How, you ask, is life in Murfreesboro? Glad you asked! Here’s how:
Murfreesboro is comfortable. Murfreesboro is a city whose streets are filled with parks, playgrounds, strip malls, drive-thru Starbucks, sit-down family restaurants, neatly-landscaped lawns, new car dealerships, the works. “No alarms, no surprises,” as the song goes – which is exactly what many Central Tennesseans covet in the first place.
Murfreesboro is cost-effective. The cost of living index in Murfreesboro is 7 percentage points lower than the national average, which means you won’t break the bank on things like groceries, utilities, and consumer goods. Apartments are remarkably affordable (even for the mid-South’s budget-friendly standards), and even high-quality units can be found for $800 or less.
Murfreesboro is college-friendly. The city is home to 25,000-plus students at Middle Tennessee State University, which helps give Murfreesboro a multicultural flair that other areas of central Tennessee lack. It also means the city has its fair share of pubs, clubs, cafes, theaters, and galleries and hosts a variety of speaking engagements, festivals, and other special events.
Murfreesboro is convenient. Murfreesboro is surrounded by highways that give residents easy access to neighboring cities like Nashville and Brentwood. Fortunately, Murfreesboro has a solid job base of its own, meaning most residents don’t have to leave city limits to go punch the clock anyway.
Murfreesboro is congested (in parts). It should come as no surprise, in a city whose population has spiked more than 50 percent since the year 2000 (current population is more than 103,000) that traffic can be an absolute monster during morning and evening rush hours. Public transit just barely exists (9 buses that haul 16 riders each attempt to service the entire area), meaning you’ll need your own wheels to survive in M’Boro. Obviously, you should give yourself plenty of extra time for daily commutes.
Murfreesboro is contemporary. On one hand, Murfreesboro is an old and historic city whose tourist sites include a Civil War Battlefield and Antebellum courthouse. Especially on the streets of the boutique-and-café-filled historic downtown area, there’s a nostalgic, old-timey vibe. Most of Murfreesboro, however, is newly-constructed, which means residents don’t have to worry about things like faulty pipes and wires or degenerating structures. The further you get from the city center, the more likely you are to come across newly-built apartments, lofts, and condos packed to the brim with all the modern amenities you could ask for.
Selecting your Stomping Grounds
Whether you’re in the market for a super cool crash pad in the eastern, western, northern, southern, or centrally-located parts of town, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a variety of rental options. Keep in mind, though, that if you pick a place in close proximity to MTSU, there’s a good chance you’re moving into a student complex (so you better get used to living in Party Central).
In the western and southwestern neighborhoods, there are tons of contemporary apartments, townhouses, and condominiums that are geared mostly towards families with kids, married couples, and non-collegiate singles. These units are usually a bit more pricey than the crash pads that surround campus, but they also usually offer a little extra leg room and feature more attractive amenities. Often times, they are also more neatly maintained, since they attempt to attract long-term residents and not just transient leasers.
Tips for Tenants
If you’re not sure whether or not an apartment complex is geared mostly towards students, call in advance and lead with that question. It’s not that MTSU students are typically more rowdy than College Joes anywhere, but sometimes families and couples feel a bit out of place in a complex dominated by students.
Occupancy rates in Murfreesboro inevitably spike just before the fall semester, so if you’re looking for a place near campus, you should start your apartment hunt no later than early summer. Apartments are pretty much available near campus year-round, but the most attractive units are usually gobbled up by early July. In other words, don’t be a giant slacker and wait until the last minute, or else you’ll miss out on the pick of the litter.
In the other parts of town, especially the booming western neighborhoods, apartments are readily available and are just waiting for peeps like you to come claim them. Just remember to equip yourself with a list of previous residences and references, banking account information, and proof of income. Many apartment managers run credit checks on prospective tenants, meanwhile, so if you have a habit of writing bad checks or using your credit card bills to hone your origami skills (instead of just paying them), you’ll likely need a co-signer (and an incredibly foolish one at that!) to score a lease in Murfreesboro.
Other than, just use common sense and read your lease carefully before signing it. Remember that a lease is an important legal document that covers everything from pet and roommate restrictions to policies regarding fees, general upkeep, and expectations of both tenants and landlords. Also, be sure to give your apartment a careful inspection before loading in (preferably along with an objective third party) to make sure everything is up to par.
And now, bold and fearless apartment hunter, it’s time to begin your journey for a primo apartment in Murfreesboro! Best of luck and happy hunting!
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