Neighborhood Exploration, Part Deux

Location, location, location.

It wasn’t until I took the long way home on a weekly trek back from Whole Foods, that I stumbled upon the most picturesque neighborhoods I have ever seen that wasn’t on a movie screen: Green Hills and Belle Meade. I couldn’t stop driving through streets that literally wound their way through rolling green hills. The homes were beautifully historic, each one unique, and they all sat on 1+ acre lots with large stately front yards. It’s the kind of place that makes me want to forget the whole “wait until I am 35 thing” and buy a big ol’ house and pop out some kids.

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There were some hints of modernism, but nothing like you would see in Silicon Valley, or even Napa. That could be because there is no demand for it- or maybe it is just because there weren’t any builders supplying it? It is worth finding out.

The first person I ever built a home for was a billionaire who made his fortune in real estate; definitely the smartest businessman I have ever worked with/for. We were at his jobsite in Bel-air, Los Angeles, Ca and he learned that someone down the street had just purchased a bowl-shaped lot for a relatively inexpensive (approx. $3m) because it was 2008, and it was “cheap.” He balked because it didn’t matter how cheap it was, it would never change the fact that no one wants to live in a bowl. He told me, don’t ever buy real estate that isn’t in a great location, it’s too risky. You have heard one of the tenants of real estate many times: “location, location, location,” and honestly, that is what has been the most determining factor for me so far when it comes time to sell a house.

I feel confident that this would be a safe location to do a first project. I am not trying to find the next hipster, gentrifying neighborhood, though many have been successful being the first to enter these areas in Nashville. However, this isn’t the niche I am working in. This location has key factors that make it a lasting investment:

1) close to all the amenities like Green Hills Mall with major department stores

2) whole Foods nearby

3) beautiful golf course and country club in the center

4) Blue Bird café gives a historical piece of culture

5) lot sizes are large

6) it’s about 15 minutes from Downtown Nashville

I think this is a good place to start, it will be interesting to see what the pros say.

Development Takeaway: Finding the right neighborhood for your “niche” is extremely important for development. My niche is luxury homes that are modernized for a easy and efficient lifestyle. Choosing a safe location for your niche is key to not losing money.

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