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honky-tonk to Honky Tonk

March 19, 2016 -Danny Hale HALO Realty, Nashville-Hendersonville

honky-tonk: A cheap night club; As a type of music played in that low saloon.

Stories of yesterday, today, and tomorrow are conversations that for those of us who grew up in Nashville and still live here have on a regular basis.

We talk about the old times and what it was like before Nashville became the “It City”. For those who are not part of that conversation, the stories go something like this: I remember when the Grand Ole Opry was still at the Ryman and you could walk right up and get a ticket. I remember when we would see country music stars around town and nobody would bother them. We remember when some of the legends of country music still played in the honky-tonks from time to time and we recall Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop on lower Broad. I remember seeing them at one of the honky-tonks before anyone knew who they were.

We talk about having been able to  get anywhere in downtown in 30 minutes or less, even if it was rush hour and how the truck drivers would all move to the right lane to keep from slowing down traffic. We remember the old airport on Briley Parkway and how proud the business leaders were when the new airport added “International” to its banner. We remember the industrial park on the East Bank where the Tennessee Titans now play. We admire the tradition of a highway full of cars pulling over when a funeral procession passed in order to show respect for people we never knew.

We talk about how great it was to grow up in Nashville and how we wish that we had understood just how special those old honky-tonks were.

We reminisce of a somewhat bygone era.


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 14, 2013: Honky-tonks on Lower Broad

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 14, 2013: Honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. The district is famous for the numerous country music entertainment establishments.

When we talk about today, we speak of the Titans, the Predators, the Gulch, Germantown, the renewal of East Nashville and the new economy across the mid-state. We make note of the vibrant tourist business, the new hotels and condos, the auto and health care industries, the growing population and that we have become a multi-cultural city. We wonder where the nearly 100 people a day that are moving here are coming from and how downtown is still alive at midnight. We talk of  the vibrant real estate market and how it looks like there is no end in sight. We are excited about the great restaurants and how trying to eat at all of them is the new hobby for many. We talk about how great it is to be in Nashville.

As we look to the future, we all know that change is the one certainty we face. We know that if the projections are correct, we will have over 1,000,000 new neighbors within the next 20 years. Nashville is going to be different and, we wonder, just how different.

As a child, I spent my summers in the mountains of East Tennessee. It seemed like a rite of passage to jump in the cold water that filled the creeks that ran down from the top of the mountains as the melting snow made its way to the valleys below. And oh how cold it was! We would drive to the top of the mountain and pass perhaps a dozen cars going and coming.  At the base of mountain, you had to pass through a small town called Gatlinburg. If you have never visited, it is at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and resembles a traditional 1700’s European village. The Great Smoky Mountains became the most visited National Park in the United States.

When I last visited Gatlinburg, I realized that this was no longer the town that I remembered from my childhood. Today, the cars are bumper to bumper on main street as well as up and down the mountain. While many of the buildings in Gatlinburg are still there, tattoo shops, souvenir shops, and chain restaurants have replaced the Appalachian craftsmen who would blow glass or carve wood sculptures right in front of you. The very characteristics that made it so special were destined to change it forever. While it is still enjoyable to visit, it is not the same.

I am sure this same scenario has played out in dozens of cities and towns across the country. I also know that Nashville, as a city, is either growing and changing or it is dying.

As Nashville grows, we will continue to welcome new-comers and visitors to our great city, as is our custom. However, it is my hope that we will not lose that certain panache and characteristics that transformed Nashville into Music City, USA.

I hope that in the future, we can still interact with the country music singers, the songwriters, and the musicians. I hope that we will still run into someone we know when we are out to dinner. I hope that the flavor of the locals still shows through the new and shiny Nashville. I hope we can still hear a southern drawl from time to time. I hope that what made us a great city will continue to survive the challenges that come along with the new-found spotlight.

A honky-tonk does not have a sign out front declaring it a Honky-Tonk. If you have to advertise that this is a Honky-Tonk, then it probably isn’t. We need to preserve not only the historical buildings in Nashville but we need to try to preserve at least some of the local culture too.

I hope the honky-tonks will remain as they are and do not become Honky-Tonks with a big sign out front.



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Nashville IS The IT City!

by: Danny Hale Hendersonville TN

If you have turned on your TV, looked at a newspaper or magazine or been on your Facebook page recently, I do not need to talk about all of the publicity that Nashville has been receiving lately. So I decided to take a look at some data to compare residential sales from 2006 with 2015. I decide to use single family residential home sales as that has always been a barometer of the health of the real estate industry.

I also decided to use Sumner County Statistics as Sumner is neither the largest or smallest county within the Greater Nashville Area. It is also where our office is located and where I can easily find the statistics. I am currently researching the entire Mid State area and will add those statistics when available.

I chose to compare 2015 to 2006 to determine how we stood today. By all accounts, the best year for real estate in History was 2006. That year also marked the beginning of the end for a very long run in the residential real estate market. While the great recession did not officially start until 2008, those within the construction and real estate industries generally agree that 2007 was the beginning of the great real estate crash. Prices were dropping and finally crashed in October of 2008. Most agree that 2006 was the last year of the great run-up in real estate prices.

So lets look at May of 2006 and compare it to May of 2015 in Sumner County. Sumner County is located 12 minutes north of downtown Nashville and has a population of between 170,000 and 180,000 citizens.

In May of 2006, Sumner County had 1,288 residential, single-family, homes on the market for sale vs. 1,128 in May of 2015.
In May of 2006, Sumner County realized 299 single-family, residential closings vs. 307 for May of 2015.
In May of 2006, Sumner County the average price for a home sold in Sumner County was $ 208,811 vs. $ 238,740 in May of 2015.

As of this post, there are 1,245 single-family homes available for sale or rent in Sumner County. Of these, 53 are rental only. Of the remaining 1,192 homes listed for sale, 386 are already under contract leaving only 806 single family homes for sale. Due to the changes in the way REALTRACS tract homes today vs 2006, the true comparison of current inventory of May 2006 vs May of 2005 is 1,288 in 2006 vs 806 today. This mean that factoring for accounting changes, there are 37% fewer homes today that are available for purchase than there was in 2006.

In Summary, Nashville is the IT city and we are desperately short of available homes.

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History of the Legendary House of Cash Building in Hendersonville, TN

April 26, 2014

By Danny Hale, Hendersonville TN

History of the Legendary House of Cash Building in Hendersonville, TN

PicHouseOfCash(circa 1978)

The House of Cash Building as it is now known was originally built in 1960 and served as a dinner theatre. Plantation Dinner Theatre featured table seating in the round for guests while performers were lowered on a large elevator to the center of the room to perform. The second floor of the building served as dressing rooms and prop storage.

In 1970, Johnny Cash and wife June Carter Cash purchased the property and completed some minor renovations. Johnny and June Carter Cash moved all of their business affairs into the building. The House of Cash served as headquarters for House of Cash Inc., which managed the business affairs of the country music legends. Later, they opened a museum and retail shop. In 1980, the Cash’s purchased the Amqui Train Station (circa: 1850) located in Madison, Tennessee.

The Amqui Station was disassemble and moved to a site directly adjacent to the House of Cash. June Carter Cash operated an Antique store in the station for several years. In 1990, they closed the store and the House of Cash Museum to the public. In accordance with their wishes, the property was sold after their deaths in 2003. The memorabilia and artifacts inside the building were sold at Sotheby’s Auction House in New York.

Danny Hale with HALO Realty, LLC, a local real estate management and development company purchased the property in December 2004 and began a major renovation to the property. Hale donated the Amqui Train Station to the Madison Chamber of Commerce and in the spring of 2006, the Amqui Station was returned to Madison.

Danny Hale Hendersonville, TN

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Life Lessons- A Personal Reflection

April 10, 2014 by Danny Hale.

It was a story that I only needed to hear once: a story that I can tell today just like my father told it to me 37 years ago. If it weren’t real life it might have been a Tom Sawyer-type novel. It was a story of his youth and how he came to leave home at just 16 years of age. With a chicken under each arm and the clothes on his back, he set out on a journey that would soon find him homeless and hungry. Dad would not see his family again until he was 24 years old, bringing his new bride to meet them. At the age of 17, he got his first construction job. This was in a time before power saws, electric drills, and air guns. He began his construction career with the daily task of hand-sawing random oak flooring for 50 cents per hour. That is correct… $ 20 per week.

In his career, Dad helped build hundreds of homes, thousands of apartments, and dozens of commercial buildings across the nation. He worked hard each day and did the best that he could to provide for his family. He never found fame or fortune, but on the other hand, he was never seeking it. He was a hard worker and learned everything that he knew about construction through the sweat of his brow. For our family, Dad provided everything that we needed and a bit of what we wanted. My father truly graduated from the School of Hard Knocks and did very well with his diploma.

The year was 1985 and I had just finished my sophomore year of college.  I was going to school full-time while also working a full-time job. I was not setting the woods on fire at either endeavor. My dream had always been to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, but I knew that I could not continue working and going to school at my current pace.

Dad understood my plight and asked if I was willing to help him construct a new home that summer. If I agreed, I could take half of the money that we earned and apply it toward furthering my education. It was an offer that I could not refuse.

We contacted a REALTOR and found an appropriate site on which to build. As soon as the spring semester was over, we met on the job site for the first day of work. Early that morning, my father handed me a shovel. I asked him, “Why a shovel?”  He said that one day I would understand but for now to just start digging. For the next two days, I labored with the shovel and found out what a level, square, ditch looked like. I also learned how my dad had earned the calluses on his hands. Toward the end of the second day, along came a concrete truck. We poured the concrete into the trenches that I had dug to complete the footings. On the third day, the block truck showed up and delivered what I thought were enough blocks to construct an entire city. My dad handed me a hoe and asked me to get the wheelbarrow. Again, I asked him, “Why?”  He stated that one day I would understand, but for now, I needed to get busy mixing the mortar for the foundation blocks that we were going to lay. And that’s the way it went.  We laid the foundation, framed the wood, installed the shingles, ran the plumbing, installed the electrical and HVAC, hung the drywall, painted the walls, installed the trim, and so on, until finally the home was complete.

I asked Dad why we hadn’t just hired crews to do the work. He just looked at me and said that one day I would understand. We did such a fine job that not only did we sell the home that summer, we were lucky enough to build and sell two more homes just around the corner. My instructions on these homes were a simple repeat of the first. We made a profit on each of the homes and the dye was cast.

Although I never realized the dream of attending the university, I felt like the lessons that I learned that year were far more valuable. Those were the types of lessons that only a father could teach. Dad was never one to give much help with my schoolwork but he sure knew how to give me an education.

Later in the same year, at the insistence of my father and a $500 gift from an uncle, I obtained my contractors and real estate licenses. My father continued to work on the construction sites while I took the time needed to accomplish the task. I asked him why it was important for me to take the time off work to do this. He simply stated that one day I would understand, but for now just to just concentrate on the required training. At the time, I was the youngest person to have ever received a general contractors license in the State of Tennessee and one of the youngest, if not the youngest, to have a real estate license. This was not because of my efforts, but simply because my father knew that if I were to succeed in the business, I would need these professional licenses. Since that time, I have never worked in an industry other than construction and real estate.

When Dad died in 2010, I found his diploma in a box of keepsakes…a diploma that I had never seen and that he had never mentioned to any of us. Apparently, Dad never finished grade school but he was awarded an eighth grade General Equivalency Diploma. No one could have ever guessed that he had no formal education. In the almost 30 years since I helped my father build that first home, I have built dozens of homes, owned and sold thousands of properties, developed dozens of communities, built office and retail buildings, and employed hundreds of people. I have met congressmen, senators, business leaders, governors, and have even shaken the hand of a U.S. President. I have been fortunate enough to be able to provide a very comfortable lifestyle for my family. We have all that we need and almost of what we want as well. I have truly lived what I believe to be the American Dream…a dream that my father never had, at least for himself.

Two years ago, I purchased a small condominium out of foreclosure, as a summer project for my eldest daughter. We set about remodeling the home and she was quickly able to act as both contract manager and interior designer. The project was completed on time and on budget. Simply put, I was amazed at how quickly my 5’5″ American Beauty could master the tasks that took me years to understand. We sold the property for a nice profit and put the money toward tuition to help pay for the remaining costs of her undergraduate degree.

Yesterday, my wife and I received a text from our daughter. Megan will graduate in December of this year with a degree in construction management from Middle Tennessee State University.

She will be the first female in the history of the University to graduate with a degree in Commercial Construction Management . She will also be the only one in the program to have competed in the Miss Tennessee Pageant during her time there.  She told us that she wants to get her masters degree and plans on paying for that with the money she will make selling real estate.

As my chest swells with pride when I contemplate Megan’s accomplishments, as well as her dreams for the future, I am sure that I now know how my dad felt so many years ago.

In fact, as I think about it, I think that perhaps today was the day that Dad was talking about when he said that one day I would understand why!

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HALO Realty Lead Generation Follow Up

April 8, 2014. In November of 2013 HALO Realty reported that we had started a lead generation program for our agents. The idea behind the program was to match buyers and sellers with a compatible agent within our company. The program quickly became a success. As of today, April 10, 2014, we have generated over 1,000 new buyer and seller contacts for our agents to work with including well over $ 1,000,000 in closings. If you are considering a career in real estate or wish to enhance your current lead program, please contact Mark Williams with HALO Realty for a confidential interview.

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Wrapping Up Old Business

January 1, 2014 – The recession is over, employment is rising, homeowners are beginning to see equity in their homes and most of the banks that were on the edge of failure are starting to see the light of day.

The first day of January in the new year is aways a great time to reflect on the past and prepare for what is about to to come. 2013 was the year of the Great Real Estate Recovery. In 2013, we saw the wind down to the commercial real estate recession and the beginning of what should be a very bright future for those owning or investing in real estate. Today, money is widely available for investment and interest rates are relatively low.   The money that was given by the Fed to prop up most of the banks in the US has finally started making its way to “Main Street”. Albeit, after the recession is over. But the money is flowing. Investors are investing and property is selling and leasing.

In December, we were working with a client in Hendersonville that was looking for about 4,000 square feet of commercial office space. The client was ok with Class A or even Class B space.What quickly became evident is that office space north of Nashville is full.  Just yesterday, we closed on the last remaining unsold retail outparcel on Indian Lake Blvd. in Indian Lake Village. Today, we have more clients looking for space in both retail and office than we have had since 2006. 2014 should be a very busy and interesting year. 

What does this mean for the commercial real estate investor? It means that this may be the the most opportune time to purchase real estate in the last 30 years. Prices are beginning to rise but we are still at the beginning stage of upward price adjustments. Interest rates are low but will more than likely begin to rise toward the end of the year as the Fed considers the proper course of action given the economic recovery. Low rates, demand, availability of investment dollars and the looming, upward real estate valuation adjustments make this the perfect time to invest in commercial real estate ownership.

EXTRA NOTE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: We have been involved in the asset liquidation of many businesses over the years. One common factor in successful small businesses that we have been involved with is real estate ownership. Most small business owners, assuming that they work hard, have a good business model and get past the start up phase, end up making a good living over a long period of time. However, when those businessmen and women find themselves ready to retire or transition out of their endeavors, what do they have to sell? Consider whether or not your business should own their real estate. There may be no better time to buy that right now.

So as we start the new year, take some time and consider whether now is the time to make the down payment on your financial future. Should you have questions or need a real estate professional to walk you throughout the process, call one of our agents at HALO Realty.  

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HALO Realty Announces Lead Generation Program for Agents

December 3, 2013 Hendersonville TN

HALO Realty announced today that it will begin providing leads to its full time residential real estate agents beginning January 1. HALO has developed a complete lead generation department within the company to provide high quality seller and buyer leads. The leads are generated from a variety of sources both internet based as well as traditional lead sources. “With 92% of home buyers searching the internet before contacting a real estate agent, we had to develop a presence” said Brian Belcher, Director of IT for HALO. Shawn Jackson stated ” The first lead that I received was for a $ 300,000 home buyer. We had them under contract within 5 days. This is a great source of additional revenue at no cost”. Mark Williams, managing broker for HALO, said that this would be perfect for a new or experience agent. “Can you imagine adding $ 30,000 or more in commission to your bottom line each year with almost no additional effort.” Call Mark Williams at 615 822-3509 for more information.