Did you know that last year, 71% of all New Jersey moves were moving out of state? In this episode of Monmouth Redefined, I’m going to show you why those leaving the Garden State are moving to Nashville, Tennessee. We’ll talk to Nashville realtor Caitlin Martin about everything from the weather and amenities to housing options so you know if living in Tennessee is right for you.
Moving Out Of State and Moving to Nashville, TN
When people move out of New Jersey, they head to various states—one of those being Nashville, Tennessee. When looking at the recent data, it’s very interesting to see that New Jersey is consistently in the top for outbound moves. While I love living here, I do understand why some would consider making the move.
For those who are either retired or looking to retire, property taxes here are very high. Additionally, a lot of that money goes toward the school system. So if you don’t have children in the public school systems anymore, it just may not make sense for you to live here and continue to pay such high property taxes.
Other reasons cited are that New Jerseyans are looking for warmer climates and states with less dense populations. Many also feel that our state is over-regulated. So if you are one of those considering leaving the Garden State and moving to Nashville, I’m going to give you some inside information about moving to and living in the Nashville area.
Meet Caitlin Martin
Caitlin Martin is a top-producing realtor in the Nashville area. I came across her a few months ago when I had clients that were looking to relocate and found her YouTube channel—which is absolutely amazing. It’s so informational and insightful, especially for those looking to move to Nashville.
Caitlin has been working in real estate for four years and was the top agent in three brokerages. A lot of that success is, in part, thanks to everybody that’s moving to Nashville. While a lot of people might think that four years in the industry is a short time, Caitlin had an internal mission to be the very best realtor she could be.
Shortly after the pandemic onset, Caitlin noticed that people were increasingly moving to Nashville. She has since tried to be—and create content around being—the biggest resource she could for those relocating to her city.
Adjusting To Nashville
With so many people moving to Nashville, Caitlin has seen people moving from all over the country. This includes places like Chicago and the Illinois area as well as New York City and New Jersey. They’re also getting an influx of people from the LA and Orange County area. Additionally, a good number of people are coming from Washington, particularly the Seattle area.
One of the biggest things transplants need to adjust to after moving to Nashville is the bugs. This is especially true of people from the West Coast, who often talk about all the bugs they find in Tennessee. Another adjustment is the weather, as Nashville has the traditional four seasons. The summers are really humid, which can be a big change for people.
Even more than the humidity is concerns over tornadoes. However, Caitlin always tells people that the city deals with the threat of tornadoes far more than the reality of them. While Nashville does get severe thunderstorms, tornadoes are few and far between.
I asked Caitlin why she thinks Nashville has become so popular over the past few years. She tells me there are a lot of reasons; for one, Tennessee has no state income tax. Obviously, that puts more money back into people’s pockets. They also have lower property taxes, which has been a big draw for people as well.
People also love the fact that Nashville is centrally located. When people could start working remotely, Caitlin started to see a big push come in. While Nashville has been a really big relocation town for about a decade, they’ve seen ebbs and flows. Once people could go remote after the onset of the pandemic, it was like a flood of people coming in.
Housing Options And Lifestyle
Part of the popularity of Nashville is that the city has a lot to offer in terms of different property types. Nashville was ranked the number one luxury city in the US for Q2 of this year, partly because they have luxury lake property, luxury foreign property, and luxury city property. Even in lower budgets below $1 million, there are still options for a different kind of living and the opportunity to make your home what you want.
People who move to Nashville are also looking for a different way of life. Generally speaking, there are more opportunities for family-oriented activities. That’s one thing that Caitlin has had clients say to her over and over: they were looking for somewhere they could really feel a sense of community and have more things to offer in terms of a family lifestyle.
The Suburbs VS Downtown
If you are living right around Downtown Nashville, you can get a fantastic property with plenty of walkability. There’s so much to do, as the city is known for its honky tonks and the nightlife that comes with them. Nashville has also become a big foodie city, with new restaurants popping up all the time. If rowdy honkytonks aren’t your thing, you can also enjoy rooftop drinks while you enjoy the city’s surroundings.
If you like to live in the suburbs, you can do so while easily driving into Downtown Nashville and enjoying what it has to offer. On their own, the suburbs offer a little bit of a different flair. Franklin, which is one of Caitlin’s niche locations, is the perfect place to enjoy a night strolling the streets. Take part in one of the many local festivals, go to dinner, or take a stroll on one of the many walking trails throughout the neighborhood.
Overall, more single people tend to live in Downtown Nashville. However, Caitlin has seen a fair number of people who have kids that go to school at one of the local universities in Nashville live downtown. Some families actually buy condos because they want to be close to the kids when they come in for the weekend. Others are either downsizing, using their condo as a weekend place, or want the low-maintenance lifestyle that a condo has to offer—especially without a yard to clean up.
The heart of Nashville falls inside Davidson County. Right below Davidson is Williamson County, which is where Franklin is located. Franklin has become a really popular spot for people when they’re looking to move to the Nashville area. But what will living here cost you?
If you’re looking for a single-family four-bedroom home in Davidson County, the average price point is right around $550,000. However, if you’re looking within Franklin, a four-bedroom will cost between $650,000 to $800,000, depending on the neighborhood. Franklin has both newer communities and more established communities, offering the classic brick Colonial traditional style. A home like that will cost about $650,000 at about 2,300 to 2,800 square feet.
The higher the square footage of a home, the higher the price. A house in Franklin can scale up to well over $1 million, depending on the size and part of town that it’s located in. However, for the average $550,000 price tag in Nashville, you can still get a home anywhere from 2,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet.
In addition to the cost of the house, you’ll want to account for your property taxes. On a $550,000 single-family home, expect to pay about $5,000 in property taxes. However, if you’re looking at Williamson County, property taxes will be about $5,500, even for homes that are at a million-dollar price point.
Condos And Townhomes
If you’re looking at condos or townhomes in Nashville—which is in Davidson County—you will have a huge range of pricing. Condos can range anywhere from $200,000 to $4.8 million. If you buy something on the lower end of this price range, you’re looking at anywhere from $2,400 to $2,700 in property taxes on those condos. Of course, the higher price you go, the more property taxes you’ll have to pay.
In Franklin—which again is in Williamson County, 30 minutes south of downtown Nashville—condos are going to range between $300,000 and $460,000. There are a couple of masterplan communities and, in those neighborhoods, condos will scale from $800,000 to over $1 million. At that price, those condos are decked out to the nines.
Townhouses in the Franklin area will cost you anywhere from about $350,000 to about $800,000. Again, those prices will vary depending on the size and age of the home. If they are older townhomes, they are going to be sitting on the lower side of that price range.
Some Nashville homes do have basements. If they do, however, they’re typically going to be on lots where there is some sort of slope. This is because it’s easier for builders to build basements on a sloped lot. If you’re looking for older homes or ranch-style homes, those will tend to carry basements as well.
Generally speaking, if the home is on a flat lot, it’s hard to get a basement. This is simply because it would be very expensive to dig down. And if you find a home that does have a basement, it may drive the price of the home up a bit.
Depending on where the home is located, some people want a basement for their peace of mind. It can definitely be a determining factor when it comes to home prices. In certain other areas where basements are more prevalent, it doesn’t necessarily affect the price as much as it does in areas where it’s less common.
Another factor that affects the price of a home in Nashville is whether or not it has a pool. Since COVID, inground pools in Nashville are huge. This definitely drives up the price, as all the public pools were closed during COVID. During that first summer of the pandemic, the demand for pools shot through the roof.
Caitlin notes that she has seen the demand lessen a little bit since then. However, if you’ve got a pool, that’s a huge factor in desirability. When people have a pool, they don’t have to worry about accessing one. Plus, with Nashville’s hot, humid summers, you’re going to want to be near a body of water somehow—whether it’s your own pool, a neighborhood pool, or getting on the lake.
It’s important to know that at the peak of Nashville’s humidity, residents can barely go outside without dying. Because of this, you’ll definitely want a way to cool off.
Preparing For Your Move to Nashville
I hope this video gave you some insight into what life is like living in the Nashville, Tennessee area. If you are considering leaving New Jersey, know that you do have many options. After speaking with Caitlin today, it sounds like Nashville is definitely a place you may want to consider.
So if you’re in New Jersey or anywhere else and are considering moving to Nashville, your best bet is to reach out to Caitlin with any questions you have. She’ll talk to you and help you figure out what your goals are, why you’re coming to Nashville, and what your timeline looks like. Next, if you have the ability to explore the area, you can do some boots-on-the-ground research.
The best way to reach Caitlin is via email. From there, she’ll set up a Zoom call with you to get the process started. You can also reach out to me if you’re thinking about selling your house here to make your move. Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Monmouth Redefined, my show all about everything and anything related to living here in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Stay tuned to see what I feature next!