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VOL. 37 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 15, 2013

Use your imagination to make it a perfect house

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Sales numbers from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors’ show unit sales for the area up 18 percent compared to the same period last year, with year-to-date sales up 18.2 percent compared to 2012.

More encouraging, assuming that you find increased sales encouraging, are the pending sales numbers. There were 2,269 sales that were pending at the end of February compared to 1,832 last year.

And so it goes. More and more sales. Not surprisingly, prices are on the rise with the median price of a single family home rising from $159,900 to $175,000.

A year ago, rates and prices were lower, and it was heralded by lenders and Realtors in print, on TV, over the radio airwaves and online. This time, they were right. The best is over for buyers, and it’s heading up, even with higher interest rates and unheard-of prices.

Hint of the Week: If you love a house, buy it, even you have to pay more than list price. If that house fits most of your needs and is not the dream home, find a similar house that has been on the market and needs a bit of work to make it perfect.

A house that remains on the market 60 days in this market is overpriced. There are some deals to be had as perfection is selling and mediocrity stalls. Few buyers have the vision required to take that old chunk of coal and fashion it into a diamond.

The Sales of the Week

Sales of the week are in Priest Lake Park, an area reached by traveling I-40 east to the exit for Stewarts Ferry Pike. That could be the Lewis route, while Clark might have taken a different approach, perhaps making the trek on Interstate 24 to Murfreesboro Road before turning onto Smith Springs Road, at which point the itinerant buyer would find his destination at Anderson Road.

The listing agent is Nazarene Frazier, whose given name has a Lenten ring to it. So let’s go with that theme:

Frazier is the managing broker of Southern REALTORS, and what a friend she has in Fannie Mae, which was begotten of Uncle Sam, the ruler of the land.

There came a time of great recession when many of the servants of Uncle Sam’s kingdom were unable to pay the local magistrate the taxes that had been levied, nor Fannie Mae the moneys that they had taken vows to pay with some borrowers – servants to their debts – going 40 days and 40 nights (and some the even more important number of 90 days) with no payment to Fannie.

And the scrolls of papyrus were filled with proclamations forewarning all in the kingdom of the foreboding plague of lowballs.

At that point, Uncle Sam ordered the borrower to appear in a tribunal, in effect washing his hands of the events. At the tribunal, also known as a foreclosure, the home of the servant is sold to the highest bidder, in most cases Fannie herself.

Following the proceedings, the local sheriff’s soldiers are ordered to rid the home of the former owners’ belongings, throwing them into the streets, while the doors were made secure by the modern-day equivalent of rolling a stone in front of the door. They changed the locks.

In many mansions of the wealthy, or more frequently those chasing the wealth in order to have mansions of their own, the foreclosure is seen as the key to the kingdom. In most cases, purchasing foreclosed homes, investing the money for the demolition and rehab, along with carrying costs such as the fees collected by the tax collectors along with the costs levied in selling the home, do not allow for a celestial return.

But the dwelling at 3820 Anderson Road, built in 2005, could prove to be manna from heaven. The house was purchased in 2007 for $191,900 and Fannie Mae paid $179,957 for the house at the courthouse. The subsequent buyer paid $137,000 for the property.

Of interest is that the buyer paid $191,900 for the house and borrowed $186,143 (at least), while the new owner in 2013 paid $137,000 and borrowed $109,000. Wisely, the buyer’s Realtor, George Basch of ReMAx Elite, had Uncle Sam pay $3,500 in closing costs and prepaid items.

The house has three bedrooms, three and a-half baths and 2,054 square feet.

The other sale is 340 Clearlake Drive West and was listed and sold by Pat Woodard of Forest Hills REALTORS. Listed at $144,900, the home sold for $137,000 with its 1,974 square feet, three bedrooms and two baths. Pat says this house is “the perfect 10 with a new roof, water heater and an HVAC that is only 2 years old.

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

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0