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BEST MARKET FOR SELLERS IN A DECADE

If you OWN a home in the Nashville area, congratulations! The local real estate market has been performing incredibly over the last seven years. Maybe it is time to realize the return on your investment.

Consider:

  • Active inventory in Nashville is the lowest it’s been in 15 years.
  • Multiple offer situations are very common as buyers joust to purchase choice properties.
  • Interest rates are on the rise, increasing the current buyer pool.
  • Spring is, and has always been, the peak season for active buyers.
  • The Nashville Chamber of Commerce reports that about 90 people per day move to our city.

This is, without a doubt, a market for sellers, and NOW may be your moment, homeowner.

Contact one of the SimpliCITY Nashville Real Estate PARTNERS, as we’d be glad to discuss the value of your home and create a strategy to take advantage of these rare market conditions.

 


TO STAGE OR NOT TO STAGE?

Yes, to stage! Or at least more often than not, certainly.

You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. And, while you may think you have amazing taste in furnishings (and maybe you do), the only thing that matters is whether the house you are selling projects the taste of the likely buyer.

Staging by Fresh Perspectives

It is hard for that buyer to fall in love with the house if they can’t envision it for the distraction posed by your heavy 1980s-vintage drapes and your collection of chicken-themed ceramics.

When staging a house, remember that not all spaces are created equal. The rooms that matter most are the master suite, the kitchen, and the entry hall (again, first impression). These should be professionally staged without question. Secondary bedrooms, dens, playrooms and storage spaces are not as critical, if you are staging selectively.

Many homes can even be staged largely through careful editing and rearranging of existing furnishings.

The average cost to stage a home is perhaps $2,000. The resultant impressive photography and the excited reactions of potential buyers during showings are more than worth the expense—many times over—likely leading to a much quicker sale for a substantial premium.

The only times you wouldn’t necessarily stage are if you have a particularly hot commodity that will sell quickly regardless, if the house is brand new with a clearly understood floor plan, or if you intend the house to be purchased by a flipper-investor.

SimpliCITY Nashville works with some extraordinarily talented stagers whose profession involves making your house show at its peak potential, thus commanding peak price. The staging is not the product, but, if you will, it’s the packaging in which the product is sold, and it’s very worth the investment.

 


ANYONE . . . ANYWHERE

ANY CITY, ANY STATE, ANY COUNTRY

One of the lines of business we offer at SimpliCITY Nashville is Outgoing Referral & Introduction Service to anyone, anywhere!

Our broker, Zeitlin & Co., Realtors, holds membership in a prestigious group of real estate companies around the globe called Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Through our autonomous Relocation Department (RELO), we offer introductions to quality agents in ANY city, in ANY country, in the world.

Real Estate is an area of business where everyone benefits from educated, dedicated, quality representation, and we would like to help you, your friends, family, neighbors or colleagues with that very important assistance when needed. We are LOCAL . . . and we are GLOBAL!

If you hear of ANYone making an imminent move to our city, or to the complete unknown, please allow us to make an introduction to a highly qualified agent to handle the transaction. Your referral would be assigned one contact at SimpliCITY Nashville, and we will take it from there. This service applies to selling a home as well as purchasing.

We are grateful for the many clients, friends, and family in our lives, and we are anxious to help the people who are just as important to you have a stellar real estate experience ANYWHERE in the USA and BEYOND!

You may read Testimonials for Yvonne, David, Caroline and Alex on their individual PARTNER pages.


The Meaning Behind The Names Of Some Of Nashville’s Most Popular Neighborhoods

What’s in a name? There are people who proudly live in Kalamazoo and Timbuktu. Walla Walla…now there’s a name for you.  Here in Nashville, we are a city that embraces history. Nashville itself is named for General Francis Nash, who served in the Revolutionary War. Nashville was settled on the Cumberland River on December 25, 1779. Be thankful we weren’t called Santa Claus – oh wait, clever Indiana already took that one!

The neighborhoods that have sprung up since that first settlement have meaningful names. Some honor those homes that defined a long ago prominence (Belmont), and some are just downright lyrical (Sylvan Park – now who wouldn’t want to live there!). Below are some of the histories of the neighborhoods that many of you are perusing to find your perfect home. Happy hunting!

Belle Meade – The name means “beautiful meadow,” and the original bearer of the name was a 200 acre plantation and home that still graces Harding Pike. Surrounding streets carry the monikers of notable horses, sired at the plantation; Enquirer and Iroquois, for example. Many Kentucky Derby winners can trace their heritage to this area. Now, show ponies of a different sort grace the neighborhood, the crème de la crème of Nashville society.

Belmont – Here is another neighborhood that carries the name of a stately mansion at its center. Sitting atop a hill that was once part of a 177 acre plat, the name means literally “beautiful mountain.” Are you getting the idea that Nashville takes pride in the natural beauty of the topography? The mansion is now a focal point of Belmont University, and the surrounding neighborhood embraces the academic lifestyle of professors and students and those who just like to associate themselves with academia.

12 South – Didn’t have to stretch too far for a name for this trendy, walkable neighborhood, adjacent to Belmont. It is located on both sides of – wait for it – 12th Avenue South. The side streets house charming bungalows and Craftsman homes, many restored to their original 1920’s and 1930’s glory. When Reese Witherspoon opted to open her first brick & mortar establishment, Draper James, she chose energetic  12 South. Whither Reese goes, we will follow.

The Gulch – Just like it sounds, this is a neighborhood built right over a long, idle railroad gulch. Far from derelict, this is an area of glam, high rise condos, walkable restaurants, and boutique hotels. In the works is a grand pedestrian bridge that will link The Gulch to the downtown core.

Downtown Core – The name says it all, but until 1988, it wasn’t even zoned for residential use. Now, beautiful high rises shake up the cityscape, and a fabulous new 45 story residential tower is being sheathed in glass for the ultimate in urban luxury, due to deliver in December 2017. Entertainment and sports venues abound, such as Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium, and Ascend Amphitheater. Walk  there… stumble home. So convenient!

Germantown –  The first groups that settled this area in the early 1800’s planned out an 18-block suburban neighborhood.  Original streetcar tracks are still visible pushing up through the cobblestoned curbs on fashionable 5th Avenue North. Today, the area defines urban living, and one is hard pressed to find a German anywhere. That doesn’t stand in the way of a lively, annual Oktoberfest, or daily homage to the brew at many of Nashville’s finest independent, chef-driven restaurants. Also, Nashville’s own minor league baseball club has a home in Germantown at First Tennessee Park.

Green Hills – One of those pastoral names that beckons its residents home at the end of the workday, it is a haven of high-end retail shopping and dining. Green Hills is a highly sought after area of single family homes, sited on leafy streets, but it is becoming more urban as the city expands south. Some would say, with its convenient location (15 minutes away from anything important, ahem), it is the best of all worlds.

Sylvan Park – There it is again, peace and tranquility in a name. This is another highly desirable neighborhood, close to midtown and downtown, yet possessing the throwback personality of community-living in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Neighbors walk their dogs and babies in the evening, and keep themselves in shape on the generous Greenway that meanders around a public golf course and through the neighborhood.

Lockeland Springs – Arguably, it is East Nashville’s top neighborhood, and was also named for an historic home, Lockeland Mansion, built in the early 1880’s. East Nashville is a rising star, home to many beloved, chef-driven eateries. While long affordable, some of the restored Victorian and Dutch Revival homes are now commanding prices over a million dollars. That makes the adorable Craftsmen types on charming side streets all the more desirable in the 400,000’s.

Nashville comprises many historically significant and protected neighborhoods, which thrive today, some 200 years from foundation, as attractive and desirable places to live. There is a lifestyle for everyone, and the Nashville housing market thrives with eager buyers who are finding life in this city to be second to none. We at SimpliCITY Nashville are proud to be native Nashvillians, and are eager to assist those who would like to put down their own roots in this awe inspiring little, big town!

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For more information on Nashville neighborhoods, visit www.zeitlin.com/neighborhoods

*Image courtesy of FoundryCo


Preventative Maintenance Checklist for 2017

The simplest reason to maintain your home is powerful: it can mean the difference between profit and loss.

There is no greater homeowner sadness when selling a home than achieving the desired sales price only to see those earnings decrease when addressing an inspection report. The below images offer an excellent schedule of tasks for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall to keep your home running at its most efficient, and preserve its highest value.

 

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SimpliCITY Team Book Reviews

The cold has settled in – at least for today! If you’re one of the weirdos who dread having free time, or just having to spend it with family, we have put together a list of our favorite books for your Amazon Prime*, two-day ordering pleasure.

We’d love to know your picks! (We have family, too).

* Amazon did not sponsor this post. Though we wish they had. 

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CAROLINE’S PICKS

Suspect by Michael Robotham  – The Gone Girl page turners are few and far between, no matter what all the new dust jackets say. In Suspect (recently renamed The Suspect, for reasons unknown), Michael Robotham introduces Joe O’Loughlin – psychologist turned accidental detective after being implicated in a former patient’s death. Witty. Sarcastic. Un-Put-Downable. This is the ultimate holiday read. Just make sure to read it snugged in your bed, lest you run into Santa trying to finish it.

Fear Itself: The Origin and Nature of the Powerful Emotion that Shapes Our Lives and Our World by Rush W. Dozier – Find out when our phobias will officially change from spiders, snakes, and heights, to guns, cars, and hospitals. And why every serial killer should probably have an autopsy done on their brain. You will read things in this book you will never forget, and that will change the way you view one of our most-oft maligned emotions forever. FOR. EV. ER.

Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon by Edward Dolnick – Imagine putting your wooden rowboat into water surging through a canyon over and around house-sized boulders, with mile-high walls pinching you in as far the eye can see. You have no idea what’s ahead. How long you’ll be in your wooden boat. If there are waterfalls. Big ones. From which there is no return. Not alive, anyway. You THINK you packed enough food, but who’s to know? Oh – and you only have one arm. It’s non-fiction that reads like fiction; the must-read true account of the first recorded descent through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.

 

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DAVID’S PICKS

Lord of the Flies by William Golding- This will forever be my favorite book. The adventure that reveals the true and unpleasant side of being human deserves its place of primacy in the 20th century canon. It’s a challenging read, both engaging and dark, that gets your existential juices flowing. If you haven’t read it since high school, it’s time to read it again.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – Most people who will read this book are introverts themselves, introversion and bibliophilia being highly correlated. Quiet is a validating read for those of us at the social margins whose capacity for productivity, thoughtfulness, and insight that only solitude can nurture needs to be more fully appreciated. Introverts can be superheroes, preferably unsung, when left to their quiet methods.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez – This novel is timely and will give shape to attitudes on immigration in America. The life of the immigrant is fraught and infinitely relatable when considered as a series of challenging day-to-day episodes (like your life and mine) rather than a sociopolitical abstraction. Not everything works out. Unique tragedies unfold, but the stoicism and resignation that must accompany a tough and largely hidden existence demand the reader’s admiration.

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ALEX’S PICKS

The Go Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann – If you read The Shack and hated it, well, we can’t say you’ll feel much different about this one. However, like The Shack, the nuggets of pure wisdom you can pull from the trite and somewhat juvenile prose make it a very worthwhile (and quick!) read. Perhaps even life-changing.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – If you only read one chapter standing in the bookstore, make it The Rabbit of Easter, He Brings of the Chocolate, whereby David and his fellow students try to explain (in beginner’s French) the meaning of Easter. You will LOFL, as the kids say.*

*(They may not use the F, but we think you will).

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YVONNE’S PICKS

 Amor Towles has written two outstanding reads in markedly different literary styles.

The Rules of CivilityThis novel examines class distinctions and the perceptions thereof, set in the glamour of post war 1940’s New York City. It examines our life choices and the joys and tragedies that inform them.

A Gentleman in Moscow – This is a novel of historical fiction, set in Bolshevik Russia. This story follows the life of a Russian aristocrat ordered to house arrest in a Red Square luxury hotel for the duration of his natural life. Is there any luxury greater than personal freedom? The gentleman in question proceeds to make the delightful best of his circumstances. The prose in this page turner is witty and sophisticated and laden with an assortment of fully drawn characters that will live in your heart as you read.


Exclusive: Name revealed for mysterious downtown development as owners pursue grocery, movie theater

The following is an article from the Nashville Business Journal, written by Adam Sichko.

A grocery store, a movie theater and a music venue all are targeted as part of a forthcoming redevelopment of a prime swath of downtown real estate — one of Nashville’s biggest real estate deals in at least the past decade.screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-6-01-18-pm

Southwest Value Partners, the San Diego investor who paid $129 million for nearly 15 acres, is negotiating with companies that would operate or brand each of those three types of amenities, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the talks.

Southwest Value Partners, a firm co-founded by the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, bought the campus of LifeWay Christian Resources and a bit of adjacent land one year ago. Now, the company’s plan to overhaul the property is crystallizing. On Dec. 13, sources said officials from Southwest Value Partners disclosed their name for the development — Nashville Yards — at a private party where attendees could take a virtual reality tour of the proposed project.

The grocery store, movie theater and music venue are just a few of the pieces in the mix for the development Southwest Value Partners is pursuing, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and alter the city’s skyline. The company, which had never invested in Nashville before, transformed from total unknown to one of the city’s most pivotal landowners by swooping in and buying the LifeWay campus at the sixth-largest lump sum paid for Nashville real estate in the past decade, according to our research. The deal is so large, Southwest Value Partners paid $462,000 in Metro fees to file the deed recording the land sale (those fees tie directly to the purchase price).

Mystery still shrouds the firm and its project, as executives have declined interview requests to-date. We took you inside the deal for the LifeWay campus as best we could earlier this year. To be sure, because these are ongoing negotiations, there is no guarantee a grocery store, a movie theater or a music venue (in any combination) will ultimately materialize.

Publicly, Southwest Value Partners has given one peek behind the curtain, and it was a big one, as Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H) announced a 540-room Hyatt Regency for the project. The high-rise hotel, if built, would be the third-largest hotel downtown, surpassing even the 33-story JW Marriott under construction in SoBro.

What’s clear is that Southwest Value Partners owns enough land to create a district of sorts, with a lot of office space and apartments or condos also in the mix. Although construction costs continue to escalate, the developers stand to benefit from other factors in their favor — namely, the increasing appeal Nashville’s urban core has for businesses and residents alike. That has helped generate a historic shortage of office space available to lease.

Meanwhile, downtown’s population has jumped 40 percent in four years and is increasingly well-off, according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership. The group, which surveys residents each year, projects downtown’s population to stand near 10,000 by year’s end, and grow even faster in the coming years.

For the fifth year in a row, residents responding to the partnership’s annual survey ranked a grocery store as their most-desired amenity. The second most-desired feature: a movie theater.

The status of financing to build the development remains unclear publicly, and banks wouldn’t commit to construction loans until that activity was imminent. That said, Southwest Value Partners has demonstrated the depth of its connections — starting with Robert Sarver, who co-founded the firm 25 years ago and, in addition to owning the Suns, is also chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE: WAL) and its $17 billion in assets. In its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Southwest Value Partners reported a $296 million round of fundraising from investors. Don’t forget that the company paid all-cash for the LifeWay site (two months later, the firm took out a loan on the property equal to less than half that amount).

Hilton said it expects to open the Hyatt Regency in 2019. It’s planned for the corner of Broadway and 10th Avenue North, across from the historic Union Station Hotel, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and a Holiday Inn. That location is a quarter-mile from where Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM) has signed a long-term lease in an apartment tower that Austin developer Endeavor Real Estate Group has proposed.

As we’ve reported, Southwest Value Partners is working with Nashville architecture and engineering firm Gresham Smith & Partners and the Nashville office of the Colliers International real estate brokerage firm.

LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, is building a headquarters in Capitol View, a mixed-use development at 1100 Charlotte Ave. overseen by Boyle Investment Co.

 


Shadow is the New Simply White

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  • The 2017 Color of the Year is Shadow, a far cry from 2016’s Simply White. So long white rooms. The new paint color is, in the words of Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s Creative Director, “allusive and enigmatic. Shadow is a master of ambiance. It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past,’ yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement.”
  • The New Year is quickly closing in upon us, and we are predicting 2017 will be deep and dark with an edgy elegance. However, the color palette still supports shades of white, like Chalk White and Cloud Cover, and blends into muted grays like Stormy Monday, Sandlot Gray, and Knoxville Gray.
  • The new rich, much darker palate is a complete 180 from recent years, which were dominated by multiple shades of white. To be sure, soft, warm whites will never go out of style, and if paired well with the right balance of furniture and accessories, it can be forever classic.
  • When it comes to a new home, color is by far the easiest/cheapest way to enhance your home when preparing to put it on the market. We’d recommend using these darker colors only as an accent brought in by furniture, decorative objects, and/or pillows. If you’re looking to paint for resale, we’d go with Stormy Monday, Cloud Cover, or Chalk White.

More information on Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year


Buying in a Seller’s Market

To the layperson, the term seller’s market points to the general fact that real estate is moving briskly and that sellers typically do well financially when they put their houses up for sale – homes sell fast and for nice prices. But, there is actually a technical and less general definition: a seller’s market is characterized by an absorption rate of five months or less for homes of a particular type.

In other words and for example, if suburban homes with three bedrooms are selling in a particular neighborhood at a rate of 5 per month, and there are 15 such homes currently on the market there, those homes should sell out within three months. As three months is less than six months, voila! You are experiencing a seller’s market.

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Buying in a seller’s market can be tricky and, if you’re a buyer, be mindful of the following:

  • Homes will sell fast, and the market rewards the ready and the quick. Be vigilant in your search, study the market with your Realtor in advance, and get pre-qualified by your lender before searching.
  • If you like to “sleep on” things before making big decisions, well, change your ways. Here today, gone tomorrow. Or gone in a couple of hours, even!
  • Expect to pay near, at, or even above list price in many cases.
  • Be patient. You may not get the first house you want. Or the second.
  • Expect multiple offer situations in which you are competing with other buyers—sometimes lots of other buyers—for the same property. Candidly, they’re no fun. Put your best foot forward, cross fingers and say prayers, and be confident in your Realtor’s advice and perspective.
  • Work with an experienced buyer’s agent. You NEED someone who knows the right tricks to make your offer as competitive as it can possibly be, or you are likely to miss out. The SimpliCITY Nashville team has two Accredited Buyer’s Representatives and are very creative in competitive situations.

The Real Meaning of Luxury

Since we at SimpliCITY Nashville Real Estate purport to be “at the intersection of urban and luxury,” it seems that the way we define “luxury” warrants a mention.

We, as realtors, encounter dozens of clients within a year and we are  privy to an individual’s wish list and priorities. It seems that the concept of luxury can mean quite different things to different souls and we want to dispel the notion that we are catering only to high-end buyers or the crème de la crème (not that we discriminate against the crème at all…mais non!)

004To some, owning a home logistically convenient to their places of work, play, worship, education, etc. is priceless. In fact, for many, this CONVENIENCE is their top priority and certainly qualifies as a luxury. This is becoming such a phenomenon in Nashville, that the walkable, urban neighborhoods of Germantown, Belmont/12South, Hillsboro Village, Five Points/Lockeland Springs in East Nashville, to name a few, are the hottest spots in town.

But what if having a large yard for children to frolic, access to great neighborhood schools, and pools are your family’s idea of luxury?  The leafy suburbs of Brentwood and points South, as well as other outlying areas within a short commute of Nashville, are where those folks will conduct their home search. CLEAN AIR AND WIDE OPEN SPACES are a calling for many of our clients.

Another aspect of everyday living in which some buyers are finding luxury is in the MAINTENANCE FREE LIFE of high-rise condominium towers. Now we are guided to The Gulch and the Downtown Core where there is an abundance of upscale residential. Your previous home and yard cares become the domain of an attentive concierge and building maintenance crew.

However you define luxury, we at SimpliCITY Nashville are bound to identify it and find it for you whether your budget is $200,000 or $2,000,000.  We have the experience to guide you to your own personal Nirvana, and that is luxury indeed!