute. She works in Elizabethton and also has a quick commute. He's in a new development. Prices are incredibly lower (and taxes, too) than we were paying in New Jersey (south jersey). Private message me and I can show you some beautiful pictures of this area. Crime, I am told, is basically in the rundown area of Johnson City (not the newer part of Johnson City). Also, Kingsport has more crime, too, but then its a larger city than Bristol, Johnson City, and the other I think more rural areas. I think his healthcare is top notch. They did have to drive about 2 hours to Knoxville for a very specialized genetics/gyno. I think their food shopping is better than we have here in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Their Ingles stores I think are comparable to Harris Teeter and almost Wegmans. PM me.
 
Old 01-06-2022, 04:12 AM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,057 posts, read 31,271,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missynancy View Post
Private message me if you wish. My son and his wife live in Piney Flats and it is God's Country! The rolling hills and farmland are incredible. He works at the Airport (Tri Cities) and has a quick commute. She works in Elizabethton and also has a quick commute. He's in a new development. Prices are incredibly lower (and taxes, too) than we were paying in New Jersey (south jersey). Private message me and I can show you some beautiful pictures of this area. Crime, I am told, is basically in the rundown area of Johnson City (not the newer part of Johnson City). Also, Kingsport has more crime, too, but then its a larger city than Bristol, Johnson City, and the other I think more rural areas. I think his healthcare is top notch. They did have to drive about 2 hours to Knoxville for a very specialized genetics/gyno. I think their food shopping is better than we have here in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Their Ingles stores I think are comparable to Harris Teeter and almost Wegmans. PM me.
Piney Flats is basically a residential suburban area outside of Johnson City. You aren't going to see much of the mountains in Piney Flats except from potentially the tops of hills looking southbound. There is a grocery store there, a few restaurants, and some essential services, but anything significant is a drive back to Johnson City.

I'm sure the prices are more reasonable than New Jersey, but they've also rocketed up the last few years. I bought in 9/2019, and my home has appreciated 30%-40% since then. Local salaries, aside from some trades and corporate work at Eastman and the regional hospital system, tend to be depressed.

I'd be OK with having healthcare basics done here, but I can probably name a dozen cases of people I know being referred to Knoxville, or even farther afield like Nashville or Raleigh, NC, for specialized care.

Ingles is not the dominant grocery store in this region. Food City, based out of nearby Abingdon, VA, dominates the grocery market. While Ingles does have some stores in this area, it is based out of western NC. Ingles tends to be more upmarket with more variety than Food City. Johnson City has a Publix, Fresh Market, and Earthfare. Smaller communities tend to have only a Food City. There is nothing like Wegman's in this region.

Kingsport is smaller than Johnson City. It's continuing to lose dining, retail, and nightlife options to Johnson City and even the much smaller Bristol.
 
Old 01-06-2022, 08:16 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
16,066 posts, read 21,134,864 times
Reputation: 43616
Quote:
I'd be OK with having healthcare basics done here, but I can probably name a dozen cases of people I know being referred to Knoxville, or even farther afield like Nashville or Raleigh, NC, for specialized care.
You keep mentioning that but even in living in Memphis we had to go all the way to PA for 'specialized' care for my son. It really depends on the type and level of care someone needs, but most cities are NOT going to be able to provide all things to all people. I don't think it's as much of a downside as it's being portrayed as. If there's no pre-existing condition I think it's a crapshoot to base a decision on where to move on the possibility of needing a particular type of specialist for unknown services at some unknown future date.
 
Old 01-06-2022, 05:11 PM
 
143 posts, read 220,318 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Piney Flats is basically a residential suburban area outside of Johnson City. You aren't going to see much of the mountains in Piney Flats except from potentially the tops of hills looking southbound. There is a grocery store there, a few restaurants, and some essential services, but anything significant is a drive back to Johnson City.
I agree with your assessment of Piney Flats. It has just one chain grocery store (Food City) with no Walmart and Lowes/Home Depot. Never noticed any significant mountain views. But it does have my favorite Mexican restaurant.
 
Old 01-07-2022, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Southern California
22 posts, read 44,371 times
Reputation: 29
You folks have all been VERY HELPFUL!! I know that one or two of you have mentioned that I could PM you for more info if needed, and if anyone else would allow me to PM them with questions, I would greatly appreciate. Just let me know. I love getting all the different opinions on the hw things are out there. Out here in Commiefornia, if you mention that you are thinking of moving/leaving CA to some people (leftist liberals), they will immediately get upset that "we conservatives are abandoning the state" (and YES,, that has been said). They don't want to hear our opinions, they just need us to pay taxes.
To sum it up, my wife told me, when she got back from a recent week-long trip to Eastern Tennessee, that it was like how things were when she and I grew up as kids (YES, a LONG time ago). Thanks you all for your help, info and advice. If anyone has anymore to contribute, please do so as I check this post often.
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