by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
The Best Nashville Neighborhoods For First Time Homebuyers
by TJ Anderson
We’re only a week and change into 2019, but I’ve already met a healthy crop of Nashvillians who plan to make this one the year they become homeowners. And I can’t express how thankful I am to get to play a role in seeing that dream to life.
If you’ve lived in Nashville a while, you probably already have a sense of the Nashville neighborhoods that suit you best — the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants and bars you love, or the easiest commute to work, or the style of homes you tend to gravitate toward. Still, things can change a little when you’re looking to shift from renter to homeowner — the Nashville neighborhoods that worked for you as a renter might be out of your price range, or not as poised for appreciation as you’d like, or not in the school district you might prefer as your family grows.
When you’re looking at homes with a more long-term/permanent mindset, and as an investment, the right Nashville neighborhood for you may or may not be the ones you’ve gravitated toward before. There’s a lot of research, thought and weighing and balancing that goes into landing on the right Nashville neighborhood as a homebuyer.
The operative words here are “for you” and “right now” — the right Nashville neighborhood for me as a first-time homebuyer was probably very different from what another single, 20-something guy might land on right now. And my needs as a husband and dad and business owner, now, made my choice of Nashville neighborhood shift significantly for my most recent home purchase.
If you’re just about ready to start looking, we can sit down and go over some detailed specifics, from your budget to your must-haves and your definitely-nots. Just call or email TJ Anderson Homes to get that ball rolling.
In the meantime, here are a few Nashville neighborhoods that I tend to think have real appeal for many first-time homebuyers in 2019, with a little bit of data (all pulled from MLS listings, and current as of Jan. 10, 2019) on why.
average home price: $395,200, $228 per square foot
miles to downtown Nashville: 5-6
First-time homebuyers in Nashville are often drawn to East Nashville, for good reason — dining, shopping, proximity to downtown, overall vibe. That, as you likely know, has led to a rapid rise in home prices in that once up-and-coming, now up-and-come area — the average home price in East Nashville on the whole was about $481,000 as of this posting. In 37216, on the northern edges of East Nashville, though, prices tend to tick down just a bit, and there’s not too much a trade-off — you’re still minutes from East Nashville restaurants and nightlife, and still close to downtown. Plus you’ll likely be able to find a larger piece of property, if you want one, a quieter street, if you want one, and easier parking. Inglewood’s come up a lot in recent years, so in 2019, it’s not super accommodating to lower-than-median budgets. But you can find great homes around the median listing price in Nashville (in the vicinity of $320,000, as of this posting), like the cute midcentury ranch pictured above, in the tree-lined corner of Brush Hill.
average home price: $291,600, $162 per square foot
miles to downtown Nashville: 7-8
Almost two years ago, 37214 was being touted in national studies as, “Among The 20 Hottest Residential Zip Codes In The U.S.” Somehow, Donelson still hasn’t rocketed past the point where it’s unapproachable to first-time Nashville homebuyers. And it has a ton of pluses — it’s right up against East Nashville, close to the airport, a calm and peaceful place for families to perch, and in possession of a Publix (which East Nashvillians will tell you is a major perk). Another attraction for a lot of Nashville buyers: If you love midcentury homes (like 3324 Falls Creek Dr., pictured above), Donelson is a treasure trove of them, oftentimes with a good piece of property to boot. If you’re looking for new construction, the 300 Stewarts Ferry community in the works in Donelson now offers high-end finishes at first-time-buyer-friendly asking prices, too.
average home price: $269,900, $151 per square foot
miles to downtown Nashville: 8-9
Madison, just north of East Nashville, has been on a hot streak of attracting cool businesses and development projects — I wrote all about the growth there early last year, including the impending arrival of Nashville craft beer titans Yazoo Brewing Company and the potential Madison Town Center redevelopment (last I saw, that could start this spring). While Madison home prices have been rising steadily, they’re still on the lower side for Nashville neighborhoods. This’ll be especially beneficial if you’re a first-time buyer with a large family. In Madison, you can find a spacious place in great shape — like the 5-bed, 4-bath 903 Fairoaks Dr. pictured above, on a full acre of property — listed for a lot less than you’d see in most Nashville neighborhoods. (The home above is listed at $375,000.)
average home price: $206,400, $185 per square foot
miles to downtown Nashville: 5-6
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Nashville, Woodbine has a great and growing food scene, a healthy mix of older homes being renovated and new homes being built, and easy access to downtown and lots of other Nashville points of interest. It also has a tight-knit and dedicated community, and that’s only getting more true, too. To me, Woodbine is like a mid-aughts East Nashville — attracting lots of creative and young-professional homebuyers who have a ton of pride in their homes and communities, and are determined to invest in both. Home prices are still comparatively friendly to first-time homebuyer budgets, too — the above home, with 3 beds and 2 baths, is totally renovated, and listed at under $275K.
You’re not gonna find “Brentioch” on a map, but you’ll probably hear it said, in reference to Davidson County-bound Brentwood addresses. The Brentwood in Williamson County is wonderful, family-friendly and highly desired (average home price as of this posting: $1,107,500). The Davidson County Brentwood still has a lot to offer — nice family homes, lots of green space, a convenient perch between Nashville and Franklin and more. The trade-off, for some, is that you’re not zoned for highly praised Williamson County schools. The plus: Homes tend to be priced more affordably.
(Brentwood Home Page has an explainer on the Williamson/Davidson County Brentwood divide, and you can see a Brentwood map with county boundaries here, to give you a better sense of how things line up.)
I don’t have separated home-price data for just Davidson-Brentwood, but for comparison’s sake, you can look at popular Davidson neighborhoods like Sterling Oaks (average home price as of this posting: $432,400), Banbury Crossing (average: $442,800) or Jackson Valley (average: $423,700) and compare to some popular Williamson Brentwood areas, like Arden Woods (average: $1,154,700) or Tuscany Hills (average: $1,136,300), and get a sense of the spread.
If you’re looking for a Williamson address, Brentioch isn’t going to do it for you. But if you’re looking for a beautiful home at a more approachable per-square-foot price, the area is well worth a look. The Jackson Valley property above, for instance — about a decade old, more than 3,000 square feet and full of high-end finishes — is listed at under $140 a square foot.
Have more questions about the right Nashville neighborhood to buy your first home in? I’d be more than thrilled to help walk you through it. Just 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, unless noted.
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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