Elegant estate inspired by worlds finest residences .Exceptional quality throughout. Grand rm for entertaining, banquet size dining, chefs kitch, conservatory, movie theatre, 6 suites, exercise/spa, 3rd floor apt, guest qtrs, hot tub, pool&cabana. Gated.
Listed with Worth Properties LLC
Bella Rosa, a Luxurious Gated Estate on 48 acres within Exclusive Gated Hidden River~Lavish Appointments~Exquisite Quality~Lush Gardens~Terraces~Elevator~Slate Roofs~Spa~Crestron Electrncs~Pool~Cabana w/Viking Kit~7 car garage~Sep Guest Apt~and Much More!
Listed with Karen Morgan Realty
1. Do your research. County extension agents and horticulturists at local universities offer free advice that can save you from making costly mistakes. Learn from your favorite books, magazines, and gardening Web sites, too.
2. Trust your instincts. When it comes to free advice, you sometimes get what you pay for. Keep in mind that profit motives may make some landscapers or garden-center staff overzealous. If you’re not sure about something, don’t buy it.
3. Comparison shop. Nurseries may differ drastically in price and quality. You may find great deals from online garden centers, too.
4. Avoid impulse buys. Make sure you have an appropriate spot for a plant before you purchase it. Otherwise, you may end up watching it die.
5. Shop cooperatively. Buying in bulk is less expensive if you share the costs with gardening friends or neighbors. You could also choose to get TruGreen lawn care if you want to save costs with excellent service. The same goes for renting equipment such as tillers, lawn aerators, etc. Likewise, combine mail-order purchases with friends to cut down on shipping costs.
6. Buy used when you can. New isn’t always better. You can often find great deals on plants or tools at garage and estate sales.
7. Don’t overplant. Landscape with mature sizes in mind, or you may end up paying to move crowded plants.
8. Collect inspiration. Instead of hiring a professional, clip pictures you like from gardening magazines, books, and Web sites to get ideas before you start a new garden bed or landscaping project.
Here’s a hint: If there’s a landscape in your neighborhood that you really like, don’t be afraid to knock on the door and ask the homeowner if you can take pictures for your inspiration book. The homeowner may be end up giving you tips on getting the look.
9. Test your soil. A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks — so you won’t have to buy unneeded additives or the wrong plant. Many soil tests also recommend the best plant choices for your soil type, so you can grow a carefree garden without trying to amend your ground.
10. Pay attention to pH. If your ground is too acidic or alkaline, most plants can’t take up nutrients, no matter how much you feed your plants. That means fertilizers are wasted money.
11. Add manure. Check with local farmers to find a source of this all-natural soil amendment. Many will give it away for free — all you have to do is haul it.
Here’s a hint: Let fresh manure age before using it. Otherwise the high salt concentration may hurt your plants and introduce more weeds into your garden.
12. Stop weeds. Weeds compete with your plants for water and nutrients. If you feed your plants, keep in mind that the weeds are using the fertilizer, too.
13. Make your own compost. Convert garden and kitchen refuse into humus and improve your soil’s tilth, aeration, and water-holding capacity by making compost.
14. Pick the right grass. Different types of turf perform well in different conditions. Make sure you have the best kind for your yard so you don’t have to spend extra time — and money — keeping it looking good.
15. Feed your lawn sensibly. Cool-season lawns do great when fertilized only a few times a year, such as early September, late October, and mid-April. Don’t fertilize in summer.
Warm-season lawns can use a couple of feedings in summer, but don’t require it in fall or winter.
16. Leave grass clippings. Unless your lawn is especially prone to thatch, don’t bag your grass clippings. They’ll quickly break down, adding organic matter and nutrients to your lawn. This means you don’t have to fertilize as much.
17. Start from seed. While it takes longer to get established, you can save a considerable amount of money by planting grass seed instead of sod. Or for curb appeal, sod the front yard and seed the back.
18. Plant cool-season lawns in fall. There’s less likelihood of humidity-triggered diseases or hard-washing rains.
19. Don’t cut your lawn too short. Most lawns do best if allowed to grow 2 or 2 1/2 inches tall. The higher you let your grass grow, the deeper its root system is, so you don’t have to water as often.
Tall grass shades out weeds better, so you don’t have to spend on herbicides, as well.
20. Save surplus seeds. Many common flower seeds stay viable for years if stored properly. So if you don’t use them all one year, you can plant the rest of a packet the next year.
Here’s a hint: The best way to store your seeds is in a cool, dry place.
21. Sow seeds directly into the ground. You won’t have to outlay hard-earned cash for potting mixtures, trays, grow lights, etc.
22. Mix in annuals. Perennials are an expensive investment, so ease up on your pocketbook by purchasing some seed packets of your favorite annuals.
Here’s a hint: Self-seeding annuals such as cleome, bachelor’s button, and California poppy drop seeds — so you don’t have to buy them every year.
23. Save and trade. Of the perennials you do buy, plant those that grow quickly, such as daffodils or lily-of-the-valley, and in two to three years you will have three to five times as many plants. They’re perfect for trading with friends and neighbors.
24. Propagate your plants. Divide large clumps of perennials such as chrysanthemums, hostas, and daylilies into several plants. Take root cuttings from easy-to-grow shrubs such as pussy willows, azaleas, and forsythia.
25. Choose native plants. Select species that grow naturally in your region to avoid such costs as extra watering, pampering through winter, and soil correction.
26. Use mulch. Simply using mulch can save you money. A layer of mulch helps the soil hold moisture better, so you have to water less. Organic mulches break down over time and improve your soil, so you have to spend less on fertilizer. Plus, mulches cut down on weeds, so you won’t have to purchase weedkillers.
27. Recycle newspaper. Rather than buying black plastic or landscaping fabric, layer about 24 pages of newspaper over your garden bed, soak them with water, then anchor them with a thin soil layer or other mulch.
28. Gather fallen leaves. Don’t pay to have your city pick up bags of fallen leaves from your curb in fall. Instead, chop them up with your lawn mower and use them as mulch for your plants. Or add them to your compost pile.
29. Haul sawdust. Many sawmills will give you sawdust for free if you haul it away. It’s a great material for mulching garden paths — clean and easy to spread.
Here’s a hint: Sawdust can absorb nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down. So add some extra fertilizer when you spread sawdust around your plants. Sawdust is also great in the compost pile.
30. Gather wood chips. Many tree trimmers will give wood chips away, too. Just avoid walnut shavings — they can make your prized plants suffer.
Here’s a hint: Ask the tree trimmer if the trees they chipped had poison ivy growing on them. Poison ivy mixed in the chips can still create skin irritation.
31. Buy mulch in bulk. You can save a considerable amount of money by buying mulch in bulk. A pickup load of mulch may cost $40 compared to over $100 for the same quantity of bagged mulch.
32. Shop end-of-the-season sales. Fall is just as good a time to plant trees as spring. Many garden centers and nurseries are looking to get rid of their plants before winter, so you may be able save 50 percent or more.
33. Purchase small-size plants. While bigger trees give you instant impact by looking good the day you plant them, they’re also more expensive. You could get several times as much for your money with small trees.
34. Plant sturdy, slow-growing trees. Fast-growing trees sound great but come at a price. They’re usually more susceptible to storm damage, as well as pests and diseases.
35. Protect your foundation. Roots can damage concrete blocks. Plant large trees at least 30 feet from your house to prevent having to spend on foundation fixups.
36. Practice good pruning. Overgrown or badly pruned trees and shrubs can make your landscape look bad. A good pruning job can save you the expense of replacement plants.
37. Turn projects into social events. Gather friends and have a paving party. Your only labor expense will be refreshments.
38. Recycle bricks. Use brickyard seconds for a fraction of the cost of perfect, new bricks.
39. Make mulch paths. Instead of purchasing expensive flagstone, gravel, or other materials, consider making paths from inexpensive mulches such as wood chips, pine needles, or shredded leaves.
40. Look for quarry rejects. Flat-cut stones with minor flaws still make for handsome stepping-stones, walls, benches, and flowerbed and pond edgings.
41. Visit construction sites. Stones, old bricks, and other buried materials at construction projects are often just hauled to the landfill. Ask the landowner for permission and he or she may give the debris to you.
42. Mix materials. If a concrete patio is too plain, but flagstones are too expensive, incorporate some flagstones into the concrete to create a design. There’s no rule that says a patio needs to be made from just one type of surface.
43. Use screws. A deck built from screws will last longer and require fewer repairs than one made from nails.
44. Line ponds with castoffs. Ask a swimming-pool maintenance service for rubber liner before you buy a 60-millimeter one. It can save you a considerable amount of money.
45. Consider alternative materials. A septic-tank bottom, for example, costs less than a fiberglass pond. Since the structure is underground, the only difference you’ll see is in the cost.
Thanks to our friends from Better Homes & Gardens for these great tips!
A Story That Will Help You Persevere
Sometimes in real estate I get to be apart of some pretty amazing moments in people’s lives. Like when we finally find the perfect home they have been dreaming about and things get sentimental and eyes get misty. My allergies always seem to flare up in those moments. Weird.
Other times the experiences are challenging and difficult. Any number of things could happen: The gatekeepers of the real estate transaction appear and an appraisal comes back lower than the contract price. Or your lender calls you on closing day and says a new lending rule has disqualified you and there is nothing they can do about it. Or someone pulls their best Houdini impersonation and just disappears the day of closing.
Bad things can happen, so perseverance is great trait to have if you encounter a difficult real estate situation. But don’t worry if you are not that tough. I exist as a real estate agent to guide you and deflect the brunt of the situation. It’s no use to worry about the outcome. My father-in-law has a pretty good adage about worry:
“92% of the bad things you think will happen will never happen, 7% aren’t as bad as you thought they would be and while the remaining 1% are bad, you are given the grace to handle it.”
Yesterday I sat down with Sam. A mutual friend of ours thought it would be good for us to get to know one another a little better, so he introduced us and we decided to grab coffee and talk business. As we sat down at Starbucks to discuss our business niches, plans for 2013, etc. he couldn’t help but share with me his incredible real estate story. It’s one of the craziest real estate stories I have ever heard and one that you should remember in that moment you are so stressed out that you are about to cry (or break something).
Sam and his wife were tirelessly looking for a new home a few years ago. They had their home on the market and were expecting it to sell quick. They were looking specifically for a home that would help them maintain their business in Hendersonville, while Sam began to service his new client base in the Franklin area. There search was very narrow, but they eventually found the perfect house.
A few days later they got a contract on their house in Hendersonville and immediately placed an offer and entered a contract on their next home. Everything was working out as planned. Sam knew that the people buying his current home were also in a contract with a buyer for their current home, but that is not abnormal. And even though a lot of cogs have to fall into place on the same day, usually things go off with out a hitch. It’s the domino effect of real estate transactions, but it was only three transactions, three families, same day. Nothing to worry about…right?
Closing day rolled around and Sam and his wife were making their last business calls as they prepared to head to the closing table. Then they received the call of doom. “A buyer has backed out of their contract and refused to close today,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “This means you all can’t close on the sale of your home or the purchase of your new home.”[Deep Breath]…”Ok…”
Sam assumed the culprit was the buyer that was purchasing the home from the people who were going to be buying his current home. But he was wrong. Very wrong. Apparently the buyers he was thinking about also had a home they were selling that was under contract. And the people buying their home? Yep…they also were selling a home and had a buyer contracted to purchase.
If you add it up there were five families involved and five transactions scheduled to close on the same day. Five! And Sam and his wife were family #4, involved in transaction #4 (home sale) and transaction #5 (home purchase). A fact he discovered the day of closing when everything completely fell apart. It was the first buyer (family #1) that backed out at the closing table, causing a domino effect on closing day that ruined everybody’s plans.
Sam was frustrated, angry, confused, but most of all disheartened about the entire home sale and purchase process. He and his wife were looking for such a specific house to buy. How would they ever find it? Even if they did how could they find a new buyer for their home in a timely fashion? They were up against it.
A Random Neighbor Changes Everything
Fast forward a few weeks. Sam was driving home and is stopped as he is pulling into his driveway by a neighbor walking her dog. “Hey what happened with your house? I thought you all were under contract?” said the lady who Sam had never met in two and a half years of living in the neighborhood. Sam said at first he was annoyed and didn’t really want to reveal any info to this newly discovered nosy neighbor. But somehow he was able to muster a half-hearted, “Yeah it all fell a part at the closing table. I guess we’re not supposed to sell our house right now.”
To which the nosy neighbor replied, “Yes you are. My daughter wants to buy it.”
Apparently this neighbor’s daughter was extremely interested in Sam’s house the first time it was on the market, but it went under contract before she could make a move on it. Now that it was back on the market she was ready to make a move. And she did. That night everyone gathered around Sam’s kitchen table and negotiated the contract terms.
We could stop right there and this would make a great story, but there is a bit more to share. After all Sam and his wife still needed a home to move into and the one they fell in love with was no longer available.
Timing is Everything
Sam said he was a “home searching fiend” – a title I have bestowed upon myself from time to time. He was using the same specific search parameters every time and he would search about once an hour. It got to the point where he memorized all of the homes that were for sale in the search he was running. One morning he woke up early, around 5am, and ran the search – same results. That morning he was headed to meet with his real estate agent to reassess their buying situation and map out a plan for finding the right home. At 6am before he jumped in the shower he ran the search again – same results.
As he left the house he grabbed his wife’s iPad. Something he said he never did, but he thought he would run through some emails while he waiting for his meeting to begin. As he was sitting in Cracker Barrel waiting for his agent, he went to the local MLS search and out of habit just ran the same search again.
And there it was.
A new listing that was literally five minutes old! The home was located just a few miles south then the original home they were going to purchase and it was in a familiar neighborhood. Apparently a friend of his and leader from his church lived in that neighborhood.
He called his wife to share his discovery. He told her to do a little research and see how close this newly listed home was to their church leader friend’s home. He thought maybe he could get a little info about the house and neighborhood from him. “Sam,” his wife said, “the new home for sale is actually his home. His home is the one for sale,” she reiterated.
Sam immediately hung up and called his friend. Baffled at how fast Sam found out about his house being on the market, Sam’s church friend briefly confirmed that it was indeed his house for sale,
“No one even knows that we are thinking about moving,” he said. “I received a great relocation package from my company that would take me and my family back to Oklahoma where I grew up. But we weren’t sure we were supposed to take the deal because we love Nashville. It would be a difficult decision to relocate the family after the kids have already started making friends here. We couldn’t decide so we chose to put the house on the market and if it sold we would take that as a sign that we are supposed to take the relocation deal.”
Consider your sign received, buddy.
Sam scheduled an appointment with his Realtor to view the property and as expected it was a perfect fit. The put an offer in, came to terms and were scheduled to close in 30 days.
But there is more to this story…seriously
At closing there was another interesting hiccup. The appraisal came back $15K below the agreed upon sale price. Normally this would require a renegotiated price and the seller would lose out on those proceeds. In this case the seller, who was working with a corporate relocation company, had already closed on their side of the deal at the contract price (not the appraised price). The end result was that the seller was able to sell for the contract price and Sam was able to purchase for $15K less than what he was contracted to purchase the home for.
The loser? The relocation company who took the $15K bath. Next time wait for the appraisal to come through before you close on the sale of a property. I’m really confused as to how this even happened. Just amazing.
Sam and his wife are now happy homeowners. They went from being victims of extremely rare and hard to believe circumstances to being the beneficiary of an equally strange situation. Having lived through that scenario, they feel like someone was watching over them, helping guide them to their new home through a myriad of frustrating circumstances. It all worked out for them in the end…and they are extremely happy.
Take This Home With You
If you read this entire story (your amazing) then you know the take away. But just to restate the obvious lesson here: It’s never as bad as you think it is, there will be a solution and the outcome might even be better than you were planning for.
But let’s not try to break the record for World’s Most Impossible and Amazing Real Estate Deal. I’d like to keep the grey hairs at bay for a few more years.