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Todd Henon

Why Are Houses More Expensive?

Chattanooga, Tennessee, the “Scenic City,” has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The city offers picturesque surroundings, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a thriving local economy. In

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Todd Henon

Conservation Easements 101

Conservation Easements 101: The Basics and Benefits of Conserving Land Kat Szymanski and Todd Henon Properties Realtor, Rhey Houston •  11 Oct, 2022 As a

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Why Are Houses More Expensive?

Chattanooga, Tennessee, the “Scenic City,” has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The city offers picturesque surroundings, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a thriving local economy. In fact, Chattanooga recently surpassed Nashville and Knoxville as the #1 city in Tennessee for in-flow of new residents, while our State ranked 6th among U.S. states for inbound moves. Signal Mountain, a sought-after community with natural beauty, small-town charm, and award-winning schools, is experiencing significantly limited housing availability, like many communities in our region. It serves as a case study for the Greater Chattanooga market.

Local Market Case Study

As of April 24, 2023, only 22 houses were available on Signal Mountain. A historically balanced market would offer over 5-times that number.

The limited housing supply on Signal Mountain has intensified competition among potential homebuyers, leading to historically high price points. Compare today’s average home price of over $700,000 with that of 2020’s average of $456,185.

Signal Mountain Local Market Snapshot

(37377, Hamilton Co, 4.24.23 via Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors MLS)



What About Interest Rates? 

Despite interest rates tripling over the last 12 months, 2022 was a record-breaking year on Signal, and 2023 is trending in the same direction. Signal’s key market drivers include the nationwide housing shortage, significant migration into the state, TN’s low tax burden (2nd lowest in US), Signal’s nationally-ranked school system, and of course, lifestyle.


What Does This Mean For Sellers?

The lack of available homes on Signal Mountain and in Chattanooga has several results, which might prove beneficial to Sellers on Signal:

  • Competitive Offers: The limited inventory has forced potential buyers to make more aggressive offers, garnering the average Seller 96% of the original listing price.
  • Speed of Sale: Homes that do become available on Signal Mountain and in Chattanooga are selling quickly, often within 1 month of being listed. (Hamilton County Days on Market = 31, Signal Mountain Days on Market = 34)
  • Increased Home Prices: With demand outpacing supply, home prices on Signal Mountain and in Chattanooga continue to rise (See Chart).

What’s Driving The Low Inventory?

This shortage isn’t only affecting Signal Mountain but reflects the larger market in Chattanooga (Hamilton County), which is experiencing the limited housing challenge at 1.3 months of inventory. (Balanced market = 6 months inventory).

Several factors contribute to the limited housing availability in the Greater Chattanooga area:

  • Growing Population: Chattanooga has seen a significant influx of new residents, drawn to the area by its natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and strong job market. In fact, for every 1 person who moves out of Chattanooga, 3 more move in. This population growth has put pressure on the housing market, resulting in a shortage of available homes. 
  • Favorable Tax Environments: Tennessee is one of 9 states with no state income tax, and ranks as having the 2nd  lowest tax burden of all US states. This is driving Buyers from across the country to our local area.
  • Increased Investment: Investors have taken note of Chattanooga’s affordability and growth. Even with record-high price points in our city, our median home price is still 15% below the national median.
  • Decreased New ConstructionNational Housing Starts and Permits dropped in 2022 to near pandemic levels, slowing the addition of new construction homes to the market, a significant factor in the low supply – high demand ratio. Layer this with pre-pandemic low inventory caused, in part, by the 2008 Great Recession. 

How To Navigate This Market

This nationwide and citywide shortage of homes has led to increased competition among homebuyers, driving up home prices and reducing the time properties stay on the market. For those looking to buy a home in the Chattanooga area, it is vital to educate yourself on market conditions in order to act quickly and wisely in this competitive market. We’re here—with our 3 decades of experience in the Greater Chattanooga market—to help equip you to compete. Meantime, keep up with market changes with our Weekly Market Data Updates here.

If you’re considering selling, it would be our privilege to have a conversation to provide a market perspective with a complimentary and confidential price evaluation of your property. Call (423) 413.4507 to schedule your appointment. We’re here to serve and invite you to explore our work and more local market data here.

Connecting the Dots Between Real Estate & Taxes


We’re not “tax people”––we’re real estate professionals. But as tax day quickly approaches, we want to share possible tax-saving strategies pertaining to real estate.

Whether reminders or new thinking for your portfolio, we encourage you to consider these tax strategies and, of course, speak with your tax professional.


  1. Self-Directed IRA: Consider investing yours in real estate. Real estate may provide greater security or faster appreciation than the stock market.
  2. 1031 Like-Kind Exchange: Explore deferring capital gains by implementing. Keep in mind there are associated fees and limited time frames, so talk with both your Realtor and CPA.
  3. Conservation: Investigate lowering property taxes by enrolling all or a portion of your acreage into programs like TN’s Greenbelt or GA’s Conservation Use Assessment. You may also qualify for a tax-saving Conservation Easement. Todd Henon Properties Land & Farm Specialist Rhey Houston has conserved more than 10,000 acres across the U.S. Reach out to Rhey for a conversation about your opportunities.
  4. Multiple residences? Save capital gains by examining your ownership timelines and usage of your homes. (In short, a primary residence must be used for a total of at least two of the last five years.)
  5. Avoid State Income Tax: Investors intentionally target Tennessee for its “no state income tax” status, its overall 2nd lowest tax burden in the U.S.and low cost of living. Currently, 8 other states levy no income tax.


Our full-service Team is honored to be your real estate resource for Buying, Selling, and Investing. Need a trusted local CPA, tax strategist, attorney, or estate planner? We’re here to put our 30-year network to work for you.

It would be our privilege to sit down soon to discuss your goals.

Our Team of Experts
Rhey Houston, Brittany Fulmer Ennen, Melanie Siler, Sabie Crowder Hennen, Angela Volner, Jim Woodard, Liv Clary, Savannah Ward, Koty Pearse, Beth Bragg Henon, and Todd Henon.


Top Reads For The Week

Listen: Today’s Dynamic Real Estate Industry

Realtors Todd Henon and Brittany Fulmer Ennen of Todd Henon Properties join “Let’s Talk Money,” hosted by Jim Place and Jayme O’Donnell of Evergreen Advisors on current local real estate trends. After three decades in the real estate industry, what do these two experts have to say about the recently unusual Chattanooga housing market?

“There’s no question about it, we do not have enough inventory to go around. That has not changed, regardless of the noise inside of the industry.”

Todd Henon, Broker-Realtor TN, GA, AL
30+ Years in Real Estate Industry

The perfect storm: Low inventory and high demand all leading to a competitive atmosphere, shorter time for houses to be on the market, and the highest recorded average home prices.

“The current average days on market is setting the expectation, specifically for sellers, that it’s okay if your house doesn’t go in 24 hours, it’s also okay, if it does go in 30 days.”

Brittany Fulmer Ennen, Licensed Realtor TN + GA

Listen to the full episode here:

To learn about 2022’s interest rates, pricing, average days on the market, and more, listen to Let’s Talk Money with Todd Henon and Brittany Fulmer Ennen.

Let’s Talk Money is sponsored by Evergreen Advisors and airs on weekdays at 12pm on WGOW. For the latest Current Market Data, click here.

The value of finding a trusted advocate to walk you through this ever-changing market and the nuanced process cannot be overstated. We would be honored to be of service to you. Contact us to have a conversation about your real estate goals.



Featured: Classic Southern Estate

Did Chattanooga Area Real Estate Prices Rise or Fall in 2022?

Rumors and speculation abound, but data + expertise clear the fog. So, how did our local real estate market fare in 2022 and where is it trending?

⬆ 16%

Hamilton County, YTD, Source: GCAR

Record Breaker

  • Hamilton County’s median sales price rose 16% to a historic high in 2022. However, it remains a healthy 22% below the national median, providing an environment for continued appreciation in our local market.
Year End Trends?
  • Hamilton County properties sold at an average of 99.5% of asking price in 2022. However, we are beginning to see more aggressive price negotiations and more price reductions on properties.

Looking Ahead…

  • To avoid a price reduction, Sellers should––from the start––utilize up-to-the-minute data to inform pricing decisions. Pricing should be based on precise comparable properties, expert market knowledge, and your desired timeline for the sale.

20% Faster in 2022

Hamilton County, YTD, Source: GCAR

Fastest in History

  • 16 days on the market was Hamilton County’s average for 2022, making it another record-breaking year for speed of sale.
Year-End Trends?
  • As interest rates and inflation have risen throughout the year, days on market are increasing from an average of 16 for the year as a whole to 25 in recent months across Hamilton County.
Looking Ahead…]
  • Understanding current market conditions and being reasonable in negotiations helps speed your sale, while maximizing your ROI.

Supporting Data via Greater Chattanooga Multiple Listing Service



Here to Serve

If your 2023 goals include real estate–home, investment, recreation, relocation or commercial—we would be honored to sit down and have a conversation. Call us at 423.413.4507.


Sources: GCAR MLS, fred.stlouisfed.org

Is Our Real Estate Market Turning?

We all want to make wise, data-driven real estate decisions, right? To do so, it’s never been more critical to look beyond headlines and view numbers through an informed and historical lens.

Are We in a Slow Down?

While the market is normalizing a bit, demand in our area has more than doubled in the last decade. 2022 marks the second highest number of homes sales in history in Hamilton County…just 5% below the all-time high in 2021 (YTD).

Where Are We Headed?

Here at home, inventory is still at a critical low level, but up 3% from this time last year. The Greater Chattanooga area continues in its most robust market in history, driven by affordability, growing job market and mild climate.
  • 2nd lowest tax burden in the U.S.
  • #8 in U.S. for in-bound migration; 306 people moving into Chattanooga for every 100 people moving out.
  • The driving force in today’s premium-priced Real Estate market is the basic law of supply & demand. Economists predict demand will likely exceed supply nationwide for the next 4-10 years keeping prices and values at a premium.

Soooo… is it a Buyer’s or Seller’s market?

We’ll explore that next time…

For more Current Market Data, a conversation about your real estate goals or a complimentary property valuation, our expert Team of Agents, Researchers, Marketers, and Contract Specialists would be honored to put our 2 decades of experience to work for you at 423.413.4507.

Conservation Easements 101

Conservation Easements 101: The Basics and Benefits of Conserving Land

Kat Szymanski and Todd Henon Properties Realtor, Rhey Houston 11 Oct, 2022

As a landowner or prospective buyer of land, you have many choices for how you might handle your land as an asset. For instance, you could hold your land for future appreciation, or you could contribute additional capital and expertise to develop the property into a commercial or residential enterprise. One other less obvious alternative might be to consider conserving the property and enjoying the benefits associated with this unique property vision.

Understanding the costs and benefits associated with each of these choices could significantly benefit you and dramatically enhance your long-term property outcome.

A conservation easement could be a large factor in whether you decide to purchase land real estate, or it could hinder the sale of your property sometime in the future. That said, there are potential tax benefits associated with conservation easements, as well as substantial benefits for the public.


Watch: 160± Acres in Lookout Mountain, GA. 

What is a Conservation Easement: An In-Depth Look

The concept of conservation easements is easy to understand at first glance — it’s simply a set of restrictions on a piece of land designed to ensure that the historical or conservation value of the land is protected. However, while the concept is simple, how conservation easements work is a bit more challenging to discern.

Many parcels of land often include areas that a conservation agency or private land trust wishes to preserve for either historical value, conservation value, or both. The conservation easement is the agreement between the landowner and the agency or trust that defines specific terms regarding the protected areas.

While each conservation easement can vary based on the particulars of the specific property, common easement terms typically include:

  • Limitations regarding development on the property
  • Protection for the property’s natural resources deemed essential to the conservation of the land
  • Limitations on mining, grading, blasting, or dumping on the property

The exact terms can often be negotiated between the conservation group and the landowner. However, the conservation easement that is created will then apply to all future buyers of land real estate on which the conservation easement exists. This ensures that the land continues to be protected, regardless of ownership.

Donating Land for a Conservation Easement

Owners of land real estate may be approached by a private land trust or conservation agency that wishes to protect some or all of the land. If no conservation easement currently exists, the landowner does not have to donate the land to the conservation group. However, there are often benefits to doing so, which is why many conservation easements are created each year.

In fact, the number of land conservation easements in the United States is now larger than the number of national parks, forests, and state parklands. The USDA and private landowners have partnered to enroll over 5 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and prime farmlands in conservation easements. These easements serve to protect many scenic, historical, and biological resources.

When a landowner donates land to a conservation easement, they still retain ownership and control of the property and can determine who has access to the property. The conservation agency is simply responsible for enforcing the terms of the agreement reached between the two parties.


Watch: Never Settle. Go with Chattanooga’s Land Experts

Benefits of Donating Land for a Conservation Easement

Conservation easements often serve to make a positive difference in many communities by providing a protected area that may supply clean water, productive farmland or forests, thriving wildlife habitats, or even just some lovely scenic views. Each conservation easement is often created to fulfill a specific purpose. The majority, however, are usually meant to help maintain and protect ecological communities and wildlife. Conserving land is also an important factor in helping to combat climate change, as well as preserve historic areas and legacies.

While many landowners see the value to the surrounding communities and the environment by conservation easements, federal or state tax benefits are often a key factor in the decision to donate land.

The landowner that donates land to a conservation easement is entitled to an income tax deduction for the value of the land. Typically, a real estate appraiser will determine the land’s value and easement’s value. The donation of the land counts as a charitable gift which must be reported to the IRS. It should be noted that while land with a conservation easement is taxed at a lower value, any existing buildings and structures currently on the land are taxed at the standard rate.

The donation of land also affects the tax valuation of the property as a whole, which can significantly lower the estate tax that may be due upon the donor’s death. Additionally, estate tax exclusions may also be allowed under certain circumstances. And, depending upon the state in which the conservation easement exists, reduced property taxes might also be applicable.

In Conclusion

Creating a conservation easement is a process. As a landowner, you don’t necessarily have to wait for a private land trust or government conservation agency to come to you. You can contact agencies of your own accord and state your intent to donate land. This serves the dual purpose of enabling you to benefit from tax incentives and protect the beauty of your land for future generations.

If you are interested in purchasing land real estate, be sure to inquire whether any conservation easements currently exist on the property you are interested in. If you have a specific purpose for the land you want to purchase, easement restrictions may prevent you from doing so.

A first recommended step would be to consult with a land consultant who has the expertise and experience to help you successfully navigate this process.


Never Settle. Let land expert Rhey Houston, who has participated in conserving 10,000± acres, and Chattanooga’s 1st Accredited Land Consultant, Todd Henon, serve you. 


A special thank you to Kat Szymanski for allowing us to share this article. 


Rhey Houston

Rhey Houston

Realtor TN, GA

Realtors Land Institute, TN

Conservation Specialist





Todd Henon

Broker-Realtor TN, GA, AL

Chattanooga’s 1st Accredited Land Consultant

Realtors Land Institute, TN




View Land For Sale

Is Chatt’s Real Estate Market “Unprecedented”?

It’s estimated, nearly 1/3 of America’s current home buyers are looking to relocate to a more affordable region.

This mass migration presents an opportunity for Tri-State property owners to capitalize on our region’s AFFORDABILITY.


While home values in the Chattanooga area are enjoying a steady rise,

local housing prices are 20% below the national average.


Combine our region’s affordability, natural resources, and business assets with
… and you get an unprecedented local Spring real estate market.


How can you maximize your investment in today’s competitive market? It’s our privilege to be your trusted resource. Contact our Todd Henon Properties Team  or reply to this email to begin the conversation.


Todd & Team

20+ Years Serving the Tri-State

Brittany, Rhey, Sabie, Angela, Melanie, Andrew, Beth, Jim, and Savannah


*Source: Greater Chattanooga MLS, **National Association of Realtors

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  • 20 Years Serving TN, GA, AL
  • Top 1% in Sales, Greater Chattanooga
  • Chatt’s 1st Accredited Land Consultant: investment, recreational, development, conservation, agriculture
  • 10 Years  Licensed TN General Contractor
  • Elite Client Services: Award-Winning Marketing Specialists, Contracts Managers, Research & Logistics Experts
  • Relocation Specialists for University of TN Chatt, Erlanger Hospital
  • Realtors Land Institute, TN Board Member
  • 4-Generation Chattanoogan,
    Todd Henon

Todd Henon Properties 423.413.4507 direct Info@ToddHenon.com Keller Williams Realty Greater Downtown Realty 1830 Washington Street Chattanooga, TN 37408 423.664.1900


  • 20 Years Serving TN, GA, AL
  • Top 1% in Sales, Greater Chattanooga
  • Chatt’s 1st Accredited Land Consultant: investment, recreational, development, conservation, agriculture
  • 10 Years  Licensed TN General Contractor
  • Elite Client Services: Award-Winning Marketing Specialists, Contracts Managers, Research & Logistics Experts
  • Relocation Specialists for University of TN Chatt, Erlanger Hospital
  • Realtors Land Institute, TN Board Member
  • 4-Generation Chattanoogan,
    Todd Henon


Todd Henon Properties 423.413.4507 direct Info@ToddHenon.com Keller Williams Realty Greater Downtown Realty 1830 Washington Street Chattanooga, TN 37408 423.664.1900