Real estate is full of stories to keep you up at night

TN Apartments

In residential real estate, there are war stories, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and it’s often hard to tell the differentiate.

In most cases, the proof is in the person delivering the information. If the orator has seen the situation first-hand, it’s a war story. If the person knows someone who knows someone who may have been there, it could be a fairy tale.

Anyone who has read the tales from the Brothers Grimm or even Mother Goose knows the horrific, macabre things that could happen in those days of yore. Unfortunately, there are more war stories than fairy tales in real estate, and the air is full of nursery rhyme-type themes.

My new house is falling down, falling down, falling down

My new house is falling down

But I have a warranty.

Yes, state law requires that builders give a one-year warranty. That’s true, but there are war stories to go with that tale.

In many cases, builders form a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) that protects the individuals – the old corporate shield theory – when they build houses.

The builder of a house on Cedar Lane could be 123 Cedar Lane, LLC. After completion of the home, the LLC pays the loans, the sub-contractors and any other debts that the builder might owe.

The builder could then dissolve the corporation. If, in six months, the house begins to slide down the hillside, who is responsible? Warranty? What warranty? Some builders have taken the advice of Steve Miller: “Come on, take the money and run.”

One fairy tale is that all buyers expect a counter offer. Those who spread this idiocy should have their noses grow longer when they emit these utterances.

For many buyers, the decision to buy homes is made after must reflection, soul searching and gnashing of teeth. When they finally pull the trigger, remorse riddles their ids and super-egos, and they are hoping, praying, begging for a counter offer so they may counter.

When the counter comes they walk, never to be seen again. It is usually the male who has this issue and, when the wife comes unglued, the men have been known to put their brides in pumpkin shells, a practice that is not recommended.

On the other side, there are cases in which the failure to procure the house has resulted in the husbands absorbing blows to the extent that all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men, not to mention the surgeons at Vanderbilt, could not put the men back together again.

When considering buying or selling homes, those participants should brush up on their nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

Sale of the Week

Of the better-known Realtors in Nashville is Ivy Arnold, a perennial millennial and a top producer of real estate sales. What many do not know is she is descended from music royalty. Her father was the late Denny Purcell, one of the greatest mastering engineers of all time who died in 2002 at age 51.

Denny Purcell is credited with mastering over 8,000 albums – albums, not singles, not songs – with more than 500 of them achieving gold or platinum status. She knows her way around a recording studio.

Often when houses begin to rot on the market, the listing agent will add a comment that there is space in the house that would be perfect for a recording studio. Often, the homes are next to a train track, a school, a fire station or all the HVAC systems for the house. Any room is perfect for a studio if the owner has enough money.

Ivy’s father was well-known for his knowledge of technology and his talent to incorporate all that was new into the industry without sacrificing the soul of the recording, a talent that has eluded some that followed.

Ivy also stays atop the latest technology, incorporates it into her business plan and is one of the few who actually implements that plan.

When she sold the house at 1029 Noelton for the third time in five years, her excitement and passion may have trumped her logic. She described the property as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

When Rick French listed the home in 2013, Arnold’s longtime associate Leslie Lovin Spoonful Kekelis sold the estate for $990,000. The next year, Leslie listed the home, and Ivy sold it for $1.15 million.

When that new owner decided to sell for $2 million this year, she knew that price range was not out of Ivy’s league.

Within three week, Leisa Wilcox of Re/Max Homes and Estates delivered a buyer at $1.9 million for the house with its pool, 1.3 acres, 3,622 square feet, four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

It sold for $525 per square foot, $199 per square foot more than the $326 per square foot that the owner had paid for it.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at

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