According to the most recent data from the Southern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors, the real estate market in Maury County has grown by leaps and bounds this year.
With the onslaught of transplants, competitive cash bids and rising demand that surpasses housing inventory, home prices are soaring in the county and throughout Middle Tennessee.
The average home sale price in Maury County has increased by almost 65% in the past five years, jumping from $202,422 during the period of January-June in 2016 to $333,877 during the same time period in 2021, according to realtracs.com.
Reasons for moving to Maury County include lower taxes, lower homes prices compared to other cities, friendly people and even politics, according to local top real estate agents.
According to real estate agent Debbie Matthews, a Columbia native, homes are selling for at least 15% over asking price. Plus, waiving home inspections and appraisals has almost become the norm.
And such competition has reached new heights.
Chris McNeese and his wife saw seven homes slip through their fingers before they finally landed a townhome in a new Spring Hill neighborhood in Maury County with amenities such as a playground and splash pad that are perfect for their 2-year-old.
“We are grateful. We have been riding the house-hunt roller coaster for four months,” McNeese said.
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Previously, McNeese said, they were outbid with offers reaching $50,000 above asking price and a cash offer of $400,000 for a home.
In Williamson County, The Tennessean reported that some home offers have been coupled with odd items ranging from lots of tacos to tattoo work.
Market on the rise in Maury County
In just the past two and a half years, the average home price in Maury County has risen by 15%.
Columbia real estate agent Jimmy Dugger, past president of SMTAR, said it’s been a rigorous year in the market.
“I have worked this hard, especially when there was a surge in 2005 and 2006, but I have never worked at this pace,” he said.
Dugger said buyers from all over the U.S. are drawn to Tennessee as a whole, not just Maury County. Just this year, Dugger has helped clients from 17 states, including New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts and California.
Reasons buyers are drawn to Maury County
Tennessee attracts buyers from out of state, he said, because of lower taxes, southern charm and even politics.
“Tennessee is desirable because we have no income tax. That’s a big part of it,” Dugger said. “We have great, friendly people here. We stop and say ‘hi’ to them. Politics is also a reason. Some people want to be in a more conservative community.”
Dugger also said people are looking to escape traffic and high populations in Nashville and surrounding areas like Williamson County. He said people want more land and more space.
“Having I-840 has also helped us. People who work in Davidson and Williamson counties can now live in Maury County and commute,” he said.
Matthews estimated about half of her current clients are from out of state with various reasons for moving to Maury County, such as lower taxes, less business regulations and less gun regulations, to name a few.
“People say they are looking for a simpler life, lower home prices, lower taxes and less stringent mandates regarding COVID,” Matthews said. “The way Maury County leaders have led the county during COVID-19, such as Mayor Andy Ogles not implementing a mask mandate, resonates with some.”
Although county mayors had authority from the governor, Ogles never instituted a mask mandate on the county during COVID-19. The Maury County School Board also voted down mask requirements.
Fourth generation Californian Danielle Bolla knew that Columbia was the place for her family of four to relocate during her first visit.
Bolla scheduled a visit with Matthews to look at a few homes and ultimately fell in love with a downtown two-story brick home adorned with a quaint courtyard to house her family — husband Frederico, daughter Francesca, 12, and son Lorenzo, 4.
“When I was getting coffee at Muletown Roasters, I saw all of these people going up to shake this man’s hand. I thought, ‘I’ll bet that’s the mayor.’ Meeting the mayor was a big part of it,” Bolla said in her decision to move to Columbia.
“When I was researching online, I happened to come across Andy Ogles’ comments and I thought, ‘I like what he’s saying.'”
Even though generations of her family have made the beautiful landscape of San Francisco their home, Bolla said that she feels like times have changed.
“We wanted to leave prior to the pandemic because we feel like we can no longer make personal decisions for our children regarding vaccines and health, even before the pandemic,” she said.
She also said that she wanted to be in a place where her children aren’t required to wear masks at school all day, especially outside and during physical education classes, like the private school her children attended in California.
“The children were tested for COVID-19 every Monday and were out of school for a full year on Zoom,” she said.
The family is eager to fully move into their new home at Charles Place, Bolla said.
“We want to be outdoors. We want history, and we want good weather,” she added.
High demand, low inventory
Dugger said real estate demand surpasses the current housing inventory in Maury County.
“Our home is changing. The demand is so strong, and when we have so little to sell, the price will go up,” he said. “We want them to come, but we also don’t want to lose that small town southern charm.”
The average number of days on the market in Maury County is 19 days since the beginning of the year, according to realtracs.com.
Recent data from Southern Middle Tennessee Realtors Association:
Jan. 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021:
Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020:
- Average list price: $287,604
- Average sale price: $282,729
- Average days on market: 37
Jan. 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019:
- Average list price: $278,815
- Average sale price: $272,697
- Average days on market: 39
Jan. 1, 2016, to June 30, 2016:
- Average List price: $205,970
- Average sale price: $202,422
- Average days on market: 45
- Sale Price to List Price ratio: 98.34%
Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020:
- Sale Price to List Price ratio: 98.76%.
Jan. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021:
- Sale Price to List Price ratio: 101.04%