Saunders 1865 | Moving to Nashville

Moving to Nashville

Are you moving to Nashville? Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the State of Tennessee. Recently, this city has been rated as having the hottest housing market in the US and is described as a southern boomtown. Famous for country music, it is also home to many great schools, colleges and universities.

Our free, in-depth Moving to Nashville report includes info on:

• The good transport links throughout the city
• The best places to live
• Average monthly rental prices
• Details of the excellent schooling system

Putting Nashville on the Map

With 90 people moving to Nashville on a daily basis, there are more than 111, 405 additional commuters than five years ago.  The majority of commuters still drive to work and, with the influx of residents’, congestion is a growing problem.

As the capital of the state, Nashville boasts good transport links.

  • John C. Tune (or JWN) Airport is 8 miles from the city centre – known as downtown.
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA) is joint military and public use facility and is about 20 minutes ride from the city.
  • Regional Transport Authority (RTA), along with Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority, provides 46 bus routes throughout Davidson County, while RTA manages 10 routes to nearby cities.
  • RTA oversees Music City Star regional rail services, with six stations, Riverfront, Donelson, Hermitage, Mt Juliet, Martha and Lebanon, providing three trains during morning and evening rush hours. It is the only regional rail option for public transport.
  • RTA’s rideshare organises carpools and vanpools for commuters in the Middle Tennessee areas.
  • Cycling and walking are fast becoming a preferred option, whether to public transport points or all the way to the office. There are more than 80 miles of off-street multi-use greenway trails, mostly paved.  WalkBike Nashville, Nashville Green Bikes Bike Sharing and B-cycle Bike Sharing are scattered around the city.
The Areas

Recently Nashville has been rated as having the hottest housing market in the US and is described as a southern boomtown.  Downtown Nashville consists of apartments, lofts and high-rise condominiums, mainly suited to young professionals, musicians and music lovers.  The honky-tonks are here, so aspiring country musicians flock here in the hope of making it big.  Downtown living has become more popular over the years, and The District, a 16-block entertainment and dining area, is a magnet for urban professionals looking to be close to the office and all the city has to offer.  Complexes such as the Viridian on the Church Street corridor with its 305 units, The Cumberland, a 23-storey luxury high-rise on Church Street and loft apartments above the shops on 2nd Avenue, all prove popular.


20 minutes south of the city Franklin, with its scenic square, is extremely sought after, acknowledged by its numerous awards for the Great American Main Street and the Best Small Town in Tennessee.  This is the ideal location for families, with standalone houses, condos and townhouses.  Prices here are higher than average but you get the best of both worlds, relative peace and quiet and a multitude of entertainment options, including the Franklin Theatre, built in 1937, offering movies, plays and live music.


Undergoing gentrification, Germantown is one of Nashville’s hottest areas.  An 18-block district overlooking the city, this was the first residential subdivision here, dating back to the 1830s, so works well for those wanting to be close to the action without the high prices, although there are some high-end properties here too.  Quieter than downtown and Franklin, there are some good restaurants and the Nashville Farmers Market is within walking distance.  The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, rated as one of the city’s most beautiful parks, is nearby.  The annual Nashville Oktoberfest features all things German, from music to authentic food and beer.


A more eclectic district, close to both downtown and Germantown, this is a growing community of independent musicians and artists, all looking for a creative atmosphere.  Old Victorians, bungalows and Craftsmen house the art galleries, antique and vintage shops, and this laid-back district has been compared to New York’s East Village.  For those on a budget, rentals are more reasonable here, with an abundance of cottage homes and bungalows to suit families, along with townhouses, apartments and duplexes and a number of excellent shops and restaurants.


Named for the steep forested hills blanketing the area, wedged between Percy Warner Park and Radnor Lake State Park, this picturesque neighbourhood reflects the steep housing prices.  No high-density housing is allowed here, so apartments and condos are not an option.  There is very little commercial development, the area is almost all residential.  But Belle Meade and Greenhills are nearby, with plenty of restaurants and venues.  Forest Hills is just 15 minutes south of Nashville, so makes a great choice for families looking for an established neighbourhood.  This suburb is an incorporated city within the city of Nashville and has kept its own identity since 1957.


12 South is the ideal area for those wanting to be close to the excitement and entertainment of the city yet in a traditional family area.  Mainly townhouses or single family, detached homes, with plans to build more housing options and the proximity to the very popular Sevier Park, plus an abundance of restaurants, all add up to 12 South being rated one of the South’s Best Neighbourhoods.


Just 10 miles from the downtown area, Brentwood is known for its celebrities and their beautiful homes.  It is one of the most desirable addresses in Nashville, with plenty of music venues and restaurants, including Puffy Muffin, Cross Corner Bar and Grill and Mere Bulles.  Brentwood Country Club, the Eddy Arnold Amphitheatre and Radnor Lake State Park are important landmarks in this prime location with excellent schools and top-class amenities.


One of Nashville’s most established areas, this stunning neighbourhood is dotted with a mix of historic homes and modern properties, all luxurious and grand.  This includes the Belle Meade Plantation – one of the South’s historic mansions –  formerly the premier breeding stable for thoroughbred horses, now a museum set on 30 acres including a winery selling home-made wines.  Belle Meade is a peaceful and safe suburb but lacks the urban lifestyle and walkability of other districts.  Home to the Iroquois Steeplechase, held in Percy Warner Park and three golf courses, yet it is a mere 8 miles to the city.


To the west of Belle Meade, and a 15-minute drive into Nashville, Bellevue offers a mix of established homes and newbuilds, but without the wide choice of restaurants.  This affordable area is close to both the Percy Warner and the Edwin Warner Parks, with their seemingly endless scenic trails.  There are a few well-known restaurants, including the Loveless Café and Antonio’s of Nashville.


Located 15 minutes south of Nashville, Crieve Hall is steeped in history. Former residents include the founder of Maxwell House Coffee, Joel Cheek, and its name comes from his daughter’s mansion.  After the mansion was repossessed, the land was sub-divided in the 50s to allow for new neighbourhoods to be built in this affordable area.  It lacks a great choice in restaurants but that is made up for by the famous Mama Mia’s Italian eatery, a landmark for over 20 years.  The Radnor Lake State Park is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and this suburban lifestyle is within a quick commute to the office.


This is Nashville’s most happening and hippest areas, with chic restaurants and sophisticated retail outlets, it has also been certified as an environmentally green neighbourhood.  Formerly an off-the-beaten-track area of the city, along 11th and 12th Avenues South, now one finds up-market condos such as Tarazzo, ICON and Velocity.  The area was transformed in 2006 from a railway terminal into one of Nashville’s more sought-after districts, with all the nightlife within walking distance.  Young professionals love the proximity to the office as well some of the more famous watering holes, such as Sambuca, Ru Sans Sushi, Watermark and Yazoo Brewing Company.  Families who enjoy the more urban environment raise their families in newer, modern apartments and high-rise condos.  There is something for everyone.

Who Lives and Works in Nashville

With the third fastest growing economy in the US and being the Number One Metro Area for Professional and Business Service Jobs in America, Nashville has the largest metropolitan area in the state.  It spans 13 counties, with a total estimated population of 1,903,045, amongst them more than 160,000 foreign-born residents.  Combined with Clarksville the area boasts a $134.8 billion economy.  Job growth has reached record levels and unemployment is low at 3.4%, while the ageing population and increasing job skills and education requirement add up to this region experiencing a growing workforce shortage.  More than one in eight people are 65 or older.  The workforce of in excess of 890,000 people are employed in some of America’s most successful companies, with healthcare being the largest sector.  The city’s top employers are Vanderbilt University and Medical Centre, Nissan North America, HCA Holdings, Saint Thomas Health, Randstad Staffing, Shoney’s Inc, Electrolux Home Products and Kroger Company.  Nashville is the home of country music and is a major music recording and production centre.  It also houses the guitar company, Gibson.

The Best Bits
  • Country music is Nashville’s claim to fame, with the action on 2nd Avenue and Broadway.
  • United Record Pressing is only one of four vinyl record manufacturers left in the US. They have been around since 1949, pressing records from Elvis to N’Sync.
  • There are many other music options if country music is not your cup of tea.
  • Nashville’s first citizen was a French-Canadian fur trader called Timothy Demonbreun. He first visited in 1769 when he lived in a cave along the Cumberland River.  From there he established a successful trading business.
  • Nashville boasts three professional sports teams, Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Predators and Nashville Sounds as well as many college teams. There are always sporting events happening somewhere in the city.
  • The CMA Music Festival, along with the Taste of Music City, cater for the country music fans.
  • More famous music venues include the Bluebird Café, Green Hills, F. Scott’s Jazz and Joe’s Place.
  • Centennial Park boasts the only exact copy of the Greek Parthenon.
  • With a multitude of museums and art centres, theatres and the performing arts, culture-vultures will always have something to do, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Ryman Auditorium, the Hermitage and Dyer Observatory, Nashville Theatres and Performing Arts, the Nashville Ballet and the Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project.
  • A thriving foodie city, there are a number of famous and excellent restaurants.
  • Bill Boner, Nashville mayor between ’87 and ’91, appeared on the Phil Donahue Show with his fiancée, Traci Peel while he was still married to his third wife.
Bringing the Kids

The city prides itself on education and skill attainment.  There is presently an intense focus on raising college/university completion rates as projections show that a much larger percentage of jobs over the next 20 years will require an associate’s degree or even higher.

Public schools operate on a catchment system similar to the UK, so it is vital that you live in the right area to secure a place for your child.  These schools are free of fees.

Charter schools are also public schools but are governed by a non-profit board.  They have more flexibility in curricula and academic programmes, and also work on the catchment system.  Magnet schools focus on specific subjects, for example, engineering, mathematics, fine arts, science and agriculture.  They have their own set of admission requirements but are not boundary specific, so are open to kids from all over the city.

Top rated public schools –  with test scores much higher than the national average -include the Martin Luther King Junior Magnet-Pearl High School, Lockeland Elementary Design Cente, Hume-Fogg High Academic Magnet and Meigs Middle Magnet School.

There are 54 private schools of which 59% have religious affiliations, mainly Roman Catholic and Christian.  The top rated are Benton Hall Academy, Abintra Montessori, Born Again Christian Academy and Cedarcreek Schoolhouse Academy.  These schools offer a better education than public schools, but they are costly.  You are not restricted to the neighbourhood when choosing your school.

The seven International Baccalaureate schools are more expensive than private schools and would be best suited for expat children in Nashville on short-stay postings.

There are more than 30 universities or colleges in the city.

Relocating to Nashville

This vibrant musical city, with its historical links, is the perfect posting.  With a wide variety of great areas and housing options, a thriving economy, a need for skilled expats and superb education facilities, there is something here for every member of the expat family.  However, the school catchment system may prove tricky and cause a little stress.  Using the services of a relocation specialist will smooth your path with help ranging from registering at schools, renting properties and the dreaded form-filling.


Family friendly
Museums & Galleries
Natural Beauty
Spacious Houses
Average Monthly Rent - Nashville
Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre $1,513.92
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of centre $1,026.09
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre $2,847.19
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre $1,792.11
Contact us for a free initial consultation about your specific situation.
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