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4 Things To Know Before You Move to Nashville


4 Things To Know Before You Move to Nashville

Since my move to the area in 2006, I’ve built a network of people groups and services that have made my life easier and made me feel connected to my community. I hope I can give you a head start toward finding your place by sharing some of what I have learned along the way.

Understanding Commute Times

One of the most important factors in deciding where you will live is how long you are willing to commute to work, school or other activities. If you or someone in your household will be working in a hospital near downtown, I have already done the legwork to give you an idea of how long of a commute time you should expect during rush hour. Whether you plan to live in Nashville or venture a little further south into Williamson County, Here are some times from popular neighborhoods and towns:


Bellevue | 20+ min

Belle Meade | 15 min

The Nations | 10-15 min

Sylvan Park | 7-10 min

Hillsboro | Walkable or 5 min

Belmont / 12 South | 5-10 min

Green Hills | 12-15 min

Crieve Hall | 12-15 min

Germanton | 15 min

East Nashville | 20+ min


Franklin | 26-40 min

Brentwood | 16-28 min

Thompsons Station | 35-50 min

Leipers Fork | 35-55 min

Fairview | 35-40 min

Spring Hill | 35-55 min

College Grove | 40-50 min

Nolensville | 30-50 min

Learn more about many of these popular neighborhoods and communities here.

Physician Lenders & How to Avoid Paying PMI

Did you know that there are lenders who are dedicated to working with buyers in the medical community? Huntington Bank specializes in home loans for physicians, residents, and graduating medical students. Connect with someone who understands what stage you are in and who is experienced in navigating the process.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is typically required by lenders when you make a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. However, there are several strategies to avoid paying PMI:

  1. Make a Larger Down Payment: The most straightforward way to avoid PMI is to make a down payment of at least 20% of the home’s purchase price. This reduces the lender’s risk, eliminating the need for PMI.
  2. Piggyback Loan (80-10-10 or 80-15-5): With this strategy, you take out two loans when buying a home – one for 80% of the purchase price (the primary mortgage) and another for a smaller percentage, usually 10% or 15%. The second loan covers part of your down payment, allowing you to avoid PMI.
  3. Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI): Some lenders offer LPMI, where they pay the PMI upfront in exchange for a higher interest rate on your mortgage. While you won’t have a separate PMI payment, you’ll end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan.
  4. VA Loans: If you’re eligible for a VA loan, you can finance up to 100% of the home’s purchase price without PMI.
  5. USDA Loans: If you’re buying a home in a rural area and meet income eligibility requirements, you may qualify for a USDA loan, which doesn’t require PMI. There are many areas in middle Tennessee that meet the USDA requirements.

Before pursuing any of these options, it’s essential to carefully evaluate your financial situation and consider the potential costs and benefits of each strategy. Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage professional can help you determine the best approach for your specific circumstances.

What options exist for preschool, public, private, and homeschool? And do I need to get on a preschool waiting list?

Middle Tennessee offers a plethora of school options from preschool through high school (and beyond with many colleges and universities in the area). Depending on the age of the child, you may want to get a head start on applying and getting on a waitlist.  If you have you heart set on a specific program you will want to be prepared. No matter the school type you choose, I share a number of resources for moms in our area on my blog.. 

PRESCHOOL – You may be surprised to know that preschool can be a competitive arena. If you know you will be in need of childcare for kids younger than kindergarten age, it is best to start your search early. It’s a great idea to find people who value the same things you do in early education and begin to research the schools that may best fit your needs. Simply looking at a “best preschool in Nashville” list does not tell you if the school will meet your personal expectations. You may value free thinking and play time and the school that was ranked “best” was ranked that way because of their high focus on rigorous curriculum. This is true from preschool through high school. “Best” for one family is not “best” in the eyes of all. Start early, gather as much first hand info as you can, and start the application process to make sure you are on the waiting list you need to be on or better yet, accepted right away to the preschool that most appeals to you and your family. Many of the public schools in the area have free early childhood programs that you should look into as well.

Nashville and Davidson County Headstart

Williamson County Early Childhood Programs

TN Childcare Resources

PUBLIC SCHOOL – Throughout the middle Tennessee area, you will find a number of options in the public school systems with traditional public schools as well as Charter school programs. offers a lot of insight into the details of these schools but you will learn more by talking to other families whose kids attend those schools. Here are some useful links to get you started in Davidson and Williamson Counties.

Charter Schools

Nashville Public Elementary Schools

Nashville Public Middle Schools

Nashville Public High Schools

Williamson County Public Schools – K-12

Franklin Special School District K-8

PRIVATE SCHOOL – Middle Tennessee offers a number of choices in private education. Whether you are looking for a faith based program or a secular one, you will have tons of options. Some of these programs are very competitive and like preschool, you may need to get on a waiting list early. Start your research as soon as you know you are moving so that you will be prepared with that to expect. 

Private Schools in Williamson County

Private Elementary Schools in Davidson County

Private Middle Schools in Davidson County

Private High Schools in Davidson County

HOME SCHOOL – Homeschooling in middle Tennessee is a very popular option. If you have ever been curious about it or if you are a veteran homeschool family, you will find tons of resources to get you started.

Middle Tennessee Home Education Association

TN Department of Education Info for Home Schooling

Middle TN Homeschool Support on Facebook

Getting Connected to your New Community

One thing I believe in most strongly is community. I know how important it is to find people who you can live your life alongside. Through the years, I have nurtured relationships and helped to create very intentional groups. I would love to have you join us in any of these communities.

Nashville Physician Spouses Facebook Group

Women of Williamson County Facebook Group

Nashville Moms Group on Facebook

Side-by-Side Nashville on Facebook

DW (Doctor Wives) Meetups – This is private so please reach out if you would like to be added! 

My mission is to connect physician families to their new home. Hopefully this list will give you a head start toward finding home and getting connected to the people around you. 


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