Nov 24 2006
12:51 pm
By: rhonda76fl  shortURL

I am doing a little research. I was born and raised in Florida. Now after living here for thirty years I am more than ready to get AWAY! I'm sick of the heat and the flat land. One of the areas I am considering relocating to is the Knoxville area. My only problem is that I know absolutely nothing about the area. I've done some research online, but there's only so much I can learn from that. I would like to visit, but that isn't going to happen right now.
I figured the best way to get info on the area is to ask people who actually live there.
If you were relocating, would you consider moving to Knoxville?
I don't want to live in the city. What outlying community would you

I have a son. Is it a good area to raise him?

What do you love/hate about the area?

How is the shopping/nightlife??

I had a friend that told me Knoxville has a lot of air pollution. Is that true?

ANY info would be very helpful.


Tess's picture

Yes, it is a good place to live.

Knoxville is a good place to live and to raise your son.  If you don't want to live downtown, I recommend close-in West (Bearden, Rocky Hill or Sequoyah Hills), due to the quality of the public schools, the shopping and the convenience.

Knoxville is situated along several river tributaries and there are numerous large lakes nearby.  It is close to the Smoky Mtns, and only 5 1/2 hours to the South Carolina beaches.  The people are friendly, and the city is more cosmopolitan than most realize (I read once that 43 languages are spoken in Knoville--excluding the native East TN dialect.) The cost of living is lower than a lot of places, though we do have a high sales tax rate (but no state income taxes).

Depending on where you work, some of the outlying counties might be a good choice, too.  You can buy a house in Harriman for instance, for pennies on the dollar to what you would pay in Knoxville, though there are trade-offs to being 35 minutes from the city.

I am sure you will get lots of advice here!  :)  Good luck to you!

nicemeup's picture

From FL to Knoxville

I actually just moved to Knoxville from Ft. Lauderdale about 2 weeks ago. I don't have any kids and I'm probably in a different demographic than you, but I'm really happy with what I've found so far. Rent and home prices are drastically lower than Florida and insurance rates must be, too, as this is not a hurricane zone. Good luck with your research.

Les Jones's picture

Try Blount County

If you don't want to live in Knoxville proper, try Blount County. If you have kids, live in Maryville, which has some of the highest-rated schools in the state. There's also an amazing new library, a 200 year old liberal arts college, a dozen mile greenbelt, and plenty of shopping and amenities. (But if you get sick, avoid Blount Memorial and go to one of the Knoxville hospitals.) You're also that much closer to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If you don't have kids, you can live in the county and pay lower taxes and have your pick of less expensive houses. We live near the intersection of Pellissippi Parkway and Alcoa Hwy. near the airport. It's amazingly convenient to Maryville, West Knoxville, and downtown Knoxville. Our oldest daughter will start school in three years, so we'll be moving (probably to Maryville) before then, but we'll miss the location.

Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

Bill Pittman's picture

I'll throw in a plug for

I'll throw in a plug for Nama...a wonderful sushi restaurant downtown:



All the best,

Bill Pittman 

talidapali's picture

I'm partial to...

Fountain City area, but then I'm biased...I live out here...Halls is nice also. Ftn. City is made up of older, established neighborhoods...good schools...but not so hectic as West Knoxville. 


"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

StaceyDiamond's picture


I'd reccomend Old North Knox or Fountain City, there are pretty historic homes, sidewalks and some culture. Halls doesn't have sidwalks or culture. If you can afford it Sequoyah Hills is great too. Stacey

Hayduke's picture

Metulj, to credit Halls with

Metulj, to credit Halls with culture you must be thinking of some strict academic definition.  It's pretty much exurban strip mall hell.

If you don't decide to move to Knoxville, please write letters to as many city, county and state officials and can telling them the air quality kept you away. 

softballmom's picture

Moving to Knoxville

I live in Hamblen County, which is about 40 miles North and East of Knoxville. It is a beautiful county and Morristown is a great city.

I served on our Director of Schools Parent Advisory Team and we studied school systems across the state of Tennessee and for this area you cannot beat the schools in Oak Ridge. If your son's education is important to you, then consider moving into this area. Maryville schools also ranked very highly.

Welcome to Tennessee!! I was also raised in Florida and have lived here for 22 years now and love it!! The four seasons are wonderful!! Come on up for a visit and you will want to stay.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Brian A.'s picture

Air pollution?

Yes.  It's most noticeable during the summer.

And since I mentioned summer, I'll add that Knoxville has four distinct seasons--nice if you seek variety.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

awoodle's picture

moving to Knoxville

Knoxville can be a good place to live, but choose where you live based on what's important to you and your son. Yes, taxes and the cost of living are comparably low, and the area is beautiful. But low taxes means the public schools get short shrift, and often rank in the lower 10% in the nation. And while the mountains, trails and lakes are spectacular, they're very polluted, we have terrible air quality and acid rain is rapidly causing destruction.

If you're looking for a small-town feel with friendly people, a temperate climate and low cost-of-living, Knoxville could be right for you. However, be aware it is not particularly progressive, it is very conservative, and it's still segregated along economic and racial lines. The neighborhood you choose can make a huge difference in your quality of life, and an even bigger one in the quality of your son's education - both academically and socially.

I've been here 25 years and it's home, but visits to my native Asheville, NC, remind me of how homogenous Knoxville is. The public schools are one of the biggest drawbacks to living in this area with a child, so spend some time learning more about those.

You might also want to look at Chattanooga,TN; Asheville, NC; and Louisville, KY. All have some of the advantages of Knoxville, but may offer some different aspects, too.

Best wishes in your search.

Scott Frith's picture


Rhonda: Hope you make it to Knoxville! As Past-President of the Halls Business and Professional Association, I'll make sure to introduce you to Halls. The best way to get to know our community is the annual Christmas Parade on December 9th at 6pm. The Fulton and Halls High bands are already committed to coming (and we're hoping for two more). Not sure about the age of your son, but Santa is always a hit! We'd love to have you!

By the way, (shameless plug) if you need a house you can always reach me at (link...)

Best of luck and happy holidays!

phdw2's picture

Moving to Knoxville

You will not regret the move. yes, there is some smog in the mid-summer due to the Great Smokey Mountains and surrounding plateau not letting the smog escape but nothing that a good afternoon thunder storm want take care of. You do have heat and humidity in the summer but you have 4 distinct seasons. All 4 seasons are very beautiful, up here. In the winter, it is not unusual for Knoxville to have several good snowfalls.
I currently live in Kingsport, Tn. 1 1/2 hours N.E. of Knoxville but my wife and I are from the Knoxville area. We grew up north of Knox county in Union County. If you want low taxes, your child to grow up actually in the country or on a Farm, Union County is excellent.
My wife and I are moving back in 1 week and starting a new business. We just bought a home on Norris Lake near Hickory Star Resort, which is where I grew up.
I hope you make the move, Knoxville needs good people to continue to flourish and oh, by the way, the cost of living up here is really nice compared to the Incomes to expenses in other states, no state income tax, The west side is more high price, east side is less in value,, the north side is growing and getting pricey but you would need to go further north , like I said to Union county, the south side is reserve, quiet and real estate has just maintained it's value but if it was me, which it will be late next week, I did choose to go back to Union County but our new business is going to be out west.
There is nothing like a White Tennessee Christmas.

bizgrrl's picture

I would like to visit, but

I would like to visit, but that isn't going to happen right now.

Don't move anywhere without visiting first. I also suggest you try to spend a week or two anywhere you are considering moving. Especially if it is not a job transfer and you have lived in the same place all of your life.

You didn't mention a job. Depending on your field, good jobs could be limited here.

I second (or third?) Blount County, City of Maryville for schools. It is quite rural but the amenities are increasing all of the time. Convenient to Knoxville, 15-25 miles depending on where you live in Blount County.

Note for Tennessee versus Florida, sales tax is a little higher in TN. Sale tax is charged on food. Like Florida, there is no income tax. Unlike Florida, there is a "Hall income tax" on distributions/dividends if that matters to you. Property taxes may be a little lower in certain areas of Knoxville and the surrounding areas. Insurance (health (if you can get it), home owners, auto) is probably cheaper in TN. Housing can be cheaper in Knox area, not always though.

Air polution can definitely be bad. Hard to compare to Florida where the wind always blows away any pollution. In East TN the pollution bangs up against the mountains and stays around for a week at a time.

Oh, and drivers are pretty bad up here. Just about like having a region of tourists that are native. Traffic is nothing compared to major cities in Florida, e.g. Orlando, Miami, Ft Lauderdale. Oh, and airfare can be expensive out of Knoxville, if it matters. Great little airport though.

Les Jones's picture


I wasn't going to mention it, but since it came up - Halls is the one place in Knoxville I wouldn't live. Part because it's bland suburbia. Beyond that, though, it's just too far from everything.

Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

spintrep's picture

time scheer

Submitted by rhonda76fl
I would like to visit, but that isn't going to happen right now.

Submitted by bizgrrl
Don't move anywhere without visiting first. I also suggest you try to spend a week or two anywhere you are considering moving.

by all means, after the air clears and the sushi wraps...
contact me about my snowbird exchange program for exciting details about our professional tax free full band ice skating White Christmas sidewalk cultural parade!


we're living in a pathocracy!!

CBT's picture

I've lived here all my life

I've lived here all my life (closing in on 43 years), mostly in Bearden/West Knoxville. It's a great place. As others have mentioned, schools, taxes, weather, neighborhoods, mountains, lakes and accessibility all contribute to the quality of life.

My wife's brother lives in Pompano Beach and would like to relocate here. Through him, I've met three new families (single moms with kids) who've moved here from the Fort Lauderdale area. Though it's different, they all seem to love it.

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