Affordable housing options still available in Davidson County

Friday, April 19, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 16
By Bill Lewis

Alyssa and Ali Ait Taleb are new homeowners in Bradburn Village off Murfreesboro Road in Antioch.

-- Photo By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

People in the real estate industry have an expression that explains why Middle Tennessee commutes are getting longer and the main arteries more crowded.

“It’s the old saying, drive until you qualify,” says Trey Lewis, vice president of Ole South, the region’s largest homebuilder.

New subdivisions are sprouting as far away as Columbia in Maury County and Portland on the Kentucky state line, attracting homebuyers in search of houses with prices lower than in Davidson County, where the average cost of a home in February was $367,000.

“But today, what they can afford is too far out,” Lewis acknowledges.

If you know where to look, you don’t have to spend hours on interstates 65, 40 and 24 to find a home with an attainable price. They are available inside Davidson County in neighborhoods created by Ole South and others.

Alyssa Ait Taleb and her husband, Ali, were surprised to find a new home minutes from downtown with a price less than half of the average in Nashville. They recently moved into their townhome in Bradburn Village, a new neighborhood located next to the Publix Super Market at 3532 Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch.

Bradburn Village is one of several neighborhoods developed inside Davidson County by Ole South with the goal of providing new homes within reach of teachers, nurses and others. Buyers quickly snapped up all 36 townhomes in the first phase of the neighborhood. Ole South is adding 98 more. Prices start in the $170,000s range.

Alyssa and Ali Ait Taleb, who are first-time homebuyers, saw lots of houses with prices around $300,000.

“We couldn’t do that,” she says.

They were determined to find something reasonably close to Nashville State Community College, where Ali is a student. Alyssa works in Spring Hill but commutes in the opposite direction from rush hour traffic.

Bradburn Village was the answer. They purchased a two-bedroom townhome that came complete with granite countertops in the kitchen, upgraded appliances and all window blinds as well as a location close to shopping and restaurants.

“It’s about accommodating the working families of Middle Tennessee. The closer we can do that to downtown, the faster they are going to sell,” Lewis says.

Others have reached the same conclusion.

MiKen Development sold all 60 of its Treaty Oaks cottages in the Nations neighborhood. Prices started at $259,000. In early April, Parkside Builders had just three townhomes left in its Ridgeview community off Bell Road near I-24. Homes in the neighborhood were priced from the $240,000s.

In the new Burkitt Ridge neighborhood, being developed by Regent Homes on the Davidson County side of Nolensville, prices are expected to start in the mid-$200,000. The neighborhood will have a mix of 800 condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes.

“Burkitt Ridge will accommodate people in all stages of life, but we are especially focused on the influx of millennials that are now calling Nashville home. There is definitely a shortage of workforce housing in our area due to all the new businesses moving to town, and we are aiming to accommodate those buyers,” explains David McGowan, owner and president of Regent Homes.

New townhomes are under construction in Bradburn Village in Antioch off Murfreesboro Road.

-- Photo By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

HND Realty is offering homes in Hamilton Run, located on Hamilton Circle in Antioch. Initial prices were in the low $200,000s.

Demand in Hamilton Run is brisk. Ole South, which builds traditional single-family homes in the neighborhood, began selling sites for 53 houses Jan. 1.

“We’re already sold out,” Lewis says. “We sold them before the model home was even open.”

The company is expanding the neighborhood and will begin construction on another 69 homes this summer. Initial prices in Hamilton Run began in the $230,000s for homes with three to four bedrooms and two-car garages. The neighborhood is located east of Hamilton Church Road at Hobson Pike.

Ole South is expanding its popular Old Hickory Commons neighborhood off Old Hickory Boulevard between Interstate 24 and Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch. Construction of 102 townhomes will begin this spring.

When construction is complete, the master-planned neighborhood will have more than 345 residences. Prices in Old Hickory Commons start in the $170,000s.

To meet demand for attainably priced houses, Ole South is expanding its Heritage Hills neighborhood, located on the Davidson-Wilson county line at 1079 Lady Nashville Drive. Prices of traditional single-family homes start in the mid $200,000s. The company is adding 36 home sites on the Wilson County side of the subdivision.

Interest from buyers has been strong ever since Ole South launched the subdivision last year, Lewis continues.

“The sales for phase one of Heritage Hills were unprecedented. The first 76 lots were sold in less than a year,” Lewis says.

Scott Shriver was relieved to be one of those buyers. His 1,860-square-foot house has four bedrooms and two and a half-baths.

Shriver, who manages a business at Opry Mills mall, relocated from Chicago and worried that Nashville’s prices would make it impossible to purchase a home here.

“I didn’t want to spend money on rent,” Shriver says.

He was able to buy his new house with just $1,000 out of pocket after qualifying for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Great Choice loan program. THDA is the state’s housing finance agency and helps middle class individuals and families buy homes.

For Nashville’s economy to thrive, the middle class has to be able to find homes close to work and schools, Lewis points out.

“The secretary of your company can’t drive 80 miles a day without being compensated,” he adds.

Attainable housing in or close to the city is also one remedy for the region’s growing transportation problems.

“If you’re already there, you’re not caught in traffic,” Lewis says.