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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Greeneville, TN

Written by Brittany Slagle

Situated in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Greeneville, Tennessee offers a charming small-town atmosphere and abundant natural beauty. If you’re considering a move to this historic East Tennessee town, there are a few key things you should know first. From its rich heritage and lively arts scene to the recreational opportunities afforded by its proximity to lakes and state parks, Greeneville has much to offer prospective residents.

Here are eight important factors to consider before packing up and moving to Greeneville.

1. A cost of living index of 87

With a cost of living index of 87, living expenses in Greeneville are 13% lower than the national average. The median home price is half the national average, at $208,962.

The combined expenses for housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other essentials for one person in Greeneville amount to $31,372 annually. This is lower than the yearly cost of living in Tennessee, which is $34,350, and lower still compared to the national average of $38,433.

2. Greeneville is home to many historic sites

Founded in 1783, Greeneville has centuries of history and heritage. It is named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene. Historic sites like the Dickson-Williams Mansion, President Andrew Johnson’s homestead, and Ramsey House document Greeneville’s past, and the area is part of the Southern Appalachian culture. 

Festivals like the Greeneville Iris Festival in May and the Annual General Morgan’s Raid in September celebrate the town’s culture and history. From Civil War reenactments to blues and bluegrass concerts, there are many opportunities to experience Greeneville’s roots.

3. Explore the outdoors at Gee Creek Wilderness and in nearby lakes

Surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, Greeneville provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hiking trails in the Gee Creek Wilderness lead to scenic waterfalls and mountain vistas. The Nolichucky River offers world-class whitewater rafting through the gorge. Visitors can boat, fish for smallmouth bass, and kayak the river’s Class II-IV rapids. 

Nearby lakes like Douglas, Nolichucky, and Davy Crockett provide spots for swimming, boating, and waterskiing. With four mild seasons, Greeneville’s abundance of parks, forests, and waterways make it ideal for nature lovers.

4. Higher institutions include Tusculum University and Walters State Community College

Greeneville City Schools receive consistently excellent ratings from Niche and the Tennessee Department of Education. For instance, Greeneville High School provides over a dozen advanced placement courses and career technical education programs. 

Higher education options include Tusculum University, a private Presbyterian university in Greeneville offering over 90 academic programs. Local community colleges like Walters State Community College have campus locations in the area as well. With a high graduation rate, experienced teachers, and a range of education options, Greeneville offers strong school systems for families.

5. The weather is mostly pleasant

Greeneville enjoys a pleasant, mild climate. Summers are warm and sunny with average highs in the 80s Fahrenheit. Winters tend to be short and mild with light snowfall, with average lows around 30 degrees. The fall foliage display in the surrounding mountains is spectacular. 

Gardens like the Iris Garden at Hardin Park burst into vibrant color in spring. The natural scenery shines with wildflowers, waterfalls, forests, and farmland vistas. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish Greeneville’s natural charms.

6. Catch a show at the Capitol Theatre

In recent years, Greeneville has seen significant growth in its arts and cultural offerings. The historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Greeneville hosts national touring acts and community theatre productions. Art galleries like the Artspace 4 Gallery display works by local artists. 

Annual events like the American Downtown Music Festival and the Greene County Fair bring music, art, and food to town. For art classes, head to the nearby Jonesborough Art Guild Gallery. With more restaurants featuring live music and outdoor summer concert series, Greeneville’s arts and culture provide entertainment options for all interests.

7. There are limited white-collar jobs available

Major employers in the Greeneville area include Ballad Health, Takahata Precision Tennessee, and Forward Air Corporation. Other top employers include Greene County Schools, Walmart, and Citi. 

The largest job sectors are healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality. However, unemployment is higher than the national average, at 4.5%, as white-collar jobs remain limited compared to opportunities in nearby Knoxville.

8. Major cities are easily accessible

Greeneville provides a classic small-town atmosphere with just under 16,000 friendly residents. The historic downtown district has local shops, eateries, and parks for enjoying street fairs and community events. But Greeneville also offers easy access to larger metro regions. 

It’s a one-hour drive to Knoxville, under two hours to Asheville, NC, and a three-hour drive to Nashville or Atlanta. For urban amenities like major airports, sports, dining and music, larger cities are an easy drive. Greeneville strikes the perfect balance between rural charm and city accessibility.

In Summary

For those seeking a small town vibe coupled with natural beauty and outdoor adventure, plus easy access to larger cities, Greeneville checks all the boxes. Affordable housing, quality schools, and historic southern charm make Greeneville an appealing choice. 

Just keep in mind the limited options for white collar jobs. 

Take time to explore Greeneville to determine if its pace of life suits you before committing to a move.   

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