“Rocky Top, you’ll always be, home sweet home to me… good ol’ Rocky Top! Rocky Top, Tennessee! Rocky Top Tennessee!” If you’re a native Tennessean (especially in Northeast Tennessee and close to Knoxville), you know this line from one of our favorite state songs, first recorded in 1967 by the Osborne Brothers.
Every fall, this song makes TN residents stand and cheer for our Tennessee Volunteers football team; but it actually epitomizes much we love about living in East Tennessee. The beautiful mountains and steep hollows (or, hollers, if you’re from Tennessee) have produced generations of generous, hard-working, and thrifty people who are laid back and passionate at the same time.
If you’re considering moving to Northeast Tennessee, you want to learn as much as you can before adopting the Volunteer State as your new home. Let a native Tennessean share with you why you’ll love calling Tennessee home.
General Tennessee Perks
Tennessee is an extremely long state, from the northeast tip and Bristol TN/VA to the southwest corner and Memphis. Throughout TN, residents enjoy the following perks that are definite benefits many other states do not enjoy.
Low Property Taxes
Tennessee has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country, averaging about 0.64%, which registers at about half of the national average. But don’t let that make you think property in TN is sub-standard. The Volunteer State is home to some of the most beautiful and nutrient-rich land in all the United States, with varied hills, valleys, rolling fields, and plenty of natural waterways.
No State Income Tax
There is no state income tax in Tennessee, so you get to keep much of what you earn. Although the state does compensate for this with a higher-than-average sales tax (around 7%), there is some wisdom in this approach. Residents still pay less in sales tax than they would in income tax, and Tennessee’s many guests that enjoy our tourist attractions help to underwrite the state’s programs.
Low Cost of Living
Low property taxes and no state income tax helps keep living expenses in TN low, about 15-25% below the national average. This is especially true outside the larger cities of Nashville and Memphis and their surrounding areas. Costs of living in Northeast Tennessee are among the lowest in the state, meaning we retain more of our income and savings to work for us.
Tennessee Mountains and Waterways
Thanks to President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and the birth of the Tennessee Valley Authority during The Great Depression, Tennessee is home to dozens of large and beautiful lakes that are easily accessible. While these lakes are distributed across the state, many beautiful lakes and rivers are nestled among the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in Northeast TN. Hiking through these pristine mountains, with many peaks well over 6,000 feet in elevation, or boating and fishing for bass, trout, and catfish, are favorite Tennessee pastimes. And of course, no article about Tennessee is complete without highlighting The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in all the United States.
Thanks to a unique program known as Tennessee Promise, Tennesseans can attend college free for two years after graduating from high school or receiving their GED. Earned credits can also be applied at other universities toward a bachelor degree. Free schools include thirteen community colleges or twenty-seven technical colleges.
No list of benefits about Tennessee is complete without mentioning Dolly Parton, who hails from Sevier County in East Tennessee and is our state’s most well-known and universally loved ambassador. Dolly Parton is the most awarded female entertainer of all time, and is one of the most notable humanitarians in the country. Using her wealth and influence to benefit her hometown and county (which was once the poorest in the state), her philanthropy has expanded to benefit a global audience. Dolly’s Imagination Library has to date provided over 180 million free books to children across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Dolly also donated $1 million to COVID-19 vaccine research at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Her gift contributed to the Moderna vaccine.
College football fans know that no other conference in the United States features the advanced skill and competition of the Southeastern Conference – and in the thick of that wild melee is the Tennessee Volunteers. With a great football tradition and facilities superior to most across the country, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville competes in SEC Football and fans are passionate, especially here in Northeast Tennessee. Our close proximity to Knoxville makes enjoying home games easy.
Local Northeast Tennessee Flavor
If all those benefits are not enough (and even if they are), Northeast Tennessee has its own local flavor that makes it (in our honest and most accurate opinion) the absolute best area of the state in which to live. Here’s some more localized benefits for those moving to Northeast Tennessee.
Northeast Tennessee boasts several advanced hospitals that provide emergency care, surgical care, general care, and more. Each major city boasts a reputable hospital, and most smaller towns have their own as well. Plus, many medical specialty offices are located throughout the region, making Northeast TN a well-served area for medical care and healthy living.
There is no shortage of great and unique places to eat across Northeast Tennessee, including some local favorites that have achieved national attention. Barbeque reigns supreme in our mountainous area, but you can also find practically anything your appetite desires, from Asian fusion to Mexican to Greek and Thai to good-old-fashioned burgers and fries. From fine dining to fast food, you can find it all in upper east TN.
Several local school systems in Northeast Tennessee are among the best in the state, while there are many locations and opportunities for higher education. These include East Tennessee State University, ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine, King University, Milligan University, and Northeast State Community College.
Many important industries call Northeast Tennessee home, manufacturing everything from chemicals to hot tubs to water heaters to guided missiles. Although Tennessee’s minimum wage is low, most companies start new employees at much higher rates of pay. Jobs are abundant and diverse, with plenty of room for beginning a new career out of school or in retirement.
The real estate market in Northeast Tennessee is booming, with new homes being purchased before they can be built and existing homes going for premium rates. Different forms of housing are available in every large city and small town, and with low property taxes, our area is a prime location for owning land and property.
Find What You Need if Moving to Northeast Tennessee
If you’re considering moving to Northeast Tennessee, you can locate anything you need at 1-Find.com. Local eateries, real estate, moving companies, entertainment, landscaping, utility services, personal services, healthcare, marketing for your business, and more, 1-Find.com is your go-to source for everything in the Tri-Cities of Northeast Tennessee. Go ahead and search for anything, and learn more about this incredible place to live!