Moving to Chattanooga, TN: Rock City and Ruby Falls are well-known “Americana” natural wonders in Chattanooga, but they just scratch the surface of what this Southern city has to offer.
Chattanooga is the perfect city because it has a vibrant downtown, professional sports teams, proximity to top-ranked colleges and universities, the state’s multi-story aquarium, and a prominent role in American history. And, best of all, you can have it all at a lower cost of living than many other major metropolitan areas.
What you need to know before moving to Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga is a city in southeastern Tennessee, just north of the Georgia line, with a population of around 180,700 people. Although several places claim to have “it all,” Chattanooga really does. “Scenic City,” nestled among the Appalachian ridges and mountains, is renowned for amazing outdoor recreation and abundant scenic beauty.
Chattanooga has something for everyone, with a booming industrial and business hub, prestigious colleges and universities, a plethora of arts and cultural events, and convenient access to most of the rest of the country.
All places have their pros and Cons:
Living in Chattanooga has a lot of advantages, but it also has a few drawbacks that you should be aware of.
Scenic beauty, lively outdoors, and natural wonders
Affordable cost of living
Tourism and Entertainment
No state income tax
Easy access to other parts of the country
Violent crime and property crime
Significant income disparity
Cost of Living Moving to Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee, has a cost-of-living index of 83.8, making it less expensive than the national average. Bestplaces.net measures a city’s cost of living as a percentage of the national average of 100. As a result, you’ll save money in Chattanooga on a variety of living expenses. Grocery costs are 97 percent less than the US average, lodging is 65 percent less, services are 95 percent less, and transportation is 81 percent less. Health-care rates, on the other hand, are higher than normal, at 101.4.
According to EPI.org’s Family Budget Calculator, a Chattanooga family of four will need $6,424 per month, or $77,094 per year, to live a modest lifestyle.
Economy and Job Market
Chattanooga’s economy is doing well. Unemployment is significantly lower than the national average of 3.9 percent, and the labor market has expanded by 2.8 percent in 2019. Future employment growth is expected to be 44 percent over the next ten years, which is significantly higher than the 33.5 percent national average.
Residents’ median household income is $39,683, which is significantly lower than the national average of $53,482, but bear in mind that Chattanooga’s cost of living is also lower.
Advanced manufacturing, automobile, retail, food and beverage processing, healthcare, insurance, and tourism are all major industries. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Cigna, CHI Memorial, Erlanger Health System, Volkswagen, Amazon, and Parkridge Medical System are among the city’s biggest employers.
Though job search sites such as LinkedIn and Monster can help you find work, Chattanooga actively recruits job seekers. Throughout the year, the city and various companies organize a number of job fairs. You may also take charge of your own preparation by polishing your resume and practicing your interview skills.
Advanced manufacturing, automotive, retail, food and beverage manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, and tourism are some of the most significant sectors. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Cigna, CHI Memorial, Erlanger Health System, Volkswagen, Amazon, and Parkridge Medical System are only a few of the top job providers in the region.
Though job search sites such as LinkedIn and Monster can assist you in finding work, Chattanooga actively recruits job seekers. Throughout the year, the city and a variety of companies host a variety of job fairs. You should also take the initiative by polishing your resume and practicing your interview techniques.
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As of December 2019, the median home value was $168,398. During the same time span, the average home list price was $264,350, and the market was described as “very hot” by zillow.com. Home prices climbed 5.9% in 2019 and are expected to rise another 3.7 percent in 2020.
Chattanooga’s median home age is 45 years, significantly higher than the national average of 40 years. Renters account for 40.5 percent of the population in the city. As of December 2019, the median rent price was $1,350.
The farther you go from downtown, as in most cities, the more affordable housing becomes. When compared to some of the newer construction situated in the heart of downtown Chattanooga by the Riverwalk, residents in nearby Rossville, Georgia, can find double the house for half the price.
State Income Tax:
There is no federal income tax in Tennessee. Received interest and dividends, on the other hand, are subject to a 6% hall levy.
The property tax rate in Hamilton County is 0.878 percent, slightly higher than the state average of 0.738 percent. A $150,000 home will have $1,318 in annual property taxes.
The state sales tax in Tennessee is 7%, with an additional 2.25 percent imposed by Hamilton County. The city of Chattanooga, on the other hand, does not charge a sales tax, so your overall sales tax in Chattanooga will be 9.25 percent. The average sales tax in the United States is 7.3 percent.
What to do here?
There are so many incredible things to do in Chattanooga that visitors sometimes have difficulty fitting it all in. As a local, you’ll have more time to enjoy all Chattanooga has to offer. Though Chatt or Chattown, as locals call it, is known for its outdoor sports, there are also plenty of arts and culture, creativity, and historical activities to enjoying.
A visit to Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Incline Railway is a must for every newcomer to Chattanooga – and by must, we mean basically a state rule! These magnificent natural wonders are the stuff of Americana folklore, and no local can avoid seeing them at least once.
Lake Winnie is the place to be until the weather warms up. This family-owned amusement park, formerly known as Lake Winnepesaukah, is one of the best and oldest in the nation, having opened to the public in 1925. The founders’ granddaughter also drives around in a golf cart waving to tourists, and her grandchildren are the current owners of this fascinating piece of thrill-seeking history. Its wooden roller coaster is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its swimming pool used to be the largest in the Southeast.
The Hunter Museum of Art, the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX, and the Children’s Discovery Museum can tickle your brain cells if you’re looking for something a little more intellectual. Participating in a Chattanooga Ghost Tours event is one of the best ways to see Chattanooga. This dusk-to-dark walking tour will take you to some of the city’s most historically significant locations, including the Trail of Tears’ beginning point and Ross’ Landing.
Booker T Washington State Park, Prentice Cooper State Forest, and Audubon Island, a nature trail and bird sanctuary in the middle of the Tennessee River that is only accessible by ferry, are all located in Chattanooga. The entire area is known for its spectacular cave system, and Raccoon Mountain’s massive cave is a thrilling and famous attraction.
The 13-mile Riverwalk winds along the Tennessee River’s southern banks. Restaurants, cafes, facilities for all types of water-based recreation, and cultural institutions such as the Hunter Museum of American Art, Bluff View Sculpture Garden, and Tennessee Aquarium can all be found along the paved road.
Sports lovers will be entertained by two professional soccer clubs, several rugby teams, semi-pro and minor league baseball, and college sports. Chattanooga also hosts the Ironman Triathlon and professional cycling.
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