- Union City
In addition to being the “Home of the Blues” and the “Birthplace of Rock’n’Roll,” Memphis is also the cheapest city in Tennessee. Located on the state’s southern border, this city has a reputation for its lively music scene. In particular, Memphis is home to the infamous Graceland, the historical home of Elvis Presley. Other attractions in this area include several museums, art galleries, parks, sporting events, and the Beale Street Entertainment district. With so many exciting things to experience, it’s surprising that home prices in Memphis are so affordable. The median sales prices in Memphis is only $148,000, making it the most affordable place to live in Tennessee.
The second-cheapest place to live in Tennessee is Union City. Located in Tennessee’s northwestern corner, this city is named after the crossing of two major railroads. It offers its residents a unique combination of urban and rural living, making it a great area for those who prefer small-town living close to big-city amenities. Local attractions here include historical landmarks, museums, theaters, campsites, parks, and plenty of bars and restaurants. Home values here average around $147,000, which makes Union City the second-most affordable area in Tennessee.
Brownsville is the also one of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee. Located roughly one hour from Memphis, this city is best known for its historical significance and natural beauty. Residents of this town can enjoy the area’s abundance of outdoor recreation, which include biking trails, running paths, and campsites. Other local attractions include the Serendipity Resort & Campground and the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, the city’s stunning local scenery keeps it a top location for Tennessee weddings. Home prices in this area average around $149,000, making Brownsville extremely affordable.
Sitting close to the Kentucky border is Paris, another one of Tennessee’s cheapest places to live. This city is the oldest incorporated town in West Tennessee and is best known for its 70-foot, to-scale replica of the original Eiffel Tower. Though the city itself is small, it boasts a crime rate well below the state average and is perfect for those who prefer a quiet, peaceful area. Locals can also enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities, which include visits to Kentucky Lake, Paris Landing State Park, and the Tennessee River. Home prices in this area average at $173,000, keeping this city an affordable hidden gem.
Lawrenceburg is another one of the cheapest cities in Tennessee. Located along the state’s Alabama border, this area was once home to the infamous James Vaughan and has since become known for being the “Birthplace of Southern Gospel.” The Vaughan Museum is still a popular attraction on the city’s main square, and other fun local interests include Amish Country Tours, the Crockett Theater, and the David Crockett State Park. With home prices middling close to $174,000, Lawrenceburg is the perfect place to find cheap southern living with a twist.
LaFollette is another cheap Tennessee town close to the Kentucky border. This city is known for its small-town charm and is home to some of the state’s best natural scenery. Residents of this town can appreciate beautiful views of the Cumberland Mountains and spend their time enjoying waterfront activities on Lake Norris. Additionally, this area is home to some of the best RV campsites in the state. With home prices averaging around $199,000, LaFollette is a paradise for nature lovers and mountain-goers alike.
McMinnville is the cheapest place to live in central Tennessee. Considered the “Nursery Capital of the World,” this city and its neighbor, Warren, are home to over 400 thriving nurseries. Local climate and soil conditions make this area perfect for growing most temperate crops making McMinnville a popular agricultural center. In addition to its blooming produce industry, McMinnville also offers its residents a variety of industrial spaces, supportive business environments, and access to an abundance of big city amenities. Home prices here average at $201,000, making McMinnville a great option for young professionals and families.
Rockwood is another cheap area in east Tennessee. This city was originally established as a coal mining town, but today, it serves as the home of the infamous Thunder Road car festival. This fun, family-friendly event showcases some of the best automobile makes and models from the early 20th century, drawing attendees from across the country. Other attractions in Rockwood include the Mount Roosevelt State Forest, Frozen Head State Park, and the Rockwood Golf & Country Club. Home values in this area stay close to $209,000, making it an affordable part of east Tennessee.
Jackson is also one of the most affordable places to live in Tennessee. It's also one of the largest cities in Tennessee by population. Located approximately 85 miles to the northeast of Memphis, Jackson is home to approximately 68,000 residents, and is known as a hub for railroads. The area is a great place to live for those who are looking for a friendly small-city atmosphere on a budget. The median sales price for a home in Jackson is $215,000, making it a very affordable place to buy a home.
Located just outside of Memphis is Millington, another one of Tennessee’s cheapest cities. This community is slightly larger than others on this list, with a population base of about 11,000 people. Local attractions in Millington include the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Orgill Park Golf Course, and Memphis Motorsport Park. And, of course, Memphis is only a short twenty-minute drive for anyone who needs a bit more nightlife. With home prices in this area resting around $225,000, Millington is a cheap area with plenty of entertainment.