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April 10, 2019

4 Signs It Is Time to Sell Your Home

4 Signs It Is Time to Sell Your Home

1) You have outgrown your current home.  Do you have more pets, more kids, or more stuff in your current house?

2) Your lifestyle is different.  Maybe you need a home office now.  Maybe you do not want to take care of a large yard.  Maybe you need to be in a different part of town.

3) Remodeling will not yield a higher return.  Do not remodel your home if your home will not be worth the money that you have in it after the remodeling is through.

4) Your time frame is flexible and your home prices has risen. If you have the time to sell your home, you may have a good amount of equity in your home right now that you can use for a nice down payment on another home.


Posted in Selling Your Home
April 5, 2019

National Existing Home Sales Up 11.8%

The latest national existing home sales made one of the largest jumps ever in February. There was an 11.8% increase in existing home sales. Though existing home sales were up 11.8% February home sales were down from last February's home sale by 1.8%.  During February 2018 there was a buying frenzy with multiple offers to start out that year.  The National Existing Home Sales Up 11.8%median home sales price was up by 3.6% matching wage increases according to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist.   That is good news when the rising home prices have been outpacing wage growth for most of 2018.  The national supply of homes for sale is up by 3.2%, which is also good news towards normalizing the real estate market.  Homes are selling 8% slower than last year (37 days last year compared to 44 days this year).  That is still not much of a difference, but the home buyer pace may be less frantic than in 2019.  If you put together the wage growth + low interest rates (due to the Federal Reserve deciding not to raise rates this year) + extremely low unemployment + a slightly slower homes sale pace, you get a very strong real estate market.

Locally, in Chattanooga real estate, it has felt like the real estate market shifted into high gear in March.  After the record breaking rains stopped, people started looking at homes and buying homes at a fast rate.  I had 5 closings in the first week of April, meaning home buyers were busy in March.  April has started out with many new contracts to purchase as well.  Most agents I am speaking with have had the same high level of home buying and selling traffic.

Both in Chattanooga and nationally, moderately priced homes are still in short supply.

Posted in Market Updates
March 28, 2019

Realtor Nathan Walldorf Earns His CRS Designation

Realtor Nathan Walldorf Earns His CRS Designation

Nathan Walldorf of Chattanooga, TN, has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation by the Residential Real Estate Council, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.  To earn the CRS designation one must complete advanced professional training and demonstrate professional achievement in residential real estate. Only 29,000 Realtors nationwide have earned the credentials. A CRS designee has been trained to use the latest technologies, and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

Nathan Walldorf says the following about his new designation, "The CRS course work is the best course work that I have taken out of any individual class or any designations that I hold. I always want to give my clients the best service that I can, so I decided to earn my CRS designation.  I'm now part of a network of the best residential Realtors in the country, and the designation requires really good continued education to maintain my CRS status."

Let Nathan Walldorf know if you need any help buying or selling a home in the Chattanooga area.  He'd be happy to give you 5 stars service in the process.


March 21, 2019

Home Showing Checklist

Here is a great home showing checklist from Inamn News.

1. Dust and sweep. Sweep the kitchens, bathrooms, and entry.  Be sure to dust off the window sills, baseboards, furniture, TV screens, and computer screens. Make it shine.

2. Wipe off your counter tops.  No one wants to see your toast crumbs from breakfast, so wipe off your kitchen counter tops. Remove the small appliances on your kitchen counter tops to de-clutter as well. Make your bathrooms be clear and clean.  Fresh towels in the bathrooms help also.

3. Make the beds.  All of the beds in your house need to be made.  Throw pillows and new/neutral bead spreads can elp make the room look great also,

4. Remove garbage & pet supplies. Empty the garbage cans, so you don't leave any bad odors in the house.  Make sure to empty the diaper pail (if you have one). Keep the kitty litter clean and the dog beds clean also.

5. Vacuum the carpets. 

6. Open the blinds, shades, and/or curtains. Turn the lights on in your home before a showing but also be sure that all of the window treatments are letting in the light. Most people don't want a dark home.

7. Load the dishwasher + washer and dryer. Get the dishes out of the sink.  Put the dishes in the dishwasher.  My mom even drove around with a drying rack full of dishes in her car during a showing once.  Pick up clothes and put them in hampers or in the washer.

Make the front door porch and patio look good.  Be sure to leave the home picked up and your home will be ready to show.



Posted in Selling Your Home
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