Jackson Towne Response to Fast Growing Townhome Market

By Lee Rennick

Townhomes are flying out of the ground right now because they are popular with so many different types of home buyers. According to NewHomeSource.com, all age groups are wanting them due to their affordability, easier care, versatility and availability. Harney Homes is currently building Jackson Towne, a townhouse development off of Joe B. Jackson Parkway, as a response to the growing need. 

Jackson Towne Development

The Jackson Towne Development is a product of Harney Homes, a company started in 2003 by Justin Harney. When completed, Jackson Towne, will have 198 townhomes, a clubhouse and pool, two dog parks, a sandlot and a children’s play area. Currently, they are in the process of completing the first 36 homes.

“We have already sold 16 homes,” said Braden Netherland, Sales Manager Harney Homes, “to first time homebuyers, investors, empty nesters who are downsizing and college students going to MTSU. The location is very convenient to the campus.”

These townhomes all have three bedrooms; two and a half baths; a large open concept living, dining and kitchen area; a laundry area upstairs; and there’s plenty of room on the landing for a small sitting area or a home office space. Each townhome also offers a covered porch and a 10 x 10 open concrete pad surrounded by green spaces in the fenced in back yard. End units offer a two-car garage, and center units have a one car garage.

“Harney Homes is known to be Murfreesboro’s finest home builder. We are experienced in building quality, large single family homes,” said Netherland, “and we have taken the most popular items from these homes and built them into Jackson Towne as standard features. These features include a white brick exterior, black epoxy coated garage floor, black craftsman style front door, granite counter tops in the kitchen and full baths, as well as the covered patios and pads.”

Netherland explained that the fenced in area at the back of the townhome will provide easily manageable green space that will be enclosed to offer a safe place for small children to play and dogs to roam.

With the current seller’s market driving up the price of smaller homes usually purchased by first time home buyers, townhomes are becoming a first home. 

History of Townhomes

Although townhomes seem like a new concept, they have been around for more than 200 years. Historically, townhomes where owned by the nobility and landed gentry as a house in major cities in Europe, especially London, beginning in the Regency Period (1811- 1820). As roads were bad and weather fierce between late October and May, the rich land owners would stay in the city, away from their large country estates, during these months when parliament was in session.

During this period in history, the footprint of a townhome was created. Because land was scare in the city, these homes were built as a multi-level unit with a small base having shared walls. Only the wealthiest would have free-standing townhomes according to regencyhistory.com.

For those who have ever seen a Jane Austen film, like Pride and Prejudice, or are currently watching the Netflix drama Bridgerton, these tales are set during the Regency period social season. “The Season” was when young women who were of marriageable age were presented at parties and balls as possible wives for rich men. Many of the townhomes during this time had a ballroom on one floor.

The townhome concept came from Europe to the United States in the middle part of the 19th century. Early ones were found in major cities like New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Boston. Sometimes they are referred to as row houses. Just as in the Regency period, townhomes today have a uniform look distinct to the community they are in, but each one has its own exterior entrance. And they are most often larger than a condominium, which is usually in a building with multiple floors and no individual opening to the outside or separate garage. Realtor.com describes townhomes as, “the love child of a condominium and a single-family house.”

What Townhomes Offer

There are many reasons why townhomes have been gaining momentum since 2010. According to bankrate.com, they comprised 13% of new home construction according to the latest data from 2018 and are the fastest growing segment of the home building market.

As single-family homes explode in cost, townhomes are remaining more affordable. Jackson Towne, for example, offers their just over 1,500 square foot townhomes with full amenities starting at $260,000.

According to homeguide.com, the national average price of a new home with no upgrades or amenities is $248,000 plus the cost of the land, which averages $14,411 per acre in Tennessee according to USA Today.

One of the things that Harney Homes is most excited about making a part of all of their townhomes at Jackson Towne is the quality finishes that they put into their large family homes. These high-end touches include a tray ceiling and large walk-in closet in the master bedroom, as well as larger sized closets in the other bedrooms.

Both the size of a townhome and the existence of a Home Owner’s Association makes care easier. At Jackson Towne, the HOA will be in charge of the maintenance of the exterior and the grounds of the development not enclosed by individual unit fencing. There is an annual fee tied to this care, but this feature makes them very appealing to those who are downsizing and wanting to spend less time mowing and painting.

Another plus is that sidewalks provide a safe place for families and pets to walk and amenities like a clubhouse, pool and sandlot will provide areas to exercise and socialize once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

“I love the amenities,” said Khameron Khamphilavong, who recently purchased one of the townhomes. “And I love that the garage is bigger than many single-family homes.” 

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