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Signal Stories: Reflections on the mountain

Nooga.com article, September 18, 2017

By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA, AL

 

 

 

 

 

Chattanooga’s Signal Mountain has a rich history. As a kid, I remember finding Native American arrowheads and looking for Civil War mini-balls from battles that took place on the mountaintop.

Today, Signal Mountain is one of the most desirable places for locals and transplants alike who want clean air and wide-open spaces within minutes of the city. Bloomberg Businessweek named Signal Mountain one of the best places to raise kids a few years back.

I can attest to that, having grown up and raised my kids on Signal, which has a population of just under 8,600. The reasons are plentiful: stunning views, hiking trails and swimming holes, a slower pace, activities and adventures for young and old, and a truly connected community.

I have endless tales (tall and small) about great people and places—past and present—in our community. I thought you might want to check out a few of my favorite Signal Stories.

“Our Mountain”

My family recently welcomed a fourth-generation Signal Mountain resident, my granddaughter.

My parents came here in the ’60s, looking for a beautiful, safe, friendly place to raise my siblings and me. I stayed and raised my own children here, and now, my grandchildren will experience the same upbringing.

Signal Mountain is home to amazing schools and is one of the country’s safest communities. The views and the wildlife presence lend an air of country living to the mountain’s convenient location, which is less than 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga.

Sure, a lot has changed on Signal through the years, but the most important things haven’t: the values, friendships, scenery and irreplaceable small-town feel. I couldn’t want anything more for my family. Read more.

“The Dinner Bell”

About this time every year, I begin to grieve the loss of summer and long for the golden days of my years growing up on Signal, when my buddies and I knew how to pack 28 hours of activity into every day remaining before school started. I didn’t dislike school, but I didn’t love it the way I loved spending days with my friends exploring caves, swimming in Rainbow Lake, hiking the paths of the Cumberland Trail and rappelling off rocks. We fancied ourselves Signal’s very own Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns. It was the 1970s, and we felt completely safe. Our parents felt safe, too. Their only rule was to stay within earshot of the dinner bell.

My summers are spent a little differently now, but it thrills me to see the next generation exploring all Signal Mountain has to offer the way we used to … and I hope their parents still occasionally ring a dinner bell. Read more.

“‘Bee-ing’ Neighborly”

Like clockwork, since the 1960s, a small bear with fresh Signal Mountain honey has “magically” appeared in my neighborhood’s mailboxes. No note. No signature. But I know who put it there … and why.

My neighbor Joe Lockhart has been a master beekeeper on Signal for 50-plus years. He’s also a 7-foot-tall, legendary connection to the history and spirit of our mountain. He remembers driving the winding and steep Roberts Mill Road in the snow before it was paved; he served in the Army and played “All World” softball in Chattanooga’s Textile League. He turned down a pro ball offer to raise his family, then skillfully coached me and countless Signal kids in Dixie League. As a coach, he taught me a lot. As a man, he has taught me even more.

For more than five decades, Lockhart and his wife have left the little unmarked honey bottles in their neighbors’ mailboxes. When their children were little, they’d load up in the car to complete this secret ritual on Christmas Eve. Today, his children and grandchildren carry on Joe’s tradition in their own neighborhoods in Tennessee and Georgia.

Joe’s annual honey bear is a symbol of one of the things I love most about our mountain: selfless investment in a neighbor’s well-being. While there’s never a note with the honey, the small gift delivers a big message: “I’m here for you if you need me; thanks for being a good neighbor. I care about you, and I hope all is well.” Joe and his family have helped teach me, and others, the art of “bee-ing” neighborly … Signal Mountain neighborly. Read more.

For more Signal Stories, visit ToddHenon.com/SignalStories.

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Unique Properties: A look at some (more) gems in the Chattanooga real estate market (with photos)

Nooga.com article, September 18, 2017

By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA, AL

 

 

 

 

 

Chattanooga is one-of-a-kind in many ways: its stunning mountain scenery, rich history and endless outdoor opportunities so near to our downtown Riverfront.

The Scenic City’s real estate opportunities also reflect the originality of this gorgeous city. Take a look at some of Chattanooga’s unique properties currently on the market:

 A unique lake house: 8110 Island Point Drive (Harrison)
This home is for the true entertaining enthusiast. From an outside bar to 600-plus feet of lakefront space, this home is a haven for kayakers, canoers, boaters, paddleboarders and even those who simply enjoy outdoor entertaining. Inside, the 6,300-square-foot home features breathtaking views, huge living and dining spaces, a closet you could live in, and a fireplace next to a soaker tub. This is a home you’ll never want to leave.

A unique lifestyle: 1088 County Road 741 (Ider, Alabama)
Ever want to just get away from it all? It’s easy to do on this property, situated on 5 acres in North Alabama. Curl up on the built-in window seat and read a book while a pot of comfort food simmers on the stove in the custom kitchen. This 1905 farmhouse was has been updated with all the modern conveniences, including energy-efficient windows. Several detached buildings are on the property, including an office and chicken coop, as well as a setup to make your dream of gardening your own food come true.

A unique view: 120 N. Pointe Road (Ringgold)
This well-maintained home is on a quiet cul-de-sac not far from Chattanooga and is all you could want in single-story living. The 3,000-plus square feet contain four bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as a bonus room above the garage. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from Costco, Bass Pro Shops, Hamilton Place and downtown Chattanooga. But the views are what truly set this home apart. There’s no better place to sip your morning coffee or grill out with your family than on this open-air deck with stunning vistas to take in.

A unique piece of land: Hixson Springs Road (Signal Mountain)
Acquiring a piece of land to build on in the future is not the unattainable goal many think it is. If you want to purchase a slice of Mother Nature to move to one day, check out this property. These 34 wooded acres, bordering the desirable Boston Branch community, include a babbling brook, as well as two former hayfields that would be great for animals. Enjoy access to and use of Boston Branch’s amenities (hiking trails, stocked lake, etc.) without the restrictions.

A unique estate: 1209 Laurel Springs Way (Signal Mountain)
This gorgeous, meticulously maintained home is all about the details. From a hand-carved mantle to a saltwater pool, from laundry chutes to multiple fireplaces, the little extras in this home add up to big impact. Its six bedrooms and eight bathrooms (six full, two half-baths) make it great for large families or those who love to entertain overnight guests. Enjoy the benefits of a professionally landscaped yard while being surrounded by 5-plus quiet and private wooded acres. And for even more privacy, it is located at the end of a cul-de-sac.

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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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Summer simplicity: Creating home elegance with less

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145 Palisades Drive, Signal Mountain, TN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nooga.com article, May 22, 2017

By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA, AL

 

 

 

 

 

Simplifying, minimizing—whatever buzzword you want to use—is trendy at the moment, with capsule wardrobes, tiny houses and digitally archiving part of the movement. The trend is a good one, not just for the pocketbook but for the mind. Studies have shown that we’re at our best in most aspects of life when we aren’t surrounded by unnecessary stuff.

As a Realtor, though, I see plenty of sellers clinging steadfastly to things that would add more value to their home packed away rather than lying out. With 90 percent of the homes I walk into, I tell the owners to put away half their things before we list it. Those who heed the advice tend to see a much faster sale.

Depersonalizing your home typically creates a faster sale for a few reasons. Firstly, your home is a commodity as soon as we put the sign in the yard. It is now an item for sale, with many scrutinizing eyes driving by and looking online. The entire world will be looking at the inside of your home. The market—the buyers—will decide what décor is acceptable. Sellers typically underestimate what buyers are willing to look past! For example, imagine you have a wine-themed kitchen with grapevines along the cabinets, wine-themed placemats, wine-themed curtains, wine-themed rugs and every type of wine glass available in the china cabinet. You’ve spent years tweaking and refining your style, and finally, it’s perfect for you. Now bring in a buyer who doesn’t drink, and your taste may have just killed the potential sale.

Secondly, buyers find it hard to imagine the home when your family photos are sprinkled throughout the house. Let’s face it, buyers look at your photos and jump to conclusions about your situation and why you might be moving, and are totally distracted. Just as you wouldn’t leave out medication for a health condition, don’t leave the opportunity for buyers to know your personal, private affairs.

Think of this from a buyer’s perspective—a family home of 30 years as opposed to a newly constructed model home. Both are cozy and furnished, but one feels like “someone else’s home” and the other is ready to become your home. Additionally, the family home of decades likely has items that haven’t been touched in years, whereas the new home has the potential to be filled with your own items and memories.

Thirdly, show off the features of your home. Don’t cover up the marble countertops with a seldom-used toaster oven. Pull up the rugs to show off the hardwood and tile floors. Clear off the stainless steel refrigerator, pick up, straighten up, and pack up.

But even if you aren’t selling now or anytime soon, jumping on the “less is more” bandwagon will benefit your life in more ways than you probably think. When you are not weighed down by “stuff,” you feel more agile and ready to transition easily into different jobs, stages of life or a greater feeling of calm. It’s also a timesaver: The National Association of Professional Organizers reports we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items. I’d rather spend that year fishing … wouldn’t you?

Simplifying tactics
One way to keep your clutter to a minimum is to make your attic, closets, basement and garage work for you. (Be careful with your garage, though; the U.S. Department of Energy reports that one-quarter of people with two-car garages have so much stuff in there they can’t park a car.) Create storage for things you need but don’t use regularly. Check out home improvement stores and Pinterest for countless space-saving storage options.

Downsize regularly. This means going through the kids’ toy chests and digging through your closet at least once a year, if not once a season. If they don’t play with it and you don’t wear it, donate it or sell it. Simplifying is a lifestyle you must practice regularly, as unnecessary objects have a sneaky way of coming into our homes, despite our best efforts.

Finally, a great way to keep a simple home is to have a donation/sale box in the garage or a closet so your family members have easy access to a place for things they no longer want or need. The temptation to shove something under a bed or in a drawer is minimized when everyone in your home knows where to take something they are ready to get rid of. Then, a few times a year, either donate or sell the unwanted items.

Implementing—and sticking to—these strategies will enhance your home, family and mind. And, when and if you do put your home on the market, you’ll be ahead of the curve in having your home market-ready.

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

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Click here to request your complimentary market analysis!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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

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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.