Nooga.com article, May 22, 2017 By Todd Henon, Broker, TN, GA,
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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
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
If you missed the Sunday, August 6, 2017 FRONT PAGE of The New York Times, you will want to check out the feature on Chattanooga as a Top Draw for global investment. From a real estate perspective, our area’s emphasized assets–about which the world read yesterday–reflect many of the reasons for our clients’ optimism and opportunity in our current real estate market.
From Chattanooga’s low jobless rate of 3.6% to our Chamber of Commerce’s active industry recruitment, the impressive statistics cited by the world’s #1 newspaper–founded as you know by Chattanooga’s own Adolph Ochs, father of our Chattanooga Times Free Press–are the very selling points our Team uses when aggressively marketing your properties to potential buyers from around the globe:
“Foreign businesses…say they are drawn to Chattanooga’s
its rail, port and interstate highway connections;
dependable electric power;
pro-business tax provisions;
and trainable work force…
…lack of state property and income taxes and the absence of union.”
As a lifelong Chattanoogan and steward of your real estate investment dollars, it is gratifying to see the world get additional notice that the “Dynamo of Dixie” is stronger than ever….still producing, pushing, plowing, leading, changing, adapting and, most importantly, thriving.
Originally published in The New York Times on August 6, 2017
By Patricia Cohen
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At the airport here, there is a reminder to travelers of the jobs that global trade can bring. A shiny 2017 Volkswagen Passat is stationed near the entryway and labeled: “Designed in Germany. Built in Chattanooga.”
The American map is dotted with towns drained of jobs after homegrown factories bolted to lower-wage countries. But for many spots throughout the country, the same strategy of moving operations overseas — when practiced by foreign companies — has buoyed local fortunes.
In Chattanooga and the surrounding region, for example, more than two dozen companies from 20 countries have set up shop, generating billions of dollars in investment, employing thousands of workers and helping drive Tennessee’s jobless rate to 3.6 percent in June, a record low for the state.
But political and business leaders here in Hamilton County, a conservative stronghold where Donald J. Trump won a majority of the votes, worry that the president’s attacks on trading partners and exhortations to “Buy American” could set off a protectionist spiral of tariffs and import restrictions, hurting consumers and workers.
For employers and workers here, though, the labels can be confusing. “There is no such thing as just ‘American built’ anymore,” said Randy Topping, who owns a tractor and equipment dealership in Chattanooga.
He saw his business explode in 2010, thanks in part to growing sales of vehicles made by the Indian manufacturer Mahindra. Mr. Topping is now teamed up with the company and is president of Southeast Mahindra, where nearly 60 people assemble and distribute small red tractors suited to gentleman farmers.
The parts are made in the United States as well as India, South Korea and Japan. “Everything has foreign content,” he said.
Production workers at Southeast Mahindra start at a wage of $12 an hour, eventually earning up to $20 an hour. The competition with rivals, both in the United States and in developing countries, can be brutal, and success is counted in nickels and minutes. Like other Southern states, Tennessee makes a selling point of the scarcity of unions, largely a result of laws exempting workers who don’t join from paying the equivalent of dues.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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