A Graying Housing Market

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

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

 

 

According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), homebuyers over age 55 are expected to continue to grow in 2014.  NAHB projects that the share of U. S. homes owned by people over age 55 will increase from 43.3 % to 46.6% in 2020.

“The 55-and over population….will steadily rise over the next several years, and the need for housing to accommodate that group will also rise,” says Paul Emrath, NAHB’s VP of survey and housing policy research.

Other research shows that the 55 and older buyers prefer to downsize to a one level home. However, they will not compromise on upgrades and neighborhood amenities.  We are currently seeing this trend in the homebuilding industry.

Front - Old FederalFeatured Listing: 2214 Old Federal Road, Ocoee, Tennessee

A comfortable cabin off the beaten path, yet convenient to grocery store, local churches, and fabulous restaurants. Knotty pine wood floors and interior walls.  Wrap around porch.  Very private and comfortable.

2 Bedrooms plus loft on over 1/2 acre.  $109,900

Call me for additional photos or for a showing appointment.

 

By Carol Kamm, GRI, CRS, ABR

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

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.

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.

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

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

Where Americans Live, according to the Urban Land Institute, of America in 2013, renters gave specific value for local amenities.  Leading the pack is Neighborhood Safety and Quality of Public Schools:

proximity_chart

  • Neighborhood Safety, 88%
  • Quality of Public Schools, 83%
  • Easily Walkable, 79%
  • Proxmity to Work/School, 76%
  • Proximity to Health Care, 75%
  • Proximity to Entertainment, 71%
  • Proximity to Family/Friends, 70%
  • Convenient to Public Transportation, 67%
  • Space between neighborhoods, 61%
  • Proximity to Recreation, 64%.

These are good to remember for resale value and home searches.

 

Kitchen - Creft

What makes people feel comfortable in your home?  So comfortable that they don’t want to leave? We’ve heard the cliche that “less is more”.  It’s true.  A modest home with no clutter has much more appeal than an expensive home that’s overshadowed by lots of stuff and the homeowner’s personality rampant through all of it.  So how can you have a comfortable home that is still livable?

1.  Start with a point of reference.  Choose a color in one of the basic features of a room:  rug, draperies, or furniture, then use subtle coordinating fabrics and colors for other features in the room.  Don’t let the colors in a room fight with one another, and don’t play safe using nothing but beige.

2.  Don’t overcrowd a room with too much furniture.  A few pieces of used furniture that’s comfortably placed are more appealing than too many name brand pieces.

3.  Use textured throws with coordinating colors to give warmth and a relaxed feeling.

4.  Store a TV, Stereo, and DVD player in an appropriate Entertainment center, not oversized for the equipment.  Look for these Entertainment Centers in thrift shops or used furniture stores.  Paint them if necessary and hide all cords and cables.

5.  Don’t overload the walls with pictures and family photos.  Choose a desired height on the wall to hang pictures and then stick to that height, avoiding the roller coaster look on the walls.  Don’t be afraid of blank space, it actually enhances the few pieces you have hanging.  Choose only 1 wall or hallway for family photos.  If it’s too hard to choose, then use the top of a bureau with just a few more.  Just make sure it doesn’t become a dust collector.

6.  A dark room is depressing.  Keep blinds open during the day.  Place lamps in a least three corners of a room rather than an overhead light.

7.  Let the kids play!  But have a place to put toys away when finished.

8.  Surround sounds are wonderful but a small radio behind a chair or sofa playing soft music is just as effective.

9.  Aromas will always connect with our brains.  Freshen up a stale room with Febreeze.  Apples and cinnamon are awesome cooked on a stove top or oven.  Even the aroma of a home cooked meal can be therapy for us.

Lowery home resized

 

By Carol Kamm at Grandview Realty

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

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