If You’re Planning a Move to Nashville There Are Things You Need to Know
If you’re planning a move to Nashville, you’re not alone. We average 80+ transplants a day moving into our metro area. We’re considered one of the nation’s “It” cities for a reason, (or 100 reasons), but inevitably people want to know what to truly expect when they get here. You can learn the gist of why you’ll want to live here by reading up on all the dozens of benefits our fair city has to offer, but there are things the city’s marketing department may not share. We have a TON of great benefits, a handful of challenges and there is SO much to consider. We’re just scratching the surface here.
Remember – Affordable is a Relative Term
There is a lot of talk about the affordability of our city, but if you plan to move to Nashville and build a life, you have to know that “affordability” is relative. In Nashville, you’ll find cost of living to be very reasonable compared to larger and growing cities. We’re not LA, but we’re not a small town either. Housing costs have skyrocketed in recent years and far more people find them pricey than they used to. Supply and demand in the urban core are at work, so if you’re looking for a housing bargain, plan to do a little commuting.
You WILL Need a Car
Speaking of commuting… unless you plan to live (and work) right in one of our most urban neighborhoods, like the Gulch or Downtown, you’re not going to be able to rely on public transportation. Few people move to Nashville and plan to work and live in one small area of our large and beautiful city, and buses aren’t going to get you everywhere you want to go. People in the South drive – a lot.
Expect Traffic (and Questionable Driving Skills)
With everyone in Nashville driving – a lot – it’s obvious that you’re going to need to be prepared for traffic. Again, it’s all relative and many people move to Nashville from larger cities and find our rush hour to be a breeze, but most others don’t. Not to mention that Nashvillians aren’t known for their quality driving skills. Without blinkers and with frequent lane changing, we’ve got a recipe for fender benders, so you can expect to spend a lot of time playing stop and go. Your best bet is to keep your commute short and your schedule as flexible as possible.
The Weather is Unpredictable
One thing you CAN’T expect when you move to Nashville is to know what the weather is going to do. You’ll hear most people in Tennessee tell you that they love, love, love the weather. We have four whole seasons and two of them are mild and beautiful, but ALL of them are unpredictable. It’s not uncommon to experience a drastic temperature change from one day to the next just about any time of the year (particularly in Winter). As we say in the South, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes. It’ll change.”
Bring Your Appetite
You’ll want to bring more with you when you move to Nashville than just a versatile wardrobe for those changing temperatures. You’ll also want to pack your appetite. From brunch to dinner to late-night dining, we EAT – and no, we don’t just eat deep-fried Southern food! Nashville is quite the mecca for foodies these days with fine dining for all types of taste buds. New restaurants open weekly and being one of the first to try them out is a very Nashville thing to do. We track our openings. We try out our new establishments and we talk about them, a LOT.
Our Booze is Fancy
No foodie town is truly a good foodie town if their libations aren’t on par with their dining options. It’s not surprising that some people seem to decide to move to Nashville for the food and brews alone. With new breweries opening on the regular, an abundance of bars specializing in craft cocktails, and even our own distilleries, there’s no doubt that our booze is fancy! You’ll never run out of options to keep your whistle wet.
We’re into Sports-ing
About the only thing we obsess over in Nashville almost as much as our constant influx of new restaurants and brews is our sports teams. If you plan to move to Nashville, be prepared to be surrounded by sports-ing. We LOVE our Predators, we stand behind our Titans come what may, we enjoy some of our finest weather at Sounds’ games and we’re counting down the days to our new MLS team. You’ll meet very few people in town who can’t hold a conversation about how our teams are doing. Sports in Nashville is hip.
We’ll Judge You for Going to Starbucks
If coffee is more your style than dining, booze, and sports, have no fear! We’ll never judge you for preferring to grab a cup of java and settle in with a book. We’ll only judge you if Starbucks is your cafe of choice to do it. Nashville’s cup runneth over with fine, local coffee shops serving up locally roasted brews. From trendy to traditional, you’ll find a spot that’s just your liking, but don’t be surprised when you can’t find many with a drive-thru. Perhaps it speaks to our slower pace.
We Love ALL Things Local
It’s not just our coffee that we prefer local, by the way. It’s all things. It won’t be long after you move to Nashville that you realize that you can buy just about anything locally made, grown or brewed in our city. We have designers, makers, builders, and growers galore and we are BIG on buying local first. We may be a growing city, but we still support the heck out of Main street! It’s a part of our Southern hospitality to take care of our own.
We Tip Our Servers, and Our Bands, and Our Drivers…
Also a part of our Southern hospitality, when you move to Nashville you need to know that we tip in these parts. Entertainment and dining are a huge part of who we are and much of our town survives on gratuity. We appreciate our servers, our bands, our drivers, and especially our bartenders, and we make sure they know we appreciate them. Trust us! If you take good care of them, they WILL take good care of you. Besides, it’s just what mama taught us to do.
Even Our Snow is Southern
If you’ve ever wondered just how Southern Nashville really is despite its progressive attitudes, just wait ’til Wintertime! Then, hopefully, you’ll come to accept that even our SNOW is Southern! What does that mean? It means that we don’t care how much snow you learned to drive in, our snow is rarely the friendly kind, and when it comes to visit, it’s usually on the heels of rain with a little ice in tow. That’s not to mention that we don’t keep a whole fleet of plows at the ready. Do like the rest of us, embrace the “snow days”! Those are good days for brewing up some of that locally roasted coffee and reading a good book!
We Love Our Music LIVE
One thing you won’t find in Nashville is an overabundance of DJs. We like our music LIVE and you’ll often catch someone picking through a set just about anywhere you go from street corners to the corner of your favorite small cafe. (We highly recommend checking into local writers’ nights where you’ll catch hits sung by those who wrote them and the occasional hit that isn’t yet.) In the few places that live music is missing, you’re most likely to find a jukebox in the corner in its place and just as likely to find us all playing songs written or recorded by someone we know.
We’re Not THAT Country
Speaking of live music…by 2018, after all the “It City” lists we’ve made, it should probably go without saying, but we’ll go ahead make it clear – we’re not all THAT country! Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our country music and a lot of us have at least one pair of boots in the closet, but you’ll mostly only see cowboy hats on tourists and the occasional local on the lake. (They’re great for making shade and keeping the wrinkles at bay). In food, fashion, and particularly music, you’ll find the stylings of Nashville run the gamut.
Our Neighborhoods Are Not Created Equal
Because we run the gamut, one of the most important of ALL decisions you’ll make when you move to Nashville is which neighborhood to call home. Our suburbs vary in their commute times, their amenities, their outdoors life, and just about every other aspect. Even our urban communities offer a ton of different styles. If you’re looking for shiny and new, the Gulch is going to be your spot, but if your tastes lean historic, you’ll be drawn to vibe of living East of the river or on the West Side near Sylvan Park. Interested in a little of both, Germantown may be most to your liking. Every pocket of Nashville has just a little different vibe, so choose carefully.
We’ve Got Jobs
Last but not least, perhaps the very best thing you’ll want to know we you plan to move to Nashville is that one of the BEST things we have is JOBS! Companies are moving their headquarters here, our startups are growing, and we have no lack of viable industries. From healthcare to tech to entertainment, the options are abundant and we all reap the benefits of our city’s phenomenal growth rate!