The Best Places to Live in Tennessee

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Good schools, access to nature, and affordability make towns like Brentwood and Chattanooga the best places to live in Tennessee. 
Tennessee is a hot market for real estate right now, drawing 36 transplants a day between 2020 and 2021, and with all that Tennessee has to offer, it’s no wonder so many people are moving there. 
If you’re thinking about taking up residence in the Volunteer State, you have a lot of options to choose from. But what makes a place liveable? How do you know a town or city will suit your needs? 
To help you answer these questions, Jerry, the home insurance expert and super app, has compiled information on eight Tennessee towns and cities that top the list of livability standards in the state. We look at the best places to live for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a house. 
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What makes a good place to live?

We all have our own expectations for our living situations. Your list of priorities, whether it’s music and nightlife or good schools and low gas prices, will ultimately inform where you end up settling down. 
If you’re looking to move to Tennessee, you have choices to meet all requirements. To help narrow down your search, we’ve dug up the facts on eight Tennessee towns and cities that top the list of the best places to live in Tennessee. We looked at the following livability factors to see which places rose to the forefront. 
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Crime rates
  • Healthcare
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings 
Based on these criteria, we’ve narrowed down the best places to live in Tennessee for three categories; the best places for families, the most affordable, and the best places to buy a house and put down roots. 

The best places for families to live in Tennessee

Good schools, a low crime rate, and access to nature usually top the list of concerns for families with kids. Here are the best places in Tennessee to raise little ones. 

Brentwood

Location: Williamson County
Population: 42,700
Median household income: $995,000
Median home price: 56,685
Our list begins with the most luxurious neighborhood in Nashville, just 15 minutes away from downtown. Brentwood is absolutely stunning, one of the most desirable suburbs in the state, tucked away in rolling green hills outside Nashville.
Without a doubt, Brentwood is the most expensive neighborhood on our list. You likely won’t find a house for less than $800,000. That being said, it’s definitely worth the price. Brentwood is ranked the best place to raise families in Tennessee for its incredible public schools and low crime rate. 
All of Brentwood’s schools are in the top 10 in the state for their age group. In Brentwood, you can be sure your kids have the best education in Tennessee, surrounded by one of the most affluent and serene communities in the state. 

Farragut

Location: Knox County
Population:  22,631
Median household income: $108,511
Median home price: $370,400
This suburb of Knoxville is an idyllic place to raise a family. Farragut is located in the shoals of the Tennessee River with views of the hills in the north. The most comfortable months of the year tend to be May and September when the weather is fair and temperatures are mild. 
Farragut’s schools are stellar, ranking an A across the board with an average student-teacher ratio of 19:1. In Farragut, you can raise your kids among the culture and industry of a big city with the peaceful atmosphere of a rural town. 
Just 20 minutes from Knoxville, Farragut has all the amenities of the city. Get to know Farregut’s several art galleries, movie theaters, and museums, including the Admiral Farragut Folklife Museum, dedicated to the life of the town’s namesake. Farragut also has a 

The most affordable places to live in Tennessee

With housing becoming increasingly expensive across the board, many people are looking to move where the rent won’t hurt their pockets. Here are the most affordable places to live in Tennessee.

Johnson City

Location: Carter and Sullivan Counties
Population: 65,600
Median household income: 23,564
Median home price: $148,800
Johnson City is absolutely charming, and a great place to live if you’re looking to save money on housing. You probably won’t pay more than $200k for a house, and the median rent is around $775 a month
Despite its low cost of living, Johnson City actually has quite a few amenities that you’d see in a big city. Several museums, art galleries, and historical sites give Johnson City a bustling, urban atmosphere with plenty of culture. It’s also rich with music, with several venues for local and touring artists to brighten up your Friday night. 
You’ll be surrounded by a fun-loving and supportive community. Johnson City has a full annual docket of local festivals, including beer festivals, outdoor recreation festivals, and several art festivals at different points in the year. 

Chattanooga

Location: Hamilton County
Population: 182,800
Median household income: $47,165
Median home price:  $150,000
One of the best places to live in the state, Chattanooga is Tennessee’s fourth largest city. Its downtown area is ranked in the top 10 downtowns in America for livability, with a busy restaurant scene and lots of arts and culture. 
Chattanooga has a lot of charm and personality. Besides its downtown area’s many local and national history museums, Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of Art hosts one of the nation’s biggest collections of American art. 
Chattanooga’s cost of living is way below the national average, especially for housing and transportation. If you’re looking for a big city charm without a big city price, Chattanooga is the way to go. 

LaFollette

Location: Campbell County
Population: 7,495
Median household income: $36,506
Median home price: $87,500
Outdoor enthusiasts shouldn’t pass up LaFollette. This rural burg is situated in some of the best landscapes in the state. If you dream of being surrounded by trees, green hills, and cliffs, LaFollette’s low cost of living is definitely worth it. 
The town borders an extensive patch of green forest, including the Cumberland Trail, a riding area, and a shooting range. On the other side of town is the winding Powell River. You can hike, fish, ride horses or ATVs, and kayak to your heart's content in this idyllic setting. 
LaFollette is one of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than $100,000 for a house, or around $650 per month for a rental. 

Best places to buy a house in Tennessee

The real estate market is hot right now, and Tennessee is no exception. If you’re looking to purchase a house in Tennessee, here are the best spots to consider based on the cost of living and the FEMA risk index rating. 

Bolivar

Location: Hardeman County
Population: 5,031
Median household income: $32,064
Median home price: $94,400
Bolivar’s cost of living is almost 30 points lower than the national average, meaning you can save some money when you put down roots in this gorgeous location. Bolivar is one of the most diverse places to live in Tennessee, and its rural-suburban mix is perfect for outdoor activities.
Spend your days hiking along the Hatchie River through the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, or head to Whiteville Lake to cool off in the summer months. Bolivar is also 90 minutes from Memphis if you’re ever looking to hit the big city. 
You can also rest assured that your home will be pretty safe from natural disasters. Bolivar has a FEMA risk index rating of 9.8, which is relatively low. The biggest risks in the area are tornados, but even that’s only relatively moderate.

Blountville

Location: Sullivan County
Population: 2,695
Median household income: $31,864
Median home price: $184,500
The smallest town on our list is Blountville, a truly rural spot with a lot of heart. If you’re looking to live in a small town with cheap real estate, Blountville is the place for you. Enjoy the serene, peaceful atmosphere this hidden gem has to offer. 
While its public schools are not rated as high as some towns on our list, its housing opportunities and low cost of living make Blountville a great place to settle down. Additionally, the area has a relatively low FEMA risk index rating of 10.67.

Middle Valley

Location: Hamilton County
Population: 12,864
Median household income: $58,813
Median home price: $233,700
MIddle Valley is a suburb of Chattanooga, giving residents a mix of a rural-suburban feel while still having access to the big city. Middle Valley has plenty of opportunities for real estate, great schools, a low crime rate, and plenty to do outside. 
While it is an affordable area, it does have one of the higher FEMA risk index ratings in Tennessee. With a relatively moderate rating of 20.76, Middle Valley is prone to tornados and heavy wind. 
That said, Middle Valley is right on the Tennessee River, the most popular local spot for fishing and beach fun in the city, so it’s a beautiful place to call home. Additionally, you can find arts, culture, and local restaurants throughout Middle Valley that will brighten up your nights out. 

How to find affordable homeowners in  Tennessee 

Moving is a hassle, and if you’re looking to move to Tennessee, you don’t want to spend your time shopping around for home insurance. 
Put your home insurance on autopilot with Jerry the insurance super app. Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a home or auto insurance policy that is customized for you. All you have to do is download the app, answer a few questions, and Jerry will take care of the rest. 
We’ll do a comprehensive cross-analysis of policies from the top, name-brand insurers to make sure you have a policy that suits your needs. Choose the policy you like, then we’ll do the hard work for you—that means handling all phone calls, paperwork, and renewals. 
“I was paying $350 a month for my new car. With Jerry, I set up a new policy in under 30 minutes that will save me over $1000 a year!” —Mariah K.
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