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Old 03-01-2021, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,571 posts, read 936,398 times
Reputation: 6181

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I hope to use this thread to document my home search, first impressions, and running experiences as a new resident of Knoxville Tennessee after being born, raised, and living in California for 63 years.

To that end, I am going to start adding relevant posts to my blog, and then posting here as that develops. The blog will probably contain more detail in a more rambling fashion, while I hope this thread is more concise and informative. I am a wordy SOB, so there is that. The blog also appears to allow ongoing editing so I can make future corrections, while thread posts lock relatively quicky, and corrections and clarifications have to be done disjointly in future posts, talking about the past. It hurts continuity. Oh well...

Here is notice that I intend this to be a running, multi-year record of my experiences looking for a place to live, my impressions of Knoxville and of Tennesse, and then of my ongoing experiences as time passes.

I guess we'll see.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:20 PM
 
Location: SoCal
253 posts, read 108,176 times
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Great. I look forward to reading!
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:40 PM
 
1,423 posts, read 677,757 times
Reputation: 1561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
I hope to use this thread to document my home search, first impressions, and running experiences as a new resident of Knoxville Tennessee after being born, raised, and living in California for 63 years.

To that end, I am going to start adding relevant posts to my blog, and then posting here as that develops. The blog will probably contain more detail in a more rambling fashion, while I hope this thread is more concise and informative. I am a wordy SOB, so there is that. The blog also appears to allow ongoing editing so I can make future corrections, while thread posts lock relatively quicky, and corrections and clarifications have to be done disjointly in future posts, talking about the past. It hurts continuity. Oh well...

Here is notice that I intend this to be a running, multi-year record of my experiences looking for a place to live, my impressions of Knoxville and of Tennesse, and then of my ongoing experiences as time passes.

I guess we'll see.
I had family move to Knoxville and Seymour. I will be happy to help as I can. Oh, born and raised in CA.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,571 posts, read 936,398 times
Reputation: 6181
Default Finding and getting my apartment at Bluegrass or Northshore

I have found and secured a beautiful newer 2-bedroom apartment in what I think is either the Bluegrass or Northshore neighborhood, down Interstate 140 by the Tennessee River. It is not terribly far from the Northshore Town Center.

My initial focus for an apartment search was Farragut, after reading high praise of the area for years on the City Data forums. So Farragut was my target, but being mostly bedroom communities, there are slender few apartments to choose from. I really liked the hilly area north of Farragut and started there, but wound up with Northshore/Bluegrass when all was said and done.

My top priority is peace, quiet, and safety, so I looked comprehensively at crime all around the Knoxville metro area for fear of missing a gem in some outlying area or even in town. I just wanted to know the full layout, even though Farragut was my focal point.

Using my crime app, I mapped out dozens of apartments in and around Knoxville, and plotted that info on Google Earth, color coded by crime rate. Green for low, red for high. This was my starting point to find an apartment.

Here are all of the apartments I found with low crime throughout metro Knoxville, according to my iPhone crime app.

Low Crime Apts around Knoxville
Lanesborough
Derby Run
Walden Legacy
Dogwood Terrace
Eagle Pointe
Raintree
Bridlewood on Westland
Heritage Lake
Aventine Northshore
Belle Meade
Legacy Pointe
The Villas on Wallace
Northshore Woods
Sequoyah Village
Evergreen at the Bluffs
The Views at Elm Grove
Cottages on Tazewell
Southland square


All of the apartments I checked are listed by level of crime in my blog entry, "Researching Crime for a Knoxville Apt".

My hope was to find an apartment that met all of my required criteria and as much of my desired criteria as possible, without having to consider apartments in higher crime areas. To be fair, the next higher tier of apartments listed on my blog are still pretty low crime, just not as low as the ones posted above.

Next, I listed what I needed or wanted from my apartment.

Required
- 2 bedroom
- A/C
- In unit laundry
- Dishwasher


Desired
- $1,300 to $1,500 budget
- modern, built in the last 10 years
- 9-foot ceilings prefered
- hard floors prefered over carpeting
- higher floor with elevator preferred (elevators are uncommon and REALLY restricted my ideal candidates)
- a view prefered
- covered parking (not to be found as it turns out)
- close to shopping desired
- close to water desired


Only then did I begin to research the 18 apartments listed above with low crime.

Along with matching my criteria, I considered the looks of the apartment unit, looks of the complex, parking, surroundings, distance to shopping and amenities, distance to recreation. Various rankings, ratings, and reviews were helpful.

I found an ideal candidate. Of course the first casualty is the budget. The apartment is $1,800/mo. which seems very pricy to me for not being downtown, but it is a large unit on an upper floor in a new building with elevator service, so I won't have to climb down stairs in the winter. In addition to being in a very safe neighbohood, the building has locked outter doors for additional security. I am somewhat close to the Tennessee River and some nice parks thereon. I am somewhat close to Northshore Town Center and the shopping at Bluegrass (if I am understanding where Bluegrass indeed is. Maybe what I am calling Bluegrass is actually Northshore. IDK)

I found great candidates in the $1,100 to $1,600 range, including the Hardin Valley areas I most wanted to live, but the complete package I was getting with my chosen apartment was just too good to consider anywhere else. The area looks wondeful, quiet, safe, and liveable to me.

The next step was getting the apartment. I applied from their website over the net, got approved, and was able to send all documents as well as pay the deposit.

So I have a beautiful new apartment waiting for me in lower West Knoxville and a moving date of early April.

The apartment is packed and I have a mover ready to go. How I packed the apartment alone, and how I chose a mover is in my blog entry "Packing and Picking a Mover".

Last edited by Igor Blevin; 03-03-2021 at 11:38 PM..
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
36,293 posts, read 36,935,583 times
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Have you ever lived in an apartment building with hardwood floors and an upstairs neighbor? How about an upstairs neighbor with a dog or a toddler? Unlike that commercial on TV, I'm sure clog dancers are not common but dogs and toddlers are.

You pay more for apartments with an elevator. Make sure you ask how frequently the power goes out and for how long or the elevator isn't working. Suburban apartment complexes are typically 3 floors. I think (not sure) it's the law, more than 3 floors have to have an elevator.

Don't know how old you are but you never know when you might need a wheelchair or a rollator. The apartment should have wide enough door openings and the ability to turn around with them in any halls or rooms. The newer buildings all have the wider door openings.

Last edited by LauraC; 03-05-2021 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,571 posts, read 936,398 times
Reputation: 6181
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Have you ever lived in an apartment building with hardwood floors and an upstairs neighbor? How about an upstairs neighbor with a dog or a toddler? Unlike that commercial on TV, I'm sure clog dancers are not common but dogs and toddlers are.

You pay more for apartments with an elevator. Make sure you ask how frequently the power goes out and for how long or the elevator isn't working. Suburban apartment complexes are typically 3 floors. I think (not sure) it's the law, more than 3 floors have to have an elevator.

Don't know how old you are but you never know when you might need a wheelchair or a rollator. The apartment should have wide enough door openings and the ability to turn around with them in any halls or rooms. The newer buildings all have the wider door openings.
I can answer your questions.

My current ground floor apt has linoleum floors. My hearing loss helps a lot with mitigating the annoyance of stompers on the 2nd floor above me. I had 1 stomper live above. It was slightly annoying but tolerable and infrequent. I have always been a stomper so I am hoping to take it easy on the poor people below me.

The building is 3 years old, built in 2018. I don’t anticipate a lot of downtime with the elevators in such a new building, but who knows? Everything has risks and downsides. I am sober in my expectations. My biggest concern living on the 3rd floor with elevator access was shopping? How many trips do I want to make out to the parking lot to bring in 4 grocery bags, gallon water bottles, and that 6 pack of wine? I am thinking of buying a small cart. It means 2 trips, but no heavy lifting.

At least my apartment shouldn’t flood 3 times like my ground floor unit did during the Covid TP crisis when someone in my apartment was flushing paper towels or handiwipes down the toilet.

At 63 years old, I hope I don’t need a wheelchair during the 3 or 4 years I am renting before I find and buy my next home. My legs are fine as of now but I could get hit by a car or suffer a stroke any day, but I am not planning for that lower-odds contingency.

Renting is just temporary. In fact, Knoxville is just temporary while I do a more thorough search in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. I don’t really know yet which city I will fall in love with and shop for a house, or which state that will be in.

I won’t be buying a 2-story home or one with stairs when I buy my hopefully last ever home.

Thanks for the questions. It is always good to have others bring up issues I may have overlooked, make me reflect, and test my assumptions. So thanks for the help.

Last edited by Igor Blevin; 03-05-2021 at 02:39 PM..
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,571 posts, read 936,398 times
Reputation: 6181
FWIW

I don't expect to update this thread until early April when the movers load the apartment and I begin my drive to my new apartment in Tennessee. So unless people have questions about the planning, packing, or apartment search, this thread will be inactive until then. If something new and important comes up, I will post it.

Once I am moved, especially once I am in Tennessee, I will have updates about how my movers performed, the actual cost of moving, how long it took, and how my trip went. It will probably be sometime after that before I start posting initial impressions of my new neighborhood in Tennessee, and visits around the area. It will probably be a few days or weeks before things sink in.

One thing about the move. I asked what the standard tip is for moving. I was told tipping is unecessary because the movers are well paid and don't need tips on top of it. Interesting. That is news to me.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,571 posts, read 936,398 times
Reputation: 6181
I just learned how to add attachments.

Here is the color-coded plot from Google Earth of the crime for apartments around Knoxville.

It looks like you would expect. In town, highest crime. Along the freeways, higher crime. The further from the main freeway corridors, the lower the crime.

Legend

Green - Low crime
Yellow - Reasonable or moderate (ie - pretty low)
Orange - Elevated
Magenta - Concerning
Red - High Crime
Attached Thumbnails
Igor Blevin's, "A Native Californian in Knoxville"-knoxville-apt-crime.jpg  

Last edited by Igor Blevin; 03-05-2021 at 06:56 PM..
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:21 AM
 
17,602 posts, read 17,114,255 times
Reputation: 10918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
FWIW......One thing about the move. I asked what the standard tip is for moving. I was told tipping is unecessary because the movers are well paid and don't need tips on top of it. Interesting. That is news to me.
I totally disagree. Those doing the lifting and loading are doing very hard work.

We tipped anywhere between 50 to 100 per worker.

Make sure you give it directly to the workers not the boss.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Upper Midwest
99 posts, read 4,120 times
Reputation: 16
What is the crime app you’re using? I’m doing research on a move I’m making this summer possibly to the area of East Tennessee. The crime app would be helpful.
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