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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 36 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 21, 2012

Homeownership need not be exclusive club

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The German language includes the word “schadenfreude,” which is the act of deriving joy from the misfortunes of others. Schadenfreude has reached the Nashville community in epidemic proportions, especially as it pertains to residential real estate transactions.

These schadenfreudists are disguised as friends, relatives and coworkers. Don’t let the friendly, comforting, helpful demeanor fool you. These people are determined that no one they know should ever purchase real estate.

As has been noted earlier, parents are the worst, yet friends rank a close second. These conveyors of misinformation own homes, are receiving tax credit, enjoying appreciation and investing in real estate while depriving their acquaintances of the ability to enjoy the same benefits.

Real estate has proven to be the most reliable investment available, yet time and time again homeowners dissuade potential buyers from buying. Dr. Freud might be able to offer an explanation, but he is unavailable at this time.

The slogan that “friends don’t let friends buy junk” is a good one. However, when friends don’t let friends buy what they want, it’s sad.

Sometimes, it’s the Realtor who’s into schadenfruede. Other times, the lender. Even the inspector throws in his two cents worth at times. Some inspectors offer their opinion on the price of the house.

“Seems a little high,” the inspector mutters as he plants the seed.

“Oh?” the unwitting buyer asks in a fearful tone.

“Well, what do I know,” he disclaims. “That’s why I’m the inspector.” That’s right, now go inspect for defective workmanship.

The warning “let the buyer beware” should be changed to “let the buyer be where the buyer wants to be.” The friends, relatives, coworkers, lenders, Realtors and inspectors are not going to live there.

Helpful hint to homebuyers: Have the property inspected, appraised and surveyed. Then buy it. Sell it after five years later and compute the return on your investment. Tell all of your friends who did not buy when you did. Sit back and smell the schadenfreude.

Sales of the Week

Changes abound in the residential real estate market, and condominiums, in particular, are seeing more ebbs than flows.

For example, in the venerable Wellington Arms condos that rise across the street from St. Thomas Hospital, a two-bedroom unit was bought last April for $145,000 in a foreclosure sale. It sold last week for $185,000. Brett Sheriff of Pilkerton Realtors delivered the buyer. Nancy Torrans of Zeitlin and Company, Realtors, had the listing.

The home includes 1,190 square feet that rest atop the development and has an updated kitchen and master bath to go with the hardwood floors, pool and storage. Wellington Arms was built in 1940 and has the comfortable feel and vibe of a New York City apartment.

Around the corner in the Sylvan Heights area, Hostetler, Neuhoff, and Davis developed Normandy Place in 2002. Last week, a home listed by Corinne Barfield and Laura McSpadden of Fridrich and Clark Realty sold for $246,500 in only 73 days. This 1,842-square-foot home has hardwood floors, new stainless steel kitchen appliances and a designer package along with a one car garage.

Seema Prasad from French, Christianson, Patterson, and Associates represented the buyer. The seller was the original owner, who had paid $150,462. Her patience proved virtuous.

There are condos floating the other way down Sales Creek, with the Montview on Highway 70 South being an example. Unit 217 sold last week for $118,500. This unit sold on 2006 for $175,000 and in 2007 for $149,000. It has 1,148 square feet with two bedrooms and two baths, a fireplace, new HVAC and roof, hardwoods, and granite countertops.

Location, location, etc.

Richard Courtney is a broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates these days and is the co-author of Come Together: The Business Wisdom of the Beatles. He can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com