Nashville Gives Newcomers A Warm Welcome
This wallet-friendly region has everything newcomers need to feel at home.
From a nontraditional bed-and-breakfast that lets you “grab a drink or a wink” to a trendy bar/bakery/café combo that boasts a signature chicken and waffles dish, people from all over are setting up businesses in the Nashville region, further adding to the area’s unique, diverse and youthful vibe.
While the charm that comes from its mix of eclectic businesses is a top draw, it’s far from the only positive attribute driving Nashville’s appeal.
Compared to cities on the East and West coasts, Nashville is far more comfortable on your wallet – whether you are opening a business or looking for a new home.
Take Kathy Leslie and Sandra Austin, for example, sisters and Nashville natives who opened the bar/bakery/café combo Shugga Hi Bakery & Café in 2017.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere where people could come in and eat, and sit down and have fellowship with one another without feeling judged – just a place where you could have fun, eat some food and listen to some music,” Leslie says. “Sandra and I used our own funds to open up the business, and I would imagine that we would not have been able to do that in New York or anywhere else.”
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Tinsley Dempsey, the general manager of Vandyke Bed + Beverage (that unique B&B) can also attest to the fact that affordability is one benefit some new residents find when they move to the Nashville region.
“Any time I meet someone that moved here from LA or New York, they’re always like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so cheap here,’ so it’s all perspective,” Dempsey says, who moved here from Atlanta eight years ago. “The quality of life is vastly better to me than Atlanta. It’s kind of compact and consolidated and, for the most part, you can get around – you can get to any neighborhood in 15 minutes or so, which was unheard of in Atlanta.”
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The region’s median home value is $290,000, according to Zillow, while the value in New York is $655,000, $765,000 in Los Angeles, $1.4 million in San Francisco and $1.1 million in San Jose.
In addition to affordable housing, this fast-growing region provides urban, suburban and rural neighborhood options. In fact, the region continues to see emerging Nashville neighborhoods along Nolensville Pike and in Bellevue, West Meade and North Nashville.
Active and Sustainable
Many residents live active lifestyles, which is one of the many draws for these neighborhoods.
The region is home to numerous parks, trails and greenway systems as well as studios for just about any type of exercise.
“Percy Warner and Edwin Warner parks have beautiful hiking, and Radnor Lake has great hiking. There are great greenways, too,” Dempsey says. “You can bike along the Cumberland River and at Shelby Park, so it’s definitely an active community.”
In fact, Vandyke Bed + Beverage partners with Gym5, a locally owned and operated fitness club, to provide guests with daily passes.
As far as sustainability, Nashville is home to several programs aimed to preserve the Earth and reduce waste. Urban Green Lab is a nonprofit that works to create sustainable homes, classrooms and businesses, among other things, through education.
The Art of a Place
Also making the list of the region’s best qualities is Nashville’s arts, culture and entertainment scene. Whether you’re looking for a gallery to enjoy contemporary works, a museum to learn about the area’s past, a honky tonk to listen to live music or a café to grab coffee, Nashville has it all and then some.
“It has a little bit of everything for everybody,” Leslie says. “You can move at your own pace. My sister and I have traveled extensively, but we’re always ready to get back home.”
If you'd like to learn more about the Nashville area, check out the latest edition of Nashville Area Economic Development.