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      05-06-2022, 08:42 AM   #1
Freiheit
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Considering relocation to Tenn / 'Bama, which areas are good?

As the title says, I'm looking for great places to live in either Tennessee or Alabama. The problem is I have relatively little travel experience in either state and therefore no idea whats really "good" up there. I've looked all over Tennessee and Alabama and I've seen some great houses, but there's really no way for me to know about the area other than to zoom out on Maps and see if there's anything objectionable nearby.

My short list of quals right now is an area that has properties 15+ acres, wooded, and decent shopping within an hour's drive. I'm talking Costco, Lowes, maybe a Whole Foods, and definitely a Publix nearby. I'd be fine with a drive but I gotta think of the wife.

Recommendations would be appreciated.
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      05-06-2022, 08:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freiheit View Post
As the title says, I'm looking for great places to live in either Tennessee or Alabama. The problem is I have relatively little travel experience in either state and therefore no idea whats really "good" up there. I've looked all over Tennessee and Alabama and I've seen some great houses, but there's really no way for me to know about the area other than to zoom out on Maps and see if there's anything objectionable nearby.

My short list of quals right now is an area that has properties 15+ acres, wooded, and decent shopping within an hour's drive. I'm talking Costco, Lowes, maybe a Whole Foods, and definitely a Publix nearby. I'd be fine with a drive but I gotta think of the wife.

Recommendations would be appreciated.
Chattanooga, TN
or
Knoxville, TN
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      05-12-2022, 10:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DrFerry View Post
Chattanooga, TN
or
Knoxville, TN
Thanks for the recommendation. I have friends in Seymour, so the Knoxville area would work out for me. I just don't want to be in the city, I'm retired and looking for the woods.

I've got my mind set on decent acreage with lots of trees, hopefully some fresh water on the property, and a house that is move-in ready. Can you think of any small towns around Knoxville that I might find what I'm looking for?
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      06-15-2022, 04:13 PM   #4
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I'd say most of TN and AL would have wooded areas with acreage within an hours commute to a city. I live in Birmingham, and within a 30 minute radius of the city, you can go to lake front, wooded, pastoral, suburban, etc.
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      06-16-2022, 02:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hein Jockins View Post
I'd say most of TN and AL would have wooded areas with acreage within an hours commute to a city. I live in Birmingham, and within a 30 minute radius of the city, you can go to lake front, wooded, pastoral, suburban, etc.
Yes thank you for that, but I guess I should clarify that I'm looking for recommendations on places to live. I can drive an hour from where I'm at now and find a nice place and because I've lived here for decades I can make a decent guess about the quality of life of that place an hour away. But I don't know my way around those two other states so something that looks good in a pic might turn out to be surrounded by garbage, in some cases literally.

I've had to really work on my search techniques to do my home shopping. Putting in my requirements to the zillow or realtor search engines gets me 200+ results. I then sort by price and start at the bottom, but now when I click on each listing instead of wasting my time browsing the photos the first thing I do is open the address in Apple Maps. Then I can zoom out and see what's around there. One great looking property was bordering a landfill, a few are next to industrial areas, and at least one property was going to be surrounded by a fully platted future sub-division. I also found an 80 acre property with a small cemetery (!) that was a few hundred feet in from the road, and that required an easement so people could visit.
After I make sure that there's nothing obviously wrong with the area I zoom out another couple of notches and look at the businesses in the area. If I see laundromats and Dollar Generals, I move to the next listing. I'm able to whittle things down pretty quickly but even with all of these things checked off I still have no idea if the property is going to suck or not. One place was close to 100 acres in its own valley, and it was just happenstance that I clicked on the risk tab for that listing where I found out the place had a high risk of flooding.

The realtors I've emailed about each property have turned out to be useless, and thats another story.
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      06-16-2022, 03:33 PM   #6
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I'm very familiar with the greater Birmingham real estate market and would know all of the pros/cons of the neighborhoods. I'm not sure if Birmingham is an option for you, but almost any of the proxy neighborhoods outside of the city would meet your requirements (contingent obviously on the land/home meeting it's on requirements).

If you're looking for a relatively affordable situation, Sterrett, Vandiver, Chelsea, and Leeds all have somewhat affordable acreage (20ac+). You'll definitely find dollar generals out there but that's how the country is, but all are within 15-30 minutes to downtown Birmingham.

If you'd be okay with a smaller parcel like <10ac, you could find more suburban/country living in areas like Alabaster, Helena, GArdendale, Trussville, and rural Bessemer.

Its Alabama, so there's loads of rural, pastoral, wooded, lake, etc. lands. Birmingham is an awesome city with a great food scene and lots of history. Huntsville has grown a lot within the past decade, too but I'm not familiar with that market.
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      07-17-2022, 04:12 PM   #7
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Huntsville, AL is a great area! USnews Real Estate rated it #1 metro area best places to live in the US and top ranked among other reviews. It checks all the blocks on your list and then some. I'm in lower Alabama in the "wiregrass area" but def recommend Huntsville on your list. Plenty of homes, amenities, recreation, job market, and the city is always growing. Plus, you are near Florida (beaches) and theme parks for the family!
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      07-20-2022, 08:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AceBeezy View Post
Huntsville, AL is a great area! USnews Real Estate rated it #1 metro area best places to live in the US and top ranked among other reviews. It checks all the blocks on your list and then some. I'm in lower Alabama in the "wiregrass area" but def recommend Huntsville on your list. Plenty of homes, amenities, recreation, job market, and the city is always growing. Plus, you are near Florida (beaches) and theme parks for the family!
Huntsville is at the northern end of Alabama, nowhere near Florida. Atlanta is closer to Florida than Huntsville. Are you thinking of a different city, perhaps Dothan?
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      07-20-2022, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hein Jockins View Post
I'm very familiar with the greater Birmingham real estate market and would know all of the pros/cons of the neighborhoods. I'm not sure if Birmingham is an option for you, but almost any of the proxy neighborhoods outside of the city would meet your requirements (contingent obviously on the land/home meeting it's on requirements)....Birmingham is an awesome city with a great food scene and lots of history.
I appreciate your recommendations.

This whole project has been put on hold for right now. Turmoil in the banking system, the real estate market, and pretty much everywhere I look things are looking shaky. This is not the time for me to uproot and move away from my support system. Its not set in stone, so if some madman shows up on my front door with a huge check, begging me to sell my property, I might be convinced to go. But I'm not actively looking anymore.
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      07-20-2022, 09:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freiheit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AceBeezy View Post
Huntsville, AL is a great area! USnews Real Estate rated it #1 metro area best places to live in the US and top ranked among other reviews. It checks all the blocks on your list and then some. I'm in lower Alabama in the "wiregrass area" but def recommend Huntsville on your list. Plenty of homes, amenities, recreation, job market, and the city is always growing. Plus, you are near Florida (beaches) and theme parks for the family!
Huntsville is at the northern end of Alabama, nowhere near Florida. Atlanta is closer to Florida than Huntsville. Are you thinking of a different city, perhaps Dothan?
Lol yes I meant the wiregrass area
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