I have an oppotunity to relocate to Memphis,TN. What is the quality of life,schools,housing market,etc..?

Asked by Sam Pitts, Virginia Beach, VA Tue Sep 4, 2007

Im not sure if this is the right move for me considering the crime and schools in the Memphis area, can someone shed some light?

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J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Wed Sep 5, 2007
I loved Memphis! Arkansas is literally over the bridge - great camping and tourist sites. My kids were educated for four years in the Memphis schools and all the teachers were top notch. We had so many activities that made learning fun! The science fairs, history days, etc.

The prep atmosphere was great! I even substituted for the MBOE. I was impressed with the entire district.
for more info go to: http://www.city-data.com/housing/houses-Memphis-Tennessee.html

Scroll through - you'll love this site for all the information but there is also a message board for those thinking of moving or new to the area!
3 votes
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Wed Sep 5, 2007
What a coincidence, I am in the process of investigating the Memphis area as we are planning for a move. There are a lot of great communities in the Memphis metro area.
Collierville is a nice area. We have friends who live there and have sent their kids to school there. They are well pleased with the area. We are also investigating the northern part of Mississippi ie Southaven, Olive Branch, Horn Lake. Like most Metropolitan areas there are areas that have a higher crime rate and areas that are great living. If you would like to chat more, my email is carriecrowell.com. I have a close friend who is a Realtor, if you would like her info I would be happy to give as well. Good luck!
p.s. cost of living is pretty good.
Web Reference:  http://carriecrowell.com
3 votes
Heather, Home Buyer, Memphis, TN
Wed Sep 5, 2007
I relocated to Memphis about five years ago from Washington, DC and NYC. And, while the first couple years I struggled assimilating to living in the south, I'm now quite content living here. I first lived in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis, for the first few years, but recently moved to midtown, a very small-scale version of Dupont Circle or the Village.

I don't have children, so I cannot comment on the schools, per se. However, from what I've read and heard from parents of school-aged children, private schools are almost a must if living in the city. The public schools in the 'burbs are rated higher than city schools.

As for crime, yes...it's here. But, it's in every city and no different then traffic, political rifes, taxes, etc. that are prevalent in all cities.

Feel free to email me any questions.
2 votes
Rene, Home Owner, Memphis, TN
Wed Dec 28, 2011
Oh come on you guys who paint Memphis as a rosy place. Let's be real and paint a realistic portrait. Memphis has some good qualities, certainly. It's a laid back environment with friendly people overall, a few large successful corporations, a slow paced lifestyle, moderate weather, a few interesting historical icons. However, there are an unusually large number of economically and educationally challenged families in Memphis proper, and the educational rankings in the Memphis City Schools, except at a few like White Station, are some of the worst in the nation. There is a large subgroup of people within Memphis that live very poorly, are extremely undereducated due to the school system failings, and do not contribute well to the growth of the economy. There is a reason why everyone with any money and with children elect to live in Germantown, Collierville and Lakeland instead of in Memphis.
People also are quite fond of Midtown and Cooper Young, within Memphis proper, but those areas do not usually attract families that want their children to attend successful schools. Also, the taxes in Memphis proper are high. The political leaders have a colorful history of corruption and certainly haven't lead the city bustling into a well thought out and attractive future. Our last mayor, who seemed to cause more trouble than solve it, told people angrily and defensively that if they didn't like he situation in Memphis, they were welcome to move out! Well, they had already been doing that. And aren't we as a city currently struggling with lack of funds, probably due to the economy but also due to lack of planning at the leadership level?

Taking care of our responsibilities as a city could also use some improvement. The animal shelter is an embarrassment to the city, with criminal activities being tolerated, animals being treated with callous or being accidentally "lost," and most of them being killed. We do have a large group of charities and rescue groups that try to make up for the irresponsiblity that the city officials and some of our citizens demonstrate.

And no one here has mentioned that Memphis typically rates as #2 or #3 in the list of most crime ridden cities in the nation in some popular magazines. I live in Midtown which is a wonderful little bubble of a neighborhood surrounded by crime ridden areas. It really is one of the good things in Memphis. I don't feel extremely unsafe in midtown, so I assume that the crime is more rampant in the extremely poor neighborhoods. That doesn't make it any more appealing. And everyone on my block drove their children clear across town to White Station School, because the schools all around us are mind blowingly bad.

My summary is this: If you can locate in an area around Memphis where you can send your child to one of the better schools in the area, whether a suburban school, White Station are one of the very few good public schools, or a decent charter school if there is one, and if you can tolerate a large portion of the work force being undereducated and sometimes underinterested in work, and if you can stay away from the higher crime areas, then you might just be charmed by the slow pace, moderate climate and friendly attitude. But don't expect Memphis to be a city that is using its resources wisely or planning well for its future. Memphis has plenty of potential, but just can't seem to find the leadership or citizens to take it to the next level and make it into the great city that it has the potential to be. Maybe you could become one of the people that make a difference here!

P.S. I used to live in the L.A. area in the 80s, and the city schools there were just as bad, and some of the worst in the nation in my opinion. Everyone who could sent their child to a private school. So unless they've changed, I doubt either school system has many positives to shout about. L.A. had its negative and positives, too.
1 vote
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Ann Maree Ma…, , Collierville, TN
Wed Oct 8, 2008
I was raised in the Memphis area, went to three area schools, and also lived in northwest Mississippi, as well. After spending 35 years in Dallas, I moved back here in 1997, because I have family here, and haven't regretted it at all.

From someone who enjoyed nearly every aspect of life in and around Dallas/Fort Worth, there is absolutely more to do within a 50 mile radius here than in Dallas! Don't believe it? Like to gamble and enjoy Las Vegas quality shows? Tunica is 30 miles away. Love the Blues, Rock N Roll and music in general? Nashville can't hold a candle to the Memphis area insofar as music history is concerned. We have a world-class zoo. We have art museums, theater, and many recreational and entertainment options.

Memphis has consistently ranked in the top 50 healthiest economies in the country out of nearly 400 metro areas (ranked #37 recently by Policom Corp., an independent economic research firm). Jobs are good here, quality of life is good, very high quality education facilities, including public and private. Memphis is ranked near the top of any U.S. city for its distribution facilities and is truly an outstanding port city as well. Dallas is the largest city in the world not on a major waterway! Dallas is also a distribution type economy, but they lack one of the best means to deliver goods and services -- a major water way. Memphis has the mighty Mississippi and goods are transported cheaply and efficiently, plus an international distribution facility in its airport -- ever here of FedEx?

Do we have our share of warts? Of course! But, when have you heard we nearly got wiped out here by wild fires? Mud slides? Earthquakes? That's all in California! And, we have something that is quickly running out in the West: W A T E R!!! So our economy overall is stable and diversified and heavy in the distribution of goods and services.

Some of our warts here are just like those in other cities. But, consider this: housing is continually considered to be under-valued here by about 17% according to National City Corp, which does extensive research on the subject. We have never had the "hockey-stick" type of highs and lows in our market. There are differences in each of the communities and neighborhoods within the Memphis Metro area. Depending on what you are looking for though, there literally is something for everyone, and if you have a good real estate agent, you can come out just fine in nearly any commuity or suburb. You can't buy something this year and expect 20% appreciation in a year or two, but then, when the market turns down, we don't fall as far as the high-flyer markets like Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona.

The weather really isn't that humid, and I can tell you, after living in Dallas for 35 years, it is never as hot here as Dallas in the summer! We occasionally get up to the mid-90s and even hit 100 now and then, but it doesn't stay there, and the same humidity that may be uncomfortable during the day, cools things off nicely at night. In Dallas, I don't care whether it's a dry heat or not, when it's 100 degrees outside, it's hot!

If I haven't mentioned it, I'm a real estate broker. I know this market, and if you are considering a move to the Memphis area, I will be glad to meet with you, counsel with you, give you an overview and give you the pluses and minuses. Just don't make your decision on the basis of some of the remarks I've read posted here that are from idiots who would be unhappy in the Garden of Eden! Like the three blind men and the elephant: your perception of what the elephant looks like will depend on which part you touch!

Ann Maree Matthews
Crye-Leike, Realtors
Vice President / Broker
1 vote
Rocknsoul, Home Seller, Memphis, TN
Wed Apr 9, 2008
Please don't listen to the naysayers below. We moved here from Los Angeles, where I was born & raised (after 2 years in Nashville) 6 years ago, and I have no desire to live anywhere else but here. In L.A., I lived within a half hour of the beach, mountains, Disneyland, Hollywood, and downtown. May I repeat...I LOVE it here. I have 3 kids who attend a county school, but the city schools in some areas are fantastic, too. Cordova High School was in Newsweek's top 1200 in the nation. Private school is not even an option for us--not because of the cost, but because with so many good schools, it's a waste of money.

People who complain about the crime have either been personally affected by it (and I feel for them), or they have never lived in another big city. In many ways, Memphis is a big city that acts like a small town, so bad news travels fast. ANYTHING that happens, you hear about it on the news.

We attend a church where over 30% of the congregants have moved here from other places around the country in the past few years, and only a few would like to go back where they came from.

Memphis is a great place to live & raise children. If everyone else in the country wants to pay too much for their housing, more power to them. I'll just be here enjoying my paid-off home. :)
1 vote
Ray, , North Carolina
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Don't move into the city limits. Move to a nearby area like Collierville, Cordova or Germantown. Beware of the Hickory Hill area and Whitehaven. My in-laws unfortunately still live in Memphis and my parents moved away, thank God! Visiting the city will not give you enough time to get the real flavor of the city. I can't say what I really think on this forum, but find a local in the city who's willing to talk and you'll get an earful. It's great to visit, but I will never live there again.
1 vote
Shelia R. Ha…, , Springfield, IL
Fri Dec 7, 2012

I was wondering if anyone can give me some up-to-date information on moving to Memphis, TN. I always wanted to move to the south, but never was quiet was ready. I would like to know where is some nice areas to live in Memphis, TN ? I'm a single black African American with no kids and starting my life over. Here is my list of questions that I hope someone can answer them:
1. Is there plenty of jobs available?
2. Is it hard to make new friends in the south?
3. Hows is the west, south, and east side of town like?
4. What are some things a single person can get into?

I would like to here from positive people. Like to keep it POSITIVE!....
0 votes
Karen Taylor, Agent, Knoxville, TN
Tue Jul 8, 2008
I moved from California 18 years ago and have NEVER regretted it. Our family’s quality of life is so much better here in the south. Here we can afford a really nice home in what we consider a wonderful area, Collierville. In fact, Collierville High School was picked as one of the top 1400 schools by Newsweek Magazine May 2008. I'm not knocking California in fact I think it's a great place to visit but would not want to return to live. I'm a realtor and I specialize in relocation clients and I would say 99% of my relocation clients have been happy with their move. Of course there are pro's and con's to every city and it sure seems like there is crime everywhere now, but what it boils down to is what is important to your family.

Hope this helps, and if you do decide to investigate Memphis or Desoto Counties feel free to call or email me anytime!

Karen A. Taylor
ERA Chamberwood Realty
0 votes
Dorothy, Both Buyer And Seller, Memphis, TN
Fri Jul 4, 2008
Listen to the naysayers - WE KNOW! The other people who will talk up Memphis simply want you to be miserable - like them! I am serious! I am from Memphis, born and raised in a lovely Midtown area - upper class - in 1964, and moved to Southern California in 1990. I have lived there ever since. Only back in Mtown to sell my childhood home and settle the estate of my late beloved Mother with my elder Sister. Memphis is crime-ridden, depressing, and very backward in every way. It was lovely to grow up here - but it's gone to hell in a handbasket fast, unfortunately. You don't even feel safe anywhere - really! And everyone here will try to tell you "Germantown is safe!" LOL nope, there were a record 5 - yes five - home invasion robberies there in one day very recently - like a couple of months ago! So forget about any safe areas - there truly aren't any. Put your money into a better, safer place for your life. The schools SUCK TOO. My daughter attended a memphis school and was bullied incessantly by two girls - the guidance counselor there told my daughter (to my face and to hers) in her office that "we are raising a generation of weenies" and that she should stand up for herself. I told the school board, but I know they didn't do a thing about it. I immediately removed her from the school and sent her back to a wonderful California school with her Dad . I can't wait to get back to California. I will kiss the ground.
0 votes
Suck my dick Memphis is pretty like your girls puci
Flag Tue Jul 11, 2017
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Jolynna McCu…, Agent, Oakland, TN
Sat Mar 22, 2008

I live and work in Collierville and I love this town! The people are friendly, the schools are great, and homes are affordable. There is an abundance of great restaurants, shopping and a real sense of community. I will be more than happy to email you information about this great little town and answer any specific questions you may have. jolynnamccune@yahoo.com
0 votes
Neal Masters, Agent, Atoka, TN
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Hi Sam,
I noticed you are looking for community information about the Memphis area and that you are currently in Virginia beach. Here is a website that you can search the nation for community/demographic information by state, city, zip codes etc. You can also check out the cost of living comparison calculator to see if you will save money or spend more in different areas of the country:
0 votes
Joe Spake, , Memphis, TN
Wed Nov 21, 2007
Wow, so much negativity about my town! Memphis is a hip and comfortable place to live if you aren't hiding in the suburbs and bedroom communities that contribute to our urban sprawl. The city has lots to offer, educationally, culturally and musically. The restaurants in town (the suburbs mostly have chain places) are eclectic and excellent. Great entertainment is easily found in the clubs. Our Downtown, right on the banks of the Mississippi river has emerged as an urban residential, entertainment and business center. Did I mention we have the best barbecue in the world?
Web Reference:  http://www.spake.com
0 votes
Tim Carlton, , Memphis, TN
Sat Oct 27, 2007
I am a relocation specialist for the Shelby Co. communities. The Memphis area as a whole, is fantastic, But the perceptions of its citizens are a little skewed. Memphis has a long and rich history. (both good and bad). Music, Mississippi Delta, civil rights, ect. The politics of the area are divided between the city of Memphis and those communities that exist within the county. (Bartlett, Germantown, Collierville, Arlinton, Lakeland, ect. The crime data that is available includes the entire Memphis area, which includes West Memphis (AK), The city, The county, and parts of MS. It is interesting to note that the downtown Memphis police district has 1 of the lowest reports of violent crime in the area.
I find that most families communities are only as large as thier school, work, Home Depot, and church.
Tennessee rates 46th in the antion in schools. The county schools rate better then the ones in the city, but both the city and county schools are some of the best in the state.
In short, Memphis is a diverse and cultured city full of parks, greenways, music and opportunity. It has a rich history that is not fully appreciated by its residents. Feel free to contact me for a relocation package that includes information about Memphis and all of its surrounding communities. homes@timcarlton.com
Web Reference:  http://www.timcarlton.net
0 votes
Although your post sounds sincere enough, reading all of the post here I have to wonder how much of it is job security? From what is in the news, ratings on the net from reputable sources and hearing so much negativity not even living in the state yet, I wonder what I'd be getting myself into. I have a wife and child just starting her first year in a associates college. I wonder if there is a safe and positive 2 year for her with a marching band. We are Caucasian, and in our low 50's hoping to find a retirement spot with affordable housing (175-225TurnKey), things to do and a SAFE environment. Will be working in Olive Branch but prefer the no income tax no vehicle tax of TN
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James, Home Buyer, Cordova, AK
Tue Oct 23, 2007
i just recently moved here, and I live in Cordova and I'm in Memphis alot GLAD I live in Cordova.
0 votes
Christie, Home Buyer, Collierville, TN
Sun Sep 30, 2007
I happen to live in Collierville - which is a suburb of Memphis. THis is a great place to live!! I can't believe the negative responses that have been sent in. I have 4 children and am very happy here. There is a lot of big city stuff w/o the big city. We have an NBA team, an excellent zoo, a great downtown area and much more. I grew up in Atlanta so I feel like I am capable of truly answering this question. The school situation here is that the county public schools are good but lots of people here still choose private. The crime here isn't any different from any other city. I feel just as safe here as I do in most cities we visit! Memphis is a great place to live and it is the perfect size - not too big, not too small!
0 votes
Joe, , Florida
Sun Sep 30, 2007
Memphis is a dump. The people are from another world. It is not the SOUTH, and I was told that by a person from there. I moved there for job reasons and I was warned. If you have to move there stay in Germantown or Collierville. Keep the wife and kids out of the city of Memphis. Home prices are cheap there for a reason, people want out....
Good luck.. Hope you don't learn the hard way like so many people I know.
0 votes
Florida House, Both Buyer And Seller, Texas
Sun Sep 30, 2007
Hi, for those considering Memphis all I can really say in short is DO NOT. I was raised in Memphis and have just moved from there 1year ago. My husband and I felt constant pressure and challenges due to crime and the schools. We have 4 children, tried all outlets...county schools ,private, even homeschooled. You found yourself constantly looking over your shoulder, on pins and needles every time your children went out to play, etc. We lived in a new subdivision where housing ran 190,000-260,000 and the county schools were rated some of the best, but you still could never really relax and feel safe. Not to mention there is not alot to do either. The places some of the other answers posted are one timers only and you have to know the best day and time to go due to saftey issues. My children have said they never want to go back (ages 14,12,8.6) even though all our family is still there. They are now thinking on uprooting and leaving too.
0 votes
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Wed Sep 5, 2007
Oops, my email is carriecrowell@kw.com
0 votes
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