Just a mile from the schools. Welcome to Boulder Point, a traditional neighborhood community in an unbelievably beautiful setting. Featuring timeless traditionally inspired architecture and floor plans that set an exceptional benchmark for today’s buyer. Strolls along tree-lined sidewalks and chats on the front porch with friends are the norm, not the exception. Deep wooded lots of mature hardwoods serve as a backdrop to homes where memories are made. This 4+ bedroom 3.5 Bathroom home sits on a beautiful 1 acre lot. The Master Suite is on the main floor and has a luxurious closet space usually only seen in million dollar homes.
By Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO
President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors
In this fast paced world of real estate, Realtors and consumers expect more and more. Those expectations played a big part in the Association’s decision to move forward with a new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platform, which went live in mid-February. Some have asked whether this new platform has any impact on consumers. Yes, and they all are positive ones.
Less than a year ago, our leadership determined that we needed an MLS platform that would enable our Realtors to remain relevant to consumers. U.S Army General Eric Shinseki once said, “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.” We are pleased that our new MLS platform, Flexmls, gives us more tools that we previously had available to serve our clients and customers.
As with any such change, it takes time to get familiar with where to find the same information. Once you do, it’s quickly evident why we decided to upgrade to Flexmls, and why this new platform is good for Realtors and consumers. Prior to the launch of our new MLS, many consumers in Greater Chattanooga already were working with a Realtor and familiar with the public-facing side of our MLS. In upgrading to a new platform on the back-end, consumers also noticed the improvements on the front-end. In response to a few phone and email inquiries, I want to highlight some of the new features.
Flexmls provides our public friendly MLS data in real time. As a Realtor adds or change listing data, that same information immediately is updated on http://www.gcar.net. Realtors and consumers can search for residential properties – single-family, multi-family and/or land – using any up-to-date web browser. For consumers, the default is set to all three property types, but you may deselect a type(s) depending on your personal search needs. The platform is easy to navigate and provides and instant result count. For example, on the left as you enter in search criteria, you immediately see on the right the property count adjust according to your selections.
Once you are ready to view the search results, you may use various tabs to view the properties in different ways. In the List view, each column can be sorted by clicking on the column header. Or you may view property photos or mapped properties, including map overlays to show flood zones.
Some have asked how whether you still may view the newest listings or properties scheduled for an open house. By default, search results appear in order from highest to lowest price. In List view, the Sort button provides for re-sorting properties from lowest to highest price, by newest listings or by certain properties features, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. For learning what properties for which the Realtor has scheduled an open house, simply enter into the search criteria the number of days in the future you are interested in attending an open house.
Whether you’re perusing the high resolution photos, virtual tours or map location of available properties, I think you will be impressed. Some Realtors and their clients have asked about our decision to eliminate “areas” and instead search by zip code. When inputting a listing, a Realtor no longer has to guess exactly where a property is located or mistakenly list in in an incorrect area, leading to confusion and frustration. For those who want to limit their search more than by zip code, use the map search and draw a rectangle, circle or polygon around the location of interest.
Another new tool for consumers is the mobile application in home searching. One a tablet or smartphone, home searching is touch enabled. Consumers can map nearby listings and view full color photos and property details. Ask your Realtor about setting up a portal specific to you – it’s your own personalized search in which you can mark listings as favorite, save them or reject them and make notes on properties. When searching for homes on your mobile device, you are given the option of the full site or the mobile site.
In addition to client-specific portals, Realtors are enjoying the Flexmls applications for iOS (iPhone) and Android operating systems. On the mobile app, Realtors can find nearby listings and use the same search templates available on their desktop computers. On mobile, Realtors have gallery, list and map views, as well as detailed listing data and private showing instructions. From the action bar, Realtors can share listing with clients or save them to a cart specific to each client. Also, there is the mobile site for Realtors using a smart phone. The mobile app is touch enabled and has the same features as the app, as well as the ability for interactive emails that detect the browser of your clients and positions a mobile friendly email to the client’s device.
To quote Winston Churchill, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” So go ahead, click around and join us in leading real estate for Greater Chattanooga in the right direction.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of REALTORS nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit http://www.gcar.net.
This great 3 Bedroom 2 bath condo is available now. It has screened in porches on 2 levels and an open deck off of the Master Bedroom with panoramic views of the lake . There are water views from almost every room in the house. With an open floor plan on the main floor and a finished basement with a wet bar, this home is great for entertaining. The Kitchen features a large prep island with granite counter tops. The home also has the largest covered goal slip of any of the other units. Call today for your private showing.
Finally. You got pre-approved. You found the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. You made it through the negotiations. And now it’s time for the home inspection. This is the point where a lot of home buyers get nervous. And rightfully so. There are potentially a multitude of things that can be wrong with a house whether it was built a month ago or a century ago. That why it is so important to be familiar with the inspection phase of a transaction.
Take a Closer Look
In the standard Tennessee Purchase and Sale Agreement, there is a period of time for you to have an inspections to be sure it is in the condition you expect it to be. The inspection time period is a point of negotiations but 10-14 days is not unusual. It is highly recommended to use a professional home inspector to conduct your home inspection but that is not a requirement. A professional home inspector will perform a visual inspection of the home’s electrical, plumbing, structural, HVAC and roofing systems at a minimum. Some home inspector’s offer other services such as radon gas testing which you can purchase if needed. The cost of a home inspection varies from inspector to inspector and house to house but usually costs from $350-$600. Your Realtor can make recommendations for home inspectors that meet your needs and budget. You can also research them on sites like AngiesList or Yelp. Always ask to see a sample copy of the home inspector’s report to be sure it covers inspection items in a format and language that you understand. I always recommend being present for at least the end of your home inspection. Sometimes it is much easier to understand something that you have seen yourself versus just looking at a picture in a report.
All These Things Are Wrong?
When you first get your home inspection report, depending on the age and condition of the house, it can be scary and disappointing. Your first reaction may be to just walk away. And sometimes that is the best decision. But before you do that, spend some time looking at the report, ask clarifying questions of the home inspector and discuss it with your Realtor. In a home inspection report, there will be items that fall into a few categories such as (1) deferred maintenance (2) safety and (3) structural and (4) mechanical/appliances.
Deferred maintenance items are things like chipping and flaking paint on siding, overgrown vegetation on exterior walls, caulking around windows and doors, plumbing seals, etc. These are items that a homeowner (you in the future) should be keeping up with to keep the house in good condition. Sometimes time gets away from the best of us and some of these things slip.
Safety items are things like improperly grounded electrical outlets, out of date wiring, loose stair railings, improperly placed or malfunctioning gas shut off valves. These items need to be addressed to be sure you and the people who live in the home are safe.
Structural items include the roof, deck(s), the foundation, basement, cracks in walls, etc. Since a home inspector conducts primarily visual inspections, they will refer you to a structural engineer to further evaluate the soundness of a home if it seems there may be more serious issues.
Mechanical systems/appliances vary from house to house but typically include a heat and air system and a water heater. Some homes have multiple HVAC units, central vacuums, etc. Your home inspector will usually run the dishwasher, turn the oven on and check for temperature, check hot water temperature, set the HVAC temperature, etc. By using databases of model numbers, most home inspectors can estimate the age of water heaters, heat pumps, etc. and give you an idea of an item’s expected life. Your home inspector can tell you if something isn’t working properly but if you to understand why something isn’t working, you should bring in a qualified technician.
So now what?
After you have had some a couple of days to digest your home inspection report and discuss it with your Realtor, you have to make a decision. Is this still the right home for you? If it is, the next step is to create a list of items uncovered in the inspection that are most important to you. It is a good idea to prioritize this list from things that must be done to things that are nice to be done. That list is put onto a Repair Replace Proposal form by your Realtor and sent to the home seller’s agent. The sellers have a few options that you should be prepared for:
1. They can offer to repair/replace the items on your list.
2. The can offer to repair/replace some of the items on your list
3. They can offer to lower the price instead of repairing/replacing the items on your list
4. They can offer some combination of the above 3 options
5. They can just say no.
Be prepared to go back and forth a few times if necessary with counteroffers. Go back to your original prioritized list and be sure the deal you end up with is one you can live with and afford. Even a brand new home can have issues that need to be addressed. Staying calm and keeping your priorities in mind can go a long way in negotiating your way to your dream home.
Team Travis Close
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices RealtyCenter
This great one story 3 Bedroom 3 Bath home is located in the sought after Fieldstone Farms Subdivision. You are first greeted by the covered porch that runs the width of this wonderful home. As you enter into the Family Room you notice that with an open floor plan and a large yard and open deck the home is great for entertaining. The living area has Hardwood Floors and carpet in the Bedrooms. All of the stainless appliances do stay with the home. Call today for your private showing.
New construction patio home in Horse Creek Farms. This 3 bedroom 2.5 bath open floor plan home features a Master Bedroom on the main floor and 2 Guest bedrooms on the second floor with a Bonus Room. There is a large covered patio on the back of the home that is great for entertaining. There are hardwood floors on the Main Floor and custom cabinets in the Kitchen and Bathrooms. Call today for a copy of the floor plan or for a private showing.
This fully updated one level home is located in the heart of East Ridge on an oversized lot. New Hardwood floors, new bathrooms and a large open Kitchen are only a few of the updates that this home offers.