7 Most Affordable Knoxville Suburbs to Live In


Often called “The Marble City,” Knoxville, Tennessee is an iconic southern city. From iconic eats to the fantastic music scene, it’s not a surprise that roughly 188,000 people call this city home. If you’re moving to or living in Knoxville, know that the housing market is somewhat competitive. The median home sale price is $310,000, and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Knoxville is about $1,397.

Don’t worry if those numbers don’t fit in your budget – we’ve got options to help you find a home or apartment that does. To help you find the right place to buy a home, we’ve gathered a list of the 7 best affordable Knoxville suburbs to check out. And they’re all less than 45 minutes away from the city. You’ll be close enough to explore all of Knoxville’s best activities without paying the price of city life.

knoxville downtown view

#1: Harriman

Median home price: $214,500
Driving distance from Knoxville: 45 minutes
Harriman, TN homes for sale
Harriman, TN apartments for rent

Harriman, with a median home sale price of $214,500, is the most affordable Knoxville suburb on our list. About a 45-minute drive away from downtown Knoxville, Harriman is home to roughly 6,000 residents. Harriman is known for its history, its natural beauty, and its friendly people.

#2: Alcoa

Median home price: $228,500
Driving distance from Knoxville: 20 minutes
Alcoa, TN homes for sale
Alcoa, TN apartments for rent

Alcoa comes in as the second best affordable suburb in Knoxville. Just about 20 minutes from Knoxville, you can visit the Knoxville Zoo in no time. When living in this suburb of 10,000 people, check out the Alcoa Duck Pond, take a walk or bike ride on the Alcoa Greenway, or go hiking or camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

knoxville suburb aerial view

#3: Coalfield

Median home price: $248,000
Driving distance from Knoxville: 40 minutes
Coalfield, TN homes for sale
Coalfield, TN apartments for rent

Claiming the third spot is Coalfield. Just 40 minutes outside of Knoxville, you’ll find the home prices are much less expensive. There are many things to do in Coalfield, Tennessee. Check out the suburb’s several parks and recreation areas, including the Coal Creek Recreation Area, the Cumberland Mountain State Park, and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. There are also several museums and historical sites, including the Coal Mining Museum and the Coal Creek Miners Memorial.

#4: Oliver Springs

Median home price: $258,000
Driving distance from Knoxville: 40 minutes
Oliver Springs, TN homes for sale
Oliver Springs, TN apartments for rent

A little more expensive than Coalfield is Oliver Springs, the next suburb on our list. With a population close to 4,000, there’s still plenty to do in this Knoxville suburb. Oliver Springs is known for its coal mines and outdoor recreation. The town is surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, and Oliver Springs is home to several hiking and biking trails. The town is also known for its annual Labor Day Celebration, which includes a parade and live music.

knoxville path in the park with orange and yellow trees

#5: Kingston

Median home price: $260,000
Driving distance from Knoxville: 40 minutes
Kingston, TN homes for sale
Kingston, TN apartments for rent

Drive 40 minutes outside of Knoxville, and you’ll find the suburb of Kingston, another great area to add to your list. With 6,000 people living in this affordable town, Kingston is a great option to consider when looking to stay close to Knoxville without paying the premium for a home in the city. Living in Kingston, you’ll find there are a variety of shops and restaurants in the quaint downtown area. 

#6: Lake City

Median home price: $270,000
Driving distance from Knoxville: 30 minutes
Lake City, TN homes for sale
Lake City, TN apartments for rent

Another well-known Knoxville suburb is Lake City, where you’ll find the home prices are about $40K less than in Knoxville. With just about 2,300 people living in Lake City, it’s a great suburb to consider moving to. There are many different shops and restaurants downtown, as well as a few museums. There are also a few parks, such as Lakeshore Park, that are perfect for a picnic or a day of hiking. 

#7: Oak Ridge

Median home price: $292,400
Driving distance from Knoxville: 30 minutes
Oak Ridge, TN homes for sale
Oak Ridge, TN apartments for rent

Rounding out our list of affordable Knoxville suburbs is none other than Oak Ridge. With a population of nearly 29,000, you’ll live in a smaller area, but there’s no shortage of things to do in Oak Ridge. If you’re going to call this area home, plan time to explore the American Museum of Science and Energy. 


Methodology: Affordability is based on whether a suburb is less than the median sale price of Knoxville and under a 45-minute drive from downtown Knoxville. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during July 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during July 2022. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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