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VOL. 42 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 6, 2018

You get more than a house when buying on Hampton

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Hampton Avenue is the “Hotel California” of real estate, a place where, as Don Henley, the late Glenn Frey and Don Felder of The Eagles wrote, “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Hampton Avenue is a lovely place, a sleepy street by night that comes alive each morning and transforms into a bustling boulevard filled with babies in strollers, runners, walkers and people who have moved there but will never leave.

Last week, Steve Fridrich and Richard Bryan teamed to sell 3612 Hampton Avenue as Bryan had the listing and Fridrich sold the home to buyers who already lived five doors down. Oddly enough, Hampton residents purchasing another Hampton house is not a rare occurrence.

The buyers of 3612 live at 3602 Hampton and have their house on the market for $1,685,000, perhaps awaiting another Hampton Avenue denizen to take possession. They have lived there since 1980, although the house has undergone significant renovations since the buyers paid $152,000 for the humble home, then a duplex.

After all of the work performed on the home over the past 38 years, 3602 Hampton has 5,525 square feet with four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half bath.

The house at 3612 has 5,820 square feet with five bedrooms, six full baths and one half bath and bears little resemblance to the house that Stone Oak Builders purchased last year. Suddenly, it is twice the house it used to be after the builders added 2,963 square feet to the existing 2,857.

Reading Bryan’s description for his $2,189,000 listing, it is understandable why it was appealing. The home, he wrote, features Cambria quartz counters and an expansive great room with nano sliding doors – bi-fold glass doors that have the effect of opening an entire wall – no doubt a shout-out to the late genius Robin Williams.

Words like Cambria and nano are required when selling upper-end homes, as is the “KitchenAid stainless steel professional appliances” that Bryan later notes.

Many homeowners who have renovated houses over their years of ownership eventually achieve perfection in the process, but most do not.

After months, if not years, of missed deadlines, budget overruns and compromises, the owners are not happy with the finished product. To those unfamiliar with the original plans and expectations, the houses appear to have been designed well with quality construction throughout, but the owners know that the granite was supposed to have been Cambria quartz, and the floors in the master bath were supposed to have been the “handsome white marble” that Richard Bryan notes Stone Oak Builders has in the master bathroom of its recent project.

To make matters worse, often there are no nano doors to be found.

The purchase of new construction can quickly dispose of the haunting renovation nightmares, and those memories can quickly dissipate into the air filled with aromas of fresh paint and drying varnish.

Long known for quality, creative design and brilliant craftsmanship, Stone Oak Builders offered the buyers of 3612 Hampton an assortment of newness, according to listing agent Richard Bryan in his description of the property: “New HVACs, roof, electrical, plumbing, hardwood, drywall, kitchen, windows, doors and irrigation systems.”

To summarize, there is nothing to break, and the new owners should not have to undertake a major expenditure for another 15 years, at least, perhaps 20.

As mentioned earlier, the 3612 house had 2,857 square feet when acquired by the builders.

The owners, the Reeds, who sold the house to Stone Oak, had purchased the house in 1985 for $180,000 and lived there for 31 years while raising their family.

Stone Oak paid then $815,000 for the home they eventually destroyed. But the $2.1 million price they received at closing should have cured anything that may have ailed them.

Prior to the Reeds’ purchase, the home was owned by Susan and Bruce Spaulding, who had bought the house in 1982 for $110,000 and lived there for a mere three years. Bruce, who is known as the “Mayor of Hampton Avenue,” sold 3612 Hampton and moved down the street to 3426, where he and Susan raised their family and have lived for the past 33 years.

There was a bit of irony when the Mayor of Hampton saw his neighbor, Karl Dean, elected the Mayor of Nashville, an office that pales in comparison to the Mayor of Hampton.

And, of course, the CEO of Metro Nashville is Rich Riebling, and his son and daughter-in-law bought the house next door to Dean and his wife, Anne Davis. The other mayor, Bruce Spaulding, has a son and daughter-in-law who recently blessed the elder Spauldings with their first grandchild.

Young Spaulding married his next-door neighbor on Hampton, whom he had known since his youth. Scary. All prisoners there of their own device.

There are a couple of homes for sale on Hampton at present. You can check them out any time you like, but remember, you might never leave.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.