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Nashville
  • $700   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1056   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1689   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

46% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
late night partying at honky tonks
live music, friendly folks 6
lock your car doors, murder kroger, gentrification run amok, MBA school, slaveowners probably, middle eastern food, hipsters, Vandy kids, hipsters in historic homes, taco trucks, smoked chicken, another high crime area, tourists and country music are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Nashville roommate rundown:

"Music City, USA" is Nashville's official nickname, and probably most popular.

As the home of multiple record labels, Music Row, and the Bluebird Cafe? And the second metro in country music creation after NYC?

While it's an untrue stereotype that the local music scene is limited to country, what's true is how enthusiastically friendly to country and music and singing in general Nashville truly is.

Other nicknames bring up controversy, at least among some native Nashvillians. There's occasional tension between "Honky Tonk Central" and "Buckle of the Bible Belt."

Nashville is simultaneously regarded as the country music capital of the world and the heart of the contemporary Christian music and faith-based publishing industries, as well as headquarters for several Protestant denominations.

Some would prefer Nashville with less twang, less booze, less focus on late night partying. And then more Bible. However, the honky tonkers and contemporary Christians have co-existed for so long, they seem to mostly get along anyway.

Usually at live music venues! But possibly with different beverages.

But along with Christians making peace with the honky tonk . . . so must everyone else, actually. It's a cocktail-consuming, bar-hopping, party hearty city, and not just for those who recently turned legal. If you moved here, it wouldn't be everyone you know. But it'd likely be all demographics.

If you're social, you'll have friends who'll invite you to honky tonk. Or at least drink alcohol at their favorite bar, which could rotate all over town as there are so many solid options.

Bars and twangy country music are at their most potent in Nashville. Obviously you don't have to go . . . but just to know . . . you could be out there, honky tonking the night away?

We must warn you! Be aware of the honky tonk power!

Another good thing to know with regard to how Nashville is stereotypically friendly is that unfortunately, the stereotype failed on public transit. Decidedly unfriendly.

There is a bus service operating through downtown, mostly during business hours. But late night service is limited, and routes are subject to change, so check with the Nashville MTA to make sure your route is still happening before you plan your day around it.

You can also ride the Music City Star, mostly to and from downtown and a few other geographical landmarks and main arteries. Walking downtown is nice, weather permitting.

However, most of the rest of Nashville lacks sidewalks?

So basically unless you're a student living within walking distance of campus and don't plan to see most of the rest of Honky Tonk . . . you'll be singing a sad song without a car.

But most have a good shot at affording one. Along with the rest of Tennessee, Nashville has an overall low cost of living, and no income tax. There's also no tax on food.

Nashville, even more than other Southern cities, also has a reputation for being interpersonally friendly too?

Maybe it's all those extroverted performers, but we did mean both with and without the alcohol. (The twang was already on the bill.)

I mean, just once in a blue moon, especially if you're having a hard day, you might be startled by someone suddenly belting a song in your nearby vicinity?

But that's still not an UN-friendly feeling . . . is it?

The rest of the Nashville roommate lowdown:

  • Tennessee's capital and largest city
  • about 680,000 within the city, larger metro a little over 2 million
  • on the Cumberland River in the northwest corner of the Nashville Basin
  • warm, humid summers with frequent thunderstorms, weather changes frequently in winter, generally featuring light snow on and off for a few months, with larger storms every few years
  • at the convergence of three major interstate highways - with that and its relatively central location, and traffic and weather in your favor, Nashville is less than a day's drive from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Louisville, and Memphis
  • home to Aquinas Junior College, Belmont University, Cumberland University, David Lipscomb University, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, Murfreesboro's Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Vanderbilt University
  • Professional sports: Tennessee Titans (NFL), Nashville Predators (NHL), Nashville SC (MLS), and the Nashville Sounds (MLB)
  • lots of Civil War tourism, including battle sites and preserved antebellum plantation houses
  • There are many pollen-producing trees, and the climate can trap the allergens. If you or your roommates have hay fever, you should stock up on allergy meds.
  • Nashville was hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic. This combined with a decrease in affordable housing has led to a homelessness crisis in Nashville. Hence, violent and property crime rate are both above what you'd expect for a city this size.
  • Nashville's Grand Ole Opry is both a radio program broadcasting since 1925, and a concert hall located in the Grand Ole Opry House, since 1974. Before that it was part of a theme park called Opryland USA, but they eventually tore that down and replaced it with a megamall called Opry Mills.

    Some say the whole thing has always been haunted by the ghosts of country stars that died of death by misadventure.

    Quite a few misadventures.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Nashville's:

  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: "The house that holds the music." There's a self-guided experience that takes about 90 minutes. Locals say this is THE country music museum. They stay open late Tuesday evenings for special events.
  • Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe: Are you and your roommates hungry for more Cash? For the max Cash, go on the self-guided tour, then Johnny Cash's Bar & BBQ next door.
  • Tennessee State Capitol: Guided tours are free, provided by staff of the Tennessee State Museum. But don't forget your photo identification.
  • Frist Art Museum: 12-15 exhibits at a time, from local to international
  • Nashville Zoo at Grassmere: Go on a "backstage pass" tour of behind-the-scenes animal stuff not visible to all the visitors! You could pat a rhino or feed a giraffe.
  • Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art: 55 acres of art museum plus botanical garden. It's like they know you like both, so it's an all-in-one also featuring gardening workshops and outdoor wellness classes.
  • Prince's Hot Chicken Shack: Home of the "original hot chicken." That means good fried chicken, now with cayenne pepper. Since 1945.
  • Goo Goo Clusters: Invented here in 1912. It's like a little hockey puck made out of marshmallow, caramel, and peanuts, covered in chocolate. The name is supposedly the sound a baby makes, because this candy puck is good enough to be loved by babies in addition to adults?
  • Meat and three: Not one location or business, there are many, but the customer picks one meat and three side dishes. It's now associated with soul food in general, but the term originated in Nashville. Wherever or whoever, the term promises soulfully solid comfort food served informally at a fixed-price . . . but it'll be a good value.
  • First Saturday Art Crawl: First Saturday of every month from 5-8 p.m., free art openings and artist receptions all over downtown art galleries. Free and open to everyone, there may even be refreshments.
  • Nashville Roller Derby: Nashville's only women's flat track roller derby team. They play home games at the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena.
  • Tootsie's Orchid Lounge: Nashville's oldest honky-tonk. It's painted purple and behind the Ryman Auditorium. So many famous performers coming through, you can visit the memorabilia all over the venue.


Here's the city of Nashville's official .gov for the most popular services for residents, including trash, recycling, car registration and affordable housing.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.