Nashville Among Americas Best Starter Cities For New College Grads

Dated: 05/02/2019

Views: 261

by TJ Anderson

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A lot of factors go into figuring out the best place to move after college graduation. Being close to friends and family might be your driver, or being close to an industry center that suits your degree. Maybe you're looking for a proximity to mountains or waves or great places to hike.

When it comes to the common data points, though, the financial experts at SmartAsset found that jobs, fun and affordability sit high on the list of a lot of college grads looking for a place to land. And when they crunched the numbers on which cities score the highest in those categories — the ones with the lowest unemployment rates for grads, the most comparatively affordable rent and plentiful fun — Nashville was sitting pretty, at No. 2, well ahead of a lot of other fun, lovable cities, like Austin, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Why Nashville's so appealing for recent college grads

According to SmartAsset, Music City has a pretty well-balanced mix of having it all.

Our big draw came in the "fun" factor, Nashville showing the "seventh-highest concentration of entertainment and dining establishments" in the country. We also offer plenty of friends — almost 20 percent of the Nashville population, they note, sits in the 20-something age group. We scored high on the job-possibilities front too, but around the middle of the pack for rent affordability.

Just for comparison's sake, about our significant amounts of fun: We tallied at 92.24 out of 100 on the fun scale, which was just about equal to significantly fun (but significantly more expensive) cities like San Francisco and Boston. Definitely a good and appropriate boast for the Music City.

Read SmartAsset's study for a deeper dive into why Nashville might be the best place to relocate after college graduation.

If graduation isn't far away...

Are you already in post-collegiate planning mode? Since most schools are barreling quickly toward finals, decision time is probably creeping up, if you haven't already started making pro/con lists about new cities to settle in.

Buying a home isn't usually the first thing a grad does as college wraps up, but plenty of scholars like to hit the responsibility ground running. And even if Nashville is sitting closer to the middle on some rental affordability scales these days, you might be surprised by the landscape of below-median price condos and townhomes on the market in Music City.

In spring 2019, the median Nashville home value was close to $270K; at that price point, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an average interest rate, you'd be looking at around $1,400 a month for mortgage, taxes and insurance. And in plenty of Nashville neighborhoods, a new college grad can find a fantastic home for less.

A few examples from the Middle Tennessee MLS that might offer food for thought, as you cement your post-grad plans:

1638 54th Ave. N.

Nashville, TN 37209


Party of one? Or two who don't mind getting cozy? Silo House offers a chance to grab a new-construction home on the edges of one of West Nashville's hottest areas (The Nations), with plenty of community amenities (fitness center, pool, grilling area) for as little as the high $100Ks.

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7235 Althorp Way, # 5

Nashville, TN 37211


Anyone hoping for walkable living on a budget should take a look at Lenox Village, about 13 miles south of downtown. The community was designed to give residents everything they need, from dining to shopping, right around the corner. And right in the heart of it, you'll find condos like this 2-bed/2-bath one, listed at well under the Nashville median.

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432 Mcclellan Ave

Nashville, TN 37211


Our team is really partial to Woodbine — it's a charming, tight-knit community with a location that's close to everything, and a great mix of renovated older homes and beautiful new construction. Plus, a new grad can afford a solid starter home and a little piece of property there far more affordably than other parts of the city. This 2-bed, 1-bath midcentury home has a great yard and screened porch, and looks to be in thoroughly shined-up shape. Not too shabby for a starter home, at almost $40K under the median.

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2325 23rd Ave. N.

Nashville, TN 37208


Need to stretch out a little? This 3-bed, 2 1/2-bath townhouse in Buena Vista Heights puts you just northwest of Germantown and all its highly awarded eateries, is stocked with high-end finishes, and even has a fenced yard for the dog.

{mls: 2033487}

1122 Litton Ave., Apt. 111

Nashville, TN 37216


This end unit in East Nashville's Inglewood has 2 beds, 2 baths and quick proximity to some of the city's best eating, drinking and nightlife. And renting out the other bedroom could make monthly finances a breeze, while still giving you plenty of your own space.

Any of these properties getting your interest piqued in buying your first post-grad home in Nashville? I'd love to help you explore the landscape, and find a way to settle down in one of the U.S.'s funnest spots. Check out some more homes for sale in Nashville here, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes if you'd like to start looking around.

Properties are listed with their own respective real estate firms, and not under agreement with TJ Anderson and/or Benchmark Realty, LLC, unless noted.

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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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