Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Great School Districts = Great Home Value

Last week I posted a blog about how to narrow your focus as you seek the best neighborhood for you and your family. Among the suggestions offered was to research the zoned schools for the neighborhoods you are considering. 

Many young people who do not yet have children and older adults who have already emptied their nests sometimes do not consider the full implications of buying a home in a great school district. But, it needs to at least be brought to your attention if you're looking for a way to maintain value in your home.

In an Aug. 13th blog post, real estate Web site Trulia.com reported that Chief Economist Jed Kolko found that asking prices for homes in a school district with a GreatSchools rating of 9 or 10 were 32 percent above average.

Another real estate Web site, Realtor.com says, "We can conclude that good schools do increase home values in some measure. Half of the home-buying population is willing to pay more than their intended budget to get into the right school district, and more than half would give up other amenities. Making a decision on buying a home should definitely include an analysis of the school district, even for buyers who don't intend to send children to those schools. Good schools provide stability for a community, and that's good for the property values of everyone who lives nearby."

The Nashville area has a lot of great schools, but I want to brag for a moment on the schools in Williamson County. Every year state officials name the top 5 percent of schools in Tennessee as "Reward Schools." This designation is based on academic performance and progress. This year a record number of schools in Williamson County won, with a total 28 schools claiming the honor!

Liberty Elementary in the Franklin Special School District (also in Williamson County) made the list this year, and the following schools in the Williamson County School District are as follows:

- Allendale Elementary School, Performance
- Brentwood High School, Performance
- Clovercroft Elementary School, Performance & Progress
- College Grove Elementary, Performance
- Page High School, Performance & Progress
- Fred J Page Middle School, Performance
- Grassland Elementary School, Performance
- Grassland Middle School, Performance
- Heritage Elementary School, Performance
- Heritage Middle School, Performance
- Hillsboro Elementary/ Middle School**, Performance & Progress
- Hunters Bend Elementary School, Performance
- Kenrose Elementary School, Performance
- Longview Elementary School, Progress
- Middle College High School, Performance
- Nolensville Elementary School, Performance
- Oak View Elementary School, Performance
- Pearre Creek Elementary School, Performance
- Ravenwood High School, Performance & Progress
- Scales Elementary School, Performance
- Spring Station Middle School, Performance & Progress
- Sunset Elementary School, Performance
- Sunset Middle School, Performance
- Trinity Elementary School, Performance
- Walnut Grove Elementary School, Performance & Progress
- Winstead Elementary School, Performance
- Woodland Middle School, Performance

If you'd like to learn more about the outstanding schools in Williamson County, check out the Williamson County School district here: http://www.wcs.edu

And the Franklin Special School District here:

This list shows that the whole county has great potential for maintaining home values! Contact me and I'll help you find the right home.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net


Posted on 08/26/2014 11:22 PM by Jarod
Monday, 18 August 2014
Find the Perfect Nashville Neighborhood

     Because of the recent focus on Nashville as a hot city for culture and job growth, Nashville area real estate continues to thrive as people flock here to be a part of this exciting growth. As new people come to Middle Tennessee, they quickly realize that there are a plethora of options around the city where they can choose to settle. The stress seems to be that there are too many great places to choose from, so newcomers need general direction in knowing what is best for them. Whether you are new to Middle Tennessee or want to relocate within the area, here are some tips for finding the best place for you and your family to settle.

- Set a realistic but firm budget. Don't get in over your head. Set a budget that allows wiggle room for you to live comfortably.

- Define your must-haves. It's difficult to find a "perfect" home if you have no idea what you're looking for. Narrow down your focus. Do you want to live in the city or the suburbs? Do you want a big yard for kids to play in, or would you rather have a small lot that is taken care of by an association fee? Would a one-level home better meet your needs for the future, or would a multi-level home work for years to come? 

- Drive and/or walk the neighborhood. Do this at different times of the day to get a feel for the people, traffic, and other activities. Are people out and about, or do they keep to themselves? Do the streets get backed up during rush hours?

- Drive/ride your would-be commute. Pick a morning and afternoon to take your route to and from work from the prospective neighborhood. Is this something you can live with day-to-day or would it add a lot of extra stress to your life? Is there major construction on the way that could cause a problem for a long time, or is that something you could live with knowing that traffic will get better once it's done?

- Talk to the neighbors. Ask about local parks, restaurants, and other areas of interest. Ask them their opinions of the neighborhood. Is there an HOA? If so, what are the costs, pros and cons? Use your networking skills to ask around and see if any friends or co-workers feel strongly about certain neighborhoods. If you don't know anyone who lives here yet, use online resources to see if people are chatting about certain neighborhoods.

- Research the zoned schools. Even if you don't have children, this could be an important factor if you should ever try to sell this house in the future. Homes sell better in great school districts. If you do have kids, talk to other families with kids in those schools or go on a tour of the school. For a score report in the state of Tennessee, click here.

HGTV's "Front Door" has these suggestions for using your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community:


- Remember your first impression. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting? You'll want to feel good about where you call home and impress buyers when you're ready to move on.

- Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Do you see abandoned buildings or vandalism? Are there a lot of "For Sale" signs or rentals? If the community goes downhill, so does your house's value.


- Stop and listen. Bird and nature sounds are generally pleasant, but what about noise from the highway, airport, hospital, train tracks, construction, or nearby clubs and bars? It's not very relaxing to listen to trains screech by during your morning coffee-especially not every morning.

There are many great neighborhoods in the Nashville area. Contact me and I'll help you find the right fit for you and your family!



Posted on 08/18/2014 11:27 AM by Jarod
Friday, 8 August 2014
Historic Brentwood, Tenn., Home Becomes a Park for All to Enjoy

A significant piece of Brentwood, Tennessee's history has gotten a million-dollar facelift. Thanks to the city's efforts to restore this gorgeous property, it will be made available for residents to enjoy in the future.

The History
Ravenswood mansion was built by James Hazard Wilson II for his wife Emeline in 1825. In the mid-1800's, Mr. Wilson was one of the wealthiest men in the state. He managed cotton plantations in three states, a Mississippi River steamboat line, and he was a stakeholder in road and railroad companies, including the railroad that brought life to Brentwood during his years. He also personally funded soldiers during the Civil War and built two other historic Brentwood mansions, Century Oak and Inglehame, which he gave to two of his nine surviving children.

In 1961 Mr. and Mrs. Reece Smith purchased the home and lovingly restored it. Over the years they hosted many guests and events on the property. When they passed away, two of their sons came to the city of Brentwood and asked them to buy the property to preserve its history. In December of 2010, the city purchased the 320 acres that includes the home, and they recently purchased 80 more acres to finish out their plans.

According to Brentwood-tn.org, "The park, to be known as the Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, will be [the] largest in Brentwood as well as the City's largest ever land purchase."

The Future
Now that the home and property have undergone extensive restoration, residents of Brentwood and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy the beautiful property for years to come. The home will be available for rent for weddings and other events, and the property will host hiking trails, athletic fields, picnic areas, and more.

According to The Tennessean, the Brentwood Historic Commission will be hosting an invitation-only "Coming Out Ball" on August 28, 2014. The money raised at this event will go toward finishing out the furnishings for Ravenswood.

For a detailed look at the plans for Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, click here.

To see more pictures of the home, click here.



Posted on 08/08/2014 4:12 PM by Jarod