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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:40 PM
 
Location: NE PA
167 posts, read 591,061 times
Reputation: 71

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We live in NE PA and really enjoy it here. Here one has the best of both worlds: a rural area with lots of farms, lakes and woods, deer, turkey and the occasional bear, yet only four miles to a small town that has a supermarket, pharmacy and gas stations Ten miles away a larger town has a hospital, Walmart, Home Depot, movie theater, bowling alley,etc. People are friendly; the closer town has a Halloween parade with kids getting free hotdogs, hot chocolate,treats, etc. It also has a Flag Day parade; yes, most people seem to know one another. About a half hr away is Scranton, a small city of 75,000 and Wilkes Barre, with 45K, is about 45 minutes away. While they have some crime and the occasional traffic tie-up, they're not bad in either category. Between the two cities are several malls, plenty of chains for both shopping and dining, theater, concerts, minor league baseball and hockey, etc. I wouldn't want to live in either, but they're close enough to provide what one would expect from cities their size.
So why move? Winters here are long and brutal. Granted, we're not talking Buffalo or Minnesota here, but typically winter lasts from late Oct/ early Nov to mid April here. I think the annual average for snow is in the 60+ inch range, though we've gotten over 90 some yrs Last week the area got over 20+ inches in one storm. Winds are so heavy we have over 40 wind mills on the mountain range five miles away. Recent temps have been in the teens and 20s, with wind chills in single digits and below 0, even during some days
Retirement is a long ways off but I've begun doing my research, and am looking for to buy a lot for future building in an area that is similar to NE Pa but with milder winters. The tri-cities region seems like a good match but I'm utterly confused as to where I should be focusing my search on. I don't want to be in the 'snowbelt' (else I'd stay here) so that eliminates Mtn City, Shady Valley, etc, which I think are too far away from 'civilization' anyway. Limestone and Telford are supposedly rural and attractive but from what I can tell are mostly farm/pasture land.
So what towns should I focus on? Ideally we're looking for a 1.5+ acre wooded lot, close to a small town (but not in it) with basic conveniences and within a reasonable distance of one of the tri-cities. Greenville, Bluff City, Blountville, Fall Branch, Piney Flats, Gray? We have a trip planned the first week of April, but we need to narrow down the search because it's just too large an area to explore right now.
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Memphis
461 posts, read 1,220,879 times
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I'd say someone in Greene County would be your best bet. It is huge so there is a lot of land. Depending on where you are in the county, you could be 10 to 20 minutes from Greeneville. Johnson City would be 30 to 40 minutes away. Gray & Piney Flats are real small, very close to Johnson City. I would imagine the land there would be more expensive than in Greeneville area.
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:19 PM
 
8 posts, read 18,628 times
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What are the "tri-cities"?
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
5,985 posts, read 3,899,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathyh View Post
What are the "tri-cities"?
The Tri-Cities is one of the country's best kept secrets. It is a metro area in NE Tennessee and SW Virginia with about 400,000 people and is made up of Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport and neighboring towns and counties. People are moving here from all over the country.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
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Default Gray, TN

I think the Gray area is your best bet. Even if property is more costly there, you'd still be better off because of the convenient central location. You'd be within a 30-minute drive of any location in Kingsport, Johnson City or the two Bristols.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:17 PM
 
Location: NE PA
167 posts, read 591,061 times
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I've heard some nice things about Gray. Not having seen it myself, is there any chance it's headed for sprawl, since it's between JC and Kingsport? I've read that both are expanding, and it sounds as if they're 'growing' towards one another (and Gray's in the middle of the two I think, isn't it?)
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:44 PM
 
12,555 posts, read 35,060,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougargm View Post
I've heard some nice things about Gray. Not having seen it myself, is there any chance it's headed for sprawl, since it's between JC and Kingsport? I've read that both are expanding, and it sounds as if they're 'growing' towards one another (and Gray's in the middle of the two I think, isn't it?)
If you'll go back and read a previous post I made earlier today related to population growth, you'll see that the Tri Cities area as a whole isn't growing very fast. In fact, Sullivan County (Kingsport, Bristol, Blountville) has actually lost population since the year 2000 according to the US Census.

It's more of a population SHIFT, and Gray is right in the middle of it all. Last time I was in Gray there were quite a few new housing developments popping up all over the beautiful countryside. I was kind of sad to see so much nice farmland being carved up for some pretty ordinary-looking houses.
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:36 PM
 
Location: NJ no more IM now downhome Johnson City TN
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I know the area your talking abt pretty well. My wife and a bunch of friends went to college at
Baptist Bible colloge in Clark summit. It kind of reminds me of the Johnso City area alot of similarties allthough snow wouldnt be one of them. Jonesboro or Elizabethton might not be a bad place to start. Too many subdivisions for me in the Gray/Boones Creek area , which is part of the reason I left centreal NJ too many people living on top of each other. I am by no means an expert on the area, Ive been comming here for 30+ yrs but I just moved here on Jan. 1st. Next to marring my wife it is prob. one of the best things Ive ever done.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:15 PM
 
Location: NE PA
167 posts, read 591,061 times
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I understand what you mean about central NJ, Downhome. I used to live in Edison, then West Orange (actually northern NJ) and still have friends in the Woodbridge and Middlesex areas and family in southern NJ outside of Philly.
BB college is on the other side of Scranton from us, about 45 minutes west of here. I used to work at Keystone College, which is near there.
From what I've researched, I agree that Elizabethton and Jonesboro are two places we should look at (we're coming down for a few days in early April). We don't want to be right in town, but near a nice small town in a rural area. Seems that almost any locale in the area isn't too far from one of the tri-cities, so I guess that's like our being near Scranton. I'm wondering what other towns we should look near: Fall Branch or anywhere else? I know from photos that Roan Mountain looks a lot like our area, but it's also higher elevation and the snow is a main reason we're looking for a warmer climate
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Memphis
461 posts, read 1,220,879 times
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Fall Branch is in Washington County (which has Johnson City & Jonesborough) and is definitely worth checking out. However, Johnson City is at least 20 minutes away from Fall Branch. I think I'd rather be in Carter County (Elizabethton). Elizabethton is very close to Johnson City (10-15 minutes).

If you come you could go to Elizabethton, Jonesborough, & Greeneville very easily.
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