The Rise of the “Tall & Skinny House” in Nashville


1613 A 14Th Ave N, Nashville TN, Listed by Larissa Lentile, The Wilson Group

The traditional one-story brick home of Nashville is rapidly being replaced. If a former Nashville resident revisited Nashville after five years, they would find a city undergoing a lot of change – both visible and invisible. With the rapid growth Nashville is experiencing, the demand and need for housing has given rise to the “tall and skinny house.”


The “tall and skinny house” is the coined nickname of the three-story, thin homes that have popped up all around the city, particularly in the more crowded, urban areas of Nashville. In fact, 2016 saw a peak of 1,035 residential demolition permits issued. More than half of those properties receiving demolition permits obtained more than one building permit.


Formerly, these lots had one, one-story home on the property, and to make room for more housing, the tall, skinny home was born. This style of home has been controversial from the beginning with some protesting and working to changing zoning laws to stop the trend from continuing.


And with any controversial issue, there are two sides to each argument. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Nashville tall, skinny homes.

Pro: With two homes on what was previously only one, the property tax base is added to.

This added tax revenue goes back into the community schools, parks, police, fire departments, etc. It adds more to the community with relatively less asked in return.


Con: It changes the landscape of the city.

Many residents find the effect of the tall, skinny homes jarring in a landscape of one-story brick homes.


Pro: They Provide Inventory.

With approximately 100 people moving into Nashville on a daily basis, the two homes on one lot provides much needed additional housing in a high demand market.


Con: Sellers can be unexpectedly displaced.

Nashville neighbors who sold their house (even for a significantly higher rate than purchase) find themselves displaced and priced out of a competitive, high demand market.


Whatever side of the coin you fall on in the tall, skinny debate, let’s remember we all have one goal in mind – making this the best city to live!

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2020 by Sarah Milligan, Realtor®