Is Memphis, TN a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Memphis

Memphis, TN is a lively and diverse city that has won the hearts of many with its rich musical heritage, delectable Southern cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene. But is Memphis a good place to live? While the city offers endless opportunities for entertainment and a bustling urban lifestyle, it also comes with its fair share of challenges such as humid summers. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Memphis to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Quick Facts about Memphis

Median home sale price $180,750
Average monthly rent $993
Walk Score 35/100
Transit Score 22/100
Bike Score 41/100

1. Pro: Rich musical heritage

Memphis is renowned for its rich musical heritage, being the birthplace of blues and a significant player in the development of rock ‘n’ roll. Beale Street is a historic landmark where you can find live music venues that celebrate this legacy. Additionally, the city is also home to the iconic Sun Studio, where legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded their hits.

2. Con: Hot and humid summers

One downside to living in Memphis is the hot and humid summers. Temperatures often soar above 90°F, and the humidity can make it feel even hotter. This can be uncomfortable for those not accustomed to such weather and can limit outdoor activities during the peak summer months. Additionally, the high humidity can lead to increased energy costs as air conditioning becomes a necessity.

3. Pro: Affordable housing

Memphis boasts a relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities in the United States. Housing is particularly affordable, with a median home sale price of $180,750 and a variety of options ranging from historic homes to modern new builds. This affordability extends to rentals where the median rent is $993, making Memphis a good place to live.

4. Con: Limited public transportation

The transit score in Memphis stands at 22, meaning there are limited options, which can be a significant drawback for those who rely on it. The city’s bus system, MATA, has a limited number of routes and schedules, making it less convenient for daily commuting. This often necessitates owning a car, which can be an added expense and hassle for residents who prefer not to drive.

5. Pro: Delicious barbecue

Memphis is famous for its mouth-watering barbecue, a culinary delight that draws foodies from all over the world. The city hosts the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, showcasing the best in barbecue cuisine. Local joints like Central BBQ and The Rendezvous offer unique flavors and styles that make Memphis barbecue a must-try experience for residents and visitors.

downtown memphis trolley

6. Con: High allergy rates

Memphis is known for having high pollen counts, which can be problematic for allergy sufferers. The city’s lush greenery and seasonal changes contribute to this issue, making spring and fall particularly challenging times of the year. Residents often find themselves dealing with sneezing, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms, which can detract from the overall quality of life.

7. Pro: Scenic Mississippi River views

The Mississippi River provides stunning scenic views and recreational opportunities for Memphis residents. The riverfront area features parks, walking trails, and the popular Mud Island River Park, where you can enjoy outdoor activities and concerts. These picturesque views and amenities offer a unique and relaxing environment that enhances the city’s charm.

8. Con: Tornado risk

Memphis is located in an area that is susceptible to tornadoes, which can be a significant concern for residents. Tornado season typically runs from March to May, and the threat of severe weather can be stressful. While the city has measures in place to alert and protect residents, the risk of tornadoes remains a notable drawback to living in Memphis.

9. Pro: Strong community spirit

Memphis is known for its strong sense of community and Southern hospitality. Neighborhoods often host events and festivals that bring residents together, fostering a close-knit atmosphere, such as the annual Cooper-Young Festival and the Beale Street Music Festival. This community spirit is evident in local initiatives and volunteer opportunities, like the Memphis City Beautiful, making it easy for newcomers to feel welcomed and connected.

10. Con: Ranked as having the worst drivers in the nation

Memphis is frequently ranked as having some of the worst drivers in the nation, with high rates of traffic accidents and reckless driving incidents. The city’s roadways are often cited for issues such as speeding, running red lights, and frequent collisions, contributing to its poor driving reputation. These driving conditions can make commuting stressful and increase the risk of accidents for residents and visitors alike.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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