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VOL. 36 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 9, 2012

A Bolder Breed of Realtor

Those who braved the housing crisis are now enjoying the rewards

Kenny Silva was ready for a change. A guitarist, he had moved to Nashville after music school in Boston to live life on the road. But that once-appealing lifestyle quickly began to lose its luster somewhere along the highway between Nashville and Texas.

Brentwood baby boomers looking for smaller cribs

Nobody wants to rain on the recent real estate parade that’s been marching to the beat of increased sales, continued all-time low interest rates and an improved economy. However, despite ‘for sale’ signs coming down on expensive homes in Brentwood, the housing market outlook cannot be explained in black and white terminology.

Midstate's hottest markets found near auto assembly plants

If you want to know where houses are being bought and sold the fastest in Middle Tennessee, take a look at the cars on the road around you.

New Hillsboro Village development to adhere to current zoning, begin in 2013

H.G. Hill Realty Company has created a tentative timeline for the redevelopment of a section of Hillsboro Village at 21st Avenue South and Acklen Avenue, estimating the design will be ready for review by the Metro Design Review Committee by late this summer.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: North at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 43%


Happy Birthday, President Jackson! President Andrew Jackson’s 245th birthday is celebrated at The Hermitage. A ceremony honoring the President and general will take place at 10 a.m. at Jackson’s tomb featuring Gov. Bill Haslam as keynote speaker. The ceremony will include the Tennessee Army National Guard Color Guard, music, speakers, and the laying of a wreath on General Jackson’s tomb sent by the President of the United States. Additional educational activities, living history demonstrations, and other activities will follow throughout the day. Public admission is half price on Jackson’s birthday. Information: theheremitage.com.

more events »


Upward trend shows better times ahead

Home sales seems to be one of the most popular topics anywhere these days – from cocktail parties to family meetings and from the water cooler to the media. If you join the dialogue, you are likely to find yourself talking about everything from increasing market activity to short sales and foreclosures.


Renting becomes less attractive

The rent-versus-own debate has recently resurfaced in residential real estate. Such arguments had been dormant from 1992 though 2007 as the real estate market in this area experienced its longest term of continued gains. Over that period, prices increased from 3 percent to 5 percent per year.


Village’s Copeland is Realtor of the Year

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors has named Brian Copeland of Village Real Estate Services the 2011 Realtor of the Year, an award given annually to the GNAR Realtor member who has made the most significant contribution to their clients, to the real estate profession and to the community.


Rates down, money up around the globe

Money Money Money Money To address declines in economic activity and stimulate marketplace liquidity, central banks across the globe have taken rates down and the quantity of money up. In fact, the leading global central bank balance sheets are approaching an unprecedented $9 trillion, or nearly 15 percent of global GDP.


Stunt marketing helps businesses break free of promotional noise

With the explosion of social media, the sheer volume of marketing messaging vying for the attention of your customers is astounding. In fact, buying behaviors have fundamentally changed as a result.


Strange Thing About Tough Times

It was April 2011, the force of the storm was awesome, and the devastation was appalling. Everything in the path of the powerful twisting funnel of wind was almost completely destroyed.


Reader faults columnist for Rosenfelt addiction

I can’t stop reading Lio. Even though it’s the unfunniest funny ever. Today, Lio sees the newspaper boy’s satchel abandoned on the sidewalk. In panel two, Lio is visibly shocked, looking at something we can’t see. Panel three shows Lio in the vet’s waiting room with a dragon, whose bloated shape suggests that he’s eaten the newspaper boy.


Orange-cranberry scones good any time

Every Sunday evening, before our small group Bible study, we eat. Of course we do; we’re Baptists! That’s one of the things we are known to do.


Stocks rise, and Dow aims for 7th gain in a row

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks climbed Thursday afternoon after spending the morning barely in the green. The Standard & Poor's 500 index crossed 1,400 for the first time since June 2008, and the Dow Jones industrial average was on track to close higher for a seventh straight day.

Average US rate on 30-year loan rises to 3.92 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate in the U.S. on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered near historic lows this week, making home-buying and refinancing more attractive to those who can qualify.

Apple stock tops $600 day before new iPad release

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc.'s stock touched $600 for the first time, the day before the company's latest iPad goes on sale.

Fewer seek unemployment aid, matching 4-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, adding to signs that the job market is strengthening.

Some states saw spike in foreclosures in February

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Foreclosure activity surged last month across about half of the nation's states, as banks tackled a backlog of homes with mortgages that had gone unpaid yet remained in limbo due to delays stemming from foreclosure-abuse claims.

Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury debt rose to a record high in January. China, the largest buyer of Treasury debt, increased its holdings for the first time in six months.

Oil flat after US denies reports on reserves

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices were barely changed Thursday after the White House said reports that the U.S. and Britain had agreed to release oil from government-controlled emergency reserves were inaccurate.

More expensive gas pushes up US wholesale prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher gas costs drove U.S. wholesale prices up last month. But excluding the big jump in gas, inflation was mostly tame.


Occupy Nashville protester challenge new state law

NASHVILLE (AP) - Occupy Nashville protesters are challenging a new law meant to evict them from their camp near the state Capitol.

House sponsor likes lottery scholarship amendment

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House sponsor of a proposal that seeks to cut some students' lottery scholarships in half said Wednesday that he supports an amendment that would make such a move contingent on lottery revenues.

House panel advances effort to repeal voter ID law

NASHVILLE (AP) - A House panel on Wednesday advanced a Democratic proposal to repeal Tennessee's new voter ID law, though Republican leaders and state election officials expressed confidence that the measure soon will meet its demise.

Bill to ban truck stops near neighborhoods fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to ban truck stops within a half-mile of neighborhoods in Nashville and Memphis has failed.


Apollo will sell 10M shares of Noranda Aluminum

FRANKLIN (AP) - Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. said Wednesday that Apollo Management plans to sell at least 10 million shares of Noranda stock, relinquishing majority control of the company.


Tennesssee senators question IRS over tea party

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker are among 12 Republican senators who are questioning whether the Obama administration is using the Internal Revenue Service to target tea party-related nonprofit organizations.


Bernanke says community banks strengthening

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. community banks are gaining strength even though the economy is improving only moderately, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

Stocks mostly lower on Wall Street; Dow gains 16

Stocks ended pretty much where they started Wednesday on Wall Street, a day after the market had its biggest gain of the year.

Oil falls to near $106 after US crude supply jump

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell to near $106 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report showed a jump in U.S. crude supplies, a sign demand remains sluggish.

Saudi oil chief pledges to offset shortfalls

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Saudi Arabia's top oil official said Wednesday his country and other oil exporters are ready to offset any shortfalls in supply, as fears of a showdown with Iran over its nuclear program help drive prices higher.

Exec: Goldman officials called clients 'muppets'

NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs, arguably the most storied investment bank on Wall Street, has been compared to a money-sucking vampire squid and called the evil empire of finance. On Wednesday it got an entirely different kind of black eye — delivered by one of its own.

FTC targets car dealers for misleading ads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Beware of car dealer ads that promise to pay off the loan on your trade-in.

Zynga holders plan to sell up to $400M in stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Zynga Inc. says shareholders may sell up to $400 million in stock through a public offering, three months after the online game maker went public, to try to avoid a drop in its stock price.

Executive pleads guilty in contracting fraud case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former executive on Tuesday admitted his role in a $28 million bribery scheme involving the awarding of government contracts and is cooperating with prosecutors in their investigation.

Last entry for Encyclopaedia Britannica book form

CHICAGO (AP) — Hours after Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. announced it will stop publishing print editions of its flagship encyclopedia for the first time in more than 200 years, someone among the editing minions of free online rival Wikipedia made an irony-free note of that fact.

AT&T seeks to settle — quietly — with iPhone user

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T is offering to discuss a settlement to an iPhone user who won a small-claims case that alleged the company was slowing down his "unlimited" data service.


Senate ends standoff over judges, business bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders are ending their standoff over President Barack Obama's judicial nominations and are moving ahead on a small-business bill.

Lawmakers debate pay cutoff for budget gridlock

WASHINGTON (AP) — It might be dismissed as an election year gimmick by the big shots who run Capitol Hill, but frustration over Congress' failure to pass a budget since 2009 has given surprising momentum to a bill that would cut off lawmakers' pay if they can't — or won't — pass a budget blueprint.

Analysis: Romney losses show disgruntled GOP base

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's losses in Alabama and Mississippi underscore a stark reality: The core of his party does not want him.

Romney matches Santorum's gains in delegates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rick Santorum won Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi but he didn't gain any ground in the race for delegates against frontrunner Mitt Romney.


Nashville school gets $50,000 from tech company

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Harpeth Hall School for girls in Nashville is getting a $50,000 donation from North Carolina-based Lenovo, a personal technology company.


'Don't Say Gay' bill stalls again in Legislature

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House sponsor of a proposal to ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students delayed the measure on Tuesday to allow lawmakers to consider a more comprehensive bill.

Senate delays vote on mountaintop removal ban

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate has voted to delay for three weeks a vote on a proposal to halt mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee.


Citibank, SunTrust fail Fed stress test; 15 pass

WASHINGTON (AP) — All but four of 19 major U.S. banks got a green light Tuesday from the Federal Reserve to boost their dividends and take other steps that will make their stocks more attractive to investors. The Fed declared them strong enough to survive a downturn worse than the Great Recession.

Stocks record biggest gains of year; Dow up 218

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank stocks turbocharged what was already a big market rally Tuesday, and all three major stock indexes posted their biggest gains of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 218 points and closed at its highest level since the end of 2007.

US retail sales rose 1.1 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up spending on retail goods in February, evidence that a stronger job market is boosting the economy.

US job openings fell in January from 3½ year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. jobs openings fell in January from a three and a half year high. The modest decline suggests hiring could continue at its healthy pace but may not accelerate.

Students seek to stop loan interest rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of college students could be in for a shock this summer when the interest rate on a popular federally subsidized student loan doubles unless Congress acts.

Natural gas falls on spell of balmy US weather

Natural gas prices are falling again as balmy weather stretches across most of the nation and supplies remain plentiful.

No new action is expected as Fed weighs job gains

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the Federal Reserve's policymakers last met in January, the job market has shown more muscle. Employers have hired more than a half million people. The unemployment rate is down.

Apple says Proview iPad trademark demands unfair

SHANGHAI (AP) — In its latest statement on a simmering dispute over the iPad brand name, Apple Inc. said Tuesday that Proview Electronics' insistence that it still owns the mainland China iPad trademarks is misleading and unfair.


Senate ready to pass highway programs overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is ready to pass long-delayed legislation overhauling America's highway and transit systems, with lawmakers steering past partisan fights that have kept it sidelined.

US brings new trade case against China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is bringing a new trade case against China that seeks to pressure Beijing to end export restrictions on key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat-screen televisions and other high-tech goods.

Reid moves to end GOP filibuster on judges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising the partisan temperature in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday used a parliamentary tactic designed to end a Republican filibuster against 17 of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees.


Haslam would rather avoid making Occupy arrests

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he wants to avoid arresting Occupy Nashville protesters unless there is a flagrant violation of a new law intended to evict them from their camp near the state Capitol.


Former congressman files voting rights lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis filed a federal class-action lawsuit Monday against Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and two other top state officials seeking voting rights restored to him and others he says were wrongfully purged from the rolls.

Tennessee gets No. 3 favorable rating in poll

NASHVILLE (AP) - A poll of 700 registered voters conducted by Public Policy Polling lists Tennessee as the third most favorable state, behind Hawaii and Colorado.

Tenn. public panels inconsistent on meeting notice

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee has at least 200 boards and commissions that do everything from promoting soybeans to licensing dentists to overseeing the state's colleges and universities. Almost all of them are required to invite the public to attend their meetings, but the way they do that is inconsistent at best.


Gov't files $25B mortgage settlement in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government has filed a $25 billion settlement with the five largest mortgage lenders in federal court, putting an official stamp on the landmark agreement announced last month over alleged foreclosure abuses.

Senate to introduce bill to help small businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set to come out with its version of legislation to help small businesses raise capital, similar to legislation that cleared the House in a somewhat different form last week.

'Schizophrenic' markets shrug off Greek deal

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks struggled for direction Monday, unsure of what to make of news about Greece's debt workout and eclectic announcements from a few well-known U.S. companies, such as mattress maker Sealy and luxury retailer Michael Kors.

Gasoline prices jump a nickel over the weekend

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gasoline jumped by nearly a nickel over the weekend and is now $3.80 per gallon

WTO rules Boeing got $5B in illegal US subsidies

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization ruled Monday that U.S. planemaker Boeing received $5.3 billion in illegal government subsidies over a quarter-century, far less than what arch-rival Airbus received according to an earlier finding.

Spike in orange juice prices? It's pulp fiction

Orange juice drinkers can relax. Fears of a spike in the price of the breakfast favorite appear overblown.

Volkswagen targeting revenue rise in 2012

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest carmaker by sales, is targeting a further increase in deliveries and revenues in 2012, as it reported a a big drop in net earnings for the fourth quarter of last year.


Feds release health overhaul blueprint for states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty million people in America lack health insurance and the law says most of them must soon be provided coverage. But how to deliver?

Verrilli: Point man in looming health care battle

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 16 appearances before the Supreme Court, Donald Verrilli has advocated for the rights of death row inmates and has successfully argued fine points of telecommunications law in cases with billions of dollars in the balance.


Naifeh to retire after 38 years in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - Rep. Jimmy Naifeh announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election for his District 81 seat after 38 years in the House of Representatives, saying it's time to "pass the torch to the next generation of leaders."

Republican Sen. Mike Faulk won't seek 2nd term

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican state Sen. Mike Faulk won't seek a second term in the General Assembly's upper chamber.


CCA offers states cash for prisons

ATLANTA (AP) - The nation's largest private prison company made an enticing offer to 48 states that went something like this: We will buy your prison now if you agree to keep it mostly full and promise to pay us for running it over the next two decades. Despite a need for cash, several states immediately slammed the door on the offer, a sign that privatizing prisons might not be as popular as it once was.

Lone protester remains at Legislative Plaza

NASHVILLE (AP) - A lone protester was still maintaining his vigil Friday at the Occupy Nashville camp on Legislative Plaza in the face of a new state law meant to evict the protesters.

Opry Mills among properties involved in Simon Property Group transaction

Simon Property Group, the biggest mall operator in the U.S., announced on Thursday that it is buying joint venture partner Farallon Capital Management LLC's interest in 26 U.S. shopping malls owned by The Mills LP -- including Nashville's Opry Mills -- for $1.5 billion.


State promoting community supported agriculture

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is promoting community supported agriculture.

Haslam health task force to focus on Tenn. obesity

NASHVILLE (AP) - Reducing Tennessee's obesity rate will be the focus of the Governor's Health and Wellness Task Force.

Tenn. February revenues beat projections by $23M

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee revenue collections for the general fund beat expectations by $23 million in February.


Stocks rise modestly on February jobs report

Stocks closed modestly higher Friday after the government's monthly report on employment bolstered hopes that the economic recovery is on track. The gains were tempered by news that a big debt write-down by Greece could cause big losses for some banks.

Economy adds 227K jobs, jobless rate unchanged

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 227,000 jobs in February in the latest display of the economic recovery's surprising breadth and brawn. The country has put together the strongest three months of pure job growth since the Great Recession.

Fannie, Freddie executive pay limited, bonuses cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is capping pay for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives at $500,000 per year and eliminating annual bonuses, giving in to pressure from Congress to stop big payouts at the bailed-out mortgage giants.

Bank of America to reduce loans for homeowners

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America is providing mortgage relief to about 200,000 homeowners.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.4 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in January although sales fell for the first time in eight months.

US trade deficit hits $52.6 billion in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit surged to the widest imbalance in more than three years in January as imports hit an all-time high, reflecting big demand for foreign-made cars, computers and food products.

Oil rises to near $107 ahead of key US jobs report

Oil prices rose slightly to near $107 a barrel Friday on positive news about Greece's debt crisis and ahead of a key U.S. employment report that will give an insight into the strength of the world's No. 1 economy.

As household wealth rises, so do hopes for economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are climbing further out of the hole they sank into during the Great Recession.

Stocks double in 3 years, but it's a lonely party

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is missing you. For more than three years, ordinary investors disgusted with wild swings have pulled money out of stocks. They've missed a breathtaking bull market: The Dow Jones industrial average has almost doubled from its low point during the Great Recession on March 9, 2009.

Average rate on 30-year mortgage dips to 3.88 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage remain a bargain at the start of the spring-buying season: The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dipped last week, while the 15-year loan fell to a new record low.


Poll: Health overhaul unpopular, but not as feared

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attacked as a rationing scheme and praised as a lifesaver, President Barack Obama's health care law remains as divisive and confusing as ever. But a new poll finds Americans are less worried that the overhaul will undermine their own care.

House passes bipartisan bill to help startups

WASHINGTON (AP) — Showing that they can on occasion work together, House lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a package of bills making it easier for small businesses and startups to raise the capital they need to grow and hire new workers.

Senate rejects GOP environment, energy proposals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate killed Republican-backed attempts to overturn several of President Barack Obama's environmental and energy policies Thursday as lawmakers worked against a March 31 deadline to keep aid flowing to more than 100,000 transportation construction projects around the country.

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