by Jamie Matthews | Published on Aug. 2, 2021
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A relatively small town with big-city access, Franklin, Tennessee, has a lot to offer families on the move.
The COVID-19 pandemic spawned an exodus of sorts out of some areas of the U.S. For example, more people left the state of New Jersey in 2020 than any other state. We could assume this was for reasons like drastically inflated real estate prices, rising property taxes, and the close proximity to the heavily populated New York City during a global health scare.
While it's interesting to see where people are fleeing from, it's even more interesting to see where they choose to go and make their new homes. Growing by almost 9% from 2019 to 2020 to a whopping 87,237 residents, Franklin, Tennessee, is one place that families chose to settle down. Here are a few reasons why.
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Franklin, Tennessee, is just a 30-minute drive to downtown Nashville. Nashville is brimming with culture and entertainment every night of the week. The area is also a huge scene for foodies, known particularly for specialties like its Nashville hot chicken. Franklin is also just a short jaunt to Tennessee's abundant outdoor offerings. You can visit Paris (no, not the one with the Eiffel Tower) and fish on Kentucky Lake. Or head to the opposite side of the state to Gatlinburg, rent a cabin for the family, and cook out and explore all the hiking trails.
It's no secret that home prices right now are up in a spectacular fashion. Inventory of homes for sale is low, and the number of buyers is high, so home prices are being driven up all over the U.S. What goes up, must come back down, however, and in 2020, Franklin's Williamson county had home prices that were 13.1% below the national average. If you're leaving a higher-cost state (like New Jersey), your family will likely enjoy much more home for your money.
Franklin, despite its relatively small size, has employment opportunities from several top employers, such as:
You'll find pay in Franklin above the national average, and an astounding job growth rate of 30%. If you're willing to commute to some of the nearby surrounding areas like Nashville, your job opportunities open up even more.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention education in an article about families. There are 81 schools in the Franklin area, ranging from preschools to high schools. Three of the local high schools are College Success Award winners, an award that recognizes schools that best prepare students for enrolling in and sticking with their college education.
There are also 19 colleges in the area, including the esteemed Vanderbilt University. The many nearby options for higher education give high school grads the ability to save money by staying at home for their college years. Parents may also embrace the opportunity to go back to school to expand on their degrees and grow their careers.
Remember those above-average wages we discussed earlier? More good news: Residents of Tennessee don't pay a state income tax on their earnings and wages. This makes Tennessee one of the most tax-friendly states in the entire country. Also, for families with members nearing or already enjoying retirement, retirees won't pay state taxes on their Social Security, pension, IRA, or 401(k) income.
Franklin, Tennessee, is just one of a number of cities that families are relocating to. Do some research and see what part of the country might serve your family best. Do you prefer a certain type of weather? Do you want to be near the coast? Do you prefer a bustling city center or a rural wonderland of cornfields and hay? Your preferences will help guide your family to the right city.
And while the housing market is not an easy one to navigate right now, if you luck out and find your dream home, you'll enjoy mortgage rates that are near historic lows. In order to capitalize on those rates, make sure you're prepared before you begin your home search. Find a real estate agent who knows your desired new city well, shop around with different mortgage lenders for the best offer, and come armed with a pre-approval letter. It might not be easy, but finding a home for your family in a fun new city will most certainly be worth it.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
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