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Kingsport: Live the High Life At A Low Cost

Affordability and idyllic amenities offer the perfect balance for residents

By Cary Estes on August 26, 2019

Kingsport, TN Parks
Kingsport / Lynne Harty

Whether you are moving up from the quiet country or taking a step back from the big city, Kingsport provides the ideal middle ground by combining a high quality of life with a low cost of living.

Emilie Park discovered the low-cost factor when she moved to Kingsport from New York City in 2007 with her husband and three children. In New York, they lived in a 900-square-foot apartment that cost $380,000. In Kingsport, they found a 5,000-square-foot home on a three-quarter acre piece of property for $575,000.

“The affordability played a huge factor in us moving to Kingsport,†says Park, who is owner and managing partner of XCellerated Fitness.

“We love the fact that our dollar goes so far here. All the money we’re saving helps us afford a lifestyle that would not have been feasible (in New York). We have extra money to travel, and we’re able to save more for our children’s future.”

Kingsport, TN Businesses
Kingsport / Lynne Harty

In addition, Park says there is a welcoming, inclusive attitude among the people of Kingsport, with an emphasis on supporting both their neighbors as well as local businesses.

“It’s such a friendly atmosphere. There is a genuine, authentic desire for people to look out for one another, which is really refreshing,†Park says.

“And so much of the local economy is built into the community, with mom-and-pops doing just as well as the big national stores. People like to give back to their neighbors when it comes to how they shop and spend their money.”

Even if money is not a factor, there are still aspects about Kingsport that pay off big for new residents. For example, Treyana Fielding and her husband moved to Kingsport in 2017 from Ashdown, Arkansas, where the cost of living is about the same. But Fielding says the amenities in Kingsport are much greater than what you find in a typical small town.

“We still get that country feel like we had, but it’s inside a bigger city,†says Fielding, who works with her husband at Domtar Paper Co.

“So you can do those (city) things, but there are also the mountains all around. The climate is beautiful, the sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, and there are so many activities outside where you can meet other people.”

Kingsport, TN Parks
Kingsport / Lynne Harty

Fielding says she is especially impressed with the Kingsport school system. So much so, in fact, that she and her husband volunteer to help with numerous school activities even though they don’t have children.

“The amount of effort and the care they have for the school system here is amazing,†Fielding says.

“They have so much investment in the kids to help groom them to be better leaders. My husband and I really enjoy watching that and being a part of it. This is just such a wonderful, family-oriented community.”

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