No matter what brings you to Nashville – the music scene, work, or the affordable housing choices, a move to the Tennessee capital is sure to be a good one. World-famous for country music, civil war history, and beautiful rolling hills, this southern boomtown has something for everyone. Nashville is a unique city filled with Southern charm, top-notch entertainment, and deep-rooted history.
From traditional barbeque to antebellum plantation houses, the culinary and visual feasts around town are rivaled only by the proliferation of live music. The surrounding gorges, lakes, forests, and rivers satisfy those with a hankering for the outdoors, and the picturesque backroads radiating out from the city make day trips a scenic smorgasbord. Whether you’re a city dweller or a country-lover, Nashville can give you exactly what you need.
You’ll see that Nashville lives up to the hype. It’s no wonder so many people are planning their move to this southern city. To get started, click on the “Get Quote” button and we’ll quickly send you up to four free quotes from our trusted professional Nashville movers.
Living in Nashville, TN: What to Know Before Moving to Nashville
Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, is home to 669,053 people. Once the home of President Andrew Jackson, the city earned the title ‘Athens of the South’ for its full-scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon, built in Centennial Park in 1897. To this day, the city is a hub of history, higher learning, and culture.
Owing to an unusual combination of climate, geography, and economics, Nashville has seen tremendous growth over the past couple of decades – rendering it rich in ethnic diversity and brimming with exceptional food and culture. With a booming job market, rich historical background, and gorgeous natural resources, there’s no question why people keep choosing Nashville as their home base.
Pros and Cons of Living in Nashville
- Live Music – You’ll find every type of music under the sun in venues large and small.
- Excellent Coffee – Nashville’s coffee house culture abounds, with many doubling as music venues in the evening.
- Thriving Bar Scene – From artisanal cocktails to local dive bars, this is a town that loves to get its drink on.
- Fantastic Food – World famous hot chicken, comfort food, and ethnic options galore.
- Low Cost of Living – A world-class city with a reasonable price tag…finally!
- The Great Outdoors – Parks, the Great Smoky Mountains, and walking trails are all well within reach.
- Educational Opportunities – From primary to post-grad, educational institutions are plentiful throughout the city.
- Cars Rule – Public transportation is weak, and the city is sprawling, making car ownership a necessity.
- Hot and Humid – Summertime is oppressively hot and humid.
- Bad Traffic – Music isn’t the only jamming in Nashville. Traffic jams are a part of daily life.
- Tourism – Waiting in lines and dealing with traffic are just part of living in a super-popular tourist destination.
- Allergies – Ranked as one of the top allergy capitals in the nation, the allergy-prone suffer here every year.
- Stiff Job Competition – There are lots of jobs and lots of folks vying for them, so be prepared to bring your game to interviews.
- Property Tax: Homeowners are in for a sweet surprise when it’s time to pony up their annual property taxes. Nashville residents pay a low 1% of assessed home value in property taxes. Property tax is 25% higher than the state average, but over 20% below the national average.
- Sales Tax: For anyone celebrating the low property tax rates, sorry to rain on your parade, but the combined sales tax rate in Nashville is now one of the highest in the country at 9.46% This could have increased an entire percentage point higher had a Nashville transit bill passed in 2018, so count your lucky stars that it didn’t.
- Income Tax: The good news for the vast majority of folks living in Nashville is that there is no income tax in the state of Tennessee. There is, however, a 6% tax on income from interest and dividends. Ultimately, this makes Tennessee a very good deal for the majority of residents who rely on salaries and wages for their income.
The Nashville homeownership rate is just shy of 60% and the median home value, as of July 2019, is $255,500. And housing stocks are up, making Nashville an inviting city for prospective homebuyers. Unfortunately, this contributes to rising rental rates, with the median rate at $1,587 – about $200 more than the national average.
While these numbers are still affordable, the price of homes and rental rates are steadily rising each year. Nevertheless, there are many options for families and singles alike in all areas of town. Despite rising housing costs, you can still find good deals in The Nations, Sylvan Park, East Nashville, Wedgewood-Houston, and Germantown.
Cost of Living
Using a scale of 100 as the national average, the cost of living in Nashville is slightly higher at 110/100. Food and groceries are cheaper than average at 90/100, but utility costs are equivalent to the national average. You can expect to pay a bit more for healthcare and transportation, but less for miscellaneous items.
Housing is the biggest contributor to living costs, at 134/100. Based on Economic Policy Institute calculations, a Nashville family of four will need to make $6,602 per month or $79,228 per year to get by reasonably well.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Nashville’s climate provides an opportunity for year-round outdoor activities and high quality of life for residents. Of the area’s four seasons, summer can be challenging. July and August are the hottest months, with average highs around 89 degrees F and high humidity. Nevertheless, even in the dog days of summer, you can expect average lows between 68 and 69. December and January are the coldest months, with lows bottoming out between 28 and 31 degrees and rather manageable 47 to 49-degree highs.
Music City receives about 48 inches of rainfall each year, with the majority of rainy days occurring in May, November, and December. Snow is pretty rare around these parts, but when it comes, it’s usually with a light dusting in December followed by a bit more in January and February.
Nashville is fairly low-risk for natural disasters, with the primary dangers being tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, and flash floods. The city has a large number of tornado warning sirens, and the Nashville Office of Emergencies has a website that details risks and preparedness, offering a guide on how to be ready for any disaster that could strike.
Economy & Job Market
Nashville has been lauded for its vibrant economy, ranked the strongest metropolitan area economy in the US this year, beating out Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. As of Spring, 2019, unemployment was at 3.2%, marking a record low. Boasting several thriving industries, the long-term projections for the city are rosy. The large number of universities that call Nashville home generate jobs and graduates to meet local hiring demands. The tourism and hospitality industries are booming due to a constant influx of tourists, adding another dimension to the economy. These intensely diversified income sources make for secure long-term prospects.
Education and Health Services make up almost 25% of the Nashville job sector, which includes Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Saint Thomas Health, Community Health Systems, and Tennessee State University. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities account for over 17% of local industry and include BellSouth, AT&T, Nissan Motor Manufacturing, Ozburn-Hessley Logistics, Star Transportation Inc, and Verizon Wireless.
Professional & Business Services and Leisure & Hospitality each account for a quarter of Nashville industries. Notable employers in these sectors include Big Idea Inc, Century II Staffing Inc, National Federation of Independent Business, ServiceSource, Randstad, and Asurion.
Meanwhile, news that Amazon will be building a hub in Nashville means thousands more retail/tech jobs will be coming down the pipeline in coming years.
Job seekers should look for jobs in higher education, healthcare, tech, and hospitality. Nashville job seekers would be well advised to check out online job postings at the Tennessean, nashvillejobpost.com, or find a recruiter if you’re seeking a high-level position. The bottom line is that there are any number of jobs available for motivated applicants.
Traffic and Transportation
Like any city that experiences rapid growth in a short period, Nashville has notoriously bad rush hour traffic. And with the city still under expansion and construction, major delays can happen any time of day. Beware the dreaded intersection of Interstates 65, 40, and 24 at the Cumberland River, which simultaneously creates three of the worst bottlenecks in the nation. The best thing you can do is to avoid rush hour if possible and learn which surface streets allow you to bypass particularly bad traffic.
Nashville has a limited light rail system, and a fairly extensive bus system, known as WeGo Public Transit. The main problem with the bus is that when traffic is slow, the bus is too, though it may be more pleasant not to be stuck in the driver’s seat through stop-and-go traffic. More than a dozen park and ride options allow commuters to drive to a convenient spot and catch a bus downtown without having to contend with expensive, limited parking.
Nashville is a car-dependent city, evidenced by its walk score of 28/100, bike score of 25/100, and transit score of 24/100. With a lack of bike lanes, it’s difficult for cyclists to commute safely. But if you want to be car-free, living in East End, Wedgewood-Houston or Downtown will be your best choices. To minimize the dependence on daily driving, do your homework and find a place to live that’s not too far from your work, or that’s near a bus or light rail route.
What to Do
From live music and bars to art, culture, and history, Nashville is a font of activity. With over 12,000 acres of green space, outdoor enthusiasts can always find a place to escape the crowds in the 108 parks and 19 greenways. For parents seeking fun diversions, the city dishes up ample no-cost opportunities to learn and experience music, art, and culture.
Within the city limits, parks grace the city’s every corner. Centennial Park is smack dab in the middle of West End and is home to the stunning replica of the Parthenon. On Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., a free educational program, Kidsville, invites kids into the Parthenon. Along the east side of the river, Cumberland Park offers an outdoor amphitheater, a climbing wall, and an ample playground for kids to enjoy – a perfect place to chill out by the river. Radnor Lake is an amazing place to get away from it all – right inside the city. With plenty of hiking and walking trails, be prepared to spot beavers, birds, deer, and more inside this peaceful 1,200-acre urban preserve.
If your interests include live music and entertainment, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry in the Ryman Auditorium is in order. Across the street, you’ll find Tootsies Orchid Lounge, a historic honky-tonk serving up good times and great music history. A visit to the Historic RCA Studio B is a stroll through country music history, and the Musicians Hall of Fame Museum is an amazing place to experience interactive exhibits featuring instruments and memorabilia of famous recording artists.
Sports lovers have much to celebrate in Nashville. The Nashville Predators have been members of the National Hockey League since 1998, and they play home games at Bridgestone Arena. They can also be spotted practicing at the Centennial Sportsplex near downtown. The National Football League Tennessee Titans began as the Houston Oilers but made the transition to Nashville in 1997. They play at Nissan Stadium and train at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Baseball fans will be happy to visit First Tennessee Park, where Nashville’s Minor League Baseball team, the Sounds, have been playing home games since 2015. And soccer fans should be pleased to know that as of 2018, the Nashville Soccer Club made their debut in the United Soccer League.
Lovers of spirits and food will have a field day sipping some genuine Tennessee whiskey at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery or sitting down to a soul food lunch at Woolworth’s on 5th. Enjoy any of the excellent craft breweries in Nashville, but don’t miss out on Tennessee Brew Works, which manages to offer food, brews, and atmosphere in unforgettable style. Check out Arrington Vineyards every weekend from April to October for some locally-aged wines and free jazz and bluegrass al fresco.
Schools and Universities
Metro Nashville Public Schools serves 88,000 students in 167 schools. The schools in Nashville offer a mix of traditional, magnet, and charter options, as well as several smaller, private institutions. To get a better feel for the rankings of schools in various areas, you may want to look at greatschools.org. Overall, Tennessee is improving its public schools and had its all-time highest graduation rate of 89% in the 2017/18 school year.
The Nashville area is home to several four-year institutions including Belmont University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Meharry Medical College, Nashville School of Law, Tennessee State University, and Vanderbilt University. There are also several two-year institutions such as Daymar College, Nashville Auto Diesel College, Nashville State Community College, and Welch College.
One thing Nashville does not have going for it is a low crime rate. At a shocking 81% above the national average, the city has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Violent crimes are nearly 200% of the national average, and property crimes are 62% higher. While there are pockets of the city with considerably higher crime rates than others (Bakertown, Buena Vista Heights, Cumberland Gardens), the bottom line is that living in Nashville increases your chances of being a victim of a crime to around one in 19.
Nashville residents rely on several providers for their utilities:
- Nashville Electric Service is the primary provider of electric service for Nashville. Call 615-736-6900 to start, stop or transfer service.
- Piedmont Natural Gas covers gas service for Nashville residents. Visit the site or call 1-800-752-7504 to start, stop, or transfer service.
- Davidson Metro Water Services is the water utility of Nashville. To request, transfer, or terminate service, call 615-862-4600.
- Nashville’s Department of Public Works takes out the trash. To start an account, contact a representative online or call 615-862-5000.
- For internet and cable, residents can choose between Xfinity, AT&T, and Earthlink. To start an account, click on any of the links above and view the available options
Best Neighborhoods in Nashville, TN
Below is an overview of some of the top areas in Nashville to consider when planning your move.
Just a few blocks northwest of downtown Nashville, Germantown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Bound to the northwest by Hume Street, to the northeast by 3rd Ave North, to the south by Jefferson Street and the west by I-41, this is generally considered one of the best neighborhoods for families in the city. The community is made up of 57% renters. These are folks who enjoy proximity to the daily Nashville Farmers’ Market and critically-acclaimed restaurants but aren’t looking for much nightlife outside their doorsteps.
The tree-lined streets are a perfect backdrop to a rich restaurant scene, and the historic neighborhood is home to the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Tennessee State Museum. In honor of its residents’ German heritage, each year this neighborhood hosts a heavily-attended Nashville Oktoberfest. Germantown offers a mixture of housing options ranging from single-family homes, duplexes, low-rises, and townhouses.
- Population – 2,744
- Home Price – Median home value $332,500
- Rent Prices – Median rent $1,502
- Employers – ABM Healthcare, Provider Trust, Hermitage Hall, Lipscomb University, Bernard Health, Envision Physician Services, Latitude, Provider Trust, Qualifacts Systems, Inc., State of Tennessee, Sodexo, Syndigo, TrakRef
- Schools – Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Lockeland Elementary School, Meigs Academic Magnet, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Martin Luther King Jr Magnet High School
Something to try: Wander down to the Farmers’ Market for a meal and some locally produced goods.
Nestled right in between Belmont University and Vanderbilt University, Hillsboro offers a walkable, urban neighborhood with more varied housing options than you’ll find in other areas. Only three miles southwest of downtown, the neighborhood is roughly bound by Woodlawn Drive to the south, West End Avenue to the west, 21st Avenue South to the east, and Blakemore Avenue to the north. With 40% of residents owning their homes, the neighborhood feels more settled than some.
This neighborhood is a family-friendly area where you’ll encounter lots of college students, young professionals, and families. There are no high-rises around here, adding to a cozy sense of community where neighbors tend to know one another. In the generously-sized Fannie Mae Dees Park, a playground, tennis courts, and plenty of sitting areas make it an ideal respite for residents of all stripes.
You’ll enjoy an easy walk to cute boutiques, fitness studios, and other amenities but you’ll have to drive to buy your groceries.
- Population – Just over 9,679
- Home Price – Median home value $459,978
- Rent Prices – Median rent $1,152
- Employers – Ascension Healthcare, Bank of America, Belmont University, MetaMorph, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Saint Thomas Health, Sodexo, Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Schools – Eakin Elementary School, Linden Waldorf School, Harris-Hillman School, Martin Pro Development Center, Belmont Weekday School, Hillsboro High School, Saint Bernard Academy, and Cavert Junior High School
Something to try: See a live performance at Belcourt Theater.
With the unusual honor of being the first neighborhood in the southern US to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, The Gulch was built on a foundation of walkability, connectivity, and mixed-use development. Situated on the southwest edge of downtown, the neighborhood is bound by Broadway to the north, I-65 to the west, I-40 on the south, and to the east by the CSX rail line. What was once an abandoned industrial area has blossomed into one of the hippest spots in Nashville.
This is a young neighborhood of 73% renters who want to be where the action is. Made up of high rises and apartments, but no single-family homes, the highly urban community is ideal for young professionals, singles, and students, but not great for families. An easy walk from downtown Nashville, Demonbreun, and Midtown, this is a place for Instagram-ready murals, live music, breweries, and boutique hotels. In other words, hipster paradise.
- Population – 4,289
- Home Price – Median home value $313,057
- Rent Prices – Median rent $1,625
- Employers – Barge Cauthen & Associates Inc, Bernard Health, Farnsworth Group, Focus IT, Graystar, Insight Global, LaSalle Network, LifePoint Health, Lipscombe University, LP Building Products, Provider Trust, Qualifacts Systems Inc, State of Tennessee
- Schools – Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Martin Luther King Jr Magnet School, Meigs Academic Magnet, Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Lockeland Elementary School
Something to try: Check out some New Orleans jazz and grub at Rudy’s Jazz Room
This small, desirable section of East Nashville was once farmland, but now showcases several well-preserved bungalows and homes that reflect the style of bygone years. Bordered to the north by Woodland Street, 14th Street to the east, Shelby Avenue on the southern edge, and S 10th Street on the west, this community is largely populated by owners, with only 39% renting.
The beautiful Victorian and vintage bungalows are home to mostly progressive and liberal residents, and the neighborhood is still considered diverse. Many artists and musicians live in the area; the good schools and laid-back community attract many families. While wandering East End on foot is entirely doable, you’ll need a car to access other parts of the city.
- Population – 3,800
- Home Price – Median home value $378,093
- Rent Prices – Median rent $1,141
- Employers – Amazon.com Services Inc, HCA Healthcare, Genesco, JR Automation, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Sun Trust, Vanderbilt University, Warner Music Group
- Schools – Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Martin Luther King Jr Magnet School, Meigs Academic Magnet, Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Lockeland Elementary School
Something to try: Mosey down Russell Street to Float Horizon for some floatation therapy.
Southwest of downtown, you’ll find one of the quaintest, quietest residential neighborhoods in Nashville. Bound to the north by Charlotte Avenue, on the east by I-440, to the south by West End Avenue, and on the west by Richland Creek, Sylvan Park is hard to beat when it comes to neighborhood involvement and a tightknit community. Two-thirds of the residents own their homes, and the family vibe is strong.
Active types will love living here, as there’re ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including Climb Nashville, McCabe Golf Course, and Richland Park. Locals are always out and about – running, walking, and cycling to the greenway – and numerous family-friendly places and activities keep kiddos busy.
The proximity to good schools, hospitals, and easy access to I-440 and I-40 make this one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town, but the many longstanding local businesses are what residents love the most about their neighborhood.
- Population – Just under 3,990
- Home Price – Median home value $399,167
- Rent Prices – Median rent $1,119
- Employers – Ascension Healthcare, AT&T, Harris Corporation, iHeartMedia Inc, L3 Technologies, Saint Thomas Health, Suntrust, Stryker, Warner Music Group
- Schools – Eakin Elementary School, Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center, Charlotte Park Elementary School, HG Hill Middle School, West End Middle School, Hillsboro High School, Hillwood Comp High School
Something to try: Drop by Scout’s Barbershop for a fresh new do and a cold-brewed coffee.
Located just a few blocks south of downtown, WeHo is bound by Houston Street to the north, 4th Avenue South to the east, Wedgewood Avenue to the south, and 8th Avenue South to the west. Only a few decades ago, this post-industrial and manufacturing area was so derelict that it was almost demolished. Thankfully it was not, and today it’s growing in leaps and bounds to be one of the creative cores of the city.
Traditionally composed of single-family homes, Wedgewood-Houston has seen a recent proliferation of new apartment complexes and condos, strongly leaning toward mixed-use. 54% of the residents rent, but that’s bound to change in coming years as this quickly-growing area is one of the last neighborhoods where you can buy an affordable home.
With tons of art galleries, cafes, bars, and restaurants, residents find plenty of offerings within walking distance. Expect a diverse community of entrepreneurs, families, and artists inhabiting this old-meets-new neighborhood of historic mid-century homes, condos, and micro-cottages.
- Population – 3,964
- Home Price – Median home value $253,066
- Rent Prices – Median rent $997
- Employers – Appian Corporation, Ascension, Asurion, DXC Technology, Hermitage Hall, Pilot.com, Mars, Saint Thomas Health, Silverline, Sysco
- Schools – Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Lockeland Elementary School, Stanford Elementary Montessori Design Center, East End Preparatory School, Meigs Academic Magnet, Liberty Collegiate Academy, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Martin Luther King Jr Magnet High School
Something to try: Check out the WeHo Art Crawl on the first Saturday of every month.
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