March 28, 2021

Thinking of moving from Illinois to Nashville?

 If so, you most certainly aren’t the only one!  The overall population of Illinois declined for the sixth consecutive year.

My wife, who is a jewelry designer, had a small retail store in Nashville that was next to a very popular tourist destination. 

When I was there,  I enjoyed being able to talk with many of our visitors. I would always chat with them and ask them where they were from. I loved hearing their stories & their adventures in Nashville.

Whenever I met someone from Illinois, I asked them when were they leaving.  They would answer with when they were leaving Nashville…

I would pause and then say I meant, when are they leaving Illinois.  Easily, 9 out of 10 said they were either thinking about it, planning on it or in the process. That is a whole lot of people folks!

Little did I know that my impromptu marketing research turned out to be a very realistic picture of what is actually happening.  People are leaving Illinois in droves. Some even go so far as to call it an exodus.

Why are people moving out of Illinois?

Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune:

It apologizes for the ‘Illinois Exodus’.  The author must be from the Land of Lincoln, but I imagine she has been to Nashville a few times and/or has some former Illinois friends that have moved here.

She mentions the current high tax rates and the possible changing of the states tax structure with a new Governor.  

Then there is this article from Feb. 14, 2020.  Sure enough, the new Governor is proposing the Illinois Fair Tax.   It makes the argument that the new proposal would lead to more people leaving the state.

Ok, so Illinois is one of the most taxed states in the country.  What does that have to do with a real estate blog.  Mainly, property taxes and how they are much cheaper here in Tennessee.

Other noteworthy items when deciding to leave Illinois for Tennessee:


  1. Weather

         Illinois – COLD with some hot summer months.

         Tennessee – NOT COLD with many hot summer months. 

 It does snow in TN…for a day or so and then it melts.  It doesn’t really snow enough to shovel, just scrape or sometimes sweep.

  1. No State Income Tax

You can do the math on that one based on your pay stub. It is a biggie.  And one that we have certainly enjoyed since we relocated from California 7 years ago.  All of that money that we would have paid out in state tax is now in our retirement fund.  A pretty motivating factor if I do say so myself.

  1. Roads

If you live in Illinois, then there really is no need for explanation.  I’m from Michigan and I know about bad roads. Potholes that you can lose you car into are pretty common. 

  1. Southern Hospitality

We have all heard about it but when you live here, it actually is a real thing.  People here hold doors for you. They say please, thank you and yes ma'am and no sir. Neighbors help neighbors. And neighbors actually know each other, which can be quite shocking to those of you from other states.

  1. Cost of Living

Nashville has on average a 22% lower cost of living than Chicago. Add into that #2 above- No state income tax and you may be shocked at the money you can save every year to secure your future or save for your kids college fund. For many this is hugely substatial.


How to make moving from Illinois easier?

With all that said the Illinois exodus is real and according to some it is happening, like it or not.  There are lots of people stepping in and are helping each other with the process. 

I found multiple Facebook pages about leaving Illinois.  Escaping Illinois, Illinois Exodus & Angry Illinoisan to name a few.   One has a website as well, that includes resource, business directory and merchandise pages.  Yep, you can buy a t-shirt that says Escaping Illinois and have it shipped to you new address in another state.  This brings  the “all I got was this lousy t-shirt” saying to an all new level. 

On the flip side I couldn’t find a single FB page that was Pro-Illinois.  

 I’m not saying that Illinois and Chicago aren’t great places to live.  I am saying that when every dollar we make/have counts more now than ever.  Moving from Chicago or Illinois to Tennessee is something to consider. As we get older we need to think about the dollars and cents of everything.

 I’m not writing this based on opinion only.  It is coming from a point of reference very similar to that of wanting to leave Illinois.  We moved to Franklin, TN from Southern California and have never looked back.  While discussing our move the conversation usually came back to finances.  Since we moved the CA nonsense has only gotten worse, which makes the move even more satisfying.

Ok, one last sign that it may be time to move.  Even TV shows are having characters leave Chicago.  In the latest episodes of Shameless the mother of one of the characters moves to Louisville.

 Hurry! Get it while you can before TN fills up.

 If you are reading this and shaking your head in agreement, then please call me and let’s discuss your move from Illinois/Chicago to Nashville.

I would be grateful for the opportunity to help you find a home here in the Nashville/Franklin area.

Ryan Charlick
Ryan Charlick

Franklin TN Realtor | Call me to get started finding your dream home! | 714-345-1255

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