A new home for less than $400K in Williamson County?

In Williamson County, where the average home price topped $455,000 at the end of the year, is it still possible to find an affordable new house? Josh and Vania Jackson think so.

After a disappointing search for a home near downtown Franklin, they looked farther south in Thompson’s Station’s Canterbury neighborhood. That short drive saved them almost $150,000.

“A house like ours was pushing $480,000 in Franklin, literally 10 minutes away,” said Josh Jackson.

The Jacksons paid $334,000 for their home, which is being built by the Jones Co. That price is close to the average price of a home in Thompson’s Station, which was $321,682 in November, but well below the $475,266 average price in Franklin, according to the Williamson County Association of Realtors.

The Jacksons’ house features numerous upgrades. The 2,600-square-foot house is on a one-third acre lot and has hardwoods on the main level, wainscoting and a three-car garage. It has a brick exterior, which the Jones Co. provided at the same cost as less expensive Hardie Board siding.

Despite Williamson County’s reputation as an expensive place to buy a house, the couple believe they got the best deal possible. In trendy East Nashville, they found similarly priced new homes, but they were being built two on a lot. In Nashville’s settled West Meade neighborhood, homes in that price range usually needed updating.

“We’re not sitting right behind another house, and we’ll have Williamson County schools,” said Jackson.

There are numerous communities where buyers can find new homes well below Williamson County’s average price, said Jen Lucy, director of sales for the Jones Co.

“Most people who work in Williamson County can buy a home in Williamson County,” she said.

In the Heartland Reserve neighborhood in Fairview, prices start under $300,000. In the new Summerlyn subdivision in Nolensville, prices start in the $330,000s, she said.

“Nolensville is the new Franklin,” said Lucy. “It’s a great alternative to Franklin, but a little more affordable.”

Other builders also are making a point of offering homes within reach of many buyers. In Beazer Homes’ new Brentwood subdivision, Owl Creek, prices begin at $374,990. In Lochhaven, also in Brentwood, prices begin at $349,990, far below the city’s average price of $658,146.

In Franklin, Goodall Homes’ prices begin at $368,990 in the Rizer Point subdivision. In Lockwood Glen, homes begin at $376,990.

Regent Homes has houses from the mid-$300,000s in Lockwood Glen, said Jeffrey Caruth, a Realtor for the company. On the south side of the city, Berry Farms condos starts in the $160,000s, he said.

“Owning a home is the American dream. The American dream still exists in Franklin,” Caruth said.

In Nolensville, where the average price for a home is $433,481, Regent has homes from around $258,000 in Burkitt Village.

In Spring Hill, where the average home costs $296,481, Regent has homes from $162,900 in the Woodside subdivision.

In many communities, the trend toward smaller yards helps hold down prices. Builders can acquire lots from developers at a lower price and pass the savings on to their customers, Caruth said.

Those large, private yards have been replaced by parks, community green spaces and walking trails in many communities. That appeals to home owners who are looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

“Buyers are getting away from one-acre lots. They don’t want their home to be a hindrance,” said Caruth. “They prefer open spaces, a sense of community.”

Reach Bill Lewis at 615-262-5862 or [email protected]

Source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/real-estate/2015/01/12/new-home-less-williamson-county/21468437/