Tennessee is home to an incredible 500,000 acres of lakes and 50,000 miles of streams and rivers. There are so many lakes to enjoy that are less than 2 hours from Nashville. We put together this list of the best lakes in the Nashville area for you. So, cool off this summer with a day trip to one or all of the following lakes!
Percy Priest Lake
Distance from Nashville: 15 minutes
Size: 14,000 acres and 42 river miles
Percy Priest Lake offers a wide range of recreation activities for locals and visitors. All types of water vehicles are welcome, and you can also rent from the marina.
Old Hickory Lake
Distance from Nashville: 20 minutes
Size: 22,500 acres and 97.3 river miles.
Old Hickory Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in Tennessee. It is just 20 minutes from Nashville, making it a super convenient. It is surrounded by plenty of parks to enjoy. For day use of the shorelines, you can go to Old Hickory Beach. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sandy swimming beach or spend a day fishing on the lake.
Center Hill Lake
Distance from Nashville: 1 hr 15 minutes
Size: 18,220 acres and 415 miles of shoreline
Center Hill Lake is perfect for an all-day adventure. The emerald-like waters are well-known for fishing, and recreational activities include kayaking, wakeboarding & skiing. Tranquil waterways wind to Burgess Falls, Rock Island, and Fancher Falls waterfalls. You can find Other waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic lookout points near the lake.
Tim Ford Lake
Distance from Nashville: 1 hr and 40 mins
Size: 3,546 acres
Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most picturesque lakes in Tennessee! Located less than two hours from Nashville, it makes an excellent place for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Our favorite part of this lake is the beautiful golf course!
School is out, summer is in! Here is a list of some of our favorite places to check out this summer in Nashville.
1. Nashville Shores Lake Resort
The Nashville Shores Lake Resort has plenty to offer! You don’t need to stay there to enjoy the benefits either. Their Treetop Adventure Park is an adventure course including suspended bridges, giant zip lines, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, and many other thrilling elements. They have options for adults, kids, families and groups. Cool off at Nashville Shores and enjoy their slides, a wave pool, lazy river, pools, a beautiful beach, lake cruises and more family-friendly attractions. Grab a season pass to save money!
2. Cheekwood Estates
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and estate in Nashville. Cheekwood offers many diverse experiences. This year, enjoy Sean Kenney’s Nature POP featuring 38 sculptures made from more than 800,000 LEGO® Bricks. This exhibit is open until September and is a great experience for all ages.
3. Fannie Mae Dees Park
Better known as the Dragon Park, Fannie Mae Dees is a great park in Nashville. There are many different playgrounds and grassy areas for fun. Within the park is Lily’s Garden, the first Tennessee playscape accessible to people with special needs. There is a unique one-of-a-kind dragon statue at the park as well. It is a lovely park for all ages.
4. Nashville Zoo
Of course, heading to the zoo is always a fun summer activity. The Nashville Zoo has nearly 3,000 animals representing more than 350 different species. They also have several unique experiences, including Critter Encounters, The Grassmere Historic Home, Wilderness Express Train, and the Jungle Gym (over 66,000 square feet!) Tip: Purchase a membership so you can enjoy the zoo all summer!
5. Wax Museum
Madame Tussauds is a fun wax museum in the heart of Nashville. Enjoy seeing 50 of your favorite wax musical icons, from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift. The Wax Museum is kid-friendly and a lot of fun!
6. Cook Day Use Area
Cook Day Use Area is a lakeside oasis in the hills of Middle Tennessee. Enjoy a day here with a picnic, swimming, and plenty of trees for shade.
7. Radnor Lake
Unplug with your family at Radnor Lake. It makes the perfect day trip. The trails are heavily shaded, making it an ideal place to enjoy during summer. However, to protect the wildlife, picnics and camping are not allowed here. Keep an eye out for river otters, beavers, mink, and white-tailed deer.
8. Wave Country
Cool off this summer and enjoy one of Nashville’s only wave-action swimming pools. It’s a great way to spend the day with your family. There are several food options, or you can bring your own food and drink in a cooler.
9. Gaylord Opryland
Celebrate summer with events for the whole family at Gaylord Opryland! Enjoy summer fun activities such as the SoudWaves Water Park, Shiny Stash Treasure Hunt, Pirate and Princess Academy, Royal Carriage Rides, and more. You can bundle some of the experiences to save money!
10. Adventure Science Center
The Science Center features over 175 hands-on interactive exhibits with themes including biology, physics, visual perception, listening, mind, air and space, energy, and earth science. They offer many special events, including a Red, White & Bloom event on the 4th of July. Tip: Pick up an explorer pack if you plan on going more than once this summer to save money on tickets!
Staycations are such a fun way to enjoy a weekend getaway. Not having to travel far makes them an easy escape. Whether you want to relax and see the stars in the middle of nowhere or immerse yourself in downtown Nashville, there is an Airbnb for everyone!
Price: $319/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
What is more romantic than a treehouse in the deep woods of Tennessee? Smack dab in the middle between Nashville and Knoxville sits a treehouse 15 feet off the floor. The pretty views and amenities make this the perfect Airbnb for a couple’s getaway. This one books out far in advance, so be sure to plan ahead.
Price: $809/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <10 minutes
Are you looking for a change of scenery close to downtown? This 4-story home is the perfect retreat for you and your friends and/or family. Enjoy river views while still being close to the city.
Price: $87/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: 40 minutes
If you love The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, you’ll love this hobbit house made from the earth. Enjoy a camping-like experience just 40 minutes from downtown Nashville.
Price: $298/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <15 minutes
This hillside retreat will have you feeling like you are a hundred miles from the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy the gorgeous nature views while being close enough to downtown Nashville.
Price: $164/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <8 minutes
This adorable studio full of history is within walking distance to all the fantastic bars & restaurants that Nashville has to offer. The modern and vintage style mix make this Nashville studio a fun place to stay.
Price: $85/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <12 minutes
Enjoy this groovy, private guest house in the Eastwood neighborhood of East Nashville. This cozy and cute guest suite has a private entry and is close to everything you need!
Best Cottage Close to Downtown: Cowgirl Cottage
Price: $419/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <5 minutes
If you enjoy great outdoor spaces close to the city, this is the place to go! Located in the heart of Germantown, this renovated 3-bedroom, three-bath home is located less than a mile from downtown Nashville.
Best Countryside Family Getaway:
Price: $425/ a night
Minutes from Downtown: <40 minutes
80 acres of farmland for your family to roam and rivers to wade in just a few miles from the convenience of charming Downtown Franklin. This is the perfect place to get away with the whole family and enjoy nature.
(Note: All photos from Airbnb. The Helton Real Estate Group is not affiliated with Airbnb or any of the properties listed above. The prices are from Airbnb’s website and are subject to change.)
If you live in Davidson County, you probably just got a letter in the mail with your new property value. The Davidson County Property Assessor’s Office reassesses your property every four years to produce a “Fair Market Value.”
According to The Tennesseean, “During this reappraisal year – required every four years by state law – property tax rates are adjusted, so revenue is neutral for city government. Typically, the city adjusts the tax rate to capture the growth in property values.”
The Assessor sets the property value, the Metropolitan Council sets the rate, and the Trustee collects the property taxes due based on the rate and value. Residential property tax is based on the assessed value, which is 25% of the appraised value.
If you think the value of your home is significantly less than your appraised value, you are allowed to appeal. Before filing an appeal, give Alex Helton a call at 615-390-5916 to get his opinion of the market value vs. appraised value.
What does this mean for your taxes?
Your appraised value may have increased dramatically, but your overall tax bill could fluctuate either up or down depending on what the new lowered tax rate ends up being.
What can you do if you think your appraisal came in too high?
Many people’s tax appraisal is well below what their home would actually sell for on the market, but some tax appraisals do come in higher than the home could sell for. If you feel that the appraisal is too high, you can appeal it.
How to appeal your appraised value
If it makes sense to submit an appeal, you can do that at this link or by calling 615-862-6080. You do not need to hire an attorney to file an appeal, and there is no filing fee associated with the appeal.
The deadline for a property owner to file an Informal Review is Friday, May 21, 2021, at 4:00 PM.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Whether you are ordering tacos to-go or looking for a great local spot to drink margaritas, here are some of our team’s favorite options for Cinco de Mayo in and around Nashville.
Are you planning on enjoying a night in for Cinco De Mayo? Order some of El Agavero’s delicious tacos with a pitcher of their famous margaritas to go. If you plan to go out, the ambiance and friendly customer service make El Agavero a top choice. – Alex Helton (Owner/Agent)
If you are looking for authentic Mexican food for Cinco De Mayo, Rancho Cantina is the place to go! – Sam (Director of Operations)
Nectar is a gathering place for friends and families and includes:
- Grab-and-go juice and coffee bar.
- Fast-casual dining.
- A complete indoor bar.
- A beer garden with an outdoor margarita bar.
- An outdoor play area for kids.
Nectar provides an extensive culinary experience in a fresh and casual environment. – Jack (Client Care Coordinator)
El Paseo unique scratch kitchen with authentic Mexican cuisine includes a dog park, dog-friendly patio, and Nashville’s Best Sunroom Bar. Enjoy Cinco De Mayo with your pups! – Lauren (Marketing Manager)
Las Americas is a local staple known for pupusas. We also highly recommend their street tacos! – Kevin (Lead Agent)
Bar Taco serves classic & creative tacos along with a unique drink menu. This stylish spot is great for hanging out and enjoying tacos and margaritas. They are also offering take-home Cinco De Mayo kits which are easy to heat and serve. – Liza (Real Estate Specialist)
Pancho and Lefty’s Cantina
Pancho and Lefty’s is a local favorite and has Nashville’s #1 Margarita! Enjoy to-go Cinco De Mayo fajita kits, or stop in for tacos. – Kellen (Real Estate Specialist)
Red Headed Stranger
Red Headed Stranger is a taco shop in East Nashville makes fresh and delicious tacos, brisket, hatch green chiles, and more Southwestern-inspired foods! Their house-made tortillas are a hit! – Jess (Real Estate Specialist)
We’ve put together this list to show you all the newest homes for sale in Nashville, TN!
Give us a call with any questions or click the button below to schedule a property tour today!
The last thing in the world you would ever want is to spend a bunch of time searching for a home, finding that perfect place and then not being approved for your mortgage. There are also many common mistakes homebuyers make that could make the process much more painful than it has to be.
We’re writing this article because we know how stressful it can be to buy a house. In order to make your process easier, we are going to cover the 9 things you shouldn’t do when buying a home.
1) Don’t overestimate your budget.
Ever heard the expression “House poor“? Many homebuyers overestimate what they can actually afford and end up with very little wiggle room financially. Before jumping into buying, make sure you have a realistic idea of the yearly costs involved with owning a home.
Remember, there is your mortgage, property taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. All of this before you even think about making upgrades. Factor in all the costs and leave yourself some room.
2) Don’t let your emotions run wild.
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life. It’s normal to be excited and fall in love with a home. However, try to keep a level head. Falling in love with a home can cloud your judgement or end in disappointment. This can happen if unforeseen issues are exposed in the inspection or if someone puts in an offer before you.
If you don’t find a home… don’t get discouraged. Home searching can be a lengthy process. It will be worth it when you find the winner.
3) Don’t talk to sellers about plans for the house.
As much as you are excited to get in and put your personal touch on the home, it’s best to keep this to yourself. Sometimes home buyers meet and get to know the home owners. This is fine, but remember that the current owner will have an emotional attachment to the property.
It’s best not to make them feel like you’re going to come in and completely change the place. If you make conversation with the owners, just keep the conversation light.
4) Don’t withdraw or deposit a lot of cash.
Going further with your financial history, cash withdraws and deposits also play a part in your mortgage approval rate. Large quantities of cash going in or out of your accounts signals a warning sign that you do not have stability. Avoid any sporadic withdraws or deposits of large sums of cash.
5) Don’t apply for more credit.
The amount you are approved for on your mortgage comes down to your capital. How much money do you have at your disposal? Applying for extra credit increases your debt. This extra debt decreases the amount you will be approved for on a mortgage.
6) Don’t co-sign a loan.
While a loan may not technically be yours – it will still equally count towards your overall debt. Co-signing a loan can have an impact on not only the amount of your mortgage, but approval rate in general. Avoid co-signing any loans until you have purchased your home.
7) Don’t finance a car or furniture.
As financing is again a loan, it is therefore debt. Stay away from financing a car or furniture for the above mortgage approval reasons.
8) Don’t switch or leave your job.
Financial stability is one of the most important factors considered when a bank is approving your mortgage. The key to financial stability is having a dependable income. If you switch or leave your job, often or before applying for a mortgage, this may signal red flags.
If you are thinking about a move, hang tight with your job until after your mortgage is approved.
Ensure you don’t make these mistakes
There are many important things to consider when purchasing a home. It is one of the biggest decisions of your life.
In order to ensure that you get the house you want, when you want it, you need to understand and follow those above tips. Doing so will increase your chances of finding that perfect home and getting it. Remember that financials are very important when it comes time to apply for a mortgage. Make that your priority.
Also keep in mind the emotional aspects of purchasing a home and try to stay cool. It can be a draining process, but it will be worth it when you get the keys to the castle!
Are you looking for a home in the area? Give me a call. I’d love to help you find a home (and make sure you make none of the above mistakes in the process!)
Choosing whether to rent or own a home is not an easy decision. It requires you to carefully examine the factors and costs associated with each option. Which is better? That depends.
Your unique economic situation, lifestyle and goals play the largest part in deciding what is better for you. It’s important to go into your calculations with open eyes. As much as you want a home, you may not be able to afford it. Or it may not be the right decision for the way you like to live.
Factors To Consider When Buying/Renting a Home
The following four points are the largest factors to consider when weighing the pros and cons of home ownership vs. rental.
1) What are the total costs?
Many people look at the economics of home-ownership as a mortgage payment only. In reality there are insurance, repairs, property tax, homeowners association dues etc. that all have to be factored in to your monthly costs. Check out this calculator from the New York Times to see more.
Use a calculator and compare to see if:
- The monthly cost as a homeowner is less than renting.
- You can afford the monthly cost (if it works out more than renting in your area)
- Saving a 10-20% down-payment is feasible for you
If owning a home definitely the way to go for you, you need to be able to answer the above questions definitively.
2) What is important to you?
Are you more interested in building for the future, or reducing your financial risk until you can figure out a plan? You may want to own if you are thinking about starting a family. But as someone who is single, you may enjoy your freedom and having less financial debt. (Even if it is building your net worth in the long run)
Undoubtedly, buying a house only makes sense if you plan to set up roots. If you plan to move within (or every) 5 years, your transaction costs will likely bring the equity you build in your house to zero. Thus diminishing your upside while carrying all of the liabilities that come along with home ownership. Owning a home is a smart decision if you plan to stay for 10 years or more.
3) What is your preferred lifestyle?
Do you want to build a career in a specific city or travel around? Do you have long-term goals in mind? It’s okay if you don’t. The most important part is being aware of where you are at. You may want to get some international work experience or try your luck in another part of the country. Or not.
Really think about what you want. You could lose some serious money if you buy a house and sell within a few years because you decide it isn’t for you.
4) What are the opportunity costs?
Think about the pros and cons of home-ownership. On one hand, you will always have a home base. On the other, you have a property that ties you down to a geographical location. Can you make more money in another city? With a home, you can’t move to pursue those opportunities.
If rent is equal to monthly payments as an owner, think about the opportunity costs of having all of your money tied up in the house. For example, some investors may rent and opt to invest their money in the stock-market or other investments in their portfolio. Can you make higher percentage returns yearly with the money you would be using for a down payment?
The above were things you will want to consider. If you need to be realistic to make the right decision about renting vs owning a home. The below two situations may help if you aren’t able to come to a conclusion.
When is Renting a Home Better?
Despite popular belief, owning a home is not always the best decision. Let’s not be black and white. It depends on your particular situation.
You may want to rent if:
- You want to travel and set-up shop in different places every few years.
- You do not have the job or financial security to (realistically) guarantee payments for years to come.
- You have demonstrated the ability to make better financial returns through other investments.
There are other factors. However, this is a good starting point to help you determine your argument for renting versus owning a home. The benefit of renting is not being tied down to a geographic location and being able to leave when your lease runs up.
When is Owning a Home Better?
Owning a home is the long-term game. You need to have your goals in mind and understand if you can afford it.
You may want own if:
- You are okay with staying in one place for 10 years or more.
- You have the financial stability to afford the home (and float payments if you lose your job)
- You want to leverage your home as an investment property down the line (through rental)
Owning a home gives you an anchor. It helps you stay grounded by having a home base. At the same time, you can increase your upward potential by leveraging the home as an investment property.
Some food for thought
Choosing to rent or own your home is a big decision. It depends on your individual situation and vision for the future. In short, owning is traditionally the better long-term strategy. However, that’s not to say that you can’t do as good or better with the right investment portfolio.
Before jumping into anything, analyze yourself. Think hard about where you are and what you want for the future. Speak to a realtor and see if they have any advice for your individual situation.
If you are looking at purchasing property in the area, give me a call. I’d love to discuss your options and see if buying is the right path for you.
You want to make the most money possible when it comes time to sell your home. The way to do that is by improving and updating the things in your home that buyers look for the most.
We compiled this list for those looking to boost their resale value. It’s important to focus on the renovation projects that will net you the highest ROI. All of the projects on this list were chosen for their ability to produce high ROI as well as create a more desirable home. Remember – it’s important to make money. But it’s also important your house doesn’t sit on the market for a year.
Make these updates and you should fetch a high sale price, quicker than you would otherwise.
1) Remodel the Kitchen
The decision among real estate experts about where you get the highest ROI renovating your home is unanimous. The answer is in the kitchen. For some reason people just want nice kitchens and care about it more than the rest of the house… Maybe it’s because that’s where people like to entertain guests. Your main priority when renovating a kitchen should be layout. Creating a structure (or bones) that is functional and can easily be updated is super important. It’s one thing to replace a counter-top and cabinet doors. It’s a different story to completely renovate the whole kitchen.
Once you get the structure out of the way, search for materials that have a high quality look without a big price tag. You can make a space look modern and luxurious without having to use marble and granite.
2) Update Bathrooms
Bathrooms are the second place buyers typically place the most value in a home. The good news is that making updates to a bathroom doesn’t have to cost a fortune. En-suite/master bathrooms are the most important. As they say, it’s where the magic happens. Cast a spell on potential buyers with a beautiful en-suite. That was really corny I know…
3) Repair plumbing issues
Can we say structural problems? This is the #1 worry of all potential buyers. No one wants to move into a beautiful new house and have a disaster occur two or three months down the road. Re-doing your old piping and updating it to a newer plastic solution is a huge selling point. This removes some of the potential fear that comes with buying a home.
4) Remove paneling
Wood paneling and Stucco are common in older homes. Mainly because when it was popular, we didn’t have walls without imperfections like we do now. Not only are these two things ugly, they also show potential buyers that you lack the ability to update your home. “If you can’t update this, what is is lurking?”
5) Attic Renovation
Attic renovations are a popular choice among DIY projects as expenses can be minimized. In many houses you will have the bones for a room. All that is required of you is putting up walls and handling the cosmetics. Updated attics can sometimes be a stronger selling point than updated basements.
6) Replace Siding
Since curb appeal is so important, it makes sense to focus on the biggest factor. The outside of the house. Everyone knows the dingy, yellow siding that used to be white 60 years ago look. If your house looks like that – sorry. It’s time to update. For those on a budget you can also try power washing. Power washing sometimes brings better results than you could imagine. And it barely costs
7) New Garage Door
In addition to replacing/refreshing your siding and landscaping well, your garage door can play a big part in selling your house. It’s another element of curb appeal that can draw in or turn-off potential buyers. Luckily, new garage doors re-coup on average 80% of their investment in the long term. Basically, it will help you break even (or make money) while making your house more desirable.
You want to sell your home in the least amount of time and for the most amount of money possible. The way to do this is by performing renovations with a high ROI. In addition, you want to focus on the most desirable updates. Doing so will ensure you attract more interest on your property.
Each of these on the list may not be necessary or feasible with your budget. Remember that curb appeal, kitchens and bathrooms are important. If you can focus on nothing else, focus on those things. These projects will reduce your risk of losing money in the renovation process and also help you sell quicker.
Need more information on selling your home in the area? Give me a call!