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    Before and after the crash: Rutherford County’s new housing market

    I had a very spirited discussion with a colleague last week about the differences between our real estate markets today versus the pre-housing market downturn. I have been a realtor and developer in Rutherford County since 1993 and have noticed many changes in our local residential market today compared to 10 years ago.

    I have included, what I think, are the most significant changes after the crash:

    The Big Boys Are Here

    Prior to 2007, most of the new construction in Rutherford County was built by local “mom and pop” companies. A big reason for this is that most of the local development was created by three men: Bob Parks, Howard Wall, and James Rowland. These men also owned residential brokerage companies, as well, so it was advantageous for them to sell lots to local builders to keep the listing commissions in-house.

    When the market shifted, however, publicly-held companies such as NVR took advantage and purchased some bank owned developments and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Before the crash I can only think of one publicly held builder, Centex (now Pulte) who had a presence here but now they are too numerous to count. DR Horton, Ryan Homes, LGI, and Lennar are just a few of the national builders currently building in Rutherford County.

    Density Increase

    Developments have become more master planned and lots have gotten smaller. We are seeing more planned urban neighborhoods featuring segmented housing styles connected with sidewalks. They incorporate landscaped green spaces, pools, and other amenities to compensate for smaller lot size. Although homes are closer together the landscape design and tightly restricted covenants give these neighborhoods a clean, appealing feel and have become very popular.

    Puckett Station on the West side of Murfreesboro, for example, features three distinct housing options. There are the Villas which are townhomes, The Knolls which is a small lot hardi-plank offering, and the Preserve which is a larger lot, executive style home concept. This allows buyers in several different price points the opportunity to live in the same development and share the same amenities.

    Home Design

    Today’s new construction homes are usually built on slab foundations and offer multiple exterior textures such as brick or partial brick, stone, cement board, and vinyl. Prior to 2007 most homes were brick or partial brick and vinyl combinations and were built on crawlspace block foundations.

    Another interesting floor plan trend, influenced by the “tract builder” mentality of cost efficiency, is locating the master bedroom upstairs. Prior to the crash this was deemed taboo in our local market but has become much more acceptable by the “younger family” who enjoys having the kids bedrooms close to the master. This also allows for much larger kitchens and living areas downstairs.

    Find Your New Home at murfreesborohomesonline.com

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    John Jones

    John Jones knows Middle Tennessee and he knows real estate. Born and raised in Murfreesboro, John brings a life of local experiences and 21 years of experience in the real estate industry to his clients. He’s helped over 3,300 families handle their real estate needs. Before opening his own brokerage firm, he was a perennial top producer for Coldwell Banker, consistently ranking among the top 1% of agent in the nation. John and his team have also received numerous awards and recognitions for top sales performances in the state as well as nationwide from the Star Power organization and The Wall Street Journal. In October of 2008, John realized his vision of a small boutique real estate firm that went beyond tradition and provided cutting edge tactics that offer the best in customer service, market knowledge, wealth building opportunities, and innovative techniques that get homes sold. To open a new business just before the housing crisis and not only survive but also grow is a tremendous testament to the connections John has within Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. His company now has over 15 team members who share his goal in serving his hometown. John has been married to his wife, Tracy, for over 20 years. They have four children, Jack (19), Pruitt (16), Liza Jane (14) and Mary Margaret (10). The Jones family attends World Outreach Church. John loves all sports and enjoys spending time watching his children compete. He has one son who plays football for The University of Tennessee, another finishing up his senior year at Oakland High School, and both daughters play basketball for Providence Christian Academy. The Jones family also enjoys spending time together on Center Hill Lake.

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