Getting it Right!
~Thursday, February 9, 2023~
We had quite the downpour before sunrise this morning, leaving a few sparse puddles around our campsite. I’ve always been a fan of thunder, so while sipping my morning beverage and doing a little stitching, I enjoyed the few rumbles that we had. We knew today would be mostly a rainy day, so we set our minds on getting some research done for our pending home search.
First, listing our priorities. What means the most to us to justify hauling our goods clear across the country, right? In this order, we came up with:
Desirability and happiness
Housing-Cost of Living (especially thinking about retirement), which if reasonable, will make us happier
Quality and availability of healthcare
Other factors to consider: safety, tax benefits, size of the city and traffic. There are 3 states that have been on our radar for months now…..North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In those states, we have specific cities or regions we’re considering based on our short visits. So the plan is to go back in April, to visit them all again, spend a bigger chunk of time in each to give us the BINGO reaction we’re looking for. Of course, we’re completely open to the possibility of not having the same impression we had last time. So that’s what it’s all about. And it’s so easy to do this while living in the trailer. There will be no rush in the decision. Here are some key reasons why these areas are on our list:
Knoxville, TN-I have family there (Hi Sharon!) and there’s plenty of activities. It feels like it’s tucked away in the Smoky Mountains, but located within a day’s drive of many bigger cities. There’s always a festival going on and its culinary scene is gaining worldwide recognition. And of course….it’s stunning!
Chattanooga, TN-I also have family there (Hi Cathy!). It’s got a really big small town vibe and is one of the most affordable cities for sure. It has an ideal geographical location, reasonable home prices, a university lifestyle, pro-business culture and a ton of outdoor offerings.
Asheville, NC-from the historic homes and Art Deco buildings that line Asheville’s streets, to miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, a booming culinary and craft beer scene, it’s probably No.1 on our list so far. Can’t beat the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround the area either.
Charlottesville, VA has that little big-town vibe, with a tight-knit community. Most residents rent their homes, interestingly enough. There are plenty of awesome restaurants, coffee shops and parks, and they’re very dog friendly. It’s also a university town.
Roanoke, VA is a lively city with beautiful views, amazing food, affordable living and outdoor activities galore.
In terms of HOUSING, the median price of a home in:
Knoxville, TN is $365,000
Chattanooga, TN is $319,000.
Asheville, NC is $461,000.
Charlottesville, VA is $436,000
Roanoke, VA is $343,000
In terms of Healthcare:
Tennessee ranked 40th (not great)
North Carolina ranked 30th
Virginia ranked 12th (the best on our list)
Stay tuned for more interesting stats. If you have any plug-ins for the areas we’re considering, please send them our way…..firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know all we can!