Nashville housing costs continue to rise for graduates

By Princess Jones

Soon-to-be Trevecca grad Jade Kravat wants a job as a worship minister and she’d like to stay in Nashville. But, as Kravat started looking for apartments she was surprised by the cost of living in the city.

“There was nothing below $850 in rent, and that doesn’t include utilities and other things like Wi-Fi and cable. That was for a one bedroom—I even saw one bedrooms that were $1,100,” said Kravat.

Nashville experienced an 8 percent increase in the rental market from the previous year. As of March 2017, the average rental cost for a Nashville apartment is $1,401. Average rent for a one bedroom apartment cost $1,225. If a person decided to rent a two bedroom, it would cost on average $1,531, according to http://www.rentjungle.com

Even if Kravat can find a job with an entry level salary of $30-$40,000, she said she still likely can’t afford rent.

“I would probably be able to pay rent, but I would be living paycheck to pay check. I would still be eating cheap food and not doing anything fun. It would be difficult to pay for that and student loans and bills. It would just be a struggle,” said Kravat.

The most affordable area Kravat could find was in Antioch. There, things seemed a bit better—livable but not where she preferred.

“[A] tiny 600 square foot apartment in Antioch—that was the [apartment I found with the] cheapest rent. It’s not a bad neighborhood, but there are better neighborhoods. It’s not the most desirable place to live in Nashville, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable,” said Kravat.

College graduates aren’t the only people struggling to find affordable housing in Nashville. Nicole Hubbs, coordinator of career services at Trevecca, said people who are in mid-career are having trouble keeping up with the housing situation as well.

“It doesn’t just effect the new grads—there are people that have been working for a long time and the cost of living has risen for them. They’re not making an entry level salary, but they’re struggling to find affordable housing in town as well. The cost of living in town has gone up for everybody,” said Hubbs.

Even though there is a problem with affordable housing in Nashville, Hubbs believes that graduates and students can still live in Nashville, especially if a student wants to stay for a summer internship.

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“If a student is able to split that two or three ways and cover utilities and work full-time in the summer somewhere, I think a student can make it work,” said Hubbs. “There are a ton of opportunities to work in Nashville, even if it’s not an internship. If a student wants to stay over the summer, and they want to live with a friend or on campus, there are a ton of off campus opportunities for a student to get a job in Nashville. Employers are beating down our doors looking for people to work for them.”

An important lesson to remember when searching for housing in Nashville is that sacrifices will have to be made. This is a lesson that Kravat understood, and she advised graduates and students to think along those lines.

“Be willing to live with roommates. They will cut your bills, and you only will have to pay a fraction of what you’d be paying if you were living by yourself. That’s probably the best way to make it affordable and be realistic about what you can afford,” said Kravat.

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