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VOL. 40 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 25, 2016

Nashville’s homeless: 2 groups with vastly different problems

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As Nashville and the surrounding counties continue to flourish, the homeless population also is expanding.

Nashville has faced homelessness in the past, but the problem can now be found on opposite ends of the spectrum, each with its own critical problems.

There is the indigent homeless population facing a situation similar to the conditions faced when the Corps of Engineers demolished the shanties and tent communities along the river in the 1980s, a move that set in motion the chain of events that evolved into Charles Strobel’s decision to develop the Room in the Inn program.

Room in the Inn has grown into the Campus for Human Development and, with support from the private and public sectors, has grown into an organization that is accomplishing what its name challenges it to do – develop humanity.

Former Mayors Karl Dean and Bill Purcell both noted the monetary benefits that the Campus has had on the city with its Guest House program for those struggling with addiction issues, its GED program and the relatively new opportunity provided by its recent expansion that transitions the homeless into permanent housing.

Mayor Barry also has pushed this issue to the fore and, while addressing a fundraising breakfast for The Contributor last week, announced her unwavering support for the homeless and expressed a determination to improve their conditions. As Charles Strobel has noted, it is a matter of life and death as the homeless die at ages some 25 percent younger than those in houses.

Contributor Executive Director Brady Banks noted that 30 percent of the vendors selling the newspaper have found permanent housing since the program’s inception, no small feat considering their many challenges.

Fortunately, Nashville’s burgeoning economy also has spawned one of the most generous communities in the country.

Nashville’s other homeless community is much less critical and certainly not terminal. But if Nashville is going to continue to prosper, this group needs some relief.

These homeless are those relocating from other cities who have sold their homes and decided to move to Nashville. Once here, they realize the big pot of equity they gained from the sale of the residence back home does not impress the Nashville market.

As new listings less than $1 million are devoured within hours of hitting the market and with multiple-offer scenario ruling the day, “Bring me your highest and best!” is the battle cry of the War of 2016.

Buyers are depressed as they search for the perfect home and finally find it. Then they meet with their Realtors, throw together an offer that exceeds list price and begin the waiting process.

Hours later, the “highest and best” words appear on the screen or tablet or phone.

One solution that many are considering is new construction, with homes sprouting in all areas.

In Westhaven, the successful new urbanism community in Williamson County, the demand is such that developers have constructed a makeshift apartment complex in order to house future residents awaiting completion of their homes.

Sale of the Week

Last week, upper-end homes cashed in with eight closed sales in the area soon to be formerly known as Area 2 in Realtracs, the Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Realtracs will be converting to a mapping-type search, and the old area designation will no longer be necessary.

Those two sighs you might be hearing are the old timers who hate change and the home owners who live in an area across the street from the current Area 2 boundary.

The homes bordering Area 2 always felt as if they were on the Island of Misfit Houses and felt that the arbitrarily drawn boundary robbed their homes of value. They may be right, as Billy Joel once sang.

In a week boasting 13 sales of more than $1 million, the home at 43 Bancroft took home the award for the highest sale as it collected $2,120,00 for its 6,380 square feet, four bedrooms, four full baths and three half baths.

Listed by Rick French, who is no stranger to the luxury homes, having represented as many million-dollar sales as anyone in the business over his illustrious career. Nancy Tice of Fridrich and Clark represented the buyer in the transaction.

French leads his description of the home with “True stucco,” answering the “Is it Dryvit (EIFS)” question before it could be asked. As always, he goes straight to the point, detailing the home’s features: “Modern, hillside estate in Bancroft. Secure and private. Exciting interiors, superior finishes. Spectacular views! Elevator, flexible walk-out terrace level.”

Purchased in 2007 at the height of the upper-end sales in the last cycle, the property weathered the Recession well. The $2,210,000 price it commanded speaks to the recovery of the upper-end market in the Middle Tennessee area as the cash keeps rolling in.

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

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