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Southern Over Sunshine: Why Californians Are Moving to Middle Tennessee

Everything you need to know about why Californians are moving to Tennessee

Part of the reason why Middle Tennessee cities have one of the most flourishing real estate markets in the whole country is that tens of thousands of homebuyers from all over the states move to Music City monthly. You might be asking why, or you might be someone who's thinking of relocating but still can't decide on a location yet, well here is a blog post where we'll navigate the reasons behind the trend of Californians choosing Tennessee as their destination location to settle.

California is the largest contributor to Tennessee's population increase, and according to Census Bureau on a 2020-2021 Nashville MSA net in-migration result, about 13,234 individuals and families move to live the charming southern lifestyle. That's about 36 people moving a day to the Nashville region.

Table of Contents


The Market Difference: Tennessee vs. California

Middle Tennessee's Job Opportunities and Cost of Living

Cost of Living Across Tennessee Graph

Quality of Life in Nashville: Music City, Culture, and Cuisine

Why Californians Are Moving To Middle Tennessee

Quick Facts About Tennessee


The market difference between California and Tennessee

California is the most populous and visited state in the U.S. It's home to Hollywood stars, it has great entertainment, natural beauty, and diverse culture (making the food, music, and arts scene incredible). However, with those pros come the cons, and there's no lying about the expenses Californians face every day. The cost of living in L.A is 51% higher than the national average, and to compare that with Nashville's cost of living using Payscale's cost of living calculator, Nashville is 35.2% lower, while housing is 55.9% lower compared to Los Angeles. Between Sacramento and Nashville, Nashville's cost of living is 17.7% lower and housing is 25.8% lower, and that's basing it off an annual salary of 50 grand.

The bottom line is that California has a market that's hard to buy a house. If you're a homeowner in Cali with enough equity, moving to Tennessee will get you way more bang for your buck (and that's just data speaking).

Middle Tennessee job opportunities and job market

Tennessee has one of the lowest costs of living metrics in the country, and as of 2023, Nashville and Austin are the top cities with the hottest job markets in the nation, according to The Wall Street Journal and Moody's Analytics. They ranked 300 metros with less than 2.3 million residents, and found Nashville and Austin at the top, then comes Raleigh, Salt Lake City, and Jacksonville.

According to the Tax Foundation, the state has the lowest state and local taxes paid per capita and by reputation, has no personal income tax. In addition, Nashville is home to many thriving industries.

Cost of living across Tennessee metrics (

Middle Tennessee's thriving job market is a magnet for Californians seeking new opportunities, financial freedom, and employment options. Tennessee's diverse and rapidly expanding industries, coupled with a lower cost of living compared to California, present an inviting scene of career growth and financial stability.

Quality of life in Nashville: Music city, culture, and cuisine

Aside from the allure of the low housing prices, you will also find Tennessee's culture a unique and extraordinary one. From the charming small towns to the exceptional music, art, and food scene, Tennessee has plenty more in store that will certainly amuse and entertain you.

For Californians who find solace in the culture of their home state, Tennessee is a noteworthy competitor. After all, the region is proud of its proclaimed musical roots. But the title of "Music City" isn't the only striking representation, because the state is also a hub of creative innovation, technology, and arts. It's home to 10 annual film festivals, a host of dance companies, dozens of theater troupes, historical museums, and a rich sports scene for sports fanatics.

How's the food scene? Great! Nashville is also also known as a culinary destination. From chef-driven restaurants, and classic dining spots serving exceptional southern dishes, to food events and tours that will really let you have a taste of Tennessee. Nashville has plenty of options for everyone, and just to lay it out thereone great way to spend a day in Nashville is by exploring all the impressive breweries, distilleries, and wineries!

Ryan Boggs | Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agent | Homeselling Expert | Homebuying Expert | Ramsey Trusted Realtor

Speaking from personal experience, as a local Middle Tennessee realtor, the reasons stated above are what most of my clients who relocated from California say. Even though transitioning to southern over sunshine is no easy feat (as with any homebuying scenario), they claim to find Tennessee as a home that welcomed them as if they were born and raised here. From every community showing Southern hospitality to the quality of life and endless opportunities, Tennessee is truly a place worth considering settling in.

There are more reasons why Californians are moving to Tennessee, and if you want to read more, check out my website's blog section here!

9.8% Below the cost of living national average

18.3% Below the national average for housing costs

#2 Lowest state debt per capita in the country

140+ State parks and natural areas

#1 Most visited national park

13 National historic landmarks

12 Of the state's colleges and universities compete on the NCAA Division 1 Level

300+ Golf courses

Click and visit the link above for the best user-friendly MLS, and see the home of your dreams in the state of Tennessee. Enjoy your home search!

Ryan Boggs | Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agent | Homeselling Expert | Homebuying Expert | Ramsey Trusted Realtor


  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 36 people a day move to Nashville, Tennessee (Metropolitan Area). From 2020-2021 Nashville MSA had a net in-migration estimated 13,234.

  • California is the largest contributor to Tennessee's population increase according to moveBuddha.

  • Moving to Tennessee: Sacramento and Nashville cost of living comparison calculator: Payscale.

  • The Wall Street Journal: Sunbelt Cities Nashville and Austin Are Nation's Hottest Job Markets

  • The state has the lowest state and local taxes paid per capita and by reputation, has no personal income tax (Tax Foundation)

  • Mastered in Tennessee: Quality of Life in Tennessee

  • Things to do in Nashville: Food scene and cuisine adventures

  • View Tennessee Homes: Check out the best new listings in Tennessee!


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