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VOL. 45 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 11, 2021

Sellers cashing out, heading to lakes, beaches, mountains

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108 Westhampton Place

Where have all the sellers gone? Long time passing. Actually, it’s a fairly recent phenomenon that has large numbers of Middle Tennesseans cashing out of the real estate frenzy and going far, far away to work remotely.

It’s largely because so many people from other states are selling out and moving here with their portable offices slung over their shoulders and looking to avoid state income taxes and enjoy all the city has to offer with fresh eyes.

Which brings us back to Midstate residents who have put away their rose-colored, rhinestone glasses and have grown tired of the migration, traffic issues, rising crime rates, tax increases and the loss of the small-town feel that the city and the area once possessed.

With growth comes trade-offs, and many want no part of it. Several listing agents say their sellers are moving into their secondary residences – lake, country or beach houses – some moving before they had planned to in order to cash in and check out.

Dozens are headed to Naples and scores more to the 30A region of Florida, places that they felt they would spend their golden years of retirement. Now, they intend to wind down their careers and head into retirement rested and tan.

The Highlands and Cashiers (pronounced Cashers), two North Carolina cities, have been a beneficiary, as have mountain homes and lake homes across the country. Sewanee/Monteagle properties have spiked, and the Hamptons have doubled over the past year.

It’s no surprise that the outlying areas also are experiencing lack of inventory similar to Nashville’s. Listings are scarce as far south as Columbia and east to Murfreesboro. Hendersonville has little in the way of properties on the market.

This migration is not benefiting all areas, however. Many smaller towns farther from population centers were on the brink of failing before COVID-19 and continue to see their populations dwindle as the local economies erode. Many jobs will never return, and many businesses are permanently shuttered.

While many in the Midstate are receiving offers of hundreds of thousands of dollars more than their home’s appraised value, others farther out are losing theirs. One hundred miles can make a big difference.

Sale of the Week

Two of the country’s most successful, creative and innovative interior designers – Anthony Tinghitella and John Fulcher of Smythe and Cortland, a leading design firm with offices in Nashville and Vero Beach – bought the home at 108 Westhampton Place in Belle Meade in March 2010.

No stranger to upper-end houses, the duo has designed houses that have sold for over $20 million in Florida. In Nashville, they sold the Westhampton home for more than $1,025 per square foot, including the pool house, with a sale price of $6.8 million. The furniture was for sale and also bought a hefty price.

The main house was built in 1967, and its original owners were Herbert Schulman and Jean Schulman, who lived in the house with their children, Janice and Tom. Tom was a student at Montgomery Bell Academy at the time and later would write a “semi-autobiographical screenplay” based on his time there.

Perhaps 108 Westhampton bore witness to the lore that became “Dead Poet’s Society,” one of many screenplays penned by Schulman. Among his works are “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Medicine Man” and “Mooseport.” Schulman attended Vanderbilt after graduating from MBA and before heading to California.

With 6,129 square feet in the main house and another 507 in the pool house, the compound includes five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half bathrooms.

Before this sale, the average price per square foot in Belle Meade was $489 per square foot, and that includes 13 sales during the last six months. Of those sales, the highest price per square foot was 113 Westhampton coming in at $716 per square foot.

Even in Belle Meade, the $1,025 per square foot is a staggering figure. Yet, Tinghitella and Fulcher have been delivering similar numbers and shattering records everywhere they work.

Listing agent Fiona King of Worth Properties described the house as having “understated elegance for the most refined lifestyle,” adding “classical modern architecture” graces the private compound that features garden views, exceptional design and uncompromising detail.

Iconic Belle Meade Realtor Steve Fridrich beat other suitors to the punch and delivered the proud buyer to the property. There were several buyers interested in the home, even with a $6.8 million price tag.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty, LLC and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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