Reasons Why Knoxville is a Great Place for Families

Finding an excellent location to settle down with your loved ones might be difficult. After all, the United States boasts a plethora of cities that are appealing for various reasons. But, if you’re like many families, you’re looking for a place that has it all: high quality of life, reasonable cost of living, and much to keep you interested and involved.

Knoxville, Tennessee, is one city that checks all of those boxes, attracting thousands of new residents each year. A rising number of couples with kids are relocating to the city, lured by many of the same factors, making it an excellent place for families. We are sure you could find just the right home for you. Knoxville is a great place for families, and we have some reasons that might convince you to pack your bags and your little ones and head out here

A bit about Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, Tennessee, has a population of around 185,000. Knoxville’s population is relatively young, owing to a significant number of college students and young families. 

Knoxville is located in Knox County and is regarded as one of the greatest locations to live in Tennessee. Located amid legendary and gorgeous East Tennessee, it is undoubtedly the state’s soul. The state’s largest and most famous university is located in the city’s core, various adjacent state and national parks give sanctuary for nature lovers, and downtown areas provide some urban flair among all the rural Tennessee characteristics. 

Living in Knoxville provides inhabitants with a compact suburban vibe, and the majority of locals rent their houses. It is home to a large number of young professionals, the public schools are above average, and that is only the beginning of all of the things that make it a great place for families! Let us take a look at some more.

Low living expenses

Many families with children are pleased to know that relocating to Knoxville is financially advantageous. According to Forbes, the cost of living is around 4% lower than the national average, which means you’ll save money on items like housing, groceries, transportation, and leisure activities. Knoxville’s housing costs are 28% less than the national average, while utility bills are 10% lower. Transportation expenses, such as gas prices, are 16% cheaper than the nationwide rate. Health care and groceries are also more affordable, which is one of the significant factors when deciding where to settle in with your kids.

A pleasant climate

Looking into the climate is crucial when moving to a new town, especially with the little ones. Knoxville enjoys a temperate environment that is rarely overly hot or cold. Hurricanes are rare, tornadoes are uncommon, and you can enjoy all four seasons. Summer months typically remain in the 80s, while winter spikes seldom fall below 45 degrees. The estimated yearly snowfall in the area is less than a foot, allowing families to be happy and active practically all year long.

Surrounded by nature

Speaking about being active, abundant nature is one of the most popular attractions in eastern Tennessee. Just outside of Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park entice campers with endless choices for a serene drive, hikes with the family, or a tranquil lunch out in the woods.

Knoxville is also bordered by seven lakes and is located on the Tennessee River. The Ijams Nature Center, located in downtown Knoxville, is a one-of-a-kind urban paradise suited for lengthy, peaceful strolls. A few miles to the east, Seven Islands State Birding Park is a popular place for river fishing, hiking, and bird watching. Any outdoor excursion imaginable is within a short drive from Knoxville. And your kids will surely appreciate the adventures!

Knoxville neighborhoods

In recent years, Knoxville has been a haven for families looking for a bigger house for their money, and a smaller, more intimate community feel than the hectic cities can often provide. Many people opt for a long-distance move here because it has so many advantages compared to many places in TN. And, it is best to have professional movers support your transfer from other parts of the state, especially when relocating with kids.

There are many excellent areas to choose from. With a typical market price in the low $200s, neighborhoods like Harrill Hills entice homeowners, while upscale complexes like Regas Square provide a median price in the low $600s and the glamour of city life for urban dwellers. This is a fantastic call if you are interested in buying a luxury home. However, with some properties for sale under $100,000, a northern region like Fountain City is favored with first-time buyers. Knoxville’s attractiveness is that it provides a wide range of options.

The educational system is one of the main reasons Knoxville is a great place for families

Not only does it have a low cost of living and an abundance of nature spots, but Knoxville is also home to one of Tennessee’s highest concentrations of top-rated public schools. Education is one of the deciding factors when moving with a family, and we guarantee this city will not let you down. In addition to outstanding elementary and high schools, the University of Tennessee is located here, making it the epicenter for higher education in the state. From kindergarten to a college diploma, your children can have a quality education all the way.

Final thoughts

As you can see, it’s no surprise that Knoxville is a great place for families, given its low cost of living, excellent schools, pleasant environment, culture, economy, and healthcare system. If all of this was not enough to convince you, we can also proudly say that this city offers a surplus of activities, whatever your interests are. If you decide to make Knoxville your new home, make sure to contact a local real estate agent to help you find your dream home.

 

Is the Fall a Good Time to Sell?

The early spring through the summer are generally the busiest times of the year for home sales, but the fall can be a particularly advantageous time of year for sellers. Housing inventory drops off during the fall months, so sellers have less competition. That means you can expect higher offers, fewer contingencies, and less scrutiny from buyers. You maintain more power over your terms.

Fall buyers are serious buyers! Early in the year you can get lots of lookers who are just thinking about buying at some point, but by fall the buyers still looking are ready to get under contract and often have a deadline. Many fall buyers are anxious to get settled before the holiday season and, if they have children in school, they will want to get them in their new schools before too much of the school year passes.

Employers who pay to relocate employees also like to shop off-season to save on moving costs. If you live near a large hospital, university, technology center, or industrial area, your home may be attractive to relocation services.

Fall is also prime time for buyers who aren’t shopping school districts. Young professionals and empty nesters are two populations more likely to shop in the fall. If you are marketing to these populations, you might want to show off multi-use spaces for exercise rooms, a home office, or game room.

The fall is much more fun for showing a home than the dead of summer. Use the mild weather and a festive atmosphere to enhance your home’s showing potential. As the temperatures cool and we welcome crisp, clear fall days, it becomes easier to maintain your yard and add to your curb appeal. You can use fall colors and foliage in your home décor to create a cozy atmosphere. Don’t forget some pumpkin spice scented candles or warm oatmeal cookies to warm buyers up for a sweet deal.

If you’re thinking about selling but can’t decide between listing now and waiting until after the holidays, now is the time. Give me a call, and let’s tie the whole process up in a pretty red bow long before the new year.⁣

Understanding Home Equity

Home equity…Everybody wants it, but what exactly is it, and how do you get it?

Equity represents the degree of ownership an individual or entity has in an asset after subtracting any debts against the asset. To say someone shares equity in a company means they would share in any assets remaining after all debts are accounted for.

For example, if your business has sold $500,000 worth of product this year, but you have rent, operating expenses, and a business loan payment totaling $400,000 for the year, you have $100,000 of equity in your business. Equity changes as the value of your assets and debts change.

Home equity works the same way. When you take out a mortgage to purchase a home, your home is collateral on the mortgage loan, so the outstanding mortgage principal must be deducted from the value of the home to determine your home equity.

In most cases, you make a down payment when you purchase your home. That down payment is your initial home equity. If you pay a 20% down payment on a $200,000 home, you have $40,000 equity when you close on your purchase.

As time goes on and you continue to pay down your mortgage principal, your equity grows. Usually, the longer your own your home, the more equity you gain because you are paying down your mortgage. However, any debts you take on using your home value as collateral, such as a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC,) decrease your home equity.

The changing real estate market also influences your equity. If you paid $200,000 for your home, and two years later the homes in your neighborhood start selling in the $400,000 range, your theoretical equity increases. (Theoretical because you don’t realize your home equity until you sell your home and pay off all debts against it.) You can also lose equity if the market takes a dive but be patient and it should recover in time.

Equity also grows if you make improvements on your home that increase its value. Let’s say you add a swimming pool and all new appliances. You have increased the value of the home. Your equity doesn’t increase by the amount your spent on the improvements, but on the value you get upon resale. This is an important point when considering making improvements prior to putting your home on the market, and one that is often misunderstood.

Let’s say Joe spends $50,000 on upgrades to his home. He might tell his neighbor, “I have $50,000 in my home,” but when he goes to sell, the current market dictates how much he will actually get in return. If Joe ends up selling for $40,000 more than he originally paid, his $50,000 investment got him $40,000 in home equity.

Some things you can do to increase your home equity include:

1) Make a large down payment when you purchase your home. The more cash you put down, the more equity you begin with.

2) Make increased or extra payments on your mortgage principal. Adding to the principal portion only on your monthly payments, or making extra payments when you are able, helps chip away at your outstanding debt.

3) Be smart when making home improvements. Not all improvements build equity. Some improvements may be personal preferences that don’t necessarily add value for resale. Improvements such as a new HVAC system, new appliances, or a new roof are usually more reliable investments than a fountain in the front yard or surround sound speakers throughout the house.

4) Don’t borrow against your home equity unless you must. Home equity is often a homeowner’s biggest asset, and can help to build your retirement nest egg, but it can also come in handy if life throws you a curve ball and you need to borrow against it for an unforeseen emergency. Be careful not to borrow against your equity for frivolous purposes, so it will be there if you really need it.

5) Sell when the market is favorable. If you are counting on your home equity to help finance your next home, pay for your children’s education, or add to your retirement funds, try to sell during a seller’s market when inventory is needed in your area.

7 Tips for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Belongings

When I work with clients who are downsizing to a smaller home, one of the hardest chores they face is letting go of sentimental belongings they no longer have room for. Souvenirs collected during travels, family heirlooms, and your children’s keepsakes can be quite stressful to part with. It doesn’t matter whether the items have monetary value or not; in fact, often the most difficult items to let go of are worthless in terms of money, but priceless in sentimental value.

Here are some tips to help you part with belongings you are attached to but no longer want to keep.

1. Remember that our memories reside within us, not within our possessions. Psychologists say that letting go of sentimental items can be extremely therapeutic. When we keep things, the items occupy both physical and mental space in our lives. It’s healthier to focus on your memories and not the items that represent your memories.

2. Focus on the present. Letting go also helps to bring your focus to the present. Sometimes things are continual reminders of the past and hold us back from living in the present. Dwelling in the past can make one more prone to depression and can affect our ability to deal with stressful situations in our lives. Realize that while we can always cherish our memories, we don’t need the past to be happy in the present.

3. Let go of guilt. People often hold onto an item they don’t want or need because someone special gave it to them or it represents a special person. Learn to let go of the guilt associated with getting rid of gifts you can’t use. Appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver or the special memory it represents but pass the item on to someone else who can use it or donate it to charity.

4. Don’t save it for your grown children. Times have changed and today more young adults are able to buy their own furnishings. And they aren’t as sentimental about family heirlooms as prior generations were. Talk to your kids now and find out if you are holding onto your china, crystal, and silver tea service for nothing.

5. Compromise with your spouse. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to resent the others’ favorite belongings while holding onto their own special stuff. It’s important to recognize that, while you may not understand your husband’s need to keep a ball cap for every MLB team he’s seen play, he may feel the same way about his hats that you do about keeping every book you have read. Decide together on a reasonable number to keep.

6. Start with the easy stuff. If you have a lot of belongings to sort through, start with the easier decisions and work from there. Often people find that once they get some momentum going it feels good to let go.

7. Write a family memoir. Hold onto your memories with words instead of things by writing your memoir or the story of your family. Writing your story can be very therapeutic and can help you release your hold on tangible items. If you need help, try a service like Storyworth.com.

5 Tips for Buying a Luxury Home

Luxury homes are generally described as those in the top 10% of their market. Luxury homes are usually located in the most optimal areas in a market, are large in size, and built with high-end materials. Luxury homes often have unique design elements and amenities not found in most homes. Want an indoor shooting range, a rock-climbing wall, a ballroom, or a bowling alley? A luxury home might have one of these– or all of them!

If you have not purchased in the luxury market before, you should be aware that the process can be very different from buying a standard single-family home. Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through the luxury home market.

1) Be patient. Shopping for a luxury home may take longer than average. For one, there are not as many of them, which, of course, is what makes them special. Since many luxury homes have décor or features that are distinctive, quirky or eccentric, finding one that fits your style may take a little while. The closing process may also take longer as there is more to inspect, more to negotiate on, and often special circumstances to be worked out. Make sure you are getting what you want. When you are investing millions of dollars in a home, you want to make sure you don’t settle.

2) Know where to look. Luxury homeowners, particularly if they are high-profile people in their area, often don’t want their home pictured on MLS. You may need to network with people in your desired area to find out what homes are being offered. Look online for luxury home sales websites such as mansionglobal.com or luxuryportfolio.com.

3) Check for possible planned development. Don’t assume that the lovely pond or wooded park behind the property will always be there. Make sure you know of any development plans that may affect your view, the amenities around the property, and the future resale value. You don’t want to buy a home for its beautiful ocean or mountain views only to find out another property will be built in the way.

4) Consult with your financial advisors. Make sure you qualify for the purchase amount you are thinking about. Luxury home sellers will often want to see proof that you qualify to purchase their home before they even allow a showing. If you do get a showing, you will certainly need to have your financial preparations done before you contemplate an offer. Everything is scrutinized more closely in the luxury price range. You should also make yourself aware of all the financing options available to you.

5) Work with an experienced luxury home agent. The right agent knows all of these tips and more. We are knowledgeable in the high-end neighborhoods in our market area and understand the intricacies of negotiating and closing on luxury homes. Are you ready to purchase a luxury home? I’m available and ready to help you in your search!

Secrets for Selling Your Home, #5

I’m rounding out this month of luck with the last secret in our 5 Secrets of a Successful Sale — secrets that together will help you sell your home without a hint of luck or wishful thinking.⁣

Before jumping to Secret #5, a quick review:⁣

Secret #1: It’s your kitchen that’ll sell your home.⁣
Secret #2: Declutter, depersonalize, and stage your home.⁣
Secret #3: Don’t go overboard on upgrades.⁣
Secret #4: Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15-20% off the price to spark a bidding war.⁣

And last but certainly not least…⁣

Secret #5: Work with the right agent.⁣

How do you know I’m the RIGHT agent?  Just look at my credentials and testimonials!

~I was awarded Associate of the Year at Gables & Gates, REALTORS, for 2020
~I’ve been selling real estate for 23 years⁣
~I love Knoxville and have lived here for 31 years
~I’m just a phone call, text, or email away, and always respond as quickly as possible
~I don’t pressure my clients, but listen to them and work with their needs

“We worked with Janet in both the buying and selling of our homes, and in all instances she demonstrated the same determination and commitment to ensure our needs were met. She made our Real Estate transactions a pleasant experience, helping us every step of the way, even well beyond closing” ~ Forrest and Julie Stover

“I have purchased two houses and sold one using Janet. She has been exceptionally attentive and response to anything I needed. Her knowledge of the area is fantastic, and she helped guide me to sound purchases both times. Highly recommend her!” ~ Bob Sledzik

There are a ton of AMAZING agents out there. So don’t settle! Let me help you sell your home and I’ll make getting a successful sale as smooth as possible (and maybe that pot o’ gold!).

Secrets for Selling Your Home, #4

Got the kitchen looking great?⁣
Got your home decluttered, depersonalized, and staged?⁣
Chatted with a realtor about worthwhile upgrades?⁣

Fist-bump! You’re SO ready for Secret #4 in our 5 Secrets to a Successful Sale! ⁣

While this one won’t require any elbow grease, it will take a tiny leap of faith. Secret #4 is all about pricing your home to sell — fast.⁣

Secret #4: Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15-20% off the price to *hopefully* spark a bidding war.⁣

Sound scary? That’s okay — I’m here to walk you through every step. Here’s why I love this pricing strategy: ⁣

• Pricing your home just below market value instantly gets buyers’ attention and motivates them to schedule a showing ASAP.⁣
• Once buyers see your home (and LOVE it), they’re more likely to put in an offer if they feel like they’re getting a deal.⁣
• When they realize there are other offers on the table, buyers tend to get competitive and are willing to increase their bid to land the home they want.⁣

With interest rates at historic lows and a lower than normal inventory, if you’re looking to sell, you’ll 100% be in the driver’s seat. ⁣

Curious what your home is worth in today’s market? I’d love to run the numbers for you — just drop me a message.⁣

Secrets for Selling Your Home, #3

Checking in this week to share Secret #3 in my 5 Secrets of a Successful Sale. A quick look back at the past two secrets:⁣

Secret #1: It’s your kitchen that’ll sell your home.⁣
Secret #2: Declutter, depersonalize, and stage your home. ⁣

And this week…⁣

Secret #3: DON’T go overboard on upgrades.⁣

It’s a mistake I’ve seen too many times. ⁣

In an effort to get top dollar for their home, well-intentioned sellers take on major renovations without consulting a realtor first. Misinformed and assuming they’ll get every dollar back (and then some!), they go overboard on upgrades only to be disappointed at the closing table.⁣

And while there are upgrades worth doing prior to selling, they’re often quick fixes, not major renovations. ⁣

If you’re thinking about selling soon, reach out to a realtor who knows your neighborhood and can give you data on the upgrades that matter most to buyers in your area. ⁣

Not thinking about selling, but know someone who is? Pass this along and save them from the stress, headache, and expense of unnecessary upgrades.⁣

Secrets for Selling Your Home, #2

Got a sec? Great. All alone? Perfect! It’s time to lean in real close cause I’m back with Secret #2 in my 5 Secrets of a Successful Sale. ⁣

Secret #1: It’s your kitchen that’ll sell your home.⁣
Secret #2: Declutter, depersonalize, and stage your home.⁣

Buyers must be able to picture themselves living in YOUR home. Give ’em a chance to do just that by decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging your home:⁣

• Declutter: Picture your home as a vacation rental. If you wouldn’t see it out in a rental, you shouldn’t see it out during a showing.⁣
• Depersonalize: A few modest photos here and there is fine, but pack away the excess, take down oversized monograms, and remove wall letters from the kids’ rooms.⁣
• Stage: If you’re using the dining room as a craft area or home office, reset it as a space to dine. Also, get rid of unnecessary furniture to make your living room feel airy and spacious. Staging doesn’t have to be costly or complicated — it simply helps buyers make sense of your home and see its potential.⁣

When it comes to getting your home ready for the market, less is ALWAYS more. Need advice on how to get your home prepped? I’d love to help. ⁣

Stop back by tomorrow for secret #3!

My Secrets for Selling Your Home

It’s the month of shamrocks, leprechauns, and Irish blessings, and while some are worried about getting pinched, you’ve got other things on your mind — like how you’re gonna get your home listed and sold fast. ⁣

In honor of St. Patty (and so you can kick luck to the curb), I’ve got 5 secrets I can’t wait to spill — secrets that’ll hand you a successful sale, and quite possibly, your very own pot of gold. ⁣

This week, Secret #1: It’s your kitchen that’ll sell your home.⁣

While buyers want the right bed and bath count to meet their needs, years of experience tell me it’s your KITCHEN that’ll sell your home. ⁣

As you get your home ready for the market, every minute (and dollar!) you spend prepping your kitchen to look its best will give you a high ROI. ⁣

At a minimum, clean, declutter, and clear off those countertops for every showing (save a vase of fresh flower). ⁣

Wanna do a little more? Update cabinet hardware, replace the faucet and sink, install a backsplash, or splurge on new light fixtures.⁣

That’s all for now — keep your eyes out for Secret #2 tomorrow!⁣