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Renae Voda
Real estate enthusiast. Hard working. Mind Reader. Speaker of truths.
Real estate enthusiast. Hard working. Mind Reader. Speaker of truths.

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The weather has been particularly hot and one thing's for sure, Nashville is still one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. Feel the heat here -> #nashville #realestate #top20hottestrealestatemarkets #thistown #summer #sizzle #realtor #heyrenae #thevodagroup
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COMING SOON!  WALK TO BLUEBIRD CAFE!! This awesome Green Hills condo is available but not yet on MLS. Located in a small cluster of rarely offered condos in the heart of Green Hills. Do you know someone who is looking? Now's your chance! Share the details with them and have them call me!  615-804-1554
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As we have worked with new construction buyers this year we have seen firsthand the joy and excitement of a buyer as they see their brand new home completely finished – details chosen months ago finally in place. It is a great feeling of accomplishment after months of waiting to finally see that completed house. However, it takes A LOT to get to that point. With the joy and excitement, we’ve also seen the inevitable frustration about unexpected costs and unmet deadlines. These negative emotions come from the difference between expectations and reality. So when buyers come to us asking about new construction, we try to offer as much information upfront as possible. Here are the 6 things we want new construction buyers to know:

1. Timeline: Be realistic about whether purchasing an existing or new construction home is right for you.
New construction usually takes significantly longer than buying an existing home. If you are relocating from Milwaukee to start a new job in Nashville two months from now, new construction is probably not the best option for you unless you’re willing to live in temporary housing first. Be realistic about your timeline up front and discuss the pros and cons with your Realtor®.

2. Representation: You can AND SHOULD have your Realtor® represent you.
The onsite agent for a builder represents the builder (not the buyer), and it is vitally important to have your own representation moving throughout the new construction timeline. The builder will often offer incentives if a buyer uses their preferred lender or title company, and you need professional guidance to navigate these negotiations as sometimes using these preferred parties can be advantageous to the builder and not to the buyer. With all the ups and downs of the new construction process, you should have someone in your corner that is 100% dedicated to representing you. It is common for buyers to use a Realtor® to represent them during the new construction process, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of that option.

3. Cost: What you see in the model home might not be what you get.
If you’ve been looking at existing homes and feel frustrated that none of them have the granite color/cabinet stain combination you like or have silver fixtures instead of bronze, new construction might be a great option for you. You enter into the process during the construction phase and get to choose many of the features of your new home. However, be prepared for these choices to come at an additional cost. Buyers working with a budget are sometimes surprised to find out that all of the “extras” in the model home (a large walk-in shower, bronze fixtures, ceiling fans, granite options, stainless steel appliances, for example) do not come with the price of the house. Research your options upfront and know what the “extras” cost to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

4. Delays: Keep a flexible mindset and expect some hiccups.
This is not to say that all builder companies are unreliable and bent on destroying your moving plans, but it is just a fact that new construction properties tend to experience some delays and hiccups (even simple weather-related delays can have an affect on closing deadlines). You are working with a home-in-progress, so give yourself flexibility in managing your expectations and scheduling your movers. Your real estate agent should have experience in new construction properties and should offer good advice about these details.

5. Home Inspection and Walk-Through: If it matters to you, say something.
Even though your home will be brand new when you move in, we always recommend that new construction buyers conduct a home inspection. The home inspector provides another set of eyes on the work that has been done and can often give insight into small details you should be looking for at the walk-through prior to closing. At the walk-through, don't be afraid to speak up if something isn't how you imagined. If you wanted Proper Gray on the walls in the master bedroom and instead walk in to find Eggshell White, say something. Mistakes happen, especially with so many companies and teams working on your home, but the worst thing you can do is not mention them and regret it. If you notice it in a walk-through you’re going to notice it even more when you move in. If there is a chip in the baseboard or a squeak in the door, bring it up.

6. Finished Product: If you want a home that is uniquely yours, it will be worth it.
There is nothing like having a new home, and there is even more excitement when it’s a home that you have been checking on eagerly ever since the framing stage. Building your own home is a priceless experience. Balancing your expectations with reality on the front end goes a long way toward making the transaction a fun and exciting season instead of a stressful one.

If you have been involved in a new construction transaction (whether as the buyer or the agent), we would love to hear your thoughts. Were there any surprises that we left out?
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Don't get "Scrooged" by Zestimates! My sellers will enjoy some HO-HO-HOliday cheer under their Christmas tree this year to the tune of $17,000. If Zestimate is the Scrooge of Christmas, you can call me Santa Claus. KA-CHING! Read more about our sellers' success story here: ‪#‎kaching‬! ‪#‎tgif‬ ‪#‎christmas‬ ‪#‎tree‬ ‪#‎cash‬ ‪#‎money‬ ‪#‎green‬ ‪#‎zestimate‬ ‪#‎zillow‬ ‪#‎selling‬ ‪#‎franklin‬ ‪#‎santaclaus‬ ‪#‎scrooge‬ ‪#‎heyrenae‬ ‪#‎thevodagroup‬
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Home sales in Williamson County decreased pretty significantly in November...what does that mean for your home value as we approach 2016? 
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Let’s sum it up.

There have been fewer closings this month, 348 to be exact, 17% fewer than last month.

Average days on market have decreased by 5 days.

Median home price in Williamson County exceeded $400,000 mark in 11 of the past 12 months.


So the market is down?

Yes and no. You can definitely measure a market’s activity by how many homes have sold. If that’s the only factor involved, then yes, November showed a decrease in closings. But we’re looking at market health, and there’s a lot more involved than just how many homes closed.

So what about the HEALTH of the market? Are home values decreasing?

Absolutely not. Williamson County is experiencing a lack of inventory (a.k.a. Lots of buyers and not enough homes for sale), which accounts for the decreased number of closings this past month. However, home values are RISING with the heightened demand in this area. It is an opportune time to sell (you will probably make WAY more than you bought your home for, even if you purchased just a couple years ago) OR buy (home prices will continue to rise, so you’re getting on the train at a good time).

What factors are involved in the decrease in closings?  

This time of year a slight slow down is to be expected as people get busy with the holiday season and prefer to wait until the springtime to put their home on the market. (Sidenote: We don’t think this is a smart move. Read more about that here.) In addition to that, new TRID regulations that have been implemented this fall are causing it to take a little longer for loans to be ready in preparation for a closing. This won’t be a long-term effect of TRID; within the next six months, we’re hoping to see the lender process going a lot more smoothly as a result of TRID. It’s just the learning curve right now.


It has been a really solid year for real estate in Williamson County. There’s no doubt about it. Closings year to date 2015 are 2.5% higher than 2014, so a slower month is not anything to be concerned about – it’s just the ebb and flow of the market.

Do you have any questions about the statistics from this past month? If you're thinking about selling or buying (or just want an update on your home's value based on your specific neighborhood's statistics) we'd love to be a resource to you! Give us a call!
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Thinking about waiting until AFTER THE HOLIDAYS to list your home? Think again. You could be missing out! There are lots of MYTHS out there about listing during the holidays, but we've got the TRUTH on the blog! Link here:
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5 Reasons to LOVE 212 Sterling Oaks Place

Offered for $425,000

Say hello to modern meets vintage. This kitchen is amazing, with modern touches of luxury like the granite counters and stainless steel appliances matched by the vintage flair of a gorgeous farmhouse sink. The kitchen has so much storage and so many practical features (like the central island with bar stools), but even more importantly, it has the WOW factor. 

This space is so versatile -- the sellers have been using it as a game room complete with a swanky bar area. They even have an in-house gym! It's a great space to use as a family room, a man cave, a game room, or craft area. The basement has large windows and access to a screened-in porch, making the area feel less like a basement and more like an extension of the living area. 

This location is ideal because it is perfectly situated just south of Music City REALLY close to I-65. Access Nashville or Franklin easily, with the best of shopping, restaurants, banking, and groceries nearby. This location is super close to Brentwood's Target, the Well Coffeehouse, and Panera. What more could you want? 

How can we not talk about this feature? It's one of the things you first notice when you step inside. There are so many rooms to gather in and all of them offer a spacious design for easy flow and thoughtful entertainment. The bedrooms are also spacious, with lots of windows for welcoming natural light. 

We love how many ways you can enjoy the outdoors at this property. The lush backyard backs up to a treeline to ensure privacy, and there is plenty of room to add a playset or a firepit. We love the screened in porch on the basement level. It is such an attractive space for relaxing and offers a cozy spot to watch the birds and other wildlife. Not only is there the option of the screened-in porch, but also a large deck accessible from the kitchen. Its convenient location makes it a great dinner party setting and a welcome respite to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. 

Want to check out more pictures? Head over to our landing page here. 

This home has it all! Want to take a look for yourself? Call Renae at 615-804-1554!
212 Sterling Oaks Place Brentwood, TN 37027
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The weather may be cooling down, but that doesn't mean the market is. In fact, it is quite the opposite.  September showed an 11.8% increase from September 2014.  THAT'S CRAZY!!  Regardless of whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, there are distinct advantages for you this fall.  Check out the blog for more details.
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Thinking about buying your first home? Wondering if you're ready? We've got the 5 ways to know for sure on the blog today! Check it out! ‪#‎firsttimehomebuyers‬ ‪#‎buyingahome‬ ‪#‎thevodagroup‬
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