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Sept. 29, 2023

5 Real Estate Transactions Impacted by a Government Shutdown

5 Real Estate Transactions Impacted by a Government Shutdown

1. FHA will not make commit to new loans in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. There may be some delays with FHA processing.  
2. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not reliant on appropriated federal fund and should operate normally.  BUT…Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have a hard time getting social security numbers verified and getting a tax return transcripts.  Both are needed to process a loan.
3. Rural housing loans will not be issued during the government shutdown.  That is a 100% rural development loan.
4. SBA loans would most likely be delayed (mainly impacting some commercial property financing but not most)
5. VA loans should still close but there will be fewer processors meaning longer wait times (potentially).

-Only 11% of home buyers were negatively impacted by the last government shutdown.
-25% of home buyers decided to delay buying during the last government shutdown.


In the end all, the impact of a government shutdown will be minimal.  Some real estate transactions will be impacted or slowed down though.

Call Nathan Walldorf for all of your real estate needs. 423-544-7700.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 29, 2023

Incentives When Buying a New Home Are At a 4 Year High

Incentives when buying a new home are at a 2 year high.  
The problem for most new construction home buyers over the past 2 years is that they have not had any leverage to negotiate.  New construction home buyers would love to be able to get a little more for their money, like anyone would.  Watch this video and I’ll tell you 4 different kinds of incentives that you can get out of builders right now.
Builders did not have to offer any incentives to sell a home over the past few years.  Many new homes were selling when they were still literally on the drawing board in the last few years.  The Federal Reserve’s conversations about raising interest rates again this year and the country’s credit rating being downgraded, have both made interest rates rise and have slowed down home buyers.  With that happening, home builders are now giving more incentives in order to keep homes selling.  Here are 4 incentives that you may be able to get out a builder right now:
    1)    The most popular incentive right now is an interest rate buy down that could make your interest rate be 1%-2% lower. 
    2)    Builders are giving upgrade credit to buyers.  One builder was giving 50% off of upgrades up to $30,000 (meaning $15,000 of those upgrades would be free) a month ago or so.  If you want things like quarts countertops, a nicer tile, more decorative ceilings, or even engineered hardwood instead of luxury vinyl plank, you may be able to get those upgrades for free or at a largely discounted rate.
    3)    You could get upgrades appliances or an appliance that the builder does not usually provide like a refrigerator.
    4)     When I asked a builder about other incentives for home buyers to buy new construction, he said that most builders will do incentives up to 1% of the purchase price in cost to them.

One thing builders will not do is take a lower sales price, because that sales price will bring down all of the sale prices on the remaining homes in the neighborhood.  A builder will give incentives though.  
If you want to buy a new construction home, give me a call.  I would be happy to guide you through the process.

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 15, 2023

Common Questions Home Buyers Ask

Here are the common questions that home buyers ask in 2023:

  1. How Do I Afford a Home? Many homebuyers are concerned about rising home prices and whether they could afford to buy a home in their desired location. Low housing affordability can be a significant barrier to homeownership.  As interest rates go down in the next year or so, home prices and competition will go up quickly.

  2. Should I Buy a Home When Mortgage Rates Go Down? Interest rates on mortgages are a concern. Homebuyers typically watch interest rates closely, because they can significantly impact the cost of borrowing and monthly mortgage payments.  Realtor Nathan Walldorf says, "You need to date the rate and marry the home."  You can buy a home now and refinance when rates go down in the next few years.

  3. How Do I Find a Home When Inventory is Low? In some areas, there is a shortage of homes for sale, leading to increased competition among buyers and rising prices. Lack of inventory makes it challenging for buyers to find suitable properties.  the lack of inventory is not going to change any time soon.  Find a Realtor who is willing to make calls for you to find homes that are not on the market.  That could create more options for you.

  4. How Do I Buy a Home When Competition is High? Fierce competition from other buyers makes it difficult for some to secure a property, especially in highly desirable areas.  Luckily, it is a little less competitive than in 2021 and 2022, but you still have to act quickly to avoid competition to your offer.

  5. How Much of a Down Payment Do I need? Saving for a down payment can be a major concern for first-time homebuyers, as they aim to accumulate the necessary funds while dealing with other financial obligations.  There are many different down payment options right now, so ask your Realtor what is out there.  You can even get a conventional loan for as low as 3.5% down.  There are other 100% financing options but they can be income limited or area limited.

  6. How Do I Build My Credit? Buyers are concerned about their credit scores and whether they would qualify for a mortgage with favorable terms.  Make sure you have some credit.  Even if you need to charge 1 tank of gas per month on a credit card and pay it off every month, that will build your credit.

  7. What If the Home I Might Buy Has Problems? The condition of the property and potential maintenance or repair issues are concerns for buyers. Buyers want to ensure they aren't purchasing a home with hidden problems.  That is what your home inspection is for.  It will protect you from buying the money pit.

  8. Can I Afford the Location and Amenities That I want? Proximity to work, schools, and amenities is a significant concern for many buyers, as they want to find a home in a convenient location.  Ask a Realtor what areas fit your budget.  Most people do not stay in one home forever.  You can always move up and into a better or different area in the future.

  9. What is going to Happen to the Real Estate Market in the Coming Months? Buyers were also concerned about the future of the real estate market. They wanted to make sure they are making a sound investment and that the value of their home will appreciate over time.  We have a shortage of inventory compared to household formation, so home values will not be decreasing any time soon.  Lenders have been making conservative loans since 2010, so people can afford their mortgages.  People also have equity in their homes, so a market crash is not coming any time soon.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 24, 2023

Home Renovations That Have the Biggest Return on Your Investment

When it comes to home renovations, the goal is often to enhance your living space while also increasing the value of your property. While personal preferences play a significant role in choosing renovation projects, it's wise to consider those that offer the greatest return on your investment. Here are some home renovations that have consistently proven to yield substantial returns:

1. Kitchen Remodeling: The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and renovations in this area can provide a substantial return. Upgrading appliances, replacing outdated countertops with modern materials like granite or quartz, and installing new cabinetry can significantly increase your home's value. Additionally, open floor plans that integrate the kitchen with the living space are highly appealing to potential buyers.

2. Bathroom Upgrades: Bathrooms are another crucial area that can greatly impact a home's value. Updated bathrooms with modern fixtures, quality tile work, and energy-efficient features tend to attract buyers and add value. Consider investing in fixtures like rainfall showerheads, dual vanities, and eco-friendly toilets.

3. Curb Appeal Enhancements: First impressions matter, and the exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. Landscaping, fresh coats of paint, a well-maintained lawn, and an inviting entryway can significantly boost your home's curb appeal. This impression can lead to a higher selling price and a quicker sale.

4. Energy-Efficient Improvements: In today's environmentally conscious world, energy-efficient homes are highly desirable. Upgrading to energy-efficient windows, adding insulation, installing a programmable thermostat, and using energy-efficient lighting can not only lower your utility bills but also make your home more attractive to buyers.

5. Adding a Deck or Patio: Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly important to homeowners. Adding a deck, patio, or even a well-designed outdoor kitchen can extend your living space and provide a strong return on investment. These spaces are especially appealing in regions with pleasant climates.

6. Minor Kitchen Upgrades: Not all kitchen renovations need to be extensive. Simple, cost-effective upgrades like replacing cabinet hardware, updating light fixtures, or adding a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank.

7. Fresh Paint and New Flooring: A fresh coat of paint and new flooring can make a home feel newer and more appealing. Neutral colors are recommended, as they allow potential buyers to visualize their own furnishings in the space. Quality flooring materials like hardwood or engineered wood can be particularly attractive.

Remember, the potential return on investment can vary based on factors such as your location, market trends, and the quality of the renovations. It's also essential to strike a balance between investing in improvements and overpricing your home for the neighborhood. Consulting with a real estate professional can provide valuable insights into which renovations would be most beneficial for your specific situation.


Chattanooga Realtor Nathan Walldorf 423-544-7700.


Posted in Remodeling
Aug. 15, 2023

How to find a home when inventory is low

Finding a home in a low-inventory real estate market can be challenging, but with some strategic planning and persistence, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you navigate this situation:
    1    Work with a Real Estate Agent: An experienced real estate agent who knows the local market well can be an invaluable asset. They often have access to off-market listings, are well-connected, and can help you identify potential opportunities that might not be widely advertised.
    2    Set Clear Priorities: Define your must-haves and nice-to-haves in a home. This will help you quickly narrow down your search and make decisions when a suitable property becomes available.
    3    Be Flexible: In a low-inventory market, you may need to adjust your expectations. Consider being open to different neighborhoods, property types, or features that you may not have initially considered.
    4    Monitor Listings Regularly: Stay on top of new listings by setting up alerts on real estate websites, apps, or through your agent. Being one of the first to know about a new property can give you a competitive edge.
    5    Act Quickly: When you find a property that meets your criteria, be prepared to move swiftly. Delaying could lead to missing out on a great opportunity, especially in a competitive market.
    6    Be Prepared Financially: Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start searching. This shows sellers that you are a serious buyer and can help you move quickly when you find the right property.
    7    Write a Strong Offer: If you're interested in a property, consider making a strong, well-structured offer that stands out. This might include a competitive price, reasonable contingencies, and a personal letter to the seller explaining why you love the home.
    8    Consider Off-Market Options: Ask your Realtor to network within your community or use social media to let people know you're looking for a home. Sometimes, sellers who aren't actively listing their property might be willing to sell if the right offer comes along.
    9    Stay Persistent: Finding a home in a low-inventory market can take time. Don't get discouraged if your initial offers are not accepted or if you face competition. Keep searching and stay patient.
    10    Be Ready for Bidding Wars: In a tight market, multiple buyers may be interested in the same property, leading to bidding wars. Have a clear budget in mind and be prepared to make competitive offers if necessary.
    11    Research Stale Listings: Some properties might have been on the market for a while and could be overlooked by other buyers. Investigate these listings to see if there's a hidden gem that meets your needs.
    12    Consider New Construction: If existing homes are scarce, explore the possibility of buying a new construction property from a developer.
Remember that persistence and patience are key when searching for a home in a low-inventory market. Working closely with a real estate professional and staying proactive in your search will increase your chances of finding the right home for you.

Call Chattanooga Realtor, Nathan Walldorf to find your next home at 423-544-7700.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 10, 2023

The National Association of Realtor Real Estate Forecast

The National Association of Realtor Real Estate Forecast

You may not know, but the housing industry was in a recession from 1st quarter of 2021 until the 1st quarter of 2023.  The number of home sales went down a good bit (due to home inventory shortages and then later due to a Fall interest rate spike).  That recession is now over and getting better in 2023.  Wages and rents are moderating leading to lower inflation rates.  A big part of our inflation was the COVID supply shortage and logistic issues that drove prices up.  Home sales will/are bottoming out this year and will increase next year.  30 year mortgage rates are predicted to be down to 6% by the end of the year.  Wholesale mortgage purchasers predict that we have pend up demand that will be unleashed when rates get down to 5.5% (possibly next year).  Home purchases will once again be very competitive when that pent up demand is released and home prices will increase more quickly during that time.   
It used to be that home buyers moved an average of 15 miles from their current home.  Now that number has increased to 50 miles most likely due to a larger number of mobile workers.  1/4 of all people moving on the past year were 900 mile moves.  In Chattanooga, we are still seeing folks desiring to move from across the country and who are waiting on the right home to come on the market.  Most of those out of town buyers are finding their Realtor online, so Walldorf Homes continues to invest heavily in website placement to capture that buyer traffic for our home sellers.  
The buyer tenure in a home has also grown.  People used to stay in their homes for 5 years, but they are now averaging 7+ years in a home.

Call the Walldorfs to buy or sell your home.  We will work tirelessly to find what you are looking for in a home and to get your home sold. Call Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700.

July 31, 2023

Summer Home Sales & What Is to Come

Summer Home Sales & What Is to Come

This summer was a bit of a slower real estate market as rates were high and the inventory of homes for sale was low.  In June, Chattanooga closed home sales were down by 19.7% but the Chattanooga median home sales price was up 4%.  Chattanooga new listings were down by 26.7% in June as well.  
Mortgage lenders say that there is pent up demand due to the current mortgage rates.  When rates get closer to 5.5% next year, the “move up” buyers will hit the market once again.  That will create another surge of sales and will push pricing up again.  Right now is still a better time to buy a home at today’s rate and then re-finance when rates are down to 5.5% and competition is fierce again.
New home sales have also been strong this summer.  Even Chattanooga builders are giving a few more incentives at the moment than they did last year.  
Tennessee is amongst the top 8 “move in” states in the country.  Chattanooga is well poised to catch people moving out of large metropolitan areas like Nashville and Atlanta. Residential real estate is one piece of the economy that is helping to stabilize the economy in 2023.


Call Chattanooga Realtor, Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700.

Posted in Market Updates
July 6, 2023

The July Real Estate Market Buzz

The July Real Estate Market Buzz

The Case-Shiller home price index is up higher than expected.  Inventory is tight with people in the resale home market not wanting to sell their home and give up their low interest rate unless they have to.  That has helped new home sales, which has surged by 12.2% month-over-month.  New home sales are the highest that they have been in 1.5 years. 
Mortgage applications are up by 3%. Purchase applications increased for the third consecutive week to the highest level since early May.  That is good news for the real estate market.  It means that people are still seeking to buy homes. 

It is still a great time to sell a home if you need to sell your home right now.  The inventory is low and the days that homes stay on the market is still low, so you should be able to sell for a good price and in a reasonable amount of time.  One thing I would  tell home sellers is to always keep an eye on your competition, and make adjustments if you need to get your home to sell.  Get a Realtor who will help you adjust to the market as needed to sell you home like we just did for a 3,000 sq ft home in North Chattanooga.
Home buyers need to get a Realtor who will turn over every leaf to help them find a home like I just did for a friend of mine and found him an off market home on Lookout Mountain, TN where there are only 2 active listing during the 1st week of July.

Call Realtor Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700 to buy a home or sell a home in the Chattanooga area.

Posted in Market Updates
May 19, 2023

April Chattanooga Home Sales Update

The big real estate story today has to do with the lack of the inventory of homes for sale.
The National Association of Realtors says, “The lack of existing inventory continues to impact home sales, and with only 2.6 months’ supply of homes at last measure, competition for available properties remains strong, especially in certain price categories, with multiple offers occurring on about a third of properties.”  The NAR chief economist also reports that 60% of homes nationally are selling within 30 days. The days thsat homes are on the market has dipped some since last spring, so you still may have some buying opportunities this year compared to last spring.  New listings on the market are down by 26% in Chattanooga, TN.  Pending sales and closed sales are also both down in Chattanooga mostly due to the lack of inventory.  The stats show that the inventory of homes for sale in Chattanooga is up 33%, but, on the ground level, Realtors are having to call home owners and ask if they are will to sell their homes to their home buyers because of the lack of homes for sale.  The median sales price in Chattanooga is down by a negligible .3% to $300,000, so home prices are fairly level in Chattanooga.  In other words, homes are not loosing value in Chattanooga.  The % of the list price that home buyers are paying is down from last year, but it is still around 97%.  Entry level homes and luxury homes are a competitive price ranges in the Chattanooga area right now.
Call Nathan Walldorf for any of your real estate needs at 423-544-7700



Posted in Market Updates
May 18, 2023

How to Buy a Home From Start to Finish Part 2

Buying a Home from Start to Finish Part 2
Once you find the home you like, step 5 of buying a home is putting an offer on the home.
Your Realtor will send you homes that sold like the home that you want to buy in order to help guide you on the price.  You will fill out a contract, and you may even go back and forth with the seller on the price and terms of the contract.
Step 6 is to have the home inspected.  That helps eliminate any surprises that you might have about the condition of the home.  
Step 7 is to get the lender whatever documentations that he needs along the way.  The lender will have the home appraised along the way.
Step 8 is to perform a final inspection to make sure the homes is in the same if not better condition.  You will also wire funds to the title company the day before closing.
The final step is to go to the title company, sign closing docs, and walk away with the keys to your new home.



See part 1 at the following link:


Posted in Buying a Home