Friday, September 26, 2008

Center Hill Lake - Singing the "Please Save Me Fed" Blues

New England type community on Center Hill Lake. Most of the homes are empty.

Center Hill Lake, just outside of Smithville TN, is one of the most beautiful places in middle Tennessee. Hills and a lake view, doesn't get much better than that around here.

We've been working and hanging out for the last two weeks prepping a site for a new home. A Nashville doctor is building it, imagine that. In this certain area there are three other houses in progress.

Other than that, at least half the lake homes are empty. Very expensive homes. Builders and speculators gambled. As of this moment they seemed to have lost. People bought all of the available lots a few years ago and thought they could resell for a good profit. They thought wrong. I talked to an appraiser who stopped by and told me the lot next to the doctor's was going into foreclosure. A little over half an acre that sold for $149,000 wasn't being paid for and nobody's buying. The banks will soon own a lot of property and they aren't loaning much money right now. At least the 'for sale' sign business is doing well.

Center Hill's most famous resident is Alan Jackson. He's building a helipad on his multi-million dollar estate so he can make those trips to and from Nashville a little quicker. More power to him if he can keep selling those tunes and tickets. I hope he invested well.

I'd say Center Hill is a small microcosm of the high end speculative real estate market. Buy the land, build it and they will come. The money was easy to get, interest rates low and everyone was going to make a killing. The Fed decided otherwise.

My friend Saladin says she saw on CNN that the National Association of Home Builders will soon lobby Congress for a 40 to 90 billion dollar bailout for the housing market. Even if they get it, I wonder how that will 'trickle down'. Probably not very far.

TVA is raising their electric rates 15% on Oct 1. This is on top of two previous rate hikes earlier this year. Great, just in time for winter. How about bailing out TVA and reducing the electric bills. TVA is already owned by the government. Oh, that would help the little guys, you know, people like us. I guess bailouts are only for the rich gamblers.

For the folks on Center Hill that can keep their homes, I suppose this 'downturn' has an upside and will help maintain their pristine views and keep the 'trash' out.

Nice view if you can get it.

Homes for sale such as this one are singing the "Please save me Fed" blues.


  1. Hey Kenny,
    Where are these empty homes? I'm looking for a lake house.

  2. Call any real estate agent in Smithville TN or search online. You'll find a lot of them.