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.


“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.


“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

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News Briefs: Inventive Rope Loft, Foreclosures Down, $60M London Penthouse

1. Inventive Rope Loft. I’m not sure if rope walls would pass a building codes inspection in the U.S., but they did in Slovenia, where this stone house maximized space and light in the sleeping loft. The principal architect Aljosa Dekleva said, “We wanted the upstairs gallery that connects the two bedrooms to be as open as possible.” Mission accomplished. But I’m wondering how are these ropes fastened at the ends?

rope loftrope loft2

rope loft3    photos from dwell      rope loft4


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Live at the Foreclosure Auction

The single digit temperatures didn’t keep potential buyers away from the foreclosure auction in Nashville, TN last Thursday, January 8, 2015. There were three properties I was interested in and one I was planning on buying, so I wasn’t going to miss it. Here is my account of the events as they unfolded.

Over fifty people are gathered on the second floor of the Davidson County Courthouse lobby. They are still bundled in coats and hats, warming from the frigid morning. I see ten or eleven guys that are the same cast of characters I spot at nearly every foreclosure auction in Nashville, TN. They have their binders, notebooks, and laptops tucked under their arms. I nod at a couple of them, acknowledging that we recognize each other, and even exchange pleasantries with one of them. But I’m not too friendly. After all, they are the regular competition for getting the property that I want.

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