Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tips for Buyers

In the current real estate climate, it's easy to assume something is a very small and unimportant detail, yet it's those small details that prevent buyers from buying houses and that causes sellers to get their hopes up for a sale.

Over the years, I've compiled a list of things that make buying a home much easier and stress-free for buyers, and I wanted to share those with you:

1 - Be transparent with your real estate agent. If you already own a home, but don't want to sell it to buy the next home, tell your agent what kind of loan you have on your current house. FHA does not allow buyers to own two FHA-backed homes at the same time.

2 - Use one of the mortgage lenders that your real estate agent recommends. That way, the agent is assured that the loan officer and bank are reputable, will be honest with the buyer up front, and will get the house closed.

3 - Follow the process that your agent provides. I have a 10-step plan that I utilize with ALL buyers that makes the home-buying process a stress-free and easy process. Both novice and experienced buyers love this process and have said it was the easiest way to buy a house.

4 - Insist that your loan officer be open and honest with your real estate agent. General protocol is that this happens, but occasionally you will run into a loan officer who declines to reveal anything to the agent. If there is a potential "glitch", then the agent needs to be able to ward that off ahead of time.

5 - Do not feel that you have to disclose personal information such as income, debt, or credit score. Agents do not need that information. All we need to know is the amount you can spend on a house, the down payment, closing cost needs, time frame to close, and if you have to sell your current home.

6 - Hire the agent who is helping you buy your home to help you sell your home. Those agents are much more motivated to get your home sold so your next purchase can close easily.

7 - Ask questions if you don't know the answers. If something doesn't seem logical to you, then ask your agent about it. The agent should be able to answer your questions or find the answers very quickly.

8 - Be patient and allow the process to take place. Sometimes buyers want to rush things or drag them out, but that's not necessary. Typically, it takes about 30 days to get a purchase closed, and with today's stringent rules, it may take a little longer.

9 - Trust your agent. Sometimes buyers think that the buying process should/could take longer than it should. If an agent suggests a deadline to you, then follow that deadline because there is a reason why that deadline was suggested.

10 - Relax. Purchasing a home can be stressful and challenging, but try to relax during this process. By allowing the agent to lead you through it, you can rest assured that things are being taken care of.

These are just ten suggestions that help buyers make a purchase. In our current culture, banks and the government have made the process a little more challenging. By hiring the right agent and learning to follow his advice, the process can go from challenging and stressful to joyful and relaxing.

Jack Jernigan is an agent who makes the home buying process an easy and stress-free one. Jack knows the market and how sellers think. For all of your real estate needs, give Jack a call at 615-373-3513 or contact him via email:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nashville Does It Again!

I'm proud to be a Nashvillian. Not that I actually live in Nashville, but living in the metro area gives me the right to say that I am Nashvillian. Aside from being too far from the ocean, I actually love it here.

Nashville makes me proud because she's always evolving and changing, mostly for the better. Just recently, ranked Nashville as the fifth most affordable city to live in. To check this out, CLICK HERE. You'll find the article interesting.

And then, The Daily Beast ranked Nashville as the number 22 smartest city in America. Not too bad considering we compete with some major braniac cities around the nation. You can see the synopsis HERE.

Nashville is also the fourth real estate market most likely to appreciate, according to the Local Market Monitor. CLICK HERE to see the slide show. We've never had the major depression that other real estate markets have seen, but we have dropped a little. But we're on our way back.

Travel and Leisure magazine ranked Nashville one of America's favorite cities. We rank the friendliest city in the nation. Click this LINK to see the report.

According to a study done by Central Connecticut State University ranks Nashville as the 11th most literate city in the nation. Take a look at the top 20 HERE. This is a compliment considering Tennessee has had it's educational challenges.

Whether you live in Nashville or a suburb near it, we're all Nashvillians at heart.

If you need help with real estate, give Jack a call. He knows the market and the area.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tennessee Ranks Up There

Site Selection magazine listed Tennessee as the SECOND BEST STATE in providing a climate to do business. North Carolina was #1. Not so bad for this mid-south state, which ranks low in education and high in divorces per capita. I'm thrilled that we excel at something worthwhile.

To read the article in The Tennessean, go to THIS LINK.

Trust your real estate needs to Jack Jernigan. Jack knows Middle Tennessee and keeps up with what's going on in the area to make your home purchase or sale a profitable one for you.

Thoughts About the Mid-Term Elections

Dear friends,

Our country is at a crucial crossroads and tomorrow will decide our future for the next many years.

Over the last several years we have bailed out banks and auto manufacturers, tried to bail out the housing industry, spent much more money than we could ever fathom in three lifetimes, and our Congress is at odds within itself, providing a very dim future for my children and grandchildren.

To be honest, very little of what has happened inside Washington beltway over the last few years has been productive. Americans are divided, Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other, people who want fiscal responsibility are getting a bad "rap", and nothing is being resolved.

American is not a perfect place, but after having personally seen destitute third-world countries where people have nothing, by comparison, we still live in the greatest country on this earth.

While I tend to be more far-right in my beliefs, the American people, in general, tend to be a little right of center. Our Congress no longer reflects the will of the people, so I am asking you, my friends, to vote tomorrow. Let's get America where she needs to be again by electing representatives who will guide us back toward where Americans stand.

Will everything ever be resolved? No. We are an imperfect people living in an imperfect country. But we can do our best. This is the time to vote, and then to make your thoughts and desires known to those who represent you.

When I lived in Davidson County, I contacted my congressional representative. That person was willing to meet with me privately, but was not willing to hold a town hall meeting to hear from the majority of his/her constituents. He/she said that no town hall meeting would be held because he/she wanted a "controlled environment". That tells me that the representative knew what the constituents wanted but was unwilling to hear us out. That representative voted in favor of a unpopular bill and now tries to uphold an image of a "friend of the people." That person is coming up for re-election and should be voted out.

The purpose of this letter is not to sway any of my friends to vote for a specific candidate, but it is to share that we DO NEED CHANGE! It is time to take a stand, America, and to take back our government. And if the ones we elect this time do not do the job, they need to be voted out the next time, too.

Until 2008, I was never an actively political man. However, after seeing the path that our country has taken, I firmly believe that ALL AMERICANS should take a stand for ourselves, our families, our homes, our jobs, our economy, and our freedom, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.


Jack Jernigan

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home Sales Slip Nationally in July 2010

Nothing burns me up more than misinformation. Unfortunately, our media have fallen into the bad habit of generalizing the entire nation's economy and housing market with just a few examples of desperate markets across the nation. Yesterday's Tennessean printed an AP article that cited that July's home sales were the worst in 15 years.

While this statistic can be very accurate, the Tennessean was remiss in reporting what the Middle Tennessee market has done and is doing. Laziness in fact-gathering perpetuates nothing less than accelerated and unnecessary fear among our citizens.

Here are the facts for Middle Tennessee:

1 - There are 99 different regions in the Middle Tennessee Multiple Listing Service. Statistics are for all of those areas combined.
2 - Average SALE PRICE for July 2009 was $199,534 for residential homes, selling at 95.09% of list price with an average of 107 days on the market.
3 - Average SALE PRICE for July 2010 was $213,641 for residential homes, selling at 94.91% of list price with an average of 95 days on the market.
4 - There was an increase of $14,107, an INCREASE of 7.1% in sale price.
5 - In both months, the sale price was about 95% of list price. That screams consistency in our market.
6 - Sales in July 2009 were 2640; in July 2010 they were 1962, a difference of 26%.

Is this cause for alarm considering the INCREASE in sales for the first five months of 2010? No. In ANY market, what goes up, MUST come down. First-time home buyers RUSHED to get their homes closed prior to the June 30 deadline. It makes sense that there would not be as much activity in the month immediately following that deadline.

Personally speaking, I have helped several first-time home buyers buy homes this year. In fact, the last three closings were first-time buyers. NONE of them qualified for the tax credit because they bought after the June deadline.

With the "facts" that the media uses to justify it's articles, it is easy to see why people are afraid of our economy, but there is no justifiable reason for this fear.

Is our market lower and slower than it was three years ago? Yes, it is. There's no denying that. But has it "tanked"? No, it hasn't. Yes, it's down some, which should have been expected. There is no reason why we should expect any market to stay high all the time.

With this being said, there is hope. Not only do we have a fairly stable market in Middle Tennessee, rates have NEVER been lower. At only 4.25%, this is a great time for people to buy homes. And it's also a great time for people to sell homes. What's stopping you?

Working with buyers and sellers in today's real estate market is what Jack Jernigan does best. He knows the market and expertly guides buyers and sellers through the buying or selling process. If you're looking for a competent and professional agent to help you with a real estate need, give Jack a call at 615-373-3513.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Is Over and School Has Begun!

In some areas of the country, the beginning of school is nothing more than a distant thought. August provides opportunities for the last hoorays of the summer, just before a September school start date. In Middle Tennessee, August marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the new school year, so WELCOME BACK, students!

Yesterday marked the first day of school for Wilson County students. My son, Hunter, made the band this year, so he's already been at school since July 19, practicing in the horrible heat we've experienced. Wednesday the 4th is the first day for Rutherford County students. It's an abbreviated day and the first full day is Monday the 9th. Thursday, August 12th is an abbreviated first day for students in Davidson County, and their first full day is the 16th. And Thursday, August 12th is the first day for Williamson County students.

Interestingly, summers are getting shorter and shorter. It seems like time flies by, with no break in it's rapid pace. If you haven't had a chance to take your family on vacation this summer, there's always Labor Day weekend, just a month away. Maybe you can head to a local spot such as Huntsville, Alabama to take in the NASA Space Center. Or maybe Hot Springs, Arkansas may be beckoning you there. And then there are always the short day trips to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, or Fall Creek Falls, not far from Cookeville.

Whatever your schedule, whether you have kids or not, it's time to gear up for the next year again .... so enjoy ...

Looking for a real estate agent who's in tune with our real estate market? If so, then give Jack Jernigan a call at 615-373-3513 or email him at

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Real Nashville Real Estate Market

Lately many buyers are approaching all sellers with the idea that "sellers are desperate and will do anything to get their homes sold." Nothing could be further from the truth, so I want to set the record straight.

Buyers are actually very innocent and naive in their understanding our market. The information they have been fed is mostly propagated by the national media. The media have continued to preach a doomsday mentality in the housing market - i.e. nothing is selling and that the only way a seller can get a home sold is to give it away.

There are some markets where sellers are very desperate. Michigan is still very much that way. However, Florida is not quite as bad as it once was, and California is rebounding as well. Other markets, such as Henrico County, Virginia (the Richmond area) is actually doing very well. Overall, the midwest saw no change in their market. And the south and west markets are both up.

Here in the Nashville area, we actually have TWO real estate markets. There's the "distressed" market and the "normal" market.

Distressed sales include foreclosures and short sales. With foreclosures listings, banks have already typically discounted the price of the house, so an offer substantially below the list price would probably not "fly" very well. In fact, I have seen sale prices actually increase when the buyer placed the offer asking for closing costs to be paid. If the house does not sell within the first 30-45 days, then the foreclosing bank may lower the price. However, if a buyer intentionally waits for that to happen, he or she may "lose" the house to another buyer. It's a gamble that a buyer should not take if they absolutely love that house.

In a short sale situation, there are two strains of thought. First, a savvy and experienced short sale real estate agent will have already sent over all of the necessary paperwork to the seller's lender(s). The lender(s) will have already named the price they will accept for the house, and the agent will have added in closing costs for the selling side, any possible closing costs the buyer may ask for, the agent commissions, etc., to come up with the list price. Rarely, in our market, does this happen.

Second, and most frequently, a short sale becomes a guessing game. The seller has been unable to make his or her payments due to one or more of a variety of reasons, and the listing agent has determined a list price for a home based on area comps. No paperwork has been submitted, and sometimes the lenders have not been contacted. A good buyer's agent will know what questions to ask the listing agent so that the buyer can have appropriate expectations.

In the first situation, since the price has already been determined, the buyer should make an offer very close to the list price, and can expect a very quick response from the seller's lender(s). In the second, a long wait can and should be expected, and there will be no guarantee that the lender(s) will approve the contract that the seller and buyer have for the sale of this home.

When the listing agent has done all of the necessary homework for a possible short sale, the bank will order a BPO to determine the market value of the house. This is NOT a hard-line appraisal, and it is done by a local real estate agent. In each short sale situation, a bank is looking for a certain percentage of the market price. Percentages vary by type of loan the seller has on the property. There are several types of loans that mortgage banks hold: (1) FHA loan; (2) VA loan; (3) Conventional loan; (4) Multiple loans on the property. The multiple loans can be FHA or conventional. Each type of loan has a different percentage the bank is looking for.

In the normal market, sellers should have already priced the house to sell. A higher price indicates that the seller is unrealistic about the price or that the seller is really not motivated to sell. A realistic price reflects the current market and is an indication that the seller wants to sell the house.

However, when buying in the normal market, a buyer should expect to buy a house at a purchase price of about 95%-97% of the list price. It is unrealistic for a buyer to expect foreclosure or short sale prices in the normal market.

When working with your real estate agent, the best and first thing you should do is trust him or her to guide you through the process. The best agent will understand both the normal market and the distressed market. Your agent can provide advice for you in making your offer so that it can be a win-win situation.

When selecting an agent, look no further than Jack Jernigan. He continues to use his 10-step plan with buyers, providing them only the best and most professional service. Jack knows the two current markets in Middle Tennessee. To contact Jack, give him a call at 615-373-3513 or email him at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Get Real!

Back in my teenage years, we coined (and used) the phrase, "Get Real!" It was oftentimes used sarcastically in response to someone who made an erroneous or ridiculous remark.

With the offers that buyers are making these days, it's time to pull out that old phrase and start using it all over again. To help buyers avoid the "Get Real" glance or remark from their agent, here are some tips for making an offer:

1 - When making an offer, look at the UPGRADES that the home offers. If two houses are about the same square footage in the same general area, but the list prices are $5,000-$10,000 apart, ask yourself what upgrades the more expensive home has. What would it cost for you, as the buyer, to install all of the upgrades in the lower priced home? If it costs more than the difference in price to install all of the upgrades, then the higher priced home may be the better bargain.

2 - It is natural for buyers to NOT want to pay full price for any home in today's market, but when making an offer, be realistic in price. Ask your agent to show you comparables in the same general area with similar square footage and upgrades as the home you're interested in. Base your offer on those comparables.

3 - When making an offer on a foreclosure, understand that the bank has ALREADY DISCOUNTED the price of that home. For a bank to foreclose on a home, it costs them about $40,000 - $50,000, so they want to sell it as quickly as possible to get it off of their books. An offer just below that list price is best, especially if making the offer in the first 30 days after it's listed. Banks will typically lower the list price of homes every 30-40 days, so if you want that house, you'll need to act on it quickly. If you decide to wait until the bank drops the list price, you may have missed out on the house.

4 - Short sales are more common today than ever. If you're interested in a short sale home, you need to understand that type of loan that the seller has on the home will dictate what the seller's lender will approve for a purchase price. Each type of loan requires a sale price at a certain percentage of the current market price of that home. Also, unless already approved, expect to wait a while for a response from the seller's bank. If two loans are involved, then it may take even longer than anticipated.

5 - In ALL situations, real estate deals have to be WIN-WIN! Buyers are being told that THEY determine the value of a home, but that is true ONLY if the SELLER AGREES to the buyer's price, terms and conditions. To assume that a seller is obligated to take a low-ball offer that a buyer makes is unrealistic. Continuing to make low-ball offers on properties brings nothing more than frustration and wasted time for everyone involved in the negotiation process.

If you're looking for an agent who can help navigate you through the home-buying process, give Jack Jernigan a call. He understand the market, dealing with foreclosures and short sales, as well as sellers in general. He can be reached at 615-373-3513 or through email:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Only the Second Fattest?!

Boy, are we Tennesseans in trouble. According to the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are fat, fat, fat, fat, fat! Not pleasant news for those of us who live here. Apparently, almost 1/3 of all Tennessee adults are carrying around a lot of extra baggage.

Disconcerting? Absolutely! Obesity is preceded by problems with low income, poor education and lack of access to nearby grocery stores and safe neighborhoods, and other issues.

Discipline is really the bottom line. How many of us are really disciplined enough to control our diets and to head to the gym or even outside for a brisk walk?! Are we willing to pack up the extra portions at our favorite restaurant and bring them home to eat for another meal?

I'm not sure about you, but I prefer to live a little longer. And the more pounds I put on, and the fatter I get, the less likely I am to live longer. My goal for the remainder of 2010? Drop a few pounds and get lean. Come on, it's not that hard

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Need a real estate agent who understands Middle Tennessee area and the real estate market? Give me a call and let me lend you a hand.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Best Father's Day Gift

I've often wondered what the first Father's Day gift was back in 1910. Maybe it was a tie. Throughout the years, I've received my share of Father's Day gifts. Everything from ties to shirts to gift cards made the list, but this year, I received the best gift ever.

When I opened my gift, I discovered something so precious that I will treasure it forever. No, not a brick of gold, or a nice new watch, or anything material. It was a book. That's right - a plain, simple book. Once inside I saw photos of my children on every page accompanied by descriptive words about each of them. You see, Annie and Hunter are the most precious gifts that any dad could have. Since they were born I've told them over and over again, "If I had to go to the ______ year old grocery story, I'd pick you out every single time!" I said it then and I say it now. There is NO GREATER gift in this life than children.

When Annie was born in February of 1994, she was a little early. Prior to her birth, she was an active baby. Her mother and I thought sure she would be a boy because she continually kicked and rolled over. She was born after over 24 hours of labor and weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Hunter, on the other hand, was a little quieter baby. He was big, though, at 9 pounds 3 ounces, and he was a late arrival - about a week late.

I'm proud of my children and and love them with all of my heart. I'm sure you think your kids are the best, but I have to disagree -- mine are! And everyone says so! If you could get to know them, you'd see that they argue and fight sometimes. Annie tries to "steamroll" over Hunter, but he doesn't let her do that too often. He stands up for himself. But he has a much more tender heart. Hunter is more compassionate while Annie is a confident leader.

When I became a dad back in 1994, it was one of the greatest events in my life. And it happened again for a second time in November of 1995. Two great kids and the wonderful blessings that they bring. I'm so grateful ............

Friday, June 18, 2010

Washington STILL Hasn't Passed Flood Insurance Coverage!

Usually I don't rant and rave about anything much on this blog, but today is different. Right now, real estate transactions where houses sit in any of the AE flood plains in Tennessee ARE NOT able to close. Why? Because the US Senate has NOT voted to pass the bill that extends flood coverage for millions of homeowners nationwide. Without flood insurance, lenders will not allow homes in flood plains to close because there is no coverage for those homes.

Phone calls to Senator Lamar Alexander's office this week revealed that this is a political maneuver by self-serving politicians. Right now, the Senate is considering bill H.R. 4213, a jobs and tax loophole bill that includes language renewing the extension of the coverage. CLICK HERE for more info about the bill.

The Senate has had the bill since last week and it came to the floor earlier this week. Unfortunately, there have been 180 proposed amendments to the bill, some of which have passed, some of which haven't. Even if the Senate votes for the bill, it then has to go back to the House for that body to approve it.

When asked why the flood insurance extension could not be isolated, I was told by Ashley (one of Senator Alexander's assistants) that the Democrats stopped this move originally initiated by Republicans. Unfortunately, the Republicans will not vote for the bill because the bill INCREASES OUR DEFICIT. Republicans want the Stimulus Money to pay for the expenses of the bill, but the Democrats refuse to agree to that.

It doesn't really matter where any of us stand politically. The problem we face is that our representatives are doing nothing more than playing ego-centric games, using bills (such as this one) to foster their own careers instead of taking care of the people who elected them.

If you want to contact your senator's office to register your dissatisfaction about this issue, then CLICK HERE to find the contact phone number for your senator. Even if you don't live in Middle Tennessee, PLEASE call your senator and express your concern for your fellow Americans.

To work with an agent who knows the Middle Tennessee real estate market, and who is abreast of what's going on the world of real estate, give me a call. I can be reached at 615.373.3513 or via email:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Delayed Closing?

The media is pushing for Congress to extend the deadline to close on homes contracted by April 30 of this year. Due to unforeseen circumstances, some buyer are not able to close by the end of the month deadline. Most of those homes constitute short sales that have taken the seller's lenders longer-than-necessary to approve.

Are you one of those buyers? If you are, or know someone who is, read THIS.


To work with a real estate agent who will look out for your interests, give me a shout. I'm ready and able to help. You can contact me at 615.373.3513 or via email at

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not Quite the Top 20, but Close!

Nashville just barely missed the Top 20 US Cities that have the best quality of life, a result of evaluating the top 67 US major market cities. Ranked by, there were 20 different criteria, including: well-rounded healthy economies; light traffic; moderate cost of living; household income; home ownership; and strong educational systems.

Raleigh, North Carolina hailed as number 1. An obvious choice for all the high-tech jobs that Raleigh boasts. Another North Carolina city similar in size to Nashville, Charlotte ranks number 16. With the fifth fastest population growth since 2000, it's a shoe-in for a little higher ranking. My old hometown, Richmond, Virginia, ranked 20, just barely making it into the top 20. With scores fairly even in every category, Richmond does boast a high quality of life.

Check out the top 25 slide show and read the synopsis on each one. You may be surprised at some of those that made the top 20 list.

Real estate isn't rocket science, but it does take skill, professionalism and knowledge to make your way through each local market. For help with your real estate needs in and around Nashville, please give me a shout. You can reach me at: 615-373-3513, or through email:

Record Home Sale for Nashville

Well, it sold ... Alan and Denise Jackson's home in Franklin ... for a cool $28 million. This sale is Middle Tennessee's highest home sale in history and it makes Tayna Tucker's 2007 sale of just over $11 million look like chump change.

The Jacksons paid $1.2 million for the 135 acre tract of land in 1993, then built their three-story colonial home on that estate.

You can check out the 50 photos of the estate, CLICK HERE. And to read the entire article in The Tennessean, then choose THIS LINK.

Enjoy the slide show. The house is quite amazing.

To work with a real estate agent who knows the Middle Tennessee market, give me a shout. I'm here to help you with all of your real estate needs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This Ain't Your Daddy's Burger Joint

Nestled in the heart of the trendy SoHo-esque part of Nashville, at 12th and Paris, is one of the city's newest additions, Burger Up. Opened just three weeks ago, Frothy Monkey proprietor Miranda Whitcome Pontes scores a "10" with this worth-the-wait-to-get-in upscale burger joint that's splashed with all the steel and clean lines of yuppiness. The oversized windows provide a great view of 12th Avenue South, and the local businesses and their greenscapes across the street.

Last week my friend, Erin, and I made a date to meet for dinner last night. At the last minute, we decided to try the 12th South eatery just for kicks. What we found inside was one single surf board embossed in red ink with the Burger Up logo as the venue's only artwork. Rows of heavy duty picnic tables, complete with comfortable individual bench seats, were filled with people throughout the restaurant. Never too close together, parties actually feel that they have some private space to chat.

Greeted by our server, Brian, we found that the restaurant is still in the process of "tweaking" it's menu. One glitch is that the burger section never mentions that fries are a standard side to the burgers. Brian forgot to address that little detail, so we ordered the onion ring tower which came as an appetizer.

The Fried Vidalia Onion Tower came with it's own dipping sauce, spicy lemon lime remoulade. The sauce added a zest to the lightly battered and fried rings, providing just enough flavor contrasts.

Our burgers came out fairly soon after finishing the rings. Erin and I ordered Woodstock burgers that come adorned with Benton bacon, Cabot white cheddar, and Jack Daniels maple ketchup. The all-organic burger comes sandwiched between the top and bottom of a homemade bun - a sure-fire hit. The burger's only drawback was that it needed more ketchup. Keep in mind, though, that I like condiments spilling out of the bun, so most other people will probably like the amount of ketchup that comes on the burger.

As the finishing pinnacle to our meal, we ordered the Smores Tiramisu. As a visual person, I imagined this dessert to be a layered concoction of graham crackers and marshmallow cream sprinkled with chocolate chips. Nothing could have been further from reality. Erin and I were totally surprised at the traditional appearance of the Tiramisu. The flavor of campfire smores was there, but with the tenderness and succulence of tiramisu. This tiramisu is Nashville's second best, deferring only to Amerigo's more classic version.

If you're vegan or a total organic eater, you'll find this place welcoming you with open arms. The food selection is also perfect for the person with an edgy palate. For a look at the current menu that they're still refining, CLICK HERE.

If you haven't been to Burger Up yet, you're missing out. Find it and go.

To work with a professional and knowledgeable real estate agent in the Middle Tennessee area, give Jack a shout. You can reach him at 615-373-3513 x3840 or through email:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thomas Sowell and His Appeal to Truth

If you're not aware of who Thomas Sowell is, you're not alone. I'd never heard of him until several months ago when a friend offered to let me borrow the book, The Housing Boom and Bust, by Sowell. So far, I've found the book incredibly objective about the truth about the nation's housing market, it's ups and downs, and how it's directly and indirectly related to the rest of the economy.

Through an online search, I found Sowell's credentials to be second to none. He is well educated (Harvard, Columbia and University of Chicago), and appears to be a great defender of truth, not leaning in favor of one political party over another.

A "must read" for every U.S. citizen.

The Housing Boom and Bust can be purchased online through, or at Barnes & Noble. You'll find that Sowell is a straight-shooter, calling out former presidential administrations, as well as the current one, and the congressional bodies that supported each one. He points out discrepancies in policies on both sides of the aisle, and the committees and architects of those policies that are in error.

This book is definitely well worth the read. Sowell will enlighten you to the truth and the vast cavern of omissions that are apparent to him. Unlike a typical college-level economics textbook, this is a great 'anytime' read because the author makes it easy to understand, and puts all the pieces together.

To learn more about Sowell, check out THIS SITE.
If you're looking for a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent to help you with your real estate needs, then look no further. Contact Jack Jernigan, with Crye-Leike, Realtors, at 615-373-3513 or

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pac-Man Mania

Released in Japan on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man took off. Soon after, it was released in the U.S. Video arcade games were relatively new to the world, with Space Invaders and Aestroids as the two most popular. Video games were also mostly played by guys, but Pac-Man leveled the playing field, appealing to both genders.

A year later, Ms. Pac-Man was released, the most popular video arcade game in history. I must admit that less college spending money was spent on movies and eating out that year while more was spent on Ms. Pac-Man. I was addicted. In a new venue - the cocktail table version - it was easy to take on an opponent.

That love for Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man has never waned. From the original video arcade games to the PC and phone versions, I still find them loads of fun. And so does most of the world.

Want to play a game or two .... or more? Find a flash version for your PC by CLICKING HERE. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helping Our Flood Victims

The United Way is up to it's eyeballs in requests for help from flood victims. They should be. That's why they're here. Many of us have volunteered to help our friends and neighbors and, honestly, we're getting spent from the efforts.

If you're not able to help people physically, then you can give them a hand financially. By purchasing posters and tee shirts, most of the cost will go toward a donation to a local charity, such as United Way, and the small portion of the cost will go toward the product itself.

Most of these items can be found online by googling the words, "Nashville flood tee shirts" or "Nashville flood posters". The "We Are Nashville" tee shirts can be found locally at Nashville Clothing Company, with two locations: One is at the Icon in the Gulch at 606 12 Ave South, Suite B. The other is in Cool Springs at 420 Cool Springs Blvd, suite 140, just across the street from PF Chang's.

My favorite poster is the a print of the artwork done by Kyle Jones. It can be found by CLICKING HERE.

This is my favorite Nashville Flood poster.

How about digging deep down into your pockets to give what you can? This is a great time to exercise kindness for our Middle Tennessee friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bailing Out

The devastation is indescribable. Flood waters rose to above five feet in most places around Nashville. And now debris is piled as high as six to seven feet at curbside.

When I went to work at a friend's condo in River Plantation (in Bellevue) last week, I was shocked by what I saw. Pictures that were hung above the water line began to fall off the walls because the water moved it's way up toward the ceiling. Dead frogs were found on shelves the china cabinet. Accessories and pictures that had been positioned on end tables and bedside tables were now on the floor, sitting in water. The refrigerator was tipped toward the wall at an angle. Wood furniture began to warp, requiring a crowbar to open drawers and doors. Upholstered pieces were now drenched with dirty flood waters. Carpet and rugs were mud-laden, and soaked with water. Mattresses were so filled with water that it took four large men to move each one.

Twenty people went to help my friend. Soaked down to our skin, we kept on working, thinking that the work would never end. Garbage bags filled with wet linens and clothing were stacked in two corners of the patio. One was dry clean; the other was launder. Sorting through clothing, pictures, accessories became a major job. Moving is considered a big stressor on people, but this was 100 times worse. The loss that my friend has felt has been overwhelming.

Last Sunday my parents were in town, so we drove through River Plantation, the Opryland area, Pennington Bend, downtown Nashville, and parts of Franklin so they could see what had happened. My dad, 83 years old, remarked he'd "never seen anything like this." Having served in World War II, he'd seen devastation in Germany before, but nothing like this. My mother commented that, "this is indescribable." And she's right.

Thank goodness for volunteers. Without volunteers, so many people would never be able to bounce back. Sunday, we saw hundreds of volunteers helping homeowners clean out their homes, bringing load after load of wet drywall, carpet and other items out to the curb. ServPro trucks were everywhere, and from everywhere. Area codes such as 412 were painted on the sides of ServPro trucks. Waste management companies were working overtime to remove the debris from the curbs.

While it took a few days for us to make national headlines, it turned out to be a great thing. Our volunteer efforts and true unselfishness has been shown to the world. We're a relentless and strong community. We care about each other. And we also persevere. Nothing can come between a Nashville resident and his neighbor, especially a flood.

Have you taken the opportunity to help a fellow Middle Tennessean yet? Maybe your neighbor didn't suffer flood damage, but may need help with something else. Maybe it's time to volunteer to help a friend in need. Are you that person? Maybe it's time ....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flooding in Franklin

Rain on Friday, April 30 was no surprise. Weather forecasters predicted it would come and the sky was evidence of the inevitable. A typical spring shower watered plants and lawns of grass, and then let up a little.

Little did I know that when I took my car to be serviced at noon on May 1 that I would drive home in lakes that had formed on Highway 96 in Franklin. While waiting for my car, I watched rain grow stronger and stronger during that 90 minutes of talking on the phone, checking email and trying ot watch the satellite TV in the customer waiting area.

I had already committed to going to hear a band with friends at 3rd and Lindsley that night, but at 3 p.m., I cancelled that daredevil decision. No way was I trading my 2nd floor condo for a trek in the downpour to hear any group.

Around dinner time, I spotted the creek behind our building as the once calm flow of water was now a roaring, rushing river, with an increased height of at least 15 inches. No worries, though, as weather predictions did not include a flood.

Weather forecasters finally admitted we were getting more than we bargained for. Franklin was the first area to be mentioned in a list of damaged locations. Flooding had been evident that afternoon on Highway 96 as I spotted 10-foot lakes in front yards along that road. Even the park next to the Harpeth was flooded up to the entrance. Franklin's Mayor had issued a 6 pm to 6 am curfew for the safety of it's residents.

By late Saturday night, the rains were coming down pretty hard and it was inevitable that Nashville and other parts of Middle Tennessee were going to experience a new kind of disaster.

After staying up late and watching the three major networks turn their broadcasts over to the latest in weather, I finally went to bed. Church hadn't been cancelled yet, so maybe it wasn't really that bad. Things changed at 7:35 the next morning as I heard a voice mail telling me that all church activities had been cancelled that day. The rain kept coming down in sheets so thick it was almost impossible to see anything. The darkness reigned over the entire area, and at 8:30 am, it looked as if it were midnight.

The rain eventually let up long enough Sunday around 11 a.m. for me to run out and get some gas. Surely I'd have enough time to get gas, a few movies from Red Box, and then get back home. I was wrong. While at the Kroger on Columbia Pike, all heavens broke loose. Getting gas wasn't a problem, but even while using an umbrella to run across a flooded parking lot to the Red Box, I was almost soaked. Standing in line behind five other people proved to be an impatient wait as the rain came down harder and faster. Will this EVER let up at all?

After retrieving three flicks, I ran back across the lot. It was a little better now, and I thought I'd take a quick drive around my area of Franklin. Little did I know that I would see streets turned into lakes. Fair Street was now a swimming pool at the dip just past 9th Avenue. 5th Avenue/Hillsboro Road was now an ocean of water as Sonic and Alexander Used Cars were both submerged under the water. I'd seen enough. Home I wanted to go.

Later that afternoon, the rain finally did break for a while and the sun started to shine. I decided to take a tour of the area to see how bad things were. Apparently a few other folks had the same idea.

Out of the four main ways to get out of Franklin, three were completely shut down. Third Avenue (which turns into Highway 96) was blocked. Just a few hundred feet from town was the bridge that crossed a western branch of the Harpeth River. No vehicles were going to get through there as police had taped it off and were blocking all traffic.

Main Street (which turns into Franklin Road going toward Brentwood) was just as bad. The Harpeth is crossed there, too, and police had blocked it off. Just west of there is First Avenue, which had turned into a lake. Only the street sign was visible.

Down the road were 3rd and 4th Avenues, which ran into North Margin Street. Just past North Margin the water had covered graveyards and parking lots. Nowhere was there any way to drive or even walk down those streets.

Just south of 3rd and 4th is 5th Avenue (which turns into Hillsboro Road). As a second visit to this street, I saw even more water this time, and I knew that plenty of damage had been done. Driving on Highway 96 West (toward Bellevue), front yards were flooded to capacity. Owners had parked their vehicles next to the road so they could eventually get out. I just hope they had a rowboat, kayak or canoe to get to their cars.

In almost a half century of living, I've never seen anything like this. Over the last few days, we've heard reports that so far, there is over $1.5 BILLION in damage. Who knows what the final total will be?

My heart goes out to those who have lost so much. This is one of those times I wish I had lots to give to people. It's devastating, heartbreaking and sad. My prayers continue to be with the over thousands of people who are currently homeless. Only God can take care of us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

That Unexpected Surprise!

It was a second showing of a home in Franklin. I'd made the appointment the day before and, as scheduled, met my buyers at the house. Even arriving on time, I managed to get there a few minutes before they arrived.

Promptly at 1, I rang the bell, but no answer. I knocked loudly, and still no answer. I opened the lock box, took out the key, and opened the door. When I get inside, the TV was on, dirty dishes were piled into the sink, and some of the lights were on. Of course, my first thought was that they were in such a hurry to get out that they forgot a few things. Or they were still home. I called out, "Anybody here?" several times; again, no answer.

After turning on all the downstairs lights, my clients pulled up and came inside. We started at the back of the house, talked about the space, and moved to the front of the house. While in the foyer, we noticed a man in a black leather jacket running across the front yard. He jumped on the front porch, pushed the front door open, and as quick as a flash, lept into the front office. When he came into the foyer he was loading his pistol and shouted, "Who the &$%# are you people and what are you doing in my house?!" Needless to say, all of us were caught off guard.

My clients and I left the house as I explained I was a real estate agent showing his house. He said he'd checked with his agent who said there was no showing at that time. After a phone conversation with the listing agent, we excused ourselves and left.

After countless apologies for the misunderstanding by the listing agent, things got better. We went back to the house an hour later ... and my client bought the house! All is well.

Yesterday the listing agent discovered what had happened. Her appointment center (not Crye-Leike's appointment center) called the owner of another listing she had and received confirmation to show that house, but called me back and confirmed this listing for me to show at the appointed time. The appointment center rep even gave me the correct alarm code for the correct house. Go figure ....

When all of this happened on Sunday, I was definitely stunned - not afraid. Now, I can say that I really have seen it all and done it all in real estate ...
If you're looking for an agent who provides exceptional customer service and will even show you a house at near gunpoint, give me a call. I'm more than happy to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction

You just can't make up some things. It seems impossible, but Tracy City, Tennessee elected a dead man mayor because they didn't like the incumbent. Go figure .... You can read the entire story HERE.

Think they'll put this in the Guinness Book of World Records?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Attack of the Shopping Cart ... and a Little Insight Into Child Rearing

Hovered at the $1 Spot at a local Target store the other day, I came in contact with an unexpected shopping cart. Not more than three years old, the driver's aim was spot on. I was totally lost in looking at $1 gifts for my daughter, Annie, but was interrupted by the crack that I heard and the pain that I felt at my ankle. I looked up to see a petite little blonde boy who was hurriedly moving his parents' shopping cart faster than they could keep up with him.

Stunned by the sudden attack, I looked up and saw him there, oblivious to what had happened. Parental instinct told me that it was nothing more than an accident resulting from an over-eager little boy who was excited about going to Target.

Almost immediately, the parents rushed over and began fussing with him about hitting me with the cart. They fussed about his not listening to them, and swatted him on the side of his head. Finally, their attention turned to me and they asked, "Are you OK?" I was fine, but barely listening to my response, they proceeded to force the little tike into apologizing to me. Why was he apologizing? My insistence that they didn't need to hit him went ignored, and they finally just walked off, the little boy still unaware of what had happened.

A few seconds later, a Target employee greeted me as I rounded the corner of the $1 Spot asking if I was OK. After a brief conversation with the employee I was soon on my way to get a birthday card for my sister. While walking the aisles, I saw the parents and the little boy once again. I thought about my own children and how their mother and I decided to deal with them in times of crisis like these.

Before Annie and Hunter were born, we decided early on that there would be many times when they would "mess up". The test, however, would be in their motivation. Was the mess up an accident, something that could not avoided? Or was it the result of disobedience? After many discussions, their mom and I decided that punishment was warranted only when disobedience was the root of their choices. Correction for an accident would not result in punishment.

Had that incident been caused by one of our own children, we would have handled it a little differently. First, we would have apologized to the shopping for the accident. Second, only after we were assured the shopper was OK would we deal with our child. Calmly taking the child aside, we would have explained that he/she caused an accident with the shopping cart. Third, we would have punished him/her only if he/she had ignored our direction to not take the cart and walk with it without an adult.

The parents of this child were probably mortified by the accident and took the situation personally. After all, what parent doesn't see their child's behavior as a reflection them?! But, then again, how does a parent, in what they perceive as a safety violation, deal with a child expediently?

One of our goals was to raise our children to respect people, property, laws, and authority. If we react with haste without providing respect in our correction of our children, are we also disrespectful of them?

Studies have shown that parents have more influence on their children far more than any other source or person. And since no day with our children can ever be repeated again, why would we not make the very best of it?!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Only a Month to Go

If you're considering the purchase of a new home, there's only a month left for you have a contract in place on a home for the tax credit. First time home buyers are entitled to an $8,000 tax credit (if they qualify), and those who have owned a home before are also possibly entitled to a $6,500 tax credit (if they qualify).

Don't wait until the last week of April to look for a home. The search will take a little time, then after the first offer, negotiations must take place. Following a binding contract, a home inspection should be completed to repair problems in the home.

For all homes under contract prior to April 30, 2010, closings must take place no later than June 30, 2010. The reason for this two-month time period is for banks who are selling foreclosures and those short-sale deals will have an opportunity to get closed.

There's more information on the first-time home buyer tax credit by clicking HERE. To learn more about the $6,500 tax credit for those who have owned a home previously, click HERE. If you have any additional questions about either of these credits, give your CPA or tax attorney a call.
If you're looking for a new home or want to sell your home, give me a shout. I'm here to help you get the price, terms and conditions that you want.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Furniture Shopping is a Necessity!

After my flooded condo was initially cleaned up, my insurance company wanted a comprehensive total of all of my losses. Needless to say, among the many things on the list, one item stood out - my sofa. The water damage to the fabric was irreversible and so shopping for a new sofa became a necessity.

I'm not much of a browser and never have been. But my excursion to find a new sofa after the insurance company took mine became a mission. I started at a locally owned furniture store - a store we've bought most of our furniture from. There was nothing there that I really liked. So I went onto the next one ... and then the next one ... and the next one ...

My journey took me to Thomasville in Cool Springs where I searched the showroom to see if there was something there I could "live with". I looked at all the sofas on the floor (their Floor Sample Sale is going on now), and found one that I really liked. But it was almost white. With sometimes muddy shoes, or the desire to lie down on the sofa after a workout, I didn't think that one would quite work out. One of the designers, Cathy Meadows, greeted me and a few minutes later, she was answering all my questions.

With today's mass produced furniture in so many retail outlets, it's a challenge to find something that is built with quality in mind. Sofas and chairs are a real investment, so quality construction is essential. Among my list of questions Cathy answered for me were: (1) What's the frame made out of? (2) How is the frame constructed? (3) What is the construction of the springs? (4) What are the choices of fabrics or leather and what are their grades? (5) If leather, is it analine, semi-analine, pigmented, or corrected? (6) Is the leather top grain or split-hide?

Trying out various sofas for comfort and analyzing them for style, I finally landed on a contemporary sofa that I loved. And, it fit me perfectly - just the right depth for me to sit on without feeling like the underside of my knees were hanging off the cushions, and the perfect length for inevitable Sunday afternoon nap. The grand total of 78 inches in the seating area even makes it a great place to sleep if I have family in from Virginia. Thomasville won my loyalty that day, and I continue to send clients over to Cathy almost weekly. And if you'd like to visit Thomasville online before you go, CLICK HERE. You'll find just about any style for any room in your home.

Furniture knowledge isn't really all that hard. Before you go, do your homework. If you're looking for bedroom or dining room furniture, then know the difference in the ways that various pieces are constructed. Find out about veneers versus hardwoods. And learn about how seats of chairs are constructed. If looking for upholstered pieces such as sofas and chairs, research various construction techniques as well as various types of fabrics or leathers. Whatever you're looking for, remember that "you always get what you pay for" and that good quality furniture can last a long time.

And when you get there, always ask for a better price. The worst thing they can say is, "no". If you want the lowdown on all the other places I checked out, let me know. I'll be glad to share my experiences with you.

This Realtor knows houses, the Middle Tennessee market, and how to negotiate on his client's behalf. If you're looking for quality real estate services, give Jack a call.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sommet is Out, Bridgestone is In

If you've been behind the eight ball, or the hockey puck, rather, then you may not be aware of the latest change to the former GEC downtown. The ever unpopular, and unknown, Sommet Center name has now changed to Bridgestone Arena.

After a lawsuit against the Franklin-based Sommet Group filed by the Nashville Predators months ago, the pro hockey team partnered with Nashville-based Bridgestone to establish a new identity for the mega-arena. Luckily the lawsuit was settled and everyone can now "move on."

Bridgestone has been trying to improve it's image since the Ford Explorer escapade several years ago. Obviously Bridgestone needs and wants to build a stronger and better branding image, so identifying themselves through pro team sponsorships makes sense.

Now, when I go to see the Preds play, I'll feel like I'm sitting in a place that people can at least pronounce. Hopefully The Sommet Group can find another sponsorship that fits them a little better.

To read all about the center's change of name, check at the article from the Nashville Business Journal HERE. Thanks, Bridgestone, for giving this Nashville venue a little more recognizability.

Thinking about buying or selling a home in the Nashville area? Give me a shout to get the process started.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Undercover Boss

Alright, so I admit it - I watched "Undercover Boss" more out of curiosity one Sunday night when nothing else much was on TV. First episode, I was hooked.

The premise of the show is that a CEO, President, or Owner of a fairly large company will go undercover and work in several departments over a series of days to find out what really goes on in their companies. They pose as a new employee or as a person doing research on various jobs within a company. Little does anyone know, they're harboring the head honcho while they do their jobs.

Watch a little while and you'll find the appeal as I do. Not long into each episode, you'll laugh and you'll cry. You'll be amazed that female Waste Management drivers have to use the bathroom in a tin cup on their route. Or that it takes skill to assemble frozen White Castle burgers into their containers. And that blessings abound for those who work hard with a great attitude.

For more info on "Undercover Boss", check out THIS SITE. And don't miss any more episodes.

To work with an agent who takes care of his clients, give me a call. Your desires are my priority. And don't forget to tune into "Undercover Boss". It's worth watching.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Skating Into First Place

Since 1988, I've never missed watching the Winter Olympics. In fact, I remember distinctly watching Bonnie Blair's winning streak, Brian Boitano's gold medal performance, and Dan Jansen's memorable poignant moments.

This year was no different. Glued in front of the TV night after night, the only thing better would have being there in person.

Watching Shaun White take the gold for Men's Halfpipe Snowboarding was incredible. Having already won the gold medal for the event, he performed even better in his encore performance. How about Lindsey Vonn in the Ladies' Downhill Alpine Skiing event? Ever seen anyone ski like that? And then it only got better when Evan Lysacek told home the gold for Men's Figure Skating. To top it all off, Seth Wescott won gold in the Men's Snowboard Cross event.

I think there's a little bit of a competitor in all of us. Who doesn't secretly want to experience snowboarding in the Halfpipe event like White? The confidence that bursts from his pores is enough to encourage me to daydream that I could perform skateboarding maneuvers like he does.

Overall, the US (yes, that's us!) took home 37 medals, an all time record high. This year, we even outdid Germany, our fiercest competitor. If you want to see the final medal standings, CLICK HERE. You can see the results and get the scoop on each of the events.
For a real estate agent who consistently and constantly keeps up with the latest market conditions, give me a shout.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oreos and Milk

Who doesn't like Oreos?! And who doesn't like them dunked in milk?!

I was reminiscing about eating Oreos this week and amused myself at the various ways I've enjoy Oreos and milk. My favorite way: Oreo Double Stuff dipped briefly in a glass of organic skim milk just before biting into it. I prefer a brief dunk because I still like the Oreo crunch in my mouth, along with the sweet, wet sensation.

Other ways to eat Oreos and milk:
- Unscrew the two sides and dunk each side into milk
- Unscrew the two sides, eat the cream off of each side, then dunk each cookie part in milk
- Unscrew the two sides, eat the cream off of each side, put the two sides back together, then dunk in milk
- Dunk the entire Oreo in milk and hold it down so that the cookie soaks up some milk
- Don't dunk at all, but bite the Oreo and then wash it down with a swallow of milk as fast as possible
- Dunking with a friend
- Dunking alone
- Dunking with your son or daughter
- Dunking with a parent or sibling
- Dunking via webcam with a family member or a friend
- Two lovers interlocking arms dunk their Oreos in the same glass of milk
- Dunking in bed while watching TV
- Dunking for breakfast
- Dunking as a mid-afternoon snack
- Place the Oreo on a spoon and dunk in it's entirety
- Put crushed Oreos in a bowl and pour milk on top of them
- Soak Oreos in milk, then freeze for several hours
- Spread peanut butter on Oreos, then dunk them in milk
- Spread vanilla icing on Oreos, then dunk them in milk
- Unscrew five Oreo cookies, then pile all of the filling from four of them onto the last one and dunk that one in milk
- Dunk the four cookies from the one above in milk
- Dunking at a campsite
- Dunking in front of the TV
- Participating in a dunking contest to see who can dunk and eat the most Oreos in a timed event

So ... what's your favorite way?


To work with a real estate agent who enjoys life and will provide an enjoyable experience for you in the purchase and/or sale of your home, give me a shout. I'd love to work with you.