FERRIER FILES: Fast-paced middle Tennessee housing market challenges buyers

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The 2018 local real estate market is characterized by high prices, lots of buyers and little time.

Seth and Susan Garland aren't panicking yet, but they are nervous. Their old home sold in days, but the couple says buying a new home has been hard.

“We are way past plan A and plan B, plan C, plan D, plan E," Seth Garland said. "We have been looking for months, and the ones that you do like seem to go really, really, quickly and you are scrambling to see what your other options are."

This Madison home listed for $260,000 has a great location, but it needs work. It's something a buyer normally would think over for a while.

“If you like this house how long do you have to pull the trigger..? Fair question,” Seth said. ”I would say this afternoon.”

Now that is pressure. Find the faults, check the comps, consider your offer. If you go to a hotter area, all of that is even worse.

This little house in East Nashville is well-appointed, updated beautifully. Despite being only 975 feet, it sold for $260,000 after seven offers in 48 hours.

“Eight years ago this would have been $89,900 move in ready," Sher Powers said. "That’s how fast this market has changed. And in a place like East Nashville. It is truly dynamic."

Sher powers knows this market. She is the president of the Greater Nashville Realtors Association and has been selling homes here for 25 years.

She specializes in entry level homes in the $240,000-280,000 dollar range. In the current market, Powers says buyers must be ready to make an offer on the spot.

That being said, she still sees some bargains out there.

“I love Antioch," Powers said. "You can live on the lake with stunning views."

Powers has several parts of the greater Nashville area like Antioch that offer the same bargain.

“I am a big fan of Donelson and Madison and up into Goodletsville," Powers said. "Larger homes and larger lots, double or triple square footage and size of lot. At the same price point."

Everything is going up. Look at the big five counties- Davidson, Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford and Sumner counties.

Today's average prices compared to a year ago go up from around $1,500 to $3,000 a month on average...

  • Davidson-- $300,000 in 2018, $270,000 in 2017
  • Williamson -- $481,000 in 2018, $450,000 in 2017
  • Wilson -- $303,000 in 2018, $289,000 in 2017
  • Rutherford -- $250,000 in 2018, $233,000 in 2017
  • Sumner -- $273,000 in 2018, $250,000 in 2017

The Garlands must move out soon and meet the challenge of the fast-paced Nashville housing market.

“Its really a big decision," Seth said. "You are making a snap decision on hundreds of thousands and walk through the house once. It's stressful!"

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