5 Reasons You Should Think Twice About Moving to Memphis

Grant Oster
May 3, 2018
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If you’re thinking about moving to Memphis, there are a lot of good reason why you might—we have the best barbecue in the world, our fried chicken outstrips everyone else’s, and our music festival is a must-see every year. And of course, when it comes to cost of living, Memphis can’t be beat.

Yes, we’re glad you’re thinking about moving to Memphis, but here’s a few reasons why you should think twice before taking the plunge.

1. It’s a long drive from/to everywhere.

While Memphis itself is pretty thoroughly equipped as a city, with local shops and restaurants, sprawling neighborhoods, and plenty to do on the weekends, it’s a pretty far drive from other cities in Tennessee (and other major US cities).

First, you would need a car, so that’s something to calculate into your expenses if you’re coming from a commuter city. Second, if you want to go out of town, you’d need a job or lifestyle that affords you long weekends to make the trips. If you’re planning to travel often, to see family or friends (or the sights around Memphis), that’s something you might want to consider.

2. It was listed as 4th in U.S. crime rates by Forbes.

Just as it says. With over 1,500 crimes per 100,000 residents, there is a 33% chance of a crime happening in vulnerable areas, at certain times. Sperling’s best places poll put Memphis on a scale of 93 for violent crime, in terms of 100 being very violent crime. Its ranking is 73 on property crime. The local government is aware of this and is responding by suggesting more job creation would lessen the crime rates. If you’re wanting a “Mayberry-esque” town, Memphis ain’t it.

3. We rank 55th (out of 240 cities) for worst traffic bottlenecks.

We are officially in the 2017 American Transportation Research Institute’s list of “Top Trucks Bottlenecks.” While it is a distinction, it is not something we necessarily want to have. Most notorious here is the I-40 and I-240 intersection, where it manages (along with the other traffic issues) to cost each driver 21 hours in driving through traffic every year. Since you already need to get a car (unless you’re really into biking), you won’t be able to escape this reality.

4. When allergy season hits, it hits.

The maples blooming are a sign that springtime is here and the time of growth is at hand. Unfortunately, it also signals the time of allergies is at hand. It can be so bad that the Mid-South is called the “allergy capital of the world” by its residents. The worst part is that allergies can develop when you’re not looking. To combat this season, you would need to faithfully wear a face mask every day, and monitor to know if it’s the kind of day you want to be walking around in. The good thing though is that it’s seasonal, which means it’s predictable and has an end date.

5. The humidity is no joke.

Neither is the heat, which can hover just under 100 degrees. At the same time a fair amount of rain is expected year-round, so wear layers and expect humidity to make your shirt stick to your back and destroy your hair. Although this is also not necessarily a deal breaker, and it gives you an excuse to make a giant pitcher of iced tea and sit out by the front porch you wished you had (or you actually have, if you live in Central Gardens). But since this can come in and around allergy season, it might not be your idea of living out a year to the fullest.

That all being said, there are more than a few reasons to move to Memphis if these 5 reasons haven’t changed your mind. Hope to see you there!

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