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Feb. 28, 2019

2018 Chattanooga Home Sales Annual Report

2018 Chattanooga Home Sales Annual Report

2018 was a good year in Chattanooga real estate.  1.9% more Chattanooga homes sold in 2018 than in 2017. Homes sold at a feverish pitch through the spring and summer of 2018.  In August, home sales started to slow a bit.  Fall of 2018 was steady but down from a year earlier.  Overall, the median sales price rose by 6.9% in 2018.  The days that homes stayed on the market decreased by 15.3%.  Throughout the year, home sellers received 96% of their listing prices for their homes. The monthly supply of homes for sale was down by 6.1%.

As 2019 starts, home buyers have slowed down a bit, but we have had good activity from home buyers looking at homes to purchase.  In January, closed home sales were down 11.6% from last January's closed home sales.  2019 will probably be the year when the Chattanooga real estate market evens out and becomes less of a seller's market.  Right now, the market still favors sellers, but that dynamic may change by the end of 2019.  The Chattanooga jobless rate is even lower than the rest of the country at 3.1%, so Chattanooga's local economy is outpacing the national economy.  That is always good news for the real estate market. 

Call Nathan Walldorf to buy or sell your next home at 423-544-7700.

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 1, 2019

Why It's a Great Time to Sell Your 1st Home

Why It's a Great Time to Sell Your 1st Home

If you purchased your 1st home or your entry level home a few years ago or more, now is a great time to sell that home and move up to a larger one.  Entry level homes are in high demand right now, since the inventory of those types of homes in Chattanoooga, TN is so limited.  I just put a home on the market in Red Bank that I sold to a client a little over 2 years ago. Their home sold in 24 hours for $5,000 more than what the seller was asking for the home.  The home seller can now focus on finding the home that they will move into next. 

In the late fall, when home sales are supposed to be slow, I helped another home owner sell their 1st home within a few weeks of putting it on the market and then buy a larger home.  The whole process happened smoothly. 

You can get more money out of your home right now and then quickly move on to your next home.  When you go from being a home seller to a home buyer, you cannot waste time.  You have to make acceptable offers on the houses that you want in order to avoid a bidding war with someone else and in order to get a home securely under contract.  Once you have the home you want under contract, the seller of that home cannot sell the home to anyone else unless the sale falters over a contract contingency.  Call Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700.  I'll take you to coffee and explain the whole process.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Jan. 25, 2019

2019 Real Estate Predictions in Chattanooga

2019 Real Estate Predictions in Chattanooga, TN.

See what the professionals around the country think that 2019 will hold in real estate.

*Prices leveling off

*Fewer interest rate hikes

*Lots of Millennial home buyers

*A market slow down but with great fundamentals for the future real estate market

*A balanced real estate market


Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 3, 2019

Interest Rates, What Happens When You Wait to Buy a Home

Interest Rates, What Happens When You Wait to Buy a Home

Lawrence Yun, the Cheif Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says that we are in a rising interest rate environment.  The Federal Reserve has done 4 interest rate hikes in 2018 alone and 9 interest rate hikes since 2015.  Even in December of 2018, when the stock market was already uneasy, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates.  The excessively low interest rates that the Federal Reserve implemented during the Great Recession to encourage economic growth have ended and the Federal Reserve has to raise interest rates in order to avoid a high rate of inflation.  Below you can see the impact of rising interest rates.  In this example, a 1% rise in interest rates makes a mortgage payment go up by $275 per month, which costs an additional $23,144 over the lifetime of a loan.  Each year home prices are rising by an average of 6% a year as well. 

The good news is that we still have historically low interest rates.  You will not be buying a home with interest rates as low as they were in 2017 & 2018, but you will be buying a home at a fairly low interest rate in 2019. 

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 18, 2018

Chattanooga Homes Sales in November

Chattanooga Home Sales in November

In November of 2018, the number of closed home sales were down by 6.4%.  The minor slow down is attributed to affordability concerns as home prices continue to rise and as mortgage rates rise.  Rising mortgage rates make one's monthly payment higher, but the Freddie Mac average interest rate is still only 4.94%.  That's still 1% lower than in 2008. 

Pending home sales were up by 1.5% in November, meaning that more homes will be closing in December than in the previous year.  The Walldorfs and most other agents I have spoken to have been busy in December with people buying and selling homes, so I would guess that the home sales numbers will be good in December.  

Unemployment is still very low at 3.7%, which continues to be a good sign for housing and for the economy in general.  December has had some stock market uneasiness, but it is still too early to tell if the stock market fluctuation will last or is only temporary.

The good news for home sellers is that the median sales price was up 6.2% in November with 5.9% less homes on the market.  Less competition and better pricing is always good.  The average amount of days that a home spends on the market is down by 14% in November as well.

Need to buy or sell a home?

Call Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700.

The Group Real Estate Brokerage

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 29, 2018

What You Ought to Know About Buying a Home

What You Ought to Know About Buying a Home

1. You need your own Realtor. It is silly to look for homes and then look at those homes only with the Realtor who has their sign in the yard. That Realtor represents the home owner, so you will not get an unbiased opinion of what the home is worth. You need someone who will make sure your best interests are taken care of. I know it sounds fishy for a Realtor to tell you that you need a Realtor, but I have seen too many home owners who were taken advantage of when they purchased their home without their own Realtor.

2. You don't have to have a 20% down payment. Most people think they need to have more money saved up for a down payment than they really do need. If you are willing to live in a bit more of a rural area, you can get a 100% loan. Veterans also get 100% loans. If you want to live closer to town, you can get a loan with a 3.5% down payment with an FHA loan or for as low as a 5% down payment with a Conventional loan.  

3. You need a good/local lender. You want a lender whose office you can walk into and who you can get on the phone. You don't want to be calling your lender or be calling a loan servicing depart several states away when you are trying to get a loan on a house completed. You also need that lender to be local, so they'll have a good list of appraisers for the property. Some lenders call appraiser who are an hour away with no market knowledge of the property you are buying. It creates unnecessary problems with your loan. Lastly, you need your lender to be good enough that he/she will send all of the paperwork to the underwriter to avoid delays.

4. You don't want a large real estate team. You don't want to look for a home with an agent, build trust in them, negotiate a sales contract with them, and then be passed along to someone else on the team to guide you through the remaining details of the transaction. That's like the professional handing you off to an unlicensed amateur. You deserve more than that, so be sure to get more than that out of your Realtor. Many buyer's agents on large real estate teams are less experienced and are still learning the ropes. Opt for an experienced Realtor to help you and a Realtor with history in Chattanooga.

5. You need to know your options. You need a Realtor who will give you all of the options and then let you make your own decision. You don't want a Realtor who is trying to push you into a sale as fast as they can in order to get a paycheck. Get a Realtor who cares about what's best for you.

6. You need the kind of personalized care that Nathan Walldorf of The Group Real Estate Brokerage will give you. Give Nathan a call at 423-544-7700. He would be happy to help you buy the best home for you at the best price and best terms for you. Get the best in Chattanooga real estate.  The Walldorfs have been serving Chattanooga since 1926, so we know the business and the city. 

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 29, 2018

Chattanooga Area Utility Companies

Chattanooga Area
Natural Gas   
Chattanooga Gas          1-800-427-5463                                                                                                                        
Propane Gas                                                              
Bradley Propane           1-423-875-9208         
Empire Gas                  1-423-622-7224                     
Chatta. Propane           1-423-899-0115
Blossman Gas               1-423-479-7569
Cleveland                     1-423-472-4521
EPB                             1-423-648-1372
Volunteer                     1-423-476-6571
Water & Sewer
Tn American                 1-866-736-6420
Hixson Utiltiy                1-423-877-3513
Savannah Water           1-423-344-8440
Eastside                        1-423-892-2890
Soddy                          1-423-332-2427
Bakewell                      1-423-332-9733
Walden                        1-423-886-2683
Bellsouth                      1-888-757-6500
Outside TN              1-800-753-0223         
Century Tel                  1-800-225-2594
Garbage Collection
Please contact local governments for information on garbage collection and recycling information.
In the county you will need to contract with a company such as BFI 1-423-867-4650.
Cable and Satellite Services
Comcast                       1-423-855-4300
Direct TV                     1-800-613-1795
Dish Network               1-888-609-5982
EPB                             1-423-648-1372
  *****Please note there maybe additional service providers available.*****

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 6, 2018

How to Sell a Home and Make Money

Below are some simple tips for How to Sell a Home and Make Money.

  1. Make the house move-in-ready. Home buyers today either do not have the time or the money to remodel your house.  They would rather buy a house that needs minimal immediate work.  Make sure the siding is painted. Give the interior a fresh coat of neutral colored paint.   Take down the outdated wallpaper.  Make the kitchen and baths looked updated.
  2. Get rid of clutter and odors.  You do not want people tripping over toys in order to look at your house.  You also do not want them to open a closet and everything spill out on top of them.  Get as many of the non-essential things out of your house in order to make the space in your house look bigger.  Piling all that stuff in the garage scream, "Home with no storage," so get a storage unit while you sell your house.  You also have to get all of the pet smells out of the home.  Odors can turn off a home buyer.  Dirty dippers can have the same negative effect.
  3. Replace Grandma's quilt.  Make sure your bedspreads and pillows look modern.  You don't want a 1980's flowery bedspread on top of the centerpiece of your bedroom. Make it look appealing to today's home buyer.  
  4. Give the house good curb appeal. Be sure the yard looks good, the flower beds are mulched, and plant bushes in front of the foundation.  Newly painted shutters and doors can also give a house curb appeal.
  5. Have your Realtor prepare a net sheet for you on any offers, so you will completely understand all of the terms & costs of the offer.  Be willing to give on some terms but still get your highest and best price on the house. 
  6. Have your Realtor leave a "helpful packet of information" for the buyer's appraiser to be sure the house appraises for the great sales price that you get on your house. Realtors aren't doing this, but they should.
  7. Hire a Seller's Representative Specialist (SRS).  You want your Realtor to be an SRS who is the most trained to sell your home and take care of you.  Nathan Walldorf is the Chattanooga area SRS, so give him a call at 423-544-7700.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 26, 2018

See How Easily You Can Own a Home

See How Easily You Can Own a Home.

The 16 Steps From Shopping to Closing on a House

1.  Find a Realtor who is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) to look out for your best interests as you buy a home. The agent with the sign in the yard is trying to get the home sold and does not represent you. Get your own Realtor to represent you during your home purchase.
2. Get pre-approved. Ask your ABR Realtor which lenders he recommends. After you are pre-approved, you will know what you can spend on buying a home.
3. Make sure that your monthly payment is not more than 1/3 of what you earn per month.
4. Pick out an area where you would like to live and where you can afford a home. Does the area have good schools? Is the area safe? Is the house on a busy road? How large of a house do you want? How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? What square footage are you looking for? Think about re-sale. 3 bedrooms sells better than 2 bedrooms.
5. Have your ABR Realtor send you homes via e-mail, pick some homes out that you want to see, and go look at homes. If you see homes that interest you and are for sale by owner, give the contact information to your Realtor BEFORE you call to inquire, they will call the home owners for you, to ensure you always have representation & don’t go into a transaction with only the sellers calling all the shots.
6. Once you’ve picked out a home, you will want to take your pre-approval letter from your lender and meet with your ABR Realtor to write up an offer on forms that your Realtor has.
7. Your next step after your offer is accepted is to have a home inspection. Your ABR Realtors should have a list of recommended home inspectors. Choose one of them. The home inspector will find out more than you want to know about the home. Some of the things that the home inspector will find will be small items that aren’t worth negotiating over. Look for big problems like foundation issues, heat and air problems, roof problems, plumbing & electrical problems, rot on the exterior of the house, etc. Your ABR Realtor will help you identify problems found during the inspection that should be fixed by the seller.
8.  Right after your offer is accepted, your lender will ask you to approve the”Loan Estimate” (LE), so be sure that you approve
9. The buyer will have the termite inspection done. You will find out if there are termites, and that is usually only a major problem if the termites have eaten through a main support of the house.  Your Realtor will help you identify a qualified termite inspector.
10. Your lender will send out the appraiser, so you don’t need to worry about that. You will have to pay your lender for the appraiser ahead of time. Some appraisers require repairs by the seller (FHA loans & VA loans). Mostly the appraiser is looking for the value of the home to be equal to -or greater than- what you are paying for it.
11.  Your lender may ask for forms here and there, so get those to the lender quickly. You don’t want to delay the closing on your house over a bank statement that took you a while to deliver. Be sure to check with your lender periodically to see if they have everything they need from you and keep them on task.
12. Be sure to have the utilities changed into your name. Start the process with time, but be sure it’s not effective until the day of closing.  You don’t want to pay for their water, electric, and gas usage.
13. 3 days before the closing, you should get a closing disclosure/closing statement.  That document will tell you how much money you will have to bring to closing.
14.  The day of or the day before closing on your home purchase, you will do a final inspection to make sure that the repairs that you asked for were completed, to make sure the home is in the same if not better condition, and to make sure that no new damage has occurred to the home. When the lender is done and the title checked by the title company to see if it is clear, you are ready to close.
15. You will go to a title company with a copy of your driver’s license, and close the loan. . You’ll have to get a cashier’s check from the bank to pay for your closing costs, so do that ahead of time.  Soon, you’ll be a proud homeowner!
16. Enjoy your new home!

Written by Nathan Walldorf with The Group Real Estate Brokerage. Chattanooga, TN. 423-544-7700 or


Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 12, 2018

Why now is the time to sell your Chattanooga home

If you don't sell your house now, you'll hate yourself later.

Here is why...

The inventory of homes for sale in the Chattanooga area is low.  The supply of homes that Chattanooga has for sale is enough to last 3.5 months.  In other words, if no new listing come on the market between now and 3.5 months from now, then Chattanooga would have no more homes to sell.  A healthy market typically has 5 months worth of inventory.  For a home seller, that means that there are less homes for sale to compete with your Chattanooga home.  For a home buyer, it is hard to not have as many option, but it is a perfect storm for a home seller.


The median sale price for homes in Chattanooga is up.  The median home sale price in August of 2018 was up by 3.9% to $187,000.  When the supply of homes is down, home prices go up.  Right now we are experiencing peaking home prices.  In a year from now, as interest rates keep rising, home prices will either slow down or the consumer will want to buy homes for less money.  That pressure by consumers could either make home prices stagnate for a period of time or drop in price for a period of time.


Right now home prices keep going up and the time it is taking homes to sell is going down.  Chattanooga's average days on the market went down by 25% to only 42 days in August.


Nathan Walldorf and his father, Charlie Walldorf, have the most experience in real estate in Chattanooga.  The Walldorfs have been selling real estate in Chattanooga since 1926.  We have tons of experience but also some of the nation's best technology to help us promote your home better than anyone else.  You not only want to get your home noticed, but you want the best advocate on your side when you negotiate a contract to sell your homeWe promise to give you service and guidance that is centered on what's best for you.  Call Nathan Walldorf to get started selling your home, so you don't regret missing the perfect time to sell your home and make the biggest return on your investment. 423-544-7700.  


Posted in Selling Your Home