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VOL. 37 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 8, 2013

Midstate sees surge in $1 million-plus home sales

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Last week was a monumental week in Middle Tennessee residential real estate as seven single-family homes and one condo closed for more than $1 million each. Williamson County boasted three $1 million-plus sales for the week and 16 for the month, while Davidson County held a slight edge with 18 closed sales in October.

For the year, Williamson County has the lead with 124 versus Nashville’s 118 for a total of 242 properties moving for more than $1 million. In 2006 and 2007, the boom years, there were 245 and 243, respectively. Perhaps 2013 is another boom. In which case, avoiding the bust would be a good idea.

The Nashville sales were, interestingly, located across the county with sales in Dorset Park (a neighborhood near Richland Country Club off of Granny White Pike), Treemont (near Tyne Boulevard and Franklin Road), the Seven Hills area (near Harding Place and Belmont Park Terrace), the Highway 70 area, Hillwood Estates (off Harding Road and Post Road) and the Adelicia (condominiums close to Vanderbilt’s campus).

Belle Meade had the highest sales, and the only sale to top the $2 million mark.

When showing properties, one of the most-asked questions from the buyers is “Why are they selling?” These days, the usual reason for selling is because they can.

For the first time since 2008, the market has improved to the point that sellers can sell for a price that will not require them to bring cash to the closing table.

In normal times, real estate agents were always excited to be contacted by a seller to list a property and took the calls with excitement over the opportunity to sell a home.

In recent times, the solicitation to list was followed by the agents’ inquiry of “When did you buy the property?” If that answer was at any time between 2005 and late 2008, the seller was in trouble.

Now that sellers can sell and at least break even, they are selling and, even better, buying. Now, one sale can spawn another, even more as dominoes often begin to sprout.

So builders are building, trucks are selling, nails, drywall, paint, flooring, windows and other building products are being manufactured and taxes are flowing to the various governments that collect taxes on real estate transfers.

This is the case in a number of the $1 million sales. The Dorset Park home was a new home built by Castle Contractors and was listed by Laura Baugh with Worth Properties and sold by Beth Molteni with Fridrich and Clark.

Castle had purchased the lot in 2012 for $260,000, and sold the house for $1,232,500.

The house has 5,045 square feet with four bedrooms, four full baths and a half bath.

Also included is a covered porch with an outdoor fireplace, an amenity that has worked its way into the “mandatory” status in new construction.

The buyer of Dorset was the seller at Huckleberry Road (Hillsboro Estates), and Beth Molteni had the listing, as well. This couple is a good example of being able to sell and buy, as they had paid $1,350,000 for Huckleberry in 2012 just as the market started to rebound and sold it for $1,560.000 before spending the $1,232,000 on Dorset Place.

Their Huckleberry home located in Hillwood has 6,980 square feet with five bedrooms, five full baths and one half bath. Jay Lowenthal of Zeitlin & Company Realtors delivered the buyer. Few homes include the Huckleberry finishes.

Over at the Adelicia, we find one of the best examples of the buy low/sell high theory occurred when unit 1201 sold for $1,025,000 after having been purchased for $650,000 in 2010. Michelle Maldonando of the Lipman Group Sotheby’s handled this one.

For those of you wondering if the expense of an interior designer is warranted or can be recouped, your question is answered when one of the foremost designers in Nashville sold his home on Truxton Place in Belle Meade for $3,650,000 after having purchased the property for $2,300,000 in 2003.

He was represented by the venerable Sissy Rogers of Pilkerton Realtors and Steve Fridrich had the buyer.

The house has a remarkable lineage as it was designed by iconic architect Edwin Keeble, built by Ramsey Daugherty, and the interior was the work of Mark Simmons. The home has six bathrooms and seven and a half baths.

Located a major league outfielder’s throw away is 580 Jackson Boulevard sold and listed by Betty Finucane of Fridrich and Clark Realty for $2,070,000. This home has 5,909 square feet and was situated upon three acres in Belle Meade’s heart. A barn and a pool were included in the sale. The home had been in the Crook family since 1960.

A quick trip down Franklin Road, or Pike to newcomers, is the home at 4981 Tyne Ridge Court in Treemont that sold for $1,125,000 after the owners had paid $1,050,000 in 2004. Zeitlin’s Melanie Baker listed the 8,362 home (2,641 of it in the basement) that was on the “upper estate ridge.” The upper ridge allowed for the lower level.

Baker stated that these sellers were moving to Knoxville and that the basement was no ordinary basement with a wine cellar, music room, craft/wrapping room and a full catering kitchen. Mary Snyder of Worth Properties had the buyers.

Marcie Nash is with Pilkerton Realtors and listed 4606 Belmont Park Terrace for $1.3 million and sold it for $1.2 million with Andy Beasley with Brentview Realty after having been purchased for a mere $350,000 in 2006. That price represents the lot cost, of course. Hammond Brandt built the home there in 2007.

Closing the lid on this enormous month is 8788 Highway, a horse of a different color. This is a 140-acre gated retreat and, according to listing agent Damon Smith, the property is a “horse lover’s paradise” with three houses on the land.

All of these properties sold for more than the owners had paid for them, as the uptick in the market provided the sellers with the appropriate values to sell at a profit and purchase other homes – an example of a good economy making for a better economy.

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

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