Grant Money Still Available

If I could, I would.  But I can’t.  But you might be able to.  Here’s the official press release and they really want to find homes for this grant money!!  From the city,

$150,000 available to qualified residents

(La Vergne, February 25, 2011) The city of La Vergne wants to give you money! The city received $150,000 in grant funding from THDA for the federally funded HOME program. The money is directed at the production, preservation and rehabilitation of housing.

“In other words, we want to help residents make repairs to their houses,” said city grant writer Montique Luster. “There are a few residency strings attached. If a grant recipient sells the home in less than five years, they will have to pay some back. If you own for five years, you will not owe any money. If you sell after four years, you will have to pay back 20 percent, three years is 40 percent, and so on.”

There is a 15-year lien requirement for residences that have to be completely torn down and rebuilt.

To qualify for the grant funds, you must own your own home and lived there during 2010. Income limits for family size are as follows: 1 – $36,550, 2 – $41,750, 3 – $46,950, 4 – $52,150, and 5+ – $56,350. The funds can be used to correct code violations or repair any developing deficiencies in the structure of the home (e.g., siding, gutters, flooring, lead paint remediation, etc.).

The deadline to apply has been extended to April 1, 2011. For information, contact Luster at City Hall, 5093 Murfreesboro Road, or call her at (615) 287-8606. To formally apply, Cindy Raymond can be reached by email at or call (615) 855-0883.


Real Estate Update, YTD & 2010 Review

After this week, I will be losing my access to the drill-down real estate data as I am moving my license from Active status to “referral only” (at least until my current listings and contracts close).  I’m hoping to help Ivy recruit another real estate expert to write here … I know we have several amazing agents living right here in LaV — Robert Carroll, Lisa Morrow, Biane McGee come immediately to mind! Housing statistics really are wildly important for the city … we want people to know we have some wonderful, affordable homes available!

So statistics… here we go.

YTD Current Properties Listed in MLS

Single Family Homes:  286
Current Houses Pending (aka almost ready to close):  25

Lowest Price:  $18,900 on Sand Hill Road. Let’s be realistic – this is a tear-down and the price is the value of the land.
Next Lowest Price: $29,900 in Plantation Village.  Mobile home on permanent foundation. Foreclosure.
Note: LaVergne actually has some houses that are quite nice now available. Elbow grease (new paint, good scrubbing with bleach and pine cleaner) and possible new carpet and appliances will transform these into real beauties.
Highest Price: $479,900 at The Woods at Martins Bend. Four bedrooms, four and a half baths, 4298 sq ft.

Condominium Homes: 21
Current Condos Pending (aka almost ready to close):  3

Lowest Price: $49,000 HUD-home in The Cottages of Lake. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths, 1041 sq ft.  Appears to be in good shape, but $500 needed for repairs.
Highest Price:  $122,000 home in Villas of Central Park. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths, 1356 sq ft.

Single Family Closed (so far) in 2011:   17
Single Family Closed (same time frame) in 2010:  20
Condos closed (so far) in 2011:  4
Condos closed (same time frame) in 2010:  4

2010 Review

Single Family Homes closed in 2010:  434
Single Family Homes closed in 2009:  517
That’s about a 17 percent (ish) drop in the number of sales.

Least Expensive in 2010:   $19,900.  Mobile home in Driftwood Village.
Total number of homes that sold for $100,000 or less:  167

Most Expensive in 2010:  $388,700 in McFarlin Point. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths, 4011 square feet, all brick.  Jaw dropping beautiful.
Total number of homes that sold for more than $200,000:  30
Top Listing Company:  Coldwell Banker Barnes (agent from company is working with a builder.)

Condos closed in 2010:  35
Least Expensive: $54,900  Two bedroom, two and a a half bath Fannie Mae home (which means they come in a re-do prior to selling. Great buy for someone!
Most Expensive:  $104,000 End unit two bedrooms, two and a half baths at the Villas of Central Park.
Top Listing Company:  HUD homes (ouch)

MLS Statistics for 2010

Hmmm… let me figure out how to present this information since I’m unable to simply cut & paste the table.  There are two “areas” of LaVergne on the MLS.  Area 31 is “East LaVergne” and includes the following subdivisions (among others): Ridgemont, Lake Forest, Heritage Valley, etc.  Area 32 is “West LaVergne” and includes neighborhoods like Farmingdale, Dove Creek, Greenwood, Chelsea Estates.  To visualize, it’s almost like the dividing line is Murfreesboro Road.

*Median – A median price is the number that is exactly in the middle of a list of numbers.  For example if we have a list of numbers:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  THEN 4 would be the median price.  it’s just “the one in the middle” of everything else.

Active Listings

Area 31
Average Per Day:   173
Average List Price: $131,891
Median List Price: $124,900

Area 32
Average Per Day:  121
Average List Price:  $170,349
Median List Price:  $146,900

Total Average Per Day: 294
Both Areas Average:  $147,719

New Listings

Area 31
Total Count:  652
Average List Price:  $125,828
Median List Price:  $115,900

Area 32
Total Count:  390
Average List Price:  $156,252
Median List Price:  $137,800

Total Count:  1,042
Average List Price of New Listings: $137,215

Pended Listings

Area 31
Count: 316
Average List Price:  $110,589
Median List Price:  $109,000

Area 32
Count: 175
Average List Price:  $138,415
Median List Price:  $121,900

Total Count:  491
Average List Price of Pended Listings: $120,507

Closed Listings
(Here’s where it gets interesting)

Area 31
Count: 275
Average List Price:  $108,142
Percent Closed Price v. List Price: 97.200%
Average Days on the Market:  74
Median Closed Price: $105,125
Median Days on the Market:  58

Area 32
Count: 151
Average List Price:  $136,799
Percent Closed Price v. List Price: 96.400%
Average Days on the Market:  97
Median Closed Price: $119,950
Median Days on the Market:  72

Total Count:  426
Average Closed Price: $118,300
Percent Closed Price v. List Price: 96.8%
Average Days on the Market:  86

Why in the world would the new listing numbers be so much higher than the active, pending, and closed?  This occurs when a listing is withdrawn or expires… and then relisted.  One agent in our area (no names mentioned) is notorious for listing homes for 30 days only because it appears the listing is new and fresh.  This actually skews the data for everyone else, but makes that agent look good. When you do look at listings online, though, an agent can show you the actual MLS history of a house and it will show how many times a home has expired or been withdrawn.


My listing on Bill Stewart Blvd. has been transferred to my colleague Teresa Phelan for $124,900.  It has over 1700 square feet… a very nice house!  You can reach Teresa at my (old) office number 459-4040.

So that’s it from me on real estate.  My MLS access will end at the end of the week, so if you have any questions for me … this is the time to ask.  Otherwise I can refer you to another trusted, smart Realtor.

Help Me Sell These Houses

This is a free site.  Free for you, costs me time and energy.  So please be a jewel and put on your thinking hat for me… think about people you might know who are interested in buying a house in Middle Tennessee.  I currently have three listings – all very affordable. And they need to sell!

First up is the gorgeous home in LaVergne, located at 281 Bill Stewart Blvd.

The sellers are asking $124,900 for this wonderful home that has 1756 square feet (what a deal!).  The house has three bedrooms, two full baths, one half bath, and all the kitchen appliances remain.  AND the sellers will let you keep the wonderful water filtration system.

It is located on one of the thoroughfares of Lake Forest, but since it’s at the beginning you’re close both to the fire station AND easy in / easy out access.  AND it has a two-car garage!

Next up is a nice little house off of Nolensville Road in Nashville, 418 McIver St. The house has almost 700 square feet, two bedrooms, and one full bathroom.  Yes, it’s small but perfect for someone who wants their own place with very easy access to all parts of Nashville.

The seller is asking $75,000 for the house and has agreed to put in new carpet on behalf of the buyer.  (Seller has a little dog so wants the carpet to be new-new, not new with some dog hair for the buyer).  The stack-able washer-dryer will remain with the house.  I think the nicest feature is the large back yard. It does slope, but there are level areas for a picnic table and grill.

Finally, go north to Portland, Tennessee for another beautiful house.  Located at 600 Portland Blvd., the seller is asking $110,000 for this 1,248 square foot house.  The inside is absolutely stunning … the seller is a meticulous person, so everything is absolutely clean and well-maintained.

This home has three bedrooms an two full baths, along with dark bamboo/cork floors, a big eat-in kitchen with a bay window for the table, and ALL appliances remain: refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washing machine, clothes dryer.  In addition, it has a fenced in back yard and a big storage building.

What’s the best thing about all three of these houses?  You do NOT have to stand in line waiting for a bank to make a decision on whether to accept the sales price!  There is NO third-party approval, therefore no added wait time to close on the houses.

All are already affordable. All are move-in ready (with new carpet coming in one).  All have sellers anxious to hear from you!

If you know anyone who’s looking for a new place to call home, please forward this post to them.  I can be reached by email at kathy (at) bobparks (dot) com or by phone/text at (615) 491-2161.

Thank you for your help in sharing these listings.  I do appreciate you taking the time to read this brief commercial and any help you can give.

Seeking Applications for City Committees

Do you have the expertise to serve on a City Board or Committee, or ever thought about it, LaVergne?   I do have to admit the thought has crossed my mind a time or two!  Well it’s time to get out and contribute to our great City. The following committees and boards have vacancies to fill, according to the information from last night’s Board workshop.

Historical Preservation Advisory Committee

LaVergne Housing Authority

Library Board

Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee

Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals

Beer Board

Greenway Advisory Committee

Local Emergency Planning Committee

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee

Stormwater Appeals and Advisory Board

There’s a description of each Board/Committee available on the City website, along with the application and procedures.

I Need New Gutters

The automatic, instamatic notification system that LaVergne dinged a message earlier today about winning a grant! LaVergne received $150,000 from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for low-income home-owners to make repairs.

The income criteria to be eligible for the home-repair funds are:  One person in household, can make up to $36,550. If there are two people in the household, $41, 750. Three people, $46,950. Four people, $52,150. Five people $56,310, etc.

For more information or to apply, contact the city grant writer Montique Luster by Feb. 4, 2011 at City Hall (call 793-6295).

While I’ve never met our grant-writer, the potential of this city position is important.  I would love to see LaVergne take a look at neighborhood stabilization grant programs (neighborhood block grants).  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, money is available for the following (and more):

  • Establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed homes and residential properties;
  • Purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties abandoned or foreclosed;
  • Establish land banks for foreclosed homes;
  • Demolish blighted structures;
  • Redevelop demolished or vacant properties

I wonder if the city would consider appointing a committee of interested residents to perhaps brainstorm ideas on applying for federal funds to improve our neighborhoods.  There may already be a committee for this…  ??  anyone know?

Shopping, Househunting, and Potter, Oh My!

I did not join the throngs of shoppers hungry for the deal of the century yesterday as they picked through clothing, toys, and other merchandise at box stores and malls.  For that I am thankful.  Instead, I showed houses from dawn (if you call the crack of 11:00 am dawn) until dusk.  It put me in the spirit of showing you some of the best buys in LaVergne… with permission from the listing agents, here they are (along with the agent contact information).

620 Hollandale Rd.
2158 Square Feet, 3 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
Privacy fence in backyard and nice bonus room downstairs

This house is listed by Linda Miller from my Bob Parks Realty office.  It’s already bank-owned and has been completely cleaned, painted, and new carpet installed.  The caveat of buying a bank-owned home… if you have an offer accepted by the bank it’s not yours until all ink is on the paper. Time is most definitely of the essence so do not delay putting it in writing if you come to a verbal agreement.  You can reach Linda for more information at 474-9472 or

2705 Pickards Point
Madison Square subdivision
1235 Square Feet
3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 car garage

I was genuinely surprised to see this house still on the market given the fantastic price.   There is a cathedral ceiling in both the living room and master bedroom (and an interesting architectural rock design on the master wall) and the house is very appealing.   Listing agents Lisa Morrow (957-8539) and Cindy Spears (542-0277) of Crye Leike can be reached for more information.

Finally I have to brag about 281 Bill Stewart Blvd.  The super clean house has 1756 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and a 2-car garage.  It’s listed at $124,900 and the sellers are looking for an offer!

For information about these homes or any other in the middle Tennessee area, you are welcome to contact me as well.

Mortgage interest rates are starting to edge up again and we are finally seeing more buyers in the market… signs (we hope) that the housing market is beginning to creep out of the recession.  It will take some time but it’s starting.

And Harry Potter!  OH MY!  Went to see that movie last night with my daughters.  Bring your kleenexes!


Linky Dinks: Saturday Edition

Thanks to Deborah B. and Sherry for linking to the news coverage of the Thursday Swearing-In Ceremony. Here they are:

Daily News Journal: Mosley, Farmer sworn in; board adds Broeker

The board is also taking a closer look at how money is spent at city hall. Currently, purchases up to $10,000 can be made without a formal bid. The board dropped that figure to $5,000.”That gives our finance people a little more control, especially when money is tight,” Mosely said. “I think people are tired of the phrase, ‘That’s just the way we’ve always done it.'”

WKRN, New Mayor Takes Office (links to video from Channel 2)

20,000 Homes Will Sell This Weekend in the U.S., Will Yours?

Boston Globe, National Geographic’s Photography Contest 2010

BBC News Africa, Rape Victim Charged with Having Underaged Sex

Harvard Business Review, Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.

Hyperbole and a Half (Trust me, if this isn’t on your list of favorite websites, it should be)

Flavorwire, Crayon Pixel Portraits (While you’re at it, add Flavorwire as a fav link!)

Thanks to Brittney G. for many of these great links. Have a great weekend!