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VOL. 45 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 5, 2021

Paying too much to relocate? It depends on your options

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In the past 30 days, 76 homes sold in Davidson County for $1 million or more with 60 of those being homes built since the turn of the century. That number is slightly down from the 83 sold during the same period last year when 50 of those sales were for homes built since 2000.

The newcomers are in search of homes they can inhabit immediately with no renovations, remodeling or even sprucing, and they pay for it. Neighborhood residents are in disbelief of the prices the houses are fetching, but those relocating into the Nashville area are thrilled when they finally are able to purchase homes.

Longtime residents wonder if they are witnessing the proverbial bubble.

Recently, a homeowner who had lived in a Franklin subdivision for three years and paid $459,000 for his house was walking his dog in the neighborhood when he was joined by one of his new neighbors. This person had paid $850,000 for a home smaller than the dog walker’s.

After a block or two, the dog walker felt comfortable discussing prices in the area and asked the recent transplant if he realized that he had paid more for his house than anyone had paid in the history of the subdivision. He did, the new neighbor said, but didn’t mind being the latest record holder. He then explained his situation, a predicament tens of thousands are experiencing and have over the past three years.

Like so many buying in this market, he worked for one of the larger companies that had decided to relocate its headquarters to Nashville, a decision he loathed at the time. After accepting the corporation’s invitation to visit the area at their expense, he and his wife made the trek to Nashville, viewing it as more of a vacation than home-hunting excursion. But in order to have a free trip, they had to look at some homes.

A funny thing happened during their stay in Nashville: They fell in love with the area. The food, the people, the entertainment opportunities, the low taxes, the professional sports and the ease of moving about drew them to the decision to consider moving. One city’s traffic woes and high taxes are another city’s dream.

They were made aware of the public school situation in Davidson County and were whisked to Williamson County as they had three school-age children. So they decided to tour Williamson County schools and were impressed with what they learned.

The called their hometown Realtor and asked for an estimate of the value of their home of 10 years and were surprised to learn it could sell for somewhere in the $3 million range. The Realtor said she had a buyer who would pay that number.

Having paid $1 million and owing very little on the home, they could sell the home and pocket $2 million after taxes. The jumped into the fray and were outbid on their first several Williamson County offers.

Finally, the new neighbor explained that he and his wife realized they could move to Nashville, pay $1 million for a larger, newer home and pocket $1 million. Or, they could go back home, look for employment with a company with benefits similar to the company where he had toiled for 12 years and risen to an enviable position.

The decision was easy, he was moving.

After several rejected offers, he and his wife found the house they loved, and his wife made a simple plea/demand. “Buy this house!” So, he did. They will live happily ever after in the home, and he knows of the thousands more following in his wake.

Today’s record-setting sale is tomorrow’s great deal.

Sale of the Week

Belle Meade Highlands is located on the fringe of Belle Meade and in the past has offered affordable housing to those who could not afford Belle Meade proper but had a desire to live near the prestigious city. During the first 50 years of its existence, the prices were less than 15% of the Belle Meade home values.

The house at 102 Alton Road sold for $2.4 million last week, joining eight other houses cracking the million-dollar mark in the past 12 months, two of which sold for more than $3 million.

Beginning in 2000, when Michael Shears and his father demolished their next-door neighbor’s home and sold the new construction for $745,000, a price that broke all records at the time, the area has been a haven for homebuilders.

Tim Kyne, a mainstay at Keller Williams Realty, co-listed the Alton house with Molly Mason, a broker with the same firm. Kyne has been representing builders for more than a decade and has a keen understanding of the luxury home market, selling all over town.

The 102 Alton sale came in at $463 per square foot for its 5,181 square feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms and one half bathroom. Kyne and Mason described the house as being of “contemporary design,” adding there are two bedrooms on the main floor and a three-car garage. They noted the lot consists of more than a half-acre, which would allow enough room to build a pool.

All the new buyer has to do is to find a pool company that would construct said pool. Many pool companies are estimating a one-year wait for completion of the project from start to finish once the area is designed. Good landscape architects are predicting a six-month wait for plans.

Summer of 2023 is just around the corner.

The house sold a few days after Kyne listed the property, with Gabriella Lira Sjogren and Patricia Strauss of Compass Realty representing the buyers, who paid $1,000 more than the list price of $2,399,000. Sometimes $1,000 can make all the difference, even in a $2.4 million sale.

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

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