Detail image for Tour Her Neighborhood: Shelbyville story.

Teresa Cotterman and her daughter Brielle stroll through the shops at 800 Main in Shelbyville.

Sprawling equestrian properties and country homes with double digit acreage were all this horse-loving grandmother needed to forgo retirement and establish herself as one of Shelby County’s most sought-after realtors.

Written by Diane R. Paylor | Photographed by Kylene White

After a 30-year career selling real estate in Indiana, Teresa Cotterman was set to take down her realtor signpost and retire in Shelbyville to be closer to her beloved daughter and grandchildren. But the allure of the city known as the “Saddlebred capital of the world” with its beautiful farms and country estates was too much to resist. Opting to start anew as a realtor in Shelbyville, Teresa has carved out a niche that combines two of her biggest passions – horses and helping clients find their dream homes. One of the top realtors in Shelby County, we asked Teresa to share what makes Shelbyville one of the best places in Kentucky for horse enthusiasts like herself to call home.

Detail image of Tour Her Neighborhood: Shelbyville story.

Teresa and Brielle were featured on an episode of American Dream Home.

What do you love most about Shelbyville?

I love the people. If you need something you know someone is going to help. It’s not like everybody’s in your business; it’s just very friendly. Another thing I love is that you can be walking down the street and there will be a tack shop which has saddles and bridles, and you can go in and browse and look at the stuff. It’s [a town] that’s so geared for horses. I love that you’ll be driving down the country road and there are horses in the fields. You don’t find that in other counties in Kentucky. You may see some, but it’s not like it is here.

Why did you make Shelbyville your real estate specialty?

I have always loved horses. When you grow up around and with them, they become a part of your life. When I was in Indiana, I was known for helping people who wanted small acreage, but you just don’t have the horse industry up there like you do here. I fell in love with Shelbyville because it’s all about the horses here.

“Everything here is about horses,” Teresa says. “It’s what I love about Shelbyville.”

What makes the properties in Shelbyville uniquely suited for horse owners?

When I take people who have horses to look at a house, the very first thing we go to is the barn to see if it’s going to work and then we go to the house. I sold a property that had 17 stalls and a big indoor riding arena. It had 35 acres so they could turn the horses out. Another property I sold had a 6,000 square foot house plus another barn for broodmares for breeding that was absolutely beautiful. An average person who wants to have ground and be in the country isn’t going to be looking for these types of equestrian properties.

You started your career over in Shelbyville, how were you able to grow your client list?

It was hard starting over being older, but what I did was I contacted every trainer in the area and let them know that I was here and now selling real estate. But the trainers weren’t moving, so it was rough. But it all worked out. I started with Coldwell Banker Rogers here in 2017 and it’s been a perfect fit.

Detail image for Tour Her Neighborhood: Shelbyville story.

Detail image for Tour Her Neighborhood: Shelbyville story.

The Bell House Restaurant and The Red Lion are among Teresa’s favorite Shelbyville spots.

What has been the key to your success as a salesperson who sells over a million dollars in property?

One of the biggest things that I do that maybe others don’t is I truly listen to what the people are saying. If they say they don’t want to go over an amount, I try to find what they are looking for. I feel that’s key because so many times when I talk to someone who hasn’t had a good experience, that’s their biggest complaint.

Plus, when they call, they appreciate being able to talk to someone who knows what you need to have in a property if you have horses. That makes a big difference.

You were a featured realtor on the FOX Business show, American Dream Home. Why was that sale so special?

I sold the home to my daughter, Brielle and her husband. For them it was the perfect property. The episode gave people the opportunity to see how truly special Kentucky is with unique properties that have exceptionally beautiful and useful land located right in the center of the horse world.

Detail image for Tour Her Neighborhood: Shelbyville story.

Chatham Gardens, located on Washington Street, features columns that were salvaged after a fire destroyed the home that once stood at the location.

What are some of your favorite places in Shelbyville?

There are two restaurants here that we like. One is the Red Lion. The other is the Bell House. The Bell House is actually a house with rooms. You have to make reservations because it’s so small. It doesn’t hold that many people. There’s also a quaint, little coffee shop called The Paddock. Everything here is about the horses. It’s what I love about Shelbyville.

What is your favorite part of selling homes in Shelbyville?

My favorite part is when I know that I helped someone find the home that that they are passionate about and it is their dream home — especially when it’s these country properties. When people have lived in subdivisions or in town and have dreamed of getting out and having properties like this and they finally are able to achieve that, that’s my favorite part.