Pre-1950s home in Nashville, TN

3 Replies

Hello all!

I am looking to network with anyone who is rehabbing/restoring a vintage Pre-1950s home in TN. I want to know the specifics of dealing with historic or older homes in this area and if it is worth investing in them. Please let me know if you have recently closed on a pre-1950s home in the area and are about to begin renovation, or if you have done one of these before and how your experience went. Thank you!

Is your property in a "historic overlay"? If you don't know you can look it up on the city maps and going to the historic layer tab. If the neighborhood was built in the 1950's it probably is not historic. If you are not in one of those zones then you have no problem with the historic commission. 

If you are in one of those zones, then you have a big job.  Each neighborhood has its own book (100-200 pages) of regulations. It covers what you can and can't add to the structure, maximum height, set backs, materials for siding, pattern of brick work, windows, light fixtures, light switches, and all the rest. The commission approve every detail, and it slows the process. I know a guy that failed an inspection for having "non-contextual vent registers" and had to replace them all for $200 each. It can be a huge deal. 

Is the house "blighted"? That can get you certain exemptions. They keep a list of those, but they are adding to the list from time to time.

Now that I scared you, some of these historic neighborhoods are in ideal locations. A well done rehab can get $300-400/sf in some places, but have a large reserve going in and an architect and GC that is familiar with historic restrictions.

Good luck

Roger is spot on. It is a task but can be rewarding. East Nashville, 12 South, for example have been worked the most but the areas are expanding out and there are some cottages there that are just begging to be turned into a masterpiece! Good luck!

Hey @Nicole Conley

I can sometimes be pretty long winded about these kind of things as this is all I do on a full-time basis. I am currently involved in about five projects that range from a 1900 to a few 1940s builds, and have several investors I represent who almost primarily deal with pre-1950s homes. In all honesty, the majority of the urban core in Nashville meets this criteria while not being "historic" though some are. Not sure what specific questions you have, but I'm all ears if you have something specific to ask. 

Like most cities Nashville can really be street to street in some of the older neighborhoods and if you are investing out of state, sight unseen, (I am assuming here based on the fact you live in Brooklyn) you really have to build a team of people that understand the area and that you can trust to lead you in the right direction. 

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