Useful Links for Evaluating Tennessee Land
Boundaries and Ownership
Land ownership information for most Tennessee Counties can be found on the Tennessee Property Viewer. Several of the more populated counties including: Bradley, Chester, Davidson (Metro Nashville), Hamilton (Chattanooga), Hickman, Knox (Knoxville), Montgomery, Rutherford(Murfreesboro), Shelby (Memphis), Sumner, and Williamson maintain their own sites.
There is a wealth of information available on all sites including aerial views with boundaries, measurement tools, and property tax information. Some of the county sites also have topographic maps, soil maps, zoning districts and much more.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services provides a very useful tool called the Web Soil Survey. The first step is to select your area of interest (AOI) by clicking on one of the AOI tools and drawing a border around the area you want to evaluate. Once the AOI has been selected, the Soil Data Explorer tab will give you options to generate reports on a wide variety of soils information including productivity, physical characteristics, chemical characteristics, and suitability for numerous activities including agriculture, forestry, septic systems, and much more.
Floodplains and Wetlands
If the property you are evaluating includes low-lying areas - particularly near streams or rivers, some or all of the property my be designated floodplain. This page provides some basic information about floodplain terminology and regulations, but because of the complexity and often-changing nature of floodplains, you should seek expert advice.
Wetlands provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and plants - many of which have a commercial or recreational value - recharge groundwater, reduce flooding, provide clean drinking water, offer food and fiber, and support cultural and recreational activities. You can determine whether a property contains federally designated wetlands by using the Wetlands Mapper provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
If you are planning to build on a piece of property, or if you think you might want to in the future, it is a good idea to have the land evaluated and approved for a septic system prior to closing on it. That way, you will avoid a potentially nasty surprise down the road if the property does not have suitable soils for a septic system. Most counties except
Blount, Davidson, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Madison, Sevier, Shelby, and Williamson use the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation evaluation and approval process which is initiated by completing this form.
Digging a well is an option if the property is not served by a water utility. This page includes a wealth of information about the process.
Many rural properties in Middle Tennesse are crossed by electric transmission lines (powerlines). Sometimes, potential buyers have concerns about the effect of those powerlines on human health. Here are links to the websites of a prestigious organization of physicists and a well respected scientific journal. Each states that there is no scientific evidence that powerlines pose a health risk to humans.
Past Mining Operations
Some areas of middle Tennessee were extensively mined in the past. The area around Columbia and Mt. Pleasant were mined for phosphates and the western highland rim was mined for iron ore. Past mining activity can affect the quality of the soils, the topography, and even the full ownership rights to a piece of property.
Deer Hunting Potential
There is no substitute for detailed research on a particular property to determine whether it has potential for good deer hunting, but this analysis of the counties that consistently produce big bucks can be useful in determining the general area to begin looking.