Buyers Guide: What you need to know about moving to Tennessee
Are you moving to Tennessee? Congratulations! Great quality of life awaits you in this amazing state.
Before your move, it’s best to learn as much as you can about the state to make the transition to your new home smooth and enjoyable. Here are some of the things you need to know about The Volunteer State.
- The climate
Tennessee has four seasons – each season unfolds a different facet of the state’s abundant natural beauty. Spring ushers the blooming of more than 1,600 varieties of flowers, as temperatures hit a pleasant 65 degrees on average. Summer can get really hot, with average temperatures in the high 80s, making it the best time of the year to enjoy the many outdoor activities in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fall brings a stunning colorful landscape, with an average temperature of 62 degrees and plenty of rain. Winter is milder than most states, with an average snowfall of only about 32 inches and temperatures typically at 38 degrees.
- Employment opportunities
Tennessee is growing at a fast rate, offering plenty of job opportunities to residents particularly in major cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. As the state’s third largest city, Knoxville is consistently ranked among the best cities to live in the US, with an unemployment rate that’s below the national average. One of the largest employers in Knoxville is the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where national nuclear projects were started in the 1940s. There are also plenty of opportunities in the health, trade, and government sectors.
- Schools and educational opportunities
Tennessee boasts excellent public and private schools, a number of which have been named among the best in the US. Five high schools in Knoxville are included in the Best High Schools rankings of US News & World Report. Knoxville is also home to the University of Tennessee, ranked in US News & World Report’s Best National Universities. Other higher learning institutions in the city are Johnson University, Tusculum College, South College, and more. The Tennessee Promise program allows a graduate of any Tennessee high school to attend a Tennessee community college for free.
- Cost of living and taxes
The cost of living in Tennessee is about 13% lower than the national average, as of the latest Census figures. In Knoxville, it is around 19% below the national average. The average housing and renting costs in Knoxville, as well as utility and transportation costs, are considerably lower than in other large metros.
Tennessee residents do not pay state income taxes, and while income on investments is taxed at a rate of 6%, there are plans of phasing this out by 2022. Property taxes are relatively lower than in most other states.
- Getting around
A personal vehicle is the most convenient mode of transport in Tennessee, but there’s also an excellent public transportation system in place. In Knoxville, the Knoxville Area Transit provides buses and trolleys that can take you around the city at reasonable fares. Bicycling is also fast gaining popularity given the city’s young population. Knoxville offers easy access to the I-40, I-75 and I-81, making traveling to destinations like Nashville and Atlanta a breeze. The McGhee Tyson Airport is only 12 miles away, providing connecting flights to major airports.
If you’re looking to move to Knoxville or elsewhere in East Tennessee, contact us today at 865-218-1159 or info(at)goswitz(dotted)com.
Buyers Guide: Best places to live in Knoxville, TN
Knoxville’s neighborhoods are roughly distributed into five sectors – Downtown, North Knoxville, South Knoxville, East Knoxville, and West Knoxville. Any of these areas makes a great choice for a home, but some are emerging as the best places for families.
Here’s a look at a few of the best places to live in Knoxville:
- Kensington Subdivision
This residential community in West Knoxville features upscale single-family homes in various architectural styles, surrounded by expansive landscaped yards. An active homeowners’ association oversees the maintenance of the neighborhood, ensuring harmony in home designs and the upkeep of public spaces.
Kensington is close to several schools, including Rocky Hill Elementary School, West High School, and West Valley Middle. The nearby Great Smoky Mountains provides a majestic backdrop and myriad outdoor recreation options. Also just minutes away are regional shopping and dining destinations like West Town Mall and Turkey Creek Shopping Center.
Westmoreland is a combination of the old and the new. It features historic single-family homes mixed in with contemporary ones, including modern estates in stunning architectural styles. The park-like atmosphere offers a tranquil retreat, with the historic Watermill and Gatepost serving as the community’s defining feature.
Schools in the area include Rocky Hill Elementary School, Bearden Elementary School, and West High School. Residents have plenty of recreation and entertainment options, with nearby attractions that include the sprawling Lakeshore Park, two prestigious golf and country clubs, giant shopping malls, and popular sports stadiums and arenas.
- Fox Den
This impeccable golf community is one of the first planned communities in the West Knoxville suburb of Farragut. It features more than 500 high-end condominiums and single-family homes built around or close to an 18-hole championship course designed by Willard C. Byrd and Bill Bergin.
The Fox Den Country Club also features a stunning clubhouse, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and more. The community is just minutes away from Downtown Knoxville, giving residents easy access to the city’s urban amenities.
Another prestigious golf community in Knoxville, Gettysvue boasts superb homes in a wide variety of sizes, prices, and architectural styles. You can find spacious 1 to 2-story homes and magnificent estates offering breathtaking views of the golf course and the nearby Smoky Mountains.
The 18-hole Gettysvue Golf Course was designed by Bland Pittman and highlights stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Home ownership here includes automatic membership at the Gettysvue Country Club. The neighborhood is just a short drive away from Downtown Knoxville.
- Fox Run
This idyllic neighborhood boasts lush green surroundings and beautiful single-family homes, most of which were built only in the 2000s. Located in the hilly town of Farragut, Fox Run features picturesque tree-lined streets and topnotch community amenities that include swimming pools, tennis courts, a clubhouse, walking trails, and a sports field.
Fox Run has a homeowners’ association that handles the neighborhood’s upkeep. Nearby schools include Hardin Valley Elementary, Farragut Elementary, and Farragut Middle School. Nearby amenities include Turkey Creek Shopping Center, the Fox Road Marina along the Tennessee River, and Concord Yacht Club.
- Sequoyah Hills
Sitting on the Looney Bend peninsula, Sequoyah Hills is revered as one of the oldest neighborhoods in Knoxville and has a collection of historic buildings, homes, and structures to prove it. In addition to historic properties, the housing stock here also includes upscale contemporary homes and stunning estates.
The 87-acre Sequoyah Park is a popular Knoxville destination, with its picturesque location between the Tennessee River and Cherokee Boulevard. The boulevard is famous for the stone path that runs along its median and the ancient cherry trees that line it. In the spring, the neighborhood is visited for its beautiful display of flowering dogwoods and blooming flowerbeds.
If you’re looking to buy a home in any of these Knoxville neighborhoods, contact us today at 865-218-1159 or info(at)goswitz(dotted)com.
Buyers Guide: Knoxville foreclosures – A guide to buying a foreclosed home in Tennessee
Buying a foreclosure property gives you great opportunity to own your dream home at a significantly lower cost. However, this type of transaction has its own nuances that make it more complicated than regular real estate transactions.
You need to approach the purchase of a foreclosed home with caution. Before going any further, check out the guide below.
- When is a property foreclosed?
In Tennessee, as in most other states, a Notice of Default is usually issued if the homeowner fails to make 3 to 6 months’ worth of mortgage payments. The homeowner must cure the delinquency within 90 days or 3 months from the time the Notice of Default is filed. If they’re unable to do this, the home may be foreclosed.
The period between the filing of a Notice of Default and the foreclosure is commonly known as “pre-foreclosure.” A foreclosed home is also known as “owned by bank” or REO (Real Estate Owned).
- What are the benefits and downsides of buying a foreclosure home?
A foreclosed property is often sold at a discount, and is especially beneficial if you want to buy a high-end home on a tighter budget.
However, buying a foreclosure also involves several risks and downsides:
- There is the likelihood of the home needing intensive repair and restoration. Any savings you get from the sale could be wiped out by the cost of repairs.
- You buy a foreclosed home as is, with no warranties. If you find major repair needs after you’ve purchased the house, you alone have to shoulder the costs.
- With the bank or lender as the seller, you may have to wait longer before the deal is closed and all the needed paperwork is completed
- How can you buy a foreclosed home?
You may purchase a foreclosure either through a public auction or through more traditional processes. A public auction is often held shortly after the home is foreclosed. If not sold at the auction, the home is endorsed to a real estate agent for listing.
- What do you need to consider at an auction?
You can get a bigger discount at an auction. However, you’re also exposed to bigger risks.
Buying at an auction very rarely allows you the chance to have the home inspected, and all you’ll have to go on with are photos and written descriptions. Before the auction, you may try to arrange for an inspection or a property visit, but this does not happen often. In many cases, property owners are highly emotional and tend to be uncooperative.
You also get little chance to look into title encumbrances, liens, and accuracy. An important thing to keep in mind is that Tennessee has a Right of Redemption law, which allows owners of foreclosed homes up to two years to pay off the amount they owe and redeem their properties. Most borrowers waive this right and give the property’s trustee the right to sell upon foreclosure. In buying a foreclosed home, you must make sure that the owner has waived their Right of Redemption or that the redemption period has passed.
Additionally, you will most likely be required to pay earnest money in cash or cashier’s check right at the auction.
- What do you need to consider in buying a listed foreclosure?
A listed foreclosure home offers smaller discounts, but comes with less risk. You can have the home inspected by a professional and factor in the potential repair costs in your offer. You will also have more time and opportunity to do a title search and ensure the title is clean and free from encumbrances.
In buying a foreclosed property, it’s important to work with an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the complexities of such a transaction. Get in touch with The Goswitz Team at 865-218-1159 or at info(at)goswitz(dotted)com to get the expert guidance that you need.