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VOL. 39 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 30, 2015

Pay down that debt by investing in real estate

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My father was born (1928) and raised in Franklin, when it was a sleepy little standalone hamlet unrelated to Nashville. In the mid-90s, I met him for lunch at the Shoney’s near I-65 off of Highway 96.

He looked around the area, surveyed the multitudes of people milling about the restaurant in his hometown all unknown to him, and muttered “We are a city under siege.”

If he could catch a glimpse of Nashville today, he would call for reinforcements.

The progress or growth is staggering. Making a spur-of-the-moment decision to pop in to an area dining establishment for dinner on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday is impossible, and that is with 10,000 new restaurants dotting the landscape.

John Sebastian’s song “Nashville Cats,” recorded by his band, the Lovin’ Spoonful, notes there “thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville.”

Of course that was in 1966 before Robert Altman “Nashville,” the movie, and long before ABC’s TV show “Nashville.” So we have plenty of pickers to wait all the new tables.

Now there is an all-out assault on the city with corporate, creative, corporate creative and all types in between bombarding the residential landscape in search of housing.

For those who have money, there are the new apartments, tens of thousands of miniscule 500-600 square foot units that cost up to $1,350 per month. Some of the storage units in the high-rise condos are 200 square feet.

That same size condo could be as high as $300,000, yet with rates this low, those payments are less than rent.

Today’s young buyers seem to be more aware of actual money than their parents, perhaps. Baby boomers often considered the price of the house to be the amount of cash required to close, i.e., the down payment and closing costs, and the monthly payment.

In other words, if they had the cash required to close and they could afford the monthly payment, the purchase price had little, if any, bearing on the matter.

The youth of today, the millennials, recognize the $300,000 as debt and many harbor ill will toward the accumulation of debt, some of that fostered by the mountains of school loans that they acquired before they realized that the repayment is staggering.

So, rather than saddle themselves with more debt, they rent.

That conservative line of thinking might save their financial hide, or it could rob them of a way to escape the bondage of the school debt.

As has been noted, if a person purchased a home in Nashville – be it high-rise, single family, horizontal property regime or multi-family property – in Nashville three years ago, there is a chance that the appreciation would retire the student loan debt.

Sale of the Week

On a trip to Inglewood, the pilgrim might stumble upon 3705 Burrus Street, a 1936-square-foot home that sold recently for $309,900 after having been listed for $342,000 by Maggie Flomerfelt of Village Real Estate Services.

The house has three bedrooms and two baths and was purchased by the seller for $106,250 way back in May of 2013.

Flomerfelt says the “stunning brick cottage was completely renovated from top to bottom with gorgeous modern finishes.” Those modern finishes include “hardwoods, bamboo flooring, tile, custom cabinetry.”

At $159 per square foot and having spent 111 days on the market, there must have been something that confused or concerned buyers. However, it would be difficult for the seller to complain, having purchased at $106,250 and sold for $342,000 in a year and a-half.

Nashville buyers are predictably curious as they investigate properties.

Theologian Paul Tillich defined faith as the act of being “ultimately concerned.” Based on Tillich, buyers are a faithful lot as they are equally concerned about why the sellers are selling and what the sellers paid for the house.

Ironically, buyers seem to enjoy paying less than the seller. While such philosophies run rampant, they are contradictory to the economic principles of homeownership.

The best scenario for a purchase would be that someone bought a home in 1995 for $200,000 and sold for $220,000 in 1997. It then changed hands again in 2005 for $275,000, $350,000 in 2009 and for $425,000 in 2013. It’s now on the market for $475,000.

That example would be a better track record than buying a house for $350,000 that sold last year for $400,000, yet many buyers prefer to buy the house that is losing value rather than allow someone to “profit” from their purchase.

Past profit usually translates into future profit.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker affiliated with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0