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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Memphis in 2024

Thinking about moving to Memphis? Bluff City is filled with budget-friendly housing options, safe communities, and a thriving job market, making Memphis one of the best affordable cities to call home. Check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Memphis!


large, white brick neocolonia home in the Cordova neighborhood in Memphis. Photo by Instagram user @giniawilliams

Photo via @giniawilliams

  • Home Price: $143,825 median purchase price; $1,025 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 77% of Memphis neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for a safe Memphis neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Located 30 minutes east of Downtown Memphis, Cordova is a great option! Even though housing prices are on the higher side, they’re still below the national average. Memphis residents can find large Ranches, Neocolonial, and Federal-style houses on good-sized lots, making this neighborhood a desirable option. As a family-friendly neighborhood, Cordova offers close proximity to schools like Cordova Middle School and Cordova High School. But what families really love about living in this neighborhood is access to public green space and the programming at Bert Ferguson Park & Community Center!

Things to Do in Cordova

Shop the latest fashion trends, see a movie, or grab a bite to eat at Wolfchase Galleria, the largest indoor shopping center in Memphis. Go roller skating with friends and family at Cordova Skating Center. Check out a new book, attend Storytime with your kids, or join a book club at the Cordova Library. Order Memphis BBQ favorites such as the Pork Shoulder + Beef Brisket Combo or the Smoked Pulled Chicken Dinner at One & Only BBQ. Try Crispy Tofu, Pho Bo Vien, or Chicken Vermicelli at Green Bamboo Noodle House. Savor traditional Mexican dishes such as Blackened Fish Tacos, Burritos Verdes, or Carne Asada at My Favorite Place. Fill up on the Chili Cheese Fries or Chicken Philly, and have a Funnel Cake or Pink Lemonade Snow Cone for dessert at Jerry’s Snow Cones.

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East Memphis

  • Home Price: $133,731 median purchase price; $775 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 54% of Memphis neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the largest neighborhoods in the city, East Memphis brings the best of suburban living and urban amenities together! Home to the University of Memphis, East Memphis is one of the best places for college students. Slightly removed from the city center, singles and young professionals will like living in this neighborhood for its quick access to the Memphis metro. And residents of all ages will find a variety of affordable housing options ranging from apartments and trendy townhomes to Craftsman bungalows!

Things to Do in East Memphis

Shop handmade goods for men, women, and kids at City & State, a retail and craft coffee store. Relax by the lake, play a game of tennis at the Leftwich Tennis Center, or visit the Memphis Botanic Garden at Audubon Park. Gaze at the stars at the Planetarium, tour the Pink Palace Mansion, or marvel at dinosaur skeletons at the Memphis Museum of Science & History. Let the kids dig for dinosaurs, stock the shelves at the grocery store, or learn about the Mississippi River at The Children’s Museum of Memphis. Dig into Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, Biscuits & Gravy, or the San Diegan Open Face Omelet paired with Cafe Au Lait at nationally-acclaimed breakfast diner Brother Juniper’s. Order French-Creole dishes like a bowl of Charred Sweet Corn & Jalapeno, Crab Au Gratin, or a Smoked Pork Loin Sandwich at Iris. Grab a seat on the patio and devour homestyle eats like Chicken Tenders, Mushroom Swiss Sliders, or the Club Sandwich at Patrick’s. Or for classic Italian dishes with a southern flair, order Chicken & Dumplings, Collards + Hominy, or a Red Eye Pizza at Hog & Hominy.

Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale

brick ranch-style home in Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale neighborhood in Memphis, TN. Photo by Instagram user @alancrenshaw1

Photo via @alancrenshaw1

  • Home Price: $90,668 median purchase price; $1,048 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Memphis neighborhoods
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families

Looking for a safe neighborhood that won’t break the bank? Check out Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale! Close to the Tennessee-Mississippi state line, this southern Memphis neighborhood is a bit removed from the city center, making it a quiet place to live. This affordable area offers a variety of housing styles ranging from apartments and townhomes to Colonial and American Foursquare homes. And with the Memphis International Airport about 15 minutes away, Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale is a great spot for frequent travelers!

Things to Do in Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale

Watch the kids ride the carousel or go shopping at Hickory Ridge Mall. Play 18 holes or learn how to perfect your swing with golf lessons at The Links at Fox Meadows. Play a game of tennis, swim laps in the indoor pool, or enjoy a picnic with the family at Hickory Hill Park & Community Center. Play a game of football or basketball at Arthur Halle Stadium, or let the kids burn some energy on the playground at Flowering Peach Park. Try Fried Green Tomatoes, a Hand-Breaded Shrimp Po-Boy, or a Grilled Country Catfish Fillet paired with Fried Okra from A&J’s Catfish Station Memphis. Stop by Chicken Coop—known for having the best hot wings in the Memphis area—to snack on Honey Hot or Mango Habanero Wings. Savor a Meat Lover Pizza or Philly Steak Sub from East Memphis Pizza & Subs. Experience fine dining in Memphis by ordering Rack of Lamb, Shrimp & Grits, or a Ribeye at Prive.


  • Home Price: $96,608 median purchase price; $767 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 23% of Memphis neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Midtown in Central Memphis is one of the best neighborhoods in Memphis for singles and young professionals. Located just east of Downtown Memphis, this artsy neighborhood is full of nightlife and restaurants, making it a great option for those who want to live, work, and play close to the city center. This urban area also has plenty of room for outdoor recreation thanks to Overton Park, a 342-acre community space. Midtown housing options range from apartments to Craftsman-style bungalows. The neighborhood is also a prime spot for college students pursuing an education at Rhodes College, as well as healthcare professionals studying or working in the Memphis Medical District.

Things to Do in Midtown

See cheetahs and red pandas, walk through the aquarium, attend a sea lion show, and view over 4,500 other animals at the Memphis Zoo. Tour Sun Studio to see where Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley recorded their albums. Attend professional plays like Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and Jersey Boys at local Playhouse on the Square. Gather a group for karaoke, attend trivia night, or catch incredible drag shows at LGBTQ-friendly Dru’s Bar. Listen to live music while enjoying Jambalaya Pasta, Shrimp and Grits, or a Griddle Burger at Lafayette’s Music Room. Start your morning with a Dancing Cappuccino, Grit Bowl, or Brioche French Toast from Cafe Eclectic. Grab a Cup of Crawfish Etouffee, a Fried Gulf Oyster Poboy, or Creole Ratatouille with Rice at Cajun-Creole spot The Second Line. Get your fix of Latin-American cuisine at Babalu with a Roasted Chicken Taco or Shrimp & Chorizo Skillet paired with a Spicy Guava Rita.

River Oaks-Kirby-Balmoral

  • Home Price: $169,116 median purchase price; $813 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of Memphis neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Right off I-240, River Oaks-Kirby-Balmoral offers easy access to the Memphis metro but is far enough from the busy city center to give residents a true suburban feel. Households of all sizes can find housing options ranging from apartments to large Colonial-style homes. Professionals working in the healthcare industry will appreciate living close to Saint Francis Hospital, and families looking for highly-rated private schools in Memphis can take advantage of opportunities at Memphis University School and Westminster Academy. Locals also appreciate having easy access to community events like the Memphis Bacon & Bourbon Festival at the FedEx Event Center!

Things to Do in River Oaks-Kirby-Balmoral

Go horseback riding, ride your bike along the trails, or spend a day out on the lakes at Shelby Farms Park—one of the largest urban parks in the U.S.! Learn how to rock climb, take a strength and conditioning class, or relax with a yoga class at High Point Climbing and Fitness. Walk the hiking trails while admiring native plants and trees or learn about local wildlife at Lichterman Nature Center. Play a game of soccer at Walter May Park, or sign the whole family up for tennis at Wolbrecht Tennis Center. Grab brunch favorites, from French Toast to Biscuits & Gravy at Amerigo. Stop for Salmon BLT, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, or a Tenderloin French Dip at River Oaks Restaurant. Try dishes like Edamame, Chicken Tempura Udon, or a Philadelphia Roll at Red Koi Japanese Cuisine. Or indulge in a Banana Nutella Cream Pop or a Cranberry Lemonade Fruit Pop at Mempops.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.