1. Beauty - The areas in and around East Tennessee has some of the most beautiful scenery in all of North America. We have the mountains to the east and mountains to the west. Very few things are more breathtaking than the sunrising from behind the Mountains of North Carolina. Sunsets are equally beautiful as the sun disappears behind the horizon of one of our many lakes. There are over 1,600 flowering plants that call East Tennessee home. Spring is a time of new life that will overwhelm you with beauty. In the fall months people come from all over the country for some Autumn Inspiration. As the leaves change color in the last week of September they will begin to fall for weeks in October. We experienced this on our first trip to Tennessee and it captured us. We just had to move here so we could be surrounded by this beauty all year long.
2. Safety - The crime rate in Sevier County, Tennessee is exceptionally low. I remember having "Neighborhood Watch" when I was a kid growing up in South Florida. The philosophy of that program is still very much alive here in East Tennessee. I can't tell you how nice it is to know that your neighbors and local community look out for one another. You can even let your children go outside and play without the paranoia of them getting hurt or taken. Don't get me wrong, we still have our bad apples but by comparison (National Average) we have it pretty good.
3. Economic Opportunity - As one of the fastest growing areas in Tennessee, Sevier County offers exceptional business and personal opportunities. No matter what type skill, profession, or business expertise you have, you can succeed here with a little effort and ingenuity! Sevier County continues to grow every year. There are dozens of projects currently on the docket that will generate an exceptional amount of revenue for the county. From huge retailers, to time share/condo resorts, there are endless opportunities.
4. Our Beautiful Seasons - Unlike some parts of the world we do not have to endure the harsh winters that can immobilize cities and cause millions in the way of damage and energy cost. On average we have about 13" of snow a year with an average temperature of about 38 degrees. There is just enough snow to turn the ground white for a day or two then it is gone until the next small snow shower. Fall tends to run an average temperature of about 62 degrees with higher than average rainfall. The autumn leaves bring people from all over the country as they fall like rain for 2 weeks in October. The Spring months are beautiful in bloom and have an average temperature of about 65 degrees. There are over 1,600 different flowering plants in the East Tennessee area that bloom within 2 weeks from each other. Our summers are just about the same as everywhere else. It is hot. Not as hot as some, but hotter than others. We tend to average a temperature in the high 80's. It is not uncommon to have 1-2 dozen days in the summer that are above 90 degrees. Having moved from South Florida it is nice to have and see seasons, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
5. Affordability - Although you probably won't find land for $1,000 an acre anymore, compared to many parts of the country, the living costs here are very reasonable. With it's low cost of living, Sevier County is a great place to live well in, and for much less than many other resort type destinations in the Country. The average selling price for a single family home for May 2007 in Sevier county is $158,000.
6. Very Low Taxes - Property taxes do vary by cities within Sevier County, and also will vary by Counties. I was pleasantly surprised, actually more like shocked by the low tax amount when we moved here, so hopefully you will be too. Although the property tax may vary, it is much lower than most places. Having moved from Florida we were used to, and expected, taxes around $3,000 - $10,000 a year. We have lived here since 2004 and our taxes are still under $1,000 a year, well under! Did you know that we do not have ANY state or local income taxes, so we get off very lightly here. The county has a sales tax of 7% which is combined with Sevier County's tax of 2.5% to total 9.50%. This tax is applied to almost any purchase (including food, clothing, medicine) other than large ticket items like automobiles, real estate, and farm equipment.
7. Great Schools - Sevier County Schools consistently score very well when compared to other public schools around the country. In fact, several years ago, Gatlinburg-Pittman High School was ranked Number One by no less than the Wall Street Journal when factoring in cost of living compared to scholastic performance! G-P posts their senior class's total scholarships won each year. Our 3 kids all went to, or are attending, G-P High School & they love it. There are several schools in and around Sevier County that offer different atmospheres for your child/ren. Many years ago our 3 kids attended Catons Chapel School in Sevierville. This school is on the smaller side with a tight knit community. The K-8 is all under 1 roof averaging about 20 kids per teacher with an aide in the lower grades. Make it a point to click on the link above to view all the report cards for the different schools in our area. I think you will be wonderfully surprised.