Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I guess it is only fitting that I write about my own neighborhood. I have been waiting just because we moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. As most Nashvillians, I didn't know much about Donelson, except that is is where the Airport and Opryland Hotel are. I knew nothing about the neighborhood or the people who lived there. My husband really doesn't want me to write about our neighborhood. He wants to keep it a secret. Too bad!
My husband and I quickly outgrew our East Nashville home and were planning on adopting a 13 year old child who came from a not so great background. So, we were looking for a larger home with some character in a safe neighborhood with a great yard for the dogs and far from any drama a 13 year old may get into. We wanted to stay close to the "urban core," as we call it at Village Real Estate. I hate traffic and driving more than 15 minutes anywhere. I am no fun on road trip to say the least!

As a Realtor, I felt I really knew Nashville and the neighborhoods. I figured our price range would take us to Inglewood, Sylvan Heights or maybe Crieve Hall. But, I just never really thought about Donelson. When my search brought up just a few listings in our under $225,000 price range, I was somewhat discouraged. We looked at a few in Inglewood, but all seemed to need too much work, especially since we are not fond of wallpaper, knotty pine and forest green carpet.
So I widened my search to all of Nashville in our price range and home criteria. Of course, we now had so many to sift through. One caught our attention in Donelson Hills. It sat on a half an acre, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, all brick, hardwood floors, 2100 square feet with a hobby house. I wasn't quite sure what you did in a hobby house, since my hobby is finding the best martini in Nashville. ;). I guess I could practice making them in there. But my kitchen works just fine.

So we head to Donelson Hills, just off Briley Parkway, west on Lebanon Pike. We found a very well established, tree lined neighborhood. We pulled into the long, aggregate driveway and take the tour. The huge front yard had 4 large mature trees and was nicely landscaped. The hardwood floors were gleaming, there was crown moulding throughout the house. It had the old, big picture windows in the living room and family room. The kitchen has so much cabinet space it was unbelievable. All the bedrooms were nice size and the Master was huge with it's own bathroom. But one of the coolest things was the bricked covered patio that connected to the carport. I would never have to carry groceries in the rain again! I could really imagine the wonderful get togethers we could have there. The back yard was huge as well and had that hobby house I was curious about. We walked in and my husband had found his true "man cave" to be his office! This house had only a couple of issues-the main bathroom had pink and baby blue tile all over and you had to walk through the guest room to get to the master. But, we felt like we could definitely re-do the bathroom and would have to live with the strange floor plan.
Now that we found a great house, what was the neighborhood like?
Well, we were close to a Target, Lowe's and Home Depot that was a good start. But, the first day we moved in, a couple came to welcome us to the neighborhood. They had 2 dogs as well and invited Abby and Gizmo to play anytime. What was even cooler is that they are lesbians which actually made this a diverse neighborhood!! They told us to call if we needed anything, that is what neighbors are for. Wow, had I gone back to the 70's! All the other neighbors proceeded to stop by bringing pies and welcoming us to the neighborhood as well. Now that we have been there a year, they still wave when passing by, bring fruit from their trees and chat pretty frequently. A few even come by and drink a glass of wine on the veranda and talk about everything and nothing.

We are less than 7 miles to downtown and 5 minutes to the airport. The Music City Star (train) has a stop just down Lebanon Pike. The Stones River Greenways have a trail that you can bike, hike or run along the Stones River all the way to Percy Priest Lake. The Donelson-Hermitage YMCA is one of the better ones in town. It has a resort type outdoor swimming pool with slides and everything! How could I forget Two Rivers Park? It has a public golf course, Wave Country (water park), skate park and the Greenway trail pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River to Shelby Park in East Nashville.
As far as restaurants we are kind of in "chain" hell, but there are some good privately owned restaurants like Ellendales (great brunch and live music nightly), Darfons, the Dinner Bell (meat and 3), several good Mexican restaurants, and we know have a Sylvan Park Restaurant. So, it is looking up in that area.
We love our home, our neighbors and neighborhood.