By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE –Real estate prices in Putnam County have reached an all-time high with not one, but two homes selling in September for $175 or more per square foot. Today’s buyers seem to know what they want and are willing to pay a premium for it.
The size of the homes selling is not what decides the square foot price; the quality of the homes available in Cookeville is what is raising the value and sales price. Of the two homes that just sold for record prices, one home was a three-bedroom, two-bath with 1,787 square feet located at 831 Breeding Avenue and one was a four-bedroom, three-bath with 2,850 square feet located at 1730 Parker Place in Hickory Flats subdivision.
“Presentation is key,” explained Donnita Hill, realtor at Exit Rocky Top Realty, who was the listing agent on the house at 1730 Parker Place. The buyer located that house online and fell in love with it from the virtual tour (see here).
According to Hill, there is a wide variety of homes on the market in Cookeville.
“There are homes on the market as low as $50 a square foot but they need work,” explained Hill. “I have a house on the market on Main Street in Algood with 3,000 square feet for $150,000 but it needs work done to it.
“Even if you are looking at a home from the outside saying ‘Oh, but…’ if it’s in an area with pretty good traffic and has the curb appeal, you can go in and do a lot of little things. Fifty dollars per sq/ft is unheard of in our market today, but these are people who choose to sell it for less price in order to move on with other things they have an opportunity for.”
By most accounts, real estate remains a strong investment value.
“Real estate is the best investment,” says realtor Jill Bernhardt. “They are not going to make more property. If you can hold on to it and pay it off, sure it may dip again, but it’s just going to rise. Cookeville is growing.”
“For people that have a vision and want to take on a challenge, they can make it anything they want to,” explained Hill. “You just have to know where to stop with your budgeted overall investment. You’re not going to lose if you do that.”
For sellers to get the most value out of their home, they need to sit down and really look at their home. What could they improve to make it sell better? The number one thing that a seller needs to consider is curb appeal, based on Hill’s assessment.
“People drive in front of your home,” said Hill. “They look to see that it’s well-manicured, that you’ve paid attention to your landscaping, and even how your window treatments look from the outside to the inside. The front door is huge. It’s the focal point of the home. If that front door needs painting and your numbers need to be updated, do that immediately. The eye goes from your front door to the right and then back to your left. If they like what they see on the outside, then they are going to be coming inside.”