Deadly Tornadoes in Nashville Leave Real Estate Community in Shock

March 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Deadly Tornadoes in Nashville Leave Real Estate Community in Shock

March 4, 2020
neighborhood damaged by tornado

© Brian Copeland

Residents have described a deadly tornado that ripped through Nashville and parts of Tennessee on Tuesday as a sudden “train sound” that awakened them in the middle of the night. There was barely a warning as a tornado tore through a 145-mile stretch in the state, spiraling through Nashville’s downtown and its eastern neighborhoods. Residents woke up shocked to widespread damage, leveled homes and buildings, tossed airplanes, and downed power lines. At least 25 people have been killed by the twisters; dozens more are still unaccounted for, police say.

The real estate community is among those rushing to aid victims and help coordinate relief efforts.

“Our hearts go out to members of our community who lost their lives, homes, and businesses overnight,” Kristy Hairston, president of the Greater Nashville REALTORS®, posted in a Facebook message to members hours after the tornado struck the community. “As REALTORS®, we are committed to supporting our community. We will remain steadfast and strong. In the coming days, we will come together to comfort and assist those in need.” The association is currently working to coordinate relief efforts through the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, a national charitable fund that provides housing-related assistance to victims of disasters.

retail area damaged by tornado

© Brian Copeland

Real estate brokerages also are stepping in to help clients and residents affected. For example, the Parks Realty office in Brentwood, Tenn., posted on its Facebook page that it will serve as a donation center over the next few weeks to help provide supplies to tornado relief victims. It’s collecting water, clean towels, and catered food. KW Cares, the charitable arm of Keller Williams, is working with its regional leadership in areas affected by the tornadoes in coordinating financial assistance or other needs for any of its real estate professionals who may have been displaced by the tornadoes.

The local ABC news affiliate reported that in East Nashville, a Crye-Leike, REALTORS®, office had a large window blown out of the front of its brokerage from the tornado. A neighbor was helping real estate professionals board up the building on Tuesday. “That’s just how East Nashville is; that’s one reason we like selling over here and living over here,” a broker at the office told the KDRV-ABC.

Mitch Turner, communications director with the Greater Nashville REALTORS®, says the association is still trying to assess how many buildings and homes of its REALTOR® members were damaged by the tornado. The association has sent messages to all of its members to urge them to notify them of any damage so that they can start coordinating needed relief support.

“It’s like nothing I’ve seen,” Turner told REALTOR® Magazine. “We had an F3 tornado that ranged from one end of Nashville to the other.” Winds as strong as 155 miles per hour were reported in some parts of the city.

Turner says that many of the association’s members are also investors. “I know members are out today checking on their renters to make sure they’re OK,” he says. “Our members are helping people get into temporary homes as needed. It’s not just monetary. REALTORS® are committed to helping the community. We’ll help how we can. We demonstrated that during the floods in 2010, and we’ll do that again.”

Meanwhile, the real estate industry also is bracing for any long-term impact the deadly tornado could have on one of the nation’s hottest housing markets. At least 45 buildings in downtown Nashville were leveled by the tornado. Buildings and homes throughout the city saw substantial or catastrophic damage.

“The areas it hit were extremely hot real estate markets with thriving community districts and were densely populated with homeowners,” Brian Copeland, a real estate broker with Doorbell Real Estate, told®.

Still, real estate pros are optimistic that the Nashville market will be resilient in the aftermath. Some real estate pros anticipate that home values could rise in unaffected areas as displaced residents look for temporary housing. Nashville has grown into a thriving employment center with a quickly climbing population over the last few years that, real estate pros say, will likely protect its home prices from any long-term downfalls.

The Nashville tornado was the deadliest to strike the U.S. in the past seven years. The city has faced deadly twisters in the past: In 1998, a tornado destroyed the same downtown neighborhoods that were pummeled by this week’s twister. In May 2010, the city faced catastrophic flooding from record-breaking rainfalls that resulted in substantial damage throughout Nashville and middle Tennessee.

Source: REALTOR® Magazine Daily News


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