Unicoi County at The “Affordable” Hot Spot of U.S. Migration To The South

Unicoi County is in the enviable position between two of the hottest markets where families are moving to according to a recent report by U-Haul. The newfound awareness will quickly light up the phones and websites of realtors in the region and bring even more vibrance to the region.

U-Haul’s 2020 U.S. Migration Trends Top 25 Report shows the Northeast Tennessee county sits squarely between the report’s #12 market of Johnson City/Kingsport Tennessee and #14 Asheville, North Carolina. Thirteen of the top 25 markets are in the Southeast. Growth cities are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a city versus leaving that city in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than two million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually. Neighboring cities in certain markets are packaged together for U-Haul migration purposes.

Just 40 minutes from Ashville and 20 minutes from Johnson City, more and more people looking to move away from the Northeast and Western states are looking at Unicoi County’s allure.

People coming to Johnson City and Kingsport in one-way U-Haul rose by 24% during the past year. Arrivals accounted for 52.1% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Johnson City/Kingsport during 2020 to make it the No. 12 city for netting do-it-yourself movers. Inbound traffic numbers like these made Tennessee the #1 growth state in the country. Asheville North Carolina’s one-way arrivals increased 28%.

“We’re in the perfect spot for affordable housing and a great lifestyle,” says Lee Brown, Chairman of the Unicoi County Economic Development Board. “From an idyllic home along the tree lined streets of Erwin to a rustic farm in the mountains, families and recent retirees are finding a better place to live here in our county.”

Tennessee property taxes are some of the lowest in the nation and the overall cost of living in Tennessee is one of the lowest in the nation. There is no tax on retirement income. As for amenities, the county is one of the most beautiful in Tennessee or North Carolina. Unicoi County is home to the Cherokee National Forest, the Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park and one of the top-rated whitewater rafting rivers, the Nolichucky. The Town of Unicoi boast an arts center and a Mountain Kitchen for those interested in culinary pursuits. The Town of Erwin is home to a recently renovated downtown, fiber wireless connectivity to the world and a vibrant and growing number of shops and restaurants.

A new local hospital in the county and a level one trauma center, medical school and a VA Center are all located in Johnson City.

“We have an excellent public school system and numerous colleges and universities nearby for students of all ages,” says Brown. “When one gets restless, take a walk on our gorgeous linear trail or take a hike on the Appalachian Trail. Beyond our own treasures, it’s an easy drive across I-26 South to all that Asheville offers or North to Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol Tennessee and Virginia.”

If you are interested in moving to Unicoi County, let us connect you with an ambassador can steer you in the right direction.



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