(Written by Bill Lewis in The Tennessean
. For the full article with photos, click HERE
Savvy consumers are in the habit of comparison shopping before buying appliances, clothes or cars, but when it comes to the largest purchase most of us ever make — a house — that’s not easy to do.
Over two weekends in September, homebuyers will have an opportunity to compare 30 new homes located across the Nashville region during the Showcase of Homes presented by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT
Homes on the tour range from a $120,000 townhouse to a house listed for more than $1 million. They were constructed by 17 different home building companies, said Trey Lewis, HBAMT president.
“The Showcase is intended to let the public know that new homes are available all over Middle Tennessee,” said Lewis, vice president of Ole South
home building company.
Demand strong for new homes
“The Showcase gives the homebuyer an opportunity to comparison shop, compare features, compare areas of town, compare builders,” said Randall Smith, president of Celebration Homes
. The company is presenting homes in Franklin and Thompson’s Station.
This is the first Showcase of Homes that the HBAMT has presented since 2008, when the housing market declined. Back then, there were not enough potential buyers looking for homes. Today, there are not enough homes on the market to meet demand, said Lewis.
There were 13,728 properties for sale in the Nashville region at the end of July, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors
. A year ago, there were 15,919.
Lewis believes frustrated buyers who can’t find the right resale house are increasingly interested in newly built homes.
“We want everyone to know new homes are being built every day,” he said.
Many of the homes in the Showcase are available for immediate purchase. Others are decorated model homes that are not on the market, but a buyer can order one “just like it,” said Lewis.
In addition to homes in subdivisions, the Showcase will for the first time include several infill homes. Those new homes, built in established neighborhoods, are a growing part of the market, said Smith.
Jen Lucy, director of sales for the Jones Co.
, said availability is just one reason many buyers choose a new home instead of a resale house. The company is presenting Showcase homes in Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Nolensville and College Grove.
“We are seeing our customers buying new for multiple reasons, mainly the energy efficiency, new finishes, new layouts, ease of purchase and fantastic locations and community amenities,” she said.
Demand for new homes is strong across the Nashville region, said Brett Tesnow, market manager for Drees Homes
. The company is presenting five homes in Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Brentwood, Arrington and Nolensville during the Showcase.
“We’re seeing local move up buyers and a ton of relocating buyers from other states,” he said.
Many buyers expect to move in just a few years and see a new home as a better investment, said Goodall Homes Vice President Todd Reynolds. The company is presenting a house in its new Millstone subdivision in Hendersonville.
A new home can be customized to meet the buyer’s expectations, he said.
“It comes back to being able to personalize the house. Consumers today want choices. They don’t want to be told,” said Reynolds.
New home customers appreciate being able to customize their house, said Vickie Freas, Realtor for Arthur Rutenberg Homes
. The company, which is presenting a home in the Kings’ Chapel
subdivision, offers 80 floor plans.
“If they have their own floor plan drawn on a napkin,” she said, “we can build that for them.”
If you go
What: Showcase of Homes presented by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee
When: Sept. 17-20 and Sept. 24-27. Tours take place noon-6 p.m. each day.
Where: Showcase homes are located in Sumner, Wilson, Davidson and Williamson counties. A guide book is available at branches of Franklin Synergy Bank, the event’s sponsor, at area Kroger stores and online at HBAMT.org. The address under each house in the online guide links to a Google map.
Reach Bill Lewis at 615-262-5862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.