Moving to Music City: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding a Home in Nashville
Updated: May 31
Welcome to the vibrant, music-filled city of Nashville, Tennessee! If you're considering a move to this dynamic Southern gem, you're in for a treat. Known as the 'Music City,' Nashville is a fascinating blend of rich history, eclectic arts, mouth-watering cuisine, and of course, a thriving real estate market. Whether you're a young professional seeking the hustle and bustle of downtown living, a family in search of the ideal suburban neighborhood, or a retiree looking for a peaceful yet stimulating place to settle, Nashville has something to offer everyone.
In this blog post, we'll walk you through the Nashville housing market, providing an in-depth look at the diverse neighborhoods, architectural styles, and price ranges to expect. We'll also touch on the city's culture, community spirit, and quality of life - all key factors to consider when finding a home. So, buckle up as we take a deep dive into what it's like to find a home and plant roots in the vibrant city of Nashville, Tennessee. Whether you're a country music fan or not, Nashville is sure to strike a chord with you.
The Nashville housing market is marked by its diversity and vibrancy. In recent years, it has seen a boom due to the city's rapid growth and burgeoning industries. A variety of housing styles and neighborhoods cater to a wide range of tastes and budgets. From chic urban lofts in the heart of downtown to sprawling suburban homes in peaceful, tree-lined neighborhoods, Nashville offers a multitude of choices for prospective homeowners.
One of the appealing aspects of the Nashville housing market is the blend of historical and contemporary homes. You'll find beautifully preserved Victorian homes, mid-century modern ranches, and new constructions with cutting-edge designs. This eclectic mix adds to the charm and allure of the city's residential landscape.
The Nashville housing market also offers excellent investment opportunities. The city's ongoing growth, along with its robust economy, has resulted in a steady appreciation of home values. This trend has attracted both local and out-of-state investors looking for promising real estate prospects.
Furthermore, the city is divided into a number of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe and appeal. Areas like East Nashville and Germantown are known for their hip, artistic communities and trendy eateries, while Belle Meade and Green Hills are synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. The variety in Nashville's neighborhoods ensures there's a perfect fit for every lifestyle and demographic.
One cannot discuss Nashville's housing market without mentioning its strong community spirit. Despite its growth, Nashville maintains a small-town feel with its friendly residents and tight-knit communities. Many neighborhoods host regular events, fostering a sense of connection and belonging among residents.
Finally, Nashville's housing market is supported by a strong local economy. With thriving healthcare, education, music, and tech sectors, job opportunities in the city are plentiful. This economic stability translates to a robust and resilient housing market, offering homeowners peace of mind and the promise of a good return on their investment.
When discussing the Nashville housing market, it's important to also consider the bustling cities adjacent to Nashville, each with their unique attributes and thriving housing markets.
First, let's take a look at Franklin, situated just 21 miles south of Nashville. Known for its picturesque Main Street and vibrant music scene, Franklin is a hotbed of historic and modern homes alike. The housing market here is robust, with properties ranging from charming, renovated historic homes in downtown to sprawling new constructions in master-planned communities. The city also boasts a high quality of life, thanks to its top-rated schools, expansive green spaces, and vibrant arts scene.
Next, there's Brentwood, a sought-after residential city known for its rolling hills and large, upscale homes. Brentwood offers a variety of properties, from lavish multi-million dollar estates to more modest single-family homes. The city is highly rated for its schools and is known for its luxury shopping centers and numerous parks, providing a blend of urban amenities and suburban tranquility.
To the east of Nashville, you'll find Mount Juliet, often referred to as the "Gateway to the Appalachians." The housing market in Mount Juliet is diverse, with options ranging from affordable starter homes to luxurious lakefront properties. The city has seen significant growth in recent years and offers a friendly, small-town feel while also being home to several large employers and a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Nestled along the banks of Old Hickory Lake, is another enticing city near Nashville. It offers a range of housing options, from affordable single-family homes to impressive lakefront estates. Known as the "city by the lake," Hendersonville offers a tranquil, laid-back lifestyle with plenty of opportunities for water sports and outdoor activities.
Last but not least, Murfreesboro is a rapidly growing city with a vibrant housing market, just southeast of Nashville. The city is home to Middle Tennessee State University, contributing to a youthful, energetic atmosphere. Murfreesboro offers a mix of historic homes, modern apartments, and new housing developments, catering to a diverse range of residents.
All these cities share a common theme: they offer fantastic lifestyles within easy reach of Nashville's big-city amenities. Each city has its own unique charm, making the Nashville area an appealing destination for homebuyers of all types.
In exploring Nashville, it's impossible to overlook the distinct allure of its neighborhoods. Each one tells its own story, creating a tapestry of cultures, styles, and flavors that make the city the vibrant hub that it is today.
Take, for instance, East Nashville, known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, tattoo parlors, and craft cocktail bars. This area is a haven for artists, musicians, and young professionals. East Nashville is also home to several popular residential pockets, including the historic and family-friendly Lockeland Springs, where you'll find a mix of Victorian, Craftsman, and Tudor-style homes.
Nashville's oldest suburb, is another hotspot. Known for its historic charm, Germantown offers a blend of old and new, with beautifully restored Victorian homes sitting alongside modern condos and lofts. The neighborhood boasts some of Nashville's top dining spots and hosts the annual Oktoberfest, a tradition since the 1980s.
To the south of downtown, is an upscale neighborhood known for its high-end shopping, featuring designer boutiques and the high-end Mall at Green Hills. Here, you'll find a variety of homes, from luxury condos to spacious single-family homes, many with large yards and mature trees. Green Hills is also home to Lipscomb University and a short drive from Vanderbilt University, adding to the area's appeal.
The Gulch is Nashville's premier downtown neighborhood, known for its chic loft apartments, trendy shops, and vibrant nightlife. This LEED-certified community is perfect for those who thrive in a bustling, walkable environment. It's also home to some of Nashville's most lauded restaurants and music venues, including the iconic Station Inn.
For those seeking a more tranquil lifestyle, Bellevue, located southwest of downtown, is a suburban paradise. Bellevue is home to a mix of townhouses, condos, and single-family homes, with plenty of parks and green space. It's also the gateway to the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, making it a great base for outdoor enthusiasts.
With Sylvan Park's charming bungalows and friendly atmosphere, is another great choice. This neighborhood is known for its tight-knit community, local restaurants, and the scenic Richland Creek Greenway, perfect for jogging or biking.
These neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and character, demonstrate the rich diversity and dynamic growth of Nashville. They offer a wide range of lifestyles, ensuring that anyone moving to the city will find a community where they feel right at home.
Nashville's condo scene is as diverse as the city itself, offering everything from luxurious high-rises in the heart of downtown to quiet, suburban-style communities.
For those seeking an urban lifestyle, The Gulch is home to some of Nashville's most coveted condominiums. The Icon in The Gulch, with its sleek design and extensive amenities, including two pools, a fitness center, and a 24-hour concierge, offers true luxury living. Another standout in The Gulch is Twelve Twelve, a high-rise with floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, and a rooftop terrace with stunning city views.
This city offers plenty of luxurious condo living, with buildings like The Viridian offering high-end finishes, floor-to-ceiling windows, and amenities such as a rooftop pool and a clubroom. The Encore, located in the SoBro district, is another popular choice, with its proximity to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Bridgestone Arena.
The West End
Another area renowned for its condominiums. Developments like The Adelicia provide a mix of luxury and location, with amenities like a private pool, fitness center, and even a private park. It's also a short distance from Vanderbilt University and Music Row.
For those seeking a quieter lifestyle, the Green Hills neighborhood offers suburban-style condo communities like The Hillsborough. This development features spacious units, a community pool, and the convenience of being just minutes away from the Green Hills Mall and a plethora of dining options.
The East End Lofts offer modern, spacious condos in a vibrant, walkable neighborhood known for its local restaurants, bars, and shops. The condos feature open floor plans, high ceilings, and access to a rooftop deck with city views.
Over in the Midtown neighborhood, you'll find The Chelsea, a mid-rise condominium that offers a more intimate living experience. Units feature hardwood floors, granite countertops, and large balconies. Its location puts residents just steps away from some of Nashville's best restaurants and entertainment venues.
These condo communities, each with their own unique amenities and styles, reflect Nashville's diverse lifestyle options. From the vibrant energy of downtown to the laid-back vibes of the suburbs, Nashville's condo scene has something to offer everyone.
Cost of Living
When considering the cost of living in Nashville, it's important to note that while it's more affordable than many major metropolitan areas across the United States, it's somewhat pricier than the national average and other parts of the Southern U.S.
For instance, compared to coastal cities like New York City or San Francisco, Nashville presents a far more budget-friendly option. Housing, in particular, is significantly less costly in Music City. According to data from Zillow as of my last training in September 2021, the median home price in Nashville is substantially lower than in these coastal hubs, making homeownership a more achievable goal for many.
Moreover, Nashville's overall cost of living — which encompasses housing, but also factors like groceries, healthcare, utilities, and transportation — is considerably lower than in these cities. For example, according to Numbeo's cost of living comparison, living in Nashville is about 70% cheaper than living in New York City and about 50% cheaper than living in San Francisco.
However, when compared to other cities in the Southeast, Nashville is on the higher end. It's more expensive than cities like Memphis and Louisville, largely due to higher housing costs. Even so, Nashville's cost of living is still lower than in Atlanta, a major Southern metro.
It's also worth mentioning that Tennessee has no state income tax on wages, which can make a significant difference in one's overall cost of living. This fiscal advantage might offset some of the higher costs associated with living in Nashville compared to other Southern cities.
In terms of healthcare and groceries, Nashville hovers around the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare costs are slightly below the national average, while grocery costs are slightly above. These categories might not sway your decision to move to Nashville, but they're worth considering as part of the larger financial picture.
Nashville’s cost of living is a balance of Southern affordability and big-city amenities, making it an appealing option for many seeking a metropolitan lifestyle without the exorbitant price tag often associated with major cities.
Restaurants and Dining
Nashville, fondly referred to as Music City, is renowned not only for its vibrant music scene but also for its tantalizing food landscape. This Southern city serves up a delightful mix of traditional fare and innovative cuisine, catering to all sorts of tastes and appetites.
In recent years, Nashville has expanded its culinary horizons beyond Southern comfort food. The city's thriving restaurant scene now boasts a rich diversity of flavors from around the globe. Margot Cafe & Bar in East Nashville is famous for its European-inspired farm-to-table menu, while Rolf and Daughters offers a creative Mediterranean menu in a chic, industrial setting in the Germantown neighborhood.
For the brunch enthusiasts, Nashville has a myriad of options. Biscuit Love in the Gulch started as a food truck and quickly became a beloved local institution, renowned for its hearty Southern breakfast dishes. Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village is another must-visit spot with a menu boasting 23 different varieties of pancakes.
For the more upscale dining experience, The Catbird Seat offers an intimate, interactive, and ever-changing tasting menu, while 5th & Taylor in Germantown offers a stylish and modern take on American fare.
Let's not forget about Nashville's vibrant bar and craft beer scene, with numerous breweries, distilleries, and honky-tonks. For instance, Tennessee Brew Works offers finely crafted beer made with locally sourced ingredients, and the legendary Bluebird Cafe is an intimate setting for enjoying music and food.
Indeed, from mouthwatering barbecue joints to upscale dining experiences, Nashville’s food scene is as diverse as it is delicious. Whether you're a food connoisseur or just someone who appreciates a good meal, you'll find plenty to savor in Nashville.
Shopping and Entertainment
Nashville, Tennessee, famously known as Music City, is not only a mecca for music enthusiasts but also a paradise for shopping aficionados and entertainment seekers. From bustling shopping districts to renowned entertainment venues, Nashville has something to offer everyone.
Entertainment is synonymous with Nashville, with its roots running deep in the country music industry. The Grand Ole Opry, one of the city's iconic venues, offers weekly country music concerts that attract visitors from around the globe. Likewise, the Ryman Auditorium, hailed as the "Mother Church of Country Music," is another must-see for any music lover. For those seeking a more intimate experience, the Bluebird Cafe features performances from both seasoned and upcoming songwriters in a cozy, listening-room environment.
Music Row, the heart of Nashville's entertainment industry, is home to numerous recording studios, record labels, and music industry offices. Here, you can witness where legendary songs were born and continue to be created. The district is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a must-visit for any country music enthusiast.
When it comes to shopping, Nashville doesn't disappoint. The city's shopping scene is a blend of big-name stores and unique local boutiques. The Mall at Green Hills provides a high-end shopping experience with stores like Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. In contrast, neighborhoods like 12 South and East Nashville offer a range of independent shops selling everything from vintage clothing to handmade crafts and local art.
For a unique Nashville shopping experience, head over to the Marathon Village, a former automobile factory that has been transformed into a complex of shops, artist studios, and businesses. Here, you can find local products like Corsair Distillery spirits, Antique Archaeology's vintage finds, and Marathon Music Works' concert tickets.
Nashville, with its thriving music scene, unique shopping destinations, and diverse food offerings, is truly a city that never fails to entertain and delight.
Parks and Nature
Nashville, affectionately known as Music City, is renowned for its vibrant country music scene, but there's another side to this Tennessee gem. With its picturesque parks and inviting outdoor spaces, Nashville is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Centennial Park is one of Nashville's premier outdoor destinations, spanning 132 acres and situated right in the heart of the city. The park is home to the iconic Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek structure, but there's much more to explore. Walking trails, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, and a beautiful sunken garden all make Centennial Park a go-to for locals and visitors alike.
Radnor Lake State Park is a real treat for those seeking a more tranquil experience. Just a short drive from the city center, this 1,368-acre park is a wildlife refuge offering serene lake views, numerous hiking trails, and an abundance of wildlife. Whether you're an avid bird watcher or simply love a peaceful walk amidst nature, Radnor Lake is a must-visit.
For a more active day out, the Warner Parks, comprised of Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, offer an extensive network of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. It also features a nature center, golf courses, and athletic fields. With over 3,000 acres of forests and open fields, it's one of the largest municipally administered parks in Tennessee and a cherished asset of Nashville.
Nashville's greenway system is another fantastic option for outdoor enthusiasts, connecting neighborhoods through a series of trails and open spaces along the city's rivers and streams. For those looking to stay within the city's core, the Cumberland River Greenway is a great choice, offering a scenic riverside path through downtown.
There are also many opportunities to get out on the water in Nashville. The Cumberland River, which flows through the city, is popular for kayaking and paddleboarding. Nearby Percy Priest Lake, with its 14,000 acres of water, is a favorite among boaters, fishers, and swimmers.
From its tranquil green spaces to its active outdoor pursuits, Nashville offers a wealth of nature experiences, providing a perfect balance to its bustling urban scene.
Business and Industry
Nashville, Tennessee, while known as Music City due to its deep roots in the music industry, is also a major hub for several other key industries. The city's diverse economy is driven by sectors such as healthcare, education, tourism, and increasingly, technology.
Healthcare is a significant player in Nashville's economy, and the city is considered a healthcare hub in the United States. Many leading healthcare companies, including HCA Healthcare, Change Healthcare, and Community Health Systems, have their headquarters in Nashville, providing a wide range of services, from patient care to hospital management to healthcare IT solutions. The city's robust healthcare sector provides ample opportunities for professionals in various medical and health-related fields.
Education is another vital sector, with Nashville being home to several renowned institutions, including Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Tennessee State University. These institutions not only contribute to the city's vibrant intellectual scene but also drive considerable economic activity, including research and development initiatives.
Nashville's music and entertainment industry continues to be a powerful economic driver. Aside from the country music scene, the city has seen growth in different music genres, film, and television production. The city is home to major record labels, music publishing houses, recording studios, and music festivals that attract artists and fans from around the world.
The tourism sector also plays a significant role in Nashville's economy, with visitors drawn to the city's rich musical heritage, culinary scene, and many festivals and events. Nashville's tourism industry supports a range of other businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments.
The tech sector in Nashville is also on the rise, with the city attracting a growing number of tech startups and established tech companies. This growth is aided by Nashville's low cost of living compared to other tech hubs and the presence of a highly skilled workforce.
Overall, Nashville's diverse economy provides a dynamic and supportive environment for businesses and workers alike, contributing to the city's vibrancy and continued growth.
Airport and Transportation
Nashville's transportation system is conveniently laid out, allowing residents and visitors to get around the city and beyond with relative ease. The city's primary airport, the Nashville International Airport (BNA), is a major asset. BNA is conveniently located just 8 miles east of downtown Nashville, making it an easy commute for city dwellers and suburban residents alike. The airport offers numerous direct flights to cities across the United States and a growing number of international destinations.
BNA is also served by several forms of public transportation, including the Metropolitan Transit Authority's (MTA) bus service, which connects the airport to various parts of the city. In addition, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are prevalent in Nashville, providing another means of transportation to and from the airport.
Within the city itself, Nashville MTA provides a comprehensive bus service, making it a convenient way to navigate the city. There are over 50 different bus routes that stretch across the city and into the surrounding suburbs. The MTA also operates the Music City Circuit, a free bus service that connects riders to many of the city's tourist attractions, downtown area, and key neighborhoods.
For those who prefer to cycle or walk, Nashville is becoming increasingly bike-friendly with a growing network of bike lanes and greenways. In addition, the city has a bike-share program, B-cycle, which allows users to rent bicycles at various stations throughout the city.
Nashville is also served by several taxi companies, and ride-sharing services are widespread. A number of car rental companies operate in the city as well, offering an additional option for those who prefer to drive.
Overall, getting around Nashville and traveling to and from the city is quite straightforward, thanks to the city's accessible airport and diverse public transportation options.
Nashville, also known as Music City, experiences a classic four-season climate, with each season bringing its own unique charm to the city. The overall climate is categorized as humid subtropical, which means the city gets to enjoy warm, pleasant summers and relatively mild winters.
Spring is a delightful time to be in Nashville. From March to May, the city slowly warms up from the winter chill, with average highs ranging from the 60s to the 70s (°F). During this time, the city blossoms with vibrant colors, as the local flora comes to life. Spring is also when the city receives the majority of its rainfall, which helps to keep everything lush and green.
Summers in Nashville, from June to August, are typically hot and humid, with average high temperatures in the upper 80s to lower 90s (°F). However, it's also a great time to take advantage of the city's many outdoor amenities, including numerous parks, greenways, and outdoor concert venues. And let's not forget the rooftop patios, which are popular during the warm summer evenings.
As summer transitions into fall, from September to November, the heat and humidity gradually lessen, and the city is graced with a spectacular display of fall foliage. With average highs in the 60s and 70s (°F), the crisp autumn weather is perfect for exploring the city's numerous outdoor festivals and events.
Winter, from December to February, is relatively mild in Nashville compared to many parts of the country. Average highs are typically in the upper 40s to low 50s (°F), and while the city does see some snow, it's usually not substantial. Despite the cooler temperatures, there's no shortage of indoor activities to enjoy in the city, including visiting the many music venues, museums, and restaurants that Nashville is famous for.
In summary, Nashville's climate offers a balance of seasons, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy a variety of weather conditions and outdoor activities throughout the year. It's just another reason why Nashville is such a great place to call home.
Private and Public Schools
Education is a major focus in Nashville, with the city offering a diverse mix of both public and private schools to cater to the varied needs and aspirations of its residents. The Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) system serves the city with over 140 schools, encompassing a mix of traditional, magnet, and charter schools. The system is committed to providing quality education and has implemented several programs to enhance academic achievement and growth.
Among the public schools, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet and Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School are particularly noteworthy, consistently earning high rankings and serving as models of academic excellence. These schools offer rigorous academic programs and a wide range of extracurricular activities, nurturing both the minds and talents of their students.
Nashville is also home to a number of top-tier private schools. Montgomery Bell Academy, Harpeth Hall School, and University School of Nashville are just a few examples that are known for their rigorous academic curriculums, advanced placement courses, and a multitude of athletic and arts programs. These schools focus on developing well-rounded students who are prepared for success in college and beyond.
For parents seeking alternative education options, Nashville offers several charter schools, which are publicly funded but operate independently of the traditional public school system. These schools often provide innovative and specialized curriculums, allowing students to explore unique educational pathways.
Regardless of the choice between public, private, or charter schools, families moving to Nashville can rest assured that the city offers a wide range of quality educational options for their children. It's a city where educational opportunities and growth are always at the forefront.
Nashville, fondly known as the "Music City," has a rich and vibrant history that dates back to the late 1700s. Founded by James Robertson, John Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men in 1779, it was originally named Fort Nashborough after the Revolutionary War hero Francis Nash. The city was officially chartered as Nashville in 1784.
In its early years, Nashville was a prominent river port and quickly became the center for the western frontier. The city also holds a significant place in American history as a key site during the Civil War. The Battle of Nashville in 1864 was a major Union victory and marked the end of large-scale fighting in the Western Theater.
Post-Civil War, the city quickly recovered and established itself as a thriving industrial center. During this time, Nashville also gained prominence for its commitment to education, earning the nickname "Athens of the South" due to the numerous universities and colleges established in the city.
The early 20th century saw Nashville evolve into a hub for country music. The establishment of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s, followed by entities like the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the CMA Music Festival have continued to solidify Nashville's status as the heart of country music.
Throughout the 1960s, Nashville played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement. The city was the first in the South to desegregate public services and was a strategic hub for organizing civil rights activities. The Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library offers a glimpse into this monumental era of the city's history.
Today, Nashville is a vibrant city that harmoniously blends its historic past with the excitement of the present. It's a city that has preserved its historical charm while embracing growth and modernization, making it a uniquely captivating place to live and visit.