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VOL. 46 | NO. 17 | Friday, April 29, 2022

Lost in translation: What listing states, what it means

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3714 West End Ave

I have observed during the past 43 years an increasingly creative use of the English language by my real estate peers. While there are apps and programs for translation for many languages, real estate translation is nowhere to be found.

Alas! You are now able to find it here.

• Coming Soon: That means a sale – not necessarily a listing – is coming soon, most likely sooner than what the listing states as the first showing.

An example would be a listing that states the first showing is an open house at 2 p.m. Sunday. The buyer’s agent books an appointment for noon that day, and it is approved for two hours before the “first showing.” While touring the house, a text from the listing agent arrives stating the house is under contract.

• Renovated Kitchen: The appliances are less than 10 years old and the countertops are not Formica.

• Hardwood Floors: At some point, some of the materials in the floor may have come in contact a tree or a piece of lumber. The buzzwords are pre-engineered or manufactured hardwoods. Some have veneers that might have been trees once, maybe bushes.

• Synthetic Stucco – aka EIFS, aka Dryvit – has been inspected and repaired: That means the clever termites were able to escape detection, as was the moisture. From time to time, the framing materials show no moisture because they have been eaten and no longer exist. If properly maintained and installed, the material can be effective. If.

• Musician’s Dream or room for a studio means the house is a disaster and no one wants it. Any room could be a studio with enough cash. I have never understood why so many listing agents think musicians have no taste in house design.

• Good family home: Illegal representation of the home, for openers. It means the previous owners’ children tore the home all to hell.

While we are at, the term “walking distance” is a violation. There are many among us who are not able to walk anywhere. Same as “stone’s throw.” Depends on who’s throwing the stone. Surely not someone in a glass house.

Sale of the Week

Located on West End Avenue are several historic homes that have somehow survived the demolition melee that took place before the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which established the guidelines currently utilized by the Nashville Historical Commission. The venerable structure at 3714 West End Avenue was built in 1910 when William Howard Taft was president.

In addition to running the country when the West End home was built, Taft is credited by some as creating the seventh-inning stretch in baseball, however several versions of the tradition predate his presidency and there is no written record of the term until 1920.

Some surmise the president had grown uncomfortable in his seat while attending opening day in 1910 and that Taft, weighing in at 350 pounds and standing a gigantic – at that time – 6-foot-2, rose in the seventh inning to stretch his mammoth frame.

Those in attendance saw the president had stood and stretched and followed suit. Some seemed to think he might be leaving the park, and that the fans also stood as a display of respect.

Others argue those in attendance merely followed Taft’s lead. He stood, so they stood. He stretched, they stretched.

The construction workers at West End Avenue were oblivious to the whole situation and continued working on the home.

It was listed by the sisters team of Dani and Cristina Wheeler of Parks for $2.2 million and sold for the same amount. They described the historic manse as a “110-year-old, notable, southern classic home in historic Richland.”

The sisters mentioned the unmatched craftsmanship and the 10-foot ceilings, then described the exterior as having “an expansive backyard showcasing a gentleman’s pool.” Perhaps the term dates back to the Taftian era and suggests it would service a 6-foot-2 gentleman. No scoundrels would be allowed.

Stephanie Tipton Soper delivered the buyer and represented them well, as they were able to avoid the bidding wars that are so prevalent in the current market, a trend that has had prices soar hundreds of thousands of dollars more than list price in the area.

It also was a coup, since there are very few 110-year-old houses in Nashville. Soper has been on both the listing side and the buyers’ broker on numerous high-end sales recently, including a home on Laurel Ridge Drive she listed for $7.8 million and went under contract in one day.

Selling for $526 per square foot, the 4,181-square-foot home spreads out on three levels and has four bedrooms, three full baths and a completely renovated kitchen. The house is a survivor, having escaped the bulldozers, even though its 0.34 acres is zoned for 40 units per acre.

3714 West End is what West End, not W End, was and could be. Since the 20th century carnage, the Nashville Historical Commission and neighborhoods groups have become increasingly empowered. Newer developments have begun to preserve and protect, as well as incorporate the architectural past into the newer designs, be that 1960s architectural or early 1900s architectural.

It’s no stretch to say President Taft would be proud.

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

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