Chattanooga gets a lot of attention for drawing tourists, outdoors enthusiasts and tech types. And two recent reports show that the city also has great potential to attract baby boomers and retirees.
The National Association of Realtors listed Chattanooga as one of the top cities in the country for attracting baby boomers, and Grandparents.com named the Scenic City as one of the best places to retire in coming years.
"We do have lower taxes. And Tennessee does not have a state income tax, and our housing affordability is so good," Vicki Trapp, president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, said. "We also have a great climate with all four seasons."
According to the report from the National Association of Realtors, metro areas with lower costs of living and sunny climates are generally the locations that are drawing boomers, who are people born post-World War II (between 1946 and 1964).
Business expansion might also be drawing in boomers. When a company moves to town, leaders often bring executives who might fall into the boomer ages, Trapp said.
Trapp, who is a boomer, said that the city's reputation as one of the best outdoor cities is also attractive to boomers. There are plenty of places for boomers or retirees to walk, bike and enjoy the outdoors, she said.
As for what kinds of real estate boomers are interested in, Trapp said that most aren't going to live out in the suburbs with a large plot of land to upkeep. They've done that already, she said.
Downtown condos are ideal for some boomers, and others find homes in neighborhoods that have smaller lots and services such as maintenance help.
"They don't want to rent," she said. "They understand the importance of homeownership."
The Grandparents.com piece said Chattanooga is one of the best places to retire in the next 10 years, and the post echoed much of what Trapp said.
And the impact of drawing boomers is positive, Trapp said.
"When you reach a certain age ... you have more disposable income," Trapp said. "It's helping the economy."