SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Money Magazine recently named Hendersonville as the 16th best place to live in the country. That’s enticing for people looking to find a break from the real estate prices in the city of Nashville.
“Our quality of life that we offer in Sumner County is second to none,” said John Isbell, the Property Assessor in Sumner County.
Many say Sumner County is the best of both worlds and people are noticing. “There is rapid growth happening right now,” said Amanda Peterson, The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX.
For Isbell, a lot has changed since 1976. “The fields we used to play in are now buildings,” he said.
But 46 years later, the ball in Sumner is still rolling. They’re busting at the seams Isbell said, as they are trying to keep up with the growth. “We’re beyond busy.”
Isbell added they are seeing growth throughout the county. “Millersville is putting in some new neighborhoods – we’re seeing growing pains in White House, we’re even seeing growth up 31 toward Bethpage and Westmoreland.”
Greater Nashville Realtors says Sumner County is the 4th most popular county for Tennessee’s top ten builders.
“I was looking at Gallatin’s numbers and they’ve got a little over 4,000 permits, houses ready to be built, that are either being built or ready to be built,” Isbell said.
Even so, there are not enough homes to go around. “We have real estate investment trusts that are coming in and buying big blocks of property,” Isbell said. “That creates that scarcity that drives those home values up.”
In addition, they’re dealing with a lot of demand from out-of-towners. “A lot of people from other states are moving to Sumner County because they find the property bigger and what was classically Tennessee,” Peterson said.
As people move in, home costs go up. Greater Nashville Realtors say it’s been 54% in five years.
As prices grow, lawns grow smaller. Peterson said, in certain areas, she’s noticed tall and skinnies. “What they bought 15 years ago as a home with 10 acres, their neighbor has 10 acres, neighbor down the street has 10 acres, now they have 10 acres surrounded by different sets of community which is much different from what they planned for.”
It’s why people are moving on and out. Bethpage and Westmoreland are both growing at slower rates, meaning, better rates.
“Newer construction in Hendersonville, you could find a similar home for a lower price point in one of those communities that’s a little further out,” Peterson said.
Nashville housing prices are driving some buyers well outside of Davidson County. News 2 explores the opportunity and the impact in those communities in a special series Moving Out.
As for the Sumner County cities near Nashville, Isbell said they’re going to have to address the affordability of housing and have to address the scarcity of housing. He notes it’s a marathon, not a sprint.