Discover Tennessee’s Hidden Gems: Affordable Living Awaits You!

Aerial view of Cookeville location.

Tennessee, colloquially referred to as the Volunteer State, is widely recognized for its extensive historical background, multifaceted cultural heritage, and the enduring resilience exhibited by its populace. Nevertheless, it is important to note that there exist highly cost-effective residential areas situated amidst the Great Smoky Mountains and the Mississippi River. If one is contemplating relocation and seeking affordable residential options, Tennessee may present itself as a viable destination. Let us explore some of the most affordable locations for residential living and rental accommodations inside this aesthetically pleasing state.


Cookeville, situated in the central region of Tennessee, serves as a prominent destination for individuals in pursuit of cost-effective residential options. This aesthetically pleasing urban center has a plethora of amenities, rendering it a desirable location for people and families seeking to economize on housing expenses. This analysis provides a comprehensive examination of the affordability of Cookeville and highlights its distinguishing features.

Affordable Rent in Cookeville

One of the most persuasive rationales for contemplating Cookeville as a viable option is its cost-effective rental rates. Typically, a 2-bedroom apartment may be obtained for a minimum monthly cost of $700. Cookeville’s comparatively reduced cost of living in relation to numerous other cities in Tennessee renders it a highly favorable option for individuals with limited financial resources.

Why Cookeville Stands Out

In addition to its affordable housing possibilities, Cookeville presents various other aspects that render it a notable selection for persons with budgetary considerations.

  • Tennessee Technological University: Cookeville is the location of Tennessee Technological University (TTU), a prestigious academic institution. Texas Tech University (TTU) offers cost-effective tuition rates, making it an attractive option for those who wish to pursue higher education without incurring excessive financial burden.
  • Vibrant Community: Cookeville is characterized by a lively and inclusive community. The local residents in this area derive satisfaction from a robust communal bond, as seen by the multitude of local events, festivals, and meetings that occur on a regular basis throughout the year. The sense of community prevalent within this environment fosters a welcoming atmosphere for individuals who are new to the area, enabling them to experience a sense of belonging and comfort.
  • Outdoor Activities: Cookeville provides a plethora of outdoor activities that cater to anyone with a keen interest in nature and a fondness for the outdoors. The urban area is encompassed by aesthetically pleasing parks, lakes, and hiking routes. Cookeville provides a diverse range of recreational activities, catering to individuals with interests in fishing, boating, hiking, and appreciating the natural aesthetics of the environment.


Clarksville is strategically positioned in close proximity to Nashville, rendering it a very desirable location for individuals and families in search of a cost-effective yet vibrant way of life. This analysis aims to examine the factors that contribute to Clarksville’s appeal among those who prioritize financial considerations.

Affordable Rent in Clarksville

One of the primary benefits associated with residing in Clarksville is the comparatively low cost of rental accommodations. The average monthly rental cost for a 2-bedroom apartment is approximately $850. The pricing in Clarksville is significantly lower compared to that found in larger cities, therefore rendering it a financially advantageous choice for individuals seeking rental accommodations.

Why Clarksville Stands Out

In addition to its cost-effectiveness, Clarksville presents a multitude of persuasive factors that warrant consideration as a prospective place of residence.

  • 1Austin Peay State University: Located in Clarksville, Tennessee, Austin Peay State University (APSU) is a renowned institution of higher education. APSU offers a compelling option for students who are in pursuit of a high-quality education that is also financially accessible.
  • 2Cultural Events: Clarksville is renowned for its thriving cultural environment, characterized by a diverse array of events and festivals that occur consistently throughout the year. Individuals with a penchant for music, art, or local customs will discover a wide range of culturally enriching activities that can be enjoyed without incurring excessive financial burdens.
  • Recreational Facilities: Clarksville provides a variety of recreational amenities, catering to individuals that prioritize an active lifestyle. Within the cheap living environment, individuals can avail themselves of various possibilities to engage in physical activity and appreciate the natural surroundings. These options range from parks, sports complexes, and hiking trails to green spaces, providing abundant avenues for outdoor recreation and promoting an active lifestyle.

Johnson City

Aerial view of Johnson City location.

Johnson City, situated in eastern Tennessee, offers residents scenic beauty coupled with affordability. This city is a nature lover’s dream, with close proximity to the Appalachian Trail and Cherokee National Forest.

Affordable Rent in Johnson City

Similar to Cookeville, Johnson City offers competitive rental prices. On average, you can secure a 2-bedroom apartment for around $750 per month. This makes Johnson City an attractive option for those who appreciate affordability and natural beauty.

Notable Features of Johnson City

Johnson City’s allure extends beyond its affordable living:

  • Natural Beauty: The city is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Proximity to Nature: Residents can easily access the Appalachian Trail and Cherokee National Forest for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
  • Cultural Attractions: Johnson City also offers cultural experiences, including museums, galleries, and a vibrant local music scene.


Morristown is a picturesque city that seamlessly combines affordability with a touch of southern charm. Situated in the central part of the state, Morristown has much to offer for those seeking a cost-effective yet fulfilling lifestyle.

Affordable Rent in Morristown

Morristown is renowned for its affordable rent options. On average, you can secure a 2-bedroom apartment for a budget-friendly $720 per month. These prices make Morristown stand out as one of the most economical places to live in Tennessee.

Why Morristown Stands Out

Apart from its affordability, Morristown offers several compelling reasons to consider it as your next home:

  • Proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Nature enthusiasts and adventurers will find Morristown particularly appealing due to its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This provides endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and outdoor exploration.
  • Historic Downtown: Morristown’s historic downtown area is a charming hub of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, perfect for those seeking a taste of old-world ambiance.
  • Strong Sense of Community: The city prides itself on its friendly and tight-knit community, fostering a sense of belonging for residents.


Aerial view of Kingsport location.

Kingsport is a city that combines the allure of eastern charm with affordability. Nestled in the eastern region of Tennessee, Kingsport provides residents with a delightful living experience that doesn’t break the bank.

Affordable Rent in Kingsport

Kingsport is well-regarded for its affordable rent options. On average, you can secure a 2-bedroom apartment for a wallet-friendly $730 per month. This competitive pricing makes Kingsport one of the most economical places to reside in Tennessee.

What Makes Kingsport Stand Out

Kingsport’s appeal extends beyond affordability, with several compelling reasons to consider it as your next home:

  • Annual Fun Fest: Kingsport hosts an annual Fun Fest, a celebration that brings the community together with live music, parades, food, and a variety of entertainment options.
  • Kingsport Greenbelt: Nature enthusiasts and those who enjoy outdoor activities will appreciate the presence of the Kingsport Greenbelt, a linear park that winds around the city. This green oasis offers opportunities for biking, walking, and picnicking, providing residents with a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle.
  • Cultural Attractions: The city also boasts cultural attractions, including art galleries and museums, ensuring there’s always something to do for those interested in the arts and history.


 Franklin, located just south of Nashville, is often hailed for its beautiful historical sites, quaint downtown area, and thriving arts scene. The city beautifully marries historical charm with modern amenities. 

Affordable Rent in Franklin

Franklin, being a bit closer to a major metropolitan area, might have slightly higher rent prices than the cities mentioned above. On average, a 2-bedroom apartment might cost around $1,100 per month. While this might be higher compared to other cities in this list, the cultural richness and community spirit of Franklin can justify the cost for many. 

Why Franklin is Special

  • Historical Significance: Franklin is known for its Civil War history, with several battlefields and historical sites preserved for visitors and locals alike.
  • Vibrant Downtown: The city’s downtown area is filled with unique boutiques, delicious eateries, and various entertainment options that regularly draw crowds.
  • Cultural Events: From its renowned Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival to local theater productions, Franklin provides numerous cultural activities for its residents.

Oak Ridge 

Oak Ridge, famously known as the “Secret City” due to its role in the Manhattan Project during World War II, offers a unique blend of historical significance and natural beauty. 

Affordable Rent in Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge offers affordability in housing, with an average 2-bedroom apartment priced at around $780 per month, making it a suitable choice for those wanting to stay budget-conscious. 

Unique Features of Oak Ridge

  • Historical Importance: The city offers a glimpse into its pivotal role during WWII at the American Museum of Science and Energy.
  • Proximity to Nature: Oak Ridge is near the Cumberland Plateau and provides numerous opportunities for hiking, boating, and fishing.
  • Educational Excellence: The city is home to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and offers a strong educational foundation with well-regarded schools and research institutions.

Why Choose Tennessee?

Wooden cubes with 'low' on the top and 'cost' on the front, topped with a stack of coins.

Tennessee is a state that has a lot to offer to its residents. Whether you’re considering a move or just curious about what this state has to offer, here are some compelling reasons to choose Tennessee as your next home.

Cost-Effective Living

Tennessee is renowned for its cost-effective living, making it an attractive destination for individuals and families looking to stretch their budgets without compromising on quality of life. The state offers a range of affordable cities and regions that provide an excellent blend of affordability and amenities.

Rich Culture

Tennessee boasts a rich cultural heritage that has had a significant impact on American music, history, and art. The state is particularly famous for its contributions to the world of music, with Nashville often referred to as the “Music City.” Here are some highlights of Tennessee’s vibrant culture:

Music Heritage:

  • Nashville: Known as the “Country Music Capital of the World,” Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, a renowned venue for country music performances.
  • Memphis: The birthplace of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis offers iconic attractions such as Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
  • Bristol: Often considered the “Birthplace of Country Music,” Bristol is where the first commercial country music recordings were made in 1927.

Historical Tales:

  • Chattanooga: With its rich history, Chattanooga offers attractions like the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, providing insights into the Civil War era.
  • Franklin: This charming town is known for its well-preserved historic district and Civil War sites.

Natural Beauty

Tennessee’s natural beauty is nothing short of breathtaking. The state is blessed with diverse landscapes that range from the mighty Mississippi River to the majestic Great Smoky Mountains. Here are some of the natural wonders you can explore in Tennessee:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Location: Eastern Tennessee
  • Highlights: Majestic mountains, hiking trails, diverse wildlife, and stunning fall foliage.
  • Activities: Hiking, camping, wildlife watching, and scenic drives.

Mississippi River:

  • Location: Western Tennessee
  • Highlights: The iconic river that stretches for miles, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and riverside relaxation.

Warm Community

One of the most endearing qualities of Tennessee is its warm and welcoming community. Tennesseans are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Whether you’re a newcomer or a longtime resident, you’ll likely experience the genuine kindness and neighborly spirit that characterize the state’s residents.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Place in Tennessee

If you’re in search of cheap places to rent in Tennessee or the cheapest places to live in Tennessee, you’re in luck. The Volunteer State offers a variety of options that won’t break the bank. To help you find the ideal spot, follow these valuable tips:

Research is Key

When embarking on your journey to find the most affordable place to live in Tennessee, thorough research is essential. Here are some tools and resources you can use:

Websites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia are excellent starting points. These platforms provide extensive listings and vital statistics about different cities and neighborhoods. You can easily filter your search by budget, location, and other preferences.

ZillowOffers a vast database of property listings
RealtorProvides in-depth property information
TruliaOffers insights into local neighborhoods

State and City Websites

Local government websites are often treasure troves of information. They can provide detailed insights about city facilities, upcoming developments, community events, and more. These websites are invaluable for gaining a deeper understanding of the area you’re considering.

Medical FacilitiesEnsure access to quality healthcare services in the chosen city or town.
Educational InstitutionsResearch availability and quality of schools and colleges for families.
TransportationCheck accessibility to major roads, public transportation, and airports for convenience.
Visit in PersonSpend time in the area to experience the community, traffic patterns, and environment firsthand.
BudgetingCreate a comprehensive budget to account for housing, utilities, transportation, and other expenses.
Consult LocalsEngage with local residents online or in person to gather insights into daily life and potential challenges.
Job MarketResearch job opportunities in your field to align your career goals with your location.
Recreation and LifestyleConsider proximity to outdoor activities, music scenes, or other interests that matter to you.
Safety FirstCheck crime rates and neighborhood safety records to make an informed decision about your safety.
Think Long-TermResearch infrastructure projects, real estate appreciation potential, and overall growth prospects.
Local CultureEnsure the local culture aligns with your values and lifestyle preferences.


For those in pursuit of the cheapest places to rent in Tennessee or simply looking for cheap places to live, Tennessee’s hidden gems await your discovery. From its spirited cities to its tranquil towns, there’s a place in the Volunteer State for everyone. So, why wait? Make Tennessee your next home and experience the charm of affordable living in a state that offers so much more.


Why should I consider Tennessee for affordable living?

Tennessee offers a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. The cheap places to live in Tennessee provide a cost-effective way to enjoy a high quality of life, surrounded by natural beauty and a rich cultural scene.

Are these the only affordable cities in Tennessee?

While the cities listed are among the cheapest places to live in Tennessee, the state has many other towns and cities that are equally affordable and offer a great quality of life.

What about job opportunities in these cities?

Cities like Clarksville and Cookeville have a growing job market, especially in sectors like education, healthcare, and manufacturing. Furthermore, their proximity to larger cities like Nashville provides additional opportunities.

Is Tennessee a good state for families?

Absolutely! With its blend of educational institutions, family-friendly events, and recreational areas, Tennessee is ideal for families looking for cheap places to rent and live.

How’s the weather in Tennessee?

Tennessee has a temperate climate. Winters are mild, and summers are warm but not overly hot. This makes it perfect for outdoor activities all year round.

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