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Friday, 10 May 2013 16:10

America's New Boomtown City Is ...

By Claire Gordon

  • Posted May 7th 2013 @ 8:30AM

Nashville job growthIt isn't just singer-songwriters who are flocking to Nashville these days. So areengineers and nurses,accountants anddevelopersdental assistants and robot-designers. The country music capital led the nation in job growth last year, according to revised data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, andreported by The City Paper. The formerly sleepy Southern town is now the nation's brightest spot of opportunity.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Nashville metro area experienced job growth of 3.9 percent, more than any other metro area with a population of more than 1 million. Nashville's music industry -- the second largest in the country after New York's -- employs thousands, but that's not what's powering the boom. Rather, it's the city's flourishing health care sector, and a wave of companies that have packed up their headquarters and moved to the Tennessee capital. 

More: Oil Boomtowns: Plenty of Jobs, But No Place To Live

Health care is the biggest industry in Nashville: The area is home to more than 300 health care companies, reported, including the two enormous and enormously profitable hospital chains Hospital Corporation of America and Community Health Systems Inc. Nashville's reputation as a thriving medical center has built on itself, with more and more companies in the industry gravitating to the Sun Belt city. There are currently over 800 health-care-related job openings in the Nashville area listed (an AOL Jobs partner).

Employers like the business-friendly climate: Businesses in an array of other industries have also made the southern migration. Citing the lower cost of doing business, Nissan Motor Co. moved its North American headquarters, and 1,300 jobs, from California to a Nashville suburb in 2006. Tennessee has no state income tax, cheap real estate and low living costs, and to seal the deals, Nashville has been exceptionally generous with the tax breaks and credits it offers companies considering a move.

More: 10 Highest-Paying Jobs In A Booming Sector

The business-process-outsourcing firm IQT Inc. announced that it was relocating from New York City to Nashville in 2011, reported Area Development Online, having been tempted by perks like a grant to offset startup costs, and an additional grant for each job created. Company Co-CEO Alex Mortman also said that the city, which is home to dozens of colleges and universities, including Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University, had the "smart, educated, technology savvy people" whom they were looking to hire.

Nashville's culture is also a major draw: "The food scene here, the entertainment scene, the people seem friendly, the employee base seems to be welcoming," Hazem Ouf, president of national restaurant chain American Blue Ribbon Holdings, told WKRN-TV about the company's decision to relocate last year. "Certainly you can feel the Southern hospitality here."

While Tennessee's unemployment rate is stuck above the national average, Nashville's is more than a whole percentage point below. It seems that almost every day a major company is changing its tune about where to be headquartered, and that tune is increasingly being played on a fiddle.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:43

The Best Cities For Jobs 2013

The Best Cities For Jobs 2013

ForbesBy Joel Kotkin and Mike Shires | Forbes – Tue, May 7, 2013 12:16 PM EDT
  • Alamo Square in San Francisco.

    Yahoo! Finance/Thinkstock - Alamo Square in San Francisco.

The latest edition of our list shows many things, but perhaps the most important is which cities have momentum in the job creation sweepstakes. Right now the biggest winners are the metro areas that are adding higher-wage jobs thanks to America’s two big boom sectors: technology and energy.

Our rankings are based on short, medium and long-term employment performance, and take into account both growth and momentum -- whether growth is slowing or accelerating. (For a detailed description of our methodology, click here.) Consequently, areas that have made the strongest recoveries from deep setbacks often do well. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan division, our top-ranked large metro area (urban regions with more than 450,000 jobs). Over the last year, employment in the San Francisco area expanded a remarkable 4.1%, and is up 3.3% since 2008.

[More from Forbes: The Best Midsize Cities For Jobs]

A decade ago, the San Francisco area was reeling from the collapse of the last dot-com bubble; the damage was so deep that today it has only 0.6% more jobs than in 2001. Its sharp recent growth is primarily in the information sector, which has expanded a torrid 21.3% since 2009.

Much the same can be said about San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, better known as Silicon Valley, which is No. 7 on our large metro area list due to 3.4% job growth last year, and 2.3% growth since 2008; it is also propelled by 25% growth in information jobs since 2007. Yet looking at the longer term, the Valley, like San Francisco, is still rebounding from a deep downturn connected to the dot-com disaster of a decade ago. In fact, the Valley is still down almost 40,000 jobs from 2001.

Is California Pulling Ahead Of Texas?

Some East Coast boosters of the Golden State are making this claim, but we don’t see it in this year’s numbers. Besides the tech-rich Bay Area, home to two of our top 10 large metro areas, there are no other major California cities near the top. Most of the state's big metros are in the poor to middling range over the long term; only Riverside-San Bernardino (45th place on our big cities list) has 10% more jobs than a decade ago. Los Angeles, the state’s dominant urban region, has lost some 120,000 jobs since 2001.

In contrast, the Texas juggernaut rolls on. Growth there has not only been steady, it’s been widely spread across the state. Texas boasts a remarkable four major metros in our top 10, led by Ft. Worth-Arlington (No. 4), Houston-Sugarland-Baytown (No. 5), Dallas-Plano-Irving (No. 6 ) and Austin-Round Rock, which slips from first place last year to 10th. The state’s other big city, San Antonio, comes in at a very healthy No. 12.

All these metro areas have more jobs than they did a decade ago -- often a lot more. Since 2001, employment in Houston has expanded 20%; in Ft. Worth, it's up roughly 16%; Dallas; 11%; Austin, a remarkable 26.5%; and San Antonio, 18.4%.

The Energy Boomtowns

The unconventional oil and gas boom has helped turn Texas into an economic juggernaut, particularly world energy capital Houston, but growth has also been strong in tech, manufacturing and business services. You see this same kind of blending of energy and other sectors in other strong growth economies elsewhere in the U.S., such as No. 3 Salt Lake City, No. 9 Denver and No. 15 Oklahoma City.

[More from Forbes: The Best Small Cities For Jobs 2013]

But the real evidence of energy’s power can be seen in smaller metro areas. Oil-rich Midland, Texas, places first on our list of smaller metro areas (those with less than 150,000 jobs) and also first overall among the country’s 398 metropolitan areas. Nipping at its heels in second place in both categories is Odessa, Texas. On our medium-size cities list, energy towns with strong growth include No. 4 Corpus Christi, Texas; No. 5 Bakersfield, Calif.; and No. 6 Lafayette, La.

Affordability + Quality of Life = Success

But you don’t have to be a huge tech hub or energy capital to generate new jobs. The No. 2-ranked place in our big metro ranking, Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., reflects the power of economic diversity coupled with ample cultural amenities, pro-business policies and a mild climate. Nashville’s 3.8% expansion in employment last year, and 7% growth since 2008, has been propelled by business services, education and health. There’s also been a recent recovery in manufacturing, up over 9% last year, as well as retail and wholesale trade. Like the Texas cities, Nashville has registered long-term growth as well, with 112,000 jobs added since 2001, a nice 16.6% increase.

Much the same can be said about Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C., No. 8 on our big city list, whose job base grew 3.3% last year. Virtually every business sector has been on the rebound since 2009, including financial services, despite Bank of America’s continuing troubles. Overall the local economy has added 100,000 jobs since 2001, up almost 13%.

Steady, diverse growth can be seen in other low-cost and business-friendly towns such as our No. 11 big metro area, Raleigh Cary, N.C.; No. 13 Columbus, Ohio; and No. 15 Indianapolis. The shift towards stronger growth in areas away from the coasts has continued, at least in the more attractive metro areas.

Who Doesn’t Have It?

Of course, any list has its share of losers as well as winners. Sadly this includes long-suffering old industrial cities such as our last-placed big metro area, Newark-Union, N.J., which is followed, in order, by Saint Louis, MO-IL; Cleveland-Elyria- Mentor, Ohio; and Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA. All but Providence, which stayed about even, slipped from last year’s rankings.

But not all factory towns are headed in the wrong direction. No.  51 Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn advanced an impressive 11 places from last year’s list. The key here has not been the much talked about attempt to turn downtown Detroit into a cool place, but the resurgence of the auto industry. Manufacturing employment, concentrated in the region’s suburbs, is up over 18% since 2009 after decades of tumultuous losses.

Also flailing a bit have been many of our largest, and most often celebrated, metros. Believe it or not, Detroit comes in one place ahead of Chicago-Joliet-Naperville ,Ill., which continues to promote itselfas one of the nation’s great comeback stories, but in reality has continued to lose ground. You can tell the same tale about No. 46 Philadelphia, Pa., No. 41 Portland-Hillsboro-Vancouver OR-WA, and No. 37 Miami, which dropped a staggering 16 places despite the much celebrated recovery of its condo market. Selling to South America flight capital (legal or otherwise) and sun-deprived Europeans does not seem to be doing enough to revive the region’s overall economic vigor.

There are also some signs that the big beneficiaries of the Bernanke-Obama-Bush economic policy may be losing some momentum. New York City, the major winner from the “too big to fail” banking bailout, fell seven places from last year to No. 18. Even Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C., the nation’s prime beneficiary of crony capitalism and fiscal bloat, has lost steam, falling 10 places to No. 26 -- a big decline from its No. 6 rankings in 2010 and 2011. We are usually loath to celebrate declines, but Washington’s loss, reflecting a slowdown in government growth, may be evidence that some equilibrium between the public and private sectors is slowly being restored.

Here are the top 10 cities:

No. 1: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division
2012 Rank: 17th
2013 Overall Rank: 9th
2012 Employment Growth: 4.1%

No. 2: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
2012 Rank: 9th
2013 Overall Rank: 15th
2012 Employment Growth: 3.8%

No. 3: Salt Lake City, UT
2012 Rank: 3rd
2013 Overall Rank: 16th
2012 Employment Growth: 4.0%

No. 4: Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division
2012 Rank: 4th
2013 Overall Rank: 20th
2012 Employment Growth: 3.8%

No. 5: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
2012 Rank: 2nd
2013 Overall Rank: 23rd
2012 Employment Growth: 2.0%

No. 6: Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division

2012 Rank: 6th
2013 Overall Rank: 24th
2012 Employment Growth: 3.5%

No. 7: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

2012 Rank: 5th
2013 Overall Rank: 28th
2012 Employment Growth: 3.4%

No. 8: Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

2012 Rank: 19th
2013 Overall Rank: 34th
2012 Employment Growth: 3.3%

No. 9: Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
2012 Rank: 15th
2013 Overall Rank: 41st
2012 Employment Growth: 2.8%

No. 10: Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
2012 Rank: 1st
2013 Overall Rank: 42nd
2012 Employment Growth: 3.7%

[More from Forbes: Full List: The Best Big Cities For Jobs 2013]

We ranked all 398 current metropolitan statistical areas based on employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2001 through January 2013. Rankings are based on recent growth trends, mid-term growth, long-term growth and the region’s momentum. We also broke down rankings by size since regional economies differ markedly due to their scale. For our big cities list, we ranked the 66 MSAs that each have more than 450,000 jobs.

NAS-home sellers; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); float: left; font-size: 10px; padding: 1px 25px 1px 10px; background-position: -367px -1355px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Purchase Image
James Bristol is finally ready to put his five-bedroom home in Green Hills on the market. / Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean
Written by
Duane Marsteller
The Tennessean


NAS-home sellers; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); float: left; font-size: 10px; padding: 1px 25px 1px 10px; background-position: -367px -1355px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Purchase Image; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); float: right; padding: 1px 10px 1px 25px; font-size: 10px; text-transform: uppercase; background-position: -457px -1316px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">ZOOM
Bristol is preparing to list his home after seeing the one next door sell in 30 days for the asking price. / Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean













Each time James Bristol thought about putting his Green Hills home on the market, something changed his mind.

In 2009, it was the housing slump and economic recession, when qualified buyers were scarce and home values were falling. In 2011, the still-soft housing market and the unexpected return of one of his grown children — and a grandchild — nixed any selling plans.

Now, though, Bristol is taking the plunge. He’s preparing to list his five-bedroom home after seeing the house next door sell in 30 days for the asking price.

“That told me it was a good time to sell because the market is getting stronger,” said Bristol, a Nashville attorney.

That’s a message Middle Tennessee real estate agents hope more homeowners hear and act upon, thus relieving an inventory squeeze that threatens to constrain the market’s momentum.

Inventory squeeze

At the end of March, the latest period for which the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors has data available, there were 16,049 residential properties on the market — a 15.5 percent drop from a year earlier. At the same time, sales have soared by more than 30 percent.

Despite the resulting squeeze, price increases have been modest and have stayed in a fairly narrow range in the past year. The median sales price for a single-family house was $169,000 in March, just $500 higher than in the same month a year earlier. Condominiums have fared better, rising by nearly $13,000 in the past year.

The slow price appreciation is holding back would-be home sellers, especially those who bought during the housing market’s heyday and still have little or no equity, local agents say.

“Sellers are waiting for values to come back up more,” said Kendra Cooke of Cooke Realty Partners in Nashville.

There’s also a self-perpetuating Catch-22 of sorts going on: Potential sellers are waiting because they’re worried they won’t be able to find a new place to live because of the tight supply.

At the same time, many homeowners who tried to sell during the downturn — only to see their properties languish on the market for months or even more than year — are hesitant to try again just yet. They will remain tentative until they feel better about the economy, especially the job and housing markets, agents say.

“It all goes back to consumer confidence,” said Price Lechleiter, GNAR president and a broker with Fridrich & Clark Realty. “That’s the driver.”

A recent Metro property reappraisal provides little comfort. It said average home values in Nashville fell by nearly 1 percent from 2008 to 2012, with only a third of Metro’s 35 council districts seeing gains.

That has led some homeowners, especially in high-demand areas, to underestimate what their homes are worth in today’s market, agents say. Those areas include parts of East Nashville, 12South, West End, Sylvan Park, Bellevue and Belle Meade.

Those areas are largely built out, with little new construction, limiting the pool of houses. The reasons those areas are attractive to buyers also make them attractive to homeowners who are already there, further reducing turnover as homes go on the market less often, agents say.

Agents recruiting

Jennifer Core, who has lived in her Inglewood home for a dozen years, said her neighbors were there before her. When Core was the victim of a crime two years ago, those longtime neighbors pitched in to help her recover.

That’s why Core has no plans to sell her 67-year-old house despite receiving “several” inquiries to do so. “I’m not going to leave that kind of connection behind,” she said.

With more buyers than sellers coming to them, agents are ramping up efforts to recruit listings.

Richard Courtney of Christianson Patterson Courtney & Associates said he and partner Stephanie Tipton-Soper recently sent fliers urging homeowners to “take advantage” of the “hottest market in Nashville’s history.” About 3,000 went to previous clients, and 2,000 others were sent to homeowners in neighborhoods that are in demand, Courtney said.

“People who had listed five years ago, a lot of them are getting calls from Realtors saying, ‘Let’s try one more time,’ ” he said.

Bailie Rhea Hodges and Paul Sek of Hodges and Fooshee Realty also went the flier route, sending several hundred last week to homeowners in Nashville’s West End.

“Two years ago, it was extremely hard to find anyone who wanted to buy a house,” Hodges said. “Now it’s hard to find anyone who wants to sell.”

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward
Today is my Father's Birthday.  He would have been 89 today.  Dad passed away when he was 75, and he was proud he lived to that long.  Dad was never one to complain and he is the only person I know that I never heard say an unkind word about anyone.  He looked for the good in people and taught me many things.  I learned a long time ago that "Actions speak louder than words".  We learn from what we are shown more effectively than what we are told.
My Dad was born in Gleason, TN and grew up in a small rural agricultural based community of Greenfield, TN, near Dresden and Martin in the NW corner of the state.  Dad had to quit school when he was in the 6th grade to go work on the farm.  Both his parents died when he was 7.  He was raised by his Uncle and Aunt and their children, his cousins, who took him in and treated him as their brother... one of the truest acts of love, charity and kindness I have ever seen expressed.
During his rough life after growing up in the great depression he taught me, through words and actions:
"Never Give Up"  Action: I'm going to fix this lawnmower if it takes me all week... "What did you kids do with my wrench?!?"  We never could seem to keep up with tools around our house... I think the dog kept eating them!
"Help People When You Can and How You Can"  Action: Delivering food to the needy on Christmas, even though we didn't have that much ourselves, and sometimes coming home with vegetables and chickens instead of money from his insurance clients and paying their premium himself, even though he didn't have it to spare.
"Always Look For The Good In People"  Action: Never saying an unkind word or mistreating anyone... even if it seemed that they deserved it.
"Work Hard And Things Will Work Out"  Action:  He worked from "Can to Can't" everyday of his life, except Sunday.
"Don't Pity Yourself and Make the Best of What You Have"  Action: When Dad was around 7, his brother (only a teenager himself at the time and who had tried to look after Dad himself after their parents died but eventually realized that he could not), took him for a "visit" to his Uncle and Aunt's farm outside Greenfield, TN.  My Dad didn't realize that he was being left with these relatives for good.  My Dad ran crying through a field along the road chasing his brother driving away that day back in 1931/32.  I envision this and how he must have felt, when I feel pity for myself, or think I'm having a rough day.
I hope you have an exceptional day.  Action:  Just decide that's what kind of day you're going to have and it will happen... works for me all the time!  I appreciate you reading this, or as my Dad would say, "Much Obliged".


Thanks, Phil
Make it an exceptional day... It is yours to think, see, believe and make happen!
Phil Dildine, CCIM (What is CCIM?) 
Head Coach & Owner - CLOUD REALTY, LLC (formerly The Morris Companies, LLC)
  1. homes — buying, rehabbing and reselling for a profit usually within about 90  days — will likely become more favorable for investors in 2013 as home prices  are expected to continue climbing. And while buying  homes as rentals still offers a solid rate of return in many markets, even  buy-and-hold investors typically flip properties periodically to fund their ongoing  rental purchases.View recording of Foreclosure Flipping 101 Webinar with Spike TV's Flip Men.
  2. selected the top 25 markets nationwide where flipping single family homes  offers the highest rate of return based on the flipper’s gross profit — the  difference between average original purchased price and the eventual flipped  sales price of a flipped home. Search potential  flipping opportunities in your neighborhood.
  1. flip


  1. Methodology
    create the list, we looked at more than 600 metro areas nationwide where flips  of single family homes occurred in 2012. We counted a flip as a situation where  a sale of home occurred within six months or less of the previous sale of the  same home. From the 600 metros we first narrowed it down to metros with at  least 500 flips in 2012, and then to metros with at least a 9 percent annual  increase in home values between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter  of 2013. From that universe of markets we selected the top 25 based on the  gross profit as a percentage of the original purchase price.
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 19:02

Nashville Rents Up 5.1%

Nashville's 2012 rent price increase among nation's highest

 Published January 3, 2013 by William Williams 

Nashville ranked among the nation’s leaders in apartment rent price increases during 2012, according to MPF Research, a market intelligence division of RealPage Inc.

Nashville and New York both saw rents rise 5.1 percent, placing the two cities tied for fifth in the ranking. Nationally and by comparison, rents for new leases in the U.S. apartment sector climbed 3 percent during 2012.

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 18:27

D.R. Horton Comes to Nashville

Jan 15, 2013, 1:16pm CST

Exclusive: D.R. Horton, largest U.S. homebuilder, preparing to enter Nashville market

Staff Reporter- Nashville Business Journal
Email  | Twitter  | Google+

D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's largest home builder, is preparing to expand into the Nashville market, according to multiple real estate sources.

To help enter the market, Fort Worth, Texas-based Horton (NYSE: DHI) has expressed interest in buying a privately held local builder, sources said.

Multiple attempts to reach officials with D.R. Horton were unsuccessful.

In August, Horton entered Huntsville, Ala., and the Mississippi Gulf Coast markets after buying Breland Homes, Horton's first acquisition in more than a decade, according to media reports.

Donald Tomnitz, Horton's CEO and president, told analysts during a recent earnings call that the company has been evaluating opportunities in attractive new markets. Horton operates in 77 markets in 26 states. Horton built homes in the Nashville area in the 1990s, but does not currently operate in Tennessee.

Horton sold 18,890 of its homes and posted a profit of $956 million in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Horton isn't the only big builder eying Nashville.

In October, the Nashville Business Journal reported on Columbus, Ohio-based M/I Homes' (NYSE: MHO) effort to break into Nashville’s improving housing market.

Big new players entering Nashville's home construction scene would mean additional competition for local builders. At the same time, the interest speaks to the health and outlook of the local residential real estate market.

Nashville is attracting a lot of interest from out-of-state public and private builders, said Jason Brown of MetroStudy, a housing research firm.

"Nashville has always been a fairly stable market," he said. "As we've begun the upswing in the building cycle, Nashville has been one of the first (markets) to pick up."

Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself

Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

A statue of Elvis Presley between souvenir shops in downtown Nashville. The music industry is, in many ways, the bedrock of the city’s economy.


Published: January 8, 2013
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NASHVILLE — Portland knows the feeling. Austin had it once, too. So did Dallas. Even Las Vegas enjoyed a brief moment as the nation’s “it” city.
Enlarge This Image
Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

Crowds line Broadway in downtown Nashville, which is experiencing a resurgence.

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Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

With a downtown filled with live music, bars and neon signs, Nashville seems to be earning a new popularity.

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Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

The ABC television show “Nashville,” has helped bolster the city’s image.

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Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

At a premiere party for "Nashville," some of the actors on the show watched alongside the city’s mayor, Karl Dean, center.

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Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

Logan Pratt, in cardigan, hosted a watch party for the premiere of the show “Nashville” at his home in West Nashville.

Now, it’s Nashville’s turn.

Here in a city once embarrassed by its Grand Ole Opry roots, a place that sat on the sidelines while its Southern sisters boomed economically, it is hard to find a resident who does not break into the goofy grin of the newly popular when the subject of Nashville’s status comes up.

Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term, is the head cheerleader.

“It’s good to be Nashville right now,” he said during a recent tour of his favorite civic sites, the biggest of which is a publicly financed gamble: a new $623 million downtownconvention center complex that is the one of the most expensive public projects in Tennessee history.

The city remains traditionally Southern in its sensibility, but it has taken on the luster of the current. On a Venn diagram, the place where conservative Christians and hipsters overlap would be today’s Nashville.

Flush with young new residents and alive with immigrants, tourists and music, the city made its way to the top of all kinds of lists in 2012.

A Gallup poll ranked it in the top five regions for job growth. A national entrepreneurs’ group called it one of the best places to begin a technology start-up. Critics admire its growing food scene. GQ magazine declared it simply “Nowville.”

And then there is the television show."Nashville,"a song-filled ABC drama about two warring country divas, had its premiere in October with nine million viewers. It appears to be doing for the city of 610,000 people what the prime-time soap opera"Dallas"did for that Texas city in the ‘80s.

“You can’t buy that,” Mr. Dean said. “The city looks great in it.”

Different regions capture the nation’s fancy for different reasons. Sometimes, as with Silicon Valley, innovation and economic engines drive it. Other times, it’s a bold civic event, like the Olympics, or a cultural wave, like the way grunge music elevated Seattle.

Here in a fast-growing metropolitan region with more than 1.6 million people, the ingredients for Nashville’s rise are as much economic as they are cultural and, critics worry, could be as fleeting as its fame.

“People are too smug about how fortunate we are now,” said the Southern journalist John Egerton, 77, who has lived in Nashville since the 1970s.

“We ought to be paying more attention to how many people we have who are ill-fed and ill-housed and ill-educated,” he said.

Many will argue that the city’s schools need improvement, and although it remains more progressive on social issues than Tennessee as a whole, the city, with its largely white population, still struggles with a legacy of segregation and has had public battles over immigration and sexual orientation.From an economic standpoint, it has been a measured rise. When the housing boom hit the South, Nashville, long a sleepy capital city with a Bible Belt sensibility, did not reap the financial gains seen in cities like Atlanta, whose metropolitan region is more than three times its size.

But Nashville’s modest growth meant a softer fall and a quicker path out of recession. By July 2012, real estate closings were up 28 percent over the previous year. Unemployment in Davidson County, which includes Nashville, is about 5.7 percent, compared with 7.8 percent nationally, and job growth is predicted to rise by 18 percent in next five years, said Garrett Harper, vice president for research with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

He and others attribute Nashville’s stability and current economic health to a staid mix of employers in fields like health care management, religious publishing, car manufacturing and higher education, led by Vanderbilt University.

By some estimates, half of the nation’s health care plans are run by companies in the Nashville area.

“Health care is countercyclical,” Mr. Harper said. “It inoculates the city against a lot of the winds that blow.”

But the music industry is the bedrock of Nashville’s economy. In the past two decades, country music has grown into a national darling. The city has attracted musicians and producers whose work moves beyond the twang and heartache.

On a recent evening, Nashville’s once-seedy honky-tonk district was jammed with young hopefuls pulling guitars out of Hondas, a bus from “America’s Got Talent” and Aerosmith fans heading to the Bridgestone Arena.

It is not uncommon to see the power couple Keith Urban andNicole Kidmanshow up at a popular restaurant, or to pass Vince Gill on the street.

Music celebrities are attracted to a state with no income tax and a ready-made talent pool. But they also just like it.

Jennifer Nettles, of the country duo Sugarland, spent 17 years in Atlanta and has been dipping in and out of New York and Nashville for years. She recently bought a farm here, had a baby and is settling in with her husband, Justin Miller.

“Part of what is really attractive about Nashville right now is that it isn’t Atlanta, and I love Atlanta,” she said. “There’s a bit of charm and a richness a city the size of Nashville allows for.”

As if to underscore Nashville’s position in the nation’s musical hierarchy, the city hosted the annual Grammy nomination concert in December. It was the first time the show was not held in Los Angeles.

But to be a truly great city, some skeptics argue, it has to be a place that tends to its residents first and tourists second.

The city’s politicians are banking on the tourists. At the center of the plan is the Music City Center, a huge convention center whose main section is shaped like a giant guitar laid on its back.

It sits on 19 downtown acres and is attached to both the Country Music Hall of Fame and an 800-room, $270 million Omni Hotel, which is expected to open in the fall.

To pay for it all, the city offered generous tax breaks and based public financing on increased hotel and rental car fees and taxes. To lure the hotel, for example, the city discounted property taxes by more than 60 percent for 25 years.

The idea was to help the city land bigger conventions, like the National Rifle Association conference, which will bring 48,000 people to the city in 2015.

But using generous economic incentives and relying on conventions has been called an outdated economic strategy.

“This was probably a good idea in 1985. And probably a good idea in 1995, said Emily Evans, a member of the region’s Metropolitan Council. “But in 2012, the momentum for that kind of economic development has passed.”

She once called the convention center a “riverboat gamble.”

“In giving away your tax base for the purpose of expanding your tax base in the future,” Ms. Evans said, “you make it difficult to deliver on the fundamentals, the things that make your city livable, like parks and roads and schools.”

Mr. Dean, a former city lawyer who became mayor in 2007 and led the city’s recovery from historic floods in 2010, said the project, which got under way during the recession, has been a fight every step of the way.

“The gains for the city are real and tangible,” he said.

The mayor has orchestrated more than a dozen tax incentive deals over the past few years. Most recently, he arranged a $66 million incentive package to help the health care giant HCA Holdings move part of its Nashville operations to new midtown high-rise buildings.

He acknowledges that more needs to be done on transportation and education, but in the meantime, he, like most of Nashville’s residents, is enjoying its ride.

“I love the rhythm of this town and the pace of it and the tone of it,” said Mr. Egerton, the writer. “I think Nashville is a big unfinished song.”

A version of this article appeared in print on January 9, 2013, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself.

Thursday, 28 March 2013 13:21

First Time Home Seller

First Time Home Seller?

Selling your home can seem very  daunting: You haven't sold a home before, the market looks complex, and what worked for owners 10 or 20 years ago seems inappropriate in today’s market.

What steps should you take? This simple list will  get you started. 

  1. You Can Do It. Some 5.63 million existing homes were sold in 2007, more than 15,000 a day. Other owners have done it and so can you. 
  1. Define Your Goal. Do you want the highest sales price -- or the biggest check at closing? They're not necessarily the same. Imagine that two homes sell for $300,000, but one owner pays 2 points and agrees to replace the roof. The owner who sold without such costs got a bigger check at settlement. The bottom line: To have a successful sale you need to look at both price and terms -- you must have a strong negotiator in your corner. 
  1. Times Have Changed. Today's real estate marketplace is totally  different when compared with  5 years ago. Purchasers now use the Internet, receive seller disclosure forms, get home inspections, and are routinely represented by buyer agents.   The result is that buyers can be better prepared than in the past. 
  1. Sparkle, Shine and Curb Appeal. Think about  going to a supermarket and seeing dusty fruit or aisles filled with old shelving and cans. It doesn't happen because the grocery store knows how to present its goods. Sellers must do the same. Get rid of things you don't want to move, organize closets and storage areas, and clean everywhere.   Does your home look inviting and appealing from the street?  If not  - it is in your best interest to make sure that the outside is clean and well kept. Trim shrubs, paint your mail box and shutters and make sure the lawn is mowed. 
  1. Mechanics Count. Buyers expect everything to work. Home inspections are now entirely common and what buyers miss home inspectors will catch. Fix and paint things now and they won't be an issue in the future. 
  1. Stage your home. When buyers see your home, it's showtime. They want an environment where they can see themselves. De-clutter and hide knick knacks that will distract them from their dreams. Given them a show where everything is painted, arranged, and attractive, a home where the only issue is when to move in. 
  1. Know your  market. Real estate is local. Your broker can explain current market trends in your community, including what's selling, what isn't selling, and why. This information is critical to getting the optimal price and terms. 
  1. Know the competition. Your property will be competing with other homes in your area  for buyer attention. Ask your broker how to be competitive -- and how to have an edge. 
  1. Be realistic. Markets differ by neighborhood location and time. When interest rates are low and the local job base is growing, it's great to be a seller. But when times are slack and mortgage rates are rising, homes also sell. The trick is to be realistic, to get as much as market conditions will allow. 
  1. Have a plan. Real estate marketing involves far more than a sign in the yard and an ad in the paper.  Today’s successful brokers use a variety of methods to attract and qualify prospects, including the latest Internet and  Website communication  tools.
Thursday, 22 December 2011 00:00

Foreclosures 101 - The Basics

Buyers/Investors who want a good deal in real estate invariably think first about pursuing foreclosures. Purchasing a foreclosure allows buyers to gain a strong equity position immediately rather than waiting years for your home to appreciate. Below is information to understand the foreclosure process and start you on your way to finding your dream home!

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