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VOL. 8 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 4, 2015


Richard Courtney

Buying a House? Here’s 12 Things You Must Do

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Anyone buying any home anywhere should have a checklist of things to do. In this area, there are several.

• Get a home inspection. Old or new, things may not be what they seem. As attorney Jean Harrison says of new homes, “Passing codes means they got at least a D-.” A home that has been pre-inspected could have serious flaws undiscovered by the seller’s inspector.

• Hire a real estate agent. No one with any sense would go to court and use the other person’s attorney to represent them in order to save three percent. By the way, you won’t save the three percent.

• Have a survey conducted. Who knows who owns what without a survey? Veteran real estate agents and surveyors have more war stories in this regard than any. There have been entire houses built upon the wrong lots, and the same goes for driveways, swimming pools, fences, walls and bridges.

• Have a radon test and have it mitigated if the reading is over four pica curies, as in Madame Curie, you know, the radiation person. Radon causes cancer. Period. The end. If you don’t want cancer, rid the space of the radon.

• Treat the house for termites. A clear termite letter means the termites did not swarm at the exact moment of the inspection. The bugs are in the dirt and they will eat your house, at least the wooden part.

• Have a licensed HVAC contractor inspect the HVAC. If they disassemble the unit during inspection and find it to be dangerous, they are forbidden to re-assemble it. The home owner is going to require heat or conditioned air, so it will be repaired.

• Have your insurance agent run a CLUE report prior to the inspection to determine if claims have been filed against the house.

• Check for outstanding building permits.

• If the house is sheathed in synthetic stucco, have several feet of the sheathing removed all around the house.

• If there is water beneath the house, get it out.

• Don’t have the homeowner fix the problems. The jobs will go to the lowest bidder.

• When the sellers give you money, use it to make the repairs. The Palm is tempting, but they don’t treat termites.

As the Facebook people say, “That is all.”

Sale of the Week

In a market that is sizzling, there is a newcomer to the residential real estate melee – Wedgewood Houston.

Longtime Nashvillians drive newcomers to the city batty with their directions such as – go to where King’s Inn used to be and take a left by where the liquor store was then go behind the old Belle Meade Theater, then across to where Jimmy Kelly’s was, etc. Good thing for GPS and Siri.

In order to find Houston Wedgewood, a buyer should start by going to the Nashville Speedway, the venue that formerly hosted Winston Cup races.

The Winston Cup was the big prize in stock car racing and was a result of R.J. Reynolds’ sponsorship, a group that later gave way to NEXTEL. That company was then bought by Sprint, and that company is a subsidiary of the Japanese telecommunications company Softbank. So much for the bootleggers.

Midway between the former Winston Cup track and the place where the Sounds used to play is 538A Moore Avenue. A new home there sold for $395,000 after the formerly young Allen Huggins of Neal Clayton Realtors, a company once known as BrokerSouth, listed the property.

Before that the company was called, oh never mind.

Vivian Brandon of Pilkerton Realtors represented the buyer. She is hip and cool and her husband drives Segways, something the previous sentence didn’t.

Huggins’ grandfather and namesake Edgar Allen was a widely respected sports writer for the old Nashville Banner. Edgar wrote for the Banner for 37 years and is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

This house that is near the place once known as the Cumberland Science Museum and is now the Adventure Science Center, a place rebranded when current president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce was the president of the old Cumberland Science Museum years ago.

Back then people did not pay $185 per square foot to live there, but they do now thanks to Edgar Allen’s grandson. Allen, as in Huggins, not Edgar, noted the place has a tankless water heater, hardwoods and a shower with a “rainhead and a bench.”

Speaking of benches, when the Sounds first appeared in Wedgewood Houston at Herschel Greer Stadium, they were with the Cincinnati Reds, and the Sounds’ catcher at the time was named Dave van Gorder.

He was supposed to be the next Johnny Bench, a future Hall Of Famer who played for the Reds back then.

Dave was not Bench, though, past, present or future. Edgar Allen wrote about him. Allen Huggins was in swaddling clothes at the time.

Huggins, seasoned and still slightly young, noted there are “tech upgrades throughout,” a phrase Edgar never wrote.

So go over to the old Sounds stadium, near the place formerly known as the Cumberland Science Museum, and head over to the ex-home of Winston Cup Racing, and Houston Wedgewood will appear. Bring a big checkbook and a young mind.

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

PROPERTY SALES 55 321 3,398
MORTGAGES 27 179 2,279
BANKRUPTCIES 32 162 1,904