Hillsboro Village Nashville

Change is Afoot in Hillsboro Village

Nashville’s cultural landscape — the fashion, music, entertainment, art and food — has changed dramatically over the past five, 10, even 20 years, and with that, the city’s neighborhoods have changed as well. The once-quiet neighborhood of 12South draws tourists in numbers we never imagined; East Nashville has seen a resurgence and its pocket neighborhoods are once again some of the most desirable in the city; the commercial heart of Hillsboro Village has seen the opening of new stores and the closing of others. This neighborhood, which sits between Vanderbilt and Belmont universities, is an enclave of businesses, and it is also a historic residential area.

The streets in the heart Hillsboro Village have long been lined with businesses selling everything from pets to pancakes. Although we continue to see storefronts don new signs and remove old ones, the underlying essence of the neighborhood endures. The Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association‘s Board of Directors Chair Martha Stinson has called the neighborhood home for 35 years. “Over 35 years, things change,” she tells us. “It has changed dramatically. Tenants have come and gone but that is the flux of evolution and the marketplace. But preservation of historic character has allowed it to stay the same and improve. This character is an authentic, integral part of Nashville’s history. As we grow like gangbusters, it is comforting that there are anchor pieces we have preserved, grown and developed in a smart way.”

Pay a visit to Nashville's Hillsboro Village neighborhood

The walkability and historic architecture are two main draws for the neighborhood, but it is what sits inside these structures that define the community. Historically, the business district prided itself as being full of locally owned, independent shops. “Hillsboro Village was Nashville’s cool neighborhood long before the city itself was so hot,” say business owner Bob Bernstein, who opened Fido in 1996 as the second venture in his Bongo Productions. The coffee shop and eatery has been a mainstay in the Village, “However, as the city has changed so has the area,” he continues. “Home prices have sky-rocketed, and so too have retail rents. Thus, many local businesses are being replaced by out-of-town chains and corporate-looking operations. The Village will constantly change. However, with its location, it will always be hot.”

Martha Stinson sees Fido as a perfect example of the continuing evolution of the Village, or any enduring, vibrant commercial center. Prior to Fido, Jones Pet Shop was the longtime staple in that very spot. “Jones Pet Shop was the inspiration for Fido’s name and theme,” Martha shares. “Its sign is still on top of Fido’s building, where it has been for decades! Newer Nashvillians may not know this connected history. We mourned the loss of Jones Pet Shop at the time, and now its replacement is the new Village staple. What’s happening in the Village now is the exciting continuation of this kind of ongoing evolution that happens in a healthy, vibrant market. We look forward to preserving the historic character of the Village, which makes it unique and authentic, while accommodating natural change.”

Since opening in 1996, Fido has been a mainstay in Hillsboro Village.

Since opening in 1996, Fido has been a mainstay in Hillsboro Village. This coffeehouse and restaurant, located in the former Jones Pet Shop space, has an all-day menu of breakfast, sandwiches, salads and more.

Fido is must-visit spot in Hillsboro Village!

Fido’s all-day breakfast menu includes egg plates, bagel sandwiches, French toast and pancakes.

As is true of the rest of the city, change can be seen in the culinary landscape of Hillsboro Village. Pancake Pantry, The Villager, Provence Breads & Café and McDougal’s have their names on the list of Hillsboro Village staples alongside Fido. Thirty-five years before Fido joined the neighborhood, Pancake Pantry opened their doors — and 56 years later, the line still runs down the block. Robert Baldwin opened Pancake Pantry with pancakes and syrups made fresh daily and although it moved just two doors down in the building redeveloped by H.G. Hill in 1995, not much else has changed. The Villager Tavern garners attention not for its fresh food but for its cheap beer and dive bar atmosphere. Down the street, Sportsman’s Grille offers more cold beer, smokey rooms and food that pairs well with a Preds or Titans game. Another breakfast and lunch option, Provence Breads & Café opened in 1996. Down Belcourt Ave., Nashville’s famous fried chicken has been served at McDougal’s for 14 years. Then came Cabana, Jackson’s Bar and Bistro, The DogBelcourt TapsPizza Perfect and Kay Bob’s Grill & Ale.

These eateries have been joined by newcomers: Double Dogs, Revelator CoffeeJeni’s Splendid Ice CreamsThe Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop, Juice Bar and Rusan’s Sushi & Seafood, with Hopdoddy Burger Bar and others on the way. Many of these restaurants (including The Grilled Cheeserie, Juice Bar and the soon-to-come second location for Biscuit Love) fall under the Fresh Hospitality umbrella. “We are happy to be investing in Hillsboro Village,” says Partner/Chairman of Fresh Hospitality Matt Bodnar of their expansion into the Village. “It’s a great neighborhood that continues to grow and improve, and we are excited to be bringing several Fresh concepts to the area.”

Of course, with the opening of new restaurants came the closing of others: Bosco’s closed after 19 years in business back September 2014; Sam’s Sports Grill flagship location closed in 2015 after fighting a fire in the restaurant and ultimately relocating to Belle Meade; Rusan’s replaced Lucky Belly; Savarino’s Cucina and upstairs bar Amari will close after service on April 29; Sunset Grill closed their doors after 24 years of business back in January of 2015; and Bongo Production’s Hot & Cold closed in May 2016 to make way for a new concept. These are only a few in the long list of eateries that have bid the neighborhood farewell, but that is all part of the change.

Visit the Grilled Cheeserie in Hillsboro Village!

The Grilled Cheeserie, a local food truck, opened their brick-and-mortar space in January of this year.

Visit Juice Bar in Hillsboro Village

Juice Bar now has six locations in the Nashville area. Visit their newest spot in Hillsboro Village!

Aside from Pangaea, Davis Cookware & Cutlery Shop, A Thousand FacesA Village of Flowers and Village Cleaners, the current retail tenants in Hillsboro Village have joined the neighborhood in the last 10 years, most in the last five, and two opened in the same year — Nashville native Genie Lockwood opened Arcade, a boutique devoted exclusively to baby and children’s apparel and gifts, and Kelly Connley, an eight-year resident in the area, opened Native + Nomad. “I used to walk down to the Village and shop at Pangaea, BookManBookWoman and Clothing Exchange; have coffee with strangers at Fido; and stop into the art gallery,” says Kelly. “I always felt at home here. I appreciated the local and unique feel of the shops and the accepting vibe of the community. Hillsboro Village has changed a lot since then, but I wanted to open N+N here to help keep everything I love about the Village alive.”

Native + Nomad’s also strives to uphold the Nashville standard of supporting local. “What we really hope to bring to the village is designer and quality items, while preserving the integrity of this area,” Kelly continues. “Everything in N+N is hand-curated with the neighborhood and community in mind because the shop was made for this very spot. We just want to keep that diversity alive and respect what this neighborhood has always been: unique!”

Most recently, Hey Rooster General Store opened their doors in the Village. Although we were devastated to see BookManBookWoman close shop, we are thrilled that another local business has chosen to call the neighborhood home. Formerly located in East Nashville, Hey Rooster will occupy a portion of the space that was held by BookWoman from 1995 to the end of 2016. Other neighborhood spots for fashion are Posh, REVV, The Impeccable Pig, Scout & Molly’s, SEE Eyewear, United Apparel Liquidators (UAL), Tennessee Chic and Onward Reserve.

Village Cleaners has been holding court in the neighborhood since 1948!

Pay a visit to Nashville's Hillsboro Village neighborhood

“We carry many products that are tied to this community whether they are made here by a local artisan, promote our city or support a local non-profit, charity or philanthropy,” Native + Nomad owner Kelly Connley says of the store, which opened in 2015.

Pay a visit to Nashville's Hillsboro Village neighborhood

You will swoon over the high-quality selection of children’s clothing, books, toys and décor sold at Arcade, which is located on Acklen Avenue with The Pilates Garage and Uncle Classic Barbershop.

Head to Hey Rooster General Store and welcome them to the neighborhood!

Head to Hey Rooster General Store and welcome them to the neighborhood! You will find home goods (including this lovely pottery), beauty, cards, books and gifts.

Of course we can’t talk about Hillsboro Village without talking about its art attractions. From the murals by Andee Rudloff, David Glick and Adam Randolph to the historic Belcourt Theatre to the dragon in Fannie Mae Dees Park, the art community is live and vibrant.

The Belcourt first opened in 1925 as Hillsboro Theatre and has since been known by four different names. The historic theatre recently underwent a renovation — the first in 50 years. This is a neighborhood favorite for folks of all ages as everyone enjoys a stellar film in an historic setting, one that now serves beer. The 36-year-old dragon at Fannie Mae Dees Park is in much need of renovation, as well. Currently, the dragon is fenced and closed to the public as HWEN in partnership with Metro Parks is raising $200,000 for its restoration. “We have raised $70,000 and started the work with faith that the community will step up and give the funds necessary to successful completion,” Martha shares. (Learn more and help save the dragon here.)

Pay a visit to Nashville's Hillsboro Village neighborhood

The Belcourt during its iteration as The Belcourt Playhouse | Image: Grannis Photography

 David Glick and Adam Randolph originally painted this mural in 1995 and has since been touched up by artist Andee Rudloff.

David Glick and Adam Randolph originally painted this mural in 1995, and it has since been touched up by artist Andee Rudloff.

But that’s not all the change that is afoot. Look for more to changes to come in the Village in the form of construction and business openings. Ground has been broken on the six-story Moxy Hotel Vanderbilt. Also, the Village 21 at Regions Park mixed-use development will bring apartment units, commercial space, parking spots, a new Regions Bank and a restaurant. The Belcourt Terrace Nursing Home has been purchased and rumors have spread about converting this into an apartment and commercial space.

“The association’s goal is to protect the uniqueness and authenticity of the neighborhood as much as we can,” says Martha of the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association. “We are highly engaged with developers and the neighborhood to encourage smart development. We embrace change and welcome the opportunity to talk with those who have ideas. I am looking forward to trying the new places!”

Get out and enjoy Hillsboro Village, new and old. And although we only focused on the short stretch of 21st that defines the heart of the Village, there is so much more to see! Make a day of it! 

By  – Style Blueprint



What Nashville schools chief Shawn Joseph needs from you


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Nashville Business Journal

According to nearly every metric, Nashville is hot and getting hotter. Metro Nashville holds the 20th spot on Forbes’ 2017 list of the fastest-growing cities in America — this after coming in fourth on the publication’s 2016 ranking of the best cities for jobs. Growth brings jobs, and jobs beget even more growth. But growth at the rate Nashville is experiencing (the 14-county metro area gained an average of 30,875 people per year between July 2010 and 2015, according to U.S. Census data) can leave city administrators scrambling to keep up. Housing is an issue, of course, as is the matter of public transportation.

And then there are the schools.

In Tennessee’s 2015 School Accountability report, 15 Nashville public schools were on the priority schools list, which designates the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the state, in terms of academic achievement. Metro also had nine on the focus schools list, which highlights the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students, including racial and ethnic minorities and those who are economically disadvantaged.

These and other factors help explain why many Davidson County residents opt for private school or simply move to a neighboring county. It’s also troubling for business leaders who struggle to attract top talent to the area and for Shawn Joseph, Metro’s new director of schools.

Joseph, 42, has been working to remedy some of those long-standing concerns since arriving from Maryland last May, and as he wraps up his first year on the job, many signs seem to point toward progress. Progress is a process, though, and as he fields the frustrations of the local business community, he also encourages leaders to help create the change they want to see in Nashville’s public schools.

Joseph can find the administrators, principals and teachers needed to implement the classroom curriculum that might improve test scores and public opinion. But what he really needs — to create and lead internships and other experiential learning programs, to prepare students for real-world industry, to fill in budget shortages that the state government can’t, or won’t — is you.

In an evaluation of your first seven months as Metro Nashville Public Schools director of schools, the board gave you straight As. What grade would you give yourself? I’d give myself a B.

Why? There’s always more that could be done. I wish I would have spent more time, at the beginning, getting into churches. And even though I had the “listen and learns,” I still missed students. If I had to do it all over again, I would have done more to engage students right up front — particularly our high school students, because they know what they have experienced.

At the beginning of the year we hired 32 new principals, and that’s a lot. And even though we moved to a new model where we have one principal supervisor for about 10 to 12 schools — versus the one-to-40 that they had [previously] — I still think principals needed more support, particularly for those principals who came from out of state, who know nothing about the wonderful world of Nashville.

And we had 96 vacancies to start the school year. Even though we hired about 8,000 teachers, for those 96 classrooms, [the students] didn’t have somebody there. I knew we had a virtual school, but I didn’t know the capacity of it. If I had to do it over again, I would have thought more intentionally about making sure that those kids had virtual teachers, so they weren’t losing instruction.

Are those areas still your focus going forward, or have new challenges presented themselves? Those challenges still exist, and there are others. As we looked at this strategic plan and this budget season, we kind of put the work in buckets: How do we ensure high expectations in all schools and all classrooms, particularly around literacy? What do we do to make sure we can hire, recruit and retain the best talent in America? What do we do to support our diverse learners — particularly our English-language learners, [of whom] we get over 1,000 a year? We have lots of students who just don’t come from a whole lot of money. So what do we do to support them so that when they get to school, we don’t see them as disadvantaged? … What do we do with our special-education learners, and our students who need more social and emotional support? It’s not easy living in the city, and there are lots of pressures that kids have on them now that we just didn’t have growing up. This whole social media thing is big, and we didn’t have that. So thinking about the social and emotional supports that are needed in the schools is a big piece for us.

And we’re looking at our compensation. Teachers don’t get paid half of what they’re worth — or even a quarter of what they’re worth. And neither do secretaries or bus drivers. So how can we make sure that people can live in Davidson County? It’s not cheap.

Why do you feel it’s important to connect with local churches? Schools and churches — and when I say churches, I’m talking about all religious institutions — are the two places where you get the full breadth of community. And I think they have been an untapped resource, in terms of getting the word out about what’s happening, providing support and really creating this sense of community.

What has your relationship with Nashville’s business community been like thus far? I have worked very closely with the [Nashville Area] Chamber of Commerce, and I commend them for their continued commitment to education. Education has been one of their No. 1 priorities for a long time, and when I was researching the district, one of the things that attracted me was that this business community was so engaged.

A number of key business leaders were on my transition team because we realize that you can’t have a great city without a great school system. And if our schools are not strong, it’ll be very difficult for our business leaders to attract and retain high-quality people, or they’re going to have to pay $50,000 or $60,000 more because they have to put an education bonus in the salary so people can go to private school. And I think that’s been the case in Davidson County for too long.

Are concerns about Metro Nashville Public Schools a matter of perception — a problem that can be remedied by getting the word out about what’s going on in the schools? Or is it an issue of quality? It’s both. We have some extremely high-quality [educational] opportunities, and I think we have some schools that need significant work.

We have schools where kids can get a great education, and they can be a part of programs that you couldn’t get anywhere else. At McGavock High School, there’s an aerospace program for kids who want to become pilots. And we have the Cambridge programs and the International Baccalaureate programs. We have STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] programs. We have highly gifted centers and the Hume-Fogg and [Martin Luther King Jr.] programs. Within the academies at the high schools, there are different career tracks that students can go down to really learn and have internship opportunities that you just don’t get anyplace, depending on where you live. Lord knows, I grew up on Long Island, N.Y., and we didn’t have any of that.

But we’ve got to focus on quality. We’ve got to focus on being clear about what our key performance indicators are and our metrics, and we’ve got to be transparent with the public. … Are we making progress? And if we’re not, what are we doing about it? If we are, how do we communicate that?

Reform takes time, so how long do you expect it to take to close the educational gaps in Nashville schools, especially concerning minority and low-income students? Research typically says it takes anywhere from three to seven years to really implement reform. Step one for us was to develop a strategic plan; be clear about what the key performance indicators are; get the right people on the bus, in the right seats; and begin to think about what resources are needed to accelerate.

What I love about Nashville is the fact that we do have a partnership with the business community. We’ve got an extraordinary mayor who’s passionate about education, and we have a [Metro Council] that’s extremely supportive. And what we have been talking about — what I’ve been extremely excited about — are the public-private partnership opportunities that exist. We can only do so much with the funds that we have, and it’s really going to take those private dollars that are strategically targeted, with our local dollars, to help us accelerate.

In Tennessee, we still, in comparison to all states, underfund education. [Gov. Bill Haslam] has done a good job adding funds to the overall budget — he’s probably funded education more than his predecessors — but we’re still behind by anywhere between $4,000 to $5,000 per child when you look at what Connecticut does, or what Maryland does, or Delaware or Massachusetts. Those top 10 states are getting better outcomes because they’re putting in a stronger investment.

So what do you need local businesses and business leaders to do to fill in some of those holes? They can partner with some of the existing support systems that exist. Collaborate with the Nashville Public Education Foundation, with the Pencil Organization or with the chamber of commerce. We’re looking to really ratchet up the work that’s happening in our middle schools, for example, and we want to do that by focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. So if there are businesses in that realm, working with the chamber of commerce to help us connect those partners with schools would be tremendous.

It’s not always about more money. Sometimes it’s about having the right expertise at the table and helping us help our kids get world-class opportunities that go outside of the classroom. Or it’s about helping our teachers understand their respective industries much better because business leaders are living it day-to-day, and teachers may not understand what the industry standards and expectations are.

Mayor [Megan] Barry, rightfully so, is trying to expand internship opportunities for kids. So helping our kids get exposed to the industry that exists here in Nashville [would also help]. Nashville is an incredible place, and there’s a lot of resources and a lot of extraordinary business [taking place]. But I still think many children and many families are not a part of the prosperous growth of Nashville.

When we look inside our boardrooms, I don’t think we see the same diversity that we see in our schools. And if kids don’t see [diversity in business], sometimes their reality is such that they don’t think they could be a part of it. The business community can help students see the boardrooms and let them know how they can become a part of that boardroom dynamic. Because if we don’t help our kids redefine their definition of reality, then shame on us.

Shawn Joseph

Title: Director of schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Employees: 12,000

Students: 86,000

Career highlights: 2014-16: Deputy superintendent, Prince George’s County Public Schools (Md.); 2012-14: Superintendent, Seaford School District (Md.); 2009-12: Director of school performance, Montgomery County Public Schools (Md.); 1996-2009: Principal, assistant principal and English teacher, Montgomery County Public Schools

Education: Bachelor’s in English education, Lincoln University, Lincoln, Pa.; master’s in reading education, Johns Hopkins University; doctorate of education in administration and policy studies, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Family: Married to Ocheze Joseph, a fellow public school educator; two children, ages 8 and 13

Nashville Business Journal

Nashville – Developers have flocked to 51st Ave.


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Developers have flocked to 51st Avenue to bring restaurants, retail and residences to the fast-growing corridor.

On a warm Saturday morning in March, joggers and young couples with strollers made their way down 51st Avenue North, bypassing construction sites and new restaurants advertising weekend brunch.

The scene was far different just a few years ago, when the main thoroughfare in The Nations neighborhood lacked much activity aside from industrial uses like auto body shops and lumberyards.

Some of those longtime industrial users still dot the street, but so do about a dozen newcomers, including restaurants, retail stores, apartment buildings and “coming soon” signs.

The nine-block stretch of 51st Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Centennial Boulevard is a symbol of the rapid development sweeping Nashville neighborhoods as old homes get demolished for new builds and businesses move in to offer residents amenities.

The neighborhood’s name stretches back to before colonization, when different Native American tribal nations would meet there to communicate with each other. Lying about five miles west of downtown, the area is now drawing comparisons to 12South at the cusp of its development more than a decade ago. Today, 12South is one of Nashville’s priciest home markets and a red-hot area for commercial tenants.

“(The Nations is) going to be like a 12South, but it’s going to be the West Nashville version of it and it’s going to have a different feel and flavor than 12South,” Metro Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts said.

In the last few years, 51st Avenue North has welcomed caterer and grab-and-go market Tinwings, women’s clothing boutique The Mill, bridal shop Willow Bride, restaurant/bar House: A Social Eatery, high-end restaurant Fifty First Kitchen & Bar, neighborhood hang The Nations Bar & Grill, retail store Fashionable and chef-driven restaurant Nicky’s Coal Fired.

Right nearby is Fat Bottom Brewing Co., dive bar The Centennial, Centennial Cafe, craft beer bar The Old Gas Station and Three Corners Coffee. More businesses are on the way, including Corner Pub and 51N Taproom.

It was in large part the affordable real estate prices that drew Lee Ann Merrick to 51st Avenue two and a half years ago to open Tinwings, but she initially feared she might not get enough business in that location.

“To be quite honest, I thought it would five to 10 years before the neighborhood would be able to support what we were doing,” Merrick said. “I was quite frankly concerned our customers wouldn’t come over here. I didn’t feel comfortable being here myself unless the store was closed. (Six months later), it was already different.”

Today, Tinwings is thriving with support from the neighborhood. She wants to start opening for business on Saturdays because she sees people walking their dogs, pushing strollers and groups of tourists that have rented nearby Airbnbs.

“When I’m here on Saturdays cooking or doing paperwork, people are coming up and pulling on the door. They’re ready and they’re here and more are coming,” Merrick said.

► Related: Nashville region still growing by 100 people a day, new data shows 

Nashville’s hot street

New residents have poured into The Nations, where Roberts estimated some 5,000 homes have been built in the last six years.

Drive the streets surrounding 51st Avenue and you’ll see rows of “tall and skinny” houses attracting young professionals and families who are drawn to the neighborhood’s proximity to the interstate and downtown. Developers are replacing old homes with multiple houses on one lot and home prices have jumped into the $400,000 range for a three-bedroom new build.

Gentrification concerns Roberts, who said many longtime residents are being displaced by rising home values and property taxes. She’s working to educate people about property tax assistance programs ahead of April’s long-awaited property reappraisal.

“At the end of the day, if these longtime residents do sell or are forced to sell, they have nowhere to go,” Roberts said. “Their whole life has been in this one neighborhood. I constantly hear, ‘I used to know everyone on my street and now I don’t know anybody.’”

Chuck Cinelli, owner of pioneering Coco’s Italian Market on 51st Avenue, echoed Roberts concerns and said many of his employees can no longer afford to live in The Nations or even Davidson County.

“Some employees used to be able to bike and walk to work and they can’t do that anymore. They’re living further away or they have to have roommates,” Cinelli said.

Drawn to the changing demographics, commercial developers have flocked to 51st Avenue to bring amenities such as restaurants and retail.

Developer Nathan Lyons of Vintage South Development is in the process of revitalizing the former Belle Meade Hosiery Mill at the corner of 51st and Centennial in a four-phase project that will bring a mix of retail, restaurants, creative users and office space to the site. The first announced tenants include Nicky’s Coal Fired, Fashionable and Office Evolution.

Buying to Renovate: What Your Clients Need to Know!


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Buying to Renovate: What Your Clients Need to Know!

By Denise Lones, The Lones Group

Many buyers are finding themselves having a hard time purchasing the type of home they initially began searching for. Often they are faced with a decision to alter their criteria and even their price expectations. Many areas are experiencing severe inventory shortages, leading some buyers to make the decision to remain in their homes and renovate OR to find themselves buying something that isn’t quite perfect now, but they plan to make it perfect for them through renovation.

Dana Renovation

If you are helping a buyer with this sort of plan in mind, they may need some help planning their upcoming renovation.Here are some things your buyers should keep in mind:


Before you ever spend a dollar or lift a hammer you have to evaluate if you have the “stomach” to handle a renovation. If you remain living in your home while you are renovating, then you will be faced with some level of chaos. Certain personality types do not do well with chaos. There will dust and displaced household items and unfinished walls, drywall and flooring, some people just can’t handle that kind of environment. Therefore, a buyer may want to complete the renovation before moving in.


A great renovation starts with a list of the things the buyer would like to see changed. The list then needs to become visual. I recommend putting together a vision board or PowerPoint of photos you like from sites like Houzz or Pinterest. This is an excellent idea because there is no better way to convey exactly what you want than by showing a photo of the type of changes you want. I call this the Renovation Style Guide.


Once your buyer has the vision of what they want, it is time to find out approximately what those types of things cost. Perhaps it is a built in coffee machine and steam oven in a kitchen that has grabbed their attention or a rain showerhead. It is easy to find out the approximate prices to purchase these items. But there is also the cost to install and to operate. If you or your buyers are dreaming of a 10-foot-long island, there is an expense to fabricate a slab so large. By far the biggest mistake people make when renovating is that they do not allow enough in the budget to do what they initially want to do and they end up having to cut out some of the main things they initially wanted in their renovation.


Before a contractor is hired, do a thorough analysis of the home site. Is there anything on the site that could be a restriction from doing the type of renovation desired? Make sure the title report is checked, but also contact the local city or county planning and licensing department to find out what permits are required.


A critical part of budgeting includes accurate measurement. Everything from cabinetry, countertops, and even drywall needs accurate measurements in order to accurately budget for these items. There are many local companies and even large box home improvement stores that offer measurement services. Take these measurements everywhere you go.


Before you decide to move an island that has plumbing and electrical, determine that is even possible by talking to a professional. The pros will provide time- and money-saving tips to enhance your project. And never talk to ONLY one trade. You have to talk to at least two plumbers or electricians to make sure you are getting the best rate and the best fit for your personality type.


Before the renovation, create a progress book. A progress book is the TIME diary of the renovation. Take daily, yes DAILY, photos of the work that has been done that day. Track the timeline of everything that is being done, especially for projects that overlap. The progress book can come in handy in the event there is ever a dispute about the quality of work. Imagine a plumber doing some work that ends up being problematic. The photos can be a wonderful way to show the steps the plumber did to complete the job which could help down the road. There may be some clues in these photos that show what could have gone wrong. It is also an excellent way to keep everyone honest and to keep the quality high. I actually take video of any important renovation moments like a beam being put up or a kitchen being demolished. These are also wonderful memories for later.

Making the decision to renovate takes more thought than just envisioning the finished project. Research and investigation are the most important parts of any renovation. By being prepared and by doing the homework you or your buyer will be richly rewarded when the renovation is complete.

Spring Time in Nashville


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Hello Friends!
It’s spring in Nashville. When the blooms pop out we all seem to emerge from
hibernation.  That means the real estate market heightens as well. The selling and buying fever is at a high pitch.

Centennial Park Nashville TN Spring

Each month real estate reports seem to say that we have surpassed sales over the same month the previous year.  Final numbers for 2016 indicate there were 38,954 homes sold in the region. Compared to the 36,873 closings in 2015, the total sales for 2016 were up 5.6%. Experts say mortgage rates could increase. But in other news…Nashville is still growing by 75-100 people a day.  

In 2016 US News and World Report named Nashville the 22nd best place to live out of the country’s 100 largest Metro areas.  In 2017 we climbed to the 13th spot. 

We enjoy a diverse economy. Specifically we’ve got a 10% margin over most other cities when you factor in our lower cost of living (about 95% of the National average) and the tax benefit to living in Nashville (about 106% of the National average). That extra 10% margin allows Nashvillians to buy homes, pay off education and invest in businesses at a greater rate than most locations. The above facts are hot off the press from the Nashville Chamber President’s speech to my firm a few weeks ago.

I truly thank you for your friendship and your business. Thanks to you I was second in my firm for production for the second year in a row.  This is an exciting field of work and I’m always ready to help you or your friends with the right sale or purchase.

Please check out my site that is in the works at DanaBattaglia.com and look for my ads in the beautiful new magazine called 372WN (372WestNashville). Call me when I can be of help!

Buying a home: myths and truths


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Preparing to buy a home: myths and truths

When it comes to purchasing a home, people have many misconceptions, says Craig Garcia, president of Capital Partners Mortgage.

“The homebuying process is harder than you think,” says Garcia, who is based in Florida. “But the more prepared you can be, the better experience you will have.”

To help make sure your homebuying experience is positive, study these real estate and mortgage myths and truths:

Dana Battaglia Hone Page


Myth: You need a 20 percent down payment

There’s an array of loan options that don’t require 20 percent down, says Garcia.

That’s a good thing. For many consumers, that number can delay their homebuying dreams for years.

There are many programs for first-time homebuyers, especially from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA). So speak to your mortgage banker about some programs.

Myth: Put down as much as you can to lower your monthly mortgage payment

Saving for a big down payment is advantageous but you also do not want to deplete your savings, says Michael Foguth, founder of Foguth Financial Group in Brighton, Michigan. His recommendation: Save as much cash as possible for unexpected expenses.

Foguth says, “You shouldn’t overextend yourself. If you use all your cash, you could end up short on your mortgage payment.”

Myth: Save money by bypassing the real estate agent or mortgage broker

While that could prove true in some cases, rarely does the homebuying process go so smoothly that you couldn’t benefit from expert input, says Foguth. That could include a bad inspection report, a low appraisal, or discovering liens against the home.

“Hire a professional and negotiate a fee. Don’t try to do it on your own and think it will be a breeze,” Foguth adds.

Myth: If you get a pre-qualification, you will be approved for a mortgage

Loan approval involves an underwriter sifting through hundreds of pages of documentation, as well as considering other factors like the home appraisal report. A pre-qualification letter, however, is based on a quick, preliminary analysis of your credit report, Garcia says.

Getting the letter is a recommended early step to show you’re a serious buyer, but it doesn’t mean a loan approval is guaranteed.

Myth: Credit score damage will crush your home dreams

Although it might not be ideal, many borrowers are able to secure a home loan even with not-so-stellar credit, especially if they have a significant down payment and strong income.

Garcia notes that your interest rate will likely be higher since the lender is taking a bigger risk on you.

Truth: Finding a new home takes time

46 days is the average time it takes to close on mortgage loan applications.

In other words, don’t count on finding and closing on a home before your rental lease ends next month.

Truth: Once you find a home, be prepared to move quickly

46 percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than one month.

Garcia says, “People who casually go out and find something that’s perfect, but who aren’t really ready, find themselves scrambling.”

Truth: Small savings add up over time

The difference between a 3.5 and a 4 percent mortgage interest rate equals thousands of dollars over 30 years.

In the months leading up to buying a home, work hard on improving your credit, since the better your credit score, the better the interest rate will be on your loan. Some credit score-boosting strategies to try:

  • Pay down credit card balances
  • Correct errors that may be on your credit reports
  • Don’t open new credit lines
  • Maintain a clean payment history

The people who have the best homebuying experience are the ones who educate and prepare themselves and take the process seriously, says Garcia. Work with professionals who can help separate myths from truths, and you’ll be opening the door to your new home in no time.

Nashville’s Real Estate is still booming


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In case you hadn’t heard….Nashville is still booming! There has never been a better time

to buy and sell in this city. Sales for January of 2017 were at a record high, almost 12% over January 2016. Balanced growth is a continuing trend in the city. Couple that with a surplus budget and a terrific Mayor, and we have reason to think the real estate market will remain strong.

Just 10 years ago it was a stretch to find walkable neighborhoods. Now we have such great choices with trendy restaurants, exciting shops and urban housing.

5403 B Tennessee st. Nashville TN

The Charlotte corridor couldn’t be more exciting. From 51st Kitchen in the Nations to Mielat the edge of Sylvan Park, there are a number of high-end choices. There is no end of places for pizzas and burgers, and I personally can’t wait for EIO (I think that is“Everything is Organic”) touted to have some Gluten-Free, Dairy Free options. Anothernew restaurant is opening on 46th in Sylvan Park this spring and the menu looks delicious.It will be called “Answer” and is slated to open late March. At any rate, the Nations off Charlotte, Cleveland Park off of Gallatin, East Nashville, 12th South, The Gulch, Downtown living, Hillsboro Village etc. etc. all hold such great options for lovely walkable neighborhoods with scrumptious foods and tempting stores.At the same time we are blessed with gracious historic homes, contemporary homes and land with sweeping views just outside the city. When I drive around various areas of town with clients, the uniqueness of Nashville becomes so apparent, and I feel lucky to be here.

If I can help you “be here” or make a change, call me!

Dana Battaglia – Realtor
Christianson Patterson Courtney & Associates
Office – 615-202-7777 – Cell 615-504-9792
Tennessee Real Estate License # 265969

Nashville VitalSigns Report 2017


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Nashville VitalSigns Report 2017
Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Ralph Schulz, President of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, spoke to our firm this morning regarding the status of Nashville with regard to three things. They call it the VitalSigns report. The three factors are Advancing Regional Mobility, Improving Postsecondary Attainment, and Enhancing Health and Wellness. The stance they take is that the inter-connectivity of these three is critical.

Nashville is growing at a rate of approximately 71 people a day. Out of our 8 peer cities only Denver and Austin are anticipated to grow faster than we are.

Advancing Mobility is crucial to employers keeping their businesses in

Nashville, as well as continuing to attract new businesses here. We have to fund mass transit and make sure employees can get to work in a reasonable timeframe. The governor-proposed gas tax will be of help for maintenance, but we have some work to do to fund the major transportation needs.

While Nashville’s percentage of workforce with a 4-year degree and higher is in line with our peer cities, Nashville’s workforce is lagging behind a bit in level of education. The Chamber is hearing (as recently as a conference this past week in NY) that companies tend to relocate to cities where the workforce is educated and readily available.

However, the city is continuously improving and our reform for education is becoming a positive enough example that the UK just came here to study it!

And although we have more doctors per capita than the national average, we are also showing we have a greater prevalence of some chronic diseases such as COPD, Depression, Diabetes and Hypertension.

So those are the challenges, and we are working on them….On the

positive side we have strong components for workers to come here. Our cost of living is about 95% of the National average and the tax benefit to living here puts us about 106% above the National average.

That 10% advantage allows people to buy homes, pay off education and invest in businesses at a greater rate than in many other locations.

There are currently 92 ongoing projects for new companies in the Nashville area. Half of them are relocations and the other half are job expansions. We are growing by about 19,000 jobs per year!

All in all, it was an incredibly positive report. Click here for it in its entirety.

Nashville Vital Signs 2016

Nashville has a unique way of combining political and business forces for problem solving. And our growth is a wonderful problem to have.

It’s still a great time to buy and sell houses. Great rates, a great place to be and an Accomplished Realtor to help you!

Sylvan Park Nashville TN


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Neighborhood Spotlight on Sylvan Park: Where to Eat, Shop & Walk

One of Nashville’s favorite neighborhoods, Sylvan Park is confined by Richland Creek, Charlotte Avenue and the railroad tracks. With a growing restaurant scene, one adorable boutique, locals who love their community and ample opportunities for exercise, Sylvan Park is a desirable place for many. “Sylvan Park is a lovely, quiet and safe place to live,” says Steve Swartz, membership secretary of the Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association. We couldn’t agree more — here’s what’s to love.

The neighborhood’s continued growth is tempered by the community’s laid-back energy. Families, young professionals and empty nesters come looking to weave themselves into the fabric of the community. Each business owner supports their community and each community member supports neighborhood businesses. Take a look at this eatable, shop-able, walkable neighborhood.


On the Charlotte end of Sylvan Park, Miel, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, Bajo Sexto, Hattie B’s, Coco’s Italian Market and Thistle Stop Cafe (currently closed for renovations) draw diners for everything from ice cream cones to fine French cuisine. These restaurants dot the map on Charlotte Avenue from 52nd to 46th. East of 46th, you will find M.L. Rose, FLIP Burger, Farm Burger, Double DogsCastrillo’s Pizza and Salt & Vine. Although technically Sylvan Park, this area has seen so much growth that it is beginning to stand alone. It is the restaurants on Murphy Road/46th Avenue (from dose. to Vegan Vee), though, that are undeniably in Sylvan Park.

Eat, shop and walk in Nashville's Sylvan Park neighborhood

dose. opened in 2009 to bring the neighborhood great coffee, freshly baked goods and tasty lunch options. Their breakfast menu is a favorite at StyleBlueprint for their gluten-free treats, especially the cinnamon scone. Down the road, where Murphy Road meets 46th Avenue, Star Bagel also serves breakfast. Known for their — you guessed it — bagels, Star Bagel is the oldest locally owned and operated bagel shop and bakery cafe in Nashville. In addition to their breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, they offer salads, soups and coffee drinks. If you continue towards Charlotte Avenue, you will find the neighborhood’s newer breakfast option, Vegan Vee, a dedicated vegan and gluten-free bakery that creates delicious (whether you are gluten-free or vegan or neither) muffins, donuts, cupcakes, rolls and cookies. They only open their doors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but you can find their treats sold around town.

Eat, shop and walk in Nashville's Sylvan Park neighborhood

McCabe Pub, Park Cafe, Local Taco, Edley’s Bar-B-Que, Caffé Nonna, Nonna’s Pizzeria and Neighbors open their doors for lunch and dinner. These restaurants sit near the newly constructed roundabout and welcome Sylvan Park locals and visitors. McCabe Pub has held court in the neighborhood since 1982. They have Southern favorites, such as meatloaf, chicken fingers, catfish sandwiches, homemade soups, casseroles, hand-cut salmon and of course, burgers. Their bacon burger is aptly named the Best Bacon Cheeseburger in Town.

“We have been very lucky over the last 35 years to be nestled in one of the best neighborhoods in the city,” Stefanie Dean Brown, co-owner of McCabe Pub tells us. “You can’t get a better location in town than Sylvan Park these days. Its proximity to Music Row, Belmont, Vanderbilt and downtown has always made it desirable. Our father was raised in the neighborhood and attended Cohn High School, and my sisters and I were raised in this restaurant, so we’ve been around to watch the change. The Pub has always been a home away from home to many customers — a place where you will always see someone you know or they know you — whether having a business lunch or dinner with your family. I think our customers really represent the best of Nashville, that small town yet big city feel. The neighborhood (and Nashville) has visually changed a lot over the last few years but we think its heart has stayed true. It now definitely consists of many more young families than it ever has in my opinion, but that’s pretty cool because it means Sylvan Park will be ‘home’ to a few in this next and current generation. And, we hope we can stay part of that for many years to come by keeping our hearts true as well. We aim to continue to do what we do well everyday and promise to bring in a few new things here and there just to keep you on your toes.”

Read More about the Sylvan Park Neighborhood at Style Blueprint