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Category: EMTAR

7 Reasons to Own a Home

Note: The following post is adapted from The Guidebook for Buyers, a collection of how-tos, checklists, and worksheets to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience. This helpful resource is available to view and/or download from our EMTAR website here.

It will come as no surprise that all of us at EMTAR are champions and advocates for the power of homeownership. And that’s not just because we are a local REALTOR® Association supporting and representing professional agents and brokers who are also part of Tennessee REALTORS® (our state Association) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

It’s also because many of us have experienced the benefits of owning a home personally over the years, and our members have had the honor and privilege of helping thousands of clients throughout Wilson, Smith, and Dekalb Counties and surrounding areas to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Handing over the keys, seeing the big smile on a buyer’s face, celebrating the blessing of watching a family cross the threshold for the first time—all of these special moments and many more make the life-changing work we do well worth the dedication and effort.

So what are some of the payoffs of buying a home? Well, they include…

1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.

2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing home sale prices have continued to increase over time, according to NAR data. Along the way, housing crises and economic dips have caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the decade following the 2007-2009 downturn, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values rose 7 percent on a cumulative basis.

In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing. This is especially true in higher-growth areas of the nation, including the South, Tennessee, and our own part of the Volunteer State.

3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home. 

4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax. Learn more here.

5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase. 

6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle. 

7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

These aren’t the only good reasons to pursue homeownership, of course, but they tick off some of the major boxes for anyone who might be on the fence about whether to embark down a path toward owning their own home.

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

The INs and OUTs of Real Estate Compensation

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has posted a number of helpful resources focused on the importance of brokers and agents as champions of homeownership and the rights of private-property owners, keys to ensuring consumer access and opportunity to housing, essential ways to foster business competition, the basics of how real estate compensation is designed, and much more.

In this blog we are zooming in on the compensation aspects. At EMTAR, we agree wholeheartedly that it’s important for consumers looking to experience the American dream of homeownership to understand how real estate agents are paid for the services they provide.

The key points to keep in mind, as shared here by NAR, include:

The seller and their listing broker must agree.

“At the outset, the seller and that person’s listing broker agree on the amount the listing broker will receive for the services it provides to the seller. The listing broker and seller also discuss and agree upon an amount that the listing broker will pay a broker who successfully closes the transaction with a ready, willing and able buyer. . .”

Commissions are always negotiable.
“Commissions can be negotiated at any point throughout the transaction, including at the outset, after the results of a home inspection and after an offer has been made. . .”

Commission models vary.
“Buyers have many different choices about which broker they want to work with in terms of everything from the commission model to a real estate agent’s particular expertise to the agents’ customer service approach. . .”

Commission rates are set by the market.
“The free market organically establishes commission costs within local real estate markets based on service, consumer preference and what the market can bear, among other things. NAR guidelines ensure that the listing broker advise all other participants in their local broker marketplace what the amount of compensation to the buyer’s broker will be . . .”

Commissions can’t be included as part of a mortgage.
“Unlike mortgage broker fees, closing costs, and appraisals, real estate sales commissions are not directly linked to the mortgage loan production and therefore cannot be financed. . . For further information check out realestatecommissionfacts.com.”

REALTORS® are bound by a strict code of ethics in the home buying process.
As we emphasized in EMTAR’s previous blog, “REALTORS® are bound by NAR’s Code of Ethics to always further clients’ best interests, including showing homes that meet buyers’ needs regardless of compensation offered. . .”

Broker cooperation keeps local broker marketplaces solid.
“Because of broker cooperation, buyer and seller brokers are incentivized to share their information in their local, independent broker data hub. . .”

Listing and buyer brokers contributing to local broker marketplaces set the U.S. real estate industry apart.
“The U.S. model has long been—and is still—viewed as the best option for consumers around the world. Buyers abroad are forced to wade through a complex and fragmented market where they have to work with multiple brokerages and where there is no exclusivity so sales can fall through . . .”

You can learn more about these important topics by accessing these resources:

Fostering Consumer-Friendly Real Estate Marketplaces (overview webpage)

Local Broker Marketplaces in Action (infographic)

The Economics of Buying a Home

NAR Real Estate Compensation Facts

179 Ways Agents Who are REALTORS® Are Worth Their Compensation

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

Local Broker Marketplaces: Pro-Competition and Pro-Consumer

EMTAR members are not just real estate agents and brokers who help our clients buy and sell residential and commercial properties. We are much more than that, beginning with the fact that we are REALTORS®, professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as well as Tennessee REALTORS® (our state association).

We are bound to adhere to the strict REALTOR® Code of Ethics that puts our clients’ interests first and reflects the highest standards of professionalism.

And we stand strong in championing wealth building through homeownership and private-property rights while advocating for consumers throughout our Eastern Middle Tennessee communities.

These are among the many examples of “the REALTOR® difference.”

As one reflection of that, NAR has established guidelines that foster efficient and convenient local broker marketplaces to ensure pro-consumer and pro-business competitive real estate markets, equity, transparency, and market-driven pricing for home buyers and sellers.

Local MLS broker marketplaces connect buyers and sellers of real estate in the U.S. through their respective agents. These marketplaces ensure consumer access and opportunity while promoting healthy competition. They give first-time, low-income, and other buyers better access to the American dream of homeownership while also exposing a seller’s property to the greatest number of potential buyers.

The benefits of local broker marketplaces are many, and they include:

  • Largest databases of available homes
  • Most up-to-date home status information
  • Maximized visibility of homes for sale
  • Verified, trusted, detailed, and accurate property information
  • Facilitated cooperation between buyer and seller brokers
  • Equal opportunity for all home buyers and sellers
  • Ease in finding the agent selling the home
  • A level playing field between large and small brokerages

Without NAR’s guidelines for the local MLS broker marketplaces, information on homes would be prone to be inaccurate, unreliable, and scattered across real estate sites, disadvantaging buyers and sellers. Instead, each local broker marketplace provides instant exposure to the largest possible pool of potential buyers for sellers and the greatest number of housing options for buyers.

In addition, consumers can confidently rely on the information they receive because REALTORS® share complete housing data backed by guidelines that ensure accuracy and transparency.

Our next blog will zoom in on real estate compensation in light of local broker marketplaces.

In the meantime, you can learn more about this important topic via these resources:

Fostering Consumer-Friendly Real Estate Marketplaces (overview webpage)

Local Broker Marketplaces in Action (infographic)

The Economics of Buying a Home

NAR Real Estate Compensation Facts

179 Ways Agents Who are REALTORS® Are Worth Their Compensation

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®

Note: The following post is adapted from The Guidebook for Sellers, a collection of how-tos, checklists, and worksheets to help sellers understand what to expect during the real estate experience. This helpful resource is available to view and/or download from our EMTAR website here.

How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job?  
Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. But much of real estate is learned on the job.  

How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year? 
This will touch on how much experience they have, and how up-to-date they are on the local market. 

What designations or certifications do you hold?  
Real estate professionals have to take additional specialized training in order to obtain these distinctions. Designations and certifications help define the special skills that an agent can apply to your particular real estate needs. One designation sellers might for is the CRS®, or Certified Residential Specialist, but there are also specialists for military customers, seniors, and those who are considering a short sale, among others. 

How many days does it take you to sell a home? How does that compare to others?  
The REALTOR® you interview should have information about their performance on hand and be able to present market statistics from their local MLS to provide a comparison.  

What’s the average variation between your initial listing and final sales price?  
This is one indication of a REALTOR®’s pricing and negotiating skills.  

What specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?  
Your agent should have an aggressive, innovative plan and understand how to market property online. 

Will you represent me exclusively, or might you also choose to represent the buyer?  
While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, your REALTOR® should be able to explain his or her philosophy on client obligations and agency relationships.  

Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and so on?  
Practitioners should be able to recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with any of the providers. 

How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?  
The best answer here is a question. A real estate agent who pays attention to the way you prefer to communicate and responds accordingly will make for the smoothest transaction. 

Could you please give me the contact information of your three most recent clients?  
Ask their former customers if they would use the agent again in the future.

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

Buyers: 7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®

Note: The following post is adapted from The Guidebook for Buyers, a collection of how-tos, checklists, and worksheets to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience. This helpful resource is available to view and/or download here.

EMTAR’s REALTOR® members aren’t just real estate agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

1. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client. 

2. An expert guide. Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language. 

3. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.

4. Expanded search power. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market. 

5. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. 

6. Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career. 

7. Your rock during emotional moments.  A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

EMTAR Recognizes REALTOR® Safety

Each September, as part of its ongoing efforts to keep members safe, the National Association of REALTORS® marks REALTOR® Safety Month. At EMTAR, we affirm the importance of focusing on this vital aspect of the real estate industry as our members work to help people in our communities to achieve the American dream of homeownership.

Safety is not something we take for granted, and so we are sharing some of the many resources available to agents and brokers, not only this month but throughout the year, to emphasize the importance of being cautious when working with prospective buyers and sellers, showing homes, hosting open houses, traveling to and from properties, and more.

One of the practical ways we are marking this month is through the following CE course:

Putting REALTOR® Safety First

Thursday, September 28, 2023
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
3 CE Hours
Location: EMTAR, Mt. Juliet
Learn more and Register

Taught by Middle Tennessee REALTOR® and broker Chris Garrett, the “Putting REALTOR® Safety First: Safety Strategies for the Modern REALTOR®” course is designed to instill safety awareness and habits as second nature so that real estate professionals—as well as their clients and customers—know how to avert or respond to dangerous situations and avoid harm as they practice their profession.

We hope to see many of our EMTAR members at this course on the 28th!

From the NAR level, September is devoted to sharing the core components of REALTOR® Safety: knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.

The goal of the National Association’s REALTOR® Safety Program is to reduce the number of safety incidents that occur in the industry, so every REALTOR® comes home safely to his or her family every night. We will accomplish this goal together with our members by improving the Safety Culture in the industry: Talk about safety; create a safety plan and follow it; and encourage your fellow REALTORS® to do the same.

To mark this month, NAR offers updated online REALTOR® safety resources, including new webinars and seasonal safety tips for associations and brokers to share with members.

Those resources include:

We hope you will explore some of these valuable tools for yourself, for your firm and agents (especially if you are a principal/managing broker), and for your clients. Not only is it essential for REALTORS® to focus on staying safe, but it adds a level of confidence and assurance among buyers and sellers when they know that we are thinking of them and their safety as well.

Take care out there!

About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

Eastern Middle TN Shines as a Destination — Part 5: News & Information

Our fifth and final blog in this series focuses on the sources of news and vital information in Eastern Middle Tennessee—yet another reason why our part of the Volunteer State shines as an inviting destination to live, work, and play.

(See Part 1: Natural Wonders here, Part 2: Attractions here, Part 3: Music & Arts here, and Part 4: Shopping & Commerce here.)

In our area—which we’re defining as in or near Wilson County—some of the ways we receive news, updates, and insights about goings-on include the following.

The Tennessean* (Wilson County)
Nashville’s traditional morning daily newspaper, available in print and on the web, includes an online section focused on Wilson County. Of course, the paper also covers all Nashville-area news, entertainment, business, arts, sports, and more.

Chronicle of Mt. Juliet*
 A weekly and online newspaper serving Mt. Juliet and West Wilson County communities for more than 40 years. (For rack sales locations, go here.)

Lebanon Democrat*
Another well-respected newspaper, based in Lebanon and published daily in print and online.

NewsChannel5 (Wilson County News)
The Nashville-based CBS affiliate.

Wilson County Source
A hyper-local portal for news, events, and all things Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Watertown, and other localities.          

WCTV (Wilson County Television)
Wilson County Television is the county’s Public, Education and Government (PEG) channel. You can watch WCTV on TDS Telecom Channels 7 and 1007, DTC Channels 198 and 498, Charter/Spectrum Channel 198 and AT&T/U-verse Channel 99.

WKRN-2
The Nashville-based ABC affiliate.

WSMV-4 (Wilson County)
The Nashville-based NBC affiliate.

WZTV-Fox
The Nashville-based Fox affiliate.

Area Radio Stations Featuring News / Talk Include WANT FM and WCOR AM.

Area News & Info Social Media Accounts
When you’re looking for updates, event details, and other local scoops, hopping on social media can be a fast way to find what you need. As a starting point, here are links to a few of the many helpful Facebook accounts in our area (many of these are linked with their Instagram feeds as well):

Chronicle of Mt. Juliet
City of Lebanon
City of Mt. Juliet
City of Watertown
Lebanon Democrat
Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce
Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce
Mt. Juliet-Wilson County Public Library
Watertown Express
Watertown & East Wilson Chamber of Commerce
Wilson County Emergency Management Agency
Wilson County Convention & Visitors Bureau

And of Course: Rock-Star REALTORS®
You didn’t think we’d leave out the very BEST news about our area, did you? (Hint: you!)

Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

All of the aspects we have featured in these blogs represent some of the myriad reasons why we love being part of Eastern Middle Tennessee—and why so many others are discovering what makes this such an inviting place to live and visit.

Thank you for reading Part 5: News & Information. We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Stay tuned for more EMTAR blog posts coming soon! *Some of these news outlets require a subscription to access certain articles and stories.

Eastern Middle Tennessee Shines as a Destination – Part 4: Shopping & Commerce

Our fourth blog in this series focuses on the business, commercial, and retail aspects of Eastern Middle Tennessee—which are even more reasons why our part of the Volunteer State shines as an inviting destination for residents, business owners, and visitors alike.

(See Part 1: Natural Wonders here, Part 2: Attractions here, and Part 3: Music & Arts here.)

In our area—which we’re defining as in or near Wilson County—some of the highlights of commerce and shopping include the following. (We know there are many more, of course; this is just a sampler platter!)

(The next installment of this series, Part 5, will feature News & Information.)

Malls, Boutiques, Gifts, Health and More

The Wilson County Convention & Visitors Bureau website includes this list of a variety of shopping options, from the popular Providence Marketplace to mom-and-pop shops nestled on quiet streets, from restaurants and bookstores to beauty and antiques, and many more.

Mt. Juliet Shopping & Specialty Retail

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce maintains this helpful directory on its website, featuring a broad array of shopping opportunities in and around the city. (And yes, the list keeps growing as the community continues to thrive.)

Shops, Markets, and Galleries in Lebanon

Savvy shoppers know to hop on Yelp, Yahoo!, Google, Tripadvisor, or other online listing and review sites when searching for places to spend their dough. In the case of some of the businesses located in and around Lebanon, Tripadvisor offers this eclectic list that includes some fun choices.

Just the Shopping Centers

Along those lines, Yelp includes a ranking of “The 10 Best Shopping Centers near Wilson County,” so those looking for bigger retail options in our area would do well to check out this collection.

Cars, Crafts, Delis & Other Commercial Spots

Not to be outdone, BusinessYab has compiled this wide-ranging directory of Wilson County retail and commercial establishments providing a full menu of products and services. It’s well worth a look.

Locally Owned Garden Shops

Wilson County is home to a harvest of garden shops where residents can find flowers, plants, produce, and also learn how to cultivate their own gardens at home. This Wilson County Source article provides more details about the shops.

Smooth(ie) Move, Slick

In the mood for a cool, creamy, healthy (or not-as-healthy) treat? Grab a smoothie at one of the many spots where they’re available throughout Eastern Middle Tennessee.

And of Course: Rock-Star REALTORS®

You didn’t think we’d leave out the folks who contribute mightily to commerce in our area through their excellence in real estate community, did you? (Hint: we mean you!)

Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

Commerce and shopping represent some of the myriad reasons why we love being part of Eastern Middle Tennessee—and why so many others are discovering what makes this such an inviting place to live and visit.

Stay tuned for Part 5: News & Information, coming soon.

Eastern Middle Tennessee Shines as a Destination—Part 3: Music & Arts

In our third blog in this series, we turn toward some of the places in our part of Tennessee known for music and the arts, yet another reason why our region of the Volunteer State shines as an inviting place to live, work, visit, play, and thrive.

(See Part 1: Natural Wonders here, and Part 2: Attractions here.)

Of course, we’re only a short drive from Music City USA, and many who live in or visit our communities do so in part to enjoy the proximity to world-class music and arts throughout Nashville. But in our area—which we’re defining as in or near Wilson County—some of the places that serve up music and/or arts include the following.

(The next installment of this series, Part 4, will feature Shopping & Commerce.)

The Capitol Theatre (Lebanon)
A top venue in the heart of Lebanon that features musicals, concerts, comedy shows, movie nights, and more. (Not to mention an EMTAR installation and awards lunch event or two!)

The Goat (Mt. Juliet)
Home to hot live entertainment on many evenings.

The Roast (Lebanon)
Specialty coffee and live music on Friday and Saturday nights, staffed by volunteers with the Salvation Army.

Lakewood Theatre (Old Hickory)
Offerings include programs that spotlight local artists, serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, and nurture our community’s youth.

Jimmy’s Bar & Grill (Lebanon)
A popular spot for live entertainment, karaoke,  rock, blues, and country. 

Encore Theatre Company (Mt. Juliet)
A non-profit community theater serving Wilson County and surrounding areas.

School of Rock (Mt. Juliet)
Provides a full menu of music lessons, camps and workshops, events, and more.

Coach’s EastGate Grille (Lebanon)

Includes live bands, karaoke, and more.

And of Course: Rock-Star REALTORS®
You didn’t think we’d leave out the “players” out the folks who make our real estate community “sing,” did you? (Hint: you!)

Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

The music and arts represent some of the myriad reasons why we love being part of Eastern Middle Tennessee—and why so many others are discovering what makes this such an inviting place to live and visit.

Stay tuned for Part 4: Shopping & Commerce, coming soon.

Eastern Middle Tennessee Shines as a Destination – Part 2: Attractions

In our second blog focused on some of the many ways our region of the great state of Tennessee shines as a go-to place to live, work, visit, play, and thrive, we turn our attention to some of the attractions that Eastern Middle Tennessee has to offer.

(See Part 1: Natural Wonders here.)

We’re sure you are already aware of most, if not all, of these gems, but we hope the quick highlights here might be helpful to share with folks in your network if and when they ask for a quick rundown of what makes our little patch of the Volunteer State such a special place.

(The next installment of this blog series, Part 3, will feature Music & Arts.)

In our area—which we’re defining as in or near Wilson County—some of those attractions include:

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
But of course, this attraction not far west of Wilson County is often visited by school groups and tourists to the area. The Hermitage is a historical plantation (and museum) that was owned by Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, from 1804 until his death in 1845.

James E. Ward Agricultural Center (at the WC Fairgrounds)
This municipally owned, 260-acre property encompasses three flexible-use destinations: the Agricultural Complex, the Wilson County Exposition Center, and Fiddlers Grove Historic Village. Together, these properties host over 1 million visitors each year for outstanding special events.

Lebanon History Museum
Located in the Historic Castle Heights Military Building, this museum chronicles the roots of the City of Lebanon, which was founded on tiny Sinking Springs in 1802. The exhibits cover a wide variety of experiences from the people, places, and things that make Lebanon what it is today. 

Nashville Shores
This popular, wet-and-wild resort is a family recreation paradise along the shores of Percy Priest Lake. The property features a first-class waterpark, exciting zip lines and rope courses, lakeside accommodations, and more.

Breeden’s Orchard
This 12-acre working peach and apple orchard is open for the summer. Stop in for fresh produce and baked goods as well as weekend cookouts and Friday-morning Storytime. The orchard’s rotating products allow for an exciting variation every week.

Cedar Creek Sports Center
This well-known Fun Center has been designed with the family in mind. The 16½-acre center has plenty of room for mini-golf, a 1,100-foot-long go-kart track, a driving range, batting cages, and more.

Chad’s Winter Wonderland
This lovely seasonal drive-thru Christmas lighting event is typically open every night from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, weather permitting.

Fite-Fessenden House Museum
(236 Main St., Lebanon, 615-444-2275)
This historic house in Lebanon is now home to the Wilson County Museum. Tours are available by appointment only.

Cellar 53 Winery
This Brush Creek winery features wines produced using mostly Tennessee grown fruit, with the majority being grown on the eight acres of grape and blackberry vineyards. Open Thursday through Sunday,  Noon to 6 p.m., and for private events. 

A few other websites of interest:

Canoe the Caney (Silver Point)
615 Candle Lab (Mt. Juliet)
TN Vacation guide for Mt. Juliet
TN Vacation guide for Lebanon

And of Course: Rock-Star REALTORS®
You didn’t think we’d leave out our favorite “attractions” this time either, did you? (Hint: you!)

Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.

In sum, these are only a few of the myriad reasons why we love being part of Eastern Middle Tennessee—and why so many other folks continue to discover all of what makes this such an inviting place to live and visit.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Music & Arts, coming soon!