Jan 1 2009
11:41 am

Happy New Year. Like many of you, we had a house full of company. One of them was my sister in law. This is where I need your help. Your perspective and opinion is needed and valued.

She made some comments about being interested in moving to Knoxville. She would like to be closer to family and have a lower cost of living. She is currently in Denver. I would love to have her close by, but I don't want to appear pushy selling the benefits of Knoxville.

She was concerned where to live because she has only been exposed to West Knoxville. Suburbs are not for her. She currently lives in a cottage style home in a socio/economical diverse neighborhood. She would like to be in a hip, affordable area that has a strong singles population, and not just 20 something singles. She works for a non-profit and would like to pursue some options in that field. She also likes the outdoors. I haven't shared much about all the places she can go within an hour from here and other things to do. Again, not wanting to appear pushy. I think Knoxville could offer a great lifestyle.

What neighborhoods would you suggest? What can I tell her about being in your 30/40's and single in Knoxville? What about working for non-profits here? Who is good to work for? What happenings/events around town can you share with her?

I thought I would just have her read your comments. Thanks everyone.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Too broad

Suburbs are not for her.

She sounds like an Island Home or Fourth and Gill type but aren't those suburbs too? Maybe even a Sequoyah Hills, West Hills or Rocky Hill type. But again all suburbs. Maybe edens will correct, but aren't suburbs in the city outside the downtown area still suburbs?

What does that mean suburbs are not for her?


Pamela Treacy's picture

good question

We started off in Chicago -- about half the population lives in the burbs and half in the city. Chicago is filled with neighborhoods which are different than incorporated towns that are suburbs. Knoxville doesn't have the traditional suburbs.

But the suggestions made here are what I was thinking. Thanks so much.

"Boston" Bill's picture

Why should I do anything???

I moved to Knoxville 10 years ago using the most rudimentary concepts of cost of living, natural beauty, things to do and settled on Knoxville based on Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smokey's close by. These things become "old" after a while and you realize a more intrinsic set of needs become important. For example finding people to hold an intelligent conversation is difficult as most live in an Appellation image of self, which means intellect is NOT important. Tennessee does very little to enhance the quality of life of the citizens that doesn't relate to good business practices and low taxes. If this social philosophy appeals to you TN may be the place. However, if something goes wrong in your life and you depend on society to provide a "safety net" forget TN, and join a church to get the help you need.

In order for your friend to know if Knoxville is right for her, SHE would need to do a much more detailed assessment of her Likes, needs, wants, and other ABSTRACT desires.

Generally she should ask herself questions of the "nature" of her "IDEAL" place to live (realizing it is an un-attainable goal) and find a place which fulfills her most important objectives, now and in the future as her needs shift.

raddevon's picture

My wife and I moved to South

My wife and I moved to South Knoxville about six months ago and we love it here! There aren't really many singles that I know of (on my street at least), but I would classify the area as socioeconomically diverse. I am about half-way between Island Home and Chapman Highway. It's a pretty quiet neighborhood, the neighbors are great, and we are close to Ijams and the river--awesome for the nature types!

katie allison granju's picture

I think she might really

I think she might really like Island Home, Parkridge, or the Old North/4th and Gill neighborhood (which is where we live). All of those neighborhoods have websites she could check out with a little googling.


Lisa Starbuck's picture

Knoxville - The Big Little Town

I was born in Knoxville, lived here all my life, and have deep family roots here dating back to the 18th century. I've been fortunate enough to travel fairly extensively. While there are many other places where I have enjoyed extended visits, I can't imagine living anywhere except Knoxville.

To me, one of the coolest things about Knoxville is that it is a big little town. By that, I mean we have a lot of great features that bigger cities have - a cool downtown, cultural assets like the ballet and opera, a large university campus - but it also has that small town feel where it seems that everyone knows everyone else.

People in Knoxville are an enigma - you couldn't find bigger hearts and friendlier folks, but it's all wrapped up in prickly individualism and dogged cussedness. It's a quirky combination that shows us in the best and worst lights.

Whether I'm cussing it for it's backward ways or praising it for those amazing moments when Knoxville rises above itself in spite of itself, I love it here. In my mind, there isn't a better place to call home.

"Boston" Bill's picture


A university with a motto of "Big Orange Big Ideas" with not any ideas evident and a lot of Orange.

A music scene with awful musicians compared to the BIG cities.

Local cuisine that is fused with international food but no really good ethnic food. A community that values "all you can eat buffets as opposed to reasonably priced Chinese, Italian, French, Greek and on and on.

Oh, and don't forget plenty of hybrids mixed with 1975 Ford F150s with NO exhaust systems and Trains running 24 hours a day in an East, West, south and North direction constantly blowing their horns. Hopefully, as Lisa says, if you move here you will enjoy "enigma as a way of life" because it is EVERYWHERE Haaaa

R. Neal's picture

South Knoxville. See above

South Knoxville. See above SK/Seymour times post by bizgrrl. What else do you need to know?

Tennessee Jed's picture

Suburb vs. Subdivision

I too have visited many places in our United States and can not imagine living anywhere but this part of the Tennessee Valley. I think of Knoxville as four small towns surrounding a downtown. Each direction has its own micro-culture, East, North, South and West could all stand alone with the services offered within them.

When I hear Suburb I think of very structured neighborhoods that all have been built within the same time frame with similar floor plans that are mirrored and only changed slightly with a limited palette of colors with a neighborhood association that enforces a "certain look".

The Old Subdivisions of Knoxville are not Suburbs they are much more diverse and offer a charm not found in perfectly planned neighborhoods. Granted they are not as clean and polished as the designer neighborhoods, but they are teaming with character.

I am a fan of both North and South Knoxville for these type of old school subdivisions. I reside in Fountain City near the Duck Pond in a subdivision that was formed for leisure seasonal rental cottages surrounding the huge spring aquifer many years ago. The neighbors do some stupid things from time to time, but I fit right in not being perfect myself.

Best of luck finding something to suit her, it should not be too difficult in such an eclectic "scruffy little city" like Knoxville.

Trying to not make matters worse.

Tess's picture

Forest Heights

Forest Heights in Bearden is composed largely of single people. It is an older cottage style neighborhood in the very convenient area of Bearden--which is becoming more and more walkable, and is very close to town. I suggest she look there. Or Sequoyah Hills. Or Rocky Hill. Both are close to town and both either have parks or have a rural feel.

Carole Borges's picture

My own personally biased list

South Knoxville & Island Home are hot right now.

Downtown is exciting. The place to live if one can afford it and if a yard is not important.

The University of Tenn. area is not as interesting as some university areas I've known,nor does it seem to draw that many businesses that would interest middle-aged or older folks.

North Knoxville off-Broadway is my location. I absolutely love it for the economy and proximity to downtown. Seems like there are plenty of singles living between Broadway & Central, and also in Old North Knox, and 4th and Gill areas.

North Hills is another close-in neighborhood I find attractive because of its gently rolling hills and flora and fauna. If I could afford it, I'd move to North Hills or 4th and Gill.

Bearden is gorgeous and many of the homes are huge and elegant, but you have to go there and it gets expensive. I like being downtown-ish. That means five minutes away without a lot of traffic.

I really don't like to travel any farther than Bearden. Beyond that it gets too suburban to me and beyond that gets too much like a movie set.

All around Knoxville, in all the neighborhoods, there are some very amazing roads that are almost like living in the country.

Oh, I almost forgot Fountain City. That's another favorite neighborhood of mine. It has a cultural bent, some great new shops and restaurants, and that fabulous park and pond.

Knoxville has plenty of cultural, fabulous artists and galleries, some nice restarants and a downtown that can, with a few years growth, in the right direction rival any in America.

If you have a pet, Knoxville is trying to become a dog friendly city by providing a few dog parks with more to come.

Pamela Treacy's picture

First Fridays

In Denver, first Fridays are big. I know we have it, but can anyone tell me how popular it is?

Rachel's picture

can anyone tell me how

can anyone tell me how popular it is?


Up Goose Creek's picture

North vs South

I generally think North knoxville is better for singles/socializing, South Knoxville for nature lovers. If she wants diversity she might consider Parkridge. There were some hunky homeowners on this year's home tour who would have made me swoon were I 20 yrs younger.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

Anonymously Nine's picture

Not from here?

Bearden is gorgeous and many of the homes are huge and elegant, but you have to go there and it gets expensive.

You make is sound like Bearden is at the edge of the flat earth.

Isn't Bearden somewhere close to the center of Knoxville?

As far as huge, elegant, and expensive, compared to what? I have a hard time thinking of huge, elegant, and expensive in Bearden. That is Sequoyah Hills and Lyons View Drive. When did that become Bearden? Locals don't see it that way. Locals don't think of the area that used to be Dean Hill Country Club as Bearden. West Hills sure isn't Bearden. Rocky Hill isn't Bearden. Suburban Hills isn't Bearden. Forrest Hills is Bearden but I believe people there prefer to call it Forrest Hills.

People not from here think Bearden encompasses a lot more territory than people who grew up here. Bearden ends at what used to be Jack Walkers supermarket. The same parking lot as the old Michael's Cow Palace. It is West Hills from that point west.

I really get tired of the Bearden good but farther west bad meme. This zip code prejudice gets old.

It is like when the KNS refers to the area around West High School as West Knoxville. People not from here seem to take great pleasure in telling us what is where. It is a subtle prejudice which favors older craftsmen type homes against West Hills type 1950's ranchers. It is tiring.

It is humorous to hear people that really have no idea of the history of this place try to explain things.

edens's picture

It is a subtle prejudice

It is a subtle prejudice which favors older craftsmen type homes against West Hills type 1950's ranchers. It is tiring.

Not nearly so tiring as your pissing and moaning about poor, put-upon West Knoxville. I mean, really, when it comes to prejudice in relation to real estate, most isn't so subtle.

And it's not directed against West Knoxville.

It's taken a lot of hard work, sweat equity and money invested in the longshot hope of a future return to build a viable real estate market in Knoxville's center city. And if that makes you feel looked down upon because of where you live or exasperated at listening to the uniformed slurs about where you live, tough shit.

In that light, however, I see why you settled out west. You certainly wouldn't have had the stones to buy someplace like Parkridge circa 1992, or 4th and Gill circa '82.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Woop, there it is...

And if that makes you feel looked down upon because of where you live or exasperated at listening to the uniformed slurs about where you live, tough shit.

That is so perfect, "uniformed slurs about where you live", you mean where people come in and attempt to tell the people who grew up here what is what?

This revisionist history of Knoxville is laughable.

I could give a hoot about the sweat equity of people who look down on other people. Be serious edens, these people don't even know where Bearden is. They just know everything past Bearden is full of "those people".

Why is it the people who demand tolerance are the least tolerant? Tell me.

Rachel's picture

Bearden ends at what used to

Bearden ends at what used to be Jack Walkers supermarket. The same parking lot as the old Michael's Cow Palace. It is West Hills from that point west.

Really? I always think of the west edge of Bearden as Papermill Road, at the foot of Bearden Hill. When I was a kid, that was pretty much where the really urban part of Knoxville started.

But then I know better than to argue with the digit, who gets his information straight from the Almighty.

Anonymously Nine's picture

About a driver, a three wood and a five iron...Par 5

Really? I always think of the west edge of Bearden as Papermill Road, at the foot of Bearden Hill. When I was a kid, that was pretty much where the really urban part of Knoxville started.

How would you know? Did you grow up here as a kid or just visit? You do realize the distance you refer to is quickly walked on foot.

Some old timers from Sequoyah Hills would say Bearden ends at the top of Bearden Hill. Again, a sort distance. I was being generous.

But by all means, let's say it is where you say.

Rach says the end of the flat earth is at Papermill Road and Kingston Pike. Let it be written on clay stones. "Those people", live past the great divide in the forbidden zone. Shun them as their ways are different from those of good heart. They choose the basement rancher instead of the craftsman home. Damn them, damn them to hell.

Saw Plant of the Apes earlier today. Great movie.

Pamela Treacy's picture

Hey Guys-Gentle Reminder

I am trying to show her this is a nice place to live. Some of this banter might be a turn off and isn't the type of information I requested. May I politely ask that we stay on topic?

Mykhailo's picture

May I politely ask that we

May I politely ask that we stay on topic?

Unfortunately, as long as Nine is here, that's not gonna happen.

But, on topic, definitely have your sister look at the area around the intersection of Forest Hill & Sutherland. It's sort of trashing-looking in that aging 70s commercial strip way, and the sidewalks leave a lot to be desired, and it's lacking much in the way of urban hipsters, but it's easily the most convenient & eclectic part of town -- within easy walking/biking distance there's two conventional supermarkets, one (and soon to be two) upscale-ish yuppie supermakets, dry cleaners, banks, coffee shops, lots of good restaurants (including several ethnic places), an Asian grocery, an Indian grocery, a Middle Eastern grocery, an elementary & high school, a hardware store, a garden store, a post office, several barbers/hair salons, clothes stores, a thrift store, etc etc. Plus, the best bike path in town runs through that intersection.

There's a pretty big, relatively nice, and cheap garden style apt. complex there a block away from that intersection. She ought to at least consider renting a place there for six months while she got a feel for the town.

bizgrrl's picture

Great sales pitch. I do know

Great sales pitch. I do know and like the location. It's great advice to consider renting for a shorter period, if possible, to get to know any destination.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Good grief...

This place is more divided than it has been in years. Mostly along partisan and cliquish territorial city county issues. Somewhat over race and economics. You want people to be honest and than you complain about the banter? Doesn't she have a right to know about the little dark secrets? The intense hatred of certain places, politics, and people?

Your sister in law should know that if you had predicated this story by saying she was a Republican that some here would have been quite rude and told her to stay out. The hypocrisy on this thread is so typical. This episode could be called "Let's recruit a progressive". It is so funny to see everyone lobbying for her to come to their neighborhood but conveniently leaving out the part about the homeless, the drunks, and the crime.

This was a success though, lots of great ideas and she gets to know the bad parts too. I know, we weren't suppose to talk about that. I keep forgetting what the mission is...

Justin's picture

Get a clue Mike. No one

Get a clue Mike. No one likes you. Go away. You contribute nothing to this conversation.

rocketsquirrel's picture

Pam, There are now, finally,


There are now, finally, some realtors who are specializing in older neighborhoods, including Rob Howard, Jennifer Montgomery, Patrick Michael, and Steve Hill. (My apologies if I left a realtor out of this list.) I believe some of them go through a class with Knox Heritage to learn about the neighborhoods and are enormously helpful in buying in older neighborhoods. If you're looking at downtown loft properties, Kimberly Dixon Hamilton specializes in condos and lofts.

edens's picture

Also, Jessica Rodocker with

Also, Jessica Rodocker with Horizon Realty:


Tends to have quite a few listings in South Knoxville.

Anonymous's picture

Vick Dyer at Coldwell Banker

Vick Dyer at Coldwell Banker does mostly downtown, North Hills, Ftn. City, and is a great guy.

Pamela Treacy's picture


She does need to know the good and bad about each area. I just didn't want to get in the long historical perspective about an area's boundaries.

Everyone has been helpful.

"Boston" Bill's picture

The request was.....

question....Should we move to Knoxville ? If you what to be CONVINCED to move to Knoxville listen to all these flowery explanations.

Somebody's picture

Oh, look at the time (and the date).

Hey Bill,

This question was asked six years ago. I'm guessing that whatever decision was at hand was made back then.

Joe328's picture

I've lived in Knoxville for

I've lived in Knoxville for over 50 years and grew up in West Knoxville and also attend West High in west Knoxville. Bearden is a large community which includes several subdivisions and West Hills was just another subdivision, not a community of subdivisions.

If you want to deal with facts over the history of West Knoxville learn to read a map and plot the sectors. For additional evidence find some old Knoxville business post cards. The old post cards refer to Kingston Pike as Southwest Knoxville. The area between Kingston Pike and Clinton Hwy was know as West Knoxville. The old folks had a reason for giving Western Avenue its name.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Not exactly...

I've lived in Knoxville for over 50 years and grew up in West Knoxville and also attend West High in west Knoxville. Bearden is a large community which includes several subdivisions and West Hills was just another subdivision, not a community of subdivisions.

As told by a person who went to West High School.

Others will see it differently. The Bearden and Farragut graduates will probably not have the same viewpoint. In fact, yours is a very West High centric viewpoint. I don't agree. Maybe if you are in your 60's I could understand where you are coming from. Then it would make sense. But it is still your viewpoint.

In the old days the name of a community came from the Post Office or the High School. The idea that Bearden extends out to Gallaher View Road near Walker Springs is ridiculous. When the current Bearden High School was built in 1969 it was way out in the boonies. Best Buy and the Guitar Center were where the "Orange Tee" par 3 golf course was. It would have been something like the 13th hole. There were still many farms in that area.

No one can say what the community boundaries are or what even communities names are. It depends on what your parents told you. Kind of illustrates what a fools errand local history lessons are. It depends on what you were told.

edens's picture

Maybe if you are in your

Maybe if you are in your 60's I could understand where you are coming from.

You young whipper-snappers with your newfangled old houses get the hell off my lawn...

Joe328's picture

Most communities are named after the Post Office or School?

The communities came before the Post Office and the school. The city of Farragut and the high school was named after Admiral Farragut. The Mascot, Strawberry Plains, Kimberland Heights, Concord, and Kodak Post Offices were named after the community. The first Post Office to be named "West Knoxville" was located on Keith Ave between Western Heights and Mechanicsville. It closed in the late 70s or early 80s. The current "West Knoxville" Post Office is located on Sutherland Ave in Bearden. The "west planning sector" of Knoxville starts at Neyland Dr.

I will agree that community lines have changed but most have grown such as west. The growth of a town doesn't move the community it just expands it. At one time the communities were better defined with signs and most had small shopping areas. Bearden Village had a sign on Kingston Pike just east of Forrest Park Blvd. North, South, East, and West are large sectors of Knoxville which subdivided into smaller communities, and then into even smaller subdivision.

Some in the western sector of Knoxville are trying to redefine west to exclude Western Heights, West Londsdale, and other communities which they don't want to be associated with. Sorry but the north pole has not moved and the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.

Every sector in Knoxville has excellent communities along with some bad. It would be boring for me to live in a town where every community was a cookie cutter copy.

Mykhailo's picture

Some in the western sector

Some in the western sector of Knoxville are trying to redefine west to exclude Western Heights, West Londsdale, and other communities which they don't want to be associated with.

Hell, even the people who *live* in Lonsdale don't think Lonsdale is 'West Knoxville'.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Good point...

Some in the western sector of Knoxville are trying to redefine west to exclude Western Heights, West Londsdale, and other communities which they don't want to be associated with.

No doubt about that. There is a move to disown part of the original west Knoxville. Another "those people" campaign. All of the "those people" campaigns are counter productive.

West Knoxville has morphed into many west Knoxville's. The original west Knoxville, farther west Knoxville, even farther west Knoxville, and then Farragut. Wasn't Sequoyah Hills far west Knoxville when it was first built?

Edens once wrote about the western movement of the center of the city. But it is a matter of perspective. New people have no idea that West High school is west Knoxville. That is a little hard for them to understand. When the center of the city has moved past what was west Knoxville it gets confusing.

Justin's picture

Pamela, please ignore

Pamela, please ignore anything the banned Anonymously Nine says. He makes Knoxville look bad. He can turn an innocent conversation into class warfare in a single post. In fact, I encourage the mods to delete any future posts from Mike M/#9 in this topic. We all know why he posted what he did and where it will go if allowed to continue.



Tess's picture

I have to agree with nine.

I have to agree with nine. Bearden is not an area that I think of as having huge homes. At any rate, I don't want to argue with Edens, who is an expert on all things related to neighborhoods in Knoxville, although he lives in Baltimore (is it?).

This question has opened a can of worms. All sections of Knoxville have their charm.

And, Edens, yes, Forest Heights has craftsman style cottage homes. And, (gasp) these homes are in Bearden, not in God's favorite part of town (North Knoxville).

Rachel's picture

Tess,All sections of


All sections of Knoxville are clearly appealing to those who chose to live there.

Folks here are simply responding to Pamela's description of her sister-in-law's preferences. She does sound like someone who would be happier in one of the close in neighborhoods like Island Home Park, 4th & Gill, Bearden, etc rather than in Farragut or Halls.

P.S. And everybody knows God favors SOUTH Knoxville. :)

edens's picture

Tess, I don't recall bashing

Tess, I don't recall bashing Forest Heights. I was just having some fun with Nine's fears that somewhere out there some urban hipster - a transplanted yankee still wearing his Obama button, no doubt - might be looking down upon him.

The horror.

This thread started with someone seeking advice/questions about relocating to Knoxville, particularly pertaining to the city's older, central neighborhoods. It's a subject I'm pretty well versed in, obviously. And when I started writing the real estate column for metro pulse some fifteen years ago, it was information that was rather hard to come by. Few realtors, particularly with the major firms, bothered with listings there (and if they did, mostly marketed them to investors), many steered clients away from the center city, even if the clients were interested (the concept of a middle income professionl living there being a fairly alien concept in Knoxville at the time). And selling a property often required an awful lot of hand-holding to overcome negative perceptions - God forbid mom and dad get involved... (Are these issues West Knoxville now struggles with?)

Those things have changed in portions of the center city, to a certain extent. Although, lets be honest, the numbers involved are still fairly small - a single west knox subdivision probably contains as many homes as 4th and Gill, and the average condo cluster as many units as downtown (even if, out in the burbs, the condos are typically the affordable end of the market). As much as some folks might wish (and I'm not particularly one of them) West Knoxville is unlikely to dry up and blow away. A viable alternative, however, is starting to exist. Whether they can peacefully coexist, who knows?

It's funny, I used to say that the old hardcore tribe of center-city enthusiasts spent far more time worrying about West Knoxville than vise-versa (fifteen years ago it was tough to say whether West Knoxville knew 4th and Gill existed...). But now I'm starting to wonder.

Pamela Treacy's picture


I can look up the going prices of houses in that area, but I don't know how much they have been improved. Can someone give me some ideas about how much work it would take to update/repair an older home in these neighborhoods?


Joe328's picture

In times past there was a

In times past there was a Bearden Village and a Bearden.

Up Goose Creek's picture

economic diversity

Tess, I didn't mention Bearden because the OP was looking for economic diversity, which I interpreted as different economic levels side by side. If you include the Sutherland area Bearden has a wide range of incomes, but they seem (to an outsider) to be clustered. Bearden is the clear winner in terms of diversity and quantity of shopping/restaurants.

Of course, after readng the bickering on this blog I wonder if the OP's sister will relocate. Mybe just as well. At some time we need to switch out of boosterism mode and stem the tide of incomers before our little city gets gridlocked.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

bizgrrl's picture

after readng the bickering

after readng the bickering on this blog I wonder if the OP's sister will relocate.

I was thinking the same thing.

Getting to know any city/town before a move would be best. We visited the Atlanta metro area 3-4 times and could never commit to living there. The only neighborhood we really liked was way over our budget.

The neighborhoods mentioned in the comments are probably all good choices. Hopefully your SIL knows her neighborhood comfort levels. Will she want very old housing or just medium old or new? Will she want housing to rehab or one already completed? Does she want to pay $500 a month or is she willing to pay $1,000 a month? Does she want a house, an apartment (in a building or a house), a condo? Does she need greenspace (yard, park very close by)? Do panhandlers, drunks, homeless people close by everyday bother her? Does she need transportation e.g. bus service? Does she want to walk to stores and restaurants? How far is she willing to walk? Will she want cars in the front yard or in the backyard?

Pamela Treacy's picture


I would have to get her to chime in on some of those questions. I think she would love to be under $1000 a month. She is moderately handy -- but coming here she will have a handful of family members to help her with repairs, clean etc. She would like a small yard and house over a condo. She has a dog. She likes to entertain so I know she would want to update a kitchen.

R. Neal's picture

Pamela's SIL is probably

Pamela's SIL is probably smart enough to figure out there is only one social retard who has to piss in every punch bowl and not offer anything constructive to the original point, which was "why live in Knoxville, and where." #9 should make a case for Farragut or stay out of it.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Forrest Heights would be the pick

What there has been is lot of incomplete boosterism in this thread. How many times has edens, KAG, and others written about the problems with the homeless and crime in Fourth and Gill and Parkridge? Is that constructive enough?

I would have recommend some place in Bearden to a new arrival who gave the parameters Pamela did. And there are plenty of Obama stickers still on cars in Bearden.

Second pick would be Island Home.

edens's picture

Forrest Heights? Is that a

Forrest Heights?

Is that a tell?

Anonymously Nine's picture

Is that a tell? Just a

Is that a tell?

Just a suggestion. For singles I think of two places, downtown or Bearden. For a young woman I would think the homeless problem would get old quickly. Parts of Bearden are very walkable. A lot to do in Bearden whether you walk or drive. And parking is the old fashion kind, right in front.

edens's picture

Just a

Just a suggestion.

Obliviousness, thy name is Nine.

Anonymous's picture

North Hills

Returning to the original question(s): We moved here three years ago. We were quickly put off by the car-centric aspects of West Knoxville (which for me, starts at Alcoa Highyway). But that's just us. We rented in Fourth & Gill for a year before deciding on North Hills. While we loved 4&G and ONK, most of the houses were simply too big for us--a young professional couple with no kids, and no plans on having any anytime soon. We did like Island Home, but it is small, and at the time, there wasn't much turnover. After our first trip through North Hills, though, we were sold--larger yards with a sense of privacy, and yet still a close-knit, relatively stable neighborhood. The arcitecture is varied,there are views of the mountains, and with the exception of the stores out West (to which we rarely have need to go), everything is within a 3 mile drive--downtown, the university, shopping on Broadway/Ftn. City, and my favorite "everyday" restaurant, Senor Taco.

As to why choose Knoxville in the first place--I think someone can only speak to why they chose a place to live. We picked Knoxville in part because of its natural beauty, and because it is either a small big city or a big small town (I can never decide which it is). Knoxville has always struck me as more Appalachian than Southern, and for historically good reasons, I guess, but it incorporates enough of both to make things interesting. Specifically, while the "you ain't from round here" attitude is still prevalent and tiresome, I also think that that attitude is fundamentally rooted in a respect for place, both natural and familial, and that respect is too-often missing in most cities.

Anyway, my two cents. Good luck to your SIL in making her decisions.

edens's picture

Ultimately it does all come

Ultimately it does all come down to taste and comfort level. And that, for some people, means suburbia. That's fine by me, for the most part (as I implied above, most of my writing in Metro Pulse has been aimed at creating a viable alternative).

Suburbia, however, isn't the preferenc of the original poster's sister in law. Based upon that, Knoxville does offer a range of options, depending upon what you're looking for in a neighborhood and home. Some of it is housing type/age plus the acceptable level of "edginess" and how the two interact(which, typically, plays into determining price) . If you're looking for twenties and thirties Tudor or other European revival styles Sequoyah is the safe, albeit expensive bet, followed by Forest Heights/Westwood, a more affordable and slightly more "daring" choice under the conventional calculus of "location, location, location," might be North Hills/Emoirland/Fairmont and Lindbergh Forest on the South Side (an overlooked gem, tough to find anything on the market). There are a few in other close in areas South, or East like Holston Hills, but 50's style ramblers are more common (and that's not a knock, those are great houses, typically well-buil with hardwood floors and such) Deane Hill and West Hills are the peak of the market for 50's ramblers - along with Sequoyah, where they constitute the "newer" homes (many quite modest in size, if not always price)

Bungalow fans can shop everywhere from Fountain City (try Gibbs Drive) to Island Home to Old North to Parkidge and Chilhowie Park (once again, in descending order of the likelihood that your choice will raise the eyebrows/concerns of KNoxville acquaintances. There are some in 4th and Gill, particularly the northern end, as well as Belle Morris.

For Victorians - which, with rare exception, is about as old as it gets in Knoxville/Knox COunty - 4th and Gill and Old North are the top of the market, but there's also Mechanicsville, Parkridge, Oakwood/Lincoln Park and Old Sevier on the South side(although the larger two-story homes are scarce in the last two options). Among Knoxville's most urban neighborhoods,they do come with some baggage (as Nine never fails to point out). Although, having lived in both 4th and Gill and Parkridge for more than a decade, I can attest to the fact that issues of crime and/or the homeless aren't an "everyday" obsession. And, while it's true Katie and I have written a fair amount about those issues over the years, it's often when some knucklehead from the governmen/nonprofit sector proposes a "solution" that promises to reverse what, for the most part, is an improving situation (Nine's claims to the contrary, the city/county's suburban elite meddles in the center city far more than "urban progressives" poke their nose in West Knox County's business).

The important thing when looking at real estate in the center city is to realize that hundreds, indeed thousands, of people have made the decision to buck the trend, becoming homeowners and raising families in the center city and they are, for the most part, quite happy there.

sugarfatpie's picture

Oakwood/Lincoln Park

I think Oakwood/Lincoln Park (especially the B-Way/St Mary's side) is the best kept secret among what #9 attempts to degrade as Knoxville's nascent "urban hipster" scene. Cheap, safe, walkable, nearby (Fellini)Krogers, music stores, banks, computer stores, SR Taco, all within walking distance. I predict that sooner or later B-Way will be sporting some form based zoning that will really help this part of town.

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

StaceyDiamond's picture


I enjoy living near downtown and the music scene, people don't fully realize how good it is. If you have the time and desire you can see a Blue Plate special concert at WDVX at noon and hit a couple of concerts at the Pres. Pub or Brewery at night around 5 nights a week. Three concerts a day. My only real problem with Knoxville is not lack of things to do, its lack of quality people, especially singles.

Pamela Treacy's picture

Can you elaborate?

Not being single is one of the reason I sought out opinions here. Can you tell me more? I guess there are alot of singles in Denver.


R. Neal's picture

Another factor, where will

Another factor, where will she be working? From home? Downtown? Independently wealthy so it doesn't matter? Could make a difference.

Island Home is ultra-convenient to downtown yet offers natural beauty and a park-like environment. But as has already been mentioned, good luck waiting for something to come on the market over there.

Pamela Treacy's picture


It will be a new job for a non-profit.

Rachel's picture

Actually, there are two

Actually, there are two houses (that I know of) for sale here right now. It does happen.

And Jessica Rodocker is definitely the person to call for info on houses in Island Home Park and south Knoxville in general.

Joe328's picture

Colonial Village off Chapman

Colonial Village off Chapman Hwy is nice community with older but well maintained homes. Lake Forest on the other side of Chapman Hwy is also a nice area and both are on the Dogwood Trail. Holston Hills on the east side is another old neighbor with a Country Club and everyone maintains a neat yard for the Dogwood Trail.

Bird_dog's picture

Places Rated Almanac

We used Places Rated to relocate out of Louisiana in the oil bust of the early 80's. The Southern Appalachian region topped our list for climate & economy. One week in 1984 we drove to all the cities large enough to have a state University and looked at comparable neighborhoods in each. Knoxville was a post-worlds-fair bargain! We finally moved a few years later, followed by more family from La/Tx and have never regretted it.

Most neighborhoods - regardless of income - have spectacular views of the mountains due to all the ridges and valleys. Lack of sidewalks and roads with bike-safe shoulders can be a bummer (e.g. Northshore) but recreational opportunities abound. If any of my young-adult kids were to move here, I'd recommend Park Ridge or the little neighborhood between Sutherland and the 3rd creek bike trail at West High.

FrankP's picture

I'm moving to Knoxville b/c of work...

...but have never been there. Am going for the first time in a few weeks. I want to rent downtown but have no idea where to start. I absolutely hate the suburbs and want to stay away from suburb life. Are there actual apartments in the city or just lofts? I read that old city is nice and probably close to what I'm used to now. How do I find some apartment listings for that area b/c online just keeps giving me the suburb apartment complexes. thanks for any help you can provide.

Bird_dog's picture

You could stay at the Maplehurst B&B

Their website is: (link...)
I would call it shabby chic - like a big, old, grandma's house. It's near the river and everything is easy walking distance in downtown.
Sonny Harben is a real Downtown Knoxville booster!

FrankP's picture

Is this an apartment? I'm

Is this an apartment? I'm not looking for temp housing.

Bird_dog's picture

no, but

I'm assuming you would stay somewhere to look for an apartment (hotel, motel) - this is an alternative and Sonny would be a good contact. Downtown is really quite small. There are some apartments near Chesapeakes and some near the Immaculate Conception Church. Don't know about any apartments in the Old City. The Knoxville Visitor Center is downtown. You might just email a few folks and look at the Google streetscape maps for a "virtual tour"... I like grass and trees and kids and dogs, so I know nothing about living IN downtown. But we love Knoxville!

FrankP's picture

oh ok thanks - i already

oh ok thanks - i already have a hotel near the airport b/c i have to travel to Maryville but wanted to look downtown for a place. thanks for the suggestions

Nobody's picture

Craigslist has downtown

Craigslist has downtown rentals listed, and either Kim Dixon Hamilton or Vick Dyer (realtors) also do downtown rentals.

Bird_dog's picture

for example


These apartments (condos?) are near Chesapeakes Restaurant and they look charming to me - but they don't look like an apartment "complex" that would be listed in any apartment guide.

Michael's picture

Kendrick Place

These apartments (condos?) are near Chesapeakes Restaurant and they look charming to me...

Google's gone whacky on that one. It's not Hill Avenue for one thing. It's Union at Locust.

But to clarify, that's Kendrick Place. Not strictly condo per se. It's actually a PUD (Planned Use Development). Owners own from the ground beneath through the roof of each unit. The exterior, walls dividing units, and the space surrounding are all shared. Great place, and very unique. While relatively consistent on the outside, each unit is totally different inside.

Rentals there aren't unheard of, but rare. There is, however, a unit for sale there right now. Vic Dyer would be the contact.

bizgrrl's picture

Yowzah! After doing a google

Yowzah! After doing a google search, I found a Kendrick Place "townhouse" for $342,000. And it's #9!

I'll never get used to the price of housing.

Justin's picture

#9! That number alone would


That number alone would make me want to stay away...

: )

edens's picture

I'll never get used to the

I'll never get used to the price of housing.

Heh, you think you'll never get used it? $145 a foot is starting to look cheap to me:




Bird_dog's picture

Don't Blame Google

That was just me wandering around town as that little avatar character, down Locust to the Chesapeake parking lot. I started at the Maplehurst - on Hill.

Bird_dog's picture

maryville is also a possibility

They have a nice riverwalk with condo/apartments? and a quaint downtown.

FrankP's picture


Thanks for that link; that's more like what i'm looking for. Do the newspapers there have private apartment listings like this?

Bird_dog's picture

this is just my impression...

but you almost have to "know somebody" to find out these things. My husband is a CPA and it took almost 2 years and a referral from someone I met at church to find a management job here, but that was 20 years ago. An old man with lots of rental property would not rent a house to me because I moved here ahead of the rest of the family! Maybe someone else on here will know about listings and how to find them. Good luck!

R. Neal's picture

Apts. in Forest Park area,

Apts. in Forest Park area, some upscale shopping nearby including a Fresh Market, convenient to downtown, UT, west, Alcoa Hwy/129 to Maryville/Alcoa:


They are undergoing refurb at the moment, so there's a bit of a construction mess inside but I believe they are renting.

I know someone who lives there. They just had their rent jacked up when their lease came up under new ownership, but rent now includes all utilities and basic cable. There seems to be plenty of parking.

If I were looking for an apartment I would consider this place. I think there's a pool on the roof, too.

(Formerly known as Carlton Apts., I believe.)

Up Goose Creek's picture


I get the impression what you are looking for is a rental of a loft. The sterchi lofts building is all rentals, then there will be condo owners that rent units in downtown and the old city. Metropulse classifieds is a good place to look. Also craigslist.

Or is it the apartment feel with standard ceilings and traditional layout? River house was built as apartments and there is a complex in Maplehurst.

Woodmeade South is the closest typical apartment complex to downtown that's not student or section 8 oriented.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

FrankP's picture

Thanks for everyone's help

Appreciate the leads and info you gave me; its at least a start. Thanks everyone!

Chip Barry's picture

She needs a buyer's agent.

Pamela, there are many questions to answer regarding your relative's needs in moving to Knoxville. Hopefully she has found some helpful information here. I have lived North, West, and South. I also worked for non-profits for 17 years, so I am familiar with most of them. I am now a realtor and would be happy to help her. While I do list homes, I mostly work with buyers. It is in her best interest to have an agent representing her as a buyer. I have lived in South Knoxville, more specifically Colonial Village for almost 10 years and have loved it. There is a good mix of people in our neighborhood and it is convenient to downtown which I frequent.
While I love South Knox, I have sold homes mostly in oakwood/lincoln park, Fairmont Park area, North Hills, and Fountain City to singles on a budget. Feel free to pass along my name and number. Sorry if this sounds like shameless self promotion. I am only trying to be helpful. My out of town customers have enjoyed it when I showed them the city to let them know more about where they are moving. Let me know if I can help. Chip Barry, Affiliate Broker, 865-384-7480.

StaceyDiamond's picture

on singles

As far as singles, don't know if it is my experience or unique to Knoxville or the South. Its way easier to be single being around the downtown area, when I have lived in the county there are people that the first question they ask you is are you married or why don't you have kids, sometimes its ok to be single, as long as you have kids. also below the national average on college educated people and I can tell that. Many political groups I've been involved with are full of older, married retired people or college students or people with young children. Not much middle ground. But as far as musical or cultural activities or outdoor activities, I feel if you are bored and without stuff to do in Knoxville its because you haven't looked.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Park Place

Speaking of Kristopher Kendrick, I wonder if Park Place has availability. It's a converted school a mile from downtown. Lofty character with grounds and a pool.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

CityChicken's picture

Historic House Rentals Available

If the folks who are looking for K-town housing would like to give the Center City a try, there are two renovated historic houses available for rent in Parkridge. One is a craftsman (3 beds/2 baths), the other a Victorian cottage (2 beds/1 bath); both are winners of Knox Heritage's Fantastic Fifteen restoration award. The rent is very reasonable: $650 and $600/mo respectively + utilities. They come with fully applianced kitchens, laundry hookups (the machines, too, if needed), and neighborhood resident landlords. A great way to see if the center city is for you.
call 964-6035.

spacecadet's picture

where in downtown to buy

My husband and I are empty nesters and are thrilled at the thought of living in a condo a short walk to all that the city has to offer.
Where are the most desirable places to live in the downtown area, and are they safe.
Also, where is the best investment right now. Will old city continue to develop, or is it best to stay near market square?
Any input is helpful, thanks

sugarfatpie's picture

Depends on your tolerance

Depends on your tolerance for noise.
Market Square and Gay St are definitely where things are happening now, but they are noisy too.
Old city is also noisy.
Might try to find something off of Gay if you want more quiet.
Beware of buildings renovated cheaply with thin walls.

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

Anne314's picture

Hi folks, I just wanted to

Hi folks,
I just wanted to finally log in and say thank you very much for your feedback. I am Pam's sister-in-law, and she posted this question for me. It's great to see such a great response!
At the beginning of this year, when Pam posted this, I was just starting to think of moving to Knoxville. I grew up in Chicago, and have lived a couple of different places, but have called Denver home for ten years. I'm pretty established here, so it took some mulling over.
So I mulled it over. And over, and over. I love Colorado, but I miss my family, and as my brother said, "We've got mountains here too!" And incredibly beautiful ones at that. (Not that that's the only deciding factor by any means.)
Now I am seriously considering it, and probably within the next year (actually less). I wanted to let you all know that your feedback helped. I know your city is beautiful, and now I know it's the home of some really helpful folks (besides my wonderful family). So thank you for that.
I look forward to chatting with some of you soon.
Thanks! (And thank you, Pam, for posting this for me! I really appreciate it!)

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