Glencliff-area residents 'in awe' of rising prices

Friday, February 10, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 6
By Kathy Carlson

The Paragon Mills area between I-24 and Nolensville Road is among those that will be hardest hit by Metro’s tax reassessment. This home is at Dumas Drive and Mimosa Drive in that area.

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

It was bound to happen. Homes in the Glencliff, Woodbine and Radnor neighborhoods have caught up to their trendier siblings in East Nashville and the Nations to rack up the biggest percentage increases in property values during the past four years.

“Never in my life would I have expected anything like this,” longtime Glencliff homeowner Judy Beard says of the pace of growth.

“When I grew up Nashville was (like) a small town. The tallest building was the L&C Tower. We were all kind of in awe; (we had) never seen anything like that in Nashville.”

Freda Player is a relative newcomer to this part of Nashville. She’s lived since 2011 in the 16th Metro Council district, home to the Glencliff and Woodbine neighborhoods and now leading the other 34 Council districts in rising property values.

“I’d be shocked if you’d find a house there for under $200,000,” says Player, political director for Service Employees International Union Local 205.

The district’s Metro Council representative, Mike Freeman, also sees his district as one of the city’s last to be developed.

It’s attracting interest because it’s close to downtown, with easy access to Sobro and The Gulch as well.

He has lived in the area for seven years and says properties are changing hands quickly.

Metro Councilman Freddie O’Connell lives in Salemtown and represents District 19, which includes much of downtown Nashville.

His district’s home values have experienced the third-largest jump in Metro during the past four years.

He sees growing interest in downtown driving nearby growth. Nashville has invested heavily in the urban core, he says, and it has undergone a renaissance with the addition of the Schermerhorn Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, Music City Center and other facilities.

In his district, younger residents are happy with appreciating values and glad they took a risk and moved there, Freeman points out.

But retirees on fixed incomes are concerned about their property taxes, he adds. He has held meetings with residents to inform them about tax-relief options.

Player says that many of the houses in her neighborhood are about 1,000 square feet, and many residents have lived there for 30 to 40 years.

“They’re not really worried about developers” bidding up property prices,” she adds.

“They’re more concerned (with) property taxes going up and transient crime going through.”

In her five-plus years there, she has seen neighborhood houses that used to sell for $100,000 go for twice as much with minor changes such as paint and new countertops.

One house with an asking price of $299,000 sold for $270,000 and is under renovation.

Another house that had been in the same family for decades quickly sold with multiple offers and an asking price of $200,000.

Beard, the longtime resident, says her neighborhood has become so popular that people learn of rentals coming on the market by word of mouth, and rising property values have priced some renters out of buying there.

“This area is growing. … Everybody gets along. We have all kinds of little restaurants, Ethiopian and Greek and, of course, Hispanic. There’s a lot of young people moving into this neighborhood,” Beard says.

Player and her husband rent a home and would like to buy in their neighborhood, but only if they can do so on financially responsible terms.

“You want a decent home … but what if you get laid off, lose your job?” she asks.

The Beards will have lived in their Glencliff home for 34 years come April.

“Our son was born in ’83,” Judy Beard says. “Ed moved the furniture when I was in the hospital” having their son.

She and her husband grew up in the area and went to Glencliff High School, as their two children did.

The Beards bought their home as a three-bedroom house and have made changes to it over the years. There’s a 100-plus-year-old tree in their front yard, she says, and their kids were able to walk to school and play down the street with friends.

“We get mail constantly wanting to buy our home, sight unseen, cash only,” she says. “I have called some of them to say please don’t send us (any mail).

“We do not plan on going anywhere if we don’t have to.”