Should You Rent, or Should You Buy in Nashville

Black couple holding a home key

By Justin Chandler

Seeing that more and more people are moving to Nashville, one of the common questions that arise is the question of housing. So, should you rent or should you buy in Nashville? Well, since this is a somewhat complicated subject, we’ve decided to use this article to explore it. It should give you a better idea of whether you should rent or buy in Nashville.

Should you rent, or should you buy in Nashville – what to consider?

If we want to answer this question correctly, we need to consider two aspects. First, you need to understand the pros and cons of both buying and renting. These will give you a good idea of what each decision brings and how it will impact your life. Secondly, you need to consider Nashville as a whole and what it, as a city, can provide. Once you combine these two aspects, you can come to a rational decision that stands to satisfy your housing needs. So, without further ado, let’s start tackling the first aspect.

The pros and cons of buying

On paper, owning a home sounds like a terrific idea. You get a piece of real estate that you can call your own and alter it as you see fit. No landlords, no rent dues… No worries, right? Well, the ownership of a home isn’t much of a problem. It is the process of buying one that is. For most people, buying a home is the most significant investment of their lives. Unless you are pretty well-off, you will need to get a loan from a bank to pay for a home. And seeing that an average home cost in Nashville is $362,443, that loan stands to be substantial.

People considering taking a loan to buy a home.
Keep in mind that the current home values in Nashville have increased by 17.7% over the past year. (Photo by: Anthony Shkraba from Pexels).

If you plan on living in Nashville for the foreseeable future, then buying a home makes sense. But, what if you get a job opportunity in some other area, and you are stuck with your loan. You can try renting out your home. But that comes with its own set of difficulties. In this scenario, it would be much easier to relocate if you were renting.

Cost of ownership

Apart from buying a home, you will also have to invest in repairing and maintaining it. Not all homes are sold in prime condition, as some require structural improvements for proper use. Reroofing a home or changing the flooring will require you to look for contractors and find a budget to cover the expenses. And these project can be pretty costly, even if you can find cost-effective professionals to help you. And finding them is something you ought to do as soon as possible, as maintenance will be an ongoing task for you as a homeowner.

Besides these extra costs, you need to be aware of taxes.  In Nashville, the residential property tax is 25% of the appraised value. Therefore, know that buying a home and owning a home aren’t the same financial concepts. To sum things up:

Pros:

  • Not having to deal with landlords.
  • Not having to pay rents.
  • Long-term financial benefit.
  • A feeling of freedom and coziness.

Cons:

  • High investment.
  • Cost of taxes and maintenance.
  • Not being able to quickly relocate out of Nashville.

The pros and cons of renting

The main benefit of renting is that you have the freedom to leave whenever you want. You have loan payments to worry about or residential home taxes to take care of. If you think that moving to Nashville was a bad idea, you can simply pack up your things and relocate. This type of freedom can be quite valuable for job hunting, as you are not tied down. Furthermore, if you grow dissatisfied with your current neighborhood, you can quickly leave it. So, all things considered, you avoid a lot of long-term stress, and you don’t have to worry about job availability or local changes.

People smiling while planning their relocation.
Try to keep relocation in mind when you begin pondering the question: Should you rent or should you buy in Nashville. (Photo by: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels).

Landlords and rent

On the other hand, you will have to deal with landlords and rent payments. In general, landlords tend to be decent people. Their main goal is to get as much rent money from you while investing as little time and energy into their real estate as possible. Understand that, and you will know how to deal with pretty much any landlord. Some landlords will give you the freedom to alter your apartment as you see fit. But most will put strict rules to abide by, especially if you have difficult neighbors.

Unfortunately, no matter how good your landlord is, you will have to pay rent each month. In the case of Nashville, this means paying $1,581 on average. So, if you spend two years living here, you will give $37,944 in rent. Once you do these long-term calculations, you’ll see that renting isn’t as cheap as it’s cracked out to be. Sure, you don’t need to have a considerable upfront investment. But, in the long run, you can end up spending quite a bit. So, to sum up:

Pros:

  • Freedom to relocate whenever you want.
  • Freedom to pursue your dream job, regardless of relocation.
  • No need for a substantial upfront investment.

Cons:

  • Dealing with landlords.
  • The accumulated money you spend on rent.
  • Limited freedom to alter your living space.

Living in Nashville

So, what is the final verdict? Should you rent or should you buy in Nashville? To reach the verdict, you need to understand what living here is like. Namely, Nashville can be an excellent place for both professionals and growing families. Modern Nashville home buyers are both young people and family people. It all depends on whether you plan on staying here permanently or whether Nashville is just a temporary stop.

A photo of Nashville showing what you need to consider when facing the question: should you rent or should you buy in Nashville?
When considering your life in Nashville, try to focus on a single neighborhood. (Photo by: Shane Raynor from Pexels).

An important aspect to consider is the neighborhoods, as they can greatly impact your quality of life. For instance, neighborhoods like Belmont-Hillsboro or Buena Vista are ideally suited for families. In contrast, the Gulch and Downtown are more suited for young, single professionals. Consider your lifestyle, and consider what your neighborhood has to offer. By doing so, you will easily determine whether you plan on permanently living there. And therefore, the answer to the “should you rent or should you buy in Nashville” question will become clear.

About the writer:

Justin Chandler worked as a real estate agent and a moving coordinator for over 20 years. He now works as a consultant for Spyder Moving and creates helpful articles on topics of relocation, home purchasing, selling properties, and more.

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