Nesting In Nashville real estate blog by Stephanie Crawford, Realtor.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
Realtors specializing in helping home buyers and sellers within Nashville's core neighborhoods at Brokers Cooperative. Get thoughts on the Nashville Tennessee real estate market. We specialize in urban neighborhoods like East Nashville, condos, lofts, and townhomes in Davidson county. First time home buyers and corporate relocation.
After a home is under contract, the buyer typically has between 7-14 days to have the property inspected. During these days the buyer can hire as many inspection vendors as they wish. Most buyers will go for a basic home inspection report which typically costs between $350-$500 depending on the age, location, and size of the property, as well as a $60 termite inspection. Buyers may also opt to add additional inspections for radon, air quality, or lead-based paint. Heck, they can even have the feng shui analyzed if they wish. Additionally the buyer may want to have specialists to look over unique items such as pools, chimneys, and flat roofs. Surveyors and structural engineer services may also be engaged. The buyer is always responsible for payment of inspections at the time they occur.
Once the reports are complete, the buyer has three options:
Accept the property in As-Is condition and drop the inspection contingency. This is often the case with foreclosed homes and estate properties.
Cancel the contract with a full reimbursement of all earnest money. If something unanticipated is uncovered during the inspection, the buyer may withdraw from negotiations at this point.
Negotiate for specific repairs or for a change in contract terms based on inspection results. This is the most common outcome.
Words of Wisdom For Home Buyers
As a buyer, when you find your dream house, you’re usually okay when you notice small defects upon your own visual inspection. You can overlook the fact that the fridge doesn’t have a kick plate or that bathtub needs re-grouting. You won’t let these little things stop you from making an offer. But after a few intense rounds of pricing negotiations, you probably won’t be as flexible when the inspector’s report comes back with a big laundry list of items. Keep in mind that you can only ask for repairs that show actual damage – not aesthetic issues like wall color. If you can’t stand the color in the baby pink nursery and don’t want to paint yourself, you’ll need to have asked for this in the actual offer.
Also, the inspector will compare the house to the standards and codes used in today’s building practices. If you are buying an older home, you can’t ask that the seller bring the house up to today’s codes. The home only has to be current as to the year it was built. You can ask for repairs, but not upgrades. I see this come up often with GFCI outlets. If the home was built in 1950, it probably won’t have GFCI protections near every water source. It also likely won’t have ground three-pronged outlets throughout the home.
Finally, be thorough when making repairs requests. Don’t ask the seller to “fix the fan in the bathroom.” Instead ask the seller to “clear all debris on air vent plate, replace missing screws, and ensure that the air is venting to the exterior of the home, not the attic.”
TIP: The home inspection vendor choice is made by the home buyer. We recommend Premier Home Inspection, but you may choose any vendor you like. We highly recommend that an ASHI-approved home inspector is employed.
Bad Inspections. Agent Advice For Home Sellers.
We deal with inspection reports every day and nothing can kill a deal faster than the ill will that often results from a bad inspection. Some items might sound like a big deal when in reality it may only cost a few dollars to fix. As a seller, you can easily head problems off at the pass if you’ll tend to these small items before the inspector arrives. Here are a few recommendations:
Exterior Home Repairs
Make sure all landscaping, mulch, and dirt are at least 8 inches from the siding. If not, re-grading may be needed. If less than 8 inches, it can be seen as inviting to termites and other insects.
Ensure there are handrails installed on stairs, porches, or decks that are more than 36 inches off the ground. If the inspector doesn’t make note of this, the appraiser will. It’s a safety issue.
Have you got peeling paint around your wood trim? This can be seen as a Lead Based Paint safety risk. Make sure you check all windows, doors, and fascia for wood rot. This repair is typically easily completed by a handyman.
Make sure your foundation doesn’t have any open invites to critters. Culprits could be a misshapen cellar door, a missing dryer vent cover, or loose circulation air vents.
Do you have dirt in your crawl space? Consider adding black plastic sheathing for ground cover. It will make the space clean and inviting. It will discourage water intrusion. It may also help protect against radon emissions.
Make sure your gutters are free of debris and that the water downspouts are charging out in the correct places. Downspout extenders are very cheap.
Cracked window panes. This should be repaired before you even put the home on the market. Not only will the inspector make note, but the appraiser will require this repair before funding a loan.
Interior Home Repairs
Old house? Make sure that none of your windows are painted shut. This can be a fire safety hazard.
Missing switchplate covers. A simple and cheap fix.
Missing junction box covers or incorrect electrical connections. This one will get you every time and the plastic boxes and covers cost pennies.
Slow drains. Clean all shower and sink drains and ensure that the stoppers are working correctly.
Replace all burnt out light bulbs. ALL of them.
Double tapped breakers. This is a big fire concern.
Keep in mind that the inspector will ALWAYS find something. That’s his job after all and he’ll be examining every nook and cranny with a looking glass for 3-4 hours! But I promise the transaction will flow much more smoothly if you’ll knock these small items out when preparing for the home inspection. As a bonus, you can save a bit of cash because I can guarantee that if these items show up on the report, the buyer will ask that you use a “licensed and bonded repair person to make all repairs” they will also ask for a receipt as proof of repairs.
If budget was no obstacle, my personal favorite neighborhood in Nashville would be Richland-Cherokee. Other outstanding pockets that appeal to me personally are Little Hollywood in East Nashville and Historic Bluefields in Donelson (where we’ve just renovated a house!). I’m also attracted to brick ranches with large lots so West Meade and Crieve Hall get my love. For the more budget-conscious buyer, perhaps consider Lenox Village, Whispering Hills and Old Hickory Village.
I’d like to recommend a wonderful place to research neighborhoods over on the StyleBlueprint blog. SB is sort of an online magazine catering to southern women. I highly recommend checking out their Nashville Neighborhood Guide. Their great writers have posted more than 40 articles for your reading pleasure. For months I’ve been sending links to clients, so I thought I’d go ahead and curate links to the best features here on our Nesting In Nashville blog.
These are a my favorite Nashville Neighborhood Articles:
Bitcoin is slowly gaining acceptance across the United States for use in real estate transactions. Many larger, mature markets are seeing an increase in cryptocurrency funded closings, and it’s only a matter of time before Nashville sees this too. Our equity gains are attractive to bitcoin investors seeking a more traditional, safe place to park their earnings from crypto-investments.
We anticipate a growing market in luxury Nashville properties like high rise penthouses and the mansions in Green Hills and Belle Meade. Over the next few years, we expect to see not only buyers interested in these transactions, but also sellers willing to accept Bitcoin without converting the payment to cash.
Until those sellers materialize (which will probably happen as a second wave of sales from the initial Bitcoin millennial investors realizing gains), converting cryptocurrencies to cash may be necessary using Blockchain, or an app wallet like Coinbase. Currently, it can also be difficult to find a title company that will hold bitcoin in escrow, so conversion is doubly beneficial.
Are you interested in exploring Nashville real estate investment with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or another cryptocurrency? Reach out and let us help you find the right vehicle to exploit Nashville equity gains today.
We want the best for our clients and friends. That’s why, in 2018, we’ve decided to offer a free one year home warranty when you work with us in the purchase of any qualifying home.*
In a hot market, third party home warranties are often left out of negotiations. These days it seems that the buyer wants to make their offer as attractive as possible so they opt not to ask for the seller to provide a warranty. Or the seller has so much interest that they don’t feel it necessary to offer a warranty. But we feel that a warranty (especially in the first year of ownership) is a necessary purchase in protecting your investment. That’s why we’ve decided to offer a BIG incentive to buyers who opt to work with us. We will cover the cost of a Choice Plan Warranty with any qualifying home purchase. A $420 value.
Of course a few terms and conditions apply.
*Offer valid for purchasers who elect to hire Stephanie and/or James Crawford as their buyer agent representative in the purchase of a Nashville area home during the course of 2018. Offer requires a minimum home value of $200,000 and/or minimum advertised buyer broker commission of $5,000.
Even with a slight drop in units sold, home sales prices in Nashville and Davidson County continue to soar. The total number of units sold in November were down 3% while average home sales prices were up 18% from last year.
There were 1,331 home sales recorded for the month averaging $332,990 compared to 1,366 sales recorded in November 2016 averaging $282,674.
The median home sale price was up 11% from last year to $255,000 versus $229,990 last November.
Through the end of November the number of home sales recorded are up 1% year-to-date and average home sales prices are up 9% from the same period of 2016.
Antioch (37013) had the most home sales for the month with 150 recorded averaging $209,580.
Oak Hill (37220) recorded the highest average sales price for the month of $749,041 across 11 sales.
34% of home sales were between $150,000-$249,999.
Home sales over $1 million were up 111% from November 2016 with 38 recorded compared to 18 recorded last year.
How’s The Market In My Area?
We get this question almost every day. Of course it varies from area to area. We’ve taken the monthly Chandler Report and packaged it in a handy snapshot by neighborhood (each area represented by a zip code).
Today, I have the Donelson real estate market statistics for single-family homes in zip code 37214.
Right now, we have a market action index of 67. The market action index analyzes the rate of sales versus the amount of inventory. Our market action index is the highest of any zip code in Davidson County. The average market action index for Davidson is 36, so the Donelson market is still smoking.
The Donelson market is driven primarily by a severe lack of inventory. There are only 42 homes available ranging from $150,000 to $480,000. The median price is $158 per square foot.
In November of 2014, there were over 100 properties on the market. That number has decreased over the last three years. Now, that number is down in the 40s. There simply isn’t enough inventory to support the demand. Everything that is getting listed is getting gobbled up, but prices are starting to flatten out a bit, so that’s interesting.
In fact, 48% of current inventory on the market has had at least one price reduction. Homes are spending an average of 51 days on the market, which is a little bit high compared to what I would expect to see for such low inventory.
The Donelson real estate market is still very strong.
There has been a lot of market activity in the two lower market segments, as they are the most affordable. Seven new listings came on the market last week, and five of them got absorbed into the market. There is simply not as much activity in the upper quartiles.
In the third lower quartile, 53% of the properties have had a price change. It’s hard to know exactly what is driving prices down. Maybe sellers are nervous about the cold weather and don’t want their home to sit on the market during winter, so they’re dropping their prices.
It could also be that sellers are coming onto the market with a price that is too aggressive, and they need to drop the price to get buyers interested in their property. It’s hard to say what exactly is driving that trend.
If you are interested in market stats for your zip code, follow this link. I can also send you stats on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, and keep you updated on new listings or sales in your neighborhood. If you are interested or have any other questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!
Please take a look at our Nashville REAL-TIME market reports which offer weekly “market action index”, “market segments”, and “real-time market profile”. National and County-wide news sources can be slow and do not accurately represent what is happening in our local market. That’s where we can help. Our reports are localized, easy to read and provide you with a well-rounded up to date view of how the market is behaving.
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the city or ZIP code report of your choice.
Register for a weekly Nashville-specific report here:
What is title insurance and why do you need it as a buyer?
When a house goes under contract and into escrow, the title insurance company or the closing attorney will run a title search on the deed of the property to make sure there are no outstanding loans, liens, clouds, or defects against the title of the property.
Once they clear any outstanding loans or defects, they’ll issue a title insurance policy that guards the lender and the borrower against any clouds or liens that may materialize in the future. Either they’ll guard you in the event of a lawsuit or they’ll pay any claims that are filed against you.
If you’re getting a mortgage, you need a title insurance policy. If you’re paying cash for a property, getting a title insurance policy is an option, but you should still get one.
The cost of a title insurance policy is monitored by the state, so it should be about the same no matter where you choose to close. For a $300,000 transaction in Davidson County, you can expect to pay about $1,600 for the lender’s policy and about $80 for the buyer’s policy. There could be a re-issue credit if there was recently another policy in place that’s less than 10 years old. If the seller can provide proof of that, you get a little bit of a discount.
If you’re getting a mortgage, you need a title insurance policy.
Who pays for the title insurance policy? It depends. It’s a negotiable item in our purchase and sale agreement—you’ll see a blank space that asks for who pays for the cost of title. The buyer can pay for their own title insurance, the seller can cover the cost, or it can be split.
Historically, in Davidson County, if you’re buying a new construction house or a foreclosure or short sale property from the bank, the buyer covers the cost of the title insurance. If you’re buying a resale property, the seller covers the cost of the policy.
Lately, the market has gotten so hot in Davidson County that if you want your offer to stand out, it’s sometimes a good idea to offer to pay for your own title instead of asking the seller to do it.
I’m a real estate agent, not an attorney, so if you have any more specific questions about title policies and how they work, you should consult with an attorney.
If you have any more questions for me about our Davidson County market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.