I broke the “ville” streak with Nashville. I did not house hunt in Nashville and all of the towns I looked at were non “villes”. Laugh if you want but when I was in Asheville, I saw Hendersonville and Weaverville and in Knoxville I saw Maryville and Friendsville!
I happened upon an online review of the different Nashville downtown neighborhoods as well as the suburban areas, which was incredibly helpful. (Every city should do something like this for relocation people!) Franklin and Brentwood seemed like good areas, close to the airport, and fairly close to Nashville and so I picked a realtor in those areas. The week before I arrived, she started sending me real estate reports with houses that fit my criteria and I told her which ones were of interest to me. And – we actually went to see them! She had printed out a packet of information on each house including a map on the top which showed where they all were in the county. Very helpful!
Franklin Tennessee was founded in 1799 and has done a great job of preserving the many beautiful buildings and keeping the downtown vibrant and “the place to go”. (Evidently many of the big deal country singers live there!) It must have a huge number of houses on the historic register.
Not every home is a Southern mansion; there are charming cottages as well.
Here are two storefronts on the main drag, the two styles look so interesting next to one another.
We looked at 9 properties, which was wonderful. I was really able to get the feel for the area and what it might be like to live there. I did choose two homes from the 1900′s. This one was so charming and could be beautifully fixed up, but I do think it would be a money pit. And it was by a busy road on a small lot.
This cutie was on a quiet residential street, on a small property across from some very unattractive apartment buildings. It was beautifully re-done but would need some landscaping to hide the ugly buildings.
Here is the mantlepiece – such an unusual design – and it was double-sided. Both of these homes reminded me of our first house, also built at the turn of the century.
Where ever we choose to live, it sounds like we will be buying an older home. All the realtors agreed that if we do not want to live in a development, then the homes have to be pre-1990′s. Most of the houses I saw in Williamson County were in developments, but I did want to see what sort of houses they built in the Nashville area. The west side of Franklin seems more promising as it is filled with huge horse farms, so that might be a place to really look for a stand alone place. The house that I liked the best was the last one we saw. After winding though several neighborhoods, we came out on a little road and pulled into a driveway in a Brentwood location. I got out of the car, looked at the property and sighed – it was a “stand alone house”! It was so much fun to look through as the woman is an interior designer and I loved what she had done to the house. Her husband is in the music industry; there were photos of Dolly and other famous country Western singers and he had a gold record. (And I was reminded why realtors want you to de-personalize your home….) I adored this purple dining room, which was probably the plainest room in the house.
And here is a real recommendation for living near Franklin. It is filled with great antique stores and there is a large stove factory that has been redone with shops and restaurants. I found this “unique” lamp there, with a price tag of $1500….. What more could a Country girl want???