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cjwakefield Jul 29th 2011 12:12 pm

Knoxville?
 
Hi everyone.

My wife and I are considering a move with our 3 kids to Knoxville, TN. Even though I'm half American we have lived in the UK our whole lives and are definitely more British than American.

Just wondered if you would recommend moving to Knoxville and if so could you recommend some good areas to live? What are the pluses & minuses about Knoxville?

Cheers

CJ

ian-mstm Jul 29th 2011 12:25 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by cjwakefield (Post 9526263)
What are the pluses & minuses about Knoxville?

IMHO, the best thing about Knoxville is its proximity to NC, VA, and KY.

Ian

AmerLisa Jul 29th 2011 1:49 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 
Just out of curiosity, why are you considering Knoxville? Job transfer? Family?

I must admit, I don't know anything about Knoxville. I live on the west coast of the country, and regions can be so very different. But I was curious...:)

cjwakefield Jul 29th 2011 1:57 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 
Knoxville wouldn't be my first choice but am waiting to hear back from a recent job application there. Also good location to reach family members. Thanks

Bob Jul 29th 2011 5:40 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 
There's a few folks in TN, don't know about Knoxville...but check out citydata.com as starting point.

Probably wouldn't be my first choice of location, but where ever you can get a job I suppose.

Anyway, welcome to BE and good luck with the job! :)

Brit In TN Jul 29th 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by cjwakefield (Post 9526263)
Hi everyone.

My wife and I are considering a move with our 3 kids to Knoxville, TN. Even though I'm half American we have lived in the UK our whole lives and are definitely more British than American.

Just wondered if you would recommend moving to Knoxville and if so could you recommend some good areas to live? What are the pluses & minuses about Knoxville?

Cheers

CJ

Hello CJ,
I'm from Brum originally. Lived there for about thirty years, have lived in Knoxville TN for about twenty years now.
I never really intended to live here but have gradually grown to really like the place.

I'm assuming you are aware of and have taken care of all the required visas, green cards etc. Also assuming you're aware of the need for health insurance as there is no National Health over here.

Moving on -

A few pluses :
With the exception of July and August (very hot and humid), weather is generally reasonable. Warm and sunny most of the year, chilly in winter but not much snow.
For its size a fairly busy place. Lots of entertainment; live music, movie theatres, restaurants, bars etc.
Lots of parks, lakes for leisurely walks or boating (if that's your thing.)
A short drive from the Smokey Mountains and in particular Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. (Both are tourist hotspots - Have a look on Google.)
Reasonably kid friendly with some good schools to be found, especially private ones.
Being located at the 'junction' of I-75 and I-40 means it is reasonably simple to drive from either Florida to Michigan or (almost) east coast to (almost) west coast.
Airport is not the busiest in the world but it is just a short flight to Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington DC. All of which offer flights to many major cities worldwide.
Very low major crime rate and not too much in the way of petty crime. Certainly not anything that keeps you locked inside your house at night. (With the exception of one or two small areas of town.)
A reasonable amount of British food items can be found at some supermarkets.
A couple of Indian restaurants exist.
Can't really talk about the job market as I've been fortunate enough to not have to worry about finding work.
Some minuses :
You MUST have a car. Public transport is almost non-existant.
With that in mind the road system around and through Knoxville is fairly good. Easily navigable (once you are used to it) and lots of free parking.
People will persistantly ask if you are Australian.
July and August are HOT and HUMID! Currently 95degF with heat index of 101degF ie. HOT (live somewhere with air-con, almost everywhere has it.)
Really no other minuses than you would likely find in moving to almost anywhere in the US from the UK.

Depending where you are moving from will dictate how 'easy' the transition is. If you are moving from a massive city or a tiny village then the transition will be more of a shock than if you were moving from, say, Coventry.
Either way you will be changing not only country but continent and there will be many minor and major differences to get used to.

Let me know if you have any questions.

All the best
Tony

brl2k Jul 30th 2011 3:53 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 
I lived in Knoxville for a few years and have to say I did not like it. However, my parents still live there. If you are well off financially I would recommend looking at the Farragut, Bearden or Cedar Bluff areas. They are nice and wealthier people live there. My parents live in Halls, which is North Knoxville and I would not recommend living there. Halls is a very racist (almost no black people live in Halls), cliquey and redneck town.

fromthemanorborn Jul 30th 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by Brit In TN (Post 9527106)
Hello CJ,
I'm from Brum originally. Lived there for about thirty years, have lived in Knoxville TN for about twenty years now.
I never really intended to live here but have gradually grown to really like the place.

I'm assuming you are aware of and have taken care of all the required visas, green cards etc. Also assuming you're aware of the need for health insurance as there is no National Health over here.

Moving on -

A few pluses :
With the exception of July and August (very hot and humid), weather is generally reasonable. Warm and sunny most of the year, chilly in winter but not much snow.
For its size a fairly busy place. Lots of entertainment; live music, movie theatres, restaurants, bars etc.
Lots of parks, lakes for leisurely walks or boating (if that's your thing.)
A short drive from the Smokey Mountains and in particular Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. (Both are tourist hotspots - Have a look on Google.)
Reasonably kid friendly with some good schools to be found, especially private ones.
Being located at the 'junction' of I-75 and I-40 means it is reasonably simple to drive from either Florida to Michigan or (almost) east coast to (almost) west coast.
Airport is not the busiest in the world but it is just a short flight to Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington DC. All of which offer flights to many major cities worldwide.
Very low major crime rate and not too much in the way of petty crime. Certainly not anything that keeps you locked inside your house at night. (With the exception of one or two small areas of town.)
A reasonable amount of British food items can be found at some supermarkets.
A couple of Indian restaurants exist.
Can't really talk about the job market as I've been fortunate enough to not have to worry about finding work.
Some minuses :
You MUST have a car. Public transport is almost non-existant.
With that in mind the road system around and through Knoxville is fairly good. Easily navigable (once you are used to it) and lots of free parking.
People will persistantly ask if you are Australian.
July and August are HOT and HUMID! Currently 95degF with heat index of 101degF ie. HOT (live somewhere with air-con, almost everywhere has it.)
Really no other minuses than you would likely find in moving to almost anywhere in the US from the UK.

Depending where you are moving from will dictate how 'easy' the transition is. If you are moving from a massive city or a tiny village then the transition will be more of a shock than if you were moving from, say, Coventry.
Either way you will be changing not only country but continent and there will be many minor and major differences to get used to.

Let me know if you have any questions.

All the best
Tony


This is a great summary from Tony and pretty much sums up what I would say. All I would add is that it may also be prudent to look at some of the smaller satellite towns which surround Knoxville. They will be cheaper and considering you have 3 kids, the school systems of Oak Ridge, Alcoa and Maryville are considered some of the best in the East of, if not the whole of the state.

Oh, and Tony, considering you have lived in the area for 20 years I would have thought you could have spelled "Smoky Mountains" correctly.
Then again, you are a Brummie.....;)

fromthemanorborn Jul 30th 2011 6:29 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 9526670)
There's a few folks in TN, don't know about Knoxville...but check out citydata.com as starting point.

Probably wouldn't be my first choice of location, but where ever you can get a job I suppose.

Just out of interest Bob, and not wanting to send the thread off topic, but how can you say "Probably wouldn't be your first choice of location", if you say "don't know about Knoxville"?

Surely you can only form such an opinion if you do have knowledge of the place. At least your contribution had the citydata link making it more positive than Ian's "help".

Brit In TN Jul 30th 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by fromthemanorborn (Post 9528231)
This is a great summary from Tony and pretty much sums up what I would say. All I would add is that it may also be prudent to look at some of the smaller satellite towns which surround Knoxville. They will be cheaper and considering you have 3 kids, the school systems of Oak Ridge, Alcoa and Maryville are considered some of the best in the East of, if not the whole of the state.

Oh, and Tony, considering you have lived in the area for 20 years I would have thought you could have spelled "Smoky Mountains" correctly.
Then again, you are a Brummie.....;)

Ouch! I was merely trying to show that I haven't gone completely native. :p

Bob Jul 30th 2011 8:19 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by fromthemanorborn (Post 9528253)
Just out of interest Bob, and not wanting to send the thread off topic, but how can you say "Probably wouldn't be your first choice of location", if you say "don't know about Knoxville"?

Surely you can only form such an opinion if you do have knowledge of the place. At least your contribution had the citydata link making it more positive than Ian's "help".

Considering it was a comment on my personal choice...

It wouldn't be my first choice of location because I think the heat and humidity of Boston is more than enough and I'd rather not personally have more of it.

Secondly, there is absolutely no jobs in my industry down there. At all.

Thirdly, there's no family there, no friends and it's even more of a hassle to get back to the UK.

Anything else wouldn't be that important, but the thought of living in a place where I had to with absolute certainty, require a car and drive absolutely everywhere because there either isn't a public transport option, or because the weather, or any other reason meant I couldn't get around without the car kind of fills me with a bit of dread.

I also find the burbs of Boston has enough religion, and it's less in the face here, I don't know if I could put up with it in a more bible belt, happy location...and I can't stand country music.

So basically, for me to move to the middle of know where, it would have to be for a job, a very good one, with plenty of fall back options for the inevitable job collapse. Austin/Houston/Dallas would be the only 3 cities in the south that hit that for me, personally. Not even Orlando, Florida is a goer any more since the beginning of the year. Though Baton Rogue seems to be making a bit of an effort along with Atlanta, because of tax breaks.

Also, MIL had to spend a few weeks recently in TN, a few days in a couple of cities as well as in neighbouring states for various conferences. Sounded like a lovely holiday destination, but not somewhere I'd rather move to.

Brit In TN Jul 30th 2011 8:43 pm

Re: Knoxville?
 
Manor Born -
I see that your stomping grounds are Maryville nowadays. Making a number of assumptions here but where did you call home in the UK?

Oh, and do you still call it MARYville or have you slipped into local dialect and call it Murrvll now?

Redwing Jul 31st 2011 12:02 am

Re: Knoxville?
 
I live about 50 miles from Knoxville, and I would say that Brit in TN sums it up pretty well. 2 other areas to consider living would be Seymour and Fountain City, but they could be pricey, since I have doctor friends who live there. I have been to Knoxville many many times, and I have never experienced in your face religion. Mind you, that could be because on numerous occasions, I went inside some of the eating and drinking establishments.

brl2k Jul 31st 2011 12:34 am

Re: Knoxville?
 

Originally Posted by Redwing (Post 9528503)
I live about 50 miles from Knoxville, and I would say that Brit in TN sums it up pretty well. 2 other areas to consider living would be Seymour and Fountain City, but they could be pricey, since I have doctor friends who live there. I have been to Knoxville many many times, and I have never experienced in your face religion. Mind you, that could be because on numerous occasions, I went inside some of the eating and drinking establishments.

Fountain City has an old feel, I think. But it does have a really famous restaurant called Littons thats pretty good.

Brit In TN Jul 31st 2011 3:32 am

Re: Knoxville?
 
I lived in Fountain City for a few years, it is one of Knoxville's oldest neighbourhoods (it IS an area of Knoxville despite its separatist sounding name). It's located on the north side of Knoxville between downtown/city centre and Halls. A mixture of decently priced housing and mid range rental properties.
The area is a mixture of blue and white collar workers. In recent years a lot of new retail outlets and restaurants have opened up along the main road through Fountain City (Broadway).
A Kroger superstore opened up their a few years ago which has a large international food aisle including a British section.
Litton's is a nice restaurant which is renowned for its burgers. I'm pretty certain it has won the 'Best Burger In Knoxville' award for many consecutive years. (Awarded by a local entertainment newspaper - Metro Pulse.)
It is about 20-30 mins from downtown and 45 mins from the airport.
Deliberately generalising here just for illustration purposes - Fountain City is the kind of area you would expect to find skilled labour/retail workers/low-mid level management types to be living.
Hopefully that will give a basic idea of Fountain City area. Not sure if the OP is still reading these responses.
And just to reassure some people (based on previous posts), country music and religion are both still optional - even in Tennessee. ;)


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