Leiper’s Fork, Frankln, TN

LEIPER’S FORK — In mid-February, a couple in a white Jeep pulled onto the 11-acre farm of Dorene and Stephen Pearson’s luxurious Leiper’s Fork estate.

The Pearsons wanted to sell, and the couple wanted to buy.

A contract was signed for the $5.3 million home and repairs were designated. The Pearsons bought a lavish dinner for the couple, Kim and Phil McDowell, and gave them four $250 bottles of wine.

But two weeks later, after the Pearsons paid more than $60,000 for the requested renovations, the excuses began. Kim McDowell, the charming wife who spoke in a British accent, had been in a car wreck, then she had cancer, then the millions she’d inherited from her family in Wales was trapped in a New York clearinghouse and several lawyers were working around the clock to free the money up.

Meanwhile, the Pearsons, who have five children and an elderly parent living with them, had all but moved out of their home. Three-quarters of their belongings were in storage. The house the Pearsons wanted to buy in downtown Franklin went to another buyer.

Six months later, the couple still receives messages almost daily from Kim McDowell, saying the money is coming. The Pearsons don’t believe it.

We didn’t extend our contract past the two weeks when they said they could close,” Stephen Pearson said. “The agreement was verbal after that. After all, their realtor said (the McDowells) provided a proof of funds, so we believed they had the money.”

As the Pearsons spoke to families in Leiper’s Fork, it appeared others had been similarly duped, paying thousands of dollars in renovations and lavish entertainment for the McDowells, who posed as prospective cash buyers accompanied by an entourage of staff and proof-of-funds letters.
Along the stretch of Leiper’s Fork where the Pearsons live, several homes are priced in the $5 million to $6 million price range and the Pearsons said most of the families know one another. Prospective home buyers with sufficient funds to close on such large purchases, especially with the kind of cash on hand the McDowells claimed to have, is often a rarity, even in some of the most affluent corners of Williamson County.
The Pearsons were disgusted and confused as to how they could have been victim to a scam. A Realtor had vetted the couple and the McDowells brought an estate manager and a professional chef to help evaluate the Pearsons’ property. A local property inspector also came and spent a day examining the home, Dorene Pearson said.
“Finally, I’d had enough,” she said. “I wanted answers. I wanted to face Kim, and I wanted her to tell me that this was all a lie.”

The McDowells listed an address on documents the couples exchanged, so Dorene Pearson drove to the home in Spring Hill.
“I knocked on the door, and a young woman answered,” Dorene said. “I asked her if she knew Kim and Phil McDowell. As soon as I said their names, the color drained from her face. She looked like she was afraid.”

READ THE COMPLETE STORY:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/319282324772750/permalink/1222988004402173/

The Tennessean
Reporter Jordan Buie can be reached at jbuie@tennessean.com or on Twitter @jordanbuie

What makes Nashville a place people want to live?

I read a stat that Nashville grows by 80 people a day. Of all the stats I read on a daily basis, this one stuck with me—Chicago only grew by 82 people in all of last year!

The Nashville region is expected to grow by almost 40 percent over the next 15 years, adding roughly 500,000 people. Cranes are everywhere in Nashville, and with few reliable transit options, so are cars.

So what makes Nashville a place people want to live?

I went to Nashville, talked to local leaders, dined in its hip new restaurants, ate delicious popsicles and spent lots of time in Uber to find out what makes Nashville so great.

The first thing I noticed about Nashville was cranes. They are everywhere. More than 100 new projects—$2 billion in development—are being constructed in Nashville. I counted six in a few-block area of the Gulch neighborhood, adjacent to downtown Nashville and Music Row, alone. The second most noticeable thing about Nashville? Cars. There are almost no transportation options other than driving.

Overall my research points to seven reasons Nashville has nbecome so popular, but also cautions that sustainability is a real concern and could stymie future growth.

Reasons Nashville is growing
1. Low cost of living
2. Families
3. Less stress
4. Jobs
5. Government efficiency
6. Planning
7. Culture

Issues it must address: Transportation and Affordable Housing

What makes Nashville an attractive place?

1. Low cost of living
A cost of living comparison offers the first glimpse of why Nashville is an attractive option for people. Housing is less expensive in Nashville. Add to that the fact that annual expenses for a family of four are roughly $15,000 cheaper. And Tennessee’s per capita taxes are some of the lowest in the country. With no state income tax, combined state and local per capita tax burden is only $2,777 in Tennessee.

2. It’s good for families
Between 2009 and 2014 Nashville grew by 41,000 people or about 17,000 households.

3. Stress—less of it

Also on par with the low cost of living that makes Nashville an attractive place is a few phrases that kept coming up in my conversations—Nashville “is easy” or “simple” and “a less stressful place to live.” In a comparison of the most stressed-out cities, Nashville is 33rd. While sitting at Barista Parlor Golden Sound, a coffee house located in an old recording studio in the Gulch neighborhood, I overheard a conversation that sums up that sentiment. A woman in her 20’s was visiting from New York City and talking on the phone about a potential move to Nashville. Her reason? I can work anywhere, why am I killing myself trying to pay rent in NYC when there are cool things in Nashville and it’s so much cheaper? She went on to say “I don’t have a desire to leave New York, I have a desire to not have a heart attack by the time I’m 30.” And the clincher: “I have another friend moving here from San Francisco and can rent a beautiful one-bedroom loft overlooking downtown Nashville and be less stressed.”

4. Jobs
Named one of Gallop’s top five cities for job growth, over the past decade Nashville grew nine times more jobs than Chicago as a percent of total jobs. Taxes and the regulatory environment could play a role in that growth—Tennessee’s corporate income tax rate is 6.5 percent, compared to Illinois’ combined 9.5 percent. Tennessee’s business tax climate is ranked 15th. There’s also no personal income tax.

5. Government Efficiency
With no state income tax, combined state and local per capita tax burden is only $2,777 in Tennessee compared to $4,658 in Illinois.

A universal theme I heard attributed to Nashville’s growth is that the city “removes hurdles to make it happen.” One of these hurdles is layers of government. Businesses have said they located in Nashville because there were less layers of government to deal with in the region and, whether or not the reality, Nashville was perceived as an easier place to do business. For example, a call center was awarded a building permit in one day.

The city of Nashville and Davidson County have one, consolidated government, Metro. Assessment of that shift found the consolidated government did improve efficiency and slowed down the increase in government expenditures per capita, suggesting that the metropolitan government was doing more with its resources. Surveys of residents found that people were very satisfied with the consolidation.

6. Planning

Nashville’s Belmont neighborhood: A Nashville Next plan goal is to make Nashville more walkable and less car dependent.

Nashville recently adopted Nashville Next, a comprehensive plan that will guide the city’s growth for the next 25 years. Adopted on June 22, 2015, after three years of community engagement involving more than 18,500 participants, The plan is “…a strategy for what the city should do. Where to build homes — and what kind. How to improve transportation. And the best ways to spend city tax dollars.” There is an overall consensus on focused development downtown. The plan’s four strategies are:

1. Create more walkable centers
2. Create opportunity through abundant housing
3. Build a high-capacity transit system and
4. Increase the community’s resiliency

In creating the four strategies, planners considered changes in demographic trends, poverty and environment, and aligned those trends with the plan’s goals. For example, Nashville will have an older population with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation and a younger Millennial generation, both of whom will want smaller, attached homes rather than homes on large single-family lots. Further, demographic trends “…point toward a future where demand for walkable neighborhoods outstrips the supply…”

Nashville Next has a preferred future shaped by six factors:

1. Protection of sensitive environmental features
2. A complete transit network
3. Household affordability across income levels
4. Focus on activity centers—places with transportation access, abundant housing and amenities
5. Strategic infill that supports transit lines and activity centers
6. Protection and enhancement of the character of different parts of the county. The plan goals include:

Develop standards that guide the design, location and construction of affordable housing across all neighborhoods.
Target infill development along mobility corridors to provide more housing choices that support walking and transit use and to transition gracefully between residential neighborhoods and more intense mixed use and commercial centers and corridors.
Ensure jobs, education and training opportunities are located close to transit service, in centers or in high-need areas.

Development in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood.

These goals will guide how the Metro government regulates land use, zoning and other development decisions as well as capital spending through policy maps. The policy maps give geographic guidance for decision-making, such as priorities for transit or new greenways. Progress will be tracked annually.

7. Culture

Nashville has many of those amenities for a mid-size city. Its restaurant scene is, “…growing exponentially” and a new $623 million downtown convention center complex “…is demonstrating that the center of gravity is now moving downtown.” Nashville has Tennessee Preforming Arts Center featuring many Broadway shows, Opera, Museums and MUSIC!

And this may be anecdotal, but more than one person (and many Uber drivers) told me that Nashville’s growth is due to the TV show Nashville, Taylor Swift making country music more mainstream and Jack White.

By Chrissy Mancini Nichols
October 21, 2015
Metroplanning.org

Selling your home? Curb Appeal is Essential.

The Art of the Approach: Curb Appeal, and More

When considering the mysteries of what attracts the ultimate buyer, few will deny that “curb-appeal” is a sort of magic bullet. The term is a buzz word for the enticing image of your home as seen from the street, and is similar to the adage of “judging a book by its cover.” Buyers who rely upon this might overlook a treasure in the rough, but savvy sellers know curb appeal is a key tool to finding a buyer more quickly.

Curb appeal is key when buyers are looking through multiple listings, getting a feel for neighborhoods from the comfort of their cars — just “driving by.” Often, buyers will look at advertisements and listings online or in print, and if they are local will take a peek on their way home from work. Because of the power of this “curb view,” often the primary photographs used in advertisements and listings are from this angle. Money spent in improving this viewing angle is among the smartest investment. Simply put, painting and pruning trees and shrubbery can transform a home, helping to shed light on its features.

Other aspects of the approach to a home can be equally enticing and help to pave the way for a successful interior viewing. After all, when care is taken to the outside of a home, people feel that the interior will also have what they are looking for. Driveways and walkways that are well maintained and artfully presented greet potential buyers as soon as they step out of their vehicles.

Trees and shrubs that lose their leaves can create slick areas on driveways and walkways and be unattractive if allowed to affect landscaping and lawns. Ensure that you consider this when selecting trees to plant near driveways, and keep leaves in check during fall viewings. During the winter, when snow and ice might prove to be a problem, it is essential to maintain driveways and walkways carefully. This is not only for safety, but it illustrates the type of person who has owned and maintained the house itself.

One helpful exercise is to take time to view a home with curb-appeal in mind. At each juncture where a potential buyer might approach and view your home or property, stop and look around. Notice details. Take photographs. Look straight ahead, to the right and left, and even at the ground. If there are appealing features, play those up. If there are issues that block the enjoyment of the home, you can choose to address them. In each instance, seek to frame the view of the home or property in an appealing light, tending to the ground under foot, the areas close to the viewer, and that which they see.

The Results of curb-appeal come when assessing views from inside the home and at various places on the property. All views are important because they are attention-getting elements of the property you are selling. Views are memorable, and a bad one can deter potential buyers. Whenever possible, seek to create eye-catching points around the home. If certain views are less than desirable, seek to minimize, distract, or even block those views. If you can remove the offensive elements, do so, but whenever possible, contain them, screen them or otherwise affect a change.

Additionally, certain areas in homes have an element of “approach” to them. You control all the views inside the home, so assess each one carefully. The foyer or entryway has its own view into the home and serves as a curb of its own, or a launching pad, so to speak. As a viewer enters the home, moves to the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, or backyard, each transition creates an impression and should be considered a “view.” Try walking through the home and noting the approaches so that you can begin to create views within the home that offer the best feelings and highlight the home’s strengths. Make sure lighting, furniture, and clutter are all under control so that impressions are good every step of the way.

Follow these tricks for creating the best impression:

Ensure that the yard and landscaping is neat, tidy, and well-maintained. Seek to flatter the home first, then to show off your gardening skills. Freshly pruned vegetation illustrates careful stewardship.

If flowering plants are past their prime, trim them back and add in some seasonal plants for color. Re-edge and add mulch to existing beds. Plants in containers may be easily changed out or positioned where they are most needed, and if you invest in nice pots, you can take them with you.

Control growth of large trees to optimize light and safety of the home and surrounding buildings and property. Remove debris under trees daily, if needed.

Pay close attention to the front door and garage doors, including paint or stain condition and color, hardware and details ? these doors command a lot of attention. Consider adding seasonal decorations like a wreath or potted plants near the door, but keep these tasteful and few ? don?t distract from the house itself.

Clean steps, ensuring that they are free of scratches, chips, moss or signs of wear. Repair or upgrade handrails when appropriate.

A new Welcome Mat at the door will not only make a statement, it is also an invitation for viewers to wipe their feet as they enter the home.

Investing in new and unique numbers for your home not only makes it easy to identify, but can set it apart with flare.

Pressure wash the exterior of your home and ensure the gutters and roof are clean.

Assess and improve the driveway and any walkways to and around the home.

Upgrade lighting by doors and pathways. Providing safe and stylish lighting will make your home stand out in viewings throughout the day and evening.

Upgrade your mailbox. Creating a secure and attractive mail receptacle is akin to having a plush welcome mat at the end of your driveway or by your door.

Ensure that windows and screens are clean and well-maintained. Viewers from both the inside and outside of the home rely on being able to see through them. Shutters and screens should be in top shape. Easy-to-install PVC trim neatens and dresses up older windows and doors. Drapes and shades should be clean and in good working order.

Familiarize yourself with views from decks and various rooms, and improve those views when possible.

Decks can be used year-round in many places. Spruce up your deck, porch or patio and show what an inviting space it can be to potential buyers.

Want to live close to new Smith Park in Brentwood, TN?

Call, text or email me to view 1823 Bronwyn Ct in INGLEHAME Farms.

While a date has not been set for the opening of Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in Brentwood, city officials still expect a late summer opening as work continues to progress.

According to city engineer Mike Harris, the project is approximately six weeks behind schedule, and the city will be hiring additional crews to speed up completion.

Although some of that delay has been due to weather conditions, Harris said it has taken longer than expected to gain approval from CSX for a right-of-way access to cross the railroad lines for utilities.

“Approval was gained for the main waterline which crosses under the railroad and the waterline is now in place. However, we are still working with CSX to gain approval for the sewer line crossing. We anticipate approval from CSX any day,” Harris said.

Construction crews are currently focusing on the area surrounding Ravenswood Mansion, installing utilities, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, drainage and parking areas.

As of now, Ravenswood Mansion has no connected utilities and only temporary electricity. Still, community relations director Linda Lynch is confident the mansion will be ready for events by September.

“Reservations are coming in pretty good considering they haven’t finished the park yet,” Lynch said.

The historic mansion is also still in need of select furnishing that fit the 1820s motif. Lynch listed antique or oriental rugs as the top item needed.

To access the mansion, crews are in the process of completing the entrance road bridge over the CSX railroad. The travel surface is now in place, allowing attention to be turned to the stonework and bridge entrance features. Installation of the stainless steel bridge fencing, which will protect pedestrians crossing the bridge, is slated to begin June 9.

Irrigation work, conduits for the electric entrance gates and street lighting are all underway. Harris also confirmed the traffic signal at the main entrance is in place and ready to be activated.

Further back in the park, Brentwood Parks and Recreation staff continues to clear hiking trails.

“While the trails will remain natural, unpaved rustic type trails, there was a lot of work involved in clearing vegetation and marking the trails. Color coded maps of the trail system are being prepared and will be available at the trailhead and on the city’s website when the park opens,” Harris said.

A pre-fabricated restroom building is scheduled to be delivered in early June, and will be placed at the park’s trailhead. Utilities are already in place to serve the facility.

Staff writer Jonathan Romeo covers the city of Brentwood. Contact him at jonathan@brentwoodhomepage.com.

4 Things Sellers Need to Know About Open Houses

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4 Things Sellers Need to Know About Open Houses

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
March 3rd, 2014
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Sometimes, just getting the listing agreement signed and price agreed-upon seems like the end of an intense, effortful, laborious process. But as you well know, it’s really just the beginning of helping your new seller through all of the twists and turns of selling a home.

In the course of working through these items with internet-savvy sellers, agents may run into increasingly vocal, surprisingly strong opinions on a seemingly innocuous topic: Open Houses. Camps are divided pretty neatly between sellers who think that open houses are a total waste of time and those who think that open houses are the go-to way to getting a home sold at top dollar and in record time.

Inquiring sellers want to know, which is it: a waste of time or time well-spent? If you want your sellers to come out of this question on the side of “time well-spent,” here are a handful of talking points and scripts about open houses you can use.

1. There are different types of open houses, and type matters.

There are two basic types of open houses, a Broker’s open house and a public open house. Public open houses are the traditional Sunday afternoon affairs where local buyers, neighbors and looky-loos alike peruse your property.

Broker’s opens are held for the benefit of the real estate brokers and agents in town, who can stop by one-by-one or may visit in groups or caravans. Most often, listing agents will hold the Broker’s open house on the day of the week that brokers usually tour the neighborhood, and will try to time it very soon after the home goes on the market—before the public open house.

Over 90 percent of qualified buyers will start their house hunt online, so it’s essential to make sure your home is well-marketed, digitally speaking. But over 80 percent of qualified buyers will ultimately work with an agent or broker, so sellers can’t afford to miss them, either!

Broker’s opens are an efficient way to expose a home in its best light to a large number of brokers who are on the lookout for their buyer clients at one moment in time, early in the life of your home’s listing. They also create a rich opportunity for local brokers to see the home in close succession to similar, nearby listings—so if the home is well-prepared, well-staged, and well-priced against the competition, Broker’s opens make that very clear.

On the flip side, if the home is staged, marketed or priced in a way that puts it at a competitive disadvantage, local brokers and agents will often give the listing agent that feedback during the Brokers’ open—giving the seller the opportunity to course-correct or put some final touches on the home’s staging before most buyers see it.

Verdict: Broker’s Open Houses = Time Well Spent.

2. The role of the open house has shifted.

To maximize their chances of successfully finding a property that meets their needs, today’s buyers have to see a lot of houses—and they have to get out and view properties as soon as possible after they come onto the market.

At the same time, though, buyers live busy lives, and so do their agents, which makes the prospect of making an individual appointment to see every listing that comes on the market daunting. If a buyer views 30 or 40 properties before they buy, imagine how many individual appointments that is to wrangle! One strategy many smart buyers and buyer’s agents are adopting is to keep a standing appointment every Sunday afternoon during the time homes are normally held open and view as many properties as possible in one fell-swoop.

Open houses aren’t just to help early-stage buyers discover listings anymore, they serve as a convenient way for serious buyers to access and view them, too.

Verdict: Time well-spent.

3. Few homes are actually “sold” at the open house, but occasionally one is.

No doubt, open houses take a lot of time and energy to prepare for, and sellers don’t want to do all that work, have a well-attended Open House and end the week with no offers.

But think about this: A listing only needs one buyer. Ask your seller if the inconvenience of having to clear out for a couple of afternoons worth missing the potential opportunity to find your home’s ultimate buyer.

They won’t want to miss the opportunity.

Also, there of course other ways open houses can indirectly lead to a sale. Buyers use homes not just to discover new listings, but to actually access and view homes they’ve seen online. And sure, those neighbors that may seem like looky-loos might be curious about the home decor choices, but they also might have friends, colleagues or relatives who’d be interested in buying the home.

Verdict: Could go either way, but the chances the time is well-spent are greater than they seem at first glance.

4. Prepping for an open house is time well-spent no matter its outcome.

The truth is, the time a seller will need to invest in sprucing and primping the home to prepare for an open house is not much greater than the time they would ideally invest in doing these things to put the home on the market even if they weren’t holding it open!

Setting a time and date for an open house and marketing it widely is a powerful “forcing factor.” It provides both a hard deadline for property preparation efforts and sets a higher bar for the prepping and staging of a home than a seller might set otherwise.

Verdict: Time well-spent.

How to Find and Keep a Real Estate Agent You’ll Love

In some ways, the buyer-real estate agent relationship is similar to a romantic one. In either situation, the relationship’s success or failure depends a lot on picking the “right” partner from the beginning. Chemistry and communications also play an important role.

Here’s how you can find the best real estate agent “match” and nurture that relationship to achieve your goal: buying your dream home.

Do your homework

Today, buyers start researching properties online well before they contact an agent. This early research period should also be the time to have your feelers out for a good agent. In fact, the best time to connect with an agent is when you’ve got some knowledge of your local market but need more input, a second opinion and a professional’s guidance.

Asking friends, family and coworkers for referrals can be helpful for finding an agent. Posting what you’re looking for in an agent on social media might also help lead you to the best real estate “mate.”

Take it slowly

Would you introduce to your parents someone you’ve only had one or two dates with? Probably not. Before getting serious with a potential mate, you’d get to know them, learn about their history and understand your compatibility.

It’s not too different in the real estate agent-buyer relationship. Buying a home is an extremely emotional time. Your real estate agent will be front and center with you through ups, downs and trying times. Through the buying process, your agent might learn a lot about your personal life as well as your finances. For these reasons, take the time to ensure you have the best person by your side. If you rush into a relationship with the wrong agent, you’ll regret it later.

Pay attention to chemistry

An agent could come highly recommended and be thoroughly experienced. But with any relationship, chemistry (or lack of it) comes into play. When you first talk to an agent, ask yourself: Is this someone you’d want to spend time with? Does the agent “get” you? Will you feel comfortable sharing your financial and other personal information with him? If you answer “no,” keep looking for someone you click with.

Avoid the blame game

In today’s often-competitive real estate markets, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get the first or even the third home you try to buy. This may cause buyers to get stressed out or upset after losing in a bidding situation or when faced with a seller who’s just “not that into you.”

Unfortunately, buyers sometimes take out their anger and frustration with the market on their real estate agent. But don’t assume that the fact your bid wasn’t accepted is your agent’s fault. The agent can’t control the seller or the seller’s agent any more than you can. Pick the best agent for your needs; trust your agent to do the job; treat the agent as you’d want to be treated; and chalk up a losing bid to experience.

Practice patience

As with romantic relationships, there may be times when your agent tries your patience. Maybe you’ve been looking for a month now and still haven’t found your dream place. Whatever the situation, keep in mind that buying the right home shouldn’t be rushed. Give the process, and your agent, time. On the other hand, if your agent seems to be neglecting you, speak up.

Communicate clearly

This is probably the most important step to any successful relationship: maintaining open, honest communications. With your real estate agent, be upfront from the start about how you like to work and what you might expect from them. Express concerns you have along the way. Above all, give the agent constructive feedback that will help him succeed.

In most cases, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your agent during the home buying process. So choose wisely. Picking the wrong agent can add to the stress, frustration and uncertainty of buying a home. On the other hand, choosing the right agent can make the process significantly easier and more successful.

By Brendon DeSimonePublished February 21, 2014Zillow

Seller Mistakes

Data provided by ActiveRain.com.

ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

The biggest seller mistake is overpricing their home. Regardless of the comparables, their home is “Better”. So it sits on the market until it has to be reduced. Then buyers start asking, “What’s wrong with that house”. READ THE COMPS!

Recently, one of my buyers walked away from purchasing a home because the seller refused to do any repairs. HELLO …..negotiate the repairs!

All of the items on this chart are important….Sellers take note!

IT’S THE PRICE THAT SELLS A HOME

Location affects the value of a home, but it’s price that sells a home.

Oceanfront, mountainside, or penthouse, the most desirable location in the world won’t sell at the wrong price.

Every property has a potential buyer, but like rock, paper, scissors, it’s sometimes hard to know which factor is going to win the showdown.

A good location will sell at a fair price. A bad location will sell at a fair price, too. It just won’t be as a high as it would be for a good location.

A home in good condition will sell for a fair price. A home in poor condition will also sell at a fair price. Again, it won’t be as high as a comparable home in better condition.

But neither location or condition will sell any house. Only one thing does that – price.

So if you’re a seller waiting for that “special buyer” who will appreciate your faded pink and black bathroom tile, your vintage orange shag carpet and is willing to help you put your kids through college because of your real estate prowess, you’re going to have a long wait.

So if your home is represented by an agent, and it’s been on the market for a long time, chances are it’s your own fault.

Maybe you didn’t listen to your agent when he said you’re pricing your home above the market. Maybe you got mad at the first few folks who looked at your home and didn’t make offers.

When the showings stopped completely, maybe you accused your agent of not doing a good enough job.

You put the blame on everyone except where it belongs – on you. It’s not about you, what you want, or how much you need for your retirement.

It’s about the price.

Five Design Elements Buyers are Choosing

2013 Real Estate Review | Dec 5, 2013 | By: Angela Colley |
New home construction has seen consistent growth in the last three years and sales of new homes are expected to increase by about 16 percent, or 580,000 homes, in 2014, according to Kiplinger’s Economic Outlooks. And as more homes are built, new architecture trends will begin to appear — slowly.

“Building is not an industry where big changes happen really fast,” said Amy Albert, editor of Custom Home Online. ”Things happen over time.”

Still, Albert named five home-design elements she expects to see more often in 2014:

1. Tranquility

More homeowners are seeing their homes as a place to get away from it all and relax, especially in certain rooms — particularly the bathroom. “The spa bathroom is really big as a result of more people traveling to nice hotels,” Albert said. In 2014, we’re likely to see bathrooms with walk-in showers, roomy bathtubs and tranquil designs become a big trend for homeowners.

2. Mission Control

In the past the kitchen was often built at the back of the house, attached to the garage, and away from high traffic areas, but that tradition is changing. In 2014 we’ll see the kitchen as the focal point of the house, often placed in the center of an open floor plan, especially as more homeowners start to use their kitchen space as a multitasking room, or as Albert calls it, “mission control.” By having the kitchen centered and open, parents can help children with homework, talk or pay bills — all while making meals.

3. Traditional Design

While “midcentury modern design is thriving” and will continue to do so in 2014, more homeowners are looking at traditional home styles, Albert said. For example, Craftsman homes with large porches, front columns and detailed gables will make a comeback in 2014. Queen Anne-style homes with asymmetrical facades and detailed gables may also see a resurgence. However, attention to detail will be important as homeowners look for exact replicas of the original styles.

4. Passive Homes

More U.S.-based architects are expected to include passive-house elements in their 2014 designs. Originally a European design, a passive house is built to work with the climate. For example, its roof may be pitched to make use of wind power, or it could have large windows installed to attract sunlight that heats the home. A passive-house design can slash energy consumption by up to 90 percent, according to Passive House Institute U.S.

5. Flex Rooms

Between the recession and the growing number of senior citizens in the United States, more households are becoming multigenerational. That change is leading to a developing trend in home building – flex rooms. Typically bedrooms, flex rooms are designed to give more privacy to larger families and usually include a separate space such as a reading area or study off the main bedroom area. These rooms may also be built with a change in mind. “Many flex spaces include a private entrance, which could later become a rental unit,” Albert said.

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Autumn Leaves in Green Hills

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Green Hills is one of the Nashville’s more affluent areas, often chosen by residents who don’t wish a long commute to downtown businesses and three area universities – Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb Universities (all of which are within a 5-minute drive).
Green Hills is also the home to The Mall at Green Hills, a high-end enclosed shopping center which began as a “strip center” (one of the first two sizable such developments in Nashville) in the early 1950s. Nordstrom and the Apple Store are some of the more recent additions to the mall. Hillsboro Village, with its many interesting shops, is only 3 minutes away.

The Bluebird Cafe, a famous live music venue, is located on Hillsboro Road in Green Hills. Hillsboro High School, located directly across the highway from the Mall, actually predates much of the neighborhood, which began on a small scale in the 1930s but was not highly populated until after World War II. Another public educational institution is Julia Green Elementary School, a primary school. A major private educational institution is Lipscomb University and its associated elementary and high schools. Another is Harpeth Hall School, a prestigious girls’ high school.

Green Hills is in many ways a typical development of its era. It consist primarily of brick-veneer “ranch” style detached houses on large lots In more recent years there has been considerable “infill” as many of the larger lots and other remaining open spaces have been redivided to become the sites of higher-density developments.

Green Hills is one of the Nashville’s more affluent areas, often chosen by residents who don’t wish a long commute to downtown businesses and three area universities – Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb Universities (all of which are within a 5-minute drive).

Green Hills is also the home to The Mall at Green Hills, a high-end enclosed shopping center which began as a “strip center” (one of the first two sizable such developments in Nashville) in the early 1950s. Nordstrom and the Apple Store are some of the more recent additions to the mall.

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