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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 01-09-2022, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
115 posts, read 319,621 times
Reputation: 181

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Good afternoon. Thanks for any advice and replies. Been on here for the last week reading so much good advice on the region, thought I'd ask some specifics.


How's the work situation for physical labor type work? Or would another area of TN that isn't the giant area of Nashville be more recommended? I do see a lot of job openings on Indeed but I thought I'd get a local perspective. Hubby now works as a loader for a landscape supply company and loves working partly outdoors and with his hands. 10 yrs of managerial IT security work, and he doesn't miss the office life one bit. But only 1 year on labor he is relatively unskilled in the sector, and wants to start learning more of a trade, a job that has a good future in an area that the work will be stable. He's open to ideas like manufacturing and floors/tiles, or electric. He just knows roofing (heights really), and trucking aren't for him.



Why is he leaving? We are in New England so his job has a seasonal 2 month layoff. But he just got an email stating unless he gets a poke, or weekly testing that he has to pay for, he cannot come back. Which he wont, so, we have always wanted to move down south so why not now as he is between jobs?


We would be moving with a toddler. And looking for a 2 bedroom to rent for under $1000 if that's possible. And definitely not in the center of town, but somewhere we can still receive Tmobile service. We are christian and vote rep if that helps.


Our goals: Ideally buying an acre during the year, and saving a bit more to get a loan for a manufactured home (or even better find a bit of a fixer upper for under 160k, but with this market we aren't sure that exist). That's the idea anyways. Owning chickens and rabbits and growing some food are also a priority when we eventually buy.


From everything we have read the Johnson City metro seems like all of this is very doable, but if not, would someone clarify? Any thoughts would be welcomed. Thank you. He is likely driving down there in 2 weeks to check it out for himself. He is thinking of just sending his resume and a little letter to a few companies in town that seem nice to see if anyone is looking to hire and ideally a job interview waiting. We are also checking out Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, and Cookeville. But Johnson City area is our fav on the list.
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:25 AM
 
8,079 posts, read 10,094,029 times
Reputation: 22675
"Laborer" jobs are a dime a dozen. Pay $15 bucks an hour. If you know which end of a hammer to use and can show up for work, you'll be way ahead of many (most?). Contact any builder or landscaper and they'll likely hire you on the spot. Double bonus if you can stay sober and keep at it for a few months.
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Old 01-10-2022, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
115 posts, read 319,621 times
Reputation: 181
This is actually super encouraging to hear. You're getting us more pumped. $15 is actually what we assumed he would make. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2022, 02:17 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,105 posts, read 31,373,524 times
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You can probably find a 2BR for under $1,000 in a rural area, but the rental market is extremely tight right now. You won't find an acre at $160k in the Johnson City city limits. It would be tough to do in Washington County, unless very rural - you may be forced to look into Carter or Unicoi counties.

While the cost of living here is less than most of New England, real estate prices, especially in and near Johnson City, are rising rapidly. $15/hr is not good money. You'll be struggling at that level of income.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Memphis
506 posts, read 1,477,449 times
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The labor market in the Tri Cities is not particularly steady. $15/hour is possible although not a given. And between spending ~$1,000/mo. on rent, electricity, gas, groceries, phone bills and a toddler, buying a house with that acreage will not be possible without significant savings.

He will find more work (and higher paying jobs) in Chattanooga & Murfreesboro, but slightly higher cost of living.

Johnson City is a great area that is enjoyable. It is just difficult to make a living there with children outside of a handful of occupations because the pay is super low and the cost of living is average or even higher than most of the South.
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Old 01-12-2022, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
115 posts, read 319,621 times
Reputation: 181
Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the advice! Right now hubby is at $19 and rent is $1450 (under market value) with high state income taxes and all sorts of other lovely Massachusetts fees that don't normally exist down south... so we'd actually be better off with those numbers. I'm from Florida and I still get sticker shock up here.
But I still understand what you're saying, $15 not ideal financially there. Good to know about it not being super steady trending. Chattanooga is nice, one of my favorite cities in fact. I've spent some time there. It's def on the list too. Really giving it all a log of thought, consideration, and prayers. Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:23 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,105 posts, read 31,373,524 times
Reputation: 47613
Quote:
Originally Posted by annagurl333 View Post
Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the advice! Right now hubby is at $19 and rent is $1450 (under market value) with high state income taxes and all sorts of other lovely Massachusetts fees that don't normally exist down south... so we'd actually be better off with those numbers. I'm from Florida and I still get sticker shock up here.
But I still understand what you're saying, $15 not ideal financially there. Good to know about it not being super steady trending. Chattanooga is nice, one of my favorite cities in fact. I've spent some time there. It's def on the list too. Really giving it all a log of thought, consideration, and prayers. Thanks everyone.
The rent, especially for a house in and around Johnson City, will not be much less than what you are paying now. His wages are likely to go down unless he returns to IT. This area is not the bargain it was five, much less ten, years ago.

The $15/hr is optimistic without any specific skills. Like AppalachianAngler mentioned, the biggest impediment to this area is a historically depressed and low-paying labor market.
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