Local musician is rebuilding after the fires

Local musician is rebuilding,
creating new songs and a new home:

Last November, Kirk Fleta came back to the Smokies from a trip to Nashville to find that he lost everything: family heirlooms, guitars and dozens of journals and recordings of his songs, photos and recordings of his mother (famed Spanish singer Paloma Fleta) and his grandfather (world famous opera tenor Miguel Fleta), all of the songs he had down on paper, the audio and video recordings of his performances, and journals of his travels from all over the world.

Fleta is slowly rebuilding. He got money from FEMA, crowdfunding and other organizations.

“Everybody’s really wanting to chip in and help the recovery process,” Fleta said. “It’s kind of reinstated my faith in humanity because there’s so much kindness…We’re a strong, mountain tough community. It’s real.”
He says he wants to write songs that stand the test of time and wants to build a house that stands the test of time, too.

Fleta is writing songs for a new album, some of which are inspired by the fires. He is an optimistic guy and says he says he doesn’t like to dwell too much on the past.  Fleta says he is ‘leaning on a promise of a bright future’ with new songs and a new house.

Here is a link to his website, and here is a link to his fundraising fund:  https://www.crowdrise.com/kirk-fletas-wildfire-recovery-fund

Stephanie Haines interviewed Kirk Fleta for WBIR Ch 10 news.

Featured Properties:

Remarkable Houses, Remarkable Land

1215 Wiley Oakley Dr.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$799,900   ID# 205840

4 BD/3.5 BA, 2,800+ sq ft mountain chalet, sitting on 14+ acres, complete with amazing mountain views. More info

 


2924 Nuns Cove Rd.
Sevierville, TN 37876
$495,000   ID#  211855

3 BD/3 BA, 2,200+ sq ft, contemporary-style mountain chalet on 76 acres.  More info

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jason White Team

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving day full of joy and happiness with your families and friends.  Today we just want to say thank you in appreciation of your business, trust, and loyalty with us.

Sincerely,

The Jason White Team

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Featured Listings:
40K+ Income Cabins

$279,900   ID#: 213277

Private and spacious 3 BD/3 BA Private cabin in scenic Sky Harbor.  3 levels with covered decks.
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$299,900   ID# 208150
4BD/4BA Mountain chalet with incredible views.  Large open rooms, great for large family gatherings.

 More info

Is history repeating itself?

Rapid price increases will not last forever.

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession.  Is history repeating itself?

 

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released realtor.com® report.  Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com.

“As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says.  It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly.  The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction.  In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts.  Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale.  “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere.  Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low.  Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

 

Featured Listings:   Price Reductions

Beautiful one level brick 3 BD/2 BA complete w/incredible views of the Smokies & of a beautiful pond adj. to this property.  More info
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$458,800   ID#: 212271
Resting atop 1.49 beautiful acres you’ll discover an architectural gem of 5000+ sq ft, 4 BD / 3 BA.   Views of Mt. LeConte & Clingman’s dome.  More info

National Real Estate Market

Prices are up, homes selling faster, new listings slightly up

Autumn began in September, but activity in the housing market remained at summer-like levels through October, according to realtor.com’s latest data preview. Prices in October were 10 percent higher than those one year ago, with the national median at $275,000 and the national median age of inventory at 73 days.

“This month we aren’t just experiencing still-summery weather—we’re also seeing a sizzlingly competitive housing market at a time when things are usually cooling off for the fall,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “With not enough homes on the market to meet the high demand, homes are selling 8 percent more quickly than a year ago even though prices are as high as they’ve ever been.

“For potential buyers who waited until fall hoping to score a bargain, the pickings are disappointingly slim,” Hale says, “but one potential bright spot for market-fatigued buyers is that new listings are up slightly from one year ago. While new listings declined in the first four months of the year, they have increased on a year-over-year basis in five of the last six months.”

Would you ever buy a haunted home?

A new survey from Realtor.com shows most folks won’t shy away from a spooky space–so long as the price is right.

In September, Realtor.com surveyed more than 1,000 online respondents. The verdict? Thirty-three percent were open to living in a haunted house, 25 percent might be, and 42 percent are not open to the idea.

What factors impacted these results? Let’s explore:

  • 40 percent of respondents indicated that they need a price reduction in order to choose a haunted home over a non-haunted home;
  • 35 percent require a better neighborhood;
  • 32 percent need larger square footage;
  • and 29 percent would do so if more bedrooms are involved.

Who minds a few spooky spirits if there’s a third bedroom?   From the survey, 47 percent of participants indicate they would live in a home where someone died, 27 percent said they might, and 26 percent said they would not.

The survey also showed certain paranormal activities are preferred over others. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed didn’t mind a few cold or hot spots in their home, whereas 45 percent could get down with unexplained noises, and 39 percent are willing to tolerate strange, freaky feelings in certain rooms. Thirty-five percent of folks could deal with shifting shadows, but only twenty percent were alright with levitating objects or the sensation of being touched.

Of those surveyed, 28 percent believed they already have lived in a haunted house, with 14 percent unsure and 58 percent quite sure they’ve never been haunted.

 

Featured Listing:

This lot was issued a 5 bedroom septic permit, which is increasingly rare. Great opportunity to build a 5 bedroom vacation rental cabin.   Located in very desirable Pinnacle Vista subdivision in Pittman Center.

Don’t miss OktOBERfest!

                Enjoy Oktoberfest in Ober, Gatlinburg though Oct. 29th

OktOBERfest is being celebrated with Gatlinburg-style roots of merrymaking from September 22 through October 29th.  Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort commemorates the 207th anniversary of the popular festival held in Munich, Germany.

One of the highlights of OktOBERfest is the food.  Most of the food is German inspired and is derived from recipes and cuisine from traditional Bavarian festivals.  Cuisine includes but is not limited to schnitzel, bratwurst, strudel, turkey legs, pretzels and sauerkraut.  During this month-long celebration, along with multiple daily shows, the Seasons Of Ober Restaurant switches to their OktOBERfest menu.  Special Oktoberfest Biers will be served including several local favorites.  If German food isn’t for you, there are other eateries on site that will offer meals suited to your taste and overall budget.

And, of course, along with great memories, you’ll want to take home souvenirs of this month-long celebration. They have a wide variety of OktOBERfest  souvenir apparel, gifts and accessories available in the outdoor vendor tent.  Inside the mall, you’ll also want to check out the retail shops… most especially the unique and specific  Beer Necessities kiosk,  which provides an eclectic selection of gifts and accessories for the true beer aficionado.

Enjoy the Bier Garten!
An Outdoor Bier Garten is open for beer sampling for festival-goers who are 21 and over. Different featured breweries will be included each weekend, with a company representative from each of these present on Saturdays.

 

Along with the authentic German cuisine and beer, you can also look forward to outdoor games and the Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band.  The band dresses in authentic lederhosen while performing traditional Bavarian folk dances, oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels, and more!

 

Featured Listings

Three Charmers Near Ober:

Beautifully crafted 2 BD/1.5 BA, 1,400+ sq ft, mountain chalet.  Ideally suited as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental.   More Info

2220 St. Moritz Court , Gatlinburg, TN 37738   $219,900  ID#: 211874

1 BD/2 BA, 1,350+ sq ft, contemporary-style mountain chalet. Spectacular mountain & city views.  Currently on a well-established rental program.  More Info

 1536 Zurich Road   Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$215,000     ID#: 208705
3 BD/2 BA, 1,600+ sq ft mountain chalet with amazing mountain & city views.  Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental.   More info

 

Outdoor fun this weekend in the Smokies

Kick up your heels!

Sugarlands MountainFest, a music and outdoor festival (September 28 – October 1, 2017) produced by Sugarlands Distilling Company, is a spirited celebration of the great outdoors. For four days this fall, outdoor enthusiasts will gather to enjoy over 30 live musical performances, running, biking, & fishing competitions, craft cocktails, award-winning spirits and brews—all in the breathtaking mountains of East Tennessee.

Experience the world class attractions and shopping of downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Enjoy the natural splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Featured Properties:

5000+ sq ft, 4 Bedrooms & 3 Baths.   Views of the mountains, convenient location. Lovely home. 1.49 acres includes another lot.  What more can you ask for?  More Info
304 Village Way  Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
$265,000  ID# 212285

4 BD/3 BA, 2,200+ sq ft, mountain chalet. Currently a well-established VRBO rental.  Walking distance to shopping and dining.    More info

College debt affecting housing market

College debt is having a compounding effect on how millennials perceive and plan for home ownership.

Eighty-three percent of millennials in a recently released report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) say they are delaying their home-buying plans by a median seven years as a result of their student loan debt. Twenty percent of the millennials surveyed in the study are homeowners; 80 percent are not. The typical millennial homeowner is burdened by $41,200 in student debt, and earning $38,800 annually.

Home ownership is not the only casualty of student debt—millennials are also postponing career changes, children, marriage and retirement savings, the study shows.

“The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost that’s influencing millennials’ housing choices and other major life decisions,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Sales to first-time buyers have been underwhelming for several years now, and this survey indicates student debt is a big part of the blame. Even a large majority of older millennials and those with higher incomes say they’re being forced to delay home ownership because they can’t save for a down payment and don’t feel financially secure enough to buy.

“A scenario where only those with minimal or no student debt can afford to buy a home and save for retirement is not an ideal situation and is one that weakens the economy and contributes to widening inequality,” Yun says.

Millennial homeowners are doubly pressured, unable to sell and trade-up due to their student debt. At the entry level, the inability to move keeps valuable inventory off-market, worsening already scarce supply in the tier.
“Millennial homeowners who can’t afford to trade up because of their student debt end up staying put, which slows the turnover in the housing market and exacerbates the low supply levels and affordability pressures for those trying to buy their first home,” says Yun.
Combating the issue comes down to education. Many millennials are in the dark about college costs—in fact, the study shows only 20 percent have a big-picture understanding of the expenses related to education.

“REALTORS® are actively working with consumers and policy leaders to address the growing burden student debt is having on home ownership,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “We support efforts that promote education and simplify the student borrowing process, as well as underwriting measures that make it easier for home buyers carrying student loan debt to qualify for a mortgage.”

The study was conducted in conjunction with American Student Assistance (ASA), a non-profit guarantor.
“Student debt is a reality for the majority of students attending colleges and universities across our country,” says Jean Eddy, president and CEO of ASA. “We cannot allow educational debt to hold back whole generations from the financial milestones that underpin the American Dream, like home ownership. The results of this study reinforce the need for solutions that both reduce education debt levels for future students, and enable current borrowers to make that debt manageable, so they don’t have to put the rest of their financial goals on hold.”

 

Featured Listings, Price Reductions:

 

1224 Sky High Way  Gatlinburg, TN
$249,900   ID#: 210698

2 BD/2BA, 1,300+ sq ft mountain chalet, complete w/incredible views of Mt. LeConte, downtown Gatlinburg, ski resort & the Smokies.  Currently on a well-managed rental program.  More info

 

936 Stans Road   Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$249,900   ID#: 210699

Well-located, 2 BD/2 BA, 1,500+ sq ft mountain chalet,  currently on a well-established rental program. Amazing views of the Smokies & the City of Gatlinburg.  More info