Yes, it helps to be affluent in Brentwood, TN, a thriving city of 40,000 in the orbit of Nashville, aka "Music City," the business and tourism dynamo located just 12 miles north.
Brentwood housing prices are steep for this part of the country with median home prices in the $500,000 range. Median household income is a lofty $135,000 and 91.5% of residents are homeowners. It’s where many top professionals in Nashville’s music and health care industries live as well as sports celebrities from the NFL Titans and NHL Predators. EPSN’s marquee college football broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit also lives here.
Brentwood’s retail sector beckons the affluent. Upscale outdoor merchant REI operates a store in a strip-mall just down from a Fresh Market, with a Nordstrom Rack located just down the street. The local restaurant scene has exploded in recent years, with new fast-food eateries like Burger Fi and Blaze Pizza joining an array of old sit-down favorites including the Puffy Muffin, a southern-themed café; Corky’s, featuring Memphis-style barbeque and ribs; and Wild Iris, a finer-dining neighborhood spot.
See explorebrentwood.com for expansive shopping and dining listings
Trails, Treats, and the Best Library in the Area
Yes, affluence helps, but isn’t a necessity for living the good life in Brentwood. Older, middle-class neighborhoods stack up nicely alongside the city’s abundant McMansion-filled subdivisions, but condos and apartment dwellings are scarce due to the city’s strict zoning ordinances.
Affluence is totally unnecessary to enjoy Brentwood’s vast system of parks and trails; it’s well-maintained and lighted soccer fields; or it’s city amphitheater which hosts free summertime concerts that lure families with blankets and picnic baskets. The crown jewel of Brentwood’s city services is the stunning Brentwood Public Library, ranked among Livability’s 10 Best Children’s Libraries in the country, and listed by Trip Advisor as the #1 Thing To Do in Brentwood.
Just south of Brentwood’s buzzing commercial center, the Cal Turner farm offers soothing visual relief with hundreds of acres of pastures and rolling farmland dotted with horses. Every December a painted mural displaying a Nativity scene adorns the roof of a pavilion on the property, illuminated by a spotlight and serving as a Christmas card from Turner, former CEO of Dollar General, to his Brentwood neighbors.
Politics, Hospitals, Schools
Somewhat paradoxically, Brentwood’s exceptional tax-payer funded and government-run amenities are provided to the citizenry of one of the reddest cities in the nation. More than 70 percent of Brentwood residents are Republican. They are also predominantly white (87%) and well-educated (70% have a bachelor’s degree or higher).
Brentwood doesn’t have a hospital. But that’s not a dig deal as Vanderbilt University’s Williamson Medical Center is just down the road in Franklin and major hospitals in Nashville including the highly-regarded Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital are a short drive north on I-65.
Brentwood’s public schools rank exceptionally high in statewide comparisons, and Brentwood High School ranked 227 in Newsweek’s Top 1000 high schools nationwide based on the number of students taking Advanced Placement exams.
Nearby Franklin, TN--which Brentwood competes with for residents, businesses and school sports bragging rights--is the quintessential historic southern town, with a Civil War monument on the town square, even as it turns increasingly cool and contemporary. Brentwood is a relative upstart, incorporated in 1969, and initially labeled a fast-growing bedroom community of Nashville, as horse farms and country estates rapidly transformed into office parks and single-family housing developments.
With a succession of able city managers, Brentwood has emerged as a well-run, conveniently located, geographically blessed municipality with a strong sense of civic pride, low crime rate and enviable city services. Overall, it’s good to live in Brentwood, especially if you can afford to.