Leaders in Homes • Estates • Land • Farms for 3 Decades


Todd Henon featured guest on “Buyers Market”

In case you missed it on Monday night, below is the audio from “Buyers Market” on Talk! Radio where Todd was the featured guest. For insights, advice, and perspective on your local real estate market, give it a listen.


6 Chattanooga neighborhoods to watch

(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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Chattanooga is one-of-a-kind in many ways: its stunning mountain scenery, rich history and endless outdoor opportunities so near to its 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 that are currently on the market:

Estate escape

A 2,000-foot-long meandering driveway, 50-plus acres, a dream garage, spring-fed pond, barn, swimming pool, equestrian fencing, indoor sports court—this beautiful home boasts remarkable privacy, 10-foot ceilings, character-rich moldings, built-in bookshelves, solid wood doors and endless hardwood floors, along with dozens of other noteworthy details and amenities. The property has meticulously kept pastures and fencing, a rolling hardwood ridge, and is bordered by the year-round watershed known as Sugar Creek. This stunning property is located approximately 20 minutes from Hamilton Place Mall.

Downtown and historical

This Duncan Avenue home, recently renovated, on one of the most desirable streets in the historical Highland Park area, is sure to please. The four-bedroom, two-bath home is a winner from start to finish. Gorgeous refinished hardwood floors, fully updated and remodeled bathrooms and kitchen, 9-foot ceilings, large sun-filled living and dining rooms, and—most importantly—a front porch that encourages and embraces the special lifestyle of the Highland Park District’s renaissance make this a special place in the heart of it all.

Waterfront wonder

This property holds potential at every corner, from creating a family tract to be passed down through generations to an incredible development opportunity with valuable waterfront and multiple lake access points. Two homes on a breathtaking 96 acres are included in this sale, which features no neighbors and an abundance of privacy! These 96 acres sit at the confluence of Chickamauga Lake, the Tennessee River and Possum Creek, with more than 1,000 feet of water frontage and a topography that is gently rolling with a mixture of scenic pastures and rolling woodland. This one will take your breath.

North Chattanooga jewel

New construction is somewhat unique and challenging to find in the North Chattanooga area, but this new home may be the exception to that rule. It’s on a quiet street in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. It has three bedrooms, three and a half baths, hardwood floors, granite countertops, 9-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances and a winter view. Always a rare find in this part of town is the two-car garage. This is a new construction home zoned for Normal Park Museum Magnet School… enough said.

Investment properties: What you need to know before you buy

Flipping a house is a labor of love that will cost you lots of time and money. (Photo: TheShady88, Flickr)

The idea of investment properties has been big in recent years. The Great Recession of 2008 in many ways created a pivotal moment in time for investors, or would-be investors, to take advantage of an abundance of lower-priced properties and highly motivated sellers. TV shows such as “Flip This House” and “Flip or Flop” have made the process look easy and appealing.

There seem to be several types of investors in the real estate market. One type would be those who are road-worn, well-versed and who have earned their stripes from years of hard learning. These guys and gals are hardcore. They know their numbers, material costs and subcontractor costs like the backs of their hands, and it works for them … most of the time. Another type are the “Johnny-come-latelys” who have become “experts,” thanks to TV shows. Time will tell, and as my grandfather used to say, if “the cream will make it to the top.” (If you don’t know what that means, you are one of the Johnny-come-latelys.) This business of flipping houses has been around a long time, and it is not for the faint of heart or for those who “have a great idea.”

This process is not cheap nor is it easy, despite what success stories and television shows would have you believe. That’s not to say purchasing investment properties isn’t for you; it’s just imperative to know there’s more to it than pulling together some money, buying a property, painting it, selling it for a king’s ransom and retiring on some sunny isle.

Here are some things to know before you sign on any dotted lines.

You need a formula.
The wisest investors I know have developed formulas that work for them. They’ve learned from their mistakes, and they now have a formula, a special sauce, a secret recipe. Their individual formulas will take into consideration the property price, labor and renovation costs, overhead, transaction costs, holding time, and—then and only then—profit. Profit will be, as the veterans will tell you, what’s left over. You see, the future selling price of the property is already determined; it will be defined by what the market will bear and no more. Know your numbers, know your numbers, know your numbers.

Be pessimistic.
In most aspects of life, you need to “think positive,” but that may not serve you well in this arena of investment properties. Without question, it will cost you more than you initially think, and it will certainly take you longer than you first thought and you’ll say, “Jeez, that’s not the way it looked on television.” So don’t be optimistic going in that everything will go according to plan. It never does in the construction world and it’s not going to be different with your project … Be a pessimist and be prepared; it will pay off.

Employ others.
Whether you have one investment property or 20, you need the advice of others: a great bookkeeper, a great attorney (oh, yes, you do need one … either now or later!), a great team of subcontractors (mediocre will ultimately cost you), a great real estate professional (you will be grateful for their involvement). Build yourself a great team of advisers and reap the benefits of their experience. If you plan on keeping the property in your portfolio, consider a property management company. Tenants don’t pay rent and sinks leak, and that may not be part of the investment property process you want to deal with, so get someone on your side who will. They will be worth their weight in gold bullion. You and your insurance agent need to get very close, as they will help protect all your assets as you build your kingdom. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” … hmmmm. Build a great team by employing others.

Do your research.
It’s obvious that you need to know the neighborhood and marketplace when you’re considering an investment property, but what you need to know doesn’t stop there. You should have at least a basic understanding of construction costs: plumbing, electrical, drywall, insulation, painting, landscaping, roofing, lighting, all that and more. If all that is unfamiliar to you, you aren’t ready to jump into the deep end. Investigate pricing with your subcontractors; develop a mentoring relationship with someone who has been there and done that. If you can’t walk through a potential home and understand what it will cost to replace the knob-and-tube wiring or change out the galvanized plumbing, you still have some homework to do.

It takes more than money.
Being an investor can be rewarding, but it can be painfully expensive when it goes wrong. Cash flow is king, so have some financial margin built into your business plan. Be flexible. Don’t hesitate to pass on a project if you are not comfortable with all the numbers. Be patient. It’s a process: Plan on answering phone calls on the weekends and plan on deals falling apart. The learning curve is deep, but patience will serve you well. Jump in, hang on and forge ahead!

Buyer bloopers: 4 of the biggest mistakes homebuyers make

On the list of major life decisions and stressors, buying a home is right up there alongside of choosing a college major, getting married or deciding to have children. If you make a poor decision, you can reverse it—but it’s expensive, time-consuming and more than a little stressful. The good news is that many buyer blunders are easily avoidable with a little research on the front end of the process.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see buyers make.

More tips

The Consumer Reports video embedded above offers more mistakes for buyers to avoid.

Don’t pick a house that’s just “good enough.” Keep looking. Many times, buyers are driven by the discomfort of their current living arrangements. Maybe it’s you, your spouse, two kids and four dogs in a two-bedroom apartment; maybe you’ve moved back home and are living in your mom’s basement—but don’t let your eagerness to leave one unpleasant situation land you in another one.At some point, your home will hit the market. The homebuying process requires patience, and looking is the cheapest part of the process. It literally doesn’t cost you a dime to look at everything on the market, and a seasoned and wise real estate agent will encourage you to do so and skillfully guide you through the process. (If the agent doesn’t, replace them with a better one.)

Going it alone
Smart people hire smart people. Don’t go at it alone. It will not cost a buyer to engage and hire a Realtor to work on their behalf. Yes, HGTV makes everyone an “expert” … but seriously, hire someone who is in the trenches every day, and let them do what they are good at. The right Realtor can save you a tremendous amount of time, money and frustration with their knowledge of the local market, price points, trends and conditions or circumstances around the various properties that are available in the inventory.

Relying on family and friends
Your uncle Joe may have been a contractor in the late ’80s, your dad may have built the deck on your family home, your best friend’s fiancé may work at TVA … but those facts do not a home inspector make. You need to hire a professional home inspector who is seasoned, knowledgeable and has a comprehensive approach to the inspection processes. Find the best available inspector(s) through your real estate agent, not through the yellow pages or a random internet search. Remember that the best agents will know multiple home inspectors with solid reputations to help you make sure your future home is in good condition before you move your family and your prized possessions into it.

Overusing social media, technology
Don’t overshare. Make no mistake: Sellers are investigating every buyer who makes an offer on their property. The more you or your family posts online, the more negotiating power and leverage your Realtor loses. “Pipe down, Turbo”; this is the time to be thoughtful and strategic. You can share later. Another mistake buyers make is contacting the seller via social media. This is a bad move that compromises your Realtor’s ability to navigate you toward the best deal. It can be critical to your transaction—legally and financially—to let a professional Realtor serve as intermediary between you and the seller. Don’t try to talk to the seller without a buffer. Sadly, I’ve seen this complicate and kill otherwise-good deals. An additional technology-related item to now be aware of is that the sellers, and many times do, watch or listen to you via camera as you tour their home. Be careful with your comments, both positive and negative. The last thing a buyer wants a seller to know is that they “love this home.”

Buying a home is one of the most exciting times of a person’s life, but it can also be overwhelming and frustrating. Don’t let this intersection of positive and negative emotions lure you into making a bad, expensive, impulsive decision. The right home for your budget and needs is out there, just waiting for you to make memories in it.

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. 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 at ToddHenon.com.

Seller slip-ups: 5 of the biggest mistakes home sellers make

Putting a home on the market is so much more than applying a fresh coat of paint and putting a “for sale” sign in the yard. Selling a house is, arguably, even more difficult than buying one. No matter how pristine your home is, how updated or how many times you share it on social media, you have to find just the right buyer, at just the right time, at just the right price. It’s a complex, delicate balance that, with the help of the right professional expertise, can save you time, money and immeasurable stress.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see sellers make.

Emotional equity, failure to neutralize
Your child took his first steps in the living room, your daughter’s wedding pictures were made on the back porch, your husband surprised you with a new car in the driveway one snowy Christmas morning—but all these emotional ties to the home are not seen by the buyer and do not increase the price point at which the property will sell. These memories mean the world to you, and I totally get that. I understand. I love hearing those stories from my sellers. But it’s a Realtor’s job to help you understand that as soon as the “for sale” sign goes in the yard, your home becomes a commodity that the marketplace will now begin to scrutinize. Refusing to acknowledge this, either by insisting your home is worth more because of things that appeal to you or refusing to make cosmetic changes to neutralize the property, will slow the sale of your property.

Overpricing for condition
Buyers, AKA the marketplace, expect homes to be reasonably well-maintained and in good repair, or the selling price will slide downhill. While buyers won’t necessarily pay more for your personal taste upgrades, they will pay for key updates well-executed. Updated kitchens and baths provide the highest rate of return. However, it’s important not to over- or underspend on the quality of materials used in your updates. You want to be right in line with other homes in your local area. When deciding the type and quality level of updates, it’s best to consult a professional Realtor to understand what the return on investment is in your specific neighborhood.

Not hiring talent
Chattanooga has a number of seasoned real estate agents who are able to wisely walk you through the detailed processes—from pricing to timeline, from marketing to inspections, from negotiating to closing. While it may be tempting to hire your best friend’s uncle or your college roommate’s brother, do your due diligence before hiring your agent. You are putting a lot on the line with them. How many homes have they sold in the past year? How long have they been in the business? What do their past clients say about them? A professional Realtor should provide to you in-depth market research to assist you with the accurate pricing of your property; they should have an aggressive marketing budget, assist you with staging, use a professional photographer, be efficient in coordinating showings, serve as your liaison and negotiator with buyers’ agents, and connect you with other professionals to help you get your home in good repair to sell. Hire talent and experience; it pays off every time.

Not decluttering
Box up, pack up and put away. It’s a wise investment in the speed and price at which your home will sell. Declutter—yes, the pictures, knickknacks, trophies, books and, chances are, some of the furniture should be boxed up and moved out. Items and clutter become distractions, and distractions create conversations that pull buyers’ concentration away from what you want them thinking about the most: seeing themselves living in your home! It’s not a matter of taste or what you as the seller thinks; it’s an attempt to have that buyer focused on all the attributes of your property, not the things in it.

Forgetting about a “runway”
If you’re considering selling in the next six months, the time to contact a Realtor is now. People who want to sell next month but haven’t yet contacted a professional are cutting it pretty close. Very few homes are market-ready; it is the astute and thoughtful owner that reaches out to a Realtor early and begins conversations around the “to do” list. Tweaking the landscape, removing some wallpaper, decluttering, painting the garage, pressure washing the deck—these all take time. Your agent will have insights and contacts that will serve you and the process well. Allow time enough to get the list done without causing a massive amount of stress for you and your family.

Avoiding these seller slip-ups can help you achieve your timeline and price point, getting you on the road toward your next exciting season of life.

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. 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 at ToddHenon.com.

Do I rent or buy? Advice from a real estate expert

To rent or buy is a complicated question that doesn’t have a “one-size-fits-all” answer.

Many people, be they “experts” or not, have strong feelings about renting versus buying homes. Most lean heavily toward one or the other and rarely stray from their positions. But there are actually many factors to consider in the choice—and there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer.

Here are some tips on how to evaluate the pros and cons of renting versus buying, and why they ring true in the current market.

Renting may be the perfect option for those who are new to town. It’s certainly wise to learn the “lay of the land,” figure out the neighborhoods, spend time in the communities and decide what you love about your new city before diving into the homebuying process. If you move to town and immediately buy, you may miss the opportunity to learn commute times, traffic patterns, schools, walkability, neighborhoods, shopping—all things that can affect your happiness in your new home and community.

Renting could also be a great option for “short timers”—those uncertain about the future. This could include older people who may be considering assisted living or moving closer to their children, younger people who are not yet fully committed to a job or town, people “in between seasons” (marriage, divorce, job changes, etc.), and those who value flexibility and convenience over the permanency of a mortgage and maintenance.

The argument against renting is often that rent can cost more than a mortgage payment (especially on a short-term lease). That may be true, but renting is definitely going to cost less than buying a home you end up unhappy in and put back on the market a short time later. Once you close on a house, it’s a done deal—that’s an expensive day, and not one you want to enter into lightly or without as much intel as possible.

Buying for a lifestyle
With mortgage rates as low as they are, those who are familiar with their city and plan to stay for a few years, should, in most cases, seriously consider buying. House payments can be as low, or possibly lower, than rent payments in some situations, and homes generally appreciate in value over the long haul—whereas you can never recoup what has been spent in the form of rent.

The lending environment is favorable to borrowers right now and may be a wonderful opportunity for many aspiring homeowners. Contrary to popular belief, you just might not have to have a huge down payment—the option of a small one or even no down payment may be available in the right set of circumstances. Anyone pondering home ownership owes it to themselves to reach out to a Realtor, begin asking questions and investigate all their options.

Buying as an investment
Another reason to consider buying a home is as an investment. When home prices dipped in the Great Recession of 2008, we began seeing numerous home purchases for the purpose of converting to rental property. We also see more and more parents buying homes for their children in the city where the child goes to college, in lieu of student/dorm housing. This has worked well for many years in Chattanooga with UTC and other colleges nearby. With this strategy, the parents are able to offset the mortgage cost by renting some of the bedrooms to other students. Post-graduation, the property remains in the rental pool or is sold off to a third party—or in some instances to the child, now graduate/young professional, which serves as an investment in their child’s future and an investment in the area the college is in.

Pros vs. cons/truth and lies
Certainly a common argument against renting is that you’re missing out on a potential home’s appreciation and you are “throwing your money away,” but that’s not always true. Market appreciation happens over time, not overnight. Taking the time to decide exactly where and what to buy, with the help of a professional Realtor, will far exceed any short-term appreciation. So the decision to buy should never be driven based on fear of “missing out.”

Likewise, a common reluctance about buying is that it costs too much, but years of unrecoupable rent payments can far exceed what you’ll spend on closing costs, home inspections and the other factors related to buying a home. With mortgage rates as low as they are, anyone who plans on staying put for the foreseeable future should consider themselves a strong candidate to buy a home.

Recouping your investment
People often ask me, “How long do I need to stay in a home to recoup my cost?” In a nutshell, I would advise knowing your area’s rate of appreciation first. If your values are growing at 3–4 percent per year, then it may take two to three years to cover the transaction costs associated with selling (commissions, taxes, closing costs). A word to the wise: Always consult with your CPA or tax professional and always touch base with your real estate agent to lace together your strategies and tactics before selling. Decisions made in a vacuum will not serve you well.

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. 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 at ToddHenon.com.

  • 3 Decades 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
























423.413.4507 info@ToddHenon.com



1830 Washington Street Chattanooga, TN 37408 423.664.1900