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VOL. 37 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 10, 2013

Habitat on pace to build 30 new homes in 2013

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville is well known and greatly supported by the area, yet the scope of its work is often overlooked. The Nashville group has absorbed responsibilities for Dickson, Cheatham and Wilson counties to go along with Davidson County.

Led by Danny Herron, the organization receives about 700 applications each year for the 40 families it is capable of placing, with 30 new homes being constructed this year. For those not knowledgeable of the Habitat process, there is a system for evaluating the applicants and awarding the “builds” on a needs basis.

Each new homebuyer must complete an 80-hour home ownership course, save the $2,500 in closing costs required to close on the loan and complete a Dave Ramsey Homeworks class that includes subjects such as the importance of a will and other fundamental financial practices.

In addition, the homebuyer must contribute 100 hours of manual labor in their own home while assisting one of their neighbors in construction of their home.

Lauren Lane, senior vice president of philanthropy with Habitat, says local Habitat for Humanity manages some 400 mortgages in house. In addition to the builds, the Greater Nashville office has joined with the Housing Fund in a three-year project to assist in the rebuilding of six homes each year that are in areas affected by the May 2010 flood.

The organization relies on contributions for its work, and Lane cites the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR)’s 18th consecutive build as an example. The cost of a build is $60,000 for the entity sponsoring the build.

Lane says GNAR raises its money through a golf tournament, holiday cards and will this year will sponsor a run/walk event.

The Death of a Legend

Lura Bainbridge

The Nashville real estate industry lost its leading lady last week with the death of Lura Bainbridge. Clichés are not appropriate, yet she was the first superstar in Nashville real estate, exuding a physical beauty that intimidated men and women alike and an intellect that exceeded all expectations.

She was savvy and brilliant. But more important, she was always fair and treated everyone with respect. Everyone.

Lura, who was the first to congratulate others, dodged recognition, choosing to stand in the shadows whenever she could, although it was impossible as her presence filled any room and she drew the attention all in attendance. While glamorous and flamboyant, she was humble and unpretentious.

Bainbridge was the original Realtor to the Stars, so dubbed while working with Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, John Fogerty, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, and Rodney Crowell. She shared her life with her beloved husband Judge Tommy Brothers, and was the most well-read person I know.

She was extremely active in the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, serving on a number of committees, and would often bring the chair a bottle of champagne at the end of the year in appreciation for his or her work.

Her deals, however ominous, always closed. She was the first to realize the potential of Music Row real estate and opened an office there in 1985. With her trusted agent and friend Dane Bryant at her side, they dominated the Row for years.

Many a frustrated seller would call Lura expressing disdain for the broker they had enlisted to represent that seller’s property, often asking her to take over the listing. Her standard response was there was nothing more she could do for the listing that was not being done by the current broker. She would decline the listing and suggest the owner support his broker.

For those unfamiliar with commercial or residential real estate, that’s a far cry from the manner in which most handle such situations.

She taught us how it’s done and we will miss her.

Sale of the Week

The sale of the week is at 405 Normandy Circle located in the Normandy Place condos in Sylvan Park, a 2002 HND development although they were known as Hostetler, Neuhoff, and Davis. This condo is actually a townhouse that is attached to one other home, each with its own driveway and one car garage.

When launched, the development was extremely popular. Its 100 or so homes sold out quickly. The buyers were immediately gratified as property values quickly rose.

The home at 405 Normandy Circle featured one of the most popular floor plans – 1,422 square feet with two bedrooms, two and a-half baths, designed so there are two master suites. The rooms are voluminous with 20-foot ceilings, hardwood floors along with tile in the wet areas.

It was listed by Charles Kelly of RE/MAX Carriage House. Charles is highly regarded for her work in this area. Denise Cummins of Zeitlin Realtors, a modern day Realtor to the Stars, as well as some of Mars, delivered the buyers.

In early presales, this plan sold for as low as $126,000. This seller paid $131,218, as there were upgrades. Last week, this home sold for $235,000 with 72 days on the market. So the owner bought for $131,218 and sold for $235,000. Nothing to it, right? Not so fast.

Here’s the way it shook. From early 2002 to late 2002, the prices increased from as low as $126,000 to $140,800. By 2004, they were selling for $195,000 and up to $203,000 in 2005.

The fun started in 2006 when prices skyrocketed to $255,000. Then the trouble came as prices dipped to $247,000 in 2007 and as low as $219,000 in 2011 before rebounding to $223,000 in 2012 and reaching the $235,000 they enjoy today. As Vanderbilt football fans used to say, “Wait till next year!”

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

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