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Housing prices go through the roof
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How much will people pay for a home in beautiful Warren County?

A lot more than they did at this time last year.

Based on statistics from Redfin comparing February 2021 to February 2022, home prices in Warren County are up 23.7%. The median home sale price has now climbed to $242,500. There were 42 homes sold in Warren County in February, a brisk pace for such a short month.

“It’s amazing the number of cash buyers we’re seeing who are coming in from out West,” said Jonathan Jones, a co-owner and broker at Tree City Realty. “They love our rivers and mountains and they love downtown McMinnville. They look at our prices and they never blink.”

Waymon Hale Construction has developed an upscale residential neighborhood off Vervilla Road near WCHS. It’s called Stone Creek Crossing. There are around 20 finished homes so far with that number growing.

“We have four started right now and we should be starting more this summer,” said Waymon. “There’s such an influx of new people moving into Middle Tennessee, it really has created a housing shortage. The price of materials is going up, but the market is paying it. The new home market is really strong and hopefully it will remain strong.”

Tree City Realty has been selling the homes at Stone Creek Crossing before they are finished. Jonathan said the homes are going under contract during the construction phase and closing usually takes place the day the house is finished. The current going rate is $239 a square foot, meaning a 2,500-square-foot house would sell for $597,500.

“The good folks at Tree City Realty are selling them as fast as I can finish them,” said Waymon.

Elsewhere around the county, homes on the upscale end sold in February. A 3-bedroom, 3-bath house on Beckridge Road near the Country Club sold for $449,900 for 2,300 square feet.

Homes on the lower end are also commanding very high dollar. On Anderson Street next to Walmart, a 2-bedroom, 1-bath home with just 706 square feet sold for $163,000 on Wednesday. That’s $230 a square foot.

My concern is that first-time homebuyers are getting priced out of finding a charming starter home. Cupcake and I bought our first home in the Dark Ages way back in 1999. It was 1,450 square feet and cost $73,000. Based on today’s current prices, that same starter home would be around $260,000 today. 

That amounts to roughly a 256.1% increase. In comparison, my annual salary has not increased 256%, which is the root of the problem for young adults looking to live the American Dream of a home with a picket fence and 2.3 cats.


Family Dollar

Is open


There was cause for mild celebration Thursday in Morrison when a combo Family Dollar & Dollar Tree store opened on Manchester Highway near world-famous Prater’s BBQ.

“I love the Dollar Tree concept,” said happy customer Barbara McAfee who had picked out merchandise almost exclusively from the Dollar Tree side. “This one almost has everything I need. I’ll still have to go to McMinnville for a few things.”

Mike and Brenda Steely were excited to check out the new store on Friday. They live just a few miles away and said they will take advantage of the convenience.

“We need a Kroger here more than anything,” said Mike. 

He echoes comments that have been made by Morrison Mayor Sue Anderson who says the growing town could really use a grocery store. I think Publix would be a nice fit right next to a new Target and Chick-fil-A.

There are some grocery staples at the Family Dollar & Dollar Tree. There’s milk, drinks and a frozen food section along with plenty of snacks, household items, beauty products, and seasonal stuff for Easter.

I can remember back in the day when Morrison didn’t have a single dollar store. There was no Dollar General, no nuthin’. Times were tough back then.


Katie lands

Big-city job


It’s rare when an employee makes the leap from working for McMinnville city government to working for Metro Nashville government. Katie Kemesis is about to make the transition.

Katie has landed a job with the Metro Nashville Planning Department where she’ll work as a project manager. 

Her last day working for McMinnville’s Community Development Department will be March 30.

“The time I spent here and the things I learned in McMinnville are what has enabled me to reach this point,” said Katie.

Nashville is a city which is not struggling to achieve growth. The problem in Nashville is to keep the city growing in a controlled and orderly fashion, not with unrestrained sprawl.

“I’ll be working with consultants to develop community plans,” said Katie. “There's a lot of boom in Nashville.”

Ideally, new neighborhoods are designed with a careful plan in mind that allows for infrastructure such as proper roads, retail stores, schools and parks to be nearby.

When you grow super fast without a plan in place, think Murfreesboro, you get problems associated with traffic and have the sudden need to build a new school every year.


That’s all folks


It's never to early to start planning your next egg hunt. Easter is just around the corner. If you have a business tip you'd like to see in the newspaper, email editor@southernstandard.com.