8 best places to invest in Nashville

Published: Apr 14, 2022
Updated:
There are a handful of neighborhoods where homes are still affordable and good investments can be found, but the competition is keen. (Credit: Getty Images)

By Carole Braden

For investors eyeing Nashville, there are paths to a profitable trip down the Honky Tonk Highway. This town has more going for it than kitsch and glitz, and despite explosive development in the last decades, it has under-discovered pockets and fringes where deals can be had.

Nashville proper covers close to 500 square miles and is home to 716,000 people. The greater metropolitan area stretches far north and south and is home to nearly 2 million.

The place has its cons, aside from the mobs of screeching bridesmaids riding around in StretchUVs. In addition to floods and tornadoes finding their way into Nashville, the city also is built on karst — a limestone layer beneath the soil that is slowly being washed away by rainwater. Houses are prone to settling and sometimes need foundation repairs.

Despite downsides, “last year was unprecedented,” says Mary Nell “Murn” Roberts, an agent for Compass. She said property values shot up, but there are some neighborhoods that still feel like discoveries.

Like its neighbors in the Southeast, such as Charlotte and Atlanta, Nashville is feeling the effects of the migration to affordable cities in the region from expensive coastal cities and other parts of the country.

(More from MYND: Real Estate Investing in Nashville)

Nashville’s up-and-coming areas

1.     North Nashville

North Nashville is one of the city’s last inner neighborhoods to heat up. Next to well-known Germantown, the area comprises the Buchanan Arts District, a historically black neighborhood with strong local businesses and a thoughtful eye toward development.

Playgrounds, speed bumps and bus shelters are among the improvements coming to this community thanks to a resident-participatory initiative of Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper.

“It’s a 10- to 15-minute drive into town,” Roberts says, “and you get bigger lots.”

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $472,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 9.9 percent
  • Median days on market: 33, up from 29 one year prior

2.     The Nations

This formerly industrial area in Nashville West, running right up to Interstate 40, was rebranded thanks to a devastating 2010 flood that caused an exodus of commercial property owners.

From the muck rose the Nations, a walkable, family-friendly zone that’s rapidly changing and “up-and-coming for sure,” Roberts says.

Artisanal breweries and chef-owned restaurants are in converted warehouses and factories, and casual dining and activities, including a rock-climbing facility, cater to families. The Nations has a lot of big-building lofts and condos, but renovated and new single-family homes dot the market.

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $590,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 36 percent
  • Median days on market: 39, up from 33 one year prior

3.     Sylvan Park

A sought-out historic neighborhood west of downtown (and due south of the Nations), Sylvan Park is a convenient commute and a family zone teeming with kids and dogs. It has a real small-town America feel, with resident-run restaurants and shops, well-kept properties and highly regarded schools.

“Pockets of this area are priced high,” Roberts explains, “but you can still get in there.”

Expect to rely on dumb luck or mad bidding skills.

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $700,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 11.1 percent
  • Median days on market: 39, up from 33 one year prior
Fort Negley, a Civil War structure that is on the National Register of Historic Places and included in UNESCO’s Slave Route Project. (Credit: nashville.gov) 

4.     Wedgewood-Houston

Called WeHo for short, the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood is a happening creative zone overflowing with art buzz and business — many factories that were once in operation in this former industrial area have been converted to art studios and exhibition spaces.

Hipster visitors flock here to check out galleries and the Nashville Fairgrounds flea, not to mention the trendy bars.

The area also has an historic draw in Fort Negley, a Civil War structure that is on the National Register of Historic Places and included in UNESCO’s Slave Route Project. The fort flanks Greer, an area named for the minor-league Nashville Sounds’ stadium, torn down here in 2019.

The vacant land is the focus of a city initiative to bring green space to WeHo, which is a stone’s throw from downtown.

Roberts says that this location, home to an odd mix of low ranches and McMansions with new construction in the planning, is prime — "close to downtown, close to Music Row and close to 12 South,” a big-draw neighborhood with high-end shops, restaurants and charming bungalow-style homes that sell for $500-600 a square foot.

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $695,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 16.8 percent
  • Median days on market: 38, up from 35 one year prior

5. Inglewood-Cleveland Park-Dickerson Pike Corridor

East Nashville has been getting its polish on for some time now, and this hip, artsy neighborhood has it all—an alluring, music-laced vibe, colorful residents and coveted period homes, including “tall-skinnies,” or mini-mansions that let you know a neighborhood is cooked.

Inglewood, Cleveland Park and Dickerson Pike Corridor are all later-blooming enclaves of the neighborhood where you can find opportunities nearby at a slightly lower price.

The former bedroom community of Cleveland Park, Roberts observes, “is building up and bringing a lot of commercial development.”

In Dickerson Pike Corridor, a decrepit commercial area with skyline views, she says, “right now is the time to buy.” And while Inglewood has been happening for a while, there’s still good stuff to be had.

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $549,000 / $575,000 / $440,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 30 / 43.6 / 33.3 percent
  • Median days on market: 25, down from 31 one year prior

6. Madison

A former settlement, Madison has grown into a full-on northern suburb, one corner of it fronting the Cumberland River. Despite being over the Briley Parkway, it’s a place with notable diversity as well as top-notch, affordable housing stock, much of it built in the mid-20th century.

The East Nashvillian magazine called it “the place where the zeitgeist is going.”

“Within three years,” Roberts says, citing great, less-astronomical ranch homes and positive community development, “Madison will be like East Nashville.”

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $330,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 26.9 percent
  • Median days on market: 33, up from 24 one year prior

7.     Bordeaux-Whites Creek

Rural holdouts along the city’s perimeter, the Bordeaux and Whites Creek areas haven’t taken kindly to development, and that’s what makes them a draw.

Bordeaux sits on the opposite side of the Cumberland River from North Nashville, connected by the Clarksville Pike. Hilly and lush, it’s a longstanding African-American community that draws affluent members of the academic and medical communities, and many others looking for an idyll near the city.

Situated north and named for the stream running through it, Whites Creek is also green and grassy. The community has fiercely defended its beautiful patchwork quilt of properties and farms.

Last year, residents fought and won against a big development plan, citing flooding, tree loss and the threat to the community’s character.

Roberts agrees it’s something special. “It’s only a 20-minute drive to downtown and you feel like you’ve driven into Gatlinburg.”

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Realtor.com: $412,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 36.7 percent
  • Median days on market: 28, down from 46 one year prior

8.     Bellevue

Located a little more than 10 miles southwest of downtown, semi-rural Bellevue is attracting more and more buyers who like proximity to the city’s bustle but prefer the feel of farm country. One of its biggest assets is Percy Warner Park, a huge nature area of forested and meadowed land with hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Even this far out, Roberts says, buyers need to be strategic to snap up a single-family find.

“It’s going to be like sharks, circling,” she says. “With every listing, multiple offers ensue.”

By the numbers:

  • Median home listing price per Greater Nashville Realtors: $439,900
  • Increase year-over-year: 37.5 percent
  • Median days on market: 54, up from 24 one year prior
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