Comments Please!

I have had this blog since 2003 but didn't really get serious about regularly writing here until the beginning of 2007. I do truly enjoy the opportunity to share my thoughts about our local Gatlinburg area real estate market including the surrounding communities of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Seymour, Kodak, and Cosby. The only problem with writing any type of blog is that you really aren't sure just how many people are reading much less care about what you are pontificating about. If you are reading this blog, regularly or for the very first time, PLEASE comment me. It's easy, painless, and won't leave any sort of mark. In fact, you can even remain totally anonymous but yet let me know that you are out there. Like the age old question of "If a tree falls in the forest with nobody there to hear, does it make a noise?", a blog writer could wonder "If I write something meaningful but nobody reads it, does it matter?".

If you like, you can even tell me what Smoky Mountain real estate related topic you would like me to address. I frequently talk to myself, and occasionally even answer, but they say as long as you don't interrupt yourself your still okay. It would be nice to know how many people are reading my posts so I know that I'm not writing just to myself. Thanks in advance for your help!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Jeff,
I always read your blog. I have learned alot about real estate and the Gatlinburg market. A topic I have wondered about is the Gatlinburg/Pigeon forge area overbuilt on cabins? Will demand ever catch up? Will new regulations about hillside develoment ever be passed?Bob
Anonymous said…
I read your blog regularly and have since the purchase of our rental cabin in Black Bear Falls 3 years ago. I like all the information you provide about the real estate market and the area overall.
thanks

Dave
Mark.kidd said…
How can you not have comments with title called Comment Please!

Hi Jeff,

Great Blog.

I am from the BHM AL area. My biz partner and I have done new construction and flips around here for most of our lives. We have considered venturing outside of this area. We are considering looking into vacation areas, and hoping to find some great deals for when the economy bounces back. We had spoken to a few realtors in your area on a number of properties. One admitted that it's hard to find deals and foreclosures, unless you bring a little under the table money! We couldn't believe he came out and said it, I hope thats not true! Would love to hear your feedback on finding distressed, investments in the Gatlinburg area.

Keep up the good work! Glad I found your blog.
Thanks for the comments folks! Bob, the question about the degree of oversaturation present in our market is a good one which I will try and write about soon. The very short version is that hillside development regulations have been passed in Gatlinburg and restrictions on development have been strengthened county wide. Demand will eventually catch up with supply as building has all but ceased throughout the area.

Dave, thanks for the comment. I really like Black Bear Falls and feel that it is one of the nicest developments in Gatlinburg.

Mark, money does NOT have to pass under the table to get a great deal on a foreclosure property but you do need to go to the source (the listing agent) to have the inside track. We provide information on foreclosures to our clients BEFORE they are priced which allows them to have a better chance of being the lucky buyer. We now have some excellent new foreclosure properties in the pipeline and a member of my team will be happy to show them to you.
Steve said…
Jeff you know that I read your blogs religiously! We don't agree about everything, but real estate is your call and usually right on. I wish the foreclosures would clear out and make way for some of the nicer homes on the market. I am not inferring that foreclosures aren't nice, but there needs to be a clearing out of them before there is an honest real estate recovery. Its coming, but the process will take time.
Thanks Steve! I count you as a true friend even if your politics are misguided (just kidding!). Thanks again for your support!
Norm said…
As a blogger myself, I often wonder if anyone is out there. However I find that the act of blogging helps me organize my thoughts and helps point my inner compass.

Since you have the sale listing of my condo in Gatlinburg I always look forward to what you have to say about the local market.

Even though the market is unbalanced to a buyers market and weighted to foreclosure sales it is a great time to buy in Gatlinburg.

I am looking to move up in price so that if the unit I'm selling is $100,000 and down in price 10% I could lose $10,000. However if I buy a $200,000 unit that is down in price 10% or $20,000 I stand to gain $10,000 in equity by selling and buying a new condo.

The point is you can make money in any market IF you have the right information and the right professionals working with you.
Excellent point Norm! I have always felt that as long as you complete both sides of a sale/purchase the market doesn't hurt you. Only pain is if you can only sell in a weak market or only buy in a strong one.
Anonymous said…
Hey Jeff,
Please continue "pontificating"! I do read all your blogging info. We are in Florida and only get to vacation there. You are our link to our dream world of the Smokeys and owning our own place. We'll be up there in the fall and perhaps can find something then. We know there's a place for us within our means and up in them thar hills! WE LOVE IT THERE

Sherry W in FLA.
We love it here too Sherry! Hope you can be our neighbors some day here in Gatlinburg.
Clay said…
Jeff,
I read your blog, as my wife and I are frequent visitors to Gatlinburg. we often talk of relocating. A question I have is so many homes in rental programs are also for sale. Is this always the case, if so why? Perhaps I am not seeing the picture correctly, but if the cabin has positive cash flow or break even it seems like an asset to me.
Clay,

Thanks for your good question! There are certainly more properties for sale now than in previous years and there are several reasons for this. Most importantly, the current state of our national economy has put a lot of people's finances in a strained condition. If there is one that you don't have to have, it's a vacation home. Secondly, many of these homes were bought with foolish no money down adjustable rate mortgages and as the interest rates go inexorably higher the owners just can't pay the mortgage. Also, some people were oversold and told that the house would create enough revenue to pay for that 100% mortgage AND put money in the bank which just isn't typically true. Finally, real estate here in the Gatlinburg area is sold for the same reasons that it is sold in other areas of the country. People relocate to another part of the country (or the world) and Gatlinburg is no longer a convenient location, illness and marital changes are also common reasons.

The great fact is that with prices so much lower than they were a couple of years ago (or in many cases more than a couple) more homes here in the Smokies can actually cash flow if the buyer has a sane mortgage and good finances behind them. Please let us know if you would like more info.
Anonymous said…
Jeff,

I own several rental cabins in Pigeon Forge but live in Ohio. Have been reading your blog for over a year now and really relate to the way you think about and view the local market. Keep up the good work !!
Clay said…
Jeff,

Just a thought, but a more prominent button for your blog link would potentially create more traffic.

Clay
You are absolutely correct Clay! I have already instructed our webmaster to make the change to our www.Gatlinburg-Homes.com page. Thanks for getting this through my thick head!
Anonymous said…
I read your blog regularly and find it has details to back up statements. You have taught me allot. It has given me some ideas when it comes time to build wealth (BS7). Any suggestions on things to do now to help to become a buyers agent in East Tn in a couple years. I see your comments on oversaturation of Realtors in the area.
I honestly wouldn't even consider getting into this business any time soon. Friends of mine who have been in the business for many years are having to change careers or retire because of market conditions. If you live nearby (or even if you don't) I would get to know the area as well as I could. Also, I would try and get my license but not try to make a living from real estate right now. Get the advanced designations such as GRI or CRS BEFORE you get into the business full time. If you are successful in the business you will have a hard time finding time to get these designations later. What you might want to try is getting your real estate license but lay low until things improve. Sorry to be so negative but I just don't lie very well.
Anonymous said…
Jeff,
How much longer do you think investors will be able to find a good deal on a vacation rental in Gatlinburg? Do you see the market changing anytime soon, or will the deals keep coming? Can investors really make money on a vacation rental?
Anonymous said…
Hi Jeff,

I have been reading your blog and following your listings for over a year now. I live in Michigan and visit the Gatlinburg area twice a year. I just love the area and especially the hike to Mt LeConte. Eventually would like to purchase a rental unit so I continue to watch your listings daily.

Steve in GR,MI
Anonymous said…
"I frequently talk to myself, and occasionally even answer, but they say as long as you don't interrupt yourself your still okay."

I frequently talk to myself, and occasionally even answer, but they say as long as you don't interrupt yourself >>your<< (should be you're for 'you are') still okay.

Just pickin my nits Jeff, it's a fairly common mistake.....

Looking for cheap, remote, or at least secluded, and empty is fine.
Land only, if cheap enough with a flat building site, is okay too. I have my on 'stuff' and intend to retire to the area. Unrestricted is most desirable.

Getting around the flippers, the strippers, and Realtor grippers is the problem.

Everyone and his brother are trying to get as big of a piece of the pie as possible, while doing as little as possible for their ever growing cut. Can leave a bad taste in the mouth if you're the attempted buyer. Farangee ecomomics (see short/big headed Star Trek aliens).

Whatever happended to a 'fair profit' as opposed to 'whatever the market will bear' and 'whatever I can 'squeeze' out of these ignorant yokels?
I really DO know better than to use your when the contraction form of you are is what was intended. Thanks for alerting me to my mistake! AS to fair profits not many sellers right now are looking at any profit unless they bought a long time ago. What they are considering is how much blood will they lose...

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