Expert offers tips on how to survive Nashville’s high rental prices

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville has been dubbed the “It city,” and why not? We have live music, pro sports and plenty to do, whether it’s down on Broadway, or out in the Tennessee hills.

But if you plan on living here, you better know how much it can cost and where to live.

”If you are bringing in $4,500 a month, don’t be spending more than $1,500 a month on rent,” said Jonny Lee, Co-owner of the Ashton Real Estate Group.

Lee has lived here long enough to know that when you have a bustling city the prices for apartment and home rentals can sky rocket and that’s what happening in Music City.

”The rental market is in high demand,” he said.

Jonny Lee (Photo: WKRN)

With more people moving to Nashville each day, that means the demand for apartment rentals and homes are on the rise, and with that, prices are rising as well.

”Things that we were renting for $1,000 a year ago are going to rent for $1,400 to $1,500 today, so you know, you see 20 percent increases in some areas, and 40 percent in others,” said Lee.

Lee said the best places to look for affordable rentals are in the communities around Nashville from 20 to 30 minutes out.

The prices can be much better in places like Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville and Bellevue, despite the drive being a little longer.

”You need to stay away from downtown, obviously anywhere with good walkability that drives prices up,” explained Lee.

Jordan Rigby did just that. He bought a home two years ago in Crieve Hall.

For him, it made more sense to buy than continuing to pay high prices for a rental.

”Year-to-year my rent kept going up and creeping toward what many mortgages were, so I couldn’t justify continuing to rent,” said Rigby. “So I thought to myself with Nashville continuing to grow I might as well put that towards a house.”

Now, this one-time renter is renting his home out, but keeping his prices lower than most.

(Photo: WKRN)

”My friends live with me, so I make it lower for them because I know rental prices are way up,” said Rigby. “I mean, certain apartments in town are more than two grand.”

High rental prices can be cut down with roommates.

”Renting with friends or colleagues is definitely the affordable way to go if you have a three bedroom split between three people,” said Lee. “If it is $1,800 for a three bedroom that is 600 a person. You can’t find anything for that if you want to go on your own.”

Lee said the high prices won’t continue to increase forever.

”You are seeing investors building apartment complexes which is kind of offsetting a little bit the price hike just as competition becomes a little more fierce,” he explained.

With more apartments being built, the prices could start to go down.