Are Houses Getting Older ??

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s American Housing Survey, the median age of an owner-occupied home in the United States was 35 years old in 2011, up from a median  of 23 in 1985. More than 40% of the owner-occupied homes in the U.S. were built before 1969.  Homes built from 2000-2009 account for 15% of the owner-occupied housing stock. Aging houses could prove to be a boon for home remodeling businesses, the study finds. Older homes tend to be less energy-efficient than new homes and y require more repairs. Our aging baby boomer generation may be mirrored by the aging of America’s housing stock. But even with the expenses incurred with an aging home, buyers still want to have the charm and warmth that a newer home does not bring.  It may be hard to find it all without lots of elbow grease and pure work. Working with a Realtor who knows the pros and cons of new and older homes will be helpful in making decisions when purchasing a home.  Cleveland, Tennessee offers a good variety of homes, especially in the historic district.  There are older homes that still have lots of charm and may or may not need significant work. (Parts of this article were taken from The Residential Specialist, April 14- magazine for CRS members)

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

Can’t Miss This Affordable Opportunity!

Polk County Southeastern Tennessee Pool

Polk County Southeastern Tennessee

Polk County Southeastern Tennessee

This is an incredible property on 8 acres with awesome views! This comfortable home comes with 2 large barns, a pool and riding trails nearby Cherokee National Forest. Very affordable! Contact me to find out what other features this home provides! Carol Kamm, GRI, CRS, ABR Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties. Grandview Realty – 423-790-4547

Brick Arch House

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the near future?  Here are some interesting statistics from the National Association of Realtors.

The Median price in March of 2014 was $198,500, up 7.9 % from March of 2013.  The median price for the South was $173,000, up 6.7% one year ago.  Distressed sales contributed to 14% of the March sales, down from 21% a year ago. It is predicted that these types of sales will fall to single digits by the end of the year.

Housing inventory rose to 4.7% which is a 5.2 month supply. The median time on market was 55 days, down from 62 days in February.  37% of the homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers represented 30% of purchasers in March.  Less stringent underwriting has been helpful for first-time buyers but NAR still sees it as a headwind for some.

This is overall encouraging news for the real estate industry.  Buyers should be aggressive in purchasing now before prices increase dramatically.  And this news should be encouraging news for sellers who have waited to put their homes on the market.  Now just might be the time.

An experienced Realtor who can see the big picture is crucial in helping you with your real estate goals.

Article information is taken from NAR- Voice for Real Estate

By Carol Kamm, GRI, ABR, CRS

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

Broker-Realtor

Grandview Realty– 423-790-4547

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

Interesting comments made in Edge Magazine regarding “Retirement Realignment”.

Every day, 100,000 Baby Boomers reach age 65.  Ramay Winchester, who heads Retire Tennessee, wants more of those to move to Tennessee.

“East Tennessee has the natural. four season beauty of the mountains and rivers with far lower taxes and cost-of-living than in most communities,” she says.

Believe it or not, seniors often change states when they retire.  While the recession has slowed some moving plans down in the past for Seniors, median home prices are up nearly a third for their recession lows and stock values double the 2009 trough.  Now Seniors are on the move again.

….East Tennessee is an attractive area for seniors interested in saving money and paying less in taxes.  “A couple moving from Chicago to Chattanooga for example, would pay, on average, 9 percent less for food, 20 percent less for gas and transportation, 11 percent less for utilities, and a whopping 33 percent less for housing according to cost-living data prepared by the Council of Community and Economic Research. But the biggest differences often come in taxes.  Tennessee has no income tax on wages and property taxes in many communities are only half what they are in many cities.”

Not only are taxes and cost-of-living a huge advantage but Chattanooga also has tremendous cultural, recreational, and volunteer activities for seniors and anyone moving to our city, says Linda Bennett, a former City Council member who heads Choose Chattanooga.  Tennessee offers certification programs to designate some communities as having the best natural and man-made amenities to serve retirees”.

Age 65 and older will rise from 13 percent today to 18 percent in 2030 as Boomers retire and live longer, according to the Pew Research Center.

Tennessee River in Chattanooga Tennessee

 Chattanooga photo 1

I think anyone thinking of retiring should take a look at some of the Southeast Tennessee cities:  Chattanooga, Cleveland, Ocoee, Athens.  It will be a nice surprise.

 

Happy homebuyersBy Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

 

 

Market News

 Low housing inventory equals buyers concessions and strategies

 

Home inventory fell from a 9.4 months’ supply in 2010 to a 4.9 months’ supply in August 2013. (Source, National Association of Realtors)

With home inventory at a low for 2013, sellers are receiving multiple offers from buyers.  Who would have thought 3 or 4 years ago that we would see these statistics from the National Association of Realtors.  But according to NAR, here’s what buyers are willing to do to get the home of their dreams:

Offer to pay the seller’s closing costs -25%

Bid  1-5 percent over asking price – 25%

Write a letter to the seller – 17%

Borrow enough money from family and friends to get a 20% downpayment – 12%

Bid 6% – 10% over asking price – 9%

Remove all contingencies-8%

Borrow enough money from family and friends to make an all-cash offer -5%

Bid more than 10% over home’s asking price -4%

Prices are gradually rising along with interest rates.  Buyers are seeing the urgency to buy now, especially since stricter loan regulations are about to come into play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building your dream home (A success or disaster)

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

My husband and I decided to try our chances at building our “dream” home in 1995.  Even though I was in real estate, I really didn’t have a clue as to the nuts and bolts that new construction entailed.  So we decided to take a home construction class at our nearby community college.  There was so much to grasp, we took it twice.

The first step was to hire an architect to put our ideas on paper, professionally.  We realized early on that making phone calls and getting estimates, (on everything!) saves tons of money in the end.   Finding a good framer is one of the most important decisions in the whole process.  Don’t be afraid to get references right up front….and call them.  Do your research, it will make life so much better down the road.  Second big tip:  Treat your contractors as if they were kings, and they will reward you in small ways in return.  In the winter we bought them new work gloves and brought them hot coffee and donuts.  In the spring we offered sandwiches and ice tea.  It’s amazing how many extras they did for us at no cost.

Another good tip: Get a survey of your lot with the proposed blueprint in place.  You’d be horrified to hear the stories where a new house was built partly on the neighbor’s lot.  It’s a mistake that could have been avoided so easily with a survey.

Be prepared to have to work with contractors’ schedules.  We found out quickly that we weren’t their only project, nor their number one project.  If one contractor didn’t show up, that affected several other contractors’ time table too.  Keep names and numbers handy and be prepared to call them in advance to make sure you are still on their schedule for the day.  Have an estimated time frame and stick to it the best you can.

Ask for copies of liability insurance on each subcontractor.  Your homeowner’s insurance will expect to see that if there are any accidents or mishaps.  Don’t take their word for it.  Be diligent and get copies.

If you’re on a tight budget, know which extras you can save till later.  Perhaps wire for ceiling fans and wait until later to install.  Items which cannot wait would be, brick vs. vinyl, quality cabinets, and higher quality windows.

So here’s what I remember for categories and time frame for work:7

1.  Architect draws plans

2. Survey with blue print and lot boundary lines

3.  Land cleared and leveled5409 Creft front dooor

4.  Footers poured. (Our teacher taught us to always use rebar for reinforcement)

5.  Foundation laid

6. Framers begin their work, including roofing

7. Plumbing and electrical wiring laid

Creft - upper balcony

8. Heat and air plumed

9. Insulation laid

10.  Dry wall hung

11.  Continue with plumbing, electrical, and heating & cooling

12.  Trim work completed, interior

12.  Exterior siding completed

13.  Boxing of eaves, etc.

14.  Interior painting

15.  Plumbing fixtures

16.  Appliances

Then celebrate with a party and include all your subcontractors.  They will love seeing their part in the finished product.

Our home was so successful that our city newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, did a feature story on us.  The reporter mentioned that building can be quite stressful but was relieved we had a happy ending. Attached is a photo of our family and all our subs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

beachfront home

 

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

Considering buying a vacation home?  Check out the 2013 trends; you will be surprised at what buyers are doing these days.  Vacation homes are great investments and they don’t have to cost a fortune.  The ideal vacation home is a place for the family to create memories and get away from it all. This type of investment is a good discussion to have with your accountant. He can advise you financially and see if it’s a right fit for you. View details: http://grandviewrealtytn.com/vacation-homes-latest-trends.

Cleveland, Tennessee Apple Festival

apple

 

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

 

Do you love apples too?  Come to the Cleveland Apple Festival, a family event in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Throughout the day there will be a craft show, live music, food booths, pony and hay rides, and many other children’s activities.

All proceeds go directly to benefit non-profit organizations in the Cleveland, Tennessee area.

Tickets are $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for children up to 12 years.

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

traffic
Now days most everyone has to commute to get to their jobs, we almost expect it.  But while driving times vary, most take at least 40 minutes of their day behind the steering wheel. Corridor K will certainly help for those traveling to and from Polk County.  Some interesting information from The Southeast Tennessee Development District:
Three-fourths of all workers in the region drive alone to work.
Less than 10% of workers carpool, a figure that includes roommates and spouses who drive together
Only about 1/2 of 1% of workers use public transportation to get to work
About 2.9 % of people in the region work from home.
Would you be willing to ride a bike if the roads were better equipped?  Would you use public transportation if it was available?  What would you change about your means of transportation if yu had the chance?  Something to think about.

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

Real Estate Services in Bradley, Polk, Hamilton, McMinn and Monroe Counties.

Mark your calendars, September 14th for the annual, Cowpea Festival in Charleston, TN.  This year’s photo contest will portray a regional rural theme depicting farm work, crops, old barns, farm equipment, buildings and machinery.  Sponsored by Homestead Lawn and Tractor Company, everyone will enjoy the Agri-Heritage Theme and good old fashion fun.

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