Building Dreams

Real estate powerhouse John Jones talks about his passion project, Riverview Cove

When you talk to John Jones about his job, one thing is readily apparent. It’s not just a job, it’s a passion.

While the John Jones name has become synonymous with housing, it wasn’t necessarily supposed to go this way. “It’s not like I grew up wanting to sell houses or anything like that,” Jones says.  Jones grew up in Murfreesboro, played college football on scholarship, and then tried his hand in the corporate world as a claims adjuster for State Farm. But it was his uncle Howard Wall, who originally suggested he should go into sales.  Jones said he already knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when it came to real estate, “I learned by doing. I took a lot of bloody noses in those early years.” he admits.  

One thing Jones did have was an understanding of art and design. His taste was almost innate, given that his mother owned a local interior design business, The Peddler. From a young age, he was immersed in homes and beauty and instinctively learned to discern what looks good, what doesn’t, and why. 

With these skills and his intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit, it was a natural progression into real estate. And after working for Coldwell Banker (as a top producer) for ten years, he opened his own brokerage, John Jones Real Estate, in 2008.  Most recently, Jones got the opportunity to channel his love of architecture into developing a new subdivision, Riverview Cove.

As you might imagine, Jones was very involved with the builders regarding the aesthetic of Riverview Cove, knowing exactly what he wanted. He knew how people in the community felt about the subdivision would ultimately come down to the architecture, so Jones was a stickler for the features.  He knew he wanted variety. Therefore, Jones didn’t dictate any specific architectural style (e.g., federal, french country, farmhouse, etc.). When he met with the four signature builders, he said, “look, guys, if you’re going to build the same floor plan twice, you better fool me on the exterior. I don’t want to see two that are the same. Even if one is here and one’s over there. I want to keep everything interesting.” 

Next, employing his eye for design, he wanted the builders to focus on specific qualities that would provide the most aesthetic appeal. For instance, he knew he wanted clad windows (instead of vinyl) as it allows for depth, high ceilings (10’) as it gives the house a strong presence, and lots of windows (he didn’t want to see a home go more than 5-7’ without a window) because “the neighbor doesn’t want to look at your big brick wall.” He wanted proportionality and a variety of materials used. 

While these parameters may seem inconsequential, Jones knows that they matter. Though the layman couldn’t necessarily articulate why one house looks better than another, it ultimately comes down to those little details. The fact that Jones knows this intimates an instinctual and intellectual understanding of design.  “I think the subdivisions that people say, ‘I really love this subdivision, or I really love that street, you know, I think if you really boil it down, what they love is the architecture. To me, that makes a subdivision. How the homes work, and when each home is kind of an individual piece of art, it really lends itself to making it beautiful and interesting, and people like that.” 

Listening to Jones talk about architecture with passion and enthusiasm is beguiling. And his vision is reflected in the houses of Riverview Cove. They’re unique, thoughtfully designed, and truly works of art. It’s apparent why he and his wife Tracy are even building their own dream home there, as Riverview Cove will be a subdivision built of dreams.

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