Sevierville Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 13, 2020

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Local Agent When Buying Smoky Mountain Homes for Sale

Who knows the real estate market in the Smokies better than a local agent? When looking at Smoky Mountain homes for sale, you’ll want to consult an expert. This is a big decision after all. When you work with a TN Smoky Mtn Realty agent, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the best advice out there. Consulting an expert in the area is just one reason why you should hire a local agent when buying Smoky Mountain homes for sale:

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Posted in Blog
Dec. 23, 2019

3 Reasons Why You’re Going to Love Owning a Smoky Mountain Getaway Cabin

Are you looking for the perfect mountain getaway? Sometimes the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be a lot. That’s why it’s good to have a place that you can retreat to for some time to recharge. There really is no better place to do that than the Smokies. Having a getaway at your disposal is just one reason why you’re going to love owning a Smoky Mountain getaway cabin

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Posted in Blog
Dec. 13, 2019

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Investing in Rental Cabins for Sale in Pigeon Forge TN

When you’re looking to make an investment, you gotta do your research. This is the key to finding an investment that gives you the kind of return you’re looking for. Want to invest in something that gives you a monthly income and grows value over time, then rental cabins for sale in Pigeon Forge TN is the way to go. Here are a few things to look for: 

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Posted in Cabins for sale
Nov. 29, 2019

5 Common Questions to Ask When Looking at Pigeon Forge Houses for Sale

Pigeon Forge homes for sale

Whether you’re looking at Pigeon Forge houses for sale because you need a new home or to use as an investment property, it’s important to ask the right questions. This is a big decision to make after all! Here is a guide with some common questions to help you with the home buying process:

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Nov. 15, 2019

4 Reasons Why Our Luxury Smoky Mountain Cabins for Sale Are a Great Investment

luxury smoky mountain cabins for sale

Looking to make an investment? In today’s economy, real estate is one of the best ways to invest your money. You should invest in Smoky Mountain cabins for sale. The Smokies are a very popular area with lots of tourists traveling to the destination each year. The area’s popularity is just one reason why a cabin rental in the Smoky Mountains is a great investment:

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Oct. 17, 2019

Market Movement 10/14/2019

Mortgage rates did not move significantly last week, staying historically low.  Consumer credit expanded less than expected.  New purchase mortgage application submissions declined, and refinance mortgage application submissions increased.  Job openings are down, but still exceed the number of people classified as unemployed.  Initial jobless claims declined, and continuing claims increased.  The consumer price index was virtually unchanged from month to month.  The consumer sentiment index climbed.

Mortgage Rates Currently Trending lower

This Week's Potential Volatility

  • Could this tax break help first-time home buyers?  Read More >>
  • Experts predict mortgages will be bright spot of Q3.  Watch Now >>
  • Alert: New Leadership at Ginnie Mae.  Read More >>

  • Total consumer credit expanded by $17.9 million at an annual growth rate of 5.2%.  Weaker credit card spending constricted growth, revolving credit fell 2.2% in August.  Nonrevolving credit, like car loans and student loans, increased 7.8% in August. 

  • For the week ending 10/4, new purchase application submissions declined 1.0% and refinance application submissions jumped 10.0% for a composite increase of 5.2%. 

  • Job openings fell slightly in August, down to a level of 7.051 million.  August’s figure marks at 8% decline since the start of the year.  However, the number of open jobs still far greater exceeds the 5.8 million Americans classified as unemployed.  The voluntary quits rate fell to a level of 2.3%.

  • For the week ending 10/5, initial jobless claims declined to a level of 210,000 and continuing claims increased to a level of 1.68 million.  Jobless claims continue to come in historically low, continuing claims have been below 2 million since 2017. 

  • In September, the consumer price index was unchanged month-over-month and up 1.7% year-over-year.  Excluding food and energy costs, the core CPI was up 0.1% month-over-month and 2.4% year-over-year.  Prices for food, rent, healthcare, and airlines increased and the cost of gasoline and used vehicles declined. 

  • The consumer sentiment index jumped to a level of 96 in October.

This week's important economic reports include:
  • MBA applications
  • Retail sales, retail sales ex-autos
  • Home builders’ index
  • Beige Book
  • Weekly jobless claims
  • Housing starts and building permits
  • New home sales

Week of october 14, 2019

Oct. 7, 2019

Selecting an Agent

Selecting an agent

When a whole lobster was presented at the table of a restaurant, the customer noticed there was only one claw on it.  He asked what happened to the lobster and the waiter said, maybe he lost a fight with another lobster.  The customer replied to the explanation by saying "then, bring me the winner."

There are approximately 1.3 million REALTORS® in the U.S.  The July 2019 Existing Home Sales annualized about 5.4 million units with a listing side and a selling side that totals 10.8 million transactions.  That means that the average number of units sold per agent is 8.

In any given market, 20% of the agents are selling 80% of the homes.  260,000 agents are selling 8,480,000 or an average of 32 transactions sides.  Some markets are dominated by 10% of these successful agents selling 90% of the market.  If that were the case, 130,000 agents are selling 9,720,000 or an average of 75 transactions sides.

The question you should ask yourself is who do you want representing you in the purchase or sale of the largest asset that most people have?  Do you want an average agent, or do you want a powerhouse agent who can provide you the best advice, avoid issues that can cost time, and maximize the results that you expect and deserve?

Finding the right property is listed as the most difficult experienced by buyers (56%), according to the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, together with the paperwork (20%) and understanding the process and steps (16%) makes these the most important areas of expertise needed when evaluating your agent.

An agent provides valuable services for buyers and sellers during the transaction that can make a difference in finding the "right" home or buyer, negotiating the best terms, and closing on time.  The answers to the following questions can help you decide who to work with in your next purchase or sale.

  • Describe your experience in real estate?
  • What are your personal sales stats compared to the market? (For sellers, list price to sales price ratio, days on market; for buyers, average # of houses shown and closure rate)
  • Describe your strategy to accomplish my needs?
  • Do you have references and/or reviews?
  • What makes you different than your competition?
  • Can you help me find the other professionals and vendors?
  • What is your fee and who pays it?

 

For more information, download the Sellers Guide and Buyers Guide.

Oct. 2, 2019

Price is Right?

Price It Right the First Time

The Internet has empowered all buyers with information and home buyers are no exception.    The amount of information available to public includes details on size, condition, sales history, current inventory, recent sales, photographs, videos, school info, drive-times, entertainment and much more.

When a seller realizes that buyers are educated with facts, it becomes unlikely that they will pay more than a home is worth. 

If a home is priced too high in the beginning, it may stay on the market longer than normal which could adversely affect the ultimate sales price.  It is a natural reaction from people, personally or professionally, to assume that something must be wrong with a home that doesn't sell in a reasonable time for that market.

The seller is entitled to maximize the equity in their home and pricing it properly in the beginning is the best way to achieve that.  Overpricing can reduce buyers activity because they assume that the best homes are purchased soon after they are offered for sale and if one has been on the market longer than normal, there must be a problem with it.  Similarly, sales associates may come to the same conclusion.

After buyers have seen a few homes in a certain price range, they begin to expect similar amenities in each home they look at.  If a home is overpriced, it will not compare favorably with the other homes that are being viewed.  Sometimes, the buyer may even think that another home could be a bargain because it offers much more for the same price as the overpriced listing.

Shopping the market means looking at the homes that meet a buyers' wants and needs and selecting the one that gives them the most, whether it is in price or amenities.  The overpriced listing doesn't compete well, and it extends the market time.  There is a documented study that shows that the longer a home stays on the market, the lower the price will be.

It is essential that a seller receive factual information to price their home to compete favorably in the current market.  Some of the obstacles can include:

  • Failure to objectively compare the current and sold homes with theirs
  • Neighbors who mislead the seller as to how much they got for their home
  • Fear of making a mistake and thinking they can start high and always lower the price
  • Loss of perspective because the seller is emotionally involved
  • Expecting the home to sell for more than fair market value because they need the money
  • Agents who will accept a listing at any price in order to tie up the property until the seller realizes the price is too high

What a seller paid for the home or the cost to rebuild it today do not affect market value.  Neither does the amount spent by sellers on certain improvements that were made for their own pleasure and enjoyment.

It is unrealistic to expect a buyer to pay more than market value for a home.  The seller sets the price of a home but the buyer determines the value.  If the home is priced properly in the beginning, it is more likely to sell for a higher price, in a shorter period and with less problems

Oct. 2, 2019

Market Movement 10-01-2019

Average mortgage rates are still historically low, despite trending slightly upwards this week.  Home price appreciation continues to slow down.  The consumer confidence index declined.  Mortgage application submissions dropped off.  New home sales jumped.  The weekly jobless claims report was mixed.  Second quarter’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) revision was unchanged.  Pending home sales activity increased.  Both personal income and consumer spending are up.  The consumer sentiment index improved. 

Mortgage Rates Currently Trending lower

This Week's Potential Volatility

  • Home flippers enter the market as prices and competition heat up.  Read More >>
  • Last week’s mortgage rate increase temporary, rates fall again.  Read More >>
  • Philadelphia Fed President says Fed should hold interest rates.  Read More >>

  • The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index tracks was unchanged from June to July, and up only 2.0% year-over-year.  14 of the 20 cities measured saw increases, led by Phoenix and Las Vegas up 5.8% and 4.7% respectively.

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index appreciated 0.4% month-over-month in July. 

  • In August, the consumer confidence index fell to 125.1, a three-month low. 

  • The weekly mortgage application survey declined a composite 10.1% for the week ending 9/20.   New purchase application submissions declined 3.0% and refinance application submissions dropped 15.0%. 

  • In August, the new home sales report increased 7.1% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000.  Year-over-year sales were up 18%.  New home sales data can be volatile from month to month, but August’s figure is almost a 12-year high. 

  • For the week ending 9/21, initial jobless claims increased to a level of 213,000.  Continuing claims declined to a level of 1.65 million.  The General Motors strike may have influenced this week’s data, jobless claims in Michigan nearly doubled. 

  • GDP is a country’s most comprehensive economic scorecard.  The revision for second quarter showed the economy expanded at a rate of 2%, unchanged from the previous estimate.  Consumer spending was strong, but business investment has declined. 

  • The pending home sales index increased 1.6% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year in August. 

  • In August, personal income increased 0.4% month-over-month and consumer spending inched up 0.1% month-over-month.  Core inflation is up 1.8% year-over-year, below the Fed’s targeted 2% rate. 

  • In September, the consumer sentiment index increased to a level of 93.2, a rebound from August’s three-year low. 

This week's important economic reports include:
  • Construction spending
  • MBA applications
  • ADP employment
  • Weekly jobless claims
  • Nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, average hourly earnings

Week of SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

July 15, 2019

Measuring Square Footage

MEASURING SQUARE FOOTAGE

 

 

Square Footage Measurement

 

 

 

 

Square footage is commonly used to determine if a home will fit a buyer's needs.  The price per square foot can be used to compare the costs of different homes and even, determine the value of a property.

The challenge is what is the source of the square footage measurement and how was it done.

County records use square footage to determine assessed value for property tax purposes.  They are assumed to be reliable but there can be inaccuracies in their tax rolls.  Another source of square footage could be from the house plans but the problem there is that the builder may have made modifications, or a subsequent owner could have made additions.

Appraisers are required to measure the home to determine square footage and they generally, adhere to a standard method which leads to uniformity in the industry.  The ANSI, American National Standards Institute, guidelines are considered the standard but there are no laws governing the process.

Because basements are below grade level, regardless of whether they are finished, they are typically not counted toward gross living area.  Attics because they are above grade level can be included in gross living area if they are finished to the same standard as the rest of the home and they meet the minimum height requirement of seven feet.

Unfinished areas are usually not considered in the square footage because it is not livable.

For detached properties, it is common to measure the perimeter of the house but to only include the living areas, not porches, patios or garages.  Gross living area includes stairways, hallways, closets with minimum height and bathrooms.  Covered, enclosed porches would only be considered if they use the same heating system as the house.

By contrast, condominiums, generally measure the inside area of the unit. Some appraisers may add six inches to account for the wall thickness.  If you were to compare the total of the interior room measurements of a detached home, it would be far less than the stated square footage using the normal method.

If the county records are significantly different from the appraisal or the plans, it will be necessary to determine which one is more accurate.  This may require getting the home measured by an appraiser which should be less than paying for a complete appraisal.