More Money in Home Owners’ Pockets – $12,500 Average

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016More homeowners are gaining equity and climbing out of negative territory, according to a new report released by CoreLogic. Now, 93.7 percent of all mortgaged properties—or 47.9 million homes—have more money invested in them than their estimated market value. Home equity has grown 10.8 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago.
“Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon, and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth, while owners in Alaska, North Dakota, and Connecticut had small declines, on average.”
Meanwhile, the total number of residential properties with mortgages that remain in negative equity are 3.2 million – or 6.3 percent of all mortgaged homes, CoreLogic reports. Negative equity means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. In the fourth quarter of 2009, negative equity peaked at 26 percent of all mortgaged properties and has steadily been declining ever since.
“Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Pay-down of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”
More properties with home equity are concentrated at the high end of the housing market, the CoreLogic report notes. Ninety-six percent of homes valued at greater than $200,000 have equity compared to 90 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000.
The following states had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity:
Texas: 98.4%

Alaska: 98.1%

Colorado: 97.9%

Utah: 97.9%

Washington: 97.9%

On a metro level, the biggest cities with the highest percentage of mortgaged properties with positive equity are:
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif.: 99.4%

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas: 98.5%

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.: 98.4%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.: 96.9%

Boston: 95.3%

On the other hand, the following states have the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity:
Nevada: 14.2%

Florida: 12.5%

Illinois: 10.6%

Arizona: 10.6%

Rhode Island: 10%

Source: CoreLogic

Dickens of a Christmas – Franklin, TN


Here’s what is coming with Dickens of a Christmas this weekend
Posted by Emily R. West Date: December 07, 2016Leave a comment

Here’s what is coming with Dickens of a Christmas this weekend

With 200 characters planned to roam the downtown Franklin streets, this year’s Dickens of Christmas could be the biggest one yet.
Set for Dec. 10-11, the Heritage Foundation will bring the joy and charm of an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas. This year’s event marks its 32nd anniversary, and will feature both time-honored activities that have become perennial favorites, as well as a few new traditions in the making.
Heritage Foundation Street Festival Coordinator Abby Williams said she anticipates at least 70,000 people between both days of the weekend event. Dickens will stretch from First to Fifth Avenues.
“We are going to have a ton of people,” Williams said. “Last year it was 70 degrees, but this year it’s going to between 40 and 50 degrees. It’s going to make it feel more Victorian. We are trying to portray the time of the Charles Dickens area during Christmas, and that doesn’t always work when it’s 70 degrees outside. We are excited it will be cooler.
“I’ve already talked to people on the phone traveling from Georgia and Alabama, which are our two largest areas where people come from to travel. We have a lot of out of town people coming in for this.”
New this year is the dedicated kids area at Landmark Community Bank, sponsored by Rolling Hills Community Church. They will offer arts and crafts, games and a photo booth.
“We’ve had kids’ attractions, but they have been kind of spread out,” Williams said. “Those will still be there. But we have an actual dedicated free kids area like we do at Pumpkinfest. So we are definitely excited.”
Other than the one new facet, here’s what to expect:

– There will be several places to hear music. You can listen at Fourth and First Avenues and Main Street and the public square stage. Music City Strings will also play in front of Five Points.
– The second annual Lucky Scruff Wintery Whisker Revue will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. on the public square stage. It’s hosted by Lucky Scruff, which is inside The Factory at Franklin. There’s early entry to sign up to participate. There are four categories of winners, which all will offer a trophy and a gift card.
– The town sing will start at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday with Aaron Shust. He will do his songs from 4 to 4:30 p.m. and then start the town sing.
– Thomas Stringfellow, an American Idol contestant from season 15, will start singing at 2:50 p.m. on the public square stage.
Here’s how to make parking easy:

Dickens of a Christmas off-site parking and shuttles will be available on Saturday and Sunday.
Pick up locations include Church of the City on Saturday only (828 Murfreesboro Road) and Harlinsdale Farm on both days (239 Franklin Road).
The cost is $1 each way and the shuttles will run 10 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Compliments of Franklin Home Page
Emily West covers Franklin, education, and high school football for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

Tree lightings and Christmas parades in Williamson County

Local Christmas tree lightings and parades begin this week. Here’s a rundown of where you can catch the action:
Franklin Tree Lighting

Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m.

The City of Franklin is teaming up with Spring Tree Media to light up the square to make the 2016 Christmas tree lighting spectacular.

Tree lightings and Christmas parades in Williamson County

Local Christmas tree lightings and parades begin this week. Here’s a rundown of where you can catch the action:
Franklin Tree Lighting

Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m.
The City of Franklin is teaming up with Spring Tree Media to light up the square to make the 2016 Christmas tree lighting spectacular.
Local professional theatre company Studio Tenn will perform songs from “A Studio Tenn Christmas.” Freedom Intermediate School Honors Choir and Centennial High School Chamber Choir will also sing before Mayor Ken Moore flips the switch on the tree.
This year, the event is sponsored by Spring Tree Media and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC). Williamson Medical Center sponsors the free photos with Santa beginning at 5:30 p.m., one hour before the program starts. The Grinch himself — star of the hit Broadway show “Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ The Musical” — will be on the Square too for free photo opportunities.
One lucky winner will walk away with a pair of free tickets to see the musical at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Franklin Christmas Parade

Dec. 3, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Streets lined with anxious children, waiting to catch a glimpse of Santa Clause. Bands playing Christmas carols. Floats decorated for Christmas. There is nothing like the beauty and magic of the Franklin Kiwanis Christmas Parade in Historic Downtown Franklin.
The Kiwanis Club of Franklin along with sponsors Monroe Carell Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital at Williamson Medical Center and Ruud Air Conditioning Products will host the 2016 Franklin Kiwanis Christmas Parade on Dec. 3 from 2 – 3:30 p.m.
New, unwrapped toys donated by parade-goers will be collected along the parade route by the wives of the Franklin Firefighters Association.
The parade will be led by Grand Marshal Ben Zobrist, a Franklin native and Chicago Cubs player and World Series MVP.
Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade

Dec. 10, 2 p.m.
The Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade is always a community favorite. You can expect to see tractors, old cars and trucks, beautiful floats, cute floats, wacky floats, people dressed in crazy costumes, pigs, dogs, horses, donkeys, mules, horse and buggies, chuck wagons, horse drawn wagons and, of course, Santa.
If you plan on attending, arrive early to avoid traffic congestion.
Brentwood Tree Lighting

Dec. 5, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
The annual Brentwood Christmas tree lighting event will take place this year on Monday, Dec. 5 at the Brentwood Library.

The event includes readings of “The Polar Express” inside the library, and the event is free for anyone to attend.
The tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m., with the readings taking place at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
To join in the book readings, you must have a ticket. They are available starting today in the Brentwood Library at the Children’s Service Desk on a first-come, first-serve basis.The Brentwood Library is located at 8109 Concord Road.

Nolensville North Pole Experience/Tree Lighting

Dec. 5, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
The City of Nolensville’s annual Christmas event is taking place on Monday, Dec. 5 at Town Hall.

Come experience the North Pole with plenty of picture opportunities, snacks and goodies and even a visit with Santa. Live music will be playing in the North Pole and a reading of “The Christmas Story” will take place at 7:45 p.m.
Lighting the tree will take place at 8 p.m. Presenting sponsors are Mint Springs Farm and Snyder Entertainment.

Spring Hill Christmas Tree Lighting

Nov. 29, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Spring Hill Parks and Recreation invites all to the annual Spring Hill Christmas Tree Lighting at Port Royal Park, which will include hands-on activities, letters to Santa, a petting zoo, complimentary hot chocolate, a performance by Heritage Middle School Dance Team, live music performed by “Nothen Short” and the tree lighting.

Spring Hill Christmas Parade

Dec. 3, 5 p.m.

TThe annual Spring Hill Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 3, following its traditional route through town.

The parade will travel down Main Street, turn left on Beechcroft Road and continue back to Town Center Parkway and will end where it started.
The theme for the parade this year is Hometown Christmas. Since the parade is in the evening, you are encouraged to use light if possible.
Fairview Christmas Parde
Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-noon

The most wonderful time of the year at the Fairview Christmas Parade. The theme this year is The 12 Days of Christmas.
Franklin Home Page

Posted by Andrea Hinds Date: November 27, 2016

Dickens of a Christmas – Franklin, TN – December 10 -11

Join us for the largest Christmas festival in Middle Tennessee! Step back in time with the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County when Dickens of a Christmas returns to Franklin’s Main Street December 10-11, 2016.

Sponsored this year by Nissan, the 32nd annual free street festival will recreate the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s Victorian architecture as the backdrop. Some 200 musicians, dancers and characters will fill the streets, including several from Charles Dickens’s stories. Expect to see and interact with the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit with his parents from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children.
As more attention is turned toward downtown Franklin in both the local and national press, we encourage festival goers to dress in Victorian costume and to add to the ambiance as they stroll the streets.  This year’s event will reprise a crowd favorite from last year: it WILL snow at Dickens of a Christmas! Come decked out in holiday style to capture that perfect family picture.

-Favorite Victorian-era activities will return, including sugar plums and roasted chestnuts being sold on the street. Other food vendors will offer heartier old English fare.
-A FREE kids arts and crafts area inside of Landmark Bank sponsored and put on by Rolling Hills Community Church

-A variety of musical and dance performances will take place at 4th and Main, 2nd and Main, 1st and Main and at the Xfinity Stage on the Public Square. Aaron Shust will lead the Town Sing at 4 p.m. on Saturday the 10th

-Horse-drawn carriage rides on 3rd Ave North, sponsored by Beacon Capital Management, a petting zoo for children and live artisan demonstrations on 3rd Ave South, and more than 100 vendors offering holiday arts and crafts will line Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenues.

-A Victorian-themed Stilt Walker and Unicyclist roaming main street sponsored by The Heritage at Brentwood

-Each day will conclude with a town sing of classic Christmas carols.
Dickens of a Christmas will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 11. The event is free and open to the public; some attractions will involve a small fee.
The Heritage Foundation

Williamson, Inc. Annual Celebration coming to Arrington

The Williamson, Inc. Annual Celebration presented by Williamson Medical Center is Nov. 17 at The Barn at Sycamore Farms, a new events venue in the Arrington community.USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page will be recapping the presidential election season for the crowd.

In addition, Williamson, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Largen will deliver his annual update, reviewing the year’s accomplishments and previewing next year’s initiatives.
Listen to live music from the Battle Ground Academy band will provide live music for the event. H. Clark Distillery of Thompson’s Station will offer a gin tasting, and a signature drink will be provided by PGA Tour’s Tour at the pre-dinner cocktail reception presented by Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network.
Networking and cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner and the program get started at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $85 for members, $100 for guests. Tables are $1,500 and table sponsorships are $2,500. For tickets, RSVP to the chamber HERE.

The Barn at Sycamore Farms is at 4866 Murfreesboro Road, Arrington.

Franklin Home Page

Nov. 30 illumination to mark federal battle lines – Franklin, TN

Nov. 30 illumination to mark federal battle lines
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, The Battle of Franklin Trust will once again display luminaries at dusk to honor the casualties inflicted during the Battle of Franklin 152 years ago.
The ceremony will take place on what is now known as Carter Hill Battlefield Park, which has expanded following the reclamation of what once was the site of the Carter cotton gin, and the removal of the 1950s-era Franklin High School gym on the opposite side of Columbia Avenue.
“This event is one of the most solemn ceremonies we perform here at the Trust,” said The Battle of Franklin Trust CEO, Eric A. Jacobson, in a press release announcing this year’s observance. “It is sometimes difficult to explain the toll of the battle with words alone, and seeing the luminaries glowing at dusk and into the darkness profoundly contributes to our understanding of what happened in Franklin on Nov. 30, 1864.”
The ceremony to commemorate the battle’s anniversary will begin at 4 p.m. at The Carter Hill Battlefield Park. Casualties’ names will be read aloud throughout the ceremony, and visitors are invited to walk throughout the luminaries to experience this somber event.
Carnton Plantation and The Carter House will be open to the public for free walk-through tours from 5-7 p.m. This year’s luminaries will be placed on both sides of Columbia Pike along the Federal line, which the Confederates briefly broke through and where so many of the battle’s casualties occurred.
The ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information and volunteer inquiries, please contact Brittany Mayfield at (615) 794-0903 or
The Battle of Franklin Trust is a 501(c)3 management corporation acting for the charitable and educational purposes of preserving, restoring, maintaining and interpreting the properties, artifacts and documents related to the battle so as to preserve an important part of the nation’s history
Franklin Home Page

Presidential Election 2016

Veterans Day Concert Event in  Franklin, TNNovember 11th 6:30 PMTickets; $22. 

Novmber 11 2016

Every day, 22 Veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher.

War follows our Veterans home. And while we enjoy the freedoms they secured for us, the battle continues for them. Now it’s our turn to fight for them.

In association with S.A.V.E.XXII Franklin Live will raise awareness and give hope and support to our Veterans as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in the war against Veteran suicide. Join us and our friends;

Stars from the Nashville area music community for this special event of song, inspiration and information.


Door Open 6 PM

Showtime 6:30 
The Darlins

Paul Aldrich

Tanya Davis

George Ducas

Dave Gibson

Jasmine Cain

Anthony Adams & the Nite Owls

Greg Pratt

Jamie White

Gunner S Scott

Gabriel Wren

Gale Mayes

Shane Almgren

Josh Childs

Bernie Nelson

Host for the evening; Denny Brownlee


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.”


The Tennessean
Reporter Jordan Buie can be reached at 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