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The True Cost of Choosing the Wrong Lender 0 Comments Posted

The True Cost of Choosing the Wrong Lender

Today I decided to shoot a quick video stressing the importance of choosing the right lender when buying a home in Cookeville or the surrounding area.  Lenders are just like any other occupation in that there are good ones and bad ones.  As an experienced real estate agent in the Cookeville market, it's my job to protect my clients from the things that can go wrong in the process of buying or selling a home.  Sometimes the thing that can go wrong is the lender.

 

As a professional, I can't say on this blog who to avoid. However, you'd better believe I make my clients aware of problems well ahead of time so they can avoid them. It absolutely infuriates me when someone costs my client time or money due to incompetence. There are loads of really great, experienced lenders in Cookeville and the surrounding area to choose from and I'm always happy to provide a list of them for my clients. The process of packing up your home and moving can be stressful enough. The last thing we need is a lender who pulls the rug out from under you at the last minute!

Most sellers know that you should check and see if the person offering to buy your home is pre-qualified. Unfortunately that's just not enough.  Some lenders don't really even know how to pre-qualify and give those letters out freely. This is where an experienced real estate agent protects you.  An experienced agent can warn you ahead of time if the offer is accompanied by a pre-qualification letter from a lender who is notorious for this sort of thing. This gives you the opportunity to tell a buyer you'd love to work something out with them, but you just can't do it if that's the lender they are using.  If they really want to buy your home, they can switch to a lender with a good reputation. This is just one example of the many, many ways a good Realtor can save you time and money!

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, November 11, 2016  6:36:43 PM
There's a new E-Pro® in Cookeville TN! 0 Comments Posted

There's a new E-Pro® in Cookeville TN!

I'm pleased to announce that I've recieved my E-Pro® designation from the National Association of Realtors. Only a hand full of real estate agents in Cookeville TN have this designation, and I am proud to be one of them.

Virginia Kail E-Pro Designation

I chose to pursue this designation because internet marketing and technology have become such an important part of getting a home sold. With approximately 88% of buyers using the Internet to search for a home, it has become crucial to hire an agent who understands Internet marketing. I felt the E-Pro® designation is a great way to let my sellers know that I am dedicated to using the latest technologies to market their home to the fullest extent possible.

Are you looking for a tech savvy agent to help sell your home in Cookeville or the surrounding area? Feel free to Google me and see why my listing are selling. You can also e-mail me by clicking here: Cookeville Real Estate.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, May 24, 2012  10:20:58 PM
Understanding the Fannie Mae First Look Initiative 0 Comments Posted

Understanding the Fannie Mae First Look Initiative

People looking at my Fannie Mae Homepath properties often ask me what the First Look Initiative is, as it often causes some confusion with both buyers and agents.

The Fannie Mae First Look Initiative runs for the first 15 days a property is listed.  During that first 15 days, the home is available for purchase to buyers who plan to live in the property. The First Look Initiative also applies to buyers using public funds to purchase.

alarm clock

The idea behind the First Look Initiative is to help stabilize neighborhoods by giving owner occupants the chance to purchase the home before investors.

The new owner occupant must move into the home within 60 days of closing.

Investors may submit offers once the First Look Initiative expires. The time frame can be verified on the Homepath.com website. Each property has a countdown clock clearly displayed.

You can search for Fannie Mae Homepath properties for sale on the Homepath website, or click here: to request daily notification of new Fannie Mae Homepath properties in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

 

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, March 05, 2012  3:25:56 AM
What do Daffodils and Cookeville Home Sales have in common? 0 Comments Posted

What do Daffodils and Cookeville Home Sales have in common?

We haven't had much of a winter here in Cookeville TN.  We've only had one snowfall the entire winter, and unseasonably warm temperatures.  As a result the Daffodils, Quince Apples, and Crocus' are already blooming.

daffodils

For the second year in a row, the Home Buyers are out shopping early too.  Last year, things really picked up in February.  The same is true this year.  The Daffodils are blooming and the buyers are shopping.  You might think that the early emergence of the spring flowers has buyers inspired to get started early this year, but that's not it.

So why are Cookeville Home Buyers shopping early for Homes for Sale?  The answer is simple.....income tax returns.  This is the one time of year when the average working person has a big lump of cash to use as a down payment on a home.

Unfortunately for the February Home Buyer, the inventory of available Homes for Sale is pretty low.  Traditionally the months of January and February are very slow, and so most Cookeville Home Sellers wait until March or April to list their homes for sale.

 money tree

 So my Dear Cookeville Home Sellers, Do you see an opportunity here?

 

February has suddenly become THE month to list your Cookeville Home for Sale.  The competition is much lower, and you gain a big advantage. Who doesn't love an advantage in this housing market?

Listing your Cookeville Home for Sale in February enables you to pick up those buyers who are shopping now because they have a down payment.

So, what do Daffodils and Cookeville Home Sales have in common?

They are both blooming early this year!

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

 

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, February 04, 2012  1:38:47 PM
Building an All American Home and Rebuilding a Nation 0 Comments Posted

Building an All American Home and Rebuilding a Nation

Sometimes you come across a concept that's so brilliant, you are absolutely obligated to share it with as many people as possible. With the American economy in shambles, this is an idea who's time has come.

Builders would be crazy not to embrace this.  This is a fantastic selling feature. Build an All American Home in a great floor plan, and I can sell them over the competition all day long.  Don't forget that the American consumer is hurting too.  Almost everybody knows somebody who doesn't have a job. Give a home buyer the choice between this and a home made with "stuff" from China, and guess which one they'll choose.

As agents, we should make sure every builder we work with knows about this concept.  Send them a link for the video, and send them a link of the Made in AmericanSupply List.  This is something that will directly impact our industry, create desperately needed American jobs, and a better end product for our clients.

There's so much more information available on the website: www.theallamericanhome.com

You can also show them some love on Facebook by clicking here: www.facebook.com/TheAllAmericanHome

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, December 17, 2011  10:58:58 PM
Rivers and Lakes of the Upper Cumberland 0 Comments Posted

Center Hill Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Caney Fork River, Cumberland River, and Roaring River - It's all near Cookeville TN!


Almost any fisherman worth his salt has heard of at least one of these lakes or rivers. What most people don't realize is that every one of these large bodies of wateris within 1 hour of Cookeville, TN. For the avid outdoors man, this is paradise.  We have huge marinas, small marinas, and even floating restaurants.  Fisherman can participate in large professional fishing tournaments, or sneak away to their favorite top-secret fishing hole.

I happened by the overlook at Center Hill Lake a couple of days ago, and couldn't resist taking a picture to share with everyone.  This particular overlook is only a short distance from Hurricane Marina.

Center Hill Lake is the most expensive to live near, especially if you want a view of the water.  This is the lake that many of the Nashville music stars call home (or at least have a second home here). All of the land around this lake is controlled by the Corps of Engineers, so there are no private docks.

center hill lake

The Caney Fork River adjoins Center Hill Lake, and is one of the few bodies of water where you can still have a private dock.

Travel north of Cookeville, and you'll come to the mighty Cumberland River in the sleepy little town of Gainesboro.  The Roaring River dumps into the Cumberland River here, so you can take your pick of fishing or kayaking spots on either river

From Gainesboro, you can travel west to the tiny historic community of Granville, and beautiful Cordell Hull lake.  This is the least populated lake, and it's also my personal favorite.  (And NO, I'm not telling your where my top-secret fishing hole is!!!) There's a small marina and restaurant in Granville, and it's much cheaper to keep a boat docked there.

my big fish

(Just in case you didn't believe that I love to fish.)

Anyway, from Gainesboro you can also head North toward Celina TN. The drive follows the Cumberland River, and is really beautiful. You will eventually arrive at Dale Hollow Lake, which is another massive body of water. Many of my fellow fishermen prefer this lake over any of the others.  It's a bit cheaper to own a home with a view of the water here, but not by much.  The Corps of Engineers controls the shoreline of this lake also.

For more information about any of the lakes or rivers in the Upper Cumberland, you can visit the Corps of Engineers website.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

 

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, September 09, 2011  11:44:39 AM
Cookeville Homes for Sale; Cookeville MLS Search 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Homes for Sale; Cookeville MLS Search

No registration required. Free Cookeville MLS Search.

If you are searching for Cookeville homes for sale, you've probably noticed that most websites are hard to use.  Many websites require you to sign up for an account. If you find one that doesn't, it usually displays tiny pictures and very little information.

enter

I'm proud to say that my website allows you to search the Cookeville mls for free. There's no sign-in required. You can search the mls to your heart's content.  You will be able to see all the information available on any property simply by clicking the "See Details" button.

I also have a very cool feature on my website that lets you save your favorite homes.  If you want to be able to do that, you'll need to set up an account for yourself. That's up to you. You could also just write down the mls numbers if you don't want to set up your own personal account.

service

So, Why don't I require you to sign up to use my website when searching for Cookeville homes for sale? It's so simple I can describe it in one word. 

Service.  If you provide someone with great service, they will want to work with you. This is my personal philosophy in everything I do.

My goal is to make my website the easy to use for finding Cookeville homes for sale.  I am always open to suggestions from clients, so please let me know if there's something I can do to make my website better for you!

Ready to search the Cookeville mls? 

Click here-> Cookeville mls search.

You can also use my website to learn more about me, about the home buying process, and about different neighborhoods in Cookeville and the surrounding areas.  Be sure to visit my blog for daily updates, pictures from around the area, and upcoming events.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, May 21, 2011  1:59:13 AM
A Special Note about Cookeville Neighborhoods 0 Comments Posted

A Special Note about Cookeville Neighborhoods

My Dear Reader,

You may have noticed by now that I've added some additional pages on the home page of my website.  Those pages are Upscale Neighborhoods, Mid-Range Neighborhoods, and Affordable Neighborhoods. All three of those pages are a work in progress.

I will continue adding articles about neighborhoods to those pages over time, so you will want to check back often. Eventually I hope to have an article about every neighborhood in Putnam county, as well as some from the surrounding counties. If there's a particular neighborhood you'd like to know more about, send me an e-mail and I will try to get an article written on it. Otherwise, new articles will appear when I have a new listing in a neighborhood.

As always, Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous day.

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, May 13, 2011  12:02:20 PM
Mouth Works Great; Ears are Broken 0 Comments Posted

Mouth Works Great; Ears are Broken

I'd been showing them houses for a couple of days when the wife suddenly turned to me and said, "I've just realized that the reason you are so quiet is because you are listening so intently to what I'm saying."   She was exactly right.

big ears

To do my job really well, I have to listen really well. My clients are making life changing decisions. They are telling me about their needs, hopes, and dreams. That means my ears are turned up on high, so that I can figure out how to best be of service to them.  I always hope that clients don't mistake my quietness for anything other than complete focus on them. I also often take notes.

Nothing says I'm not paying attention like asking someone a question they've already answered.

shouting

The same holds true with my fellow business professionals. I listen very intently. After all, we are negotiating a deal. Yet, I often find myself in a one-sided conversation.  Some real estate agents talk and talk, and talk some more. Then they tell you how great it was to talk to you and start to hang up the phone.  On more than one occasion in the past month, I've found myself shouting "Wait just a minute!"  or "Hang on, I have a couple more things to tell you!" 

Some people should wear a sign that says:

Mouth works great but ears are broken.

They've taken my silence to mean that I have nothing to say. In fact, I'm waiting for them to take a breath. (Aren't people supposed to need oxygen?) I'm trying to be polite, and I'm waiting for my turn to speak.  It's not a conversation unless both people take turns speaking. 

 Maybe they should start their day out by making sure their ears work as well as their mouths do.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, May 07, 2011  8:56:36 PM
Burgess Falls State Park near Cookeville-My Favorite Park! 0 Comments Posted

Burgess Falls State Park near Cookeville - My Favorite Park!

Having grown up in Tennessee, I've done a lot of hiking and visited a lot of parks.  To this day, my favorite park to escape to is Burgess Falls State Park. Lucky for me, this beautiful state park is only 13 miles from Cookeville. Five minutes down the main hiking trail and all the stress of the work day melts away.  You can see why in this picture:

Burgess Falls State Park

Do you see what I mean? Right at the beginning of the trail head you have mini-waterfalls. Take another 20 steps and you are enveloped in the lush greenness of the Tennessee forest.

mini waterfalls

The trail follows along the river and takes you across interesting remnants of old bridges from days long past.

old bridge

The trail is a combination of bluff top trails, overhanging rock faces, mini-bridges, and stairs. Lots of stairs.

hiking trail

One of the really cool aspects of this park is the reward factor. You hike along for a while, and then something wonderful suddenly appears.  Keep going, and there's something even better. Eventually, a grand finale.  Here's the next reward up from the baby falls at the trail head:

middle falls

This is the view from the overlook of the middle falls.  Are you ready for the grand finale?  Here it comes, The big falls!

Burgess Falls

and another view:

Burgess Falls

We've had tons of rain this spring, so the falls were really roaring yesterday when I hiked out there with one of my best friends.  Now you might think since this is the "grand finale" that I don't have anything else to show you.  Not So.  For the adventurous soul, there's always the hike to the bottom of the falls.  It's steep and becomes a bit more like rock climbing than hiking. Here's a view of the falls from the side on the way down.

 Burgess Falls

The water was coming down with such force that we were soaked to the bone from the mist. Actually, the mist was more like standing out in a hurricane yesterday.

Burgess Falls State Park

The wind was whipping the mist with such force that I had to turn back. As you can see, the rocks down the cliff face were too wet to continue.  When I turned around to go back, there was my sweet friend Candy standing in the middle of a rainbow.

candy in rainbow

candy in rainbow

Candy has been one of my best friends since childhood, and I love her to bits.

Well, that concludes my tour of Burgess Falls State Park.  When I have clients come to tour Cookeville and look at Real Estate, I always encourage them to visit this park. It's one of those things you absolutely MUST SEE if you visit Cookeville Tennessee.

Click here for additional information about the Burgess Falls State Park.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

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View Comments | Add Comment Monday, May 02, 2011  10:26:41 AM
Springtime in Sparta TN farm country 0 Comments Posted

Springtime in Sparta TN farm country

I've mentioned previously that my company caravans new listings each Tuesday. This week we had a beautiful sunny day, and we visited a listing in Sparta TN  that had an absolutely spectacular view.  This is what I envision when I think of  perfect, quintessential Tennessee farmland.

perfect Tennessee farm land

One of my favorite things about Tennessee is how the rolling hills and mountains become fainter with each layer until they vanish on the horizon.  This particularly stunning vista was taken from the wrap-around porch of my sweet friend Evon's listing on Jim Hennessee road in Sparta TN.  Wouldn't you love to have coffee here each morning?

If your heart is set of picture perfect Tennessee farmland, you won't find an area more beautiful than Sparta TN.  The land is gently rolling, with mountains framing the view on the horizon. It's no wonder there are so many horse farms in Sparta TN.

Does this picture pull at your heart strings?  I'd love to help you find your very own picture perfect Tennessee farm!

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, March 30, 2011  11:43:43 PM
If You Price the House Right, They Will Come 0 Comments Posted

If You Price the House Right, They Will Come

There are buyers in the market.  The spring real estate market is in full swing here in Cookeville. Surprisingly, it's a bit hard to find houses for some of my buyers right now.  I suspect it is because sellers are afraid to put their houses on the market because of all the negative media hype.  The bottom line is this:  If you price it right, they will come.  

 educated seller

Be an Educated Seller. When I prepare for a listing appointment, the first thing I do is prepare a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis).  This report shows the 3 most similar properties that have sold in the last 6 months, and the 3 most similar that your property will be competing against. As a seller, you need to see the facts in black and white to be sure your house is priced appropriately.  I'm always amazed at how many sellers have never seen a CMA. Apparently a lot of agents just waltz in and give the seller their opinion of what the home is worth, with no facts to back it up.  Can you guess why I sell so many listings that expired with other agents? 

service

Make Your Home the Best. It's a competitive market, so make sure your home has the most curb appeal possible. Make sure yours is the neatest and cleanest.  Make it easy to show. Buying a home is an emotional decision. It's about walking in the door and feeling "at home".  You may have the most square footage for the money, but you will still own that home come fall if you don't keep it "show ready". Go above and beyond to create a clean welcoming atmosphere that will make the buyer want to stay for a while.....a long while.

curb appeal

Be Flexible.  The market is fluctuating constantly right now, and the market will tell you if the price is incorrect.  How?  You won't have any showings.  If this happens to you, be prepared to adjust the price. When there's lots of showing activity, the price is right! 

In Summary:  There are buyers in the market right now. If you price your house appropriately, it will sell

Cookeville home sales were up over 20% from the same time last year. What are you waiting for?

Let's get moving!

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, March 17, 2011  4:06:19 PM
Tennessee Survival Retreats, Crash Steads, and Working Farms 0 Comments Posted

Tennessee Survival Retreats, Crash Steads, and Working Farms

The call usually starts something like this, " Hi Virginia, we are looking to buy a house with some acreage in Tennessee.  It needs to have a creek or spring, and we'd prefer it not be visible from the road".  This goes on for a few minutes before I finally say, "So, you are looking for a survival retreat". After a few seconds of stunned silence, we are off and running.

I think when people call looking for this type of property, they are afraid the Realtor® on the other end of the phone will think they are crazy.  Well, this one won't.  I get it.

tennessee survival

I know the rest of the world thinks it's just crazy to be prepared to feed and take care of your family in hard times.  I think they are just as crazy for not being able to do so.  Here's the really funny part:  People in Tennessee have been doing this for over 200 years.  It's a normal way of life here. People put out big gardens, they can their food, and they raise livestock.  Here, we just call it a working farm.

I grew up on a working farm in Tennessee, raised by grandparents born in the Great Depression. My grandparents raised huge gardens and canned most of the produce.  I helped.  I helped milk cows and gather eggs every day.  I helped draw cold, fresh water from the well.  We picked blackberries and raspberries growing wild on the fence rows. The orchards produced bumper crops of apples and plums that grandpa sold at the farmers market, along with farm fresh eggs and garden produce.  In the fall, we gathered walnuts and hickory nuts to be stored for winter.  My grandparents slaughtered their own animals, and I helped with that too.  I also learned to fish, hunt, sew, and cook.  These weren't "survival skills", they were basic, every day country know-how.

Tennessee survival

It might sound like a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it.  I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. In truth, growing up on a farm is a beautiful thing for a child. It's a world of wonder and new experiences. It's healthy, and it's real.  I grew up eating fresh healthy food, and I knew where it came from. I know everything that's edible in the forests of Tennessee, and which things are poisonous. I know about all the wildlife living there too. I learned those things from grandparents who loved Mother Nature and instilled that same love in me. 

You might call it a survival retreat or a crash stead, but I just call it a working Tennessee farm. You might call the things I know survival skills. I'd call it good old fashioned country know-how.  Maybe you are preparing for the end of the world as we know it.  I'm prepared for every day life here in Tennessee farm country.  If schumar does hit the fan, I'm pretty sure that the country folks around here will do just fine.

tennessee survival retreat

Don't let my suit fool you. I'm a born and raised Tennessee farm girl.  If you want to buy a working Tennessee farm, a survival retreat, a self sufficient farm, or just an off grid location, I'll be proud to help you.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, February 24, 2011  10:57:36 PM
Cookeville Spring Real Estate Rush Starts Early This Year! 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Spring Real Estate Rush Starts Early This Year!

For a Realtor® who blogs daily, I've certainly been missing in action this week haven't I?  I apologize for my tardy behavior, but the Cookeville spring real estate rush came in like a tidal wave this week.  I've worked at least 12 hours every day this week just trying to keep up!

surfing

I can't help but feel this week should be noteworthy to anyone thinking of selling their home in Cookeville. With the market roaring to life this week, it's probably a good time to list your house if you plan to sell this year.  The spring real estate rush usually doesn't start until mid March, but I think the sudden break in the weather has people getting started earlier than usual. 

I'm also noticing that people aren't just "looking" this year. Almost every buyer who's contacted me this week is serious about buying this spring. A surprising number have already pre-qualified before ever calling me. I don't see the hesitancy about entering the real estate market that I saw last spring.

The bottom line is that if you plan to sell your house this year, you should be listing NOW!  By listing your house now, you will be a full month ahead of most sellers in the Cookeville real estate market. You will also have a better chance to sell right now because the available inventory of houses is low. Many sellers have been hesitant to list because the market has been so rough. Buyers in the market right now don't have a lot to look at! Given the number of serious buyers who are already shopping, the decision to list now could be extremely beneficial for the savvy seller.

daffodil

I will end today's blog with a prediction for this year's real estate market:

Houses with acreage will be HOT this year! The volatility in the financial markets and the inflation in commodities have buyers searching for acreage. They want at least 5 acres - room enough for a garden and a chicken coop. If the property has a barn, pond, or creek - All the better!

rooster

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, February 19, 2011  9:57:49 PM
The Blessings of Being a Realtor® 0 Comments Posted

The Blessings of Being a Realtor®

Just a few moments ago, and e-mail popped up in my in-box from a proud father. He was helping his daughter and future son-in-law look for a house.  His e-mail got me thinking about how blessed Realtors® really are.  Do you realize that we have the honor of being a part of the biggest moments in people's lives?

We help newlyweds purchase their first home. That's one of the biggest steps in a person's life. What an honor to be a part of it. 

newlyweds

We help new parents move up to a bigger home, and in the process, get to meet the new family member. How cool is it to help someone choose the perfect home to raise their children? This is where some of the most cherished memories will be made.

hands

Sometimes we help families move up into the big, beautiful home of their dreams. Perhaps that big promotion finally came through, or the business that person built has really taken off. This is a happy time and it's always a pleasure to help someone celebrate their success.

We help someone relocating for a job to settle in to our community. This can be a scary time, and we are charged with making that transition a little bit easier. Knowledge and dedication can help to make that scary time blossom into hope for a bright new future.

We help the newly divorced to close a chapter in their lives and move on.

We help the empty nester say goodbye to that large family home, and downsize into something more suitable. It's a bittersweet time for most people. It's a touching experience to be the Realtor® who makes that journey with someone.

retired couple

Sometimes we take the saddest walk of all with people. We help people who have just said goodbye to someone they loved. It's a painful and difficult time, and sometimes you cry right along with the client. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's always an honor to help someone get through the hardest moments in their lives.

Perhaps the biggest blessing of all is helping people through many such chapters of their lives. We become the family Realtor®, and sometimes service many generations of the same family. I wonder how many other professions are blessed with being such a part of people's lives?

sunflower

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, February 14, 2011  11:01:46 PM
Cookeville Real Estate and the American Way Caravan 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Real Estate and the American Way Caravan

It happens every Tuesday just like clockwork.  The agents of American Way Real Estate form up in a long caravan train and head out.  Where are we going?  We are off to tour the newest homes for sale in the Cookeville real estate market.  We won't be touring just any old homes; this VIP treatment is reserved for clients who list their home with an American Way agent. If you live in Putnam county, or within 15 miles of the Putnam county courthouse, then you are eligible for our caravan tour.

Now, you may be wondering "What's the big deal"?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Think of the American Way caravan as your home's grand debut into the Cookeville real estate market. First and foremost, these agents are coming to see if your home is a match for any of the buyers they are currently working with.  Secondly, this gives the agents a chance to become familiar with your property for future reference.  If the phone rings the next day with a buyer asking about your property, all of these agents will be able to describe your home in detail and answer any questions the buyer has.  As you can imagine, it's very important to make a good first impression on caravan day.

American Way Real Estate caravan

So, How do you impress these guys?  In order of importance:

1. Be priced appropriately. These agents look at homes every day, and they know the Cookeville real estate market.  You do not want them remembering your home as the "overpriced" home.

2. Make sure your home is neat and clean.

3. Make sure your home smells great!

4. Consider setting out some treats with a note for the agents. This encourages them to linger a bit longer.  It's sneaky, I know, but if it works.....

Don't underestimate the importance of caravan. On average, each agent has at least 4 buyer clients at any given time. When this many agents come to tour your home, it can result in showings the same afternoon or the next day.  Not all companies offer this service, but American Way agents are out touring new listings every Tuesday.

This is just one marketing tool offered to American Way clients.  If you are thinking of selling your home in Cookeville or the surrounding area, give me a call. I'd love the opportunity to talk with you about all the other special things I do to get a home sold. 

 Spring is just around the corner, let's get moving!

spring tulips

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, February 01, 2011  8:44:00 PM
Cookeville Homes with Acreage - The Hidden Cove Neighborhood 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Homes with Acreage - The Hidden Cove Neighborhood

Continuing with my blog series discussing Cookeville homes with acreage, today I'm going to tell you about the Hidden Cove neighborhood. 

Hidden Cove is a Cookeville subdivision where all the homes have at least 5 acres of land with them. This beautiful neighborhood is only about 7 miles from the Putnam county courthouse.  The drive to Hidden Cove is scenic, and you will pass several properties owned by nurseries on your way to the subdivision.

llama

Because all of the Hidden Cove homes have acreage, it's a very animal friendly neighborhood. There are several horse farms, a llama farm, and a farm with cattle and donkeys. Swine and poultry are not permitted.  This llama was curious about my shutterbug activities today, and ventured over for a close-up.

llamas

There are some homes with wooded lots in Hidden Cove, but most of the properties have rolling cleared acreage. Most of the subdivision sits in a valley, but a few of the homes are perched up on hills.  Here is a photo of the view from the top of Whippoorwill Hill.

cookeville homes with acreage

An unusual barn in Hidden Cove with horses in the pasture.

Hidden Cove Barn

There are currently 3 houses available for sale in Hidden Cove, including this beautiful home my company has listed. This home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 4420 square feet of living space. It also has 6.57 acres of land and an in ground pool.

hidden cove house

If you are searching for Cookeville homes with acreage, you might also want to read my blog about the homes at Dry Creek Meadows.  I will mention again that if you are looking for a home with acreage in Cookeville, it is important to note that anything outside of the city limits is unrestricted. If you are not comfortable with that, then you may want to consider one of the neighborhoods I am discussing here on my blog. I will continuing blogging about Cookeville homes with acreage until I have covered all the neighborhoods.

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 29, 2011  12:03:09 PM
Cookeville Homes with Acreage - The Dry Creek Meadows Neighborhood 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Homes with Acreage - The Dry Creek Meadows Neighborhood

I frequently work with buyers who want to purchase a home in the Cookeville area with acreage. Now, there's a very important fact you should know if you are going to look at Cookeville homes with acreage.  Here in our area, anything outside of the city limits is generally UNRESTRICTED.  This comes as a big surprise to buyers who aren't from the area, and it's an important factor to consider when searching for a home with acreage. Just to clarify, unrestricted means that there are no zoning regulations of any kind outside of city limits. Your neighbor can build or keep anything they like on their property.

If you aren't comfortable with the lack of restrictions, then it might be best to consider a neighborhood where all the homes have acreage.  There are not a lot of these types of neighborhoods in the area, but I plan to blog about each and every one of them. The first neighborhood I'm going to talk about is the Dry Creek Meadows neighborhood.

Dry Creek Meadow

The Dry Creek Meadows neighborhood is particularly dear to my heart because it's where I live. I absolutely love it here, and so do all my neighbors.  Dry Creek Meadows is located about 8 miles from the courthouse in town, and is at the very edge of Putnam county.  There are 35 homes in the neighborhood, and they all have acreage.  Many of the homes are tucked far back in the woods, and aren't visible from the roads that run through the neighborhood.

Dry Creek Meadows

There are restrictions in this neighborhood to help preserve property values and give you piece of mind. However, it is a country neighborhood and animals are permitted. For example, you can have horses in Dry Creek Meadows.  Many of the homes here have barns, workshops, studios, or other outbuildings. Here's one of the neighborhood barns wearing a coat of fresh snow.

Dry Creek Meadow Barn

The neighborhood consists of two roads, Timber Trail and Dry Creek Rd.  Timber Trail is a U-shape, and Dry Creek Rd runs through the center. Because of the way the roads are arranged, this is a great neighborhood to go walking in. The scenery is beautiful, and wildlife abundant. Creeks meander through the neighborhood, and there are numerous ponds such as this one:

Dry Creek Meadows pond

Most of the residents of Dry Creek Meadows have lived here for many years. They have an appreciation for wildlife, and also privacy.  Despite the fact that most homes are tucked away in the woods and private, you will still have the opportunity to meet your neighbors if you decide to call this neighborhood home.  Each summer there is a neighborhood picnic and many of the residents attend. I can also tell you that many of them are very good cooks!  :) 

cookeville acreage for saleOf course, because people love it here so much, there are rarely homes for sale. Currently there are two homes with acreage for sale, and three building lots are still available. Here's a picture of one of the lots that is currently available. It is listed with my company and has 7.38 acres for $68,000.

Here's a picture of one of the new homes just built in the neighborhood this year.

Dry Creek Meadows new house

With only 3 building lots left for sale in the neighborhood, there aren't many chances left to call Dry Creek Meadows home.

I will leave you with a picture of my favorite home in the neighborhood. (No, it's not mine.)

Dry Creek Meadows Tudor style home

        

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

Cookeville real estate

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 29, 2011  12:02:13 PM
Putnam County TN Real Estate Market Report - Week 3, January 2011 0 Comments Posted

Putnam County Real Estate Report for Week 3 January 2011

Door

January is traditionally a slow month for real estate here in the Upper Cumberland.  This week proved to be no exception, as the following numbers will show.

*This week (January 15th-22nd) there were a total of 539 homes for sale in Putnam county TN. This includes single family homes that are site built, as well as homes with acreage, mobile homes, and manufactured homes.

*There were 10 homes that went under contract this week. 

*There 16 homes that actually sold. 

*Unfortunately 14 homes expired without selling.

What does this mean for people trying to sell their homes in Putnam county TN?  It means the competition is fierce.  It means that your home needs to look great and have a great price if you hope to be one of the lucky people who finds a buyer and makes it to the closing table.  If you want to sell, you need to look at every home you are in competition with and ask if your home is the best value. If it isn't, you'll need to reduce your price so that your home is the best value in your price category.  Make no mistake; buyers have their choice of homes right now and they are shopping hard for the best buy. When I say best buy, I don't just mean price. It means they want the nicest home for the best price possible. Curb appeal and price are more important that ever right now!

greyhound race

What does this mean for buyers looking to purchase a home in Putnam county TN?  It means that it's a fantastic time to buy.  You have a lot to choose from, and not many other buyers to compete with. (Foreclosed properties are the exception to that statement, as many of them still get multiple offers the first week).  The interest rates are still very low, and that translates to a lower mortgage payment.

dog smile

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 22, 2011  10:17:56 PM
Cookeville Real Estate: Buying a Home 0 Comments Posted

Cookeville Real Estate: Buying a Home

  Wondering how to buy a home?  If so, you're not alone. Buying a home is one of the biggest steps in a person's life, and can be overwhelming if you've never done if before.  I find that the experience is much better if you know exactly what to expect.  So today, I'm going to discuss with you exactly what to expect every step of the way as you shop the Cookeville real estate market and go through the process of buying a home.

Step 1. Meet with the Realtor® of your choice and discuss what you want in a home.

Step 2. Your Realtor® should be able to provide you with a list of excellent loan officers.  Meet with the mortgage lender of your choice and do a pre-qualification.  This is a very important step. This will determine the price range of the house you can buy, and also determine what loan program you will be using.  Your Realtor® must know these things prior to beginning your search for houses to view.  Not all homes and loan programs work together. For example, a rural development loan may not be used for houses inside city limits. You would need to know this ahead of time so you don't fall in love with a house that you can't obtain a loan for.

Step 3. Set an appointment with your Realtor® to begin looking at houses. A good real estate agent will be patient and make this part of the process fun. You should look at as many houses as you necessary to find the one you fall in love with.  A good agent will enjoy showing you houses as much as you enjoy looking at them.

Step 4. When you find the perfect house, it's time to write an offer. Set aside at least 1 hour to write an offer.  You will also need to bring your checkbook so you can write an earnest money deposit. An earnest money deposit is negotiable, but in the Cookeville real estate market the norm is 1% of the purchase price you are offering. Earnest money is held in escrow if the seller accepts your offer. This money shows the seller that you are serious, and is credited back to you on the day of closing.

Step 5. Once the offer is accepted, it's time to get busy. Your Realtor® will forward a copy of the purchase agreement to your lender, and help you arrange for inspections. Within the first week, you will normally have a home inspection and a termite inspection.  You will also meet with the loan officer and begin the formal loan paperwork. The lender will also order an appraisal of the property you are purchasing.

(photographer:Renjith Krishnan, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

a. Home Inspection - The buyer pays for an independent home inspector to inspect the property. The inspector works for the buyer exclusively.  The home inspector's job is to inspect the property for defects and make the buyer aware of any problems found. The cost here in Cookeville for a home inspection is generally starts around $300.00, which the buyer pays to the home inspector on the day of inspection.

b. Termite Inspection - Buyer pays an independent termite inspector to go under inspect the house for any signs of termites.  If termites are found, it is the seller's responsibility to pay for any needed treatment. Cost for a termite inspection is generally $40-$75 here in the Upper Cumberland. This fee may be paid the day of closing. 

c. Appraisal - The loan officer will order an appraisal to make sure the home is worth what the buyer has agreed to pay for it.  The appraisal is strictly to determine value, and is required by all lenders. The cost is usually between $300-$400, and is paid by the buyer the day the lender orders it.

Step 6. Now for some good news.  If you've made it to this point in the home buying process, you can expect smooth sailing from now on. Once inspections are completed and any issues resolved, your loan officer and Realtor® will work to coordinate a closing date.  A couple of days prior to closing, you will need to make arrangements to have the utilities switch over into your name on the day of closing.

Step 7. This is the grand finale. Your Realtor® will accompany you to closing at an attorney's office. This is where you sign all the legal documents to make the house yours. Once everything is signed, the keys to the house are yours and you are officially a home owner in Cookeville Tennessee!

Virginia Kail

Realtor®

Cookeville TN native. A full time, full service agent for the entire Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

931-260-4729 cell

www.VirginiaKail.com

American Way Real Estate Co.

931-526-9581 Office phone, 931-528-6569 Office Fax

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 15, 2011  8:12:59 PM
Let Your Realtor® Help you Find a Loan Officer in Cookeville 0 Comments Posted

If you are ready to buy a home in Cookeville, you might think a visit to a loan officer should be your first step. That isn't necessarily the case, especially if you are not from the area.  The truth is that a good loan officer can make the home buying process a dream come true, while a bad one can turn the entire experience into a nightmare.  This is where a visit or phone call to your Realtor® can save you a lot of heartache.

Photographer: jscreationzs, courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

Real estate agents work with mortgage companies and lenders on a daily basis. You can bet your bottom dollar that they know who does a good job, as well as who hasn't performed so well in the past.  Your real estate agent should be able to give you a list of loan officers to speak with. You might want to talk with more than one of them and see who you feel will do the best job for you, particularly in the area of closing costs.

One last thing; I strongly recommend using a local lender.  It's been my experience that the big national lending companies are slower, and often create confusion in a transaction. Working with a local lender allows you to avoid the misery of the 1-800 number, automated menu navigation, and being on hold for an eternity.

It takes a team of hard working professionals to provide a smooth closing experience. Make sure you pick an all-star team. Start by talking to your Realtor®.

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, January 10, 2011  11:00:56 PM
Paid foreclosure websites are a rip-off! 0 Comments Posted

There, I said it.  If you do a search for "Cookeville foreclosures" on Google, tons of websites come up that promise you access to the newest foreclosures in the area.  Of course, you only have to click through a couple of them to see that you have to pay to actually see the list.  There are a couple of problems with this:

1. If you develop a relationship with an awesome real estate agent (like me), then you can get the list for free.  What's more, you can get new foreclosure listings e-mailed to you immediately so that you are the first to know when a new foreclosure is listed.  How do you develop a relationship with an awesome agent like me?  Call or e-mail me, and tell me you are interested in purchasing foreclosed properties.  I'll be happy to set you up with access to them, as long as you call on me to assist you with the actual purchase. It's really that simple.

2. The other huge problem with these "foreclosure" websites is that they are horribly out of date.  You pay your money to gain access to the listings, and discover that many of them sold 6 months ago.  I can't tell you how often I get a call about one of my foreclosure listings that's already sold. The person on the other end says, "But website ABC shows it as available".  That's because website ABC doesn't update their site very often, and if they did, the list wouldn't be very exciting.

The bottom line is that most foreclosure websites are a rip-off. They are offering to sell you outdated information that a good agent could provide you for free.  If you've been wondering how to get a free foreclosure list, now you know.

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 08, 2011  10:07:54 AM
Where are all the Cookeville condos? 0 Comments Posted

One of the questions I hear the most from retirees relocating to Cookeville, TNis, "Where are all the condominiums"?  Apparently condos are the norm for many retirees from larger cities. They definitely are not the norm here on the Cumberland plateau.  We have just a handful of condo units available. In fact, the few condo developments we have are a fairly new thing for the area. I personally think the ones we have were inspired by people who retired to this area from another state.

The closest I can come to explaining the lack of condominiums in our area is best summed up in the words "Independence".  Folks here in Tennessee like their space, and most can't imagine living in houses that are "right on top of each other".  Many native Tennesseans who are of retirement age still put out huge gardens each year. They have worked the land most of their lives, and they aren't giving it up just because they have officially "retired".  So, I guess what I'm saying is that it's a cultural thing.  Most folks round these parts like a bit of elbow room.  :)

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, January 05, 2011  11:57:45 PM
How to Tell if a Listing is a Foreclosure 0 Comments Posted

Did you know that banks often do not permit listing agents to identify homes as foreclosures in advertising?  Most people do not realize this little known fact, and often blaze right past foreclosures in the mls.  Here are some clues that help you to identify a hidden bargain:

1. Description states that the house is being sold As Is-Where Is.

2. Description says that buyers will be required to sign additional disclosures or addendums.

3. Description indicates that some type of special financing is available for the property.

4. Description indicates that investors may not bid for a certain time period.  Foreclosures that are government owned often carry this provision because they give preference to buyers who plan to live in the property.

5. Description says that there is a bidding period of x number of days.  Some banks take this approach to encourage multiple offers and get the best price possible for the property.

These are just a few indicators that you can watch for when looking at properties online. Of course, the best way to buy a foreclosure is to work closely with an agent who specializes in them. This insures that you will be the first to know about any new foreclosure listing that hits the market. 

If you are interested in a foreclosure in Cookeville, Sparta, Livingston, Monterey, Gainesboro, or Baxter TN, I can help.  I specialize in the following Upper Cumberland counties: Putnam, Overton, White, and Jackson.

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, January 03, 2011  12:43:22 AM
Choosing a Birdhouse 0 Comments Posted

I've mentioned before how much I like birdhouses, and so today I'd like to mention a few tips for new homeowners looking to provide accommodations for feathered friends.

Many people go shopping and find beautiful, elaborate birdhouses that look great in the yard. It can quickly become a disappointment when no birds take up residence in said penthouse.  One of the chief reasons many be toxic materials.  When choosing a birdhouse, it is important to make sure it is constructed of materials not harmful to birds.  You should also make sure the birdhouse has a door or removable top so that you can clean it out if need be.

It is also important to research what type of birdhouse attracts what bird.  Who knew birds were so picky, right?  Certain birds need certain size entrances, and they also may prefer a certain dimensions inside. Lastly, it is important to make sure there is adequate ventilation and drainage holes in the birdhouse, so that baby birds don't drown or suffocate.

The best time to add a new birdhouse is winter or early spring, which means now is a great time to shop for a new bird house.

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 01, 2011  5:27:58 PM
Giving Thanks 0 Comments Posted

As 2010 draws to a close, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for and that there are a lot of people I should thank. You have only to turn on the television to see that 2010 has been a hard year in general.  Real estate has continued to decline in value, sales are down and foreclosures are up. What the news hasn't really talked about is how hard it's been for people in the real estate industry. Agents and companies have left the business in droves. This year I am grateful to still be in business, and not only that, to have continued to grow my business.  I am grateful to work at a company with people who inspire and motivate me.

2010 had also been a difficult year for me personally as well. This year I've had a beloved family member and two very good friends depart this world.  Still, as hard as that is, I have to be grateful for the fact that they were a part of my life at all.  Their passing has left me a little more humble and human, and all the more grateful for the people who remain in my life.

I am also, ever grateful for my clients. This year was unusual in that I sold houses to several people who have become good friends. That is perhaps the most rewarding thing about this job. It is truly a blessing to work with clients who are so awesome that you are able to call them a friend at the end of the day. 

And Now, Onward and Upward into 2011!

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, December 31, 2010  11:33:48 AM
Empty House? Be Sure to Winterize. 0 Comments Posted

With extremely cold weather (and tough economic times) sweeping through the nation, I want to touch on a basic home maintenance issue that could help save some money and problems down the road.  If you have a home sitting vacant during the winter, be sure to winterize it.  Here in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee, it costs about $75.00 to have a licensed plumber come in and do a complete winterization.  This basic preventative maintenance procedure can keep pipes from freezing, and that could save you hundreds of dollars down the road. 

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, December 29, 2010  10:20:09 PM
At last, a white Christmas! 0 Comments Posted

It's funny how something as simple as snow on Christmas can lift the spirits of humanity. Here in Tennessee we always hope for a white Christmas, but there's only a 7% chance of actually getting it. This year, we did!  It's been 17 years since the last white Christmas, and everyone here is just delighted.

I ventured out around my neighborhood to capture a few pictures to share with you all. You will notice a lot of birdhouses, but I simply cannot help myself. I love birdhouses! Very few simple things in life hold such charm, and a birdhouse covered in snow is all the more charming. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

View Comments | Add Comment Sunday, December 26, 2010  3:10:01 PM
Realtor Repellent 0 Comments Posted

Sometimes I just feel sorry for sellers out there. Why?  I look at their home listed in the MLS, and it has Realtor repellent written all over it.  I suspect they must not know. After all, if they have listed the house they must want to sell it, right?

What exactly is Realtor repellent?  I'm glad you asked!  I'll give you some examples I saw tonight while browsing the Upper Cumberland MLS for homes to show tomorrow.

1. Only 1 picture.  This absolutely screams that the inside of the house must be so terrible that the listing agent was ashamed to include pictures of it.

2. No description.  Really?  If the listing agent couldn't find a single positive point to talk about, why do I want to waste my buyer's time coming to look at it?

3. 24 hour notice.  I know that life keeps you busy, and 24 hour notice would be great. Here's the thing: My buyers didn't give me 24 hour notice, and that happens a lot. If your listing says 24 hour notice, I'm skipping it since I can't comply with that request.  Wouldn't it be better to just say appointment only, so that I'll at least TRY to show it?

4. "No Lockbox, Seller will let you in". No thank you!  I want my buyers to have a great experience buying a home. Nothing is more awkward than having the seller home during showings.  Unless the buyer specifically tells me that it's OK for the seller to be there, we won't be stopping in. 

Any listing agent worth their salt would explain to a seller that the above mentioned things result in Realtors avoiding their home like the plague. Yet, a quick scan of the MLS tells me that some sellers must not know.  If you have your home on the market and aren't getting any showings, maybe it's time to look it up in the MLS and see if you have Realtor repellent written all over it.

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, December 20, 2010  8:51:53 PM
Cookeville in America's Top 10 Retirement Places 0 Comments Posted

For many years now, Cookeville has continued to rank in the top 10 most affordable retirement places.  The study by Rand McNally looks at criteria that most retirees deem highly important. In 2009, Cookeville TN came in at the number 9 spot.  Here is a look at 2009's top 10:

1. Brevard, NC          6. Las Cruces, NM

2. Asheville, NC        7. Harrison, AR

3. Clarkesville, NC    8. Roswell, NM

4. Crossville, TN       9. COOKEVILLE, TN

5. Lexington, KY      10. Camden/Penobscot Bay ME

In addition to the Rand McNally survey, Cookeville is also ranked in the top 5 most economical cities in the nation in 2009 by the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association (ACCRA).

If you are thinking of retiring to Tennessee, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Cookeville.  You will find that we have all the amenities of a big city, in a small town atmosphere.  Many retirees that I've worked with have asked about the local hospitals.  I can proudly say that our hospital has won numerous awards and offers top notch care. They are happy to give visitor tours and answer questions.

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, December 17, 2010  10:44:47 PM
Woooo Baby It's Cold Out There! 0 Comments Posted

Winters in Tennessee tend to be pretty mild, and snowfall of any significance is rare.  This week a frigid cold front swept through Tennessee, and we received about 6" of snow.  Tuesday night was the coldest night we've had in almost a year, with lows in the teens.  It was too cold to venture out for much picture taking, but I did get these three to share with you.

Bluebird fluffed out and trying to stay warm.

I'm not sure what type of bird this is, but he came for a breakfast of purple beauty berries outside my sun room window.

My favorite lunch spot.

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, December 15, 2010  3:35:35 PM
Basic Information about Cookeville Tennessee 0 Comments Posted

I thought it might be nice to provide some basic community data about Cookeville for people considering relocating here.  Cookeville is the county seat of Putnam county, and the largest town in the upper cumberland. Approximately 25,000 Upper Cumberland residents travel to Cookeville each day, as Cookeville acts as the main hub for the surrounding counties as well.

Population: Cookeville has a population of approximately 30,000. Putnam county has a population of approximately 71,000.

Climate:  The average annual temperature here is 76 degrees F.  The average high for January is 52.9 degrees F., and the average low is 37.9 degrees F.  The average high for July is 88.8 degrees F., and the average low is 67.2 degrees F.  We average 8" of snowfall per year, and the altitude here is 1,140 ft above sea level.

Taxes:  Tennessee does not have a state income tax, but we do have sales tax. The state sales tax amount is 7%, and Putnam county is 2.75%, for a grand total of 9.75% sales tax here in Putnam county.  Property tax (Rate per $100)@25% of assessed value:  Cookeville: 0.87 and Putnam county: 2.75.

Unemployment rate as of June 2009 is 10.3%.  The Median Household Income is $39,553.00, and per capita Income is $25,713.00  Putnam county has over 100 manufacturing facilities, with approximately 28% of the county's work force being employed in manufacturing jobs.  The largest manufacturers in the area are: Perdue Farms (Meat processor), Cummins Inc. (Air, Water&Oil filters), Oreck (vacuum cleaners), TUTCO (heating elements), DACCO (automotive transmission parts), and Flowserve (hydraulic valves).

Largest non-manufacturing employers in Putnam county listed in order are: Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Putnam County Board of Education, Averitt Express, State of TN, City of Cookeville, Frontier Communications, Sun Trust Bank, First Tennessee Bank, First National Bank, Jackson Bank & Trust, Wal-Mart, Putnam county.

You might also be interested to know that Cookeville continues to be ranked in the top 10 most affordable retirement places.  I will write more about this in an upcoming blog post.

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, December 14, 2010  9:40:38 PM
Blue Coast Burrito opens in Cookeville 0 Comments Posted

Because Cookeville is a fairly small town, it's a big deal when a new restaurant opens.  A couple of weeks ago, Blue Coast Burrito opened it's doors.  The first few weeks a new restaurant is open here, it's super busy.  Today it wasn't too crowded, so I stopped in to give the new place a try.  I have to say, it was really good!  For only a couple bucks more than you'd spend at McDonalds, you can get a healthy meal.  I was particularly fascinated by the fact that they do something to the burrito shell so that it sticks together. Most burritos fall apart while you try to eat it, so it was impressive that this one did not.  I give the new place very high marks and plan to visit again.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, December 09, 2010  6:43:33 PM
What's in Your Garden? 0 Comments Posted

When you go through your list of reasons why it's great to be a home owner, here's one you probably didn't think of.  You can have your own garden.

Now, if you are thinking "What's the big deal about that?", then stay with me as I wind my way merrily through the many reasons why having a garden is a wonderful thing.

1. Healthy, Non-Poisonous food!   The bottom line is this: if you didn't grow it yourself, you really don't know what's in it or on it.  Just think of how many salmonella cases we've heard about recently.  In your own garden, you have the choice to be pesticide free.  In addition, you can grow food that is not genetically modified. (I'll talk a little more about this later).

2. Environmental responsibility.  By amending your garden soil with compost from your own compost bin, you prevent fertilizer run-off.  I know one little garden doesn't make much of a dent in the water contamination created by massive commercial farming operations, but every little bit helps. I always feel like I can't complain about something if I'm guilty of contributing to the problem.   Speaking of commercial farming operations, by planting heirloom seeds you are fighting back against those GMO crops I mentioned above.  Individuals must work to preserve heirloom crops, or eventually we could live in a world where we are held hostage by large corporations who produce seeds that don't reproduce.  What the heck does that mean?  It means, next year you have to go buy new seeds from that company because the ones you saved from last year are genetically modified to be good for only 1 generation.   Very clever, no?  Lastly on the environmental issue, something so important that it gets it's own number.

3. Helping Honey Bees.  In the past week an article came out that said 30% of the American Honey Bee population was lost over the past winter.  This is hugely important because those little bees pollinate our crops.  Einstein once pointed out that without Honey Bees, we don't have food.  Scientists are at a loss to explain the phenomenon know as Colony Collapse. The bees are dying and we don't know why. I'm including a link to the recent article and if you care to know, it explains some of the theories as to what it killing the little guys.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/02/food-fear-mystery-beehives-collapse

One of the potential causes mention in the article above is, you guessed it, those pesky GMO crops.  By growing heirloom vegetables, you give the bees something to eat that hasn't been tampered with.  Don't spray your garden with pesticides, and you do yourself and the bees a favor.  I tend to favor the idea that GMO crops and pesticides are responsible for this.  All the other things mentioned in the article have been around for a long time. The GMO crops and pesticides are fairly new inventions, and coincide with colony collapse. (Just think, if it's killing the bees, what's it doing for us?)

4. Self Sufficiency.   Aside from the fact that most of the food in your local grocery store is "faux food", I think it's also important to point out that those shelves have to be restocked every 3 days.  So, in an emergency those shelves can become empty in a hurry.  I can't help but think that it would be nice to have SOME food in the backyard at least!  Of course, I'm a born and raised southern gal, so I grew up with an appreciation for home grown food.  *grin*

5. Social Responsibility.  As citizens of humanity, we have a responsibility to ensure that the next generation can feed themselves.  As we head into a new century where giant corporations are creating seeds that are only good for one generation, we must strive to preserve the plants from the past.  I think we have a right to grow our own food, and not be obligated to obtain the means from some company. If we fail to stop the take-over of GMO crops, we have essentially sold the next generation into slavery.

Whew!  That was some heavy stuff for a little blog article on gardening, huh?  I feel a little guilty for dumping all that on you, so I'll sum it up with something lighter:

Gardening is a great way to relax and let off some steam!  There's something about working with the soil that reminds you of what's real, and helps keep you in touch with mother nature.

Happy Gardening Y'all!

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, May 05, 2010  11:24:40 PM
Ice Falls 0 Comments Posted

Today I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon showing 450 acres of raw, wild beauty.  My favorite part was following along beside the Blackburn Fork River.  Along one portion of the river, we saw these beautiful icicles forming frozen waterfalls off the bluffs. 

 

For those of you "not from 'round here", the Blackburn Fork River flows into the Roaring River, which flows into the Cumberland River.  It's really a beautiful drive to pick up along the Blackburn Fork River in Putnam county and follow the river system through isolated country side until in joins the Cumberland River in Jackson County.  If you want a beautiful Sunday drive, I highly recommend it.

You know people are sometimes suprised that I get out and work property like this, but the truth is, I love to show this type of property every bit as much as a house.  I've been an avid hiker all my life, and I love to get out of the office and explore a piece of raw land. I think there's a bit of excitement in finding out what's around the next bend or over the next ridge.  Today we saw some wild turkey, a pair of red tail hawks, and a whole school of small mouth bass.  Pure Bliss!

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, January 15, 2010  11:24:46 PM
Artist Spotlight 0 Comments Posted

As some of you may know, I used to work as a full time glass artist.  Now I am generally so  busy with real estate, that my lampworking has become more of a hobby.  The nice thing about having worked as a full time artist was getting to know the other artisans in the area.  As a former member of TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists), I have a deep appreciation of hand crafted things.  I think society as a whole is loosing touch with the concept of "hand crafted", and it truly is a loss, as nothing mass produced in some other country will ever match the craftsmanship and beauty of something artisan made.  In an ongoing effort to support our local artists, I like to feature them here on my blog from time to time.

So, tonight I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful blacksmith/artist named Stiv Mackey.  Stiv produces a huge variety of metalworked items, ranging from whimsical garden figures, to beautiful custom items for your home.  Aside from producing amazing work, you'll find that Stiv is a fascinating guy to chat with.  If you have a chance to talk with him at an art show, I would highly encourage you to do so.  I've included a picture of one of Stiv's whimsical little frogs below, but there is so much more to see at his website: www.stivmackey.com

"Frog Sinatra"

Seriously, could you really walk past this little guy without smiling?  Absolutely Adorable!

PS:  Remember, buying locally keeps money in our community. Support your local artists!

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, January 13, 2010  10:26:45 PM
Going to Need a Bigger Boat 0 Comments Posted

The thing everyone here in Cookeville is talking about today is, without a doubt, the flooding we are having.  Over the past 48 hours, we've gotten over 9" of rainfall, breaking a 115 year record.  The really bad news is that the weather forcast calls for 2 more days of rain.  Some people really know how to make the best of any situation though, and this Tennessee Tech student proves it!

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, September 17, 2009  10:41:42 AM