House of the Week – S. 14th St.

East Nashville, TN is the location of the featured house of the week, where 909 S. 14th St. was just listed for sale for $359,900. A “custom” renovation was completed on this two story home that has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 1,580 square feet of living space. The listing agents Chad Sain and Matt Read, both with PARKS, call it a, “One of a Kind Charmer,” and instruct potential buyers to, “Stroll on Over to have All Your Dreams Come True.” Apparently the agents are fans of excessive capital letters and hyperbole. But their asking price of $227 a square foot is no exaggeration.

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“Before” condition, when I briefly owned the house.

I was very interested to see the final photos of this listing, as I sold this house in July, 2014 to the investors who renovated it. They had a great idea to add a second story on top of the existing cottage, doubling the total square footage. When the sales price per a square foot has a hefty margin over the cost to build per square foot, it is smart to add on as much as the neighborhood comps can support. Interestingly, the back corner of this property is in Metro Nashville’s flood overlay zoning designation, which means Metro will not allow an increase to the building footprint, meaning the structure cannot be expanded outwardly in a horizontal direction. When that is the case, building up is the best option.

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“After” condition, with a new 2nd story.

I had purchased this property at a foreclosure auction two months before I sold it to the renovators. It was a sad, dirty, single-story house that had been vacant for years. I toyed with the idea of conducting the renovation myself, but elected to clean out the trash and have my realtor put it on the MLS instead. It sold in about two weeks for $95,000, which was the cheapest priced home in the 37206 zip code at the time. The investors

who bought it had nowhere to go but up, in terms of the renovation, expansion, and price point. Even if they put well over a $100,000 into this house, they could still profit handsomely. Of course there are agent commissions, holding costs, and undoubtedly a lot of time and energy involved. The final product appears to have nice, quality materials and trendy finishes. Deciding to use staging makes the space appear more inviting and sophisticated. While there may be a few questionable design choices such as the small-sized window on the front-right facade or the arched door canopy, there is no question that the house looks better than it used to.

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There was a time when East Nashville locations south of Shelby Avenue were seen as second rate and the prices were noticeably lower than the prime neighborhoods of Edgefield, Lockeland Springs, and Eastwood Neighbors. But the past few years have eroded the perceived differences between East Nashville locations, to the point that the prices per square foot have become remarkably similar. The area south of Shelby, often referred to as Shelby Village or Shelby Hills, has seen a dramatic increase in new construction and renovations. 909 S. 14th St. is a great example of the transformation of the neighborhood and an opportunity for some buyer, “to have all your dreams come true.”