Thursday, November 29, 2012

How's the Market?

Probably the most common question I get is, "So, how's the real estate market these days?" Many people ask because they are curious in regards to their own situation. They may be cautiously optimistic that things are looking up a bit and their real estate investment is perhaps improving. Well, I have good news. In our particular area (most of Rutherford County and southern Davidson), the market has, at the very least, stabilized. Prices have stopped plummeting, inventory is drying up and sellers are not nearly as vulnerable as they were 2 years ago. There are still pockets where the recovery hasn't really started but almost everywhere has at least leveled off.

To make matters better, some sub-markets are actually starting to recover quite nicely. For example, the traditional "first time buyer house", if in good shape and priced correctly, will sell very quickly. The best part is that "priced correctly" does not mean that it is deeply discounted. This sub-market has made somewhat of an improvement and resurgence in the last 10 months to 1 year. The best part for these sellers is that their most likely target to purchase is still somewhat on sale and interest rates are still spectacular.

So, for example, let's say you have a 1300 square foot house in Westfork in Smyrna and it is in pretty good shape. You can probably get around $100/square foot (or maybe even a little more) and sell it in 2-3 months TOPS. I've sold 4 in that neighborhood this year in less than 10 days each. The average family in that neighborhood is looking to move up to a home in the $175k-$250k range. That price range in the Smyrna/North Murfreesboro area is still fairly ripe with inventory and still somewhat on sale. So, the seller in Westfork can get a great deal on a move up home and basically "win" on the sale and the purchase side!

Obviously this is all hypothetical and your situation is always unique but the point is, most first time sellers/first time move up buyers are in a really good position right now if they look at the big picture.

Does this mean that folks in the $175k-$250k range should not sell? NO WAY! There is more inventory in this range than the lower range, for sure. The thing is, there is a lot of diverse inventory--short sales, foreclosures, "As-Is" traditional sales, estate sales, etc. A normal, no weird stipulation, great condition home in this range, price correctly, will still sell. It may not sell in 10 days, but it definitely will sell. The log jam has been broken free (a little) and the water is starting to flow.

If you are curious about your situation and just want a snapshot of the market, as it pertains to YOU, give me a call. Information is always free. If you want to sell or buy but are unsure of the steps, give me a call. If you are currently working with another Realtor and don't like the service you are getting, definitely give me a call. I know you will be pleasantly surprised. 615-668-2353

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Isn't it funny sometimes how people get so excited about the past? My son was on Netflix the other day and I saw the OLD Transformers cartoon on there. I believe I let out a little squeal of delight and insisted he watch that. He only made it through an episode and a half before he said, "Dad, the characters look funny." Then he followed up with "What's that thing?" He pointed to the cassette that popped out of Soundwave's chest. Wow.

Today I was on Facebook and saw that Self, a band from Murfreesboro that I was a HUGE fan of, is playing a "reunion" show in December. I, of course, immediately bought tickets. While purchasing the tickets, I remembered seeing them at Mainstreet a couple of times and anxiously anticipating their second album and all that. It also brought up general memories of high school. Oddly enough, only good memories.

Why do we get so nostalgic? Is it that we gloss over the painful, uncomfortable parts of our own history and only choose to remember the good stuff? Then we want to escape back to a time when life was "simpler"?

Like many of you, I am thankful for my own history. I had a LOT of good stuff happen in my previous 33 years. I also had my fair share of bad stuff. ALL of it shaped who I am right now. I do get nostalgic when some songs come on the radio or I see some old toy. I think it is healthy. It keeps us connected to our own history and thus, our own identity. Embrace nostalgia but don't live in it. The past made you you and you are pretty cool. Even if your kids don't think so. Happy Thanksgiving. Hug the people you love.

What are some things you get nostalgic about? Give specific examples so we can all join in the trip down memory lane.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

He Lived

If you are Facebook friends with me or with any number of other people in and around or with ties to the Smyrna area, you know by now that on Saturday this world lost a very special little boy named Ryan Logue. Today was the first day of his visitation and his funeral is on Saturday. I knew Ryan fairly well. I've known both of his parents since high school and though our relationships ebb and flow, I've stayed pretty good friends with them since then. I feel qualified to share with you what I am about to write.

I said that Ryan was a special kid. Ryan had muscular dystrophy. It affected him in many ways. He was in a wheel chair, he had very limited control of most of his muscles due to, basically, lack of strength. The MD also affected him in that he was quite prone to pneumonia and other respiratory ailments. He spent a lot of time in Vanderbilt. Even so, I am quite reluctant to call Ryan handicapped. He had a handicap, yes by common definitions. But the thing is, in spite of his problems, Ryan LIVED.

I remember when Ryan was born. I remember hearing that something was wrong. I remember them going to lots of specialists, hearing all kinds of theories, uncertainty and then the diagnosis. This is where Chris and Manika turn into two of my heroes.

It would have been so easy for them to go down the path of "woe is me, God hates me, life sucks, etc." It would have been easy for them to use Ryan as an excuse to withdraw from friends, life, church, family, whomever. It would have been easy to constantly say, "it is just too hard to get Ryan out, we aren't going anywhere." I am sure that sometimes they did that as a matter of practicality but for the most part, they didn't. They embraced their own lives and they gave Ryan an extraordinary life. Ryan rarely missed church (unless it was unsafe, of course, due to an illness or something). Ryan rarely missed social functions. Ryan went on vacations. Ryan played in the snow. Ryan played with friends. Ryan lived.

Because of Ryan, my son does not look at people in wheelchairs weird. They are regular people, just like him. Because of Chris and Manika, I make myself do things, even when I am tired, for the sake of my kids. It is much harder for me to feel good about staying home because I didn't feel like putting Maggie in her car seat and loading her in the car when I consider the process of loading up all of Ryan's gear AND the rest of the kids.  Even when faced with Ryan's death, the Logues were strong, courageous and real. They shared their pain, they let others share with them. They acknowledged God's infinite wisdom and plan. They were as faithful to their God as anyone I have ever seen in the midst of losing a loved one. Before this, I don't think I could do the same. Because of this, I may be just a little stronger because I have a model to follow.

Thank you Chris and Manika for being awesome parents and showing how to love unconditionally. Thank you for being the kind of people that take a bad situation and turn it into something truly extraordinary and beautiful. Thank you Jordan and Hayven for helping Ryan live a fulfilling life. Thank you for understanding when your Mom and Dad had to give Ryan extra attention. Thank you Logues for helping me, my family and everyone you met, understand that a physical handicap is really just something to overcome, not something to keep you down. Thank you for being my friends and thank you for not just allowing, but encouraging and ensuring that Ryan lived life to the fullest. You guys are awesome and I love your whole family.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's finally over. It is a relief that the election is done and we can move forward without all the ads for at least a little while. That said, it is somewhat alarming just how split this election was. We are truly a divided nation. How can the government do any kind of reform with this wide of a gap? How can anything be accomplished with such a polarized populace?

I congratulate Obama on the win but he is not the guy to unite the country in order to make true and lasting change. Neither was Romney and neither was Gary Johnson or Ron Paul (lots of my friends are Paulies). I actually think all four of those folks had at least something worthwhile to say but they don't have whatever it is that will bring patriots on opposite sides of the aisle together. How do we get that person? Do we need that person or do we, as the people, need to do it in spite of the politicians?

Ponder this question as we go through the next four years and witness stalling, blocking and shenanigans out of both the president and the congress. When will we demand that our leaders focus on the real problems and make real changes that will actually help our country become strong again? How far in debt and decay will the country have to get before it finds "rock bottom" and is motivated to start recovering from its selfish addictions? How long will it take YOU to put aside partisan loyalties, inform yourself and actually participate meaningfully?