As Realtors, we can't tell you what areas to look in or even what areas to avoid, but I would think that your price range is going to dictate what areas you can afford. At that pricepoint and size for a home, closer to downtown, you are going to have to do quite a bit of work and you might still find the neighborhood undesirable. As for a condo, closer to downtown, you can find a few under the $200K mark, but only one that I know of is new construction, the others would require some work and are between 1100 and 1600 sq ft.
If your search criterian are not flexible, you still have a few options, but they are limited. If you don't mind being 15 min from downtown, your possibilities are much greater. It really is going to depend on which is your most important requirement for your new home. If price and location are most important, than perhaps the size could be flexible. If size and price are you biggest concerns, then they can be met by looking further out away from downtown. But if size and location are mandatory, then price will be your factor.
I agree with the previous response. Short sales and Foreclosures are still out there, but the banks are becoming more and more difficult to deal with. The deals are still there, but they are not always in the neighborhoods you would prefer.
Hopefully a 'Welcome Home' will soon be in order and if I can be of any help to you all with your search, please feel free to contact me.
Area 1 = 63 (southeast of downtown)
Area 2 = 7 (southwest of downtown)
Area 3 = 8 (west of downtown)
Area 4 = 17 (northwest of downtown)
Area 5 = 25 (north of downtown)
Area 6 = 40 (northeast of downtown)
Area 7 = 23 (east of downtown)
Area 8 = 46 (southeast of downtown)
Obviously, most of your options fall southeast of town in areas 1 and 8. Since you are familiar with Cheatham County, Area 4 falls closest to that area. There are some amazing subdivisions that have sprung up in an area called Eaton's Creek. You can be at Baptist and downtown within 10 minutes from there and you'll find everything from ranch-style homes to new construction.
Area 1 and 8 have such generous stocks because the cost of living matched with the supply create many options for you. Area 6 has been very popular among urbanites for its extreme proximity to downtown and multiple major roads that funnel into the city. Many parts of area 6 have seen a renaissance since the mid 90s.
Area 2's affordable homes are quite rare, obviously from the statistics. Area 3 has many homes in your price point, however the homes tend to be smaller in Area 3 due to most of dense stock is very close to downtown, also.
Areas 4 and 5 offer a lot of wide open spaces. Whites Creek (in area 5) feels like you are out in the country when in all reality you can be in downtown in 5 minutes from many areas of 5. Area 7 can be a challenge for quick access to Baptist and downtown due to its geography with the Cumberland River. Areas 7 and 8 will challenge your commute times for your location needs.
Ultimately, the message to take home is you have tons of options in Nashville. When you decide to come to town, you'll need to be shown a sampling of the best of your options in all areas in your first two days. Then I would encourage you to take a few days to drive the neighborhoods at night, talk to the residents and investigate the crime statistics. Once you know more about the areas offering the most attractive products, have your agent show you the best 10 homes in each area.
It may seem like a big task, but with good research and a knowledgeable agent, it'll be a breeze in Nashville! We're glad you're coming home!
Keller Williams Franklin TN
You are probably still deciding at the move, so thought I would send you some ideas......Cheatham County is still getting more popular and can be just 30 minutes from the West End area...my clients just love this county...2500 sf will be difficult to get under $200,000 in most areas surrounding Nashville.....
Kingston Springs in Cheatham County
Area 2 - Bellevue-Closer than Kingston Springs
Area 7- Donelson, Hermitage
Laura @ 615.977.9088
are townhomes or condos an option? 1800 square feet for under $200k in that area is probably a little ambitious. i'm happy to send you contenders of what you could get for that price in close proximity to baptist.
foreclosures are a good way to go but a lot of buyers are looking for them (thanks to the media) so in some cases, banks seem to be holding out for good offers lately i'm noticing. plus, you get what you pay for sometimes too. hire a good inspector to see what you're getting into.
nashville is a great place to live though. if i can help you find the right place, let me know!