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Heading Outside Nashville To Find Historic Homes To Restore
by TJ Anderson
I think this recent WKRN piece on Nashville Flipped’s Troy Shafer will interest a lot of Nashville homeowners and homebuyers.
The focus, essentially, is on an oft-discussed topic here these days: absorbing Nashville’s growth while protecting Nashville’s history.
Shafer’s company — and the DIY Network show he hosts — put emphasis on the latter by taking rundown historic homes in the Nashville area and giving them new life. But as home and land prices in Nashville surge, old homes ready for restoration, he says, have become harder to find and often cost-prohibitive.
I get his passion, and his struggle. Not all old, rundown homes are restoration material; some are too far gone and too expensive to save. And with Nashville’s building boom, a lot of the perfect projects have already been snagged and reimagined. But when you do find a hidden diamond — like with the gorgeous mid-century ranch renovation we’re about to finish in Glencoe Acres — it’s a real thrill.
More than that, it’s a chance to create a beautiful home for Nashville homebuyers, and hold onto some of the history that makes Nashville so appealing in the first place.
Shafer’s solution to the slim options, he told WKRN, is looking further out, to cities like Goodlettsville and Hendersonville. I definitely get his perspective — while we haven’t pulled the trigger yet outside of Nashville, I’ve definitely had my attention grabbed by historic homes in nearby counties, calling out for restoration.
To be fair, though, in Sumner County, it’s still hard to find historic homes at project-friendly prices. Even as far as two hours from Nashville, it can be a struggle in 2017. Occasionally, though, you can find something far-flung and cool, if you have a bit of a budget and a lot of imagination.
With that inspiration, I took a look around the Middle Tennessee MLS listings for some contenders. Here’s a peek at some possibilities that I liked, for one reason or another:
210 Brooklyn Ave
Linden, TN 37096
Linden’s a haul, about 90 miles from downtown Nashville. But the benefit: Finding an 1876 home with tons of potential at under $40 per square foot, asking price. If you’re handy, this one looks thoroughly livable during a renovation — which, for $40 a square foot, is pretty great, even 90 miles from Nashville.
4155 Hampshire Pike
Hampshire, TN 38461
I wish the listing let you inside this 1894 home in the heart of Hampshire, Tennessee (a little bit out from Columbia). Because from the outside, this looks like the kind of charming historic home that drove people to Lockeland Springs in East Nashville, and then drove home prices to the formidable levels they’re at now.
101 Slayden Ave
Waverly, TN 37185
This 1900 Victorian in Waverly, about an hour west of Nashville, could benefit from a few period pieces going back in place. But it has some important functional updates, like new plumbing and electric panels, which would go a long way in a renovation project.
406 Walnut St
Mount Pleasant, TN 38474
I’m getting kind of a thing for Mount Pleasant, about an hour southwest of Nashville — the historic downtown is full of old homes like these, absolutely overflowing with charm, but in need of a little love. This 1938 Colonial doesn’t even seem to need all that much love — it’s a blank-slate starting point that period-appropriate fixtures, fireplace restoration and hardwood refinishing would do wonders for.
516 N Main St
Mount Pleasant, TN 38474
This Mount Pleasant possibility, built in 1898, has more than 2500 square feet, and has a guest house that could use an overhaul too. Would be quite the cool historic compound if the whole place was restored to its former glory.
2619 Nashville Hwy
Lewisburg, TN 37091
It’ll take some work to get this two-story circa-1900 home in Lewisburg back in fighting shape, but it’s one I’d love to see someone like Troy Shafer take on. The possibilities are peeking out everywhere, from the ornate front door and pocket doors to the gorgeous staircase.
56 Fehery Ln
Beersheba Springs, TN 37305
This 1847 Antebellum cottage doesn’t look like it needs a ton of work — a kitchen refresh and a few other touches, and it’d be that much more of a beauty. I don’t exactly think it’d be suitable for someone who works in Nashville but wants to get a little further out, since you’d be looking at an hour and a half while speeding with no traffic. But if you’re done with city life, or you’re doing well and want a second project home away from it all, could be a cool catch.
206 S Main St
Mount Pleasant, TN 38474
As I was saying about Mount Pleasant… More than 4,000 square feet, built in 1900, right on Main Street… A few key spaces (like the kitchen and bathrooms) restored, some freshening, and this’d be a major heart-stopper.
171 Hillcrest Rd
Kingston Springs, TN 37082
Kingston Springs is only about a 30-minute drive or so, and this large circa-1864 property is one of my favorite kinds of projects — it was renovated at some point, so a lot of the 1800s is hidden behind 1970s finishes, just waiting to reawaken. A lot of possibilities with those original pine floors, fireplaces and exposed timber.
111 N Cedar St
Winchester, TN 37398
OK, I know that when we think about historic restoration projects, we usually don’t think about $360,000 starting points. But this circa-1900 home in Winchester is an unusual find on all fronts, so I thought others might enjoy eyeballing it too. The wallpaper situation over its 4,400 or so square feet is… overwhelming, but so is all the period perfection, from the gingerbread details outside to the fireplaces and woodwork. Imagine this home brightened to let the original details shine. Easily a $2 million house in East Nashville.
Looking for a historic home in Middle Tennessee to restore? Not so into projects? Whatever you’re looking for, I’d love to help you find it. Call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.
Properties are listed with their own respective real estate firms, and not under agreement with TJ Anderson and/or Benchmark Realty, LLC.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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