Williamson County Home Sales

Williamson County Home Sales

In Williamson County, there were 523 home closings reported for the month of July, a slight decrease from the 535 closings reported for the same period last year.

The average sales price increased to $477,544 from $447,502.

Inventory remains low at almost all price points.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Limited inventory has resulted in fewer sales and higher prices in Williamson County this year.

With stiff competition for homes, it is more important than ever for buyers to work with a real estate professional, get pre-qualified, and be crystal clear on your wants and needs.

For sellers, just because there is a limited selection of homes for sale doesn’t necessarily mean that buyers will select your home. You still need to follow the fundamental seller rules-–price your home right, make it easy to show, and declutter.

Design by Marcelle Guilbeau, Interior Designer

A show ready bath! Design by Marcelle Guilbeau, Interior Designer

July Home Sales: Now & Then

"Dogs at Gate" by Dru Anderson, watercolor

“Dogs at Gate” by Dru Anderson, watercolor

July Home Sales: Now & Then

In DAVIDSON COUNTY, there were 899 home closings reported for the month of July. This figure represents a 10% increase from the 818 closings reported for the same month last year.

The average sales price increased to $267,850 from $251,708 in July 2013.

Inventory remains low for homes priced under $500,000. There is a greater supply of homes at higher price points.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

For buyers, regardless of your budget, research the market and have your financing lined up before you start house hunting. This is especially important if your budget is under $500,000 where a limited supply of homes means stiff competition.

For sellers, don’t be cocky even if there are a limited number of homes for sale in your neighborhood. The same fundamental seller rules apply– price your home right, make it easy to show, and declutter. If you do face some competition, double down on the basic rules and talk to your real estate agent about creative marketing ideas.

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

Book of Ages by Jill LeporeBook of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

Have you ever found yourself deep in a project, having devoted countless hours and valuable resources, only to realize that the thing’s a bust?

Now what–carry on or cut your losses?

Jill Lepore, the author of Book of Ages, a biography of Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane,  found herself in this position. In the appendix to the book, she declares, “For a long time, I was so discouraged that I abandoned the project [the book] altogether. I thought about writing a novel instead. But I decided, in the end, to write a biography…”

With mixed results.

The problem is that although Jane Franklin was kin to the famous Ben Franklin, she lived an ordinary life, and ordinary 18th C American women didn’t leave  a paper trail. This makes researching a traditional biography somewhat challenging.

For example, not a single letter of Jane’s from the first forty-five years of her life survives. On the other hand, recipients of brother Ben’s letters treasured them, shared them with friends, quoted from them, and passed the missives on to their children.

It was ever thus. History is the story of those with the money, leisure, and education to document it (or be documented). Which is why Henry VIII’s marital difficulties are a part of popular culture and 15thC farmer John Doe’s divorce,  not so much.

So Lepore is forced be creative. She has a distinctive prose style and does the best with what she’d got,  but there’s not much there.

If you are a student of early American history, Benjamin Franklin, or admire a gallant academic exercise, I can recommend this book.  For the rest of you, not so much.

 

Where to Find Really Useful Mortgage Information Online

 

House on a computerWhere to Find Really Useful Mortgage Information Online

Are you thinking about buying a home this year, but are overwhelmed with the number of financial decisions to be made?

The good news is that everything you want to know is online; the bad news is that everything you want to know is online! The abundance of information can be overwhelming.

Fortunately my friend and mortgage expert BOB WARD from Renasant Bank has provided a highly curated list of the best online resources. I picked up some valuable tips, and I know you will too.

 

1-The following article raises good points not usually covered by the typical mortgage websites:

32 Mortgage Experts Reveal Tips For First Time Buyers

2-These two articles answer questions about credit and credit scores:

What Is A Good Credit Score?
What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A Home?

3-Tips to keep in mind before you enter the market:

Top Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Tips For Buying A House 

4-And from Fannie Mae, a good starting point:

Know Your Options

5-An overview of budgeting to buy:

Buying Your First House? Save Yourself From a Budget Nightmare

Bob WardBob is an “almost” native Nashvillian with over 25 years in the mortgage and real estate industry. He uses his experience and knowhow to help his customers find the most effective and creative ways to finance and protect their most important investment – their home.

Bob can be reached at 615.300.0809 or BWard@renasant.com

Bob recommends these books:  My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young, one of Bob’s favorite clients and a successful children’s book author. Also Gray Girl by Susan Spieth.

My Blue is Happy

What You Get for …$264,000

What You Get for …$264,000

Homes for Sale in Davidson County

6118 Louisiana MLS #1559435

6118 Louisiana MLS #1559435

For the first six months of the year, the average closing price for a home in Davidson County was $264,000.

What do you get for that price? Well, that depends primarily on what and where, but there are lots of options.

Here are four choices in four zip codes:

37209

A 1669 square foot new build in “hot”  historic West Town.

West Town is Sylvan Park (more state streets)  on the other side of Charlotte and the interstate. Very popular with hipster singles and young families.

37205

864 Belton Dr MLS #1559029

864 Belton Dr MLS #1559029

A 1957 ranch style home on almost a half an acre in peaceful West Meade.

Sleepy West Meade has been around forever, but is undergoing something of a renaissance. Mature trees, mid century style homes, and quiet streets make this a desirable location. Plenty of tear down activity here too.

37221

In Bellevue, a beautiful two story with over 2000 square feet.

Convenient to Edwin Warner Park and the Harpeth Valley Greenway, outdoorsy types and families flock to Bellevue.

2572 Devon Valley Dr MLS #1560584

2572 Devon Valley Dr MLS #1560584

 

 

 

 

 

7355 Autumn Crossing Way MLS #1552433

7355 Autumn Crossing Way MLS #1552433

 

37027

Six year old,  move in ready, one level in Concord Hills in the City of Brentwood.

This stretch of communities off Nolensville Road just keeps getting better. New shopping and dining options pop up daily. (Love the Burger Republic in Lenox Village) Easy commute to Brentwood or Nashville.

 

6 Tips For Saving Money On Your Energy Bill

aireconditioner lady

Image: Vintage Ads

6 Tips For Saving Money On Your Energy Bill

Yikes, the temperature is rising and so is your NES bill!

You want to save money, but aren’t ready to tear up your entire house installing the latest energy efficient innovations.

I hear you!

So I asked my friend Jennifer Tlumak and her colleagues at Urban Green Lab for some EASY & ECONOMICAL tips to reduce that energy bill and be a greener homeowner!

Set your thermostat to 78°.  Hmmm, 74° is the max summertime setting in my own home, but I’m inspired to start edging the thermostat up!  Motivation- air conditioning represents 17% of the energy bill in the average U.S. home.

Lower your thermostat 4°-8° while on vacation. This is why you have a programmable thermostat!

Switch ceiling fans to run counterclockwise in the summer and feel 3°-8°cooler. (In wintertime, run your ceiling fans clockwise to push the warm air down into living spaces.)

Plant a shade tree.  You can never have too many trees, and a strategically placed tree can reduce cooling costs up to 25%.  Planted on the east and west sides of your home, the leaves of deciduous trees will shade your house in the summer months. (In the winter, the bare branches will allow the sun’s warmth to reach your home’s walls. )

Caulk, caulk, caulk cracks in doors, windows, window casings, and vents. This one step will improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% –resulting in some serious savings.

Clean or replace your air conditioning filter regularly.  A clean filter allows your unit run more efficiently. (I never remember to do this until my filter is positively black. Note to self!)

Take a few minutes this weekend to implement one or more of the above suggestions and reap some green!

 

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith a/k/a J.K. Rowling

The Silkworm by Robert GalbraithThe Silkworm by Robert Galbraith a/k/a  J.K. Rowling 

Yeah! Private investigator Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott are back—as I knew they would be. Galbraith’s first novel was clearly poised as the first in a series of novels in the time honored literary tradition of sleuth and sidekick.

The crime solving duo was introduced in “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” a novel set in the world of high fashion. Robin was originally hired as an office temp, but through pluck and persistence, she has become a permanent staff member. (Sidekicks are always plucky.)

The Silkworm takes place in another rarified environment, the highbrow literary world.

Cormoran and Robin are hired by Leonora Quine to find her missing husband, an author of modest talent but outsize ego.  They find Owen Quine–murdered—in an unusually ghoulish manner.

In the course of their investigation, it becomes clear that the murder is related to Quine’s latest novel, Bombyx Mori (Latin for silkworm), the inflammatory and potentially libelous manuscript which circulated around the literary community in the days prior to Quine’s disappearance.  As a result, Cormoran must read the novel and interview all those who had access to it, both thankless chores as the novel is awful as are Quine’s colleagues.

Clearly Rowling had fun composing Quine’s “novel,” excerpts from which are sprinkled throughout The Silkworm. Written in excruciatingly gothic prose, Bombyx Mori  is a road trip novel featuring a hermaphrodite hero who encounters devious women and monsters on his way to —somewhere. The characters are unappealing and possess monikers such as the Tick, Succuba, and the Cutter.  It makes for depressing reading, but I caution you to read the novel-within-a-novel carefully. I made the mistake of skimming some of the more unpleasant passages, and then had to go back as Bombyx Mori holds key clues to Quine’s murder (and not a few red herrings.)

Rowling also enjoys lampooning the literary and academic world with which she is intimately acquainted. The characters (editor, publisher, authors, colleagues, wife, mistress, assistants) are mostly despicable or pathetic —if vividly portrayed.

(It makes you wonder how Rowling feels about her own real life literary circle. I guess when you’ve written the Harry Potter series, you can satirize your community at will.)

Rowling’s other non-HP book Casual Vacancy is chock full of similarly unlikable characters, such that there isn’t one with whom the reader can identify—making it a tough read.     Fortunately in The Silkworm, we have Cormoran and Robin, flawed to be sure, but worth rooting for!

With shrewdly observed characters and clever plotting,  The Silkworm goes well beyond the formulaic detective novel.

 

HOME FOR SALE BELLEVUE

HOME FOR SALE IN BELLEVUE

Image LR looking toward windowWell maintained, one owner house in Poplarwood, a community of fewer than 50 homes, has updated kitchen and baths, two bonus rooms.

Wisteria draped deck overlooks lush, private backyard with raised vegetable beds and new sod. Enormous finished basement with door to lawn.

Image deck 2House Notes

Year built: 1997 Jones Co

Acres: .22

Square footage:  2877 +752 finished basement (professionally measured)

3 Bedrooms,  2 Baths, 1 Half Bath

Fireplaces: 2

HVAC: 2

Hot Water Heaters:  1

HOA: $110 per quarter

Price: $339,500

MLS #1560376

Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter

Junkyard PlanetJunkyard Planet by Adam Minter 

Do you know what happens to your old Christmas tree lights?

They  are  shipped in containers to a scrap-metal processor in southern China where using a system of extraction that is theoretically similar  to the one used by 19thC American gold prospectors,  the recovered wire is sold to copper mills and the wire insulation makes plastic slipper soles.

Who knew?

After reading Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter, you’ll know this and a host of other fun facts about the global scrap business.  Minter’s book, although fascinating, is a bit TMI.  The content is better suited for a series of New Yorker articles than a full fledged book.  But even reading a few chapters will give you an entirely new perspective on your recycling bin. Continue reading

Home Prices Up

Home Prices Up

Home sales are flat and inventory is shrinking in Davidson and Williamson Counties (see earlier post), but home prices keep going up.

"Beneath the Wooden Shutters by Gay Petach. Courtesy of Local color Gallery

“Beneath the Wooden Shutters” by Gay Petach. Courtesy of Local Color Gallery

In Davidson County, the average closing price for the first six months of this year was $264,409 vs. $239,825 at this same time last year.

In Williamson County, it is the same story. The average closing price for the first half of this year was $457,054 vs. $417,047 at this same time last year.

Advice to Buyers: Get in the market now and be prepared to hustle! Home prices will continue to increase, and by early 2015, interest rates will probably be up as well.

Advice to Sellers: It’s a good time to sell, but the flip side is that you also have to buy! But take heart! Depending on whether you are buying another type of dwelling (condo for example), a home that is more/less expensive, or in a different neighborhood than your current home, you may have more options than you think. Take your money and move on!

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