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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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My wife and I are tired of the "rat race" in the Baltimore/DC metro area. I am an IT Professional (Telecom Manager) and the wife works as a small grocery manager. When the house sells I'll pretty much be able to pay cash for a house in that area (at least that's what we are hoping). We are looking for a simple 3 bedroom rancher on about an acre of land. Our two oldest are in the military, the youngest is 16 and will be moving on to college shortly, so local schooling is only an issue for a short while. I think most of the houses we priced seem to be in the 110k to 150k range.

Is that area a good area for a two 40 yr olds with 1 teenage son? I spend what spare time I can either hunting (all 3 seasons) or bass fishing. I have a bass boat, are boat registration fees high in TN? Overall is TN a sportsmen friendly state? My wife is more into decorating the yard and arts and crafts, so that probably won't be an issue for her.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 19,578,591 times
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To me, sounds like you would LOVE Washington County in general, not just Johnson City. Yes, there are several waterways with public boat ramps and places to hunt. Your price range seems right on too. I have a 16 year old son, LOVE the schools here. Your right, wife will be kept busy around here with all the arts and craft type fairs.
I am not personally up on the boat fees.....anyone else?
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:53 AM
 
2,109 posts, read 5,295,378 times
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The area around Johnson City is pretty nice. There is part of the Appalachian trail that is practically in the back yard of town. That said... just be aware that Johnson City, Greenville, and the other surrounding areas are pretty far outside of any major city like Knoxville. Johnson City is what I would call in a transitional period, meaning if you're from washington/Baltimore, Johnson City might feel a bit rough under the collar and perhaps even a bit of a shocking change. I'm just saying this because too often, I think people from out of state tie romantic imagery to an area they're not familiar with. So you might want to look beyond cheap prices and actually spend some time there first before you decide that it is the place for you.

My feelings about the area is that it is within a few hours drive of Asheville, NC, which has gotten too expensive. Johnson City seems ripe for being the next city to be transformed/ gentrified. Just know that it isn't there.... yet. Not to sound negative, but you need to do some careful investigation beyond just the price of houses.
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,774 posts, read 35,564,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbenson4 View Post
My wife and I are tired of the "rat race" in the Baltimore/DC metro area. I am an IT Professional (Telecom Manager) and the wife works as a small grocery manager. When the house sells I'll pretty much be able to pay cash for a house in that area (at least that's what we are hoping). We are looking for a simple 3 bedroom rancher on about an acre of land. Our two oldest are in the military, the youngest is 16 and will be moving on to college shortly, so local schooling is only an issue for a short while. I think most of the houses we priced seem to be in the 110k to 150k range.

Is that area a good area for a two 40 yr olds with 1 teenage son? I spend what spare time I can either hunting (all 3 seasons) or bass fishing. I have a bass boat, are boat registration fees high in TN? Overall is TN a sportsmen friendly state? My wife is more into decorating the yard and arts and crafts, so that probably won't be an issue for her.
This is not a Johnson City answer but--

If you go on the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce website and click on the link for Workforce Study, you will find job information (present and future) about 9 surrounding counties (to Knox) and will see that your occupation is highly desirable for that area. You may want to test the job market before settling on where you want to move in ET, that's why I'm telling you this. You don't have to live in the city, either. If you read the study, I believe it also addresses commute time.

I bass fish. In fact, I was in Bass Pro Shops in Arundel Mills two weekends ago picking up some tackle for my move. (Think about that from the sales tax angle. P.S. There is a Bass Pro Shop in Kodak - where I-81 and I-40 meet) I will be living in Oak Ridge which is west of Knoxville. I can tell you I am less than 59 minutes from 4 state parks with lakes (Norris Dam, Cove Lake, Big Ridge and Frozen Head) to fish in, there is a lake right in my town (Melton Hill Lake) and a public fishing pier as well as a boat launch. I'm less knowledgable about hunting but here is the state website:

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/huntmain.html (broken link)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can have a quick commute to work in Knoxville and not have to live in the city, if that's where you find work, and yet you can be close to the fishing and you like. I think that you won't find it difficult to be close to hunting and a lot of fishing just about anywhere in ET, and you can live anywhere from rural to city and still be close to hunting and fishing, so the key for you may be where you can find work.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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you're moving to a great area for boating and hunting. But are you looking for a comparable job to what you had in Baltimore? I am not sure there are many IT jobs in the tri-cities area, if they are they will most probably not match your salary requirements. Knoxville as the other poster said might be a better bet job-wise.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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Those were all awesome comments, thank you!

As for why I picked JC, I just started there because a friend of mine drove aournd there and Bristol looking at property a year or so ago. Price range on the house isn't a huge concern, we just know we don't want to look out the kitchen window and have the neighbor looking back at us. We lived in a very rural town in Germany for 5 years back before the fall of the wall. My major concern in locating a spot to buy a settle in home is access to medical facilities and grocery shopping. As long as the docs aren't much more than a half hour away we are ok. Groceries, well the wife drives a half hour to her favorite store now as it is.

Salary wise, we only want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. 99% of my debt will be paid off when we sell here in Pasadena, MD and still have a good chunk of change left over. I would like to keep working in IT/Telecom and I figure I'm probably going to take close to a 50% pay cut in that area.

I'm going to check out the suggestions about the Knoxville area that Laura C posted.

Thanks again all, I'll be checking back in now and then. This spring the wife and I are going to take a drive there.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 19,578,591 times
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I hope you won't discount The Tri-Cities area without looking around here first. There ARE IT jobs in this area also. many not as many as Knoxville, but there is a need to that here.
Give me a shout before you get here, I'll be sure to get you some area maps.
Psssttt...It IS spring here now! hehehehhe I saw my first Red Bud tree turned pink yesterday and today there are 5 flowers peeking out of my Bradford pear tree in the front yard. We just planed several more trees in the yard tonight..... I LOVE spring!
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,774 posts, read 35,564,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbenson4 View Post
My major concern in locating a spot to buy a settle in home is access to medical facilities and grocery shopping. As long as the docs aren't much more than a half hour away we are ok. Groceries, well the wife drives a half hour to her favorite store now as it is.

Salary wise, we only want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. 99% of my debt will be paid off when we sell here in Pasadena, MD and still have a good chunk of change left over. I would like to keep working in IT/Telecom and I figure I'm probably going to take close to a 50% pay cut in that area.

I'm going to check out the suggestions about the Knoxville area that Laura C posted.

Thanks again all, I'll be checking back in now and then. This spring the wife and I are going to take a drive there.
Believe it or not, the worst part of the drive is the Washington Beltway. I highly recommend driving to TN on a Sunday (starting out early in the AM). You go from the Beltway, to west on 66, then south on 81 to go into Tennessee. There are zero toll roads for the entire trip from Pasadena. To get gasoline, or eat, you have to pull off the highways and then get back on. The rest stops on the highways are only restrooms. Stop at the Visitors Center when you come over the VA/TN state line on 81.

If you see a place you think you might like, go to the online yellow pages and find out what stores, supermarkets, restaurants, etc., are in the town.

By the way, jmarkey has posted here that her husband fishes bass tournaments on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge so if you like to fish tournaments, you will probably have no trouble finding one in East TN.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 19,578,591 times
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Last time I drove to DC, it took 5 hours from Johnson City to DC. Very easy drive.
As for fishing, I believe just about every lake has a fishing tournament every year. I know they do in all 5 water ways here in North East TN. My step son doesn't miss one! hahahahhaha
Be sure to write down LauraC's suggestions. She has GREAT relocation research advice, and has helped many people learn the most effective way to do that research.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:48 AM
 
2,109 posts, read 5,295,378 times
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I guess in retrospect, it sounds like your move is totally dependent on selling your house. If you do not have your house up for sale now... do it NOW .Even if it isn't totally squeaky clean. Why? because everyone else is going to flood the market with their houses anytime now, and we all saw what happened last year. I also know the MD market is now pretty soft. So before you start making any plans for TN- sell the house, then start sniffing around.

Just a bit of perhaps super-obvious advice. Good luck selling !
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