There are a number of reasons why people up and move their families. While the typical reason is work related, there are some people, like myself, that did it just to provide a different lifestyle for their family. There was nothing
bad wrong with where we moved from, I just wanted something different. We found it in East Tennessee. Don't get me wrong, you will never be able to completely run away from all the bad things that happen and go on in our society, but you can definitely find a place where the good things out weigh the bad. East Tennessee is that place!
Reasons To Relocate To East Tennessee
There are a number of good reasons to move to the East Tennessee area. I will list and discuss a few in no particular order that apply directly to Sevier county including the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Seymour, and Sevierville as well as the City of Knoxville.
- We Have Very Low Taxes: Very low could be an understatement depending on where you are moving from. The year that we left South Florida our tax bill was $3,400. That was in 2004. It has doubled since then. This past year in Sevier county, in the City of Sevierville, out property taxes (both county and city) were less than $1,000. Actually, just a little over $700. Not too shabby. Another great thing is the State of Tennessee does not have any state or local income taxes.
- Our Seasons & Weather: One of the standing jokes in our area is "If you don't like the weather in East Tennessee, just wait 24 hours". For the most part our weather is fairly mild. We still have our 4 beautiful seasons. All of which bring something very special at different times of the year. One of the reasons that we moved from South Florida was because we wanted the kids to know that there really are 4 seasons and not just 4 versions of summer. Watching the leaves change color in October. The white capped mountains in the winter. The amazing, vibrant color that hits full bloom in the Spring. And of course, we still have that summer for fun on the any of the many lakes around our region. One thing we had agreed upon before moving was that we did not want to shovel snow. While we still have annual snow fall amounts down in the valley, it is never enough to do anything other than give us a snow day here and there.
- The Beauty In Your Backyard: If you have ever heard of the Great Smoky Mountains but never understood what makes them so "Great", then it is time to make the trip. Annually over 10 million people come to the area to visit our National Park. When it comes to nature and the outdoors, there is nothing that you can't experience in the Great Smoky Mountains. Hiking, canoeing, white water rafting, camping, etc., etc. With places like Clingman's Dome and trail heads like New Found Gap, you're sure to experience breath taking views that go on for miles.
- Cost Of Living: In the last cost of living index, Sevier county scored an 86.1. This is less than the average which is scaled at 100. The estimated median home and condo value in 2009 was $164,000. This is up slightly from 2008 at $158,000. While land and housing is not as cheap as it once was, and what many believe it still to be, it is very reasonable by comparison to national averages. One of the many benefits of living in Sevier County are the "kickbacks" that come from living in a tourist or resort type destination. For instance, one of the many reasons that our property taxes are so low is because of the tax revenue that is generated each year. Just to give you an idea of exactly how much money we are talking, you can read about the tax revenue reported by the City of Pigeon in 2012 Some of the other benefits include reduced pricing at many attractions and events for Sevier County residents. For example, as a Sevier County resident you are eligible to take part in "Sevier County Week". This is when many attractions like Dollywood, Splash Country, and Ripley's attractions will allow admission for a highly reduced fee.
- Crime Rate and Safety: Crime, like anything else, is a metric that is tracked statistically. Using the national average of 100, Sevier County's total crime risk index is a 39! The state of Tennessee as a whole has a crime index of 133. This speaks volumes as to the safety of our area. It is not uncommon for children to be allowed to walk the strip in Gatlinburg or spend the day at Dollywood's Splash Country without fear for their safety.
Which City Should You Move To In East Tennessee?
It really depends on a few things. Where you are coming from. Are you moving from a large metropolitan area? If so, jumping right into a highly rural area may be too much of a shock to your system. Then again, it could be exactly what you are looking for. The cities that make up Sevier County are Boyds Creek, Gatlinburg, Kodak, Pittman Center, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Seymour. Most of these cities provide the best of both worlds. There are plenty of single family homes and condos for sale within the city limits that resemble more of a urban lifestyle just on a smaller scale. If that is exactly what are trying to get away from then driving a few more minutes out of the city limits into the "county' area will provide you with more of a country, rural lifestyle with the benefits of the city just 10-20 minutes away.
Knox County and the City of Knoxville are a larger metropolitan area that also provides some city and country living. As a matter of fact, the city of Farragut is ranked #8 in the best cities to live in Tennessee. According to Amazon.com, Knoxville was rated #1 most romantic city in the country in Jan. 2013. Knoxville was also ranked #3 as "Best Places to Boat and Live" by Boating Life magazine.
Regardless of what your preference is, you are going to need to enlist the services of a professional Realtor in the area. One that is familiar with the area and has the experience and expertise to guide you thought the process of home ownership. You can read my Tips For Choosing Your Realtor article or feel free to contact me to answer any questions.