Good morning, and happy Saturday! Welcome to a Very Special edition of Axios Nashville, focused on real estate and the city's hottest neighborhoods.

🌩️ Today's weather: Thunderstorms with a high of 79.

Today's newsletter is 548 words — a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Buyers and sellers need to adjust

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Nashville real estate agent Denise Moore tells Axios she often feels like she doubles as a counselor for her clients.

Why it matters: Today's Nashville market is frustrating for both buyers and sellers. Both groups are longing for a time machine.

State of play: "Sellers want it to be three years ago," Moore says. Back then, the market was red-hot and bidding wars quickly drove costs up. "You could just put a sign in the yard, and the house would sell."

  • Now rising inventory and interest rates have given buyers more leverage.

"Buyers want it to be 10 years ago," before prices started to skyrocket, she says.

Reality check: Like it or not, times have changed.

  • Sellers have to do more to accommodate buyers who have more options, Moore says. That might mean taking care of some repairs or refreshing the landscaping.
  • Buyers who are holding out for prices or interest rates to fall shouldn't hold their breath: "The prices are not going to go down. Not where we live."

The big picture: Although Nashville-area home values recently hit a new high, with median home values topping $500,000 last month, Moore says there are still areas that skew more affordable.

  • It all depends on the neighborhood.

Zoom in: If you're looking for a mix of music, food and community akin to East Nashville, Moore suggests looking northward to Madison.

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2. Nashville's hottest ZIP codes

Table showing the ZIP codes in Nashville that have seen the most home appreciation since April 2024. The top 5 ZIP codes are 37220 (Forest Hills), 37080 (Joelton), 37216 (Inglewood), 37206 (East Nashville) and 37204 (Berry Hill/12 South).
Data: Zillow; Note: Typical home value refers to the average of the middle third of Zillow home value estimates for every home in a given region with a county record, including single-family, condominium and co-operative homes; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

Forest Hills, 12 South and East Nashville are among the Davidson County neighborhoods seeing their home values jump the fastest, according to a recent analysis by Zillow.

State of play: Buyers have flocked to those neighborhoods for years, driving home values up. But prices are also spiking in the farther reaches of the county.

  • Zillow's list of the Davidson County ZIP codes with the fastest-growing home prices includes the Joelton area.

Between the lines: Joelton's jump could reflect that buyers are more willing to look farther away from the urban core as housing costs continue to rise.

Catch up quick: Prices are surging at even higher rates in suburban and rural parts of the region.

  • A while back, we took a look at the Middle Tennessee ZIP codes seeing the biggest jumps in home values based on March data.
  • None of them were in Davidson County.

The bottom line: Demand across the region remains high as Middle Tennessee's population keeps climbing.

3. Forget the "we love your house" letter approach

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Homebuyers are still offering over the asking price, agreeing to be responsible for needed repair projects and making other concessions to strike a deal on their dream home.

Yes, but: Don't send the seller your "love letter" spelling out your picket-fence vision for their property.

Why it matters: Realtors warn that those letters can include details about a homebuyer's age, race, familial status and other personal details that could bias a seller's decision — possibly violating the Fair Housing Act.

What they're saying: "Sellers should select offers based on the buyer's qualifications and contract terms — not on a personal letter with a family picture," Atlanta-based real estate agent Vanessa Reilly tells Axios.

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📬 Hit reply with your homebuying success and horror stories!

  • Thank you for joining us! We'll be back to our normally scheduled programming on Monday.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Katie Lewis.