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.
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......