Lebanon, TN, is hot right now. The truth of the matter is that it has been for the past few years. The most recent Census data showed a 3.4% increase in the population growth rate in 2017. We sat down with Keller Williams realtor, Mandy Panozzo-Clay, who specializes in helping clients in Wilson County sell and buy homes, to see why people are gravitating towards Lebanon.

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She has lived in Lebanon since 2006 and said the growth she has experienced in that time is nothing short of amazing. As a resident, she is shocked; as a real estate agent, she isn’t. For starters, the housing market features more affordable homes than many cities neighboring the Nashville metropolitan area provide. You can get a home here in the low to mid 200K range.

“I’ve been directing a lot of people out to Lebanon who want to be in Wilson County and have Wilson County schools because there are still affordable homes in Lebanon,” she said.

When a home hits the market in Lebanon, however, it could get snatched up quickly. Because of this, Mandy suggests getting your affairs in order (i.e. applying to be pre-approved for a mortgage) and driving around to gain familiarity with the housing market. And, aside from the great home prices, Mandy believes housing affordability is just a drop of what Lebanon has to offer.

Here are 12 surprising facts about Lebanon, TN, that might spark your interest in the city:

1. It’s home to a 65-year-old family-owned diner.

The Snow White Drive-In (conveniently located just across the street from our USCCU branch) has served hand-pulled barbeque and thick milkshakes in Wilson County since 1953. Enjoy a Friday Night Cruise-In with friends and family, or stop by for a traditional, Southern meat-and-three meal for lunch or dinner any day of the week except Sunday.

2. Commuting is almost a breeze!

Lebanon is 23 miles from Nashville, but Mandy said the commute isn’t bad, especially in comparison to cities of a comparable distance away from downtown. While it’s a straight shot down I-40, there are also alternate routes like Lebanon Road and I-840.

Want to live in Lebanon? Get pre-approved for a mortgage and know your budget

3. Ride the train into work!

Don’t feel like logging miles in your car every workday? Hop on the Music City Star! Lebanon residents can commute to Nashville by train for as low as $2.00 for a single ride to locations including the Nashville riverfront, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Donelson, and more. Monthly passes and tickets good for 10 rides are also available.

4. Job opportunity is off the charts.

If you want to find work closer to home, there are several viable options. Wilson County is the location of Cracker Barrel headquarters, Amazon Fulfillment Services, Nissan Parts Redistribution Center & Export Center, Lifeway Christian Resources trade publications distribution, Permobil, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC., and many more.

5. Watch a race (or take the wheel) at the Nashville SuperSpeedway

Not to be confused with the Nashville Speedway at the Nashville fairgrounds, the Nashville SuperSpeedway is a place where racing enthusiasts can actually get behind the wheel of a stock car, dirt race car, dragster or racing Camaro, an open wheel Formula car, or an exotic super car. Visit the 147-acre facility to “Race with Rusty.”

6. The local schools score in the top 20 percent.

There are 17 schools located throughout Lebanon. According to Zillow, the top-rated school is Sam Houston Elementary School, with 3 other elementary schools and 2 middle schools located in the city. Of Nashville Metro Area high schools, Lebanon High School ranks #33 in U.S. News reports and is among the top 20% of public schools in Tennessee.

7. Attend the award-winning Wilson County Fair every summer.

The Wilson County Fair occurs annually in mid to late August. Earlier this year, the fair won the Premier Fair Award at the Tennessee Association of Fairs. Carnival Warehouse placed the event at #30 on its list of the Top 50 Fairs across the nation and midway ride-producer, Reithoffer Shows, ranked it #5 nationally. Fair goers are able to catch music at 9 different stages across the fairgrounds, participate in and watch animal shows, food competitions like the cornbread challenge and ice cream freeze off, and explore a variety of other activities.

8. Trails are just minutes away!

Cedars of Lebanon State Park is nestled right inside of Wilson County, and offers 1,139-acres of cedar forests and glades. The park is only expanding too. In July 2019, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture relinquished an amount of state forest land that will double the size of Cedars of Lebanon State Park. As a Lebanon resident, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city within minutes. Choose from 117 campsites or 30 tent sites and go on an expedition through the 8 miles of hiking trails that meander through the park. For a more suburban escape, check out Don Fox Community Park. It has a 2.5-mile walking and jogging track, 60-foot wading pool, playgrounds, and pavilions that can be reserved for parties and gatherings.

9. It has a diverse blend of beautiful land and suburbs.

Mandy said that Lebanon is one of the last remaining areas near Nashville where people can find larger swatches of property at a reasonable price point. If you aren’t looking for a more urban lifestyle, new development is popping up every day in Lebanon, such as the incoming River Oaks single family homesites on the south side of Highway 70. Some of the best communities, in Mandy’s opinion, are Spence Creek and StoneBridge. Amenities include, but are not limited to playgrounds, clubhouses, and pools.

10. It’s a college town with a small town feel.

Just 3.5 miles away from the USCCU Lebanon branch is Cumberland University, a private college that was founded in 1842. The average student population is 1,550 with enrollment growing each year. Enrollment has increased by 27% since 2017. Cumberland University boasts an active student life with 55 student organizations and 21 men’s and women’s athletic teams.

11. There’s a lifestyle grocery store on Main Street.

Lebanon is a tight-knit community that aims to support local businesses. A glaring sign of that commitment is Demeter’s Common, a lifestyle grocery store which provides a space for small and local growers and artisans to sell their goods. The best part? It’s right in downtown Lebanon!

12. Take flight at Extreme Thrill Rides

Ever wanted to do a Hammerhead or a Cuban 8 strapped into the seat of an Extra 300 Aircraft? In Lebanon, you have nearly immediate access to the experience. Extreme Thrill Ride operates from the Lebanon Municipal Airport and takes guests on a variety of aerobatic plane rides, even allowing them to control the aircraft.

Lebanon is not only an affordable place to live, but it’s also a great place to play and work. It has something for everybody, whether you are a country idler or always on-the-go suburbanite. If you’re in the market for a new home, get pre-approved for a mortgage through USCCU and consider carving your spot in Lebanon, TN.