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Cheapest Places to Live in Tennessee


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Tennessee is a great place to live, thanks to its breathtaking scenery. The state is adorned with sunny mountains, rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, and meandering rivers. It also has some amazing cities including Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Tennessee offers a thriving craft beer, food, coffee, music, and entertainment scene.

Besides its scenery and entertainment, Tennessee is also popular for its low cost of living. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the cost of living in Tennessee is about 10.1% lower than the average in the United States.

Why Are Housing Costs Low Across Tennessee?

Where the state shines, however, is in the cost of housing. The median cost of housing in Tennessee is almost 30% lower than the national average. This attractive rate is due to:

  • Most of the state is in rural areas
  • Absence of state income tax
  • Low property taxes. As a tenant, this means your landlord can rent out their property for a lower price.

What is the cost of housing in Tennessee?

Housing costs in Tennessee vary depending on the size of the house and the city in which it is located. The median value of a home in Tennessee is $ 191,681. If you plan to rent, plan to pay an average of $ 850 per month, which is $ 300 less than the national average of $ 1,150 per month.

If you don’t know where to plant roots, here are some of the more affordable places to live in Tennessee.

LaFollette is a small town of about 7,456 inhabitants. It is located in Campbell County and is one of the cheapest towns in Tennessee.

The median income here is $ 17,613, and the average rent per month is $ 914. Renters pay around $ 420 for a studio, $ 470 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 620 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 810 for a three-bedroom apartment and $ 1,050 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Paris, located in Henry County, is a small town in Tennessee with approximately 10,156 residents. The city is second on the list of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee.

The city’s median income is $ 20,285, and the average monthly rent is $ 858. Renters pay around $ 457 for a studio, $ 484 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 619 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 849 for a three-bedroom apartment, and $ 939 for a four-bedroom apartment.

With 651,073 residents, Memphis is the second most populous city in Tennessee and the 28th largest in the country. It is located along the Mississippi River and is of cultural and historical significance. It also offers great barbecue and entertainment options. Compared to other US cities, the cost of living in Memphis is reasonable. The city’s median income is $ 24,836, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $ 891 per month.

Rockwood is a city in Roane County, in the greater Knoxville metropolitan area, with approximately 6,000 residents.

The city’s median income is $ 17,278, and the average rent per month is $ 737. Renters pay around $ 500 for a studio, $ 560 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 750 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 940 for a three-bedroom apartment, and $ 1,150 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Popular for its horses, basketball, and bluegrass music, Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city. The city has an estimated population of 323,152 people.

The city’s median income is $ 30,181, and the average rent per month is $ 1,223. Renters pay around $ 510 for a studio, $ 650 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 790 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 1,110 for a three-bedroom apartment, and $ 1,190 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Oak Ridge is located in Roane and Anderson counties and is part of the Knoxville metro area. The city has about 29,330 inhabitants.

The median income in the city is $ 29,811, and the average rent per month is $ 1,070. Renters pay around $ 560 for a studio, $ 680 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 840 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 1,090 for a three-bedroom apartment, and $ 1,370 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Chattanooga is located in Hamilton County. It is the fourth largest city in the state and has an estimated population of 182,799 people.

The city’s median income is $ 26,207, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $ 1,088 per month. Renters pay about $ 588 for a studio, $ 701 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 856 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 1,111 for a three-bedroom apartment and $ 1,361 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Clarksville is located in Montgomery County. It is the fifth largest city in Tennessee and has approximately 158,146 residents.

The city’s median income is $ 26,207, and the average rent per month is $ 1,997. Renters pay around $ 610 for a studio, $ 727 for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 910 for a two-bedroom apartment, $ 1,280 for a three-bedroom apartment, and $ 1,473 for a four-bedroom apartment.

Ready to search for your next spot? Search thousands of apartments across Tennessee on Zumper and find your new home.

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