Anticipating the Fabulous Fall Festivals in the Great Smoky Mountains

Throughout the years as a resident of the Smoky Mountains area, I have noticed a certain excitement that comes with the onset of autumn.  Setting aside the energy of starting back to school, there is a distinct type of urgency that compells many people to get out and enjoy the outdoors and other outside activities before winter.  Here in Sevier County and across the area that surrounds the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are a multitude of activities that come to life in the fall.  These diverse festivals and social gatherings appeal to almost everyone.  They include; food-oriented harvest festivals, car shows, autumn leaf viewing and more.  I will focus on several of these items in my upcoming blogs and I urge you and your friends to come enjoy our area at a great time of year.  Humidity is usually lower and the hotter summer temperatures are moderating.

One of the first items on the fall agenda is our Sevier County Fair.  Beginning Monday, September 7th and running through Saturday, September 12th this fair is a cornucopia of events.  There are agricultural shows of livestock and produce interlaced with amusement rides, carnival games and food items.  Each day offers different opportunities from; wrestling and seeing local celebrities to culinary demonstrations and concerts.

Just as our Smoky Mountain area abounds with fall activities, this time of year also is great to purchase or sell real estate.  Many people get serious about investments and goals before year end.  Opportunities to buy or sell are plentiful with first-time buyer incentives and low mortgage rates still in place.  Allow me or other members of The Jason White Team to help you sell or purchase real estate in the Smokies.

The Uptrend Continues in Pending Home Sales for July

I was excited to read research out of the National Association of Realtors in Washington DC, that pending home sales are up for the fifth consecutive month.  An uptrend of this duration has not occurred since July of 2003 (over 6 years ago).  The Pending Home Sales Index is a future oriented indicator that is based on contracts signed in June 2009.  Numbers for this index rose 3.6% to 94.6% from a revised reading of 91.3% in May of 2009.  This is 6.7% above June of 2008’s reading of 88.7%.  Our Pending Home Sales Index here in the South is among the strongest in the Nation with comparative figures as follows:
To better understand what these figures mean and how the Pending Home Sales Index is compiled, I have included some background information.  The figures came from the National Association of Realtors which is the largest trade association in America.  It represents about 1.2 million members who work in various parts of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The Pending Home Sales Index is one of the key indicators for evaluating the housing sector’s performance.  A home sale is listed as pending when a contract has been signed, but the sales transaction is not officially closed.  Generally, a sale is finalized within 1-2 months after signing.  The Pending Home Sales Index is compiled from a large national sample, usually about 20% of the transactions for existing home sales.  The significance of the index shows trends in sales-contract activity.  Data since 2001 shows greater accuracy in viewing the annual index changes or from the comparison of the same month vs that month a year earlier, rather than predicting trends through month to month changes of the same year.

An index reading of 100 equals the average level of contract activity in 2001. This was the first year to be examined and it was the first of 5 consecutive record years for existing home sales.

Examining the Index with this background information gives you better understanding of what it means.  However, to really find the answers to your real estate questions here in the Great Smoky Mountains area feel free to contact me at The Jason White Team.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park & It’s Broad Spectrum of Outdoor Activities

Whitewater rafting courtesy of Palojono's photostream on
Photo courtesy of Palojono on

The appeal of the Great Smokies and the surrounding area is multi-faceted.  Within each of these facets lies a multitude of different reasons that bring people from all walks of life and from diverse parts of our world.  When you focus upon an area of interest like outdoor activities it boggles the mind on how diverse the outdoors can be.  It spans a wide arena from outdoor observers like admirers of natural beauty in mountain vistas and bird watchers, to participants in outdoor interaction like hikers, hunters, mountain bikers and campers.

However, today our focus is on whitewater rafting and kayaking.  With the hot, muggy days of August upon us, the cool spring fed rivers of these magnificent mountains offer a refreshing way to enjoy part of your time here in the Smokies.  Whitewater rafting is similar to visiting a good amusement park.  It can be enjoyed by almost anyone and you really don’t need experience.  The critical factor comes in selecting the river or section of river that best accommodates your skills.  Rivers and portions of rapids on each river are rated on a scale from 1-6.  A  1-rating is an easy mellow journey even suitable for children three and up.  As you work up the scale to a class 6 rating you get into an experience that appeals more to the extreme sports enthusiast and thrill seekers.  At the higher level it becomes more physical and demands greater skill. 

The primary rivers in our area for whitewater rafting are; the Nantaliala, the Big Pigeon and the Ocoee.  Dams control parts of these rivers and trips can be scheduled to coincide with water releases.  Trips vary in length of time and can be chosen to fit your schedules. 

For those that like to canoe and kayak the Smokies have many places to explore using your own equipment, but there are also rentals for these items available. This area also caters to the family fun available in tubing a river in inner tubes.

No matter how you define fun; from the casual and easy float downstream in an inner tube, or hurtling down river in a heart pounding race through highly rated rapids in a kayak, there is something here for both extremes as well as river adventures in between. For more information visit .

To enjoy these bountiful experiences whenever you want, there is nothing that rivals owning real estate in the Smokies. To speak with real estate experts contact true professionals at The Jason White Team.

Celebrating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th Anniversary in a Musical Tribute


Banjo (Photo courtesy of lisaschafferphoto at
Banjo (Photo courtesy of lisaschafferphoto at

Enhancing a calendar of events that has something for everyone is the 5th annual StringTime in the Smokies sponsored by the City of Pigeon Forge, WDVX radio and numerous local businesses.  This free musical event is part of the National Park’s 75th Anniversary Official Celebration.  StringTime in the Smokies is a two evening concert of American and Bluegrass music held in Pigeon Forge.  Nationally acclaimed musicians skilled in banjo and fiddle playing will be featured, giving the concert a local flavor.  Below is the schedule of events for both days. If you want more information on the musicians, click on the appropriate website next to their name.




Entertainment Lineup:

Friday, August 14th  at Old Mill Square 

7:00 pm Wild Blue Yonder   8:00Timberwinds                                 
9:00 pm Gary Biscuit Davis and Company

Saturday, August 15th at Patriot Park
6:00 pm Timberwinds           
6:45 pm Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
8:30 pm Steeldrivers                               

For additional information, details and updates visit:

For buying or selling Real Estate in the Great Smoky Mountains Area where this fun-filled calendar of events becomes part of your everyday life, contact The Jason White Team .

The 1031 Exchange-Another Tool For The Savvy Real Estate Investor

Invest (photo courtesy of Gnerk on
Invest (photo courtesy of Gnerk on

The 1031 Exchange is named for the section of the Internal Revenue Code that permits the existence of this unique real estate transaction.  The easiest description of the 1031 Exchange allows real estate owners to sell a property and legally defer any federal or state income tax when the proceeds are reinvested into another “like kind” property within the specified time frame.  Key words in the 1031 Exchange are “defer taxes on capital gains” NOT “avoid taxes on capital gains”.  However, the “1031” grants a flexibility on several levels to one’s investment.  First, is the flexibility to better time and plan the payment of the tax owed on your capital gains over a longer time frame.  Second, is the flexibility to exchange your investment into a wide variety of “like-kind” properties. “Like-kind” properties include any real estate property held for business or investment, such as; commercial real estate, raw land, rental properties and could even become one’s personal residence.  A third flexibility in the 1031 Exchange is the ability to shift an investment around the country to take advantage of better business opportunities or personal geographic/climatological preferences.  Another obvious flexibility in the 1031 Exchange is time required for the process to occur and even though there are specific rules set forth by the Internal Revenue Code there is flexibility in when you close on the property you own, etc.  

As in any matter involving a degree of financial complexity, one must consult with reliable legal assistance to assure proper compliance with the tax codes and a proper fit in your personal financial/investment situation.  The rules of the 1031 Exchange are being refined by on-going tax rulings so be sure to obtain reliable advice.  On 1031 Exchanges and other real estate matters be sure to consult The Jason White Team to get a broad range of real estate investments and the backing of reliable advisors to fill your real estate needs.

Unique-Time Sensitive, Opportunity in Real Estate Available Now


The Real Estate Opportunity we are speaking about is the 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit which provides an $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers purchasing a principal residence from Jan 1, 2009 thru Dec 1, 2009.  This tax credit is potentially a great invitation to buy a home, and with about six months left it is generating activity in home buying across the country according to


There is some flexibility in this plan and some are taking the credit up front to use for larger down payments, lower mortgaged amounts, etc.  It is certainly worth talking to your financial advisors to see if you qualify and be sure to check out the knowledgeable people at the Jason White Team for a wide range of possibilities that could fit the tax credit or could fill your other real estate needs.

Pending Home Sales Up for Third Month in a Row

Good News out of Washington for the Real Estate Market!! Indicators released out of Washington, for June 2009, point to good activity for real estate. The Pending Home Sales Index is up for the third consecutive month from 84.6 in March to 90.3 in April. This is a 6.7% increase from last month and 3.2% higher than April last year.

Pending Home Sales Up
Pending Home Sales Up

National Association of Realtors announce that “housing affordability conditions have been at historic highs”. These markers of increasing activity are certainly assisted by low mortgage interest rates and the first-time buyer tax credit. 

With official news like this hitting the media, timing is perfect to contact Jason White to check out great buys in the Smoky Mountain Real Estate or to explore listing your property for sale with a consistant leader in Smoky Mountain Real Estate sales.

Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains Ranked in Top 5 Places to Own a Summer Home

Gatlinburg nestled in the Mountains
Gatlinburg nestled in the Mountains

 A recent article in Smart Money ( ranked the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee as one of the Top Five Places to own a Summer Home.  We couldn’t agree more!  However, here is our perspective on why our area is “hands down” above the rest.

Two choices (Panama City Beach, FL and the Crystal Coast, NC) are ocean front locations.  Getting to these places could be challenging if oil prices continue to rise and airlines suffer like they did last year.  The ocean locations also lack the 4 season appeal for vacationers and renters.  With hurricanes, tsunamis, and rising ocean levels due to melting polar ice caps how safe is your investment with many coastal areas becoming non-insurable?

The remaining 3 locations including our Smokies are beautiful mountain areas.  All three are certainly safer as an investment due to factors; like being inland and at higher elevation, which mitigates possible adverse climate changes.  The mountain locations also offer a broader 4 season appeal to renters and vacationers with activities ranging from skiing, to boating and hiking.  The downside to Lake Tahoe, CA is its’ accessibility if oil prices continue to climb and its’ ritzy price tag for homes.  The Pocono Mountains, PA location is certainly more economical but it is closer only to the North East/Mid Atlantic cities with traffic and overcrowding becoming a possibility.

That brings us to the Great Smoky Mountains, TN location. It is centrally located within a 10 hour car drive to over ½ the U.S. population, it is accessibly convenient, but not close to massive urban areas and is the most reasonably priced of the top five. 

Sunrise in the Smokies
Sunrise in the Smokies








The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee offer the best  value for your money in a fun exciting place of natural beauty that is convenient to more people, but far enough away to feel like a vacation every day. Jason White, a local Smoky Mountain real estate agent, can provide more information on the area. Please contact him today.