Heading Into November, The Great Smoky Mountain Real Estate Market Continues to Show Slow, But Steady, Growth

The Road To Home Ownership

For much of this year, we have seen both the national and local real estate markets continue to show slow, but steady, growth on the whole. As we look at the statistics for the Great Smoky Mountain real estate market through October of this year, we will see that these trends, particularly in this real estate market, are continuing, even in spite of the recent government shutdown. Let’s now see what the numbers have to say.

 

In the category of Residences Sold, we see that in comparing October 2013 to that of October 2012, the number of residences sold actually increased by 1% in terms of homes sold, in that 11 more homes were sold as of October 2013, as opposed to October 2012. This continues a trend of steadiness, and even very slight growth, in the real estate market as a whole, and as we look at the rest of the statistics, we will see that the market does indeed reflect a steady and slowly growing trend on balance, and we expect this to continue and improve over time.

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In the category of Residential Dollar Volume for the year, we actually see an increase of 6% through October of this year, as opposed to through October in 2012. With the steadiness of the numbers as it relates to Residences Sold, the recent local and national trends of increasing home prices continue to show that a greater dollar volume in homes are being sold, along with continuing to show a slow and strengthening market reflective of greater confidence on the part of both buyers and sellers.

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There is also continued good news for sellers in the Average Sold Price Category. In line with statistics so far for the year, prices still show a slow, but gradual, rise of 5% in October of this year versus that of October 2012, reflecting the recent local and national trends towards higher home prices. As inventory continues to decrease, we expect average home prices to continue their slow and gradual increase, in line with both national and local real estate market trends.

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In addition, available homes on the market are actually increasing at the moment. Through October 2013, as opposed to October 2012, there is an increase by 1% of homes being listed as available on the market, or an increase of 69 available homes on the market, in October 2013, as opposed to October 2012. We see that higher home prices, as well as the very slight increases in homes being sold, may be contributing to more people wanting to place their homes on the market, thereby causing a slight increase in available housing inventory. While it is too early to tell if the trend will continue, there are more available homes on the market in October 2013, as opposed to one year ago, which could indicate greater confidence on the part of those wanting to place their homes on the market.

NOVEMBER 8 BLOG - GRAPH 4

 

As markets continue this gradual trend of growth locally and across the nation, home prices will continue their rise and housing inventory will continue to decrease. Mortgage rates still remain at historically low rates, and there are still plenty of housing options to choose from, especially in the Great Smoky Mountain real estate market. Why not start your Great Smoky Mountain home search now by visiting our website, browsing our available properties, and seeing what the Smoky Mountain area has to offer for your and home ownership dreams today?

 

Here Are A Few of My Featured Listings:

 

Spacious Riverfront Home in Sevierville Spacious, 3000+ sq ft home located along the beautiful Pigeon River, which is located right behind this home! Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $329,900 Get more information >
Fantastic 180 Degree Smoky Mtn. Views Fantastic 180 degree view of Mt. LeConte & the Smokies from every room. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $479,900 Get more information >
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

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

Celebrate The Fourth Of July In The Smokies

4th of July Pigeon ForgeAre you planning to be in the Smoky Mountains this upcoming Fourth of July Weekend? There are numerous events and festivals to make your trip memorable. Sevier County likes to celebrate and the Fourth of July is no exception. Let’s take a look at a view of the scheduled events.

Gatlinburg is host to the “First Independence Day Parade In The Nation” with festivities kicking off at the stroke of midnight. With more than 100,000 people expected to be on hand for the festivities it is an event not to miss. The Parade will feature Women Veterans and other U.S. Heroes as the Grand Marshals. Joining them will be the 572nd U.S. Air Force Band, members of every branch of our military as well as vintage military vehicles and much more. During the day on July 4th Gatlinburg continues to provide entertainment with the River Raft Regatta (an unmanned floatables race), several free concerts and a stunning fireworks display.

Pigeon Forge also offers up plenty to do for the Holiday. 1:00 in the afternoon marks the kick off of the 23rd Annual Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival.The event is free and lasts into the late evening. There is a Kids’ Karnival Zone with games and inflatables, a large sampling of food from local vendors that are sold to benefit local charities and more. There is a Veteran’s Salute to participate in and the entire event is a strong show of appreciation to those who do or have served in the military. The tribute band “Hotel California” will be the opening music act followed by Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. As evening comes the sky will be lit up with a fantastic fireworks display.

These events are one of many reasons the Smoky Mountains are a great place to live or purchase an investment property. Stats show that the dream of home ownership has not changed in America. With the low interest rates that are currently available housing affordability is at an all time high making the American Dream obtainable for more and more citizens. We wish everyone a happy Fourth of July and as you are celebrating our nation’s independence we hope that you will take a moment to consider how much owning your own home could add to your own pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. There are numerous home choices available and we are here to help through every step of your journey towards being a homeowner.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Privacy & Mountain Views Enjoy privacy, mountain views and great outdoor spaces in this Sevierville log home. Inviting and comfortable it features soaring ceilings, a breakfast bar, tile counters in the kitchen and much more! Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $359,900 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 >
Affordable Studio Unit In The Mountains Perfect affordable family mountain get-away in this totally refurbished studio unit at the Gatlinburg Summit Condominiums. Type: Condo Location:
Price: $39,900 Get more information >

Preparing For Your Smoky Mountain Home Purchase

Puzzle Of Real EstateIf you are thinking of a Smoky Mountain home purchase you may be wondering where to start the process. Today we would like to touch on a few of the important things to do and consider as part of the preparation for a purchase.

The first thing to consider when you are thinking of entering the market is financing. It is crucially important to have your financial “ducks in a row” and a mortgage pre-approval in hand before starting to look at homes. In a previous article we explain in depth why this is so important but an additional reason is that you want to be able to make a move if you do find your dream home. As the market continues to improve houses are spending less time on the market and you will not want financing to be the only thing standing between you and your new home.

Next, make a list of your “must haves”, the things that will make a home perfect for you. From there narrow the list down. Explore why each item is a must have and decide if it is really just a want that can be worked around if the other terms outweigh not having that criteria met. Place the biggest concern on items that cannot be changed like location or in some cases square footage. When you are finished with this process you will have a list of “absolute must haves” and will be opening yourself to a wider range of possible homes to consider. Once you have found a home that meets the criteria you absolutely must have you will be able to determine if there are inexpensive ways to add the other items over time. When you visit homes remember things like furniture, appliances and decor can usually be changed inexpensively to better suit your tastes. Try to look beyond these things to the condition of the property, the potential future value and if it meets the criteria you have set on your list.

Another consideration is researching the area and familiarizing yourself with locations that you would enjoy. Part of narrowing this down will include knowing what your goal for the use of the property is going to be. Are you looking for a get-away that only you will use or an investment that will be used as an overnight rental to help offset the costs of ownership? If it is going to be used as a rental, talk with some different rental management companies and see whom you may be comfortable with using after the closing. We work closely with the management companies in the area and are happy to assist in finding a good fit.

As the market continues to improve and mortgage rates remain at all time lows, now is the time to prepare for your potential purchase. Having the details in line ahead of time will put you one step closer to turning your Smoky Mountain dreams into a reality. We are available and happy to assist you with any of these steps and when you find the right home we will work to provide you with market data for similar homes and to make sure that your purchase and closing process move full speed ahead.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Totally Updated & Turn Key Located just minutes from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this cabin is totally updated and turn key. Lovely furnishings and charming spaces are to be found inside this authentic Appalachian log home. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $209,900 Get more information >
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 >
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 >

 

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 >

As Spring Moves Into Summer Smoky Mountain Events Rev Up

SpringOne thing we love to do in Sevier County is celebrate. As Spring moves out and Summer moves in there is a steady flow of events, festivals and celebrations with something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the line up for 2013.

This weekend, May 17th & 18th, Sevierville’s Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival will be in full swing. Admission is free and it has been named Festival of The Year by the Southeast Tourism Society. Activities include numerous free concerts, the Tennessee state Championship Barbeque Cook-Off, games for the kids and more. More info can be found at http://www.bloominbbq.com.

This event also includes the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition Finals. This is a vocal competition centered around Dolly Parton’s Songwriting. Contestants pick one of the thousands of songs written by Dolly and perform them in any style they choose. This event is sure to be entertaining for every music lover.

Music Road Hotel & Convention Center will host the 13th Annual Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge Car Show on June 7th – 9th. This show will be followed on June 14th and 15th with the 2013 All Chevy Supernationals. If you are a car lover this is a great time to visit the mountains and admire beautiful classics.

Dollywood is kicking off a brand new event in 2013! June 22nd will be the beginning of the first Great American Summer. Dollywood will have extended hours from June 22 – August 4. Each day will begin with a live performance of the Star Spangled Banner and conclude with a fireworks display – “Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors”. Imagine the thrills of riding a roller coaster under the light of the moon.

This is just a sampling of the many events throughout the year. These are the activities that continue to promote the area as a top vacation spot. With the continuous flow of visitors to Sevier County and The Great Smoky Mountains and all of the available entertainment it makes the area a top choice for a second home or vacation rental investment. If you are thinking of a purchase, we are ready to help.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Creekside Cabin Close To Everything Consistently produces right at $25,000 in annual rental income. Listen to the comforting sounds of the rolling creek here at Sparkling Waters. This charming log cabin has all you need to enjoy a get away in the Smoky Mountains. Type: Single Family Home Location: Pigeon Forge Price: $169,900 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 >

 

What Role Does The Real Estate Market Play In The Economy?

EconomyWe have witnessed a continued stream of good news flowing in for the housing market so far this year and there is no doubt that a recovery is underway. Trulia’s Housing Barometer shows each month how quickly the market is heading back to “normal.” Trulia is showing that the market is currently 56% of the way back compared to only 33% one year ago. This number comes from averaging 3 key indicators:

*Construction starts were up 47% year over year, the highest level since June of 2008 – 55% back to normal.

*Existing home sales slowed a bit but were still up 10% year over year – 66% back to normal.

*The foreclosure and delinquency rate fell to it it’s lowest level since October of 2008 – 48% back to normal.

Though it is great to hear real estate is doing well it is often mentioned that this means an overall boost to the economy. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why.

Many career fields and even the Government depend on real estate success. Of course lenders and builders benefit when the market is doing well but a closer look shows that the impact goes much deeper than that. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, says that the market recovery is responsible for about 1/3 of the economy’s growth and a large number of jobs. When we think about homes being purchased many times this means a need for landscaping, remodeling, lawn equipment and numerous other items. This pours spending right back in to the economy. The effects go through several levels, as home purchases and home construction increase the demand for materials and supplies is also increased, boosting retail jobs, manufacturing jobs and labor jobs.

Another way home purchases help is in the tax sector. Most communities depend on tax dollars to provide road maintenance, parks, emergency personnel and other services. With more property tax dollars coming in cities are able to spend more on improvements. With these improvements it is easier to attract job providers or in some cases, recreational visitors to the area. This completes a loop of money being circulated in the economy.

These are just a few of the ways that real estate affects the economy and there are many more. As the market continues to level now is the time to consider a purchase. When you are ready we will be here to help you navigate the process from beginning to end.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Picture Perfect Log Cabin Almost $25,000 in rental income for 2012! Well built log cabin with privacy and only 5 miles to Pigeon Forge. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $219,900 Get more information >
Tucked Away In The Woods This two bedroom chalet with a pretty wooded view is set back in the trees to offer the kind of privacy you seldom find in today’s crowded world. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $139,900 Get more information >
Stress Free Home In The Mountains Looking for a stress free home away from home in the Smoky Mountains? You have found it here with this inviting condo atop Ski Mountain. Type: Condo Location: Chalet Village Price: $85,000 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 >