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Living through seasons: How to know when to upsize or downsize

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Nooga.com article, May 22, 2017

By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA, AL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life has many seasons, and with major changes in season sometimes come the need for big changes in your housing situation. As a Chattanooga Realtor for almost 20 years, more than half the phone calls I receive are from clients looking to upsize or downsize their lifestyles. Their most frequently asked question? When and how is the best way to do it.

Here are some key factors to consider:

Upsizing
If your family can no longer fit comfortably in your current home, upsizing is the logical next step. Being crammed into a space that doesn’t accommodate everyone’s needs is a recipe for discomfort and unhappiness.

But upsizing brings with it things to keep in mind. For example, you may love North Chattanooga, but if your two-bedroom, one-bath home there is at the top end of your budget, you’re going to have to look at other areas of town to get more square footage. This, naturally, leads to research you should conduct on home values, property taxes, schools performance and more.

Another thing to remember is that—in addition to a mortgage or rent payment that is most likely going to be higher—you will also need to budget for filling and maintaining more space. You’ll need to furnish extra rooms and potentially care for more yard space.

Other expenses likely to increase when upsizing include insurance, taxes and energy bills.

Use what you don’t like about your current house to make a list of needs (and wants) for your new home. Because selling a home too soon after buying it often results in a loss of money, you want to make sure that your next home will suit your family’s needs for the foreseeable future. It’s unrealistic to expect the home to accommodate all changes for the rest of your life, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a home to serve your needs well for five to seven years.

Some great areas of Chattanooga for larger homes are Signal Mountain, Hixson, Lookout Mountain, East Brainerd and Ooltewah.

Downsizing
Hands down the most common reason for downsizing I hear as a Realtor is that the core family has shrunk. The kids (yes, the same ones you upsized for 15 years earlier) have gone to college, and it’s tiresome cleaning, cooling and heating rooms no one is sleeping in or using.

It’s certainly understandable to want less house and headache as the golden years approach, but just as with upsizing, downsizing requires some looking ahead.

If your parents or other older relatives are in declining health, you may want to consider looking at properties that can accommodate them should the need arise for them to move in with you. Older relatives (and you, eventually) may need a home that has limited stairs to be sure it works well for years to come. Additionally, the kids who went off to college may boomerang back home afterward, or you may one day soon have grandchildren to fill bedrooms on overnight stays. So when looking at new homes, it may behoove you to choose a place that still has at least one extra bedroom—you wouldn’t want to end up unhappy in your new quarters because you downsized too much.

And don’t think that just empty nesters are interested in downsizing. If your current home is just too big, too expensive or partially unused, by all means, consider simplifying your life with a smaller home. It’s on trend right now for younger folks to live in smaller homes, which leads to investing resources in experiences and adventures rather than “stuff.”

Remember, too, that when you’ve made the decision to move to a smaller home, you will also have to decide what items you can live without. Downsizing refers to not just your home, but also your belongings. The “stuff” decisions aren’t limited to only what to eliminate, but how—you have an opportunity to help a charity or help fund your new purchase by selling items. Be ready to make this plunge before signing on the dotted line for a smaller home!

Downsizing in Chattanooga could be a condo on the Southside or downtown, a community like Stonebrook in East Brainerd, or simply a smaller home in your current area.

Whether you are feeling the need to upsize or downsize, in-town or on the outskirts, my team will be glad to help you navigate the decision-making and the journey. Here’s to new seasons!

More from Todd Henon Properties Team


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423.664.1914     |     ToddHenon.com

For more than 20 years, Todd Henon Properties has delivered the highest standard of intelligent, fair, and reliable service, nurturing lasting relationships though our unquestionable value and loyalty.

When you’re ready to SELL, BUY, or EXPLORE, we’re here for all the seasons of your life.

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Todd Henon Properties sponsors International Fly Fishing Film Festival – Chattanooga

My Team was a proud sponsor of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on May 18. The annual event is sponsored by our local fly fishing shop, Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Company, and hosted at The Camp House in Downtown Chattanooga.

Part of Todd Henon Properties Team at International Fly Fishing Festival, Chattanooga

I was honored when Chris at Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Company asked us to be a part of the festival after I attended last year. Chris and his team at the shop are the real deal, and helped me find the perfect flies for a trip this past February. We are lucky to have such a great resource in the store and their knowledgable staff really tops it off.

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival® visits cities throughout the US with films from all over the world. Seeing each film made me want to grab my pole and get down to Caney Fork, or hop a plane to Iceland (yes, there is fly fishing everywhere).

There is nothing I would rather do than fly fish, so it’s great to fellowship with like-minded Chattanoogans during events like these. Sportsmen, women, and kids gathered to celebrate the sport and share our common interest with plenty of photos and stories.

My Team constantly is helping someone find a unique property in the tri-state. Whether it’s for fishing, hunting, or simply enjoying some peace and quiet, each of our agents is well-versed in the nooks and crannies of our slice of this country.

Ready to make your dreams a reality or just want to see what’s out there? Search for fly fishing properties or traditional homes at all price points here: ToddHenon.com. We’d be thrilled to help you, no matter what season of life.

Learn more about IF4 here and visit your local fly fish shop here, just across the street from our Northshore office (202 Manufacturers Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405).

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Todd Henon Featured Panelist at Univ. of Alabama real estate conference

Todd Henon was recently chosen to represent Tennessee on an expert panel at Alabama Center for Real Estate’s first ever residential real estate conference. The May 4, 2017 sold out event took place at The Club atop Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.

Top agents from Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee took to a panel and answered commonly asked questions for the success of over 400 attendees. Topics covered included agent technology, team structure, how to stay motivated, and marketing techniques.

Henon was specifically tapped to educate Alabama agents on successful marketing of properties. “I was honored to be a part of this talented group of panelists from across the Southeast. These events are a win for the attendees and me, as I add more information, education, and valued opinions to my Team’s toolbox,” Todd explained.

 

 

 

Todd Henon Properties is a top Chattanooga-based real estate team serving Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama since 2000. Specializing in homes, land, farms and estates, Todd’s seasoned neighborhood and acreage specialists are known for their expertise in the sale and purchase of traditional and unique properties at all price points. Todd’s credentials as a general contractor and visionary land consultant give his clients a daily edge. A lifelong Chattanoogan and avid outdoorsman, no one knows the market better or loves the region more than Todd and his innovative team of respected agents. Headquartered at Keller Williams Realty–Greater Downtown Chattanooga (each office is independently owned and operated), the Todd Henon Properties’ team invites you to search for your next home or investment move here.

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5 Tax Refund Home Projects to Increase Value

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Nooga.com article, April 3, 2017

By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA, AL

 

 

 

 

 

Whether thinking of putting your home on the market or not, improving your home’s functionality or curb appeal is a great way to use all or part of your tax refund. Tennesseans receive an average of nearly $3,000 each spring after taxes are filed, and that money is more than enough to accomplish or at least put a dent in one of the following upgrades—which, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, are the best bangs for your buck in terms of return on investment.

There’s a big difference in terms of appeal and value when it comes to the real estate market, but the following projects offer a boost in both:

Entry door replacement
With an average cost of about $1,000 or a little over, depending on size, type and style, a new door costs comparatively little and doesn’t take a lot of time to put into place. The National Association of Realtors reports the ROI for entry door replacement at more than 100 percent!

Don’t want to replace your front door altogether? Consider a new coat of paint, new hardware and/or adding your address number. You can accomplish one or all these upgrades for less than $200.

Faux stone veneer
Like your brick or siding, manufactured stone is a part of your home’s façade that will be the first thing your guests (or potential buyers) notice. Manufactured stone can be installed around your whole home, just around the bottom or in a section (such as around columns on the front porch or your mailbox’s base), so the price varies wildly. But the average ROI is 92.2 percent nationally. Faux stone is cheaper and much lighter than real stone and provides an elegant or edgy look, depending on your selection.

Installation is fairly quick and simple and, depending on the scope of your project, may be shockingly inexpensive.

Garage door replacements
Like your entry door, garage doors are one of the first things folks notice about your home, and there are numerous ways to spruce them up.

Replacing garage doors produces an ROI that ranges from 82 to 88 percent, depending on the cost and look of your upgrade. If a replacement is out of your budget or unnecessary, consider painting your garage doors—you can do this to match your entry door or in a contrasting color.

Siding replacement
OK, so your tax refund probably isn’t going to cover the cost of replacing your siding in full, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for a dramatic change. The color options for siding have expanded in recent years, and so have the designs and patterns. From scalloped edges to a shingled look, siding choices are basically endless.

Fiber cement is worth checking out. According to most in the housing industry, it’s as durable as any product on the market. It looks like wood or masonry, so it’s a great choice for homeowners who want to achieve an antique look or keep with the feel of their historical neighborhood.

Insulation
Historically speaking, the ROI when adding additional insulation to your home may be one of the wisest options you have—and the functional aspect of it is hard to beat! Again, your tax refund is unlikely to pay to replace all your insulation, but the money you’ll save over time in energy costs will more than make up for what you put into the replacement.


Regardless of which route you choose, all the aforementioned items will provide a strong return on your hard-earned dollars. Be thoughtful, be wise and enjoy.

More from Todd Henon Properties Team


Ready to learn your property’s value in today’s competitive market?

Click here to request your complimentary market analysis!


423.664.1914     |     ToddHenon.com

For more than 20 years, Todd Henon Properties has delivered the highest standard of intelligent, fair, and reliable service, nurturing lasting relationships though our unquestionable value and loyalty.

When you’re ready to SELL, BUY, or EXPLORE, we’re here for all the seasons of your life.

Contact Us


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 View Featured Properties

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Demystifying your property tax assessment

This post originally appeared on Nooga.com

By: Todd Henon

If you haven’t already, you will one day soon open your mailbox to find your property appraisal and assessment from Hamilton County Assessor of Property Marty Haynes. Like many people, you may wonder what the heck it means.

The assessor is not the “tax man”; the appraiser’s office is the government agency that tracks ownership and sales events, and assigns or “appraises” the value of your property. (This is not the same appraisal done in the context of a sale or refinance event.)

Your reaction to this piece of mail may vary from excitement that your property’s value is higher than it was a few years ago to dismay that your property tax amounts may be going up to “I’m going to just trash this since it’s marked ‘not a bill.'”

Firstly, it is indeed not a bill. Your property tax bill arrives in your mailbox in October, with a due date of Feb. 28 of the following year. Your property appraisal and assessment notice is like an “FYI” communicating to you the result of a four-year cycle where all properties in Hamilton County are reappraised. It is a resetting—a recalibration, if you will—of what your property is worth according to the assessor of property’s office.

Secondly, the estimate is not necessarily what your property’s retail value is (though it could be close). It is not uncommon for the true retail value and the property assessor’s appraised value to be different. The assessor’s estimate is not done in a vacuum. They estimate value based on comparable sales in your ZIP code, neighborhood and general geographic area. The assessor’s office is very good at its job, but certainly not perfect. If you have questions around your property’s appraised value, it may be wise to pick the phone up and call the assessor’s office. You will find them helpful and willing to answer your questions. Additionally, consult a qualified Realtor to weigh in and provide his or her opinion of current market value.

Although it may often be our inclination to resist a rise in taxes, in this scenario, a rise in appraised value and the assessment amount is generally a good thing. It indicates your property values may very well be increasing.

In summary, whatever the new number on your assessment is, don’t panic. If the appraised value is increasing, be grateful. It could bode well for your resale value. If the value is decreasing, enjoy your tax savings and check in with a knowledgeable real estate agent for more detail on current street value and ways to maximize your property investment.

More from Todd Henon Properties Team


423.664.1914     |     ToddHenon.com

For more than 20 years, Todd Henon Properties has delivered the highest standard of intelligent, fair, and reliable service, nurturing lasting relationships though our unquestionable value and loyalty.

When you’re ready to SELL, BUY, or EXPLORE, we’re here for all the seasons of your life.

Contact Us


Search For Properties

 View Featured Properties

Like Todd Henon Properties on Facebook

Follow Todd Henon Properties on Instagram

 

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6 Chattanooga neighborhoods to watch

This house is currently for sale in Highland Park. (Photo: Todd Henon Properties)

Wanna be on the leading edge of what’s trending in the Chattanooga real estate community, what’s next on the coin of the realm, the tip of the spear?

Technology corridors (thank you, Zach Wamp), VWs (not your mom’s VW bug or Vanagon), an Innovation District, the country’s fastest internet (thank you to Harold DePriest and Joe Ferguson) and a host of other things have turned Chattanooga into now what is just a plain ol’ cool place to live!

Along with the positive reputation and growth come real estate questions: What and where is the next X on the map for those who have a real estate interest? Here are six areas to watch and be aware of as our community continues its dynamic growth and enjoys its positive national reputation (all due respect to Walter Cronkite, circa 1969).

Southside and wonderful Main Street
Wow, if you can get it … It’s getting pricier by the minute. It doesn’t take long to find single-family homes selling for over $175 per square foot. Will it continue its growth? I suspect so. It certainly hasn’t shown any signs of turning down lately. What seem to be the biggest challenges right now for homebuyers in the 37408 ZIP are low inventory and price points moving north.

37404
Amazing. Highland Park’s wonderful, neighborly, front porch culture is leading the charge in downtown growth. Still available are some stunning properties that speak of Chattanooga’s historic past while embracing its proud new identity!

Broad Street
Gotta love Calvary Chapel. Ethan Collier and his vision, bravery and the product he is building—well done. With the down-river expansion and completion of the Riverwalk, I can’t help but think and be excited about growth in the Broad Street area and its beautiful older sister community of St. Elmo. These areas are well-deserving and have been patiently waiting on their turn … it’s time!

Red Bank
What a longtime favorite. Red Bank is a workhorse, a community that has worked hard and is becoming a ZIP code of desirability. With its proximity to the North Shore, charming streetscapes, nostalgic homes and reasonable pricing, it’s no small wonder that the inventory is low and the future bright. Check it out.

Ooltewah
As a friend of mine used to say, ”Turn your hat around backward and hang on … We are gonna go fast”—growth, growth and more growth. It takes vision, great planning and progressive minds to pull off this hat trick. What more can you say aside from a-ma-zing? Great schools, great employment base, great subdivisions, interstate access and scoot over.

Brainerd
The dark horse, the sleeper, the big dog on the porch … Brainerd! Yes, it’s becoming “midtown.” We are getting ready to watch something pretty special in the land of the levy. City, county and community leaders, those with vision, hope and love, have kicked this can on down the road, and they are putting words into actions. It’s coming and it’s going to be something special. Go grassroots!


And there are more … from Signal Mountain, Lookout Mountain and Lookout Valley to Hixson, Soddy-Daisy, East Ridge and Collegedale, there are hotspots galore and plenty of options for those with inquisitive real estate minds. Reach out to a talented Realtor and run them through their paces. You will be pleased with the opportunities our wonderful city and region have to offer those wanting to be a part of the real estate community.