Johnny Cash and country music with a dash of gospel. Seated in the lap of the great outdoors, and known as the Athens of the South – moving to Nashville means getting acquainted with all the various facets this city has to offer. Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, which means it enjoys the benefits of being a big city, but it also has a few points of contention. From humid summers to a slightly worrying crime rate, there may be factors that you haven’t yet considered. Take a gander at the good and the bad of Nashville to see if moving to Nashville is a good idea for you.
What To Know Before Moving To Nashville TN?
Nashville is not just the capital of the state of Tennessee, but also the largest city in Tennessee. It has an estimated 2020 population of 673,167, which is currently growing at an annual rate of 0.31%. Nashville spans across 497 miles, and it has a population density of 1,416 people per square mile.
Nashville is also called the Music City, deriving from the success of its music industry and the number of artists that came from or grew while in Nashville. Apart from the obvious country music influence, Nashville is also home to the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world, located at the Johnny Cash Museum. There’s always a music festival or two happening, and the city is a great place to catch live music any time of year. Apart from music fests, there’s also the Nashville Film Festival, Oktoberfest and the Tennessee State Fair, all annual events. There’s also several great bars to hop into for some whiskey and live music, and smaller events to catch, making this city a fairly dynamic one.
Nashville is within proximity of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, while the Appalachian Mountains lie a slight distance away. There’s several pleasant parks within city limits as well, one of which is the prominent Centennial Park. The Cumberland River winds through the eastern part of the city, giving you the option to take a stroll down its walkway, while sinking your teeth into Nashville’s special ‘hot chicken’. Plus, there’s plenty of job opportunities in Nashville. With Google Fiber having recently made its entry to the Music City, you can enjoy high internet speeds whether you’re in your office or working from home.
Crime Rate In Nashville
Safety is one of those important aspects to consider when moving to any place new, and Nashville is no exception. The violent crime rate per 1,000 residents is 11.53, marginally higher than the national average of 4. Of these, the cases of assault are the highest, while rapes and murders are the lowest, at a rate of 0.73 and 0.14 per 1,000 residents respectively.
With a rate of 42.27 per 1,000 residents, almost double the national average of 24, property crime rates aren’t very comforting either. However, bear in mind that the nature of the city directly influences the crime rate. Nashville is a big city with a lot of people , and just like any other city, crime is a constant plague. You can still have a great life in Nashville; avoid the dangerous neighborhoods, take safety precautions, and you should do just fine.
The weather in Nashville is fairly moderate the year round, ranging from an average low of 35°F to average highs of 85°F. Spring in Nashville is pleasant, accompanied with a few showers of rain. Temperatures range between 70°F and 50°F, with around 5 inches of rainfall expected in the month of May, generally the wettest month. March, April and May sometimes see tornado watches.
Spring soon turns into summer, with low temperatures hovering in the 70s and highs of over 90°F. However, the summer in Nashville is characterized with high levels of humidity, making it feel muggy and hotter than the mercury mark on the thermometer. These months are rainy, and thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence. By September, the lows of summer are the highs of fall, hovering in the 60s. The city is gorgeous to behold, and residents make the most of the crisp fall weather with loads of outdoor activities and events.
Winter is mild but damp, with temperatures ranging between 30°F and 50°F. Snow never falls in blankets, but in light flurries, and snowfall only happens a handful of times over winter. No matter the weather, there’s always activity in Nashville, and the absence of heavy snowfall means the city never truly shuts down.
How Expensive is It To Live In Nashville?
There’s certainly a cost to living in the Music City and enjoying its amenities, and whether or not it is a feasible one is what will ultimately sway your decision to move to Nashville. Whatever the cost, remember to include the 1% state income tax that Tennessee has, only applicable to earnings from interest and investment dividends. Tennessee is scheduled to become a no-income-tax state from January 2021. There is also an approximate 0.74% property tax rate, and a combined sales tax rate of 9.25%.
Cost Of Living In Nashville
If those tax rates have scared you, then this is sure to help calm you down: the cost of living in Nashville is actually 3% lower than the national average. A family of four living in Nashville in their own house (no rent) will pay around $3,452.66 a month on expenses, while a single person will pay $976.
Food and groceries are also 3% lower, with a loaf of bread and a bunch of bananas costing $3.23 each. A gallon of milk is $1.88, while a carton of eggs is sold for $1.75. Better yet, healthcare in Nashville is a whole 18% lower than the national average, with a visit to the doc costing $90.45. Even taking your four-legged or winged buddy to the vet won’t cost you much, just about $53.37 actually.
Buying A House
Continuing the much-welcome streak of being below the national average, the housing costs in Nashville are 9% lower than national averages as well. Normally, the median home price in Nashville is round-about $316,117.
Renting A House
Renting a house in Nashville is also pleasantly affordable, with the average monthly rent measuring at around $1,404. 50% of the houses in Nashville are rented for between $1,000 and $1,500 a month. A good 46% of the houses in Nashville are renter-occupied.
Living in Nashville is paying 10% less than the national average for utilities! Your energy bill could come to around $150.73 a month, while a phone bill can be around $160.67. Gas is $2.62 a gallon. A majority of Nashville residents pay $3.13 for a 5/8-inch water meter and on average, use up to 4,488 gallons of water per month. The first two units of water (1,496 gallons) are included in the fixed meter charge. The average monthly water bill is $12.45.
Nashville Economy And Employment Opportunities
Sure, the music industry is what Nashville is most known for, but it certainly isn’t the industry dominating the economic scene here. Healthcare and Tech are two of the biggest industries in Nashville, along with finance, insurance, automobile production and of course, music production. Health services and education make up 24% of the economy, and leisure and hospitality take up 12.2%. AT&T, Capitol Records and Dell are three of the several major companies headquartered here.
The average salary of someone living in Nashville is $63k. Project managers, software engineers and account managers hold the most popular occupations in Nashville. Employees working in Nashville most commonly reported HCA, Inc., Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt University, making them the most popular employers.
People in Nashville take their education seriously, and parents have a number of choices to make when it comes to education. Public schools work on a neighborhood basis, and all children are zoned into the nearest public school. You also have a public charter school, and a public magnet school. There’s also a number of private schools, some of which are The Ensworth School, Franklin Road Academy and Davidson Academy. The graduation rate in Nashville is 80.2%. There’s a lot of diversity to be found, among students as well as teachers.
Tennessee also gives parents the option to homeschool their children, via the Tennessee Home School Law. Parents have three methods to choose from to home-schoool their kids: independently, church-related or via accredited online programs.
Nashville is also home to several colleges and universities, including the likes of Belmont, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt and more. It also has over 20 4-year colleges and universities, and 6 community colleges as well.
Getting Around Nashville
Public transportation in Nashville is not as extensive as in cities like Chicago or Seattle, but it sure makes getting around the city much easier. Nashville is serviced by the MTA, or the Metropolitan Transit Authority. They rebranded in 2018, becoming WeGo Public Transit. Apart from WeGo’s services, there are plenty of cabs to hail in Nashville, and you can use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft as well. Nashville International Airport in southeast Nashville connects the Music City to the rest of the world, and there are also several ways to get to the airport, ensuring optimal connectivity.
There are over 50 bus routes operated by WeGo in Nashville, several of which are express routes designed to get you to your destination faster. The cost of a ticket is $2, and you can also buy an all-day pass for $4. The buses start operations from 5.30 in the morning up until evening, although specific timings vary from route to route, as do days of operations.
Music City Star Commuter Rail
The Music City Star Commuter Rail operates from Monday to Friday, running across the city. There are 7 stations in total, and a ticket costs $5.25.
Nashville has the Nashville Bicycle, pronounced bee-cycle, that helps residents get across the city by bike. This bike share service is easy to use; simply download the app on your phone and head to one of the docking stations. Unlock a bike with your phone, head out, and park the bike at the nearest docking station when you’re done. If you’ll be on the road for a long time, ensure you keep checking bikes in to any station, one an hour, to avoid a $1.50 overage fee per every additional half-hour.
Best Neighborhoods In Nashville
There’s so many neighborhoods in Nashville to choose from, and each has its own distinctive feel. While some are perfect to raise families in, others are ideal for the young guns and working professionals. And some are a perfect middle-ground, attracting people across ages and stages in life.
1. The Gulch
Located near Downtown Nashville, The Gulch is a small but trendy neighborhood with loads to do. Young adults and working professionals will love the vibe that The Gulch offers. Plus, the area’s walkability means you can save a pretty penny on transportation. It is also easily accessible to the interstate, but its popularity is on a steady rise, which means costs will increase too. The average rent is $1,887 and the typical house value is $341,200.
2. Hillsboro Village
Hillsboro Village can be characterised as being urban, active and self-sufficient. It has plenty of nice restaurants and bars, as well as a healthy selection of bookstores and theatres. The community is friendly, and the neighborhood is perfect for young families and working professionals alike. There’s no high rises here, but there’s plenty of single-family homes to be found. The average rent is $1,669 and the median house value is $377,203.
3. Edgehill Village
Edgehill Valley is parallel to Music Rox, the active area that attracts a lot of the younger crowds comprising recent graduates and young working professionals. There’s no single type of architecture or style in Edgehill Village, as it has a variety of households. However, a predominance of single-family homes makes it ideal for young families looking to move to Nashville. The location is centralised and fairly convenient, and there’s loads of great eateries and shopping boutiques. The median house value is $641,954 and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1221.
Is Moving to Nashville A Good Idea?
The temperatures the year round in Nashville are bearable, and people with an aversion to snowed up winters will find Nashville to their liking. However, the humidity is not to be underestimated, and can negatively affect you during summers if you dislike the mugginess it brings. Nashville is a city that is rapidly growing, with more and more people moving here each year.
However, there are gaps in its public transportation system that need to be filled, and filled soon. With the city’s current rate of expansion, you may just find that having to drive everywhere gets unpleasant with the traffic around you. Thankfully, the Nashville Metro Transit Authority is planning to introduce a light rail system to the city in the coming years, which is sure to make commuting better.
Overall, living in Nashville is more affordable than most other cities its size, and there’s also plenty of good employment opportunities for you. The final verdict? Moving to Nashville is certainly a good idea. Planning for where you’re going to live is definitely important, but what is just as important is choosing a moving company to make the move. Reliable moving companies can be the difference between a messy move and a smooth one. We can help you find a moving company that is best suited to your move, and equipped with all the experience needed to make your move as hassle-free as possible.
Related: Best Moving Companies in Nashville