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Buyers flock to new neighborhoods in Franklin

May 5, 2015

Buyers flock to new neighborhoods in Franklin

(Goodall homeowners Steve and Cindy Dycus were featured in The Tennessean on Sunday.  Bill Lewis reporting.) Steve Dycus believes his newly built home in one of Franklin’s fast-growing neighborhoods is perfect now that the problem with deliveries has been solved. When they bought their house last year, Dycus and his wife, Cindy, were among the first homeowners in the Lockwood Glen subdivision. The neighborhood was so new that it wasn’t on maps or in GPS databases. “The first year, getting something delivered, it wasn’t uncommon to get a call saying, ‘We can’t find you.’ Getting cable and the phone installed took a little longer,” said Steve Dycus. That’s a problem other homebuyers might be experiencing as the city’s population booms. Just 15 years ago, Franklin had a population of 41,842. Today, that number is about 70,000, and home builders are scrambling to meet demand from professionals moving to be close to their offices in Cool Springs or Nashville, empty-nesters downsizing from a larger home and, especially, parents who want their children to attend Williamson County’s highly rated schools. They all discover “the Norman Rockwell, Currier & Ives vision of America that Franklin stands for,” said P.J. Littleton, affiliate broker for Westhaven Realty. The company sells homes in Westhaven, the master-planned community three miles west of historic downtown Franklin. So far, 1,350 homes have been built in the community, ranging from small condominiums to 10,000-square-foot mansions, he said. When the subdivision is completely built-out, probably in 2027, it will contain about 2,700 homes. New residents moving to Westhaven are often surprised by the small-town character of the neighborhood, said Littleton. “The notion that you can ride your bike to school is mind-boggling to some people,” he said. Demand is also soaring in the neighborhoods on the east side of Interstate 65, where hundreds of new homes are planned. Potential buyers began lining up immediately when the Jones Company announced its newest development in Williamson County, Enderly Pointe at Ladd Park. The neighborhood will have 150 home sites along the Harpeth River. “We turned on our landing page and were overwhelmed” as potential buyers visited the website and signed up to receive more information, said Jen Lucy, the company’s director of sales. Prices in Enderly Pointe will start in the $320,000s, she said. That is below the median price of a home in Franklin, which in March was $446,300, according to the Williamson County Association of Realtors. Buyers had a similar response at Amelia Park, the 149-home neighborhood being developed by Pulte Homes on the east side of the interstate. “The demand at Amelia Park is very strong. We hosted more than 50 prospective homebuyers at our VIP preview event” in April, said Chad Ramsey, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. Prices will range from $372,990 to $424,990. When developer Wes Patterson announced plans for the Tap Root Hills subdivision next door to Amelia Park, 300 potential buyers signed up for more information. The development will have 139 home sites on 62 acres off Clovercroft Road and Market Street. Prices will range from the high $300,00s to the $700,000s. Keith Porterfield, an executive with Goodall Homes, said the company has made a major commitment to Franklin, where it builds homes in the Ladd Park, Lockwood Glen, Rizer Point and Shadow Green subdivisions. The company built the Dycuses’ new home. “It’s a place where people want to live. Somewhat of a small-town feel with boutique shops on the Square, but jump on the interstate and go to Nashville or Cool Springs,” said Porterfield. Steve and Cindy Dycus bought a home in the Fieldstone Farms subdivision more than 20 years ago and later moved to Spring Hill. Their new home in Lockwood Glen is closer to their offices in Franklin and all the activities they enjoy. “It’s a three- or four-minute drive to downtown Franklin if we want to eat at Puckett’s or go to the Franklin Theatre,” he said. “We’re happy to stay here the rest of our lives.”
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