Deals On Homes For Sale In Gatlinburg Could Be Slowing

Discounted mountain homes could soon become a rarity.  An article in USA todayindicates that the number of homes getting some kind of  foreclosure notice fell from January to February 2011.  In this real estate story out of Los Angeles, author Alex Veiga says, foreclosure notices are at a 36 month low.  Our recent February’s numbers are 15% lower than this January and February 2011 vs February 2010 is 27% less.  Much of the background data for the story was supplied by foreclosure listing company Realty Trac.  Before everyone gets ready to celebrate an end to the large foreclosure mess, consider this.  In most of the nation we had a severe winter.  The inclement weather gets some credit for aiding the decline. However, the primary reason for the current decrease in foreclosures is state and federal investigations which began last fall.  This intervention became serious when evidence appeared to show that some banks railroaded through loads of foreclosures each day, without giving the borrowers a fair chance to keep their homes.  As Congress and State legislatures got involved, the banking industry and other home lenders in effect froze the foreclosure process.  All of these currently stalled delinquent homes, will eventually enter the foreclosure pipeline.  However, that could take some time.

Here at the Jason White Team, we have seen alot of activity in financially stressed property.  If you are interested in these bargain priced items, be sure to read our earlier blogson how to prepare.  One of the best preparation is to get preapproved for financing or get a certificate of funds for a cash purchase.  This way you can move fast when your bargain property appears. Call us today to see how we can help you find just the right property here in the mountains 877-678-2121.

Here are a Few of My New and Current Listings: (These are not foreclosures)

Fantastic View- Top Floor Condo!
You get fantastic mountain, valley and city light views with this top floor condo. Tastefully decorated with furnishing that are included. Outdoor pool/indoor pool, hot tub and sauna on site for your use as well.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Chalet Village
Price: $69,900
Get more information >
Sits on Beautiful Pigeon River!!
Located on the state’s most pristine river this is truly a one-of-a-kind property. Listen to the sounds of the river on this 2.8 acres in upscale subdivision of Riversong. This home offers a gourmet kitchen, huge game room and even a playroom for the kids
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Pittman Center
Price: $1,250,000
Get more information >
Fantastic Views of Mt LeConte!!
Enjoy the fantastic views of Mt LeConte and the tram from the spacious decking of this nicely decorated cabin. Each bedroom has in suite baths as well. This is a must see!
Type: Single Family Home
Location:Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $235,000
Get more information >

Are you a First Time Buyer Looking at a Gatlinburg Home for Sale?

Gatlinburg City Night Lights

Gatlinburg homes, like others across the nation, offer challenges to a first time home buyer.  Today’s blog explores five mistakes that novice home buyers commonly make. The source for our material came from the National Association of Realtors.  As the key trade association for real estate in the U.S., much research is conducted to advise our membership.  This material helps agents assist buyers and sellers in the potentially complex transactions of real estate exchange.  

Mistake number one is the novice buyer fails to ask enough questions of their lender.  This can lead to missing a great deal on a home.  Especially in our current home market, getting pre-qualified is crucial.  Today there is a fast pace driven by foreclosures and short sales.  Knowing what amount and whether you qualify in this tighter credit market is key.  First-time mistake number two is failing to make a quick decision.  This allows someone else to buy your house.  As previously noted, speed is the quintessential element in discount priced property.  Mistake number three is not finding the right agent.  New buyers need a representative who is patient and relates well to them.  Home buying is a huge commitment and it is critical to have a trustworthy ally on your side.  This takes much of the first time stress and fear out of the process.  The fourth common mistake is first time buyers do not make their offer look appealing to a seller.  The best deals offer a win/win for both parties.  There are often extra items that can sweeten a deal for the seller.  Often something like more time or flexibility on some aspect of the negotiation would not cost the buyer, but it could seal the deal.  The last of the five common mistakes is failing to think about resale before purchasing a home.  The U.S. average is four years living in a first time home purchase.  What might be a deal today, could become tomorrow’s nightmare, if the new home is not easily resold.  Nobody wants to tie up their capital in a home that is not easy to resell.  

Avoiding these five mistakes are important even for experienced home buyers.  The Jason White Team gears our website, and the experience of our people to help our buyers avoid these 5 potentially expensive mistakes.  We encourage buyers to work with lenders in advance.  With pre-approval you can act with confidence when a deal appears.  Also, setting up your personal search criteria on our website, allows you to focus on only those properties that match what you want. We can also send you listings daily or weekly that match your needs.  Contact us online or by phone 877-678-2121 and begin today. 

Here are a Few of My Latest and Current Listings: 

Foreclosure/ Furnished!
Foreclosure with ample parking. This property is generating a strong rental income in 2009 of $46,503! Massive open floor plan with cathedral ceilings. Features include movie projector,bar w/fridge,hardwood floors,gourmet kitchen and much more.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $329,900
Get more information >
Premier View of Smoky Mountains!
Condo with sought after mountain views and 3 bedroom plan. Indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and saunas and really close to the Great Smoky Mountain Nat’l Park and ski resort.
Type: Condo
Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Price: $109,900
Get more information >
Updated with Private Bedroom Suites!
Want a great investment property? Then this is it! Already on a rental program and has a great rental history. Recently updated, offers private bedroom suites, and has a sky walk to balcony and mountain views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Chalet Village
Price: $249,900
Get more information >

A Look At Property Taxes for Sevier County’s Smoky Mountain Real Estate

I receive many questions regarding what our property taxes are here. So this week’s blog looks at Sevier County property taxes on mountain homes.  The property tax rate is per $100 assessed value of the home. County tax for Sevier County is $1.54 per $100 assessed value. City tax per $100 assessed value is:   Sevierville is $0.31. Pigeon Forge is $0.1242, Gatlinburg is $0.1493, and Pittman Center is .77.  The ratio of assessment is 25% for residential/rental property. This applies to owner occupied homes and second homes.  See the examples below for a home assessed at $100,000 and $250,000.

                                               For Sevier County Tax
Sevier County tax is $1.54 per $100 assessed value:
$100,000 Home     25% of $100,000 = $25,000 x $1.54 = $385.00 tax paid per year
$250,000 Home     25% of $250,000 = $62,500 x $1.54 = $962.50 tax paid per year

                                                       For City Tax
Sevierville is $.31 per $100 assessed value:
$100,000 Home     25% of $100,000 = $25,000 x $.31 = $77.50 tax paid per year
$250,000 Home     25% of $250,000 = $62,500 x $.31 = $193.75 tax paid per year

Pigeon Forge is $0.1242 per $100 assessed value:
$100,000 Home     25% of $100,000 = $25,000 x $0.1242 = $31.05 tax paid per year
$250,000 Home     25% of $250,000 = $62,500 x $0.1242 = $77.63 tax paid per year

Gatlinburg is $$0.1493 per $100 assessed value:
$100,000 Home     25% of $100,000 = $25,000 x $0.1493 = $37.33 tax paid per year
$250,000 Home     25% of $250,000 = $62,500 x $0.1493 = $93.31 tax paid per year

Pittman Center is $.77 per $100 assessed value:
$100,000 Home     25% of $100,000 = $25,000 x $.77 = $192.50 tax paid per year
$250,000 Home     25% of $250,000 = $62,500 x $.77 = $481.25 tax paid per year

Plus 30% of contents for personal property tax
There is no Income Tax
Sales Tax 7%
Many visitors to our area find our property taxes very reasonable.  The planning and working with tourist traffic over the years has helped to develop the Sevier County infrastructure.  The influx of visitors provided a revenue stream that has assisted in sharing the costs for developing the area.  This has helped to keep costs lower for residents by maintaining reasonable local living taxes.

If you are interested in living here, or owning investment property that keeps you coming back with tax incentives, then check out the Jason White Team website.  You set your own search criteria, and view only those properties that fit your criteria. When it is time to take a personal look, our team of property professionals are here to assist you.  Contact us today to begin your Smoky Mountain property acquisition.

Here are a Few of My Latest Listings:

Estate Home on Lake Peninsula
This palatial, custom built, heirloom estate is a perfect home for entertaining or just relaxing by the waterside. Expansive views of Flat Creek(Douglas Lake) and surrounding mountain ridges. Beautiful professionally landscaped gardens.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Douglas Lake
Price: $1,120,000
Get more information >
Updated with Private Bedroom Suites!
Want a great investment property, then this is it! Already on a rental program and has a great rental history. Recently updated, offers private bedroom suites, and has a sky walk to balcony and mountain views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Chalet Village
Price: $249,900
Get more information >
Dramatic Mt LeConte View/Newly Updated!
Totally updated Chalet with dramatic Smoky Mountain (Mt LeConte)views. Level parking which is a bonus as well as within walking distance of pool and tennis courts at Owner’s Club
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Chalet Village
Price: $349,900
Get more information >

Real Estate Has Bright Spots as the Overall Market Adjusts to Stimulus Withdrawal

Homes in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and across the nation are adjusting to a real estate market without federal tax incentives for buying houses.  My news sources out of the Wall Street Journal feel the market is reacting much as expected, to life without an $8,000 tax credit for buying a new home.  Throughout the duration of this federal program, the stimulus tax credit combined with low mortgage interest rates, to bring buyers back into the real estate market.  The influx of homebuyers absorbed enough of a massive inventory of homes for sale to stall a decrease in home values.  Many areas of the U.S. are seeing home prices rebound nicely.  Obviously, the tax incentives accelerated homebuying activity and enticed buyers to purchase earlier than they may have done without the stimulus.  For this reason, a drop in homebuying was expected as the federal stimulus ended.

The highlight in the current real estate market is that mortgage interest rates are very low and there is a good selection of homes for sale.  Average 30 year rates fell to 4.8% while 15 year rates appeared to rise to 4.25%.  However, the fees charged to borrowers fell, in effect, lowering the 15 year rate.  The challenge in mortgages lie in the tougher qualification standards.  If you qualify, this is a great time to find your property and lock in a really great interest rate on your mortgage. 

In considering East Tennessee Smokies’ real estate, there are several factors that could make now a great time to buy.  First, as previously mentioned, there are great interest rates for qualified buyers and there is a great selection of property for sale.  Second, the Smokies did not see the great spike up in prices that drove other markets across the country.  One can get a lot of value for the money in this area.   Third, our area is a convenient location for over 1/2 of the U.S. population.  The area is physically beautiful and the local area caters to visitors.  In addition, an investment in Smokies real estate could be far more stable than other investments in today’s volatile investment arena.  Contact the professionals of the Jason White Team online or by phone and begin your search today to acquire the property of your dreams in East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Here are a Few of My Current Listings:

Private with Beautiful Mountain View
Plenty of community ammenities, private, yet close to town. Enjoy nature and wildlife at this tastefully furnished log cabin from three covered decks, all with mountain views. Spacious for family gatherings, with two game rooms as well as a living room.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Pigeon Forge
Price: $325,000
Get more information >
Heritage Log Home w/ Views of Mt LeConte
This beautifully built Heritage Log Home in prestigious Chalet Village has great views of Mt. LeConte. Private yet close to downtown shopping and dining. Three master suites for privacy and on a open lot with level parking.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $379,900
Get more information >
Gatlinburg Home in Enclave w/ Mtn Views
This custom home has beautiful mountain views with plenty of decking and outside fireplace to enjoy. The spectacular kitchen offers plenty of high end appliances and custom details and the master bath is incredible with tumbled Italian Tile.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $1,950,000
Get more information >

Call today for information on any of these or other listings that may be of interest to you!  877-678-2121

Navigating the Minefields of Today’s “Distressed Property” Market

Today’s real estate market participant needs to be savvy to the wide variety of terms used to describe “financially distressed” real estate in the U.S.  As buyer or seller, there are legal steps for disposing or acquiring certain types of  “distressed real estate”.  Sellers of  “distressed property” can have their credit score adversely impacted, depending upon the type of liquidation process that is used on their property.  With all this being said, deeply-discounted property from; foreclosures, short sales, etc, helped drive the 2009 real estate market in the U.S.  This was especially powerful, when combined with federal tax credits geared to motivate new and repeat homebuyers to enter the market.  The impact of these “financially distressed” properties may be a significant part of our country’s real estate picture for some time into the future.

For these reasons, I feel this week’s blog/newsletter should kick off an examination of the various terms used for “distressed property” in today’s realty arena.  Please be aware that laws governing “distressed property” and real estate in general vary from state to state.  There can be federal IRS tax consequences hidden in these “bargain properties” as well.  For the best advice possible, utilize a CPA and an attorney with real estate experience in the area that you are buying or selling real estate.  The Jason White Team can refer you to professionals in East Tennessee’s Smokies that can assist with complex property issues on a sale or purchase here.  In order to keep this blog/newsletter reasonable in length, look for the upcoming examination and definition of “financially distressed properties” like foreclosure and short sale in my website,,  under the categories of; “For the Buyer” and “For the Seller” across the top of my home page. This project should be complete within the next week or so.

Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings: (These are not foreclosures or short sales!)

Update w/ Spectacular Views of Mountains
This updated, meticulously maintained home is a beauty! Enjoy the spectacular northern view of the mountains from a level yard on one of many decks.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $248,500
Get more information >
Up Close and Personal w/ Mt LeConte
Level yard and totally updated with panoramic views of Mt. LeConte and Gatlinburg’s city lights. Excellent location-close to downtown Gatlinburg and all the amenities!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $239,900

Learn From Some Mistakes That Sellers Have Made When Staging Their Homes

Home interiorThere really is some very good tried and true advice for a seller when they are staging their home for prospective buyers. The following are things that sellers have done mistakenly assuming that it will help them to sell their home, but all it did was cause them to miss their chance to make a great first impression. Never do the following to your home for a showing:

  • Leave your pet in the house, assuming that prospective buyers are probably pet owners as well, and will enjoy meeting your beloved furry friend.
  • Let shrubs get so big that it blocks out light and has the look of an abandoned house.
  • Assume that a buyer will not mind having a list of unfinished jobs to do around the house, if they purchase the home, that is.
  • Throw all of your personal items that are laying about into your closets to make the house look clutter-free. One of the first things a prospective buyer does when they step foot into an entryway is to open that closet door, to see how much space it has…
  • Assume that a prospective buyer is interested in all of the details of your extremely long kitchen renovation – with a photo album detailing each step.
  • Forget to put away your personal papers, such as bills or bank statements.
  • Use sickeningly sweet scented candles. Most buyers consider it an alarm bell for deeper odor issues.

For more information on Home Staging Tips view this website or call me at The Jason White Team.

Homeowners Who Keep Up With Home Maintenance Have An Easier Time Selling

Grass on the roofIn today’s market, sellers who have kept up with all of their home’s maintenance needs are finding themselves in a much more enviable position than a homeowner who has neglected theirs. The reason for this is the market change from a “seller’s market” of just a couple years ago to the current ”buyer’s market”. Buyers are no longer saying yes to the “as is” agreement when purchasing a home. It used to be that before listing their home, sellers would put most of their time and energy into things like pretty new paint, updated light fixtures, fresh new flooring and hip hardware. Unfortunately, for a seller in today’s market you still must manage these minor updates, as well as keep home maintenance up-to-date to sell quickly. For example, it is helpful for a seller to have their roof maintenance performed or any termite damage corrected before putting the home on the market. Buyers are looking more closely at the costs of these things before buying. If there is another home down the street with good home maintenance and not such great curb appeal, in today’s climate a buyer may choose the former – as it will be less cash out of pocket and less headaches for them down the line.

For more information about home maintenance tips see Home Tips or contact Jason White for more information on listing your home in the Greater Smoky Mountain Area.

Learn How To Figure Out Exactly How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

Pink calculator close-upIf you are a first-time home buyer, before you even look at houses for sale, the most important thing you can do is figure out exactly how much you can afford on a mortgage payment per month. This will save you wasted time and the disappointment of looking at houses that you may later learn that you simply cannot afford. You first must figure out your debt-to-income ratio. Lenders prefer that you use 36% and under, but you might want to consider using 28% of your gross monthly income for housing expense. Following are the steps to figure out the math:

  1. Figure out all of your debt. Multiply your gross monthly income by .36 to find your total allowable monthly debt.
  2. Add up all of your fixed monthly expenses.
  3. Subtract your fixed monthly expenses from your total allowable monthly debt.

This number is the amount that you have for your mortgage payment, your home owner’s insurance and your property taxes.

For more help figuring out your total allowable monthly debt see a home affordability calculator or call your local real estate agent Jason White.

Act Soon For First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit-Offer Ends 12/01/2009

  • American flagwater ripple and water drop falling in the middleIf you decide to purchase a home by December 1, 2009, you will be entitled to an $8,000 tax credit. This amendment to the economic stimulus bill will be available to you if you purchase your first home between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009. Home buyers will be entitled to claim a total tax credit of $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less.  To avoid possible abuse of this credit, it is only allowed for your primary residence and will only have to be re-paid if said house is sold within two years of purchase. Keep in mind that you must close on or before December 1, 2009 to be eligible for the credit. Most closings take about sixty days, so with that in mind you must go under contract by October 2nd, 2009 – this gives you seventy-three days from today to find your first home. If you manage to meet these deadlines, all you have to do to claim your credit is fill out I.R.S. Form 5405.
  • For more information about this credit go to the IRS website or contact The Jason White Team.