The Knoxville Condo News has had many posts on the "downtown" scene. Many of the homes there are in heavy demand. Most sell quite quickly and for some high numbers.
Well on May 19 Apt 1402 at 531 Gay Street, sold for $1,455,000. Yes, you read it right. The home came on the market on May 1 and was under contract on May 3rd. It is part of the Holston Condos.
So, what was this incredible all about. Here are some statistics. The home offered 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. It was 3,424 square feet and it was built 2008. There are 42 units in the building and this was the 14th floor penthouse.
An eye opener is the monthly fee, which is $874.61. The fee covers building insurance, outside maintenance, security, trash , water and sewer.
According to a National Association of Realtors recent survey single women buyers now make up 15% of the homebuying market in 2015. Single men accounted for just 9% of the homebuying market. Married couples consisted the largest segment of the market at 67%.
According to the survey the largest gap between the single was in the ages 51-60. The percent of women to men purchasing homes went up to 20% of that age group for the women.
The largest type of home being purchased by women was...right, you guessed it, a condo! Condo's were especially popular amongst the older age groups 41-50, 51-60 and 61-69.
It was noted that many of the features offered in condo's to be some of the major reasons for the selection by women. These include:safety, lack of having to maintain exterior and affordability.
If you have questions concerning condos or real estate in Knoxville,TN please comment here or email me at
The market here in Knoxville and across the country has chugging along with mild upticks in activity. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there were increase in 87% of the metropolitan statistical areas(MSA) . According to the report there were increases in 154 out of the 178 MSA areas.
Put against 2015, in which there were 81% of the markets, 2016 is looking a little better. It also included 28 MSA's had a double digit increases. Laurence Yun, The NAR chief economist, reported the sustained low rates and small job growth were the reasons for some of the increases.
The national median single family home price was $217,000. up 6.3 % from the 1st quarter 2015. Total existing sales were up just 1.7 percent with 5.29 million sales in the first quarter of 2016 vs 5.20 million in 2015.
The five most expensive markets in the country were San Jose, CA at $970,000. San Francisco, $770,300.
Honolulu, $721,400. Anaheim CA. $713,700. and San Diego $554,300.
The five lowest cost MSA's were: Cumberland, MD. $67,400. Youngstown, Ohio $77,500. Decatur, IL. $83,300. Wichita Falls TX, $95,200. and Rockford IL $95,800.
Knoxville was somewhere in the middle at $157,000.
The Knoxville downtown condo market is going to get 101 new condos over the next year or so. Reported today in the Knoxville News Sentinel construction could start as soon as June on a six story development including the condos and space for restaurants and retail.
In the article, reporter Megan Boehnke described the project as a link between the existing downtown district and the Magnolia Warehouse District. The Knoxville City Council members Tuesday approved a $4.95 million tax incentive package for the project which includes both affordable and high end condos.
Prices will begin around $189,000. for a one bedroom unit to a multi floor penthouse for more than a million dollars. It was reported that the plans include 28 one bedroom, 64 two bedroom and 9 three bedroom units.
Lots of activity going on downtown and existing units selling fast. Good news for the downtown market!
If you're looking for a quiet, condo complex with spacious units and a great location, well, you should take a look at Mckenzie Meadows in West Knoxville.
Mckenzie Meadows consists of 43 units set on an outstanding 14 acres of land. The grounds are well kept and the units are set up with lots of green space intertwined between the units. All of the homes here, are single story, attached units at the garage. It appears at the time of construction, there were 3 floorplans consisting of 3 beds, 2 baths at 1950 square feet, 3 beds, 2 baths at 1850 square feet and 2 beds, 2 baths at 1570 square feet.
Solds from last year were: 3 sold homes with prices ranging from $177,000 to $214,000. All the units were sold under 60 days.
Fees consist of $175.00 a month covering the building maintenance, grounds upkeep, pest contract and trash removal.
The location is approximately a mile of so from interstate 40 and very close to Turkey Creek Shopping area. It is located off Gilbert Rd and is close to other amenities including some walking greenways and a dog park.
Recently the FHA announced some changes to its rules to make condos easier to for buyers to get federally insured financing. The change has relevance because many first time buyers use FHA loans to obtain their first home.
One of the changes was that FHA no longer looks at 2nd homes as investment property. So , how does this effect a FHA loan? Previously FHA has a rule that a condo project needed to have at least 50% owners vs investor units or "rentals". Many of these homes were actually "owners" but not their actual principal residence. By changing this, it may make many condo projects no eligible in the past now eligible.
FHA has some other changes, they are making the recertification process more streamlined for condo associations to be eligible for FHA loans. They also expanded the types of insurance condo associations can use and still be eligible for FHA loans.
These rule changes make using a FHA loan on a condo more viable. It is simply one more option.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR)surveys buyers every year on what are the big attractions to purchasing a home. Thus, we get from a seller point of view, what are the renovations that get the most return on your dollar but also help you sell your condo.
No surprise on the number 1 item: Kitchen upgrade. According to NAR the top interior was a kitchen upgrade could return 67% of the money you spend but it has a high buyer appeal.
Number 2 item: Complete Kitchen Renovation. Yes, different than the upgrade but a lot more expensive. Has the same buyer appeal. 67% return as well.
Number 3 item: Bathroom renovation. This returns approximately 58% of investment and has a high buyer appeal as well.
Number 4 item: New wood flooring. Wood flooring is really "in". It is almost to the point where carpet is taboo in some areas of the house. The return is a whopping 91% and also has a high buyer appeal.
Number 5 item: Add a bathroom. Buyers are always looking for an extra bath and this item has a smaller return 50% but really high buyer appeal. It is lower on the scale because in many homes there is no room to add a bath. But if you do have the space...
A couple of others mentionables were new HVAC, insulation, closet renovation and attic/basement conversion.
My post today looks at small condo complex called Dutchtown Villas in the Cedar Bluff area of Knoxville.
The complex is located off of Dutchtown Road and abuts the Webb School. Dutchtown Villas consists of 40 units of attached buildings of 4 units or 6 units. Most of the units are 2 bedroom 2 bath with 1275 square feet and all on one level. The interiors have a vaulted living room, dining room and kitchen combination. All the homes have a 2 car garage and a small patio in the rear of home.
A special feature of all the units is a front courtyard that has a privacy wall and gate leading to the front door. You can see from the photo, it is an unusual but neat feature. Fees are $105/month and cover everything including insurance on the building, exterior maintenance, pest inspections, trash and grounds maintenance.
The complex also has a nice location for commuting to route 40 and for shopping, hospitals and greenways.
I often get asked what are the primary questions a potential buyer of a condo would ask themselves prior to purchasing? In reflecting on that, I thought I would discuss a few in this post.
The biggest question of living in a condo is does it fit your lifestyle? Many buyers are on the move, active and don't want to or don't have time to do outside maintenance. A home for them represents more a landing base than nesting place. If this is you, a condo is a good fit. On the opposite end because outside maintenance is hard to handle for you and condos are very safe as well they can be great fits for single folks, seniors and really anyone that doesn't need a yard.
What are some of the advantages of owning a condo? Lifestyle is one, but besides that you get all the tax deductions of a single family house. You get the benefit of having a controlled neighborhood or a more predictable one. More time for you to do the things you want to do. In some cases, more house for the money. Condos, because on the density in the neighborhood, often times offer more square footage at less of a price.
What are some of the reasons I would not want a condo? Well, if you have a lot of vehicles or a boat, rv etc the storage of these items can be difficult with in a complex. If you want a large garden or enjoy working in the yard. If you have more than a couple of pets or the real biggie if you need more space around you. If you want to live in a rural area or have more yard space.
In continuing our look at downtown condo units, a very active complex has been Cityview at Riverwalk. The complex has had steady sales this year with units ranging from $189,900. to $339,900. Most of the homes are 2 bedrooms 2 to 3 baths with sizes ranging from 1100 square feet to 1450 square feet.
Naturally, the big selling point is it superb location on the riverfront with nice views of both the city and the river. The buildings feature common elements of a pool, clubroom, exercise room, gated parking, gated courtyard and storage. The home owners association fee is $216.00 per month.
The complex has had 11 sales over the last year. A low at 189,900. to the top end sale at $349,000.
The location also allows great access to the downtown across the Henley and Gay Street bridges. The waterfront area is really changing with lots of improvements going on every day. There is even an option for a boat slip!
Cityview at Riverwalk offers some great opportunities to live downtown and enjoy riverfront living to boot!