4th & Monroe rebirth boosts Germantown

Friday, April 26, 2013, Vol. 37, No. 17

Nashten, LLC is invading Nashville. This venture, allegedly consisting of a two-headed partnership, has purchased the condominium development at 4th and Monroe in Germantown, which is conveniently located at 4th and Monroe.

The development had fallen upon hard times during the Great Recession, eventually falling victim to the sword of foreclosure. Hard times often spawn great comedy, and the comedy team of Abbott and Costello were products of those lean years in the Great Depression and became famous for their “Who’s On First” routine. Were the duo on the circuit today, they could have fun with how Nashten’s Abbott and Costello chose their Realtors.

Costello: Have you made a definitive choice on the Realtor?

Abbott: Definitely.

Costello: Great. Who is it?

Abbott: Well. Mabee.

Costello: I thought you made a choice.

Abbott: I did. It’s definitely Mabee.

Costello: Maybe?

Abbott: Definitely.

Costello: So? Mabee is his name.

Abbott: Steve Mabee.

4th & Monroe residents have walking access to the Nashville Jazz Workshop and such restaurants as City House, Mad Platter, Rolf and Daughters and Lazzaroli’s. For dessert, The Cupcake Collection.

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Costello: Steve?

Abbott: Mabee.

Steve Mabee, the former chairman of the Mayor’s Home Ownership Fair, is definitely listing the condos at 4th and Monroe in the Germantown area, along with his business partner Nathan Weinberg of Parks in the Gulch.

Mabee and Weinberg double as developers in their own right and have experienced great success in their early endeavors. Nashten is constructing 13 new units in its row-house development. It also will add 25 existing units to that mix, converting units now used as apartments to single-family, a return to their original status.

Germantown is called by many “the new 12South,” as it is in its walkability and popular restaurants, such as the relatively new Rolf and Daughters, complementing established eateries Germantown Café, City House and the venerable Mad Platter. Its proximity to downtown and all of its opportunities has added to its success in the residential real estate world.

The condos will include more square footage than some of its competition on the other side of town and for a bit less money. For example, the homes will range in size from 700 to 1,400 square feet and sell for between $180,000 and $450,000 in the existing structures.

In the new construction, there will be eight carriage-house homes and five townhomes ranging in price from $372,000 to $470,000. The 1,600-square-foot carriage homes include two bedrooms and ground-level access to the courtyard. All 13 new units will include two-car garages.

Weinberg and Mabee only recently moved their real estate practice to Parks in the Gulch, an office headed by Zach “YSR” Goodyear. The 4th and Monroe property is Parks’ first new downtown condo development, although several members of the office have played significant roles in the sales of Icon, Bristol on Broadway, Bristol on West End, and Rhythm.

While Nashten is investing significant capital in the construction, no one wants this to succeed more than the Weinberg’s son and the Mabee baby.

Frustrations of the Week

As the inventory tightens, buyers are spending their time utilizing the resources at their disposal in order to assist, or eliminate, their Realtors.

Many times, their resources are websites such as Trulia, Zillow, etc., which are companies that accumulate data from different sources and, consequently, have conflicting information on the properties, especially in the square footage and availability.

One often claims properties are in “pre-foreclosure” when such a drastic proceeding in not likely. Upon reading this, the blood-in-the-water mentality overrides rational thought, and many an innocent homeowner, his financial condition purloined, is forced to ward off the masses at his front door.

Property availability continues to perplex buyers. This is a result of the Realtracs system and occurs when a Realtor negotiates a binding contract on a property.

Interior of a condo in the 4th and Monroe development. The condos range in size from 700 to 1,400 square feet and sell for between $180,000 and $450,000.

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At that point, that Realtor changes the status in Realtracs from “active” to “active- inspection contingency” or “active – financing contingency.” That designation currently appears on the Realtor side of Realtracs.

The reason for this is the property, while under contract, is not sold until those contingencies are removed. On the public side of Realtracs, the properties appear to be for sale. Buyers do not like this.

In the recent past, thousands of homes have gone into foreclosure. Often, buyers drive by houses with notices pasted all over the doors and windows. Experienced shoppers recognize the notices on the homes to be the foreclosure disclosures.

In many cases, the houses have the name and number of the real estate firm that has been notified and enlisted to sell the homes.

However, that office is not able to sell that home until the government agency gives the word.

In one example, a buyer found a home that was foreclosed upon in January, and a real estate firm had been assigned the listing. The buyer’s Realtor knew the agent at the firm and notified her that his buyer wanted the house.

The listing agent said she would check. The governmental agency then said that it felt it should get bids on new carpet and paint. As in many situations, the buyer wanted to choose her own carpet and paint, buy in “as is” condition and close in three weeks since her house sold the first day on the market.

The listing agent apologized, but stated that the asset manager would not give her a price on this deserted property. Even when the asset manager was told that there was a ready, willing and able buyer that would not request repairs, paint or carpet, she said she wanted to wait for bids.

It would seem plausible to presume that this scenario is being performed in every city of every state in the Union.

If there are 3 million foreclosures at an average price of $100,000, which equals $300 billion.

In the 1990s, with the Resolution Trust Corporation, they sold the whole kit and caboodle of foreclosed properties in a matter of months. At that time, interest rates were in double digits, inventory was high and demand was considerably lower than it is today.

Why not try it again?

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.