East Tennessee: An Idyllic Option Real Estate Buyers Should Consider


When searching for a place to live, buyers have countless options across the United States, though not many are quite as remarkable as East Tennessee. Famed for its terrain of thickly forested mountains and hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled nature, this area is noteworthy for outdoor enthusiasts. But East Tennessee’s many towns also have something to offer everyone.

This region boasts charming mountain towns, famous attractions, and welcoming locals. Let’s explore some specific aspects that set East Tennessee above the rest for buyers considering relocation.

Incredible Natural Beauty

East Tennessee’s stunning scenery immediately stands out. This area includes the Appalachians, particularly the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain ranges, and is defined by scenic forests and jagged peaks. East Tennessee has some of America’s most visited natural sites. 

The most famous natural area in East Tennessee is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited national park. This gorgeous setting includes towering mountains with trails leading to peaks overlooking thick forests, as well as native wildlife and blooming flowers throughout the year. East Tennessee also includes many of the state’s largest bodies of water, including the beautiful Norris Lake.

Laurel Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Image credit: Joshua Woods

Endless Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

With its abundance of picturesque areas, it is to be expected that there are plenty of ways to spend time outdoors in East Tennessee. Ideal for year-round outdoor fun, this region’s weather produces mostly mild winters, with a few inches of snowfall every year, and warm summers. With some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the country, many residents enjoy spending their time exploring the natural scenery of Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the Appalachian Trail.

In the summer, many enjoy boating, fishing, or swimming in East Tennessee’s many lakes and rivers. Pristine golf courses are open throughout the year, and rock climbing, caving, and white-water rafting are common activities for adventurous locals.

Great Smoky Mountains

Charming Towns and Cities

East Tennessee has a unique culture and a distinct feel. It has many appealing places that offer diverse options to real estate buyers, and the local culture within each is unmatched. East Tennessee is widely considered the birthplace of bluegrass and country music, and that legacy lives on in many of its cities. 

Knoxville is a sprawling metropolis home to more than 160,000. This city is famed for its historical buildings throughout the downtown area and for housing the University of Tennessee. Maryville is a picturesque suburb of Knoxville, home to around 32,000 residents. It has a location near many of Tennessee’s most visited hotspots, like Pigeon Forge and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as historical sites. Johnson City is another major city, known for its thriving downtown and nearby natural sites, such as Buffalo Mountain Park. And Gatlinburg, a popular resort and tourist destination, is a mountain town near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These are just a few of the top destinations throughout East Tennessee. 

Gatlinburg | Image credit: Steven Van Elk

Affordable Real Estate Options

East Tennessee has so much to offer, and buyers will be especially delighted to find that its homes are substantially more affordable than in other parts of the country, including some other areas of Tennessee. Homes in East Tennessee tend to be large and spacious, allowing buyers to get relatively more space for their money. 

In Knoxville, a major powerhouse in the East Tennessee region, the median cost of a home is $280,000, according to Redfin. This number is substantially lower than the median sale price in Nashville listed on Redfin. According to Realtor.com, the median home listing price in Johnson City is $285,000. In Chattanooga, East Tennessee’s biggest city and a gorgeous community in the Appalachian Mountain foothills, Redfin lists the median home price at $303,000

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