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tara_in_penna

looking to move to SW virginia maybe Tenn

tara_in_penna
17 years ago

Can anyone give advice on the abingdon area or other areas nearby to there.

How schools area, people, sense of community, anything would be appreciated.

Comments (17)

  • Pooh Bear
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Our area is the best and is growing.
    Great schools. Great community. Conveniently located.

    Pooh Bear

    Here is a link that might be useful: Where I live

  • misslilacs
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If anyone's been there--we are considering areas around Charlottesville VA/Staunton, Harrisonburg; also part of eastern TN near Oakridge/ Knoxville. I was also considering Abingdon but it seems way out from nearest big city/college town? And homes seem a lot more expensive now that it's considered a HOT retirment town. Where would you have to go to find cooler climate, LOW humidity but still be able to garden? Decent soil, affordable Acres, maybe a lake or pond, old farmhouse or new, but NO junk cars and eyesore properties for neighbors! Organic gardening, progesssive attitudes, college town nearby. Scottish/Irish culture and a great art community. I know, IT's a tall order. My husband wants to be in the mountains, but I want to grow lilacs and roses again! Any ideas? Seems like we are all looking for Nirvana! I found it last year; it's Scotland. Beatiful! People are SO meticulous. NOT ONE messy yard in our 2 + weeks of driving from Edinburgh to Highlands and down the lochs. Every yard regardless of size, wealth etc. was immaculate. We came home here and drove up our road and were so depressed at the eyesores. HOW is it some people take so little pride in their homes, yards. I just don't get it. We saw little old Scottish ladies sweeping their driveways! England had cleanest bathroom contests at tourist attractions; you would cringe it you saw the bathrooms at our public beaches, and it is NOT the tourists who are trashing them. I am ashamed of my fellow Hawaii residents. We may have great weather but believe me that's not everything. We pay the highest food, gas, utility, real estate prices in nation. Our schools are among the worst. My daughter's school has no p.e., no music. no art. So cross this place off your list if you're considering relocating unless you are a retired multimillionaire who can afford the private school (only 15,000 year!).
    ANyone know anything about W. VA? I hear horrid things about the area I was looking at re education, isolation etc. Sure do not want to move somewhere with the same problems we are suffering with here!

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  • ladybug1
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    All of these places probably have their their strengths and weaknesses. Tennessee doesn't have an income tax, but they have a steep sales tax. Tenessee scrapes the bottom in spending on education, and if you have to be on government health insurance you better be looking at that pretty carefully. Having said that, the mountains in Tennessee are beautiful and you can probably grow your lilacs there just fine (my neighbors lilac does okay here in SE Tennessee). If you are looking for a progressive sort of area you might want to look within an hour of Knoxville.

    North Carolina has an income tax and lower sales tax. Ashville is a progressive area, if I understand what you mean by progressive. It is near the mountains as well.

    Another area to think about might be the Athens, GA area. It is maybe an hour to an hour and a half from Atlanta, but is in the mountains. They have an income tax, lower sales tax than in TN.

  • tara_in_penna
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think Abingdon sounds good via my research misslilacs.
    Schools seem very good and real estate is cheap. Check out Highlands real estate in Abingdon-dont have a link at hand.
    Scottish Irish heritage as well. Crime is low, divorce rate is crazy low and so on. I am into demographics for research. It is hard to tell though until you actually go there. Last July we were so excited about going to NC and found it very disappointing. Beautiful farms next to rusty old trailer homes with tires lining the yard.
    We will be going for a visit to Washington County Virginia as soon as spring really hits.

  • dumas
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    abingdon is perfect there is so many nice places there with lots to do.winchester ky area is real nice to

  • vegangirl
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Have you considered the area around Boone, NC? College town-Appalachian State Univeristy. Ashe County is 15-20 minutes from Boone and a lovely mountain area.

    I live in Grayson Co, VA which is adjacent to Washington and Smythe counties. Grayson is rather economically depressed and lots of land for sale. A concerned group of citizens has formed Grayson Landcare with a committment to help farmers make their land pay so they won't feel a need to sell it to developers and can keep it rural the way we all love it. In fact there is a 30 acre piece for sale about 1/4 mile from our house.

    We are Scotts-Irish in ancestry. Ashe County has an Arts Council, Boone is very much into art. I rarely go to Abingdon to shop so I don't know much about it. We are only 3 miles from West Jefferson, in Ashe county, NC so usually go there.

    Gardening--we are in Zone 6, the humidity is very good here but it depends on your elevation. We are at 3000 feet. We garden organically but most people don't. There are several food co-ops around where you can get good organic food.

    LOL- we have a nice farm AND and rusty trailer both! We are building a house and have building supplies stored in the mobile home but just as soon as the house is done, that trailer is history!

    I would be happy to try and answer any questions that I can about this particular area. Good luck to you all with your efforts.
    VG

  • misslilacs
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    thanks very much folks for that excellent info, Tara, I TOO am a statistics nut, can't help it, been doing research on anything I do, it's a habit but it pays off. (My mom still says I should have been a researcher professionally, I can track down anything for anyone- but find the "perfect place to live"--HA! :)not a prayer.
    I too started reading 'places rated almanac' years ago YET they say in the 2000 edition that KNOXVILLE has high crime which was the ONLY thing that really scared me off. Can someone tell me if that is right, because a realtor sent me a package today from Knoxville, it states the crime rate is very LOW in Knoxville. I have to admit there were so many awesome events there we have so little to do here for entertainment! Anyone know of an UP TO DATE accurate website re crime, education etc.? ALSO their city p.r. package said their schools are awesome and yet ladybug you mention the exact opposite! Here in Hawaii I can tell you with absolute certainty that education is the pits, I have a child in public school and deal with the lack firsthand! The state doesn't try to lie about it either, everyone knows we're at the bottom of the barrel! YUP, filthy bathrooms at our parks and beaches, crappy education, nothing for our kids to do, "We are #1, HEY!" The politicians here do absolutely nothing even when you tell them this place could be an example, state of the art wind/water generated power, alternative fuel, organic farming high tech etc. BUT greed of business owners, tourism industry, developers and others keeps this island in the dark ages. Hey vegangirl, we just looked at an atlas to see where you live! Wow you must be right on the border of VA/NC, my husband the left brain guy is trying to figure out where you are at 3000 feet elevation. Do you get a lot of snow and fog? That's the one thing I noticed, friends here just relocated to ALbuquerque NM and EVERY real estate listing she showed me has blue sunny skies in the photos. LOL. I started my r.e. search for VA/NC/SC/TN and every photo I looked at had gray skies! Kind of depressing. I have that weather up here, we live at 3500 feet on Maui, the clouds roll down the mountain like clockwork every morning especially in the winter/spring. IT can really affect your moods not to mention your rose bushes are pathetic-scrawny, black spot, mildew etc! The sun almost always breaks out just at dinnertime!
    well our plan is to do a big trip this summer, scope out from DC westward! cover all the areas and try to get to highland games either in Boone or Greenville SC. I love their city website as well-they seem to have lots of great arts; anybody been there?

  • tom_va
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Abingdon is a nice old town w/ lots of history. Not much there though. If you want closer a larger "city", you might look around the Christiansburg/Blacksburg area. These are small towns w/ B'burg being a college town (VA TECH), but Roanoke is fairly large. If you want even more rural but in the same area Pulaski County is nice.

    BTW--I live kinda in between Abingdon and Blacksburg.

  • misslilacs
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Howdy TOM and aloha!
    that's funny you live in that area-there's a guy at VA TECH who I met via the problems with our WATER supply. He's an amazing guy, they brought him here to test our water after they SCREWED up by dumping chemicals into it to "control" the lead. The lead, in fact was only in a few older homes, leaching from their plumbing etc. but our D.W.S. insisted the EPA forced them to take measures. Long story short, we have all had horrid itching rashes, eye problems, respiratory etc. adn Marc Edwards from VA Tech came in to help us out. He did mention that he was involved in the DC area with their HUGE lead problems in the water. He lives in Blacksburg and said it's nice. Water quality is now a HUGE issue for my family needless to say but he says the main problems in VA are hardness, iron; things you can deal with yourself. My other concern was FLOOD PLAINS. Are there areas to avoid in Shenandoah Valley etc. re this issue? I notice some houses for sale mention they are in the '100 year flood zone' or 'basement floods with rains'. EEEK!
    I guess my and husband criteria mesh-avoid high humidity, be in or very near a good college, town with big emphasis on the arts (I'm a painter) and better yet near a college that has grad art available. Good climate for gardening (I just gotta have those lilacs!) and NOT constant overcast/rain. Having been in Hawaii on/off since 1976 I am 'tropic'ed out, if that's a phrase! But I need to swim for health so if no public indoor pool then a place affordable enough to build our own! Good public schools, not a big crime rate. Now to find all that rolled into one dream town...

  • tom_va
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Howdy yerself!

    I'm sure there are areas in the Shenandoah to avoid but I'm not the person to ask---we live rather far from that area and are not bothered by flooding because we live ~ 1/2 mile from 'the divides'. Our water flows east and water on the other side goes west. You can pretty easily step across our tiny creek that runs through the farm.

    Different areas [which I assume holds true everywhere] have different problems. Our water is limestone which causes some problems but tastes wonderful.

    Sounds like the area around the New River Valley would suit you well. Along w/ VA TECH, there is another college in the immediate area called Radford University which is considerably smaller but a nice school.

    http://www.nrvpdc.org/

    http://www.bev.net/

    Best,

    Tom

  • Janis_G
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I hate to bust your bubble but anywhere you go in the US
    will have SOME dirty restrooms and litter along the roads.
    There will be rusted out trailers in neighborhoods in almost every city or county.

    Virginia and Tennessee are both beautiful states.
    The Shenandoah valley is breathtaking.
    Extreme SW virginia is lovely but lacking in many ways.
    Lots of poverty. It is growing but still has a ways to go.

    Have you thought about Charlottesville VA. It is a
    wonderful area and has The Virginia University among many
    historical places.
    Hot Springs Virginia is another lovely place.

    Knoxville is expanding rapidly, smoky mountains are nearby
    with more stuff to see and do then you could cover in a
    lifetime. It has Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge the major
    tourist attractions and of course Dollywood.

    Ashville NC is great and has the famous Biltmore estate.
    If you want to see how the rich folks lived back before
    taxes. Pretty amazing place.

    Abingdon is one of my favorite places to visit and it has
    lots of things to do but don't know about living there.

    Roanoke is near Bedford VA and also the Blue Ridge Pkwy.
    It's a nice city and is certainly in a very beautiful area.

    Chattanooga TN is close to me and has many beautiful areas
    in and around there. It is home to the Tivoli theater where
    you will see wonderful plays also it gives you many other
    oportunities to see and do just about anything you'd like.
    It sits on the Tennessee River where there is a River Walk,
    an aquarium, Imax theater, It has many dining places and
    is a 2 hour drive to Nashville TN.

    Do you want a large town or a small town living experience?

    I hope you find what you are looking for.
    Good luck.

  • Janis_G
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I've read your post again and wanted to add something.
    You'll get more snow from Knoxville north.
    Chattanooga hardly gets any but it is surrounded by mountain
    areas, Lookout and Signal and they do get some snow.
    If you want to stay away from heat and humidity. Opt for the northern places in and around the mountains. The farther south you get the lesser the chance for snow but the greater the chance for heat and humidity. Though the milder winters more than make up for it.

    Also if you've never lived in the south you might be in for a cultural shock of sorts.

  • vegangirl
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    misslilacs, Yes, we are about 2 miles from the NC border. We used to get a lot of snow when I was a child but we don't seem to get as much now. Occasional foggy mornings and nights, but probably nothing like Maui:-) We have lots of sun here and generally a nice, light breeze.

    My daughter lives in Sevierville, TN and works in Pigeon Forge, a very touristy area. Janis gave a good overview of several areas. I don't recall hearing about a high crime rate in Knoxville. I find that many areas in the piedmont and foothills get very hot and humid in summer. My in-laws live in the foothills in NC just off the mountains and the summer temps are sometimes 20 degrees hotter than we have here plus a horrendous humidity. So I second the motion that you should concentrate on the mountains:-)
    VG

  • meltedchocolatedandy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Who ever is informing you about WVa is probably some bonehead who has never been here. We have just about everything that you are looking for. Sure, like any state, there are some places you probably want to stay away from but for the most part we are Almost Heaven.

  • tara_in_penna
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Janis why did you say you like to visit Abingdon but wouldn't want to live there??
    We are use to small towns. It takes 40 minutes to get to Walmart-and 30 to town. Are there things to do at all there? We have a 4,3, and 2 year old so we are a few years off from 4-H.
    Tara

  • misslilacs
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    HELLO! everybody
    THanks so much for all that input. I am still digesting it all!
    I have been taking notes from your suggestions; meanwhile taking loads of garage/ household/yard junk to the landfill sprucing up our place; we're in the midst of remodeling while we watch the real estate market slowing down here...sigh.
    I realize you can not have perfection anywhere on this earth; I just know the few things we really seek should we move. (Also my husband wants to retire sometime but if we stay here he'll be working till he's 90!) LOL. He's convinced we could live cheaper somewhere in the southeast, I could have my dream house with a lap swimming pool and my daughter could get a better education and not be so isolated from friends.
    There are pluses to living here-being at our unique microclimate higher elevation on the slopes of a mountain, we have nice cold/cool nights in winter, no cockroaches or other creepy crawlies like the lower elevations. We live up where the Maui onions and protea grow and I will miss this but NOT the weeds which are a monstrous problem.
    People tend to assume Hawaii is Paradise and why the heck would we leave-having lived here on and off since the '70's it has it's good and bad points. THE BEST things are--relatively LOW property taxes and no snakes,trade winds most of the time, 80's most of the year though summer can be hell. We have NO bears (that horrid recent bear attack in TENN has got me a bit scared about moving to the mountain areas there now!)Matter of fact, we have no really dangerous critters which is something I don't take lightly. Cockroaches are jokingly referred to as the Hawaii state bird, however (yuck!) and there are scorpions, cane spiders and centipedes at lower elevations near pineapple and cane fields, i.e. where most people live here. We do have black widow spiders up here, just killed one at my daughter's school cafeteria the other day! I never had a fear of flesh eating bacteria until recently as more cases seem to occur--it's a fact of life in tropical climates where bacteria thrives. I also used to surf for many years, but there has been a definite increase in shark attacks so I am sticking to the local YMCA pool these days as most of my favorite surfing spots are also inhabited by sea turtles which is a shark's delight!
    We do get hurricanes here, and historically there have been some nasty tsunamis but not too frequent. No snow; but rain for weeks in winter that can be a bit too much.
    Many of our friends are selling their homes here mainly to get away from obscenely high gas prices-now approx $3.50 gallon; high medical/dental expenses and really not the best in medical care either; food and other products also very high priced--also cars,homes-- you name it, we pay through the nose for it here. PLus really poor public schools. This is a tourism based economy. Lots of rich mainland folks buying real estate here for vacation and rental homes and snowbirds buying vacation homes has made the market formidable for regular folks.)
    So when you live in paradise you tend to be too busy to get to the beach and play tourist!
    Anyway I have to book our trip to scope out all those areas and will give you an update in the future!

  • Janis_G
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Tara, I love Abingdon but have only visited there.
    It is a special place, I just don't know much about it
    except as a visitor.

    Maybe someone here lives there and could fill you in on
    schools and other things you would need to know about
    before making the choice to move there.