October 24th, 2016

Relocating retirees impact Nashville housing market

Original Article by Bill Lewis, For The Tennessean

One million people are expected to move to the Nashville region over the next 20 years, many of them retirees.

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(Photo: Laura Roberts / For The Tennessean)

After falling in love with Nashville as a tourist, Noreen Fitzgerald decided to move to the region when she retired from her job in New Jersey.

“Nashville’s almost like New York City but on a smaller scale. There’s a lot to do,” she said.

Fitzgerald, who closes on her new home in Hendersonville’s master-­planned Durham Farms community later this month, is not alone. She excepurchased a house being built by Drees Homes.

New residents stream in

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New Jerseyan Noreen Fitzgerald smiles inside her new Drees home in Durham Farms in Hendersonville. (Photo: Laura Roberts / For The Tennessean)

Retirees relocating from other cities and other states are having a significant impact on the Nashville region’s housing market, said Aaron Armstrong, CEO of Armstrong Real Estate, a branch office of Keller Williams.

One million people are expected to move to the Nashville region over the next 20 years. Many of them are expected to be retirees.

“In real estate, we’re talking about baby boomers leaving their jobs. Every day we’re talking about people looking to retire to Nashville,” said Armstrong, who also heads Keller Williams market centers in Mt. Juliet and Hendersonville.

Some of them are buying houses and condos in anticipation of moving to the region in a few years. Meanwhile, they are using their properties as short-­term rentals.

“They say, ‘we’ll retire in five years but want to buy now and make some money,’ ” said Armstrong.

Retirees follow family

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From left, New Jerseyan Noreen Fitzgerald and Drees customer care representative Bill Sutton try out the kitchen faucet during a homeowner orientation inside Fitzgerald’s Drees home in Durham Farms in Hendersonville. (Photo: Laura Roberts / For The Tennessean)

Many retirees are following family members who moved to Middle Tennessee for their careers. Others are attracted by the quality of life and a lower cost of living, said Ramay Winchester, director of Retire Tennessee.

The organization promotes locations in Tennessee as retirement destinations. In the Nashville area, Robertson, Sumner, Maury and Warren counties are members.

“We’re very popular with Long Island and New Jersey police officers and firefighters. The fact we don’t tax their pensions is huge,” said Winchester.

Many of them are particularly interested in master-­planned communities where “they have all the amenities. We’re providing the quality of life,” she said.

That’s what attracted Fitzgerald to Durham Farms.

“I selected Durham Farms as I liked the Hendersonville area and the Durham Farms neighborhood appeal for its front porch-­living-­type community, the green space and the walking trails. I also like the proximity to Nashville,” she said.

Searching for community

Retirees are a key market for the neighborhood.

“Older adults today are looking for a community like Durham Farms that promotes healthy living, including walking trails, a pool, fitness center and planned events that bring neighbors together,” said Suzanne Maddalon, vice president of marketing for Freehold Communities, the subdivision’s developer.

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Swings inside the Durham Farms community in Hendersonville. (Photo: Laura Roberts / For The Tennessean)

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