Life in Memphis, TN: What you should know before moving to Memphis

June 3, 2024

For better job opportunities or the low cost of living, moving to Memphis may be good for you, settle in to enjoy the benefits of fantastic music, the finest barbeque, and the relaxed pace of life. Memphis offers plenty to celebrate against a backdrop of deep-rooted heritage, southern hospitality, and the mighty Mississippi River, home to Graceland, Beale Street, and Sun Studio.

This is a town with a pulse, from blues and soul to rock ‘n’ roll. It’s quick to slow down and enjoy your Memphis lifestyle with rooftop restaurants, historic leafy neighborhoods with welcoming neighbors, and a wide variety of art and cultural amenities. And if it’s your thing to get out into nature, you can find lush forests and flowing rivers that welcome you out into the open. Memphis is a town that has plenty for everyone. Welcome to your new hometown of down-home!

Moving to Memphis

Guide Moving to Memphis

Situated on the Chickasaw Bluffs in the southwest corner of Tennessee, Memphis overlooks the great Mississippi River. The city is considered a southern jewel by the 652,236 individuals who call Memphis home. Memphis has a long history of trade that continues today, thanks to its central US position. Memphis is a major transportation and logistics center, and while trade forms the economic backbone, Bluff City is renowned for its culture and music, as demonstrated by the large numbers of people flocking into the city every year.

Demand For Housing

Memphis is one of the nation’s top destinations for millennials and others who want to buy their own homes, with a homeownership rate of 46 percent and climbing. The median home value is $85,800 as of July 2019. In 2018, home prices rose 4.1 percent and will increase by another 1 percent in 2020, according to Zillow. The median list price was $107,800 for homes that sold. The real estate market is hot and inventory is low, meaning numerous offers are seen in many listings.

The average rental rate is $950, which is roughly 34% lower than the national average. While you will be able to find affordable housing of all kinds in all parts of the city, people are increasingly buying up homes and rentals, and prices are increasing. While all Memphis housing is on the cheaper side, in Berclair-Highland Heights, downtown, Midtown, and East Memphis are some of the best offers.

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Living Expense

At 17 percent below the national average, Memphians enjoy a low cost of living. The cost of living in Memphis, using a scale of 100 as the national average, is 84.3/100. At 90.3/100, food and groceries are cheaper than normal, but service prices are a little bit higher. For healthcare and travel, you should expect to pay a little more, but less for miscellaneous (repairs, dining out, clothes, etc.) products.

The largest contributor to low living costs, at 44.5/100, is housing. A Memphis family of four would need to make $5,983 per month or $71,800 annually to get by fairly well, based on Economic Policy Institute estimates. A single person, however, can survive on $2,811 per month reasonably well.

Natural Disasters & Weather

Memphis is known for long, sunny, humid summers with its humid subtropical climate; short, windy, cool winters; and beautiful springs and autumns. The four-season environment provides almost infinite possibilities for patio-sitting and porch swings during the year.

The hottest months are July and August, with average highs of about 91 degrees, and humidity wavering between unbearable and unpleasant for people unused to it. Normal summer lows drop to about 74 °, ensuring that July and August never substantially cool down. The coolest months are January and February, with highs of about 50° and lows of around 34 to 40 degrees.

Every year the city receives 51 inches of rainfall, and while rainy days happen all year round, December is when you are most likely to see a lot of rain. Snow in these parts is uncommon, but if it falls by an odd chance, it will usually be in January and February.

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Tornados, extreme thunderstorms, and occasional flooding are the most common threats to natural disasters. There’s the potential for earthquakes in the area, but in over a century, none of any magnitude has been reported. The county has a tornado warning siren system, and the website of Shelby County Emergency Management and Homeland Security outlines risks, preparedness, and includes a guide to preparing residents for any catastrophe that may strike.

Economy & Work

The steady and generally stable economy of Memphis has benefited from local initiatives that foster business growth. Memphis is one of the top three metro areas for job growth in the US as of March 2019. Unemployment is at a record low of 3.9 percent as of spring 2019. Long-term economic forecasts are strong with a steady stream of businesses relocating to Memphis and a core of Fortune 500 companies headquartered here.

Nearly a third of Memphis’ workers are specifically connected to the manufacturing and transportation sectors, including FedEx, AutoZone, and the International Paper Company. FedEx alone employs 30,000 people in Memphis.

In the city, government and education remain economic strongholds, with a combined 20,000 jobs supported by Shelby County Schools and the University of Memphis. Meanwhile, another 32,000 jobs keep Memphis residents running among the national state, county, and city governments.

Healthcare has become one of the economy’s biggest industries, with over 21,000 jobs being generated by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Hospital, Baptist Memorial Healthcare, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In biotechnology, education, distribution, education, and health services, job seekers should look for jobs. Check out online job listings at MemphisWorks, the Memphis Chamber Job Board, the JobLinc Page of the Memphis Public Library, or the Choose901 Jobs page when you’re looking for a job in Memphis. Usually, high-level jobs are better sought by headhunters, but the bottom line is that you’ll be able to find it in Memphis if you’re looking for work.

Moving to Memphis?

Let us connect you to experienced Memphis movers if you need a hand with your upcoming move, who will help take the hassle out of your trip. 

Moving to Memphis, TN?
Here are the Best Interstate Moving Companies