MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee has been one of the hottest housing markets in the country, and one of the hottest spots is Rutherford County. But as the market starts to see a cooldown, real estate experts are sharing advice for people who bought during the high. 

For the last decade, realtor John Turner said Murfreesboro’s housing growth has been explosive.

“I’ve been a realtor since 2000 and Murfreesboro has always been a very desirable area. A lot of it has to do with our pricing, we’ve been very affordable,” said Turner, with the Turner Victory Team at PARKS Real Estate. 

Back when he started, Turner remembered new homes selling for $75,000. Since then, prices have shot up exponentially. 

“In 2008, even after the economic downturn, the average sales price in Rutherford County was $180,000. Last year, the average sales price was about $430,000 in Rutherford County,” Turner said. “Over a year ago, we saw 21% appreciation in homes in our area, in one year. It’s unheard of. Before that, the two previous years, you were in the neighborhood of 10% or 12%.” 

That’s great news for anyone who bought in the past several years, but for people who bought more recently, they face a tougher situation. 

“Today, I would say if you bought in the last year, year and a half, you’ll probably break even. Give or take just a little bit. This is not like 2008, 2009 where prices decreased 10%, 12%, 14%. It’s more of a leveling off.” 

Right now, real estate experts say if you recently bought, your best bet is to hang on to your home and allow it to appreciate over time. Turner predicts as interest rates drop, values will bounce back. 

“Long term, prices go up, prices go down. But long term, in our area, you will see somewhere between a 5% and 6% appreciation,” he added. 

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Turner said the market has turned in favor of buyers, who can negotiate points the market hasn’t allowed for in years. In particular, he said, buyers have been able to negotiate sales prices, closing costs, and have more time to make an offer than a year ago.