I’m goin’ to Jackson… Read Guide >
One of the sweetest aspects of life in Jackson is how affordable the city is. Really! The cost of living index is more than 12 percentage points below the national average, 1BR units are readily available in the $600 range and even spacious 3 bedroom/3 bath units can be scored for $1000 or less. Tennessee is an income tax-free state to boot, so you shouldn’t have a problem paying your rent and stashing away some extra greenbacks whilst enjoying a fine Southern evening and the mandatory sweet tea on your porch.
A few things to consider before embarking on the quest for your future Jackson hole (not Wyoming):
Apartments in Jackson range from brand spanking new (roughly 15 percent of residences were built post-1995) to well-established (1 in 3 dwellings sprouted up between 1940 and 1970). No matter which apartment complex you’re targeting, though, you’ll likely find vacancies, as waiting lists are extremely rare and very few properties are ever at full capacity. Strong-arm tactics just aren’t necessary here so leave Bruno the Persuader at home, take your time, and shop the market leisurely before slapping your John Hancock on a leasing deal.
Some, but not all, landlords in Jackson run background checks on potential leasers to make sure they don’t have a history of writing bad checks, burning their landlords in effigy, or otherwise reneging on their leases. If you have some skeletons in your renting closet, you’ll need a respectable co-signer to score your dream pad. Otherwise, you’ll just need proof of income and your checkbook so you can buck up for the modest security deposit that most apartment managers require.
Jackson, unfortunately, is no stranger to natural disasters. The city has been hit by multiple tornadoes and floods in the past couple decades, which have caused major damage to the city airport, the Union University campus, and tons of residential properties. Bottom line: we highly recommend investing in a basic renter’s insurance policy, typically less than $20 a month, to cover your precious valuables and 4th grade Superman Halloween costume in case of fire, flooding, theft, spontaneous combustion, alien invasion, etc.
Landlords do their best to make sure your new digs are in tip-top shape before handing you the keys (in theory, anyway), but that doesn’t mean you should just assume everything is up to par. Take your move-in checklist seriously and make note of even the most minor blemishes, or else you risk losing your security deposit over a preexisting imperfection. Also, check the pipes, sinks, faucets, showerheads, and toilets for leaks and drips, make sure the furnace and A/C units function properly (yes, Jackson gets ungodly hot during the summer months), and examine the walls, floors, and ceilings for water marks and other damages.
Is it possible to survive in Jackson without your own set of wheels? Maybe it is, but very few residents have ever actually tried it, and for good reason: the Jackson Transit Authority city buses run a limited number of routes only, and most of the city is so spread out that you’ll likely need your own vehicle to bum around town conveniently. Fortunately, traffic is minimal, parking is plentiful, and travelers can usually get from any point in the city to another in less than 20 minutes.
Like most modern American cities, Jackson has its dodgy areas, so be sure to visit a neighborhood in advance to see if you’re comfortable with it before committing to an apartment. Generally, the northern half of Jackson is the most modern, suburban, and family-friendly part of town, although high quality lodgings can be found in many other parts of the city as well. Use common sense, and keep in mind that if a neighborhood is filled with graffiti-covered buildings, broken windows, malt liquor bottles in the streets and houses with cars parked in their front lawns (beats mowing the grass, I suppose), there’s a good chance it’s not exactly a top-notch neighborhood.
Jackson might not boast the vibrant cultural and nightlife scenes of nearby Memphis or Nashville, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have nothing to do but sit around your apartment twiddling your thumbs all day and all night. The historical downtown area is home to a variety of Southern style eateries, watering holes, and eclectic shopping destinations, while the city also features a smattering of art galleries, museums, and theaters. Other super sweet endeavors include catching a Jackson Generals Minor League ballgame, visiting the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame, hitting up one of the many live music venues that dot the streets, or exploring the various parks, trails, and Civil War historic sites that the city boasts. It’s got plenty to see and a plethora of places to lay your sleepy head without breaking the bank so ante up and start scouring the listings in search of the apartment you’ve always dreamed of!
Welcome to Jackson and happy hunting!