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

 

Smoky Mountain Song Writers Festival

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

Celebrating the area’s Appalachian musical roots, Gatlinburg will host its annual

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival
August 16 through 20.

 “Celebrating Our Appalachian Musical Roots” 4-day festival downtown Gatlinburg featuring hit songwriters. Public Invited. Free Live Entertainment. Songwriter Opportunities: song competition, workshops, co-writing with hit writers, mentoring sessions and stage spots.  There are several ticketed events for featured chart-topping songwriters.

The SMSWF Mission is to promote songwriters and to help their talents and songs be discovered not only by publishers and producers, but also by all of us fans, who simply love the songs that the stars perform.    Visit the SMSWF facebook page here.

Come join the fun!

Featured Listings:

936 Stans Road  Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$259,900  ID# 210699

Well-located, 2 BD/2 BA, 1,500+ sq ft mountain chalet with amazing mountain and city views, close to Ober Ski Resort, the Smokies and more.  Currently on a well-established rental program.   See more

1224 Sky High Way Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$259,900  ID# 210698
2 BD/2BA, 1,300+ sq ft mountain chalet, complete with incredible views of Mt. LeConte, downtown Gatlinburg, and Ober Ski Resort. Currently on a well-managed rental program. See more

Happy Easter from The Jason White Team

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From all of us here with The Jason White Team and Century 21 Four Seasons Realty, Inc., we want to wish everyone a very happy and safe Easter!  There are a number of events going on in and around the Great Smoky Mountains region to celebrate Easter.  One such event is Gatlinburg’s Annual Easter Sunrise Service which will be enhanced by the beauty of the Smokes when the community and its visitors gather at Ober Gatlinburg for this memorable worship service.  This will be the 19th year for the mountain top services at Ober Gatlinburg.  The 30-40 minute mountain service will begin at 6:30 A.M., and be led by local pastors of the Gatlinburg Ministerial Association.

The Old Mill Square Potter House Cafe and Grill will be hosting their annual Brunch with the East Bunny on March 30th.  From 9:30 to 11:30 AM, kids can enjoy Easter egg decorating, kid-friendly music, and old-fashioned games – all for free!  The fun and games will continue until 2:00 PM.  The brunch requires reservations.  Adult price is $13, while kids ages 12 and under are only $6.00.

Right now, the Gatlinburg area is enjoying the Smoky Mountain SpringFest, featuring a number of Spring-related events going throughout the season, for people of all ages to enjoy.  Also, Dollywood continues to host its annual Festival of Nations event, through April 19th, featuring entertainment from around the world, throughout the theme park.

The members of the Great Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community will be coming together once more to host their annual Easter Arts & Crafts show.  Held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, the event is from March 28th through the 30th.

 

 

Our featured property for Thursday, March 24, 2016

 

GSMAOR202053

2 BD/2BA, Log Cabin located only minutes to downtown Gatlinburg.  This well-built log cabin has easy access to City-maintained roads and services and has incredible views of the Smokies from the front porch.  Inside has vaulted ceilings, a massive fireplace and an open kitchen, with a master bedroom on the 2nd floor.  Large wraparound deck complete with gazebo and a  hot tub on the rear deck.  Walking distance to nearby schools, the Gatlinburg Community Center, hiking trails and fishing inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Priced at $285,000.

 

Featured Listing for November 5, 2013 – Misty Mountain (808 San Remo Drive)

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The enchanting, twinkling lights of Gatlinburg far below and majestic mountain vistas are what you’ll see from your own pristine 12 acre estate. Imagine having a 530,000 acre backyard! It is here that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park wraps around your very own unique, wildlife sanctuary.  You can walk out your back door and in minutes be at Cataract Falls or stroll along the river into town. Perhaps, you might like instead to drive an easy mile from your 6000 square foot home into town for fine dining and entertainment, which you can do in minutes. All of this and so much more awaits your inspection of this incredible, one of a kind property.

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This 12 acre property has access to water and sewer lines for any possible future development. It features a level yard with an orchard of peach, cherry and plum and well as plenty of space for a garden. This mountain estate features three levels with four bedrooms plus numerous other rooms with plenty of room for dining and entertainment. It also includes a sauna, hot tub and gym. Totally remodeled and ready to be used as a residence, vacation rental, or retreat center. New hardwood flooring, new HVAC, new roof, new appliances, and new light fixtures. Additionally, two massive hand-crafted, wood burning stone fireplaces which feature the artistry of a master stone mason. The one in the main living area soars upward seventeen feet to the skylighted ceilings. Additionally there are two gas stone fireplaces, stone and slate patios, open sun deck, enclosed sun room, mature gardens, and several fenced acres for pets to create an environment that is truly one of kind. You’ll never find another unique place like this one! Especially, since it’s priced $100,000.00 below appraisal!!! Once this is grabbed up, there isn’t another one like it.  So when might be the best time for you to see it? Give me a call at: 865-654-2121. Right now, before it’s gone!
Unique Chalet Adjacent to Nat’l Park! The enchanting, twinkling lights of Gatlinburg far below and majestic mountain vistas are what you’ll see from your own pristine 12 acre estate. Imagine having a 530,000 acre backyard! Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg,Tennessee Price: $697,000 Get more information >


The Jason White Team
Century 21 Four Seasons Realty
1441 Wiley Oakley Dr
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Toll Free: 877-678-2121
Fax: 865-436-7227
Email: jason@jasonwhiteteam.com
Website: www.SmokyMountainLifestyle.com

Why The Smoky Mountains?

Smoky-Mountains-WaterfallThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park. With a strong sense of Appalachian culture, the ancient mountains, over 800 miles of trails and something for everyone in the surrounding communities it is easy to see why. Let’s explore a few of the things that this awe-inspiring region has to offer and why it is such an appealing location for your real estate purchase.

If you are looking for a place to kick back, get away from the rush of day-to-day life and get in touch  with nature The Great Smoky Mountains region offers multiple opportunities. From easy walking trails to  longer back packing trips you will not run out of chances to hike and enjoy waterfalls, an abundance of  wildlife and amazing mountain views. A trip to Cades Cove offers a chance to visit historic buildings and can be taken in with a walk, an auto tour, a cycling trip or even on horseback. As you are out and about expect to see elk, deer and black bear as part of your Smoky Mountain experience.

If you are looking for a more intense adventure venture to Pigeon Forge and give Dollywood’s newest roller coaster a try. As America’s first winged coaster it is sure to get the adrenaline going. Want something more hands on? There are a multitude of options for a day spent whitewater rafting, flying through the sky on one of the local zipline tours or even indoor skydiving.

As the gateway community to The Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a picturesque traditional mountain town. With bits of nature and history at every turn it is easy to lose yourself in the local mountain heritage. With a stroll down the gorgeous streets you can encounter pieces of history, street performances and a wide variety of shopping opportunities.

With the quiet beauty and many entertainment options of the area there is no question why this has become a top tourist destination. Add this to a recently improving housing market and it equals a great location for anyone considering a real estate purchase. It is the perfect choice of locations whether you are looking for a vacation home, a money-making investment or a special place for retirement. Take a look at all of the available homes by visiting our website.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Over $30,000 Rental Income! Over $30,000 in gross rental income for 2012! This is a turn key authentic log cabin in excellent condition. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $217,000 Get more information >
Top Floor With Amazing Views First time on market! Top floor unit – best location in the building & best view in the building. Type: Condo Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $550,000 Get more information >
Near Ski Resort & Downtown A great opportunity to own a lot in desirable Chalet Village and has a winter view of the mountains. Type: Land Location: Chalet Village Price: $29,900 Get more information >

 

 

First Time Home Buyer? Some Tips To Get You Started

Real-Estate-AdvisorsWith mortgage rates being at all time lows, making home loans more affordable than ever more buyers are considering their first purchase. If you are thinking of taking the leap you may be wondering where to start to locate the right home and have a smooth transaction. We would like to share some tips from the team and answers to common myths here today.

Myth 1: You have to have perfect credit to buy a home.

It is correct that the higher your credit score the more options you will have in choosing a mortgage. However, having a score in the lower ranges does not mean it is impossible to obtain a loan. If you are thinking of a purchase talking with a lender will help you to navigate your credit report and verify the loan options that are available to you.

Myth 2: You must have a 20% down payment.

Having a large down payment will lower your payments but is not always necessary. Many loan programs are available that will allow as little as a 3.5% or in some cases no down payment. Talk with your lender about options such as an FHA or Rural Development loan.

Myth 3: Buying a foreclosure will get me a huge discount.

Yes, the banks are looking to thin their inventory but they are also trying to protect their interests as well. Though some foreclosed properties are offered at lower than market value prices this is not always the case. The bank obtains a market analysis of the property and sometimes a full appraisal prior to listing it on the market and price it accordingly to see what the market will bear. In most cases the bank would prefer to lower the price in small increments until they obtain a reasonable offer rather than accept a cut rate offer.

Myth 4: The perfect home is out there if I just keep looking.

When you step into the house that is right for you for the first time you will know it. Prior to viewing homes make a list of the things that are most important to you in a home and of what things would be a deal breaker. Once you have an accepted offer we encourage you to have a home inspection which will reveal if any of your deal breaker items exist or if there are simple maintenance items that you are willing to address so that you do not lose the opportunity of owning the home that was meant for you.

Tips From The Team:

*Give yourself time to look and be flexible. With this being a busy vacation area many properties you are interested in may not be available on certain days, especially weekends. Purchasing a home is a serious investment and is worth taking a few days away from other obligations when you are ready to look. Scheduling a trip during the week instead of on a weekend will make your trip much more productive as more homes will be available and there will be less traffic to delay your day.

*The market is moving at a pretty rapid pace. It is crucial to have a mortgage pre-approval or proof of funds letter in hand when you come to look. Many sellers will not even approve a showing unless we are able to provide this ahead of time.

*All of the areas we serve offer different amenities. Know ahead of time what is most important to you about location such as views, level roads or mountainous and proximity to town. Doing this we will help us make sure we are spending your time here at homes you will love.

We hope that this information is helpful to you as you begin to pursue a new home. We invite you to begin at our website to see all that is available in the Sevier County region of The Great Smoky Mountains.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

2 For The Price Of 1 A great opportunity to own two Chalet Village lots for the price of one. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $15,000 Get more information >
180 Degree City & Mountain Views Produced over $14k in rental income in 2012. Very private ridgetop retreat w/wraparound covered deck that has amazing 180 degree views of the mountains & city lights. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $189,900 Get more information >
A View Second To None Over $40,000 in rental income for 2012! Aptly named A View Second To None, this chalet has breathtaking views of Mt. LeConte. Located just minutes to downtown Gatlinburg & Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $269,900 Get more information >

The Smoky Mountain Real Estate Market Holds Steady

 

 

The Road To RecoveryAn article on CNN Money this morning reports that mortgage rates for a 30 year fixed loan still hover near the record low set in November of 2012 at 3.35%. The 15 year rate fell to an all time low at 2.57%. These continued low rates are helping to push the real estate market into recovery. So far in 2013 we have seen mostly positive news both nationally and locally. As we look at the market statistics for the Smoky Mountain Region we see that the market is holding steady and still showing positive growth from last year.

In the first category of Residences Sold, we see a slight decline of 38 homes versus the same period last year.

Smoky Mountain Homes SoldIn Residential Volume Sold we see a 2% increase. Though the number of homes sold has slightly declined this number continues to stay positive as home prices are still showing an increase.

Total Dollar Volume Of Homes SoldThe Average Sold Price of Smoky Mountain Homes shows an increase of 12% versus last year. We believe this number will continue to improve as the market keeps growing.

Average Price Of Smoky Mountain HomesIn the final category of Available Homes we continue to see inventory decrease. April finished out with 181 or 6% less homes on the market than the same period last year. As this number continues to show a decrease it will contribute to helping prices rise.

Number Of Homes Available

There are still plenty of properties to choose from and though prices are rising they are still lower than when the market was at it’s prime. Now is the time to begin searching if you have ever thought of buying a get away or investment in the Smoky Mountains. We invite you to visit our new home search website and begin the process of finding the one that’s perfect for you.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Rustic Charm – Modern Comfort Over $20,000 in rental income in both 2011 & 2012. This log cabin nicely displays a nice balance of rustic charm blended with modern comfort. It features true log construction with high ceilings and an open floor plan. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $139,900 Get more information >
Updated & Luxurious Move in ready, recently painted & in excellent condition. Lovely patios front & rear and lawn in back, extras such as dimmable lights, upgraded light fixtures, beautiful 18 heated tile in master bath & oak flooring make the home feel special. Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $239,900 Get more information >
Top Of The Line – Borders National Park Tucked away on a HUGE wooded lot bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this oasis of privacy offers top of the line stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar, hardwood floors and much more. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $369,900 Get more information >

 

As Foreclosures Ease, The Market Benefits

RecoveryWe have watched as inventory decreases and prices rise both locally and nationally. This is due in part to a steady decline in foreclosures entering the market. In March the number of foreclosure filings fell 21% from a year earlier and repossessions were at the lowest number we have experienced in five and a half years. Let’s take a closer look at all of the factors in play that are helping ease the numbers.

Stronger guidelines for processing short sales have been put into play for some loans helping the process move along more quickly. As buyers see that short sales are not taking as long they are more interested in these listings resulting in more of them being sold instead of moving into foreclosure.

Banks are also approving more loan modifications and refinances to help owner’s stay in their home instead of considering foreclosure proceedings as the first option. According to a new report for March by Lender Processing Services, the number of owners who are behind on payments or in danger of foreclosure dropped below the 5 million mark for the first time since 2008. LPS reports that by the end of March the number of homes in foreclosure dropped to 3.4%, down from 4.2% just a year ago.

We are also seeing a huge increase in banks using deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure allows the bank to take possession of a home while foregoing the foreclosure process. Often times a deed-in-lieu comes with an offer of “cash for keys” an incentive for owners to vacate the home without letting it fall into foreclosure. Nationwide, in 2012, deeds-in-lieu were up 40% from 2011 according to RealtyTrac.

There are still many great deals on homes available as we see prices rising slowly. For the week we saw average mortgage rates drop .02% to 3.65% keeping home affordability at record lows. If you have thought about purchasing a property in the Great Smoky Mountain region now is the time to start looking. We invite you to visit our website to browse all of the available properties in the area.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

180 Degree City & Mountain Views Produced over $14k in rental income in 2012. Very private ridgetop retreat w/wraparound covered deck that has amazing 180 degree views of the mountains & city lights. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $189,900 Get more information >
Great Income, Perfect Location Over $40,000 in rental income for 2012! Big open floor plan with 5 bedrooms & bath suites. Four of the suites have whirlpools & 3 feature fireplaces. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $299,900 Get more information >
Charming River Front Cottage Almost $15,000 in rental income for 2012. Sitting right along the Little Pigeon River, this charming cottage is just minutes to the Pigeon Forge Parkway. Type: Single Family Home Location: Pigeon Forge Price: $177,900 Get more information >

 

Gatlinburg, Your Key To The Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg TennesseeLocated in the state of Tennessee at its eastern-most edge lies Sevier County, home to a massive tourist destination centered around The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you follow U.S.Hwy 441 down through the county, marvelous vistas of the Smoky Mountain lure you onward. As you reach the intersection of Hwy 441 and Hwy 321 you are getting close to the National Park and the Gateway Community of Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg is often called the “Gateway to the Smokies” for good reasons. Following U.S. Hwy 441 takes you downtown into Gatlinburg and from there into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hwy 441 climbs in elevation as it scales some of the highest peaks of the Eastern United States and then works its way into North Carolina down into Cherokee.

Gatlinburg is magical in its attractions and in many other aspects as well. This tiny city may very well have been lost such as many remote southern rural towns. However, the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park changed the destiny of this city immediately. Restaurants and hotels sprang up rapidly to accommodate the influx of tourists coming to see the “Nation’s Most Visited National Park”. Hemmed in by mountains on all sides, Gatlinburg is never at a loss for magnificent views. The lush hardwood and coniferous forests carpet the areas outside of town. Clean, rocky, boulder-strewn creeks and rivers run through the city with a beautiful zen-like quality. Wild life such as; deer, boar, black bear, and turkey roam the area even into the city.

Ober Gatlinburg gives the city the allure of being a ski resort/winter sports center. Year-round activities and festivities keep this tiny burg hopping. Despite the nightlife, the topography of this location makes it easy to access the city amenities and within minutes you can escape to the seclusion of your own private residence, condo, or rental cabin. Gatlinburg is rare. It has all the amenities of a large city from; restaurants, fine dining, hotels, convention accommodations, shopping, amusements, entertainment and more.

The beauty of Gatlinburg is that it is still rooted in its humble beginnings. The city is; fun, friendly, and most importantly, it is affordable. It lies less than 10 hours from over 1/2 of the U.S. population so it is America’s understated getaway destination, making it a great location to visit, live or purchase investment property.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Gatlinburg Listings:

Large Lot Borders National Park Residential lot located within Gatlinburg city limits but borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Type: Land Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $55,000 Get more information >
View City Lights Against The Mountains Absolutely amazing views of downtown Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Incredible close up night lights view, you can actually see people on the sidewalks with a dramatic mountain backdrop. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $339,900 Get more information >
Come Be A Happy Bear Over $27,000 in gross rental income for 2012! This one will make you $$$. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $259,900 Get more information >

Vacation And Investment Home Sales Are On The Rise

Gatlinburg Rental CabinThe National Association of REALTORS has conducted their 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey concerning existing and new home transactions for 2012. The report contains very detailed information about investment and second home buying patterns and today we would like to take a look at some of the numbers and how they relate to the tourist driven market in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The news is good overall, with the report showing an increase of 10.1% in 2012 vs. 2011 for vacation home sales. Investment home sales dipped 2.1% to 1.21 million but remains well above the numbers from the downturn when sales were well below one million. Vacation home sales made up 11% of all real estate transactions last year, the second highest percentage since 2005. As we see news of a market recovery and reports that things are shifting to a seller’s market it is positive for our area to see that this does not apply only to permanent residences but also to owners of vacation rental property.

When we looked at the statistics for the Smoky Mountain region last week we noted an increase in average prices of 12% for Sevier County, Tennessee. This is reflected in the NAR report as well as they show that the median price for vacation and investment homes is up, reflecting a larger amount of more expensive vacation and investment properties being purchased in 2012. We expect to see the trend continue in 2013.

Thirty five percent of investment buyers purchased more than one property with 55% of them stating that rental income was a large factor in their buying decision. Our region leads the market with 45% of vacation homes that were purchased last year being in the South. This is great news for owners in the Smoky Mountain area as inventory decreases and a large percentage of buyers are looking for great rental investments in the area. If you have a second home or vacation rental that you are thinking of selling why not request a free price analysis? You may be surprised by what the market has to offer.

Looking for a great investment or second home? Try out our new search site and gain access to all of the available listings in the area. When the time is right, we are here to help guide you through the process of purchasing your Smoky Mountain dream.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Amazing Mount LeConte Views Over $28,000 in rental income for 2012! Nicely decorated cabin with fantastic views of Mt LeConte. Enjoy the views from the spacious decking this cabin has to offer. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $219,900 Get more information >
Gone With The Wind Almost $27,000 income for 2012!! If you have dreamed of having a luxury chalet on top of the mountain with sweeping views of the valley, city and mountains then you have to look at this one. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $299,900 Get more information >
Beautiful Setting On The River Consistently produces almost $40,000 gross annual income!! Once you see it you’ll never want to leave. Directly on the pristine Middle Prong of the Pigeon River, found to be the cleanest river in the state by the Tennessee Resource Defense Council. Type: Single Family Home Location: Pittman Center Price: $399,900 Get more information >