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Jan. 21, 2021

Happenings in Chattanooga Real Estate & How to Buy with Low Inventory

The Chattanooga real estate market was great in 2020 and should continue to be great in 2021. The Walldorfs sold $9,754,397 in real estate in 2020, so we were very busy. Despite the pandemic, Chattanooga real estate sold very well. People from many different areas of the country moved to Chattanooga in 2020 because of our high speed internet, our start-up friendly environment, and our low housing prices. Freddie Mac commented on the 2020 housing market saying, "Even though the overall economic recovery is uneven, the housing market has made a remarkable comeback. The surge in home sales has put pressure on housing inventory and resulted in an acceleration in house price growth."


The trend of people moving to Chattanooga in 2020 is continuing in 2021.    In 2021 we will see 5 things happening in the real estate market. 1)Home prices will continue rising in most US cities. 2) The housing market inventory will remain tight. 3) Home sales will remain steady. 4) Mortgage rates will stay around 3%+/-. 5) It will be another big year for refinancing your mortgage.  


With the low inventory of homes on the market you 1) have to see the homes that interest you right away.  If you wait a day or 2, the house may be under contract. 2) If you are an out of town buyer, ask your Realtor to do a FaceTime showing for you. 3) Write your contract light on contingencies.  4) If you own a home, try to buy a home without a contingency on your home selling. Homes are selling too quickly for that strategy to work. 5) Make sure your financing is in order or a home seller may pass on your offer to purchase their home and take another one. 6) Do not make low offers.  Your offer will get beat out by other, higher offers.

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

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 8, 2021

Home Improvements That Do Not Pay Off

Home owners renovate their homes with things that are important to them.  Those updates are not always important to the general public.  Many times those updates cost more money that what you can recapture when you sell your home.  Below are some updates that DO NOT pay off.

1. A Luxury Kitchen.  Kitchen updates do pay off, but you have to temper your kitchen dream. You will not get a $10,000 return for your $10,000 Wolf 6 burner range with a double oven.  Remodeling Magazine's Cost v Value report says, "An upscale kitchen renovation recoups just 54%of its costs in added value." The imported Italian marble countertops will not pay for themselves.  Go with a less expensive granite and GE instead of Wolf.  

2. Do It Yourself Painting. I painted the master bedroom in my first home a lime green color in 2000.  Unfortunately, I was not a good painter.  I got many splotches of lime green paint on the ceiling.  The farm house red in the living room did not help me sell that first house either. After several months, and a professional paint job, we sold the house. It could have sold much sooner with a good paint job from the beginning. 

3. Expanding a Master Suite. I showed a home in North Chattanooga a few years ago that used to be a 3 bedroom home, but the owner decided to combine 2 of the rooms into a large master bedroom with a huge walk-in closet and a master bathroom.  There is a big difference in price between a 3 bedroom home and a 2 bedroom home in North Chattanooga.  Essentially, the owner made the home worth less with their remodeling. In certain neighborhoods, my wife and I have remodeled a 5 bedroom home into a 4 bedroom home with a master suite.  In that neighborhood and with family sizes being smaller today, that made sense.

4. Wall-to-Wall Carpet.  This one is pretty obvious.  Most home owners want hardwood floors today.  Opendoor says that carpet as the primary flooring in a house drops the value by $3,900.  The National Association of Realtors says that home owners recoup the entire cost of refinishing hardwood floors. Installing hardwood floors gets you $1.06 for every dollar spent.

5. A Swimming Pool. A majority of home buyers see a swimming pool as a money pit dug in their potential back yard. The biggest mistake that I see in an entry level home is a pool in the back yard. When the home goes up for sale, most of their would-be buyers pass.  In an upper-end home, a pool is a nice luxury although it does not always completely pay for itself when you sell the home.  

Make Sure The Update Is Worth It.  Ask your Realtor if an update will pay for himself.  I love it when clients call me and ask me if the update they are thinking about it is a good investment. I encourage clients to do so. 

Compare Home Features in the Area. See if your update will be unusual for the neighborhood or if your home will be the nicest home in the neighborhood. 

 

Call Nathan Walldorf to ask if your future update is worth the money. 423-544-7700.

Posted in Remodeling
Dec. 16, 2020

November 2020 Chattanooga Home Sales

November was a busy month for Chattanooga Realtors as pending Chattanooga home sales were up by 10.3% and closed Chattanooga home sales were up by 19.3%.  The days that homes were on the market in Chattanooga was down by 30%.  Median home sale prices in Chattanooga were up by 18.2%.  The monthly supply of homes for sale in Chattanooga is down by 56.3%. 

As for the 2020 real estate market, Lawrence Yun (the National Association of Realtors Chief Economists) says, "It is an understatement to say the year 2020 has been filled with challenges and full of surprises. Yet, one astonishing development has been the hot housing market as consumers eyed record-low mortgage rates and reconsidered what a home should be in a new economy with flexible work-from-home schedules."  Changing housing needs have pushed people to literally make some moves in 2020.  2021 should also be full of changing house plans as well as a hot real estate market as demand for homes is great and the inventory of homes is low. 

The state of Tennessee has emerged as the #9 state in the country for home sales price increases in 2020, so people looking for a better quality of life to accompany their new work form home lifestyle are noticing Tennessee.

Call Nathan Walldorf to help you buy a home, sell a home, or both. 423-544-7700 

Image from The Residential Specialist Magazine, November 2020 issue.
Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 14, 2020

1703 White Oak Rd Chattanooga TN 37415 Rental

1703 White Oak Rd A

Chattanooga, TN 37415

4 bedrooms

2 bathrooms

1,560 square feet

$1,675 per month

On the edge of trendy North Chattanooga. 1 block from CCA. Down Market St from Publix. Walk in the unit to a large living area with stained concrete floors. Completely updated 4 bedroom unit. The master suite is on the entrance level with a jetted tub, a heated towel bar, tiled floors, and a new vanity. There is a laundry room and a bedroom or office on the main level as well. Gorgeous updated kitchen upstairs with new cabinets, new appliances, and solid surface counter tops. Luxury vinyl tile floors on the main level that are like hardwood floors. 2 bedrooms and a living room on the main level. Like new guest bathroom with a new vanity, tiled shower surround, and new plumbing fixtures. Fenced back yard that is perfect for kids or a pet. Great back deck. 18 month lease. Call Nathan Walldorf to see the unit at 423-544-7700.  Also, take a look at the video below.

Click here for more photos & info.

Nov. 24, 2020

Nathan Walldorf Earns the NAR Sterling R

Nathan Walldorf earned the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Sterling R this week through his efforts to support Realtor advocacy and to protect every American's property rights.  RPAC is a non-partisan group that supports political candidates based on their support of property rights.  NAR says of it's major investors, "RPAC’s Major Investors are an elite and passionate group of REALTORS® whose investments shape the political future of the real estate industry."  Their investment protects every American's right and ability to own a home or a business.  Some legislation that sounds good on paper could have very negative impacts for property owners.  RPAC gives Realtors the ability to speak to legislators and help them understand that their legislation could harm property owners. 

In 2021 Nathan will also serve as the chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, after serving on the committee for several years, at his local association.  When Nathan was president of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors (GCR) in 2016, he realized that he loved the political advocacy side of the association the most.  He looks forward to representing Realtors and property owners in Chattanooga in safe guarding their property rights. Nathan was also appointed to the 2021 Tennessee Association for Realtors board of directors by the current GCR President Elect.

Walldorf says, "I look forward to the honor of chairing the GCR Governmental Affairs Committee and serving on the Tennessee Realtors board in 2021, and I am thankful to the GCR President Elect, Robert Backer, for giving me the opportunity to do so."

 

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

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 20, 2020

2021 Housing Forecast

The National Association of Realtors chief economist is predicting more job growth in 2021 as well as a rise in GPD. Chattanooga had one of the lowest job loss rates in the state of Tennessee according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Existing home sales have bounced back sharply, since the Covid19 lock down.  Mortgage applications are way up in the late fall.  The inventory of homes is 1/2 of what it was in Chattanooga a year ago.  All of these factors will make the 2021 real estate market continue to watch home prices climb in Chattanooga.  Year to date, the Chattanooga median home sale price is up by 15%.  It looks like Chattanooga home prices may outpace the national rate of appreciation.  Click below to hear the whole report.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 9, 2020

What will the Real Estate Market Look Like in the Winter of 2020

What will the Real Estate Market Look Like in the Winter of 2020?

The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, predicts that residential real estate will continue to sell well in the winter months.  Typically, Chattanooga home sales slow down during the winter.  Yun says that mortgage applications for home purchasing is up 30% compared from a year ago.  Some home buying activity was delayed by Covid19, and buyers re-entered the market this summer and fall.  Yun says that there is "extraordinary demand" for homes right now.  That will continue for a while as there is less inventory than there is demand.  Chattanooga home builders are <span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@sam_beasley?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Sam Beasley</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/snow-home?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>building homes as quickly as they can with a backlog of pre-sold homes that they are building right now. 

Mortgage rates are near record lows and should stay there for a while.  That factor has also made many people rush to the Chattanooga real estate market to buy a home with low mortgage rates. 

As people can work anywhere right now, home buyers across the nation are looking for more reasonably priced housing markets that still offer an attractive lifestyle.  Chattanooga real estate has been fueled in part by people wanting to move from a more expensive real estate markets to Chattanooga. 

All in all, the Chattanooga real estate market should continue to be strong and competitive this winter.  If you are thinking about selling your home, don't be scared that winter is starting as the market should still be really good.

 

Call Nathan Walldorf, 423-544-7700, for any real estate help.

Posted in Market Updates
July 30, 2020

Don't Get in Your Own Way When Buying a Home

Don't Get in Your Own Way When Buying a Home; 4 Home Buying Tips

Don't look to Zillow as the real estate bible.

Zillow will give you some useful information at times, but that info comes from tax records, which are not always right.  Even their home value info is up to 20% off as stated in their own fine print.  An algorithm does not know how updated one house was compared to another, if a home has a brow view, or if a home is on a lake. Your Realtor does have access to all of that info, so he/she can compare apples to apples.

 

Don't Let Emotions Cloud Your Judgement.

As you negotiate a home purchase or sale, you may hit a stalemate where one party simply refuses to give any more.  You may be pretty bothered by that fact.  You may even feel like it is not fair.  In the end all, you have to remove those emotions from the equation and figure out what is best for you (to take the offer or not).  Sometimes you may not get everything that you want in the negotiation, but you may get close enough to make it work. 

Don't crowdsource your home buying info.

I had a home for sale on Lookout Mountain.  The young home buyer was told about a potential repair that would need to be confirmed by the proper professional.  That young man proceeded to "crowdsource" information on what it could cost to repair something that he didn't even know needed to be repaired yet.  It takes a professional actually viewing the problem and coming up with an estimate to repair something rather than having a random contractor and random friends guess at what it would cost to fix a problem.  Don't turn to social media or to every friend around you who has incomplete info.  Find the proper professional to help you.  Make a good decision after you have all of the facts.

Find a trusted Realtor, who will place you and your best interest 1st, and let that person guide you through buying or selling a home.  Call Nathan Walldorf at 423-544-7700

Take it from my past clients...

"We have used Nathan twice now. He is the best! Low pressure, buyer centered service. We know that Nathan has our best interest as his top priority." - Mr. & Mrs. Adams

"Nathan is a great guy! Responsive, patient, experienced and knowledgeable! Can't say enough." - Mr. Brobston

 

Posted in Buying a Home
July 20, 2020

Now is the Time to Sell Your Home

Now is the time to sell!
Home sales took a huge spike in June.  Homes pending sale were up by 41.9%! Closed sales were up by 8.7% after people went back to home shopping in May. The number of homes for sale is down by 42%.  All of this is happening while mortgage applications for new homes are 15% higher than last year. That means that August, September, and October should be great home sales months. The pend-up demand for homes from the spring will result in good fall home sales.  Now really is the time to sell your home if you are thinking about it. The amount of days it is taking to sell are down by 8.9% and home prices are up by 4.7%. As a home buyer, interest rates are ridiculously low and your fixed interest rate is a great hedge against inflation that is coming over the next 3 years after all of the pandemic government stimulus money that the government just spent. I had a home buyer buy their 30 year interest rate down to 2.5% in June.

In July the National Association of Realtor's chief economist, Lawrence Yunn, said that Chattanooga has better job growth than the national average.  Every week there have been less and less unemployment claims. Many people from northern state are moving to more affordable southern cities like Chattanooga now that they are working remotely full time.  The real estate recovery has been a "V' shaped recovery, while the hotel, food, and entertainment industry is still down.

Please know that a 2nd "stay at home order" could really hurt the economy badly, so please social distance and wear a mask.

Call the Walldorfs to sell your home & to buy a home at 423-544-7700.

Click Here to see what your home is worth.

May 1, 2020

What Chattanooga Parks Are Open?

What Chattanooga Parks Are Open?

May 1, 2020

TN State Parks are open.
All City of Chattanooga parks are open.
Brown Acres and Brainerd golf courses are open.
National Parks are closed.

Closed City Park Property:
Indoor facilities, except for restrooms.
Coolidge Park Carousel
Water features
Picnic areas and picnic shelters
Playing courts and fields
Playgrounds
Pavilions
Dog parks

Chattown Skatepark

Posted in Events