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Estimated Cost: $16k - $17k
Estimated Cost: $3300 - $3800
Estimated Cost: $39k - $42k
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From the hopping music scene in Nashville to the serenity of the Smoky Mountains, the great state of Tennessee has lots to offer potential homebuyers. It has a thriving cultural scene and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy — and a hot housing market to boot.
Nashville, the capital city, is also the largest city in the state. There’s a strong job market here, too, one that’s bolstered by music-centric tourism. Another top tourist attraction in the state is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a park that has the reputation of being the most visited park in the United States.
Of course, Tennessee is perhaps best known for its deep musical heritage and contributions to many types of music, including bluegrass, country, and rock and roll. The state blends Appalachian and Southern influences in everything, from the music to the cuisine to the architecture.
Despite the strong connections to music tourism, it’s not all about vacation time in this state. Tennessee also relies heavily on industries like agriculture, advanced manufacturing, health care, banking, and transportation. It’s the home to headquarters for major companies like FedEx, International Paper, Regal Entertainment Group, and many others.
If you’re concerned that living in Tennessee will cost you a lot of money, think again. This state is regarded as one of the five states with the lowest tax burden on its residents and it’s one of only nine without a general income tax. It’s also eco-friendly, producing about 47.3% of its own energy with nuclear power in 2020.
With no income tax, a low cost of living, warm weather, and gorgeous scenery, there are lots of benefits to living in the Volunteer State. Plus, this state offers some of the lowest closing costs on home sales in the country — only about 1-2% of the final sale price!
Depending on where you look in the state of Tennessee, you will find many different types and styles of homes. Rest assured, they all have their own unique charm and character.
American Craftsman homes are common, offering clean lines and simple designs. Many of these are found in the neighborhoods of East Nashville. Another common feature of these styles of homes? Breakfast nooks! It was the American Craftsman, after all, that made these rooms popular.
You’ll also find lots of decks in Tennessee real estate listings. Large decks with wide stairs are common features that will allow you to enjoy everything that the gorgeous four seasons of Tennessee have to offer. In fact, decks were among the most popular features in recent real estate listings. According to Realm’s analysis, 19,221 homes included decks in their descriptions.
Antebellum homes are common too. If you happen to have roughly $15 million for sale, you could buy the historic Samuel S. Morton House, an 1850s home most recently owned by country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. But if you don’t have that kind of cash, don’t worry. You’ll find plenty of other southern-inspired homes for sale, too. These often have large pillars, supersized windows, and balconies.
Queen Anne-style homes are still prevalent, too. These houses were built in droves in the late 19th and early 20th century, featuring lots of asymmetrical features, towers and turrets, and unique window designs. Colorful interior paintings and a variety of color schemes helped to bring out the unique details of these homes.
Bungalows, Cape Cod-style homes, and colonial revivals are common in Tennessee, too, as are cabins with more rustic decor. If these older homes and styles aren’t your preference, don’t worry. Realm’s data showed that most homes in the state were built more recently — in 2005. Realm’s data analysis also revealed that other top features include fences (21,807 listings) and wood floors (17,018 listings).
You’ll pay lower closing costs and lower property taxes in Tennessee than you will anywhere else in the nation (it comes in fifteenth-lowest for property taxes and second for closing costs). Consider putting the money you save toward tornado insurance coverage.
Tennessee is one state where tornadoes are common — it experiences an average of more than a dozen twisters each year — so having homeowners insurance that covers these weather events is important.
Tennessee is also one of the rainiest states in the country, receiving around fifty days of thunderstorms each year. Although snowstorms are common, ice storms are even more likely to occur, so make sure any potential home is air-tight and accounts for moisture.
Although 98% of homes here are not in a flood zone, according to Realm data, it’s still important to make sure your basement is protected from moisture (or your home’s slab is fully waterproofed).
Roofing with some sort of pitch is recommended to help shed water. Even a low-pitch roof should be fine. Given the importance of a Tennessee home’s roof, it’s also no surprise that Realm’s analysis revealed this was one of the most popular features in Tennessee real estate — it was mentioned in 14,738 listings over the past year.
Make sure you undergo a thorough home inspection before buying to ensure there are no issues. Termites aren’t necessarily common in Tennessee but they can seriously damage a home in this state. There’s also no shortage of rock in Tennessee (particularly in Nashville). When the uranium in rock and soil breaks down, it can release radon, so it’s important that you get your home tested for this radioactive gas.
Despite the wildfires that ravaged the Gatlinburg area in 2016, Realm’s data analysis shows that 99.98% of homes in the state of Tennessee are not located in designated wildfire perimeters from the last five years, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much in that regard when you are buying a home.
Why is real estate so cheap in Tennessee?
Real estate isn’t cheap in all of Tennessee, but this is a conception that many people have because the overall value you tend to get when buying a home here is a lot higher than in other parts of the country. Again, those low closing costs play a role, as does the lower-than-average cost of living.
Your dollar will go much further in small towns, while the cities, like Nashville, tend to be more expensive. That said, even major cities like Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis have affordable properties for sale and a hot housing market to boot.
What are the bad things about living in Tennessee?
Tennessee is a great place to live for so many reasons. Like anywhere, though, it also has its drawbacks. The smaller towns, though cheaper to tap into the real estate market, have shown more limited job growth. The climate can be somewhat humid, and while the cost of living is relatively low, it might not always stay that way (as has been the case with other states of late).
What is the average housing cost in Tennessee?
You’ll get excellent value for your money when buying real estate in Tennessee. Though pricing can vary, the average home cost is right around $231,600, significantly less than the national average.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes