What You Get for …$459,000

What You Get for …$459,000 in Williamson County

The average sales price for a home in Williamson County is almost $459,000 (up from $428,000 in 2013.)

What can you find for that price?

Here are three choices:

A new Victorian with over 5 acres of land

5619A Pinewood Rd MLS#1555379

5619A Pinewood Rd MLS#1555379

A townhome in the ever popular Westhaven

1016 State Blvd No.156 MLS#1566426

1016 State Blvd No.156 MLS#1566426

A cottage-style home in Willowsprings, a  mere 1.5 miles from downtown Franklin

107 Tulip Lane MLS#1572853

107 Tulip Lane MLS#1572853

 

Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day by Winifred Watson

Miss P Lives for a Day LargerMiss Pettigrew Lives for A Day by Winifred Watson

First published in 1938, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is a completely silly, dated, and beguiling novel.

Middle-aged Miss Pettigrew, tired, out of work, and not a little depressed, is sent by her employment agency to the home of Miss Delysia LaFosse to fill the position of nursery governess. After a few minutes in Miss LaFosse’s company, Miss Pettigrew, unsophisticated though she may be, is fairly certain that the extremely glamorous and young Miss LaFosse   has no need of a nursery governess.

But when Miss LaFosse (nee Sarah Grubb) unquestioningly embraces Miss Pettigrew’s presence, Miss Pettigrew is (not unwillingly) swept along by the younger woman’s charm and the non-stop action at No.5 Onslow Mansions.

The hour-by-hour plot involves visits from Miss LaFosse’s three boyfriends and her best friend Miss Dubarry, a makeover for Miss Pettigrew, a visit to a nightclub, and large quantities of drink.

At the end of the day, romantic entanglements are happily resolved, and Miss Pettigrew finds courage, confidence, and a new home.

In 2008, a film version of the novel (which I haven’t seen) was released staring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams.

Miss Pettigrew

Brussels Sprout Books

2100205-010While dining at PKC’s house last week with the O. Coltons, the talk turned, unsurprisingly, to books.  Amy recently read The Goldfinch by Donna Tart. Since I haven’t read the widely talked about novel, I asked Amy how she liked it.The Goldfinch

Amy grimaced a bit, and conceded that it was engaging, but she’s not sure she’d recommend it.

 Is The Goldfinch a brussels sprout book?

Brussels sprouts, nutritious and recently chic, make you feel virtuous and hip, despite the fact that you wouldn’t serve them at home, and let’s be honest, brussels sprouts only taste good when smothered with something else.

Brussels sprout books share the same qualities as their cabbagey namesakes, and frequently occupy places on the lists of 100 Books Every Educated Person Should Read.

I have read plenty of brussels sprout books and even enthusiastically recommended a few.

But recently, I instituted the fifty page rule in which I abandon a book if I am not sufficiently overjoyed after fifty pages-despite the brilliant writing or the rapturous reviews.

So will I read The Goldfinch? Maybe. I’ll see how the first fifty pages go.

What brussels sprout book have you read recently?

Factory Man by Beth Macy

Factory Man by Beth Macy

Factory ManBeing a Bassett of Bassett furniture fame was a good gig for a lot of years. As long as you could stomach working for one of your unreasonable, dictatorial, and micromanaging kinfolk, the pay was good, and the living, if not easy, beat the alternative which was not being a Bassett in Bassett, VA.

And then came China’s admission to the World Trade Organization,  and it all changed. Continue reading

Labor Day Home Sales

428 Sandcastle Temple Hills

428 Sandcastle Road, Temple Hills

Labor Day Home Sales

An eager pool of buyers and a limited supply of homes for sale, especially under $500,000, has been the top story in real estate this year.

On Labor Day, there were 2341 homes for sale under $500,000 in Davidson County and 611 pending sales resulting in 3.8 months of inventory.  In Williamson County, there were 877 homes for sale under $500,000 and 537 pending sales—or a startling low 1.6 months of inventory. Since a balanced market is considered five to six months, this situation is pretty sweet for sellers.

Should you wish to purchase a home priced over $500,000, there is more selection and negotiating room, at least in Davidson County.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story because the housing market is hyper-local. Circumstances vary from community to community and block by block.

Before you make any assumptions, talk to a trusted real estate professional about the specifics of your situation, or request a copy of my comprehensive report of single family home sales in Davidson County, Area Two (I-65 to Charlotte Pike), Williamson County or condominium sales in Davidson County.

Portrait of an Artist

Portrait of an Artist

When I lived in NYC, the dining room of my 4th floor apartment looked into a spectacular stained glass window at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation across the street.  Glowing softly at night, the depiction of the Ascension and the Transfiguration (reputedly by John LaFarge) made quite a statement at dinner parties.  (Every meal automatically blessed!)

Ever since then I have had a soft spot for the  art of stained glass, and I am thrilled to Flowerintroduce CINDY STROCK a stained glass artist, friend, and recent Nashville transplant.

Continue reading

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming,

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming,

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming,Escape the Heat

Despite the fact we are back to school in Nashville,  it is still  much too hot for serious fiction. What is required during the last stifling days of August is  a juicy murder mystery set in a cold climate!

In the Bleak Midwinter, the first in a  series by Julia Spencer-Fleming, Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest,  and police chief Russ Van Alstyne team up to find the mother of an abandoned baby. Before long the investigation extends to murder, and Clare and Russ  discover there are plenty of secrets lurking beneath the snow drifts of their small upstate New York town.

To date, there are eight novels in this series. In addition to confronting criminals, Clare and the married Russ must confront their growing attraction to each other as well.

The Viceroy’s Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters by Anne de Courcy

KEDLESTON HALL, home of the Curzon Family since the 12thC

KEDLESTON HALL
Home of the Curzon Family since the 12thC

The Viceroy’s Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters by Anne de Courcy

As the daughters of Lord Curzon, confidants of royalty, and friends, lovers, and wives of politicians and the powerful, the Curzon sisters, Irene, Cimmie, and Baba knew everyone who was anyone in England between the wars (BTW.)

The Curzon gals are not nearly as much fun as the other famous British BTW sisters, the Mitfords, (Irene Curzon calls the Mitford sisters “hooligans”), but they lived interesting (and grander) lives nonetheless.

The Viceroy's Daughters by Anne de CourcyLord Curzon, the imperious Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905 was not the most comfortable of fathers, and the girls’ mother, the wealthy American Mary Leister, died when the girls were small. After his wife’s death,  Curzon had several girlfriends, some of whom the sisters were fond, but he eventually married another heiress, Grace Duggan.

This was all to the good because Curzon not only maintained an imperial lifestyle, he also suffered from a serious house addiction and not of the 3 bed, 2 bath bungalow variety. Eventually Curzon fell out with his daughters over the money their mother had left them, believing that he had some say over its distribution. The girls won a series of unpleasant legal actions against their father which created a permanent breach.

Growing up without a mother (and father for the most part), the girls were close all of their lives, but frequently quarreled, usually over a man.

The first to leave home was “nice” middle daughter Cimmie, who married Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Fascist leader and well-known womanizer. After her early death, Mosley married one of the “hooligans,” Diana Mitford Guinness, with whom he had been having an affair for several years.

The baby of the family, Baba married the amiable but dim-witted best friend of the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII), Fruity Metcalf. It was a marriage she immediately regretted, and as a consequence spent much of her time in the company of other men.

As members of the Prince of Wales inner circle, Baba and Fruity had front row seats on the Wallis Simpson affair and were present at their infamous wedding, which Baba describes in her diary in characteristically acerbic terms.

Upon her sister Cimmie’s death, Baba immediately and creepily launched an affair with her brother-in-law, the widowed Mosley, presumably to “save” him from Diana. (It didn’t work.)

The eldest sister, Irene, never married but with her vast fortune, she maintained a home at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire where she hunted, played bridge, drank too much, and had affairs. She traveled extensively and was a devoted aunt to Baba and Cimmie’s children, who were often unceremoniously dumped on her doorstep.

The Curzon siblings were indeed quintessential “poor little rich girls.” Despite their opportunities and some late life accomplishments, one can’t help but feel they lived somewhat purposeless lives. Even in their own biography, the men in their lives dominate the narrative.

But to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, oh, the places they went!

I recommend this book as well as two books about the “hooligans”— The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell and Nancy Mitford’s semi-autobiographical novel about her eccentric family,  The Pursuit of Love.

The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. LovellThe Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

 

 

What Everyone Ought to Know About Jumbo Loans

What Everyone Ought to Know About Jumbo Loans

Buying a BIG Home?

Are you thinking about buying a  BIG home  this year? Congrats! But before you hop in your real estate agent’s car, you need to know something about jumbo loans.

I asked my friend and mortgage expert BRIAN KEY from Regions Bank to respond to seven commonly asked questions about jumbo mortgages.

What Is A Jumbo Loan?

A jumbo loan is defined as a loan that exceeds the conforming loan limit set by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac which is $417,000 for a single family home in the middle TN market. A loan is considered a super jumbo when it exceeds $2M.

Myths & Misconceptions Of Jumbo Loans

Many have the perception that jumbo financing is more difficult to obtain and the terms are much less desirable which is simply not true.

There are jumbo products that require as little as 10% down and rates are often times the same or better than conventional loans. There is a full offering of eligible products including 30 and 15 year fixed as well as 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMS. The days of stating income and assets are well behind us, but qualifying for a jumbo loan is no more difficult than any other home loan mortgage.   Continue reading

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

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