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Real Estate Agent with KW Cleveland RB365212

I don't know where you live as you are reading this, but I'm pretty confident that if you've given some thought to moving to Tennessee, you have already made some comparisons.


Where you currently are now, to life in Tennessee.


I hope I don't offend anyone in any state (my apologies in advance if I do). Nevertheless, here's my impression (just my opinion~disclaimer dont write me) of the last two states I lived in and how  they  compare to Tennessee.


Hawaii (The Big Island 20 years)

Who wouldn't give their right arm to live in Hawaii?

It was paradise for the first 15 years, then got old very rapidly.


Aloha isn't all that it looks like on Hawaii 5-0 TV or in the movies. It can be very dysfunctional, and yes, no matter how nice or helpful you are, some of the  ('local") people in Hawaii will never like haole's being there.


We found it to be very entitlement (you owe me) and costly (VERY!) in a long list of "I'm overs". Owning  our business's there likely amplified those feelings.


It became very California insofar as  people bring themselves with them.


There was only so much you could find on the Islands insofar as necessities and consumables; the rest had to be mailed or shipped to you. In many cases, it was more expensive to get the item sent (postage/shipping) than the item cost IF it could be shipped to Hawaii at all, which was often the case.


I would go to Honolulu and be like a kid in a candy store, going to the malls to shop. WOW! It's a store!.. I'd literally shop until I dropped.


Believe it or not, one can get tired of 85-90 degrees every day, 365 days a year. I always said if you dropped me in Hawaii any day of the year, I could not tell you if it was spring, summer, fall, or winter. Same ole, same ole.


Your clothes and everything else would mold, rot or rust. If you didn't wear a pair of shoes often, the first step you'd take after pulling them out of the closet was the soles would just fall right off. Black clothes got moldy (they all did, but you could see it on black), even with dehumidifiers in the closets. Purses, belts, anything leather, would rot and mold.


Was a brutal environment for vehicles and appliances (the salt air). You had to get a new tv every three years or so, depending on your elevation (either close to the water or higher up in the rain belt). Your appliances would rust quickly.


The mold at the upper elevations was horrible (again, rain belt, where it rains every afternoon-where the coffee is grown). I often walked into a house for sale, and my eyes would water because of the mold in the air. 


The vog (the volcanic gasses in the air) created substantial health issues, not to mention there were days it was "headlights" due to how much VOG was in the air......


Then throw in Ironman~dumping 10,000 people in our little town that wasn't big enough to begin with (all with athletes' and their demanding battitudes)...


Medical....unless you can get to Queens Medical Center on Ohau, just get ready to die where you stand.


Homelesss...you think your state has it bad...you haven't seen anything! It's a fact, other states USA would send homeless to Hawaii with a one-way ticket with their promise never to come back to their state and get on assistance or welfare. True story! 


I could go on and on and on. I always said it was paradise (lots of great things to do outside), but it came at a very high price. 


"People" rated a 3 on the scale of 1-10 insofar as friendly and wanting (caring ) to help someone ...sans perhaps close family or friends. Try to call a city or county office for something....the DMV lines were literally 3-4+ hours long....no one cared or wanted to be of service. Things took forever.......to get through the pipeline. Try to get a building permit......or even a drivers license. It would take 3-4 trips. No hurry in this place. Check back in two months and I'll let you know what else you need then. They acted and treated you like you were an imposition. Spiritually dark.



No question whatsoever, a beautiful place, and scenery is over the top (not anything like the real home of beautiful, Alaska).


Weather....not so good (in the panhandle where we were located) unless you just don't care what the weather does. I have to have sun to function, just personally.


The people were "nice," much nicer than Hawaii, so we thought we died and went to heaven...(until we saw how people are in Tennessee).


Winters were fugly. Cold, windy, and one could have a year with unsurmountable snow levels, other years maybe not as bad. 


The roads were dangerous and ugly 6 months of the year, with muddy black snow berms everywhere lasting into May or June, depending on the snow level that year. Dark at 3:30 PM in the winter. Like reliving Alaska all over again.



It was GREY GREY GREY 80% of the time (like Seattle can be) in the winter. Very oppressive in the winter. The summers are beautiful typically when it's not raining. It  is akin to the Pacific Northwest weather, add snow and wind.


It wasn't overtly inexpensive, but it wasn't expensive either.


It was mainly the cold and grey 7+ months a year that made us want to depart (one of "several" good reasons).


The real estate prices went through the roof as well. It had become a second "West Coast" with all the Washingtonians, Oregonians, and Californians moving in. As in what happened in Hawaii, there was nowhere for the local blue-collar people to live because the West Coast newbies bought everything that went on the market, making it unaffordable for those who lived and worked there to be able to afford a home. 


Rentals are non-existent. Watching what happened to the hard-working blue-collar locals was heartbreaking.


It was remote; the airport was 1.5 hours away in Spokane, and there were not many places to explore without a long drive. To shop meant driving to Coeur D Alane or Spokane~ an hour or two away.


There were a lot of water activities in the summer with the Pend Oreille Lake and the rivers. Fishing and hunting are good for those who love the outdoors and snow skiing in the winter. At our age, we just didn't care to indulge in those things and be cold while doing them~to each his own.


Depending on the urgency, medical care was minimally an hour away from CDA, Spokane, or a medivac to Seattle.



The weather is fantastic. Yes, it can get cold in the winter, and the snow (as you may call it) is there and gone the next day. 


There are so many things to do check out this site!


The people are warm, friendly, helpful, down-to-earth, and charming! I suppose that's where the adage "southern hospitality" came from? We haven't had a bad experience with anyone since moving here. People at the gas pump will talk to you for an hour......


It is still affordable to live, and things are readily available. If you can't buy something in your neighborhood, an hour's drive puts you in either Chattanooga or Knoxville.


Airports are 45 minutes to an hour from almost anywhere in E Tennessee.


Nashville is the go-to place for a long weekend or quick get-away, which is 2.5 hours away. We can go to 8-9 states in a four- to six-hour drive (including Florida). 


The landscape in East Tennesee is beautiful. There are so many shades of green you can't describe them. The rolling hills and mountains in E Tennessee are gorgeous. The roads are all mowed and manicured and clean.


The clouds are magnificent.


There is a lot of water to be found for fishing and water sports (rivers and lakes).


There is almost literally a church on every corner (maybe that's why people are so darn nice).


People who don't live here have commented we have too many bugs. Yes, I'm still new here but haven't seen many.


Medical is close by. It's the number one industry, as a matter of fact.


So if you're looking for affordable, beautiful, God fearing people, no state tax, very reasonabel property taxes, warm and hospitable, vast open spaces, lots to do and places to go, a healthy environment; yes, consider Tennessee.


Then figure out what part!


As you may already know, there are three distinctly different areas of Tennessee, and they all vary greatly. Keep reading to learn more...or feel free to call me any time!


You can also sign up for a free live MLS update on properties in E. Tennessee. www.buyrealestateintennessee.com


Stay tuned for more to come of Moving To Tennessee For Dummies......





Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Holiday weekend! Bill

May 26, 2022 01:52 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

I like your approach here, Lenora. Every place has it's drawbacks and there's no point in trying to hide it.  I love where I live but could certainly put a Wenatchee for Dummies post together with the good and bad.

May 27, 2022 10:10 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Lenora,

I'm glad Carol Williams featured your post in her Second Chance Saturday Series..I missed it. Every State and City has its drawbacks and to some they are a plus. Isn't it wonderful to have so many places to choose to live? Something for everyone!

May 28, 2022 04:09 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What an interesting post! I remember my parents, who moved to Hawaii in the 1980s, and moved out in the 1990s, mention several of the same things you did. My mother was allergic to the vog. They opened a religious gift shop, but because they were haole, it was boycotted by many. And they had the rust issue as well. Very interesting.

Thanks for your post!

May 28, 2022 04:46 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Leonora. Never been to Hawaii or Idaho or Tennessee. Thanks for the review of the facts! By the way Florida and Chicago are not perfect either.  Enjoy your day.

May 28, 2022 05:17 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Leonora - I think you nailed one point here.  Too much of a good thing is too much.  A temperate climate without large extremes gives variety.  I have been to Tennessee several times (the Smokies) although I want to go to Nashville.

May 28, 2022 05:30 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Many families in the DC Metro area are searching for a  more affordable place for their retirement.

May 28, 2022 05:58 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I have had several really close friends that have moved to Tennessee over the last few years.  They all love it and have become big advocates for moving there.  My wife grew up in Arkansas and loves the South so we may end up there one day.  It is a beautiful state!

May 28, 2022 06:48 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Lenora:

I really enjoyed your comparisons.

I've visited HI multiple time but have no desire to live there. I've never been to Idaho and have only visited TN ( Nashville) as a kid. I suppose every place has its pros and cons, perhaps some more than others.

I think it all boils down to what is important to you in terms of your lifestyle, affordability and family!


May 28, 2022 02:01 PM
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

LEONORA PRINCE CCIM this was great, I have not been to Hawaii, but have a couple friends that live(d) there and they say pretty much the same thing. One of my sons best friends lives in Pend Oreille ID and is a Realtor up there, i would not have guessed it was gray so often. And our neighbors are from East Tennessee, two of the warmest and most welcoming people I have ever met.

May 31, 2022 02:02 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Neighbor is orginally from the Smokies. Went back there contemplating to find a retirement home and was shocked what the inflation did to TN houses. Actually all homes in the US have gone up a lot. Our old Ky home(Louisville) is priced for $295K now.   Thanks for posting.

Jun 02, 2022 10:30 AM

Thank you for reading! Please share!

Jun 02, 2022 01:11 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

I always love learning why some people choose to move where they do.  When I was working in the corporate world, I just moved where they told me to go so I would keep my job and keep advancing the corporate ladder.  When people are getting ready to retire, they look at things like medical care options, weather, family nearby and cost of living.

I guess that is why I haven't given too much time thinking about moving away from Boise, Idaho.  There is plenty for me to do here and with all four seasons, it doesn't get boring.  Then I can hop on an airplane and get a "big city fix" whenever I need.

Jun 02, 2022 02:48 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

My son-in-law is from CA and he has lived in Florida, New York, South Carolina and now Virginia. He said he likes Virginia because of the seasons. It is interesting to hear other perspectives on how to live in a different state. I've lived here in Virginia my entire 57 years!

Jun 03, 2022 09:44 AM