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VOL. 7 | NO. 34 | Saturday, August 16, 2014


Richard Courtney

Less-Frenzied House Hunting in Williamson County

By Richard Courtney

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This past week, Realtor Stephanie Tipton Soper had two out-of-town families relocating to Nashville. Both were in search of homes in Williamson County.

Disclosure being the better part of valor, Stephanie is my real estate partner at Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates. With my wife Beth and our twins vacationing in London, Stephanie was the only real estate agent from whom I can draw immediate, deadline-ready data and information, so here she is.

She noted that the Williamson County market, while strong, is not experiencing the frenzy of the Nashville market.

For example, two weeks ago, one of the buyers had visited one of the real estate websites and sent a wish list of some 18 properties that she would like to view.

In Davidson County, a week old list of potential houses would be reduced to three, maybe four, with the remainder having been absorbed by the market.

However, in Williamson County, 12 homes had survived. Granted, 33 percent of a random list of houses having been sold in a two-week period is indicative of a very healthy market, but it is surprisingly calm based on all of the chatter over public education, lot size and quality of life.

Another observation was that a large number of the homes on the list were vacant. There will be more on Williamson County in the week to come.

Sale of the Week

The Terrazzo is a condominium development located in the Gulch across Division Street from Icon.

Until the monumental 1212 began its colossal rise into the heavens, the Icon received the lion’s share of the attention and accolades for real estate success in The Gulch, with the Terrazzo taking the backseat.

A latecomer to The Gulch party, the development soon learned that geography was not its friend, as the Division Street barrier provided separation from Gulch fun and games.

Now that buffer is preferred by many as The Gulch has evolved into an energetic a hub of activity, beginning with the happy hour crowd in the early evening and with many of those remaining even happier until the wee, often-late, hours of the morning.

Unit #1013 in the Terrazzo is an example of the current popularity of the building and how the excitement has translated into dollars.

Bought from the developer In January 2011, for $385,000, the property first transferred for $410,000 in April 2012.

Then Nashville experienced its boom. There, I said it. Boom.

Last week, the property sold for $575,000 after Michelle Maldonado of Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty listed it for $595,000.

Stephanie Brooks of Zeitlin and Company Realtors delivered the buyer. Both Brooks and Maldonado share tremendous expertise in the building, as Brooks was the listing agent when the bulk of the Terrazzo sales occurred and spent most of her waking hours in the building for a couple of years, while Maldonado earned her wings at the Adelicia, where she sold almost everything there and continues to be the go-to Adelicia person, as Brooks is at Terrazzo.

This unit that grossed a 40 percent return on the owner’s investment includes 1,617 square feet, two bedrooms, two baths and two assigned parking spots.

“It was decorated by Jonathan Pierce of Pierce and Company,” Maldonado reports, “and has spectacular views along with an open floor plan.”

Back to the boom. There is no better way to determine market trends than to track the sale of the same property.

That practice is sometimes difficult since properties, unlike stocks, do not turn over as quickly.

However, this property provides the opportunity to practice this approach. Using #1013 as a model, the price of that unit rose 6.4 percent from 2011 to 2012 and 40 percent from 2012 to 2014.

One sale does not a trend make.

Maldonado has often stated that she could sell as many $1 million condos as she could list.

Recently, 15 days ago to be exact, Starling Davis of Fridrich and Clark listed a Terrazzo penthouse for $1,495,000, and it went under contract immediately.

Since the sale has not closed, there is little more known about this transaction in progress.

This is known – it must have sold close to sales price in order to have sold that quickly.

In this case, the owner bought the property in 2011 and will close for very close to his $1,485,000 sale price thereby reaping a 36 percent return.

Again, this study is a same-unit sale.

A brief trip down real estate memory lane will remind some that, at one point, a number of the Terrazzo condos were auctioned, as sales slowed during the Recession.

In real estate, as in most investments, timing is everything, and the Terrazzo has joined its high-rising partners in desirability, respect, demand and now profitability.

The curious wonder how long the area and the real estate can sustain such growth, with the naysayers proclaiming that it has to end soon.

“I mean, how much is someone going to pay for a condo?”

On the London excursion, we were shown a 3,000-square-foot condo that sold for $140 million. Nashville is not London, but there is some room between one million dollars and $140 million.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker affiliated with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates and can be reached at Richard@richarcourtney.com

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064