In other videos, I like to talk about the things that make living in Nashville great.  After all, I’m a real estate agent, I’m supposed to be sitting here discussing all the best things about living where I am selling, right?  Well today I’m going to talk about all the bad stuff, and try my best to talk you out of moving to Tennessee.  Why would I do this?  Because if you’re still wanting to move here after watching this video, you’ll be doing so with your eyes wide and your mind open. Now, let’s talk about some dirt.

My goal is for people coming in from out of state, or even just from another part of the state, to move here and love it. The best way for that to happen is to set realistic expectations, and offer the type of advice that only your bro from back home will tell you. I think any of my clients will agree, I like to make sure you know what has been swept under the rug when we’re looking at properties. And even my sellers will tell you, disclose, disclose, disclose.  It’s important to let people know what’s going on with your house, because no matter the circumstance, there’s a right buyer for every home on the market. 

This weather though.

If you’re moving here from a colder or drier climate…  And when I say drier, I mean I’ve walked out of the terminal in Phoenix in the summertime, that heat be real, like a blow dryer in your face, real… This is the south, and it’s humid.  This isn’t Mississippi or Georgia humidity, but it’s humid. In fact, Nashville is a kind of a little hot oasis in the middle of the bible belt, so in the summertime you’ve got two options, and neither of them is a grey t-shirt. Don’t be trying to impress your hippie followers with that Tom’s deodorant – that stuff doesn’t work here. You need the real deal. Fact, I’m still looking for a deodorant that will let me wear a grey shirt in the summertime. 

In winter months, it’s actually pretty bearable. In December these days you’re still seeing 50s during the daytime, even though you do have your cold snaps and see the occasional snow flurry.  January and February can get colder for longer, but this isn’t a bad thing compared to the upper 90s in July and August that will have your pregnant wife ready to sit in a bucket of ice.  We have seasons, all 4 of them.  But mostly, in the winter, spring and fall it rains a lot, and in the summer it’s hot and you’ll see the sun for about a month and a half.  

Tennessee weather is completely unpredictable. The weather man can say it’ll be 60 with a 90% chance of rain this afternoon and it’ll be 80 and sunny. For that matter, we take preparation seriously here, and I want you to know what you should expect. While living in Nashville I’ve experienced multiple tornadoes, flooding, landslides, forest fires, and earthquakes to name those that come to mind. Now, not all of these have happened in my backyard, but they have all happened to people I know and can be tragic experiences. When looking for homes here, you want to know the history of the property. You can call insurance companies to find out if past flood claims or tornado claims have been made. Though they say tornados don’t follow the same path, it might just be helpful to know so you can be looking for a property with a basement or at least a shelter close by.

If a property is in a flood zone that requires flood insurance, you’ll need to assess that amount and make sure this is factored into your budget. These amounts can change over time, especially given that flood zones are reassessed every 5 years. You may remember the 2010 flood in Nashville, many of those properties that flooded then are no longer considered “at risk”.  

No one likes a pest.

You like bugs?  No one does.  If you’re getting a house by a standing body of water, just expect those mosquitoes. Bring on the OFF. And look new parents, you can spray that no-DEET stuff on the bug, it will not fly away, you need that stuff with DEET.  We have tremendous hiking and camping within 20 minutes of the city, in the city even, but if you see tall grass, or you’re walking through a wooded area, be sure to wear that spray. Because we have what we call in the south, “Chiggers”. These little buggers are mean, they get under your skin like a tick and cause all kinds of red little bites and stuff. Think, something like a little red tick. It’s gross.  You need deet. 

Other pests that you need to be aware of are skunks, there are plenty here and they want to find a way under your house. That phrase, “deer in the headlights” is a real thing. So if you’re driving along at night and you see a deer in the road, which will happen to you often depending where you drive, you need to slow down and let the deer cross. If they stop in the road, they may not just run off like a squirrel or bird that jumps out in front of you. Possums on the other hand, shine all the lights and break out the hose too, either one of those things will help deter the animal. There are other small pests, but how do we fend off these creatures?  Screen in your porch, make sure there aren’t areas for unintentional standing water or soft soil around your house – irrigation is paramount in middle Tennessee. 


So, if you don’t know what this is, let’s just run a scenario here. You’ll be in a line of traffic going somewhere, maybe it’s rush hour and that’s all it is, but let’s say it’s 11am on a Tuesday for the purpose of this illustration, and there’s a line of traffic where there isn’t an intersection or any obvious reason why traffic is slowed down. Maybe there’s an accident, maybe there’s just a line of ducks crossing the street… yeah. But the thing is when you arrive, the problem isn’t even on your side, it’s on the other side of the median. What you have is a line of cars that has mutually decided to slow down so they can turn and watch the situation as they drive by, though it doesn’t affect them at all.  That turning of the head, is what’s called, “rubbernecking”.  It’s a real problem here.  

Traffic is not the best here in general. Here are things I find myself saying behind the wheel of my own car while frustrated:

“Do you know what to do at a stop sign? How long have you been driving? I’ll go. I’ll go.”

“You were in the intersection when the light was green bro, take the left. You’re backing up.  You’re going to back up now? Geez.”

“Whoa, dude it rained three drops an hour ago you can speed back up, common.”

People forget how to drive in the rain.  If it’s snowing, the whole city shuts down, all the schools are let out for a half an inch, because we’re completely unprepared for that Act of God. 

“Oh wait it’s my turn, sorry. Sorry! I’m going.”

Also our roads change names a lot.  Like a lot.  Old Hickory, where I live is actually on Old Hickory Blvd, but Old Hickory Boulevard runs in 4 different parts of town in a completely disjointed way.  Briley Parkway is an actual parkway in some parts of town, but it becomes Thompson Lane at one point on the south side, and then Woodmont Boulevard through the more expensive part of town, and it’s called White Bridge Road, or Pike, I think.  West End Ave is Highway 70 and Highway 100, and Broadway when you are downtown, but so is 21st Ave.  Yeah, it’s that confusing. 

So why move to Nashville? 

There are definitely some downsides to living here, but I’ve lived in enough places to know that there are downsides anywhere you choose to live. For those of us that make Tennessee home, especially in Nashville, we enjoy Southern hospitality meets brash, urban lifestyle. The closeness of nature this place offers is a fair trade for city traffic and urban development. We have a variety of food options and culture, and a wide variety of entertainment options for all ages. Not to mention, there’s an ever growing array of home options from traditional ranch homes to historic and unique architecture, and there’s a whole lot of modern here too. 

I hope this video helps you know a little more about the challenges you may face living in the Nashville area, and let’s be honest, I hope you’re not too discouraged. This is a great place to call home and that’s why so many people are moving here. Give me a call if you have any other questions, and hey, pack a bag and come visit!  I’d be happy to play tour-guide.  See you soon.