Moving to Nashville
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Even if you don't consider yourself a country & western fan it's virtually impossible to move to Nashville and not get caught up in the vibe. Between the Grand Ole Opry, the Opryland Hotel and the Country Music Hall of Fame, music sears through the veins of the city; but don't make the mistake of thinking that's all Nashville is about.
This is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in Tennessee and is one of those places that once you have visited you want to return.
Moving to Nashville has proved a smart move for many Brits and there is a sizeable expat community within the city limits. With the exception of the inner city and a few of the downtown neighbourhoods Nashville is very much a driving city.
Flying to the airport and hiring a car to really explore the area is highly recommended before you make the move as you will discover hidden gems that would likely fall under the radar if you visit the city and travel by public transport.
Nashville has that great laid back vibe rarely found in such a busy American city, the kind you wish you could bottle and take home with you. Notoriously friendly and easy going, the residents here are an eclectic mix who have come from all corners of the globe and bought into the Nashville way of life.
No, jobs in Nashville are not restricted to singing, playing a guitar or working in hospitality. Granted, tourism brings a lot of money into the city but it is currently undergoing a growth and enthusiasm in the tech market which can only be described as explosive.
In fact, earlier this year Nashville was named as the USA's 2nd fastest growing market in terms of tech job creation. Only Milwaukee, a long standing doyen of the American tech market ranks higher. Large international corporations have opened up in Nashville giving a huge boost to the city's workforce and economy.
You certainly won't struggle financially to eat out and be entertained in Nashville. The price of a 3 course meal in an above average restaurant comes in at around $50. Half a litre of draft beer will set you back $3.50 and at 90c and $2.38 respectively for a litre of milk and a fresh loaf the general cost of living is below the US average.
Your basic utilities, which include water, electricity, garbage removal and heating add up to around $141 a month. 10Mbps internet is $54 a month and using your mobile phone on a pay as you go basis costs 0.08c a minute.
This drops even further if you take up a contract with one of the US mobile providers which include Verizon and AT&T.
The rental prices listed below are monthly averages as different neighbourhoods invariably carry different levels of rent. You can find a one bed apartment inside the city for around $1,245 a month, while one a bit further away is only an average of $789.
The same goes for looking for a 3 bed apartment in the heart of Nashville; expect to fork out $2,258 or head to the suburbs for only $1,438 a month.
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Apartments within the city centre are extremely popular for those who want to be in the thick of the action but carry a pretty high price tag as you can see above. As with all cities the further out you go from the centre the cheaper the rent becomes and the more choice of property there is available.
Condos and lofts give way to leafy suburbs straight out of a US 50s sitcom. White picket fences and swings on porches are widely seen which is a pleasant nod to the history of this wonderful southern city.
Family Friendly – Eighth Avenue South has earned itself an enviable reputation as a fine area to raise a family. To the immediate south of The Gulch and Downtown, Just south of downtown and the Gulch, the streets of this district are lined with corner cafes, antique shops and many family friendly eateries. Life here is lived at a leisurely pace where browsing the fascinating shops is a major pastime. A no frills area bereft of tourism, Eighth Avenue South has a lovely friendly ambience which makes it ideal for raising a family.
Upmarket – Greenhills, South Nashville and Berry Hill are the 3 upscale areas of Nashville where property prices are high and quality of life unmatched. Famous chain restaurants, upscale shopping and gorgeous affluent residences set these 3 neighbourhoods apart. These lively and much desired areas are virtually untouched by tourism with the exception of the classy mall at Greenhills. This area is also home to the famous Bluebird Cafe, the long time doyen of up and coming musicians and songwriters.
Hip and Trendy – The District's restored buildings house a plethora of fascinating shops, tourist targeted restaurants, bars and nightclubs. This historic area of downtown in the hub of the nightlife scene in Nashville. It's getting livelier every passing year and the streets are packed on weekend nights with partygoers roaming between the heady mix of dive bars, retro discos and line dancing hootenanny's.
Up and Coming – Once an abandoned wilderness from the the industrial days The Gulch is on the up and up and fast becoming the most prized area in Nashville as far as real estate is concerned. The old warehouse are being razed, revamped and transformed into top end luxury apartments which are being snapped up as soon as they hit the market. Alongside the gleaming studios and high rise condos are an ever increasing number of upmarket hotels, clubs and restaurants all vying for space and clientele.
Cost of moving
The cost of upping sticks and moving to Nashville will depend on two things; where you are moving from and what you want moving. These prices are a rough guide to the current cost of moving a 20 sq ft shipping container;
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Schools and education
If you’re moving to Nashville with your family, you will certainly be able to find a school for your children. The Davidson County School District is home to 155 schools which accept children from right across the Nashville area. There are preschools, elementary, middle, high, public district, private and private charter schools to take your children through their formative years.
Universities in Nashville
From Nashville Community College to Lincoln Tech and Tennessee State University there are no shortage of options for students entering further education. Sitting at the top of Tier 2, students who attend this university will get a good quality education at an affordable price.
Ranking against the world
Nashville is in the top 10 of college and pet friendly cities – meaning you can easily move with your pets – and the cost of living here is around 12.4% lower than the national average. It is the most expensive city to live in Tennessee but the wages are also a lot higher to balance it out.
When it comes to culture Nashville isn't known as “Music City” for nothing. Music is the thread which weaves the tapestry of Nashville but there is much more to enjoy. Museums, art galleries, theatres and tributes to the many famous people who hailed from the city allow you to embark on a journey of discovery every time you step out of your door.
A day in the life
Kickstart your day with a traditional Nashville breakfast at the famous Pancake Pantry. Since 1961 locals and residents have flocked here to indulge in breakfasts par excellence. Whether it's your first visit for 101st you never tire of the ever changing array of delights which put a spring in your step for the rest of the day.
A stroll around the beautiful Centennial Park is a real must door. One of the city's most iconic landmarks is found here, the to-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens. A few selfies by the lovely lake is another must.
The unassuming buildings which make up Music Row give no indication of the history they contain. The greatest musicians of all time, from Dolly Parton to Elvis have recorded here and there is a tangible vibe in the air as you walk where those famous feet have tread.
An iced coffee and scones at Crema is the ideal pick me up after all that fresh air and history. One of the coolest coffee joints in Nashville is an experience not to be missed.
The next port of call for anyone with a penchant for art should be the Frist Centre for the Visual Arts on Broadway. If you can't resist the pull of the music any longer then a tour of the Ryman Auditorium is next up.
Considered to be Nashville's most legendary building, this was one of the Grand Ole Opry's original homes and is referred to as the “Mother Church” of country music. Take the tour, grab a bite to eat then return for one of the awesome live music shows which cover all genres.