Here at Bungalo we want to ease home buying nerves and help you truly enjoy the process—from search to close. One way we can help? We’ll give you an in-depth look into the real estate markets we serve.
For the past few years, Nashville has routinely ranked in the top real estate markets in the country, and the Census Bureau reported that the entire Nashville metro area grew by 106 people each day between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. In other words, everyone and their music-loving dog wants to move to this Tennessee hotspot.
It’s easy to see why: Nashvillians enjoy great weather for most of the year and are living in the fourth strongest economy in America. Beyond being known for its country music roots, Nashville has a diverse community, a great culinary scene and plenty of walkable neighborhoods (like Five Points and Belmont) that have their own eclectic vibes.
Thinking about making a move to Nashville? We know you’ll feel right at home! To help you prepare for the Nashville market, here are a few things you’ll want to know as you start your search:
1. Homes Sell Lightning Fast
Because Nashville has seen a surge of growth and a strong economy in recent years, houses tend to get snapped up pretty fast here. The average days on market for Nashville was just 37 at the end of 2018 (the national average is 64).
What does this mean? If you’re looking at houses and you see something you like, you better move quickly, and one way to do that is with a pre-approval (with Bungalo Mortgage, a Bungalo affiliated company, it’s possible to get an underwritten pre-approval letter in less than 48 hours).
“If you’re looking under the $500,000 range and you find a house that checks all of your boxes, you need to act immediately in order to capture offer position,” says Angela Wright, a Nashville real estate broker.
At the same time, don’t jump into a real estate transaction that you don’t feel comfortable making. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re competing against several other buyers when you’re not even that crazy about the house in the first place. Take your time going through each house, be sure to ask questions, and review all relevant documents about the house’s history to set your mind at ease.
2. You Need to be Prepared When Making an Offer
Not only do you need to act quickly when making an offer in the Nashville market, you also have to be prepared when you do so.
A pre-approval letter from your lender is a must-have before you make an offer on a home in Nashville. This letter signifies that you qualify for a loan up to a certain amount and that your credit, employment and income have all been verified. Without that letter, a seller may not even look twice at your offer—especially if they’ve priced it to sell, advises Wright.
In addition to a pre-approval letter, you should also be in good communication with your lender throughout the process and have the number of an inspector handy so that you can move quickly once a seller accepts your offer. Essentially anything you can do to move it along is best.
3. Nashville Has a Mix of Architecture but “Tall and Skinnies” are Popping Up Everywhere
If you had to describe the architecture of Nashville homes in one word it would be eclectic.
“It’s a little bit all over the board,” says Wright. “West Nashville has a lot of the mid-century modern ranches with larger yards, and then when you get into the 12 South and Belmont neighborhoods, you see more of the Craftsman style bungalows. And East Nashville has everything from the ornate Victorians that have been kept beautifully to what the local market calls ‘tall and skinnies.’”
“Tall and skinnies” are a relatively new phenomenon in the Nashville real estate scene, where a demolished old building is replaced with two narrow homes on its old lot. Builders and developers have been able to do this because of a zoning policy called a “horizontal property regime,” where single lots are legally divided into two. Because these tall and skinnies are built on one lot, they can often be attached—and if detached, you are in very close proximity to your neighbor.
The bottom line? If you’re searching for a single-family home in Nashville, be aware of tall and skinnies (often labeled HPR-attached and HPR-detached). While they’re often found in prime locations, the layout could also mean you’re sharing a wall, driveway or even a backyard with your neighbor.
4. Watch Out for Radon During an Inspection
Because the city of Nashville is built on a limestone foundation, some houses can have issues with radon (a colorless and odorless gas). Testing for radon is a pretty standard feature of a home inspection, but always be sure to ask your inspector if this is something extra that needs to be added on.
And although it’s not expensive to fix, you may have to fork out the money to clear out the radon yourself if it’s found in your home, says Wright.
“I’ve seen scenarios where properties have tested positive for radon and sellers just won’t even concede to making that repair,” she says.
At the end of the day, Nashville is still a seller’s market. If radon does come up in your inspection, you can expect to spend about $800 to mitigate the problem.
5. Move-in Ready Homes are Available—But Hard to Come By
Despite the popularity of home renovation shows, a total home gut can be intimidating, not to mention adding major dollars and cents to your bottom line. Move-in ready homes, on the other hand, remove the headaches of a rehab and get you feeling at home from day one.
Although you can find move-in ready homes in the Nashville market, they tend to move quickly and come at a higher price, local agents say.
“Move-in ready homes are available in the Nashville market, but if it’s cute and move-in ready, you will definitely have to pay a premium,” says Lance Fossick, a Nashville broker. “Just like any other market in the country, Nashville has a wide variety of homes to offer, but because we have so many people moving to Nashville on a daily basis, there is still an inventory problem.”
In other words, move-in ready at a fair price isn’t always readily available in Nashville. And that’s why Bungalo is here! We’re working to bring you a move-in ready leg up with our exclusive and “coming soon” listings at a no-haggle price. Move up and move in with Bungalo, and enjoy all that (some would argue) the music capital of the country has to offer without any home buying hassles.