Also known as the Volunteer State, Tennessee is one of the most recognizable states in the Union. The state has a great deal to offer. Tennessee’s culture is famous for its food and music. The music scene in Tennessee is dominated by blues, country music, and rock n’ roll. Meanwhile, the food scene is known for its good southern comfort food.
Tennessee also has amazing national parks like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nashville and Memphis are right up your alley if you are an urbanite. Tennessee has something for everyone.
If you have ever considered moving to the Volunteer State, you have likely wondered “If I buy my house Tennessee, what will the cost of living be?” and “How does it compare to other states in the United States?” Your search is over. I’ve looked at the data and checked the spreadsheets to give you a complete guide to the average cost of living in Tennessee.
Real Estate market in Tennessee
The extraordinary nature, culture, and food have recently drawn many people to Tennessee. According to Zillow, the average home in Tennessee is valued at $263,989. The current price is a 23.4% increase over the last year! Despite the rapid rise in value, the number of homes for sale has fallen 25.2%.
The skyrocketing price of homes in Tennessee has caused Zillow to start selling its homes in Nashville. This sell-off is mainly because the median listing price in Nashville is almost $200k more than the state average.
If you currently live in Tennessee, it’s a seller’s market. The demand for homes in Tennessee is far outpacing the supply. If you wonder when is the best time to sell a house, the answer is now! It has never been easier to sell your home since many companies make selling houses online a breeze.
There is a high demand for real estate all over the state. Some companies will buy your house in Memphis, Tennessee, for cash! You can take advantage of this hot housing market and cash out now.
Cost of Living in Tennessee
Part of what makes living in Tennessee so appealing for so many folks is the cost of living. According to USA Today’s cost of living index, Tennessee is the second cheapest state to live in in the entire United States. With such a low cost of living, no wonder so many people are trying to buy homes in the Volunteer State.
These are common categories, but you should make your own calculations. Other considerations are higher education, your current home price, and living expenses.
Bills and Utility Costs
Unfortunately, not everything in Tennessee is cheap. The average energy bill in Tennessee is $123.30. This is $11.63, or almost 10% higher than the national average of $111.67. This number is based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.
If you are interested in living in an apartment rather than a house, your bills and utilities will also be higher. In Nashville, a 915 square-food apartment resident paid $159.32 per month. This is almost 5% higher than the national average of $151.96.
The cost of transportation in Tennessee is high. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, a single individual will pay $5,113 per year for transportation. This increases to $13,896 for a family of four with two working parents.
The cost of transportation is high despite the availability of public transport. Each country in Tennessee has some sort of public transportation. If you are going to forgo your own vehicle, the cost of transportation decreases. However, this is only a viable option in major cities.
Public transportation is the cheapest in Knoxville. The average resident uses $540 per year. Meanwhile, Nashville is on the high end at $780 per year. Using public transportation is far cheaper than owning your own vehicle in Tennessee, but it is not nearly as convenient.
Housing Prices in Tennessee
As I mentioned earlier, the housing costs in Tennessee have skyrocketed in the last year. In fact, housing prices have almost doubled since 2013. The average price of a home in Tennessee stands at $263,989. However, the price varies greatly depending on where you are looking to buy/sell in the state.
For example, we buy houses in Memphis, which has some of the most convenient housing prices in the state. The median listing price is $170,000. On the opposite end, the median listing in Pigeon Forge is $700,000. No matter your budget, you can find a place to live in Tennessee.
Food & Shopping
On average, a single resident of Tennessee spends $3,177 per year on food. This comes out to about $265 per month. This number almost triples to $9,305 for a family of four. These numbers are based on shopping at your local grocery store. If you are not the biggest fan of cooking, you should expand your budget to take into account the higher costs of restaurants.
The average cost of a meal out varies widely across the state. Chattanooga has the cheapest average meal for two, coming in at $40. Not surprisingly, Nashville is the most expensive city. The average meal for two will run you $62.50 in Nashville.
Health and Medical Costs
Health and medical costs are often forgotten by people considering a move. Forgetting these costs is a significant oversight because healthcare costs can make or break a movie. The average cost of health care is $2,813 for a single individual with no children. A family of four will pay an average of $7,750.
The cost of health care in Tennessee is about half the annual cost of transportation, but it is still a significant one. This expense will increase if you have a medical condition or injury that requires special care.
If you are concerned about these costs, I would recommend looking at federal programs that can offer assistance with lowering the cost of your health care.
Average Cost of Living in Tennessee
The average cost of living is nuanced and hard to calculate. While Tennessee is one of the cheapest states to live in, some living costs are higher than average. I discussed some of the categories that impact the overall cost of living; however, the actual average cost of living needs to include child care, taxes (income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes), and entertainment.
According to MIT’s cost of living calculator, the annual cost of living for a single person in Tennessee is $27,563. For a family of four, this number jumps to $60,263. These numbers are averages and will be higher in urban areas and lower in rural areas.
Tennessee is a booming state. The combination of culture, food, and affordability draws many people to the Volunteer State. Even as the price of housing rises, Tennessee still has one of the lowest costs of living.
According to USA Today, Tennessee is the 2nd cheapest state to live in but has high transportation and utility costs. It is important to remember that these are all averages when looking at these numbers. If you want to move to Nashville, your cost of living will be significantly higher.
On the other hand, if you are willing to move to a rural part of Tennessee, you can expect the cost of living to be much lower than the U.S. average. In fact, in rural parts of Tennessee, the cost of living can be between 30-40% below the national average.
I hope this information has given you some additional clarity about the cost of living in Tennessee. It’s a great state to live in, and I hope to see you in the Volunteer State soon.