Is Moving to Tennessee Right for You? (A 2019 Guide)

Thinking about moving to Tennessee? Read this first.

Tennessee has brought the rest of the world some splendid stuff and people. For one, the volunteer state gifted us the actor, narrator and philanthropist Morgan Freeman… we’re not sure what any of us would do without his angelic voice narrating the world’s most stunning documentaries.

But, Morgan Freeman wasn’t the only great in the movie business to come out of Tennessee, Quentin Tarantino also calls the state home. Have you ever heard of the movies… Reservoir Dogs? Pulp Fiction? Inglorious Bastards? Hateful Eight? Django?

But, besides the rich, famous and crazy talented… Tennessee is home to Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Which, interesting story regarding this… the gent who came up with Jack Daniels… Jack Daniels… actually died after getting frustrated at a broken safe and kicking it. He kicked it so hard that the damage ultimately led to an infection which eventually led to him biting the dust. The moral of the story there? Don’t get mad and kick safes.

And, one more interesting point… we know… we know. We are just full of them today, aren’t we? So, if you’ve ever drunk that super sweet neon green liquid called Mountain Dew… you would be intrigued to know the drink actually originated in the state of Tennessee as a nice thing to remove the bite from Whiskey.

And, while we certainly aren’t encouraging drinking… a good pairing for today’s read on Tennessee would be Jack Daniels, over the rocks with a splash or three of Mountain Dew.

Now, enough interesting facts about Tennessee. Let us now explain why moving here might be the best decision you will ever make (by the way, we’re Bellhops—movers in Tennessee and throughout the country).

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A brief overview of the state of Tennessee.

Hmmm… where to begin with the state of Tennessee.

Well, in many ways, Tennessee feels like it is the heart of the South. But, with it being just a stone’s throw away from the midwest, it has some warm welcoming midwestern elements to it, too. It’s a lovely meshing of southern hospitality and midwestern warmth… a lovely pairing we also see in Oklahoma. The state itself is landlocked, nestled between other Southern gems like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. But don’t let this landlocking give you the wrong impression… the state is truly breathtaking.   

1. Tennessee and its breathtaking landscape.

While the state of Tennessee is nowhere near an ocean it is festooned with cascading waterfalls, rolling hills, sunlit mountains, snaking rivers and plenty of waterholes for you too cool off in during the hot Tennessee summers. If you ever decide on moving to Tennessee (or are just simply passing through) be sure to explore Lover’s Leap atop Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain where you can see three states from one vantage point –– Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina.

And, of course, we can’t forget about the Smoky Mountains which carve their way through Tennessee and North Carolina offering residents endless opportunities to bike, hike, walk, fish and explore some of the prettiest terrains in the world. Psst… we recommend you check these out during the fall. You will thank us later.

The pros and cons of moving to Tennessee.

Full-disclosure. The Bellhops HQ is actually based in Chattanooga, Tennessee… so it is safe to say we just think Tennessee is the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, we get that Tennessee isn’t for everyone. So, in this little section, we are going to share the good and the bad and even the ugly in regards to Tennessee. However, thankfully, like most states we move beautiful folks like yourself too… the pros heavily outweigh the cons.  

2. The pros of moving to Tennessee: the cities, the food, the coffee, the beer, and the music.

There are tons of reasons to move to Tennessee. First and foremost, you can take your pick of cities… and honestly can’t go wrong with any of them.  Nashville? Memphis? Chattanooga? No matter where you choose to call home in Tennessee, you will have no trouble finding a city that has what you’re looking for. In addition, Tennessee as a whole has a thriving food, beer and coffee scene. Food wise, Nashville is home to the delicious, crispy hot chicken… Memphis is home to mouthwatering BBQ… and Chattanooga is home to practically endless fusion.

And, finally, not just Nashville but the state of Tennessee as a whole offers a killer music scene. And, despite what many people think, it’s a whole lot more than just country. Bands like Paramour and artists like Justin Timberlake got their start in Tennessee. And, as the state as a whole is gaining a more diverse taste in music, some of the biggest musicians in the world are adding it to their lists of places to stop come tour time. The bottom line is that if you’re a music fiend, head to Tennessee.

3. The cons of moving to Tennessee: the cost of living, the humidity and the overabundance of country music.

With all of that said, we will be the first ones to say that Tennessee isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It has some not so great things about it, too. First and foremost, it can be awfully expensive to live here… this mostly goes for Nashville where rent can be as expensive as $1,300 for a one bedroom apartment… that’s definitely pricey. If you’re looking to move to Tennessee and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg we recommend you check out Memphis or Chattanooga for sure. Also, the summer heat can be a bit brutal. If you’re looking at other states down south, it’s certainly no different. But, if you’re used to cool Chicago summers, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise. Summers in Tennessee get hot, you get sweaty… but, eventually, you get used to it. Or, at least we have.

And, finally, country music can be a pro or a con… depending on who you ask. If you are a country music fanatic then what are you doing? Just move already. However, with Nashville being the country music capital of the world… if you hate country music just know that it is a part of the culture down here… to a certain extent at least. With that said, as we mentioned in the previous section, you can certainly escape it and the music tastes here in Tennessee are certainly becoming more diverse.

Money, Money, Money.

Deciding whether or not you like a place is only half the battle. Eventually, you have to ask a tough question… can I afford to live there? As we just mentioned, Tennessee sure ain’t cheap (unless you are looking to call Memphis or Chattanooga home). Let’s talk what the money looks like in Tennessee.

4. Can you make any money in Tennessee?

The average salary in Nashville, Tennessee is $51,000 which isn’t too shabby. The average salary in Chattanooga is $44,000 and in Memphis, it is $47,000. While Nashville certainly sports the highest salary, it is important to remember that you’re going to pay more for rent, too.

The state of Tennessee has some pretty large companies that exist here… the ten largest are FedEx, HCA, Dollar General, Community Health Systems, Cracker Barrel, AutoZone, Brookdale Senior Living, International Paper, Envision Healthcare, and LifePoint Health.

With that said, if you are interested in working in either healthcare or music, you’re best off going to Nashville where jobs in these industries are practically endless. However, there are some very interesting things happening in Chattanooga from a tech and startup standpoint, it has become a hotspot for aspiring entrepreneurs with its insanely fast internet and relatively low cost of living. So, like any state, there are opportunities wherever you look… you just have to know what you’re looking for.

Nashville, Tennessee at sunset

Where are the best places to live in Tennessee?

Okay, so we are about to give you a brief summary of each city we recommend down below. But, if you have a little more time on your hands and are interested in diving deep here… take a look at our write-up on the best places to live in Tennessee.

5. Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga… oh my?

Here’s the deal, you can’t go wrong with any of the above names. However, they are all vastly different from one another. If you’re looking for a killer live music scene, want to work in music or healthcare or are a big city guy or girl… Nashville is the place for you.

On the other hand, if you want to escape the country music but still want a big city offering great live music (at a much more affordable price, you can’t go wrong with Memphis.

And, finally, if big city life just isn’t for you and what you care about is having solid walkability and having endless outdoor activities at your fingertips… then you need to head to Chattanooga for sure.

Got it? Good.

A few final thoughts on moving to Tennessee.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Tennessee is a great state and one certainly worth calling home. If you are interested in making a jump here, don’t hesitate to give us a call… we will get you all moved and settled in a jiffy. That’s kind of what we do here at Bellhops.

By The Bellhops Team.

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