Affordable Live/Work New Construction in the Nations

West Nashville Living

November 2017

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Are you tired of looking at new homes out of your price range in the Nations?

Are you looking for a little privacy yet still convenient to all the hip joints?

Are you looking for a home where you could have a home office or workshop?

Well then look no longer. Welcome to 6127 Louisiana Avenue.

This home has a great Master Suite on the top floor with a flexible guest bedroom/office on the main floor. 

With private alley access this is the only new home on the market with a garage under $400,000 in the Nations!

 

Last but not least, Affordable New Construction priced at $319,900. See our breakdown of estimated costs and contact our preferred lender: Steve Roadman with Franklin Synergy Bank  615-499-5515. If Steve is your mortgage officer, we will pay $2000 of your closing costs. *

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To setup a showing Contact Alice Walker, listing agent with Pilkerton Realtors:
 AWALKER@realtracs.com, 615-506-2425.

To View More Photos & Listing:

http://bit.ly/6127LA

May/June Blog

Profile: Molly Sandlin, Office Manager

 

We have a new team member, Molly Sandlin, join us a couple of months ago and she fits in well with our group. Here is a little more background about her:

 

1)       Where are you from? Tell us about your family.

 

I was born and raised in the greater Chicago area and moved to Nashville in 2002. Although moving to the South was an adjustment, I immediately fell in love with the city and all it had to offer.  Ten years ago I married my husband, Micah. We have since been blessed with two incredible sons, Dylan (9) and Cale (5). Moving to Nashville on the brink of a real estate explosion has been an exciting experience. Back in Chicago my father and grandfather owned a mortgage, title, and insurance company. I can remember playing on the office switchboard, sending envelopes through the giant machines in the mail room, riding around with my dad taking pictures of homes for appraisals, collecting payments from his tenants in side real estate projects, and visiting jobsites to see how his side real estate endeavors were coming along. My first job was with a title company when I was 16 filing and taking old Polaroid photos of homes. At West Nashville Living, it is like reliving those days but with email and digital plans. My husband works in the wholesale HVAC commercial and residential business for one of the high end manufacturers and distributors. I have really gotten to see the inner workings of just how much Nashville has exploded peeking at projects he has worked on the last ten years. We will often drive through one of Nashville’s up and coming neighborhoods, and Micah will point out properties he has worked on with HVAC projects, local contractors, and engineers. It amazes me how much a city can grow in just fifteen years. It has been very exciting to be a part of that as a transplanted Nashville resident.

 

 

2)      What do you find rewarding about working with WNL?  

 

Becoming a part of West Nashville Living has been such a unique experience yet also very familiar. Now that my children are older, I finally have the availability to transition from the education business back over to the exciting world of real estate and development. Within just my first few months of joining West Nashville Living, I have already been able to see the unique intricacies of locating a new property, the process of making it beautiful, and the reward of passing it on to someone who is looking for just the right space to call home. I feel particularly rewarded at West Nashville Living because it is such a solid and welcoming team. In the admin role, I get to dabble in each part of the process and work with each person on the team in one facet or another. It is ever-changing, exciting, and all the more enjoyable being a part of team who is ethical, hardworking, and also fun!

 

 

3)         What would you do if you were not working at WNL?

 

If I was not working at West Nashville Living, I would most likely still be hunting for a professional team to join that I enjoy just as much with little to no avail!

           

           

4)      What do you enjoy doing when not at work?  

 

As a married mother of two boys (three counting my husband), much of my downtime is spent on the soccer fields and exploring this great city through their inquisitive eyes. I also love to read, kayak, fish, travel, and find relaxation in my hot yoga practice.

 

April Blog

Home Spotlight: A Unique Mid-Century, April 2017

 

Here at West Nashville Living, we enjoy building different style homes that still complement the neighborhood. 4617 Michigan is a mid-century modern home completed in January 2017. Our goal was to stick to the design aesthetic while also making it livable and affordable. Here are a few core elements of mid-century design that we incorporated into the house:

 

  • Open Space:

A clean and open space made with warmer materials was a key component of this house. You will find that we incorporated this by making the kitchen, dining and living area all one continual space.  We kept the stairwell as open as possible so it could lead into a space to be used as an open office or sitting area.  We brought in the warmer materials by having all of the hardwood, cabinets, doors and vanities stained in varying warm colored stains.

 

  • Minimal, Functional & High Quality:

We used simple and clean cabinets that emphasized minimalism by using no cut-outs or elaborate hardware, but by using flush cabinets and hardware with angular design. The flat interior doors are all heavy solid-core for long-lasting durability. For the lighting we aimed to combine the iconic mid-century style with a contemporary silhouette and color palette. We selected fixtures with mid-century shapes like the globe pendants in the kitchen and an angular living room fan, but we choose brass and black finishes that kept them modern.

 

  • Simplified Colors:

We kept the color palette in the home simple yet elegant. The paint color palette consisted of varying shades of gray and white that started on the exterior brick and trim and continued throughout the whole interior. To keep with the simplicity we used flat white tile for all the wall tiles (showers and backsplash) and neutral colors for the tile floors. This allows the resident to bring in their own pops of color with their furnishings and home decor.   

  •  Full of Light

Incorporating light and a view of nature is an important aspect that we wanted to bring into this house. Since whole walls of glass were out of the question due to privacy purposes, we included as many windows into the home so that natural light could fill the space as much as possible. This is especially true in the downstairs living space.

  • Furniture Conversion

One of our favorite parts of this house is the master bathroom vanity that our General Contractor Dave created from an original mid-century buffet / credenza! We found the piece at Vintage Market in Bellevue.

From that beautiful vanity down to the solid wood doors, this home rented very quickly. The aim was to create a beautiful simple, efficient, and elegant home. Thank you to ProMark designs for creating the floor plan and elevations. We hope you loved taking a look inside.

January Blog

Profile: Alice Walker, Real Estate Transaction Expert

Profile: Alice Walker, Real Estate Transaction Expert

I met Alice over 10 years ago when she represented some buyers purchasing a home I renovated. In conversations with her back then, I thought, "Wow, she knows what she is doing".  A lot of people think being a real estate agent is kind of glamorous.  They drive people around showing them pretty homes until they find one their clients want to buy and then they get a check about 30 days later.  That is not even part of the job.  A large part of an agent's work is once an offer is made and that is where Alice is so good.

To be a real estate agent you have to be a fair negotiator and be able to relate to buyers, sellers, and other real estate agents of all different backgrounds.   Alice treats everyone with respect, is friendly, and can be firm when she needs to be.  A real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts and Alice keeps it all together.  She is great with getting to the bottom of a problem and finding solutions quickly.

She also has a great feel for design, knows what buyers are wanting in a home and is not afraid to give her opinion.   In 2008, I had looked at a home to renovate in Sylvan Heights a few times and could not figure out how to make the floor plan better. I called Alice, she walked into the house and said, "Your gonna, knock down that stone fireplace, right?" After hearing her great suggestions she has been our main real estate agent ever since. 

Here is a little more insight about Alice and her work:

1) Why did you become a real estate agent?

I was given a great opportunity by a wonderful friend and incredible mentor, Christie Wilson.  I saw real estate was a chance to blend my passions and strengths into a career.

2) What is most rewarding about being a real estate agent?

I love so many aspects of my job.  Helping guide clients through one of the largest financial transactions of their life, introducing out of town clients to a new city they’ll soon love as much as I do.

One of the most rewarding is when after a transaction my client asks me if they can talk to me about getting their real estate license.  I always say of course and ask them why.  They reply, “because I love people and looking at houses like you.”  I think if that’s what they take away from a real estate transaction I’m pretty happy.

3) What are some of the changes you have seen in the business since you started?

Technology has had a major impact on real estate.
        ~ Mobility, not being at a desk or office or even at a computer.  Having the ability to complete a transaction without pen and paper has been an incredible game changer…but has also had it’s challenges.
        ~ Accessibility, smart phones with IM and DM and texting makes you accessible to your clients and other agents 24/7, not all changes are good.
        ~ Marketing,  the days of glossy, multi-page, spiral bound “mini book” information packets for marketing have been replaced by video tours, open houses by Emma email blasts

Information Philosophy Shift - this has seen many different stages.  First, came the shift from keeping our listing information guarded (I know, sounds crazy right!!) to trying to get as many people to see the information as possible.

Realtors being apprehensive about the public’s knowledge of the market to wanting to give them information and educate them on the market and trends in their area.

4) If you were not in real estate what would you do?

Prior to becoming a Realtor, I planned and coordinated events and dinners for a variety of clients ranging from non-profits, entertainers, professional athletes and vice presidents.  I would have continued in that area.

November Blog: West Nashville History Trivia

November Blog: West Nashville History Trivia

Photo of the "Treaty Oak" near 61st & Louisiana Ave

Photo of the "Treaty Oak" near 61st & Louisiana Ave


This month I thought we would have a little fun & also learn a little about West Nashville history. There is a famous book called "West Nashville-its people & environs" written by Sarah Foster Kelley. The book was written in 1987 as a celebration of West Nashville's 100th birthday. 1887 was the year the Plan of West Nashville "New Town" was platted that consists of most of the Nations neighborhood today.

"West Nashville" is full of detailed history of people & places. There were only a few hundred copies published and so today the book is worth over $250. We have a copy at our office if you ever want to come by & browse thru it.

Play some trivia by answering the multiple choice questions.  Answers are at the end so don't cheat.

1) Who was the originator/developer of "New Town"?

                A) Dr. William Morrow

                B) Dr. Henry Pierce

                C) Colonel E.W. Cole

                D) Mark Cockrill

2) Who was the lead promoter of the "New Town" of West Nashville?

                A) James Robertson

                B) Mark Cockrill

                C) John Donelson

                D) John Cockrill

3)  Why were the street names named after States in "New Town"?

                A) To bring peace during Civil War times

                B) To help educate children on US geography

                C) To promote people from other states to move to West Nashville

                D) To resemble the game Monopoly

4) Approximately how many people showed up on the morning of May 24, 1887 for the auction of the lots for "New Town"?

                A) 500

                B) 1000

                C) 2000

                D) 5000

5) Why is the Nation's neighborhood called The Nations?

                A) James Robertson and tribal leaders of Chickasaw Nations signed a pact in this area

                B) Because of the state street names

                C) Named after the United Nations

                D) In memory of the Chickasaw Indian nation

6) Whose log cabin was relocated and today sits on Charlotte Pike near Nashville West Shopping Center?

                A) Isaac Johnson

                B) John Cockrill

                C) Mark Robertson

                D) James Robertson

7) Why did James Robertson name the creek flowing thru West Nashville, "Richland Creek"?

                A) Because of the rich people nearby

                B) The Indians called it Richland

                C) Because of the fertile creek bottomlands

                D) After his son, Richard

8) Who is Charlotte Avenue named after

                A) The city of Charlotte, NC

                B) Charlotte Rae

                C) Princess Charlotte

                D) Charlotte Robertson, wife of James Robertson

9) What business resides in the oldest building of the Richland Park Shopping District along Charlotte Avenue between 48th Ave N & 51st Ave N

                A) Global Education Center

                B) Rhino Bookstore

                C) Southern Thrift

                D) Cool Stuff Weird Things

10) Why are we naming our new development "Westwood Flats"?

                A) Because of all the natural resources of hardwoods in the area

                B) Because of nearby properties that used to be lumber yards

                C) Because of the former Bruce Hardwood flooring production plant on Centennial Blvd.

                D) All of the above

Answers

1) B: Dr. Henry Pierce was general manager of the Standard Charcoal Iron & Chemical Company before forming the land company with other prominent businessmen.

2) B: Mark Cockrill was the director of the Nashville Land Improvement Company. He founded Cockrill School and the Presbyterian Church of West Nashville. 

3) C: To promote people from other states to move to West Nashville

4) D: An astounding 5000 people showed up from all over such as the Pacific coast, Maine & Chicago.

5) A: James Robertson and tribal leaders met at the Treaty Oak (which once stood at the corner of  61st and Louisiana Ave) to sign a pact guaranteeing the rights of the Chickasaw Nations. There was a stone plaque below the tree and kids used to think an Indian was buried there.

6) D: James Robertson. The log cabin home was originally on James Avenue and was their home until they built Robertson's Travelers Rest (better known as "Richland") at 5904 Robertson Road.

7) C: Because of the fertile creek bottomlands.

8) D: Charlotte Robertson, wife of James Robertson. People who knew her said she was kind, tenderhearted, industrious and a friend of the poor.

9) A: Global Education Center. The building known as "Richland Hall" was built in 1894 by the Nashville Land Improvement Company where Mark Cockrill served as president.

10) All of the above

 

Coming Soon:  Westwood Flats, a 4-unit Live/Work Community located in The Nations at New York Avenue & 57th Ave N.

Coming Soon:  Westwood Flats, a 4-unit Live/Work Community located in The Nations at New York Avenue & 57th Ave N.

 

Moving to Nashville? How to Find a Home for Rent

We keep hearing that 80-100 people are moving to Nashville on average every day. People are moving here from all parts of the country for different reasons. Some are young and looking for opportunity. Some have grown kids and want to be close to their grandchildren. Some have a job lined up, while some do not.

If this is you, here are 5 tips when finding a home to rent:

1) Rent for 1 year even if you can buy a home:
A few years ago a family moved here from another state. They came into town about 1 month before the new job started, looked at homes to buy in 1 weekend, found a home they liked, and made an offer. They purchased the home and moved in. Within 1 year of living in Nashville they realized they did not like the house, they did not like the schools their kids were attending, and they preferred another area.  So, they sold that home & moved and lost over $10,000.  Lesson to learn: Rent first, get acquainted with Nashville and the areas of town, then depending on your job, schools, and local amenities look at purchasing a home.

2) Where to look:
Before you start looking on Zillow or craigslist, narrow down what areas of town you want to live in by making a list of questions to ask yourself.  Some questions could be, how far do I want to drive, walk, or ride my bike to the grocery store, shops & restaurants? How far do I want to be from friends or family? Drive around the neighborhood and if you see someone in their yard, ask them what they like and dislike about the neighborhood.  Also, if you are new to town talk to friends, family or co-workers about different neighborhoods. Get multiple opinions.  A good online site to read & ask questions is: http://www.city-data.com/forum/nashville/  . If you have a job lined up look for places within a 30-minute drive (including rush hour). That sounds obvious, but I used to work with people that drove over 1 hour (not including rush hour) to get to work one-way. When you find a house your interested in, try driving your work day commute from that location before applying.

3) Where to look part 2:                                                                                                              Once you have narrowed down your areas of town, figure out your rent budget. Our criteria for applicants is you must have proven gross income of at least 3 times the monthly rent. Some places criteria is 4 times monthly rent. I would recommend 4 times especially if you have some student loans you need to pay off.

There are numerous websites to view homes such as Zillow & Craigslist. Beware of scams on craigslist. We post our homes for rent there as well as numerous other sites but scammers will repost our rentals for a much lower rent. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.    

4) Act fast/Be Organized:                                                                                                           Nice affordable rentals go fast so if you see one you like, be ready to apply. Did you know property managers are suppose to process applications in order that they are received?  All applications are going to ask for your current and past rental history, Social security # to pull credit and criminal background, and current & past job history.  So, have all that information ready.  Proof of income, such as check stubs for the last 2 months, will also speed up the process. 

As property managers, we pay special attention to the rental history and what the previous landlords say about you.  As for credit score, if you have zero credit that is better than having bad credit.

5) Interview the property manager:                                                                                             This step is often skipped when perspective residents are looking to rent a home.  Most of the time they are only looking at the home itself.  You really need to do some research and ask questions to the property management company.  We get a lot of new residents because they are unhappy with their current landlord situation. Most times it is because the landlord will not do repairs or they overpromise before someone moves in and do not deliver. If they do not run an application or have a written lease that is also a bad sign they are not professional and you could run into disagreements in the future.  

Most professional companies have a website or some form of social media (Facebook page, etc.). Look at online reviews.  Ask them how they handle maintenance requests? How quickly they respond if there is an issue.  Ask for a copy of the lease to read over before you sign it.  Ask how they take rent payments.  Try to ask the current tenant if they are still living there about maintenance issues and why they are moving. If your gut tells you it doesn't feel right, go with your gut. 

We hope you have learned a little about the renting process and this helps you find your new home soon.

Affordable Design; You Bought a New Home, Now What? Part 2

An old sewing machine frame found in grandma's basement. Added reclaimed wood to repurpose for a table. 

An old sewing machine frame found in grandma's basement. Added reclaimed wood to repurpose for a table. 

Last month's blog Holly wrote about some great retail spots to furnish your home along with some tips to save on home decor. This month we are "thinking outside the box" to re-design older items.

From Alice Walker, realtor:

My favorite place to shop is among the items you already have or ones tucked away in a parent's or friend's storage space...

~ an old antique bed, too small to use anymore, remove the headboard paint and hang above a sofa or on a large empty wall to fill space.

~ don't hide memories in an old scrapbook, instead create "living artwork"   Chances are you've got a few menus, movie tickets, playbills, and keepsakes you picked up along the way from dinner with special friends, anniversary evenings, and vacations; frame a few of them in simple inexpensive black frames and group together on a wall.

 ~ don't be afraid to mix and match.  That old, wooden,  odd sized dresser you had when you were a kid, then in college and you swore would never make it past your first apartment...paint it with a chalk paint, add new knobs and use as an end table in your living room along with a interesting floor lamp on the other end. 

~ your mom's old sewing machine in the attic.  Yes, the one in the back corner you've never actually seen her use but always tell yourself your gonna learn to sew on one day.  Well, let's pull it out in hopes of actually making a set of curtains for the guest room.  In the meantime, it's the perfect height for a bed side table in a guest room.  Once again, paint is the great equalizer.  A coat of paint, a great looking lamp from Homegoods or Target and your all set.  If you really want to be bold, re-upholster the stool that comes with it in a funky animal print. 

Affordable Design: You bought a new house, now what?

This month's blog we thought it would be helpful to post about furnishing your home. After you put down a down payment and pay the movers you need to save some money but also furnish your home to show off to your friends. Holly, our in-house designer, has some great tips below: 

Home we built at 5704 Burgess Ave Staged with furniture

Home we built at 5704 Burgess Ave Staged with furniture

There are some absolutely beautiful home shops here in Nashville! If you are moving into a new home though, you are likely having to buy a lot to fill in the gaps at your new place. So when you first move in you need to find some budget friendly spots in town that can make your dollar stretch far. Here are some of my top picks for affordable shops to try both in town and online:

·  World Market: For nice pieces that add a bit of class but don't break the bank! My go-to for rugs, patio furniture, dining room furniture and fun accents (candles, faux plants, colorful kitchen pieces). Plus, it is very convenient right here in West Nashville at the Nashville West Shopping Center!

·  At Home: Another West Nashville shop that has a bit of everything but is my top pick for affordable night stands and end tables, as well as a great selection of mirrors in all sizes! 

-  Homegoods (in Brentwood and Mt. Juliet): This is a go to place for your decorative pieces such as frames, bathroom rugs, hand towels, table lamps and decorative pillows. This is also where I shop for all of my bedding because I can get high thread count and high end brands, such as Tahari and Calvin Klein Home, at majorly discounted prices! Warning: If you see something you like you better grab it or it will be gone the next day. The good news is they have a lot of turnover so they get in new stuff every day.

·  ModerNash: We all know that IKEA has some brilliant pieces that almost every home should have, but sadly Nashville doesn't have an IKEA (yet! fingers crossed). Well ModerNash brings IKEA to you. They deliver (and even assemble if you would like) IKEA furniture, saving you the 4-hour trip to Atlanta or the crazy shipping fees that IKEA charges.

·  Target: While you’re picking up your shampoo why don't you also shop for your "trendy" items. Want to try the faux fur stool trend? Go for it! But don't do it at the expense of your budget. For decorating pieces that will likely be a fad and be out in a year or two, buy these pieces at Target so that you get them at a cheap price. You can always sell them or donate them later to help recoup the cost, too.

Online stores:

·  20X200: Unique art work that you can buy in multiple sizes and with or without a frame.

·  Wayfair: Anything and everything you could want! Constantly rotating inventory of unique finds for every inch of your house, and all at great prices. 

 Decorating tips for a new homeowner on a budget:

·  Add mirrors! A large floor or wall mirror will help make any room fill bigger. Even adding smaller mirrors to your wall art will help brighten up a room by reflecting light. 

·  Throw pillows are your best friend! They help your furniture look fresh (even if you are in desperate need for a new couch) and they can be easily changed out with the seasons if you want to try and be festive. You can find affordable pillows at Target and Home Goods. 

Profile: Michelle Holt, keeps the office engine running

If you are looking for a rental in West Nashville, stop by our office & see Michelle or give her a call. 

If you are looking for a rental in West Nashville, stop by our office & see Michelle or give her a call. 

When I interviewed for an office manager over 3 years ago I was looking for someone with various and specific skills.  I needed someone that had exceptional customer service skills, bookkeeping skills, real estate background, and someone always looking to improve our systems and efficiency.

Michelle has all of those traits and has been a great fit to the team of West Nashville Living. 

What I liked about Michelle when I first met her was she brought ideas to the table.  She is eager, organized and a very hard worker. 

If you call or email our office about a home for rent she is the first one you meet.  Michelle is very cordial with everyone on the phone and goes the extra mile to help them out.  One time over a year ago I remember someone had moved to town looking for a place to rent.  We had just rented out a place that was in their budget.  Michelle helped them with showing them listings & other websites that had places to rent.  Her willingness to help people allows her to connect with them.  Those same folks continued to follow up with us.  When we had a place open up they were the first to apply.  

I asked Michelle some questions below so you can learn more about her.

1) How did you get into property management/real estate services? 

My background is in Customer Service, Business Administration and Bookkeeping and most jobs I have had, have been a compilation of all three in some way, shape, or form.  The transition to Real Estate seemed logical in the current market.  I am pretty good at paperwork and in Real Estate you are required by law to have a ton of it.

2) What is your favorite part of working at WNL? 

I like meeting and talking to people wanting to move to our lovely neighborhood.  Nashville is my hometown and it makes me happy that other people want to be here as well. 

It gives me a sense of pride when I hear nice things about the company I work for and the people I work with.  It reminds me that we are doing our jobs in a respectful way. 

3) What are some of the bigger changes you have seen in the rental market since you started in the business? 

Aside from the monetary differences, the influx of “relocatees” to our beautiful city has been astonishing.

I was just as amazed a couple years ago when I started seeing more new construction homes in the rental market.  It is not just the demand for homes that has increased but residents are wanting higher quality and are willing to pay for it.

4) If you were not working in real estate what would you be doing? 

I think I would enjoy office management consulting so I could help people set up functional offices and teach people about different programs and how they can be utilized for optimal work flow.  I think that would be fun and I know a lot of people could use my help.  I could then set aside time to do some tax prep during the season. 

Good Neighbor Developer: June 2016

New Home at 5704 Burgess:  Currently FOR SALE

New Home at 5704 Burgess:  Currently FOR SALE

We are living in interesting times in Nashville right now.   New homes are going up in almost every neighborhood in the urban core.   Low interest rates and Nashville being labeled the "It" city are driving up prices.  Terms like "gentrification", "affordable housing" and "tall skinny homes" are getting tossed around in numerous conversations.  Have you heard the acronym NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard)?

Our goal at West Nashville Living has always been to build & renovate quality homes that homeowners & renters can enjoy for years.  

Another goal we have is to be good neighbors during and after construction.  We understand living next door or nearby a construction site is not convenient.  Construction creates temporary noise and mess.  

So here are ways we try to be good neighbors during construction:

1) Build Relationships: We always try to meet the adjacent neighbors before we build.  Dave Davelaar, our general contractor, will introduce himself and give them a business card and tell them to let him know if they have any issues.   Recently, a homeowner next door to a new build asked us to pressure wash off their home after we were done with the exterior to get any sawdust that got on their home.  We said, "no problem."  

2) Clean Site Inside & Outside: We know the importance to keep a clean construction site outside and in.  This practice keeps our site more safe and trash from impeding into other yards. 

3) Workdays: Did you know if you are not the homeowner, you can not conduct construction on Sundays according to Metro Codes? We think that is a great rule.  We all need at least 1 day of rest and we also do not want to disrupt others rest by making noise.  

4) Thinking Long-term:  Our company name has "West Nashville" in it for a reason. We are not building a few homes & leaving.  This is the only part of town where we build homes and have rental property.  We started renovating homes in the Nations when most people in Nashville had never heard of "The Nations".  We desire to build quality homesand quality relationships because we want to stay in business in the area for years to come.     

We are human and we have 30-50 different subcontractors per home so we are going to make mistakes. If you see a problem or an issue at one of our construction sites, please contact Mark Hayes or Dave Davelaar so we can handle the issue. 

Before at 5704 Burgess

Before at 5704 Burgess

Homeowner Spotlight: Rob & Annaclaire Tadlock

This month's blog is featuring homeowners who bought a home from us 1 year ago on Louisiana Avenue.  We thought we would check back in with them and see how they decorated the home.  Maybe after reading this you will find some ideas and tips for your home.

 Why did you decide on buying in the Nations and West Nashville? 

   After spending a few months looking around Nashville and the greater Nashville area for homes, our realtor told us about The Nations.  Our house was still under construction but we immediately fell in love with the look, style, and area The Nations had to offer.  We had no idea that such an affordable community was located so close to downtown Nashville and less than a 10 minute commute to Vanderbilt where Rob works.  The Nations and West Nashville has everything we were looking for when buying our first home: short commute to work, a park in walking distance and close to some of our favorite restaurants and shops.

  What are 1 or 2 elements of the home when you first viewed it that said to you "We want to live here"?   

    When we first toured the house there were elements that appealed to both of us. I love the charm of an older house where Rob wanted to buy a new build.  Our house was a great combination of the two; it was a new build yet had some features that reminded me of an older home.  We love that the house has a cottage like style with a front porch.  As soon as we saw this little blue house we knew we needed to make it our home.  The granite counter tops, wooden floors throughout, and the fenced in backyard for our Goldendoodle made this the perfect house.

  How have you decorated the home since moving in? 

From the day we moved in the paint colors were a perfect match to the furniture we already had.  The white and grey walls paired perfectly with the light wood floors.  A few of our favorite pieces in our home are our one of a kind farm table and our DeAnn Design’s painting.  Our table was handmade by Rob’s grandfather (Papaw) who is now 94.  This will be a piece we will always treasure.  The painting in our living room was a custom painting of the church Rob and I were married in back home in Mississippi.  It was painted by DeAnn (deanndesigns.com), a local artist who’s store is located at The Factory in Franklin, TN.  

4. Give us a little background about each of you. Where are you from? How long have you lived in Nashville? What neighborhood you moved from? Job, careers, hobbies? 

 Rob and I are high school sweethearts from Clinton, MS.  Rob attended Mississippi College and I went to The University of Mobile. Once Rob graduated nursing school he moved to Mobile for my last year of school. Once I graduated we both decided to move to Nashville and we were married a year later.  We have both been in Nashville around three years and cannot picture living our life anywhere else.  Rob is a Clinical Staff Leader at Vanderbilt and I am a singer/songwriter. We are members at Brentwood Baptist Church, love hiking with Manning our doodle, and enjoy trying all of Nashville’s wonderful restaurants (probably a little too much).  When we first moved to the Nashville area we both lived in Franklin.  Once we were married we moved into an apartment off Music Row. After year two we realized it was time to make Nashville our permanent home by buying a house. We could not be more excited to be a part of The Nations community! 

Why West Nashville?

Row of remodeled and new construction homes on Illinois Ave

Row of remodeled and new construction homes on Illinois Ave

When I first started investing in real estate in 2002, I was looking at properties not only in Davidson County but in the surrounding counties as well. I ended up buying my first home in West Nashville on Frisco Avenue in the Croleywood neighborhood.  The second home I purchased, as a rental, was a 1 hour drive from my home. Big Mistake.  I continued to buy property in West Nashville, East Nashville and even Mount Juliet & Gallatin.  In 2005, I realized I needed to concentrate in one area of town so I would not be driving all over Middle Tennessee.   

Even back in 2005, before the current boom of new developments, I really loved the feel of West Nashville. The character of the different neighborhoods, the local amenities, and the convenience of a central location made it an easy choice to live and work in the area.

So, ask yourself: why should you live in West Nashville?

1) Historical Character: 

Sylvan Park, one of Nashville’s first planned subdivisions to give people a refuge from a dirty downtown, is now filled with retirees, college professors, avid dog walkers and couples pushing baby strollers.  The 1920’s clapboard homes and 1930’s stone bungalows are evenly mixed in with larger new construction homes.

The Nations, like so many urban Nashville communities, declined when relocation to suburban areas became popular in the 1950’s and 60’s.  But as Nashville has become the “IT” city so has The Nations become the “IT” neighborhood. Today, it consists of a good mix of working class with roots that go generations deep and eager residents wanting to call Nashville home.

Brookside, west of White Bridge road and filled with its picturesque brick homes, once housed returning WWII vets visiting and working at Thayer Memorial Veterans Affairs Hospital. That site is now part of the Richland Creek Greenway filled will joggers and bike riders.  Now Brookside is filled with native Nashvillians and Nashville new comers.  Like Nashville itself, some of the homes have been updated with painted brick and bright colored front doors.

 A little further west is Charlotte Park, a neighborhood designed to house workers from the Ford Glass plant.  This neighborhood is filled with small efficient post-WWII brick ranch homes lining appropriately named streets like “Thunderbird”, “Mercromatic”, and “Starliner.” Now, interior walls have been removed, small one-car garages converted into family rooms, and the homes are referred to as “mid century.”

 

2) Ever-Increasing Amenities:

The amenities in West Nashville are practically endless and include restaurants, thrift stores, local and big box retail shopping, parks, and numerous fitness locations.

Some local restaurants have stood the test of time, such as Bobbie's Dairy Dip, Wendell Smith's Meat & 3, and Bro's Cajun Cuisine (all located on Charlotte Avenue).  A great spring & summer spot tucked away in Charlotte Park is Blue Moon Waterfront located in the Rock Harbor Marina.  The old building got destroyed in the May 2010 flood, but the new and improved restaurant is situated where all the seating inside and out are open to the water.

There are new restaurants as well, recently opened and thriving, such as 51st Kitchen & Bar, one of the first sit-down restaurants in the Nations, Flip Burger at 42nd & Charlotte Avenue, and a small menu but great food at Centennial Bar on Centennial Blvd at 52nd Ave N.   

Some restaurants in the planning stage (or opening soon) are Edley's BBQ in Sylvan Park, The Nations Bar & Grill at 51st Ave & Georgia Ave, and a family-friendly restaurant in the old Stone Fox location. 

Thrift stores have been a staple on Charlotte Avenue for decades.  There are 3 thrift stores (Unique Thrift, Cool Stuff Weird Things, and Southern Thrift within 500 feet from each other. Goodwill & Lions Thrift Store are also on Charlotte Ave.  We like to donate items to This-N-That across the street from our office. All money raised there goes to support St. Luke's Community house, a non-profit with numerous programs, established in the Nations in 1913.

Whether shopping for household items, groceries, or jewelry, you can find what you need and want in West Nashville.  Since Nashville West shopping center has opened, it has been busy. Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, Best Buy, World Market are just a few of many who have located to the area. Can you believe some commercial experts said it would not work at that location?

There are also some great boutique & gift shops such as Fabu, Oak Nashville, and The Mill Boutique.  Gossage Jewelers has been in the Gossage family for four generations! They are located across Charlotte Ave from Bobbie's Dairy Dip and in front of Wendell Smith's.  My wife recently wanted an updated engagement ring and Chuck Gossage offered exceptional customer service and a great price. One of the nicest people you can meet.  Another convenience if you need some quick cash, there are a few pawn shops along Charlotte Ave. 

We are very fortunate to have numerous parks and green space in our city core.  West Nashville has several metro parks that have playgrounds, tennis courts, community centers, and golf courses.  Richland Park, West Park, Charlotte Park, McCabe Golf Course & Community Center, Centennial Park (home to the Parthenon), and Elmington Park are all just a few miles apart from each other.  If you want to go on a nice walk or bike ride there are entrances to Nashville's greenway in Sylvan Park and off White Bridge Road.  If you have kids, take a drive to Red Caboose Park in Bellevue where most of the playground is shaded and kids can play for hours.  Of course you can take a short drive down Highway 100 to Percy Warner & Edwin Warner Parks which consists of picnic areas, sports fields, hiking trails, a nature center and more on over 2500 acres combined. 

In the winter & summer when it is too hot or cold to play outside you can check out very affordable options to be active such as Climb Nashville, Yoga Harmony, Planet Fitness, Barre Amped, or Blooma Yoga. 

In summary, West Nashville is one of the fastest-growing areas in Nashville! With such rich historical character, it’s convenient and central location, and its ever-growing list of nearby amenities, it’s not hard to see why! 

Profile: Dave Davelaar, General Contractor & Carpentry Extraordinaire

This wainscoting and ceiling are examples of Dave's excellent trim carpentry

This wainscoting and ceiling are examples of Dave's excellent trim carpentry

This month's blog is featuring our general contractor Dave Davelaar. I met Dave 10 years ago working on a home across the street from a home we had purchased.  He had a trim carpentry business at the time and I quickly realized he was not only a great carpenter but a great businessman.  He was our trim carpenter for all of our home renovations from 2006 thru 2013.  In 2013 he became a licensed general contractor and he has been our GC ever since. 

Dave is a problem solver and creative and that is what makes him a terrific person to work with in construction.  I remember numerous times renovating homes where we needed to solve a problem to improve the home. For example change a weird staircase or match a trim that was no longer available. I would say to Dave "work your magic" and he did just that and it looked great.  That still holds true today in new construction, especially when we need to adjust house plans in the field.  He also always has great ideas for small design elements that make a large impact. This stems from his music/creative background.  He probably won't tell you this at first but he did appear on "Star Search" as a kid. Another fun fact is when he was a teenager he was in a teen magazine alongside Brad Pitt.      

I asked Dave some questions below so you can learn more about him. 

1.)     What got you into building?

At age 4, my dad brought home some lumber and 4 lawn mower wheels.  He helped me build my first push soapbox car, and I was hooked. I began building tree houses at age 6.  I started sneaking to use my dad’s power tools at 7.

2.)    What's your favorite part of the building process?

I enjoy the creative side of construction, spatial and material design. I love the fact that after a long day of work, you can stand back and see fruits of your labor.

     3.) What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in the last few          
           years (from a builder's standpoint)

Fortunately and unfortunately Nashville is booming.  With that comes a tremendous amount of development and revitalization.  When I moved to Nashville almost 20 years ago, there were very few lofts and high-rise condos.  Downtown Nashville was a ghost town after 6pm. The rapid influx of new people relocating to Nashville has not only fueled the need for new and renovated homes, but has also inspired new architectural and multi functional design.

     4.) What are some of the biggest challenges builders face in a booming
market? 

Nashville definitely has a shortage of high quality tradesman labor.
It is getting more and more difficult to plan and execute construction projects.  One negative side effect of so much new construction is the lack of willingness by sub contractors to do renovation projects.  Homeowners are finding it very difficult to get work done, and are having to pay a premium to expedite smaller projects.

     5.) If you weren't building what would you be doing?

I would definitely be doing something creative.  Music originally brought me to Nashville, and I would probably still be in the music business. 

Price per square foot Part 2: How do Builders use Price per square foot?

As you may know, Nashville is booming with growth.  There are also a lot of New Construction homes being built right now and prices have increased over the last few years.  We built & sold a new 1958sf home on Illinois avenue in April of 2014 for $299,900 ($153/sf). That homeowner sold it 1 year later for $349,900 ($179/sf) with no new improvements.  Running comps on this home today (February 2016), it is valued between $390,000-$400,000 (approximately $200/sf).

Builders also use price/sf for budgeting and cost to build.  For example, if there were two homes with the same number of bathrooms, same type of finishes and similar grade yards, the larger home would likely cost less to build price/sf than a smaller home. Why? Because to add 400-800 square feet of living space is less material & labor (considering time & convenience for contractors). Plus there are certain "hard" costs for any new construction home that do not change like water & sewer taps fees & installing appliances.

Considering growth, need for more homes and construction costs, there have been & are currently a lot of homes in the Nashville urban core being built that range from 1800-2400 square feet.  The prices of those homes have increased as in the example on Illinois Avenue.  Therefore buyers wanting to live in those neighborhoods are not able to afford that same home 1-2 years later.

So with this in mind, we at West Nashville Living made a business decision to build some smaller homes for those buyers getting "priced out" of the area.  This is helped meet a demand of different buyers.  Some of the homes we have built are 1200-1500 square feet.  From a construction cost standpoint, they do cost more to build ($/sf).  However, they do sell for higher price per square foot. This is good to know for when you want to upgrade to a larger home in a few years. 

In December (2015) we had a record-breaking sale in the neighborhood. We sold a home that was 1337sf for $315,000. That is $235/sf! Does that sound crazy high? Not really, when the other homes around it were selling for $350,000 and higher.  We had 5 offers within the first day of listing. One prospect offered to throw in free haircuts for a year!  That is good news for homeowners in the Nations!! Not the haircuts :), but the home value.