Don’t miss seeing this Kodak home!

This 3-bedroom, 2-bath home in Kodak is our featured “House of the Month” for May. Conveniently located, just 2 minutes to I-40, this home offers easy access to Knoxville, Jefferson City, Sevierville, the Great Smoky Mountains, Morristown, and Dandridge! Perfect for anyone who needs lots of storage, the home comes with a detached shop (w/ electric), two storage buildings ( one with electric). With its one-level living, this 3 bedroom 2 bath home is easy to get around in. The home sets on a level, fenced-in back yard. The home also has a recently remodeled kitchen and new HVAC and water heater.

Click or tap here to learn more about this home.
To schedule a showing, contact our team at 865-654-2111.

Newly built in Starr Crest Resort

The incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail creates the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain cabin getaway and contemporary rugged living in this 3-bedroom cabin! Its 180-degree (and then some!) views of the Great Smoky National Park from the 3 stories of decks, its soaring cathedral ceilings, handsome grey-stained tongue-and-groove wood floors, and modern finishes all bring this masterpiece together. The main floor boasts a spacious and open kitchen as well as dining and living spaces for easy entertaining and gathering. The generous master bedroom on the top floor features a wall of glass for privacy and allows you to take in the view while lounging in bed. The downstairs offers a common game and sitting area along with 2 bedrooms and full bath including a double vanity. All cabinets and vanities are painted maple with soft close hardware from Maddron Cabinetry.

This cabin, built this year, is located in Starr Crest Resort – one of the most popular resort destinations in the Pigeon Forge area!

Click or tap here to learn more about this cabin.

To schedule a showing, contact our team at 865-654-2111.

Introducing Lake Haven Resort at Douglas Lake

As we work our way through the challenges with the coronavirus, one question we are frequently asked is how the real estate market here is doing. Before this happened, we were in a sellers’ market due to a low number of properties for sale and a high demand among buyers. The result of that sellers’ market has been a strong focus on new construction with many new construction projects planned for this year.

That hasn’t changed. The need for new residential and vacation cabins is still there, and the good news is that there are developers and builders working to meet that demand. One of the areas we have been working with developers is a new resort at Douglas Lake. We are very excited to announce Lake Haven Resort as our most recent construction development project!

Work has already begun to create this gated community. Several of the cabins planned for the resort in the first phase of construction will have lake views in a high-ridge pristine park-like setting. These cabins will be built as one and two bedroom homes that can be placed on an overnight rental program with gross rental income projections of up to $40,000 depending on how much you use the cabin for yourself. As we move into the second phase, owners of cabins built in the current first phase will have the first option on owning in the second phase.

The purchase price for these cabins starts at $199,000 and we have several lenders who will finance the construction project. Contact us to find out more about this project and see if it is right for you!

Effects of coronavirus on Smoky Mountains tourism

The coronavirus has definitely taken most of us by surprise.  This is an unusual challenge we are facing as a nation and as a world community.   However, mankind has an amazing resilient nature.  In times of deep suffering and challenge we see what we are made of, and we often find sacrifice, love and honor in new and unusual places. 

Three years ago we weathered a major fire that burst out of the National Park, just as we were recovering from an economic downturn that had hit the nation.  We found then that we were “Mountain Strong” and I believe we will find that we still are.  And I am sure that we will also find that “God’s Grace is still Amazing!” as well.

Sevier County has always been the destination to “GO TO” when there is uncertainty.  When the terrorist attacks of 9-11 of 2001 made flying overseas or across the nation seemed highly risky we became the go to- vacation destination.  Even a few weeks ago when cruises seemed like not such a good pick- vacationers reported then that they drove to “their Smoky Mountains” instead.  I expect that to continue through this time as we wind down the coronavirus threat throughout the summer. 

I think we can expect that large gatherings will continue to be avoided.  Hotels and close quarter venues will not be popular for some time, probably until the end of the year.  We will continue to have large crowed entertainment areas opening very slowly or sitting out the next tourist season.  Outdoor events, hikes, camping and nature herself will be the focus of family or group getaways. 

Cabins that have their own entertainment centers in them will rise in popularity as a destination in themselves.   A luxury cabin will allow for private dining and safe cooking, something we have come to take for granted, and that may become a special amenity in itself or at least a comfort.  I for one would rather cook with a view!

The Great Smoky Mountains are within one day’s driving distance for 75% of the population of the US, making transportation by car easy.   This will be in our favor.  We are the most visited National Park giving freely its beauty and rest to America without any charge.   The Great Smokies will continue to be and may even be stronger.   We ended 2019 with 12.5 million visitors to our National Park.  That was over a million more than any other year.  The good news for cabin owners is that we could reduce that number significantly and still have an amazing rental revenue for our overnight rental cabins.  

If the manner in which we were able to work through the last economic downturn is any indication at all we will weather this challenge as well.  The last downturn hit many tourist destinations hard but it did not affect the luxury cabin rental market. 

Hotels and low end cabins and chalets were negatively affected however.  The budget renter is often hit the hardest when there is a crisis.  They often do not have savings, they can struggle with discretionary income when jobs are squeezed and they will often not have the money to travel.   I think we can expect the same for this crisis.    

We have three months in our calendar where visitation to our area is at its lowest: January after the first week, the month of May and the last two weeks of August (with the exception of Labor Day weekend) and the mid two weeks of September.  

This April and May I expect to be very quiet.  If you are a cabin owner prepare to not count on much income in May;  plan to come and stay yourself should the coronavirus allow!  That or send your favorite cleaner to do a deep clean in exchange for a complementary stay.  Or if you have a friend that lays tile or is a splendid decorator send them to work on your cabin. 

Take heart – we noticed that in the last challenge, the high-end cabins that were special, taken care of and updated did not drop off in rental revenue.   However, they did take rental revenue away from the outdated cabins; cabins that have not been keeping up with amenities and décor will feel the pressure to compete with a smaller pool of renters as we pull out of this crisis.

With this in mind if you purchased a cabin ten years ago and have not spent money updating it, you should perhaps consider selling it now or updating it.  Do not sit back but proactively place yourself in a strong position for this next season.  Now is still a good time to sell as we may have hit the peak in appreciation for this year.  We still have the sold comparables from this last season to price your cabin at the top of its value.  

When times are tough people love to retreat together, refresh, renew and let nature encourage their souls.  We did not see Americans stop vacationing during the downturn.  They didn’t buy as many souvenirs but they did visit their Smokies.   I expect the same this time.

Entering a new season in 2020

I hope you and your family are staying safe as we navigate the global challenge of the coronavirus.

As a cabin owner, it’s important to me to keep you updated as to the values of your real estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is a very unusual time, and a very difficult time to predict what the aftermath of this crisis is going to mean to real estate values. However, we do have data from our last challenge with the National Park Wildfires. And, we have insights that we gained as we worked our way through the national economic downturn more than 10 years ago. So, we can see ahead at least to the end of this year.

To understand it a little better, let’s look at where we were right before this all began. We just came through the first quarter of 2020, with record sales and high values. Visitation to our area and occupancy rates broke records. We saw over 12.5 million visitors to the National Park (setting a new record). We climbed to the top of the market in terms of property values and reached pre-economic downturn figures. Inventory continued to be down being a part of keeping values high. Then the coronavirus happened…

So what to expect?  Of course April and May will be very extremely quiet. The National Park is closed at the moment as well as all our large venues, Dollywood Theme Park, our shows, our convention centers.  Rental income will be fairly dismal.

We believe two new sellers emerge out of this crisis.  Most of our cabin owners have significant equity in their cabins. We are fairly certain that there is going to be flurry of cabin sellers over the summer. These new sellers are going to use their cabin equity through a sale to help their families heal financially. The other seller is a second home owner who did not make a purchase that pays for itself and will need to sell as their discretionary income will not allow them to continue this luxury as the rental market makes a comeback. It will be about the middle of the summer before these sales will be recorded. This is important as these sales will almost surely drive values down. However we expect there to be continued demand among buyers.  So it’s not likely that we will see dramatic shortsales or high rates of foreclosures the way we did in the downturn. We believe that lending will continue to offer low rates making it attractive and possible for buyers to purchase. We think some of the more creative loans will disappear and banks will become more conservative on terms and approvals of loans. But healthy sales will continue but not at the level of 2019.

Therefore, we are going to recommend that if selling is to your advantage you go ahead and get ahead of this group.  If you are in a position to hold your property we recommend that you remodel, deep clean, enjoy your property. We are here for you if you want to discuss this in more detail.  We are working from home at the moment! But so are you! My cell is 865-765-6157, or you can email me at deborahkorlin@gmail.com – text is always wonderful as well. 

In the meantime, if you have time and want to read more sign up for my monthly email newsletter and get on my blog site.  I will continue to follow the results of this crisis and what it means to Smoky Mountain Real Estate values.  We will also update you on events as we open the National Park again and all our attractions, shopping and restaurants in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.  We will also list investment opportunities as they appear, featuring homes and cabins currently on the market.  If you have money to invest in a cabin, let us know that as well. We have sellers who won’t list their properties on the market  publicly as they do not want their rental company to withdraw marketing efforts but they would sell.  They want to buy stocks – imagine that. They expect a rebound in several years, believe they will double their money, and then return to the Smokies to build some more over-night rental cabins with their profits! 

Goodness! It’s a crazy time no doubt!  My company and I sincerely hope and pray you are weathering this storm well and I know we will all appreciate the sunny days ahead.

Building in 2020

As we approach spring of 2020, we continue to see a strong sellers’ market for our vacation cabins here in the Smokies, meaning we have a low number of cabins for sale and a rising market value for properties with strong rental potential. Our theme for last year was “building is making a comeback,” and our theme for this year is “a season of building.” Many new construction projects planned in 2019 are now underway and more lots are continually being developed as places to construct cabins (and traditional homes, too).

If you currently own a vacation cabin, this is the best time to sell. The market value compared to building has not plateaued, and if you’ve owned your cabin for a while, it’s likely you could take what you make from your sale and put into a new construction. This will mean new amenities, updated designs in line with the current trends, and a concept utilizing both of those ideas that will translate into higher passive income for you. For example, cabins with indoor pools are performing better than ones without because they attract people at times of the year such as January when there are less people coming in for a visit. The National Park is closed during the winter, but people will still rent a cabin to go swimming in its indoor pool.

Those of you who have followed my newsletter will know our top local resorts are Sherwood Forest, Starr Crest, and Legacy Mountain. Last year, cabins in those resorts sold at prices that hadn’t been seen since before the downturn in 2008. Along with that, we saw the time to receive an accepted offer for many cabins – not just in those resorts, but in general – drop from a few weeks to a few days. This trend is continuing even now. So if you’re thinking about selling, now is the time.

One of the first steps to take in considering selling is to see for yourself what your cabin is worth in today’s market and compare it to the price you paid when you bought it. We can definitely help you with finding those two things out! Just give us a call or send an email or text. I look forward to hearing from you! I can be reached at 865-765-6157 or 865-654-2111, or by email at deborah@deborahkorlin.us.  You will be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

And if you’re considering buying, this is a great time for you as well if you are able to make the decision quickly. I’ve talked before about how to put the strongest offer forward for the cabin you want. Although prices are higher, the rental income for these properties continues to be strong. You will want to hold onto the property for as long as possible until you reach a point where you can sell it and invest the money in what you have planned for your next season, whether that is a bigger cabin or another life goal you are working toward. Our tourism industry attracted a record number of people in the last year, with totals breaking more than 12 million people. And we know that the majority of people who come here want to stay in a vacation cabin.

If as a buyer you are more interested in building, that is definitely an option. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will have to wait a little while to start making money, as it takes between six to nine months to build. Some builders are financing their projects and then selling when completed, but most are requiring buyers to secure their own construction loans to fund the project.

Remember, now is the time.

Resort cabin is ready to rent!

If you’re looking for an investment that is ready to go, you won’t want to miss seeing this recently remodeled cabin at Hidden Springs resort! The basement is finished, with a newly added game room and additional bedroom! The cabin’s recessed hot tub and generous game room provide plenty of space for guests to relax and take in the mountain location of this home. Just minutes from Dollywood and Pigeon Forge, this cabin is conveniently located within a short drive of the area’s major attractions! Resort features and indoor and outdoor pool that allows guests to swim year round!

To learn more about this cabin, click or tap here.

To schedule a showing at this cabin, call or text our team line at 865-654-2111.

Looking to build? We can help!

As we wrapped up 2019 – a year of watching building begin to make a comeback – we saw resorts expand into new areas, new resorts begin to develop, and cabins to be built in new areas across the county. Wears Valley quickly became a popular destination choice as visitors discovered the roads that lead directly into the National Park from that side of the county.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with local developers and builders to expand the rental cabin options through new construction, too. In Hibernation Station, we’ve introduced buyers to the development of that resort. Cabins there range in size from as small as two bedrooms up to 16 bedrooms and are being built with indoor pools, which increases the overall rental income these cabins can make. Right now, there are six lots still available but they are going fast!

We are helping builders and developers with lots in several existing resorts, too. In Eagles Ridge resort, we are working with a seller who will build to suit the next owner. The lot can accommodate a large 8-12 bedroom cabin or two smaller cabins if you prefer. Down the road in Sherwood Forest, two 6-bedroom cabins measuring almost 5,000 square feet can be built within as little as 2-3 months from the start of project date. And in Black Bear Ridge, there’s an 8-bedroom cabin underway if you’re looking for something larger.

Lastly, in addition to these, if you’re looking for a smaller cabin that comes with an indoor pool, a log home company is working to build cabins with two to four bedrooms at Alpine Mountain. At Eagle Crest, 1-3 bedroom cabins – also with indoor pools – are available.

We will have more to announce as the year progresses about other new construction projects taking place across the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Wears Valley area! In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about any of these projects or need help with your own project, we would love to talk with you! If you currently own a cabin, we can show you how you can sell it to finance your new construction project. Call our team line at 865-654-2111 or reach us at the office at 865-429-2121.

Make this cabin your vacation destination!

This recently remodeled Hidden Springs resort cabin is our featured “Cabin of the Month” for 2020! With its finished basement, game room and additional bedroom recently added, this cabin can be a great vacation or rental opportunity! This 3-bedroom cabin is conveniently located just minutes from Dollywood and Pigeon Forge!

The recessed hot tub and spacious game room provide plenty of comfort for guests to relax. Your guests will enjoy the adventure this mountain location home has to offer. In addition to the cabin amenities, the Hidden Springs Resort features an indoor and outdoor pool that allows guests to swim year round!

To learn more about this 3-bedroom cabin, click here. To schedule a showing, call us at 865-654-2111.

4-bedroom home in Lenoir City is ‘House of the Month’

If you’re looking for a place away from both the hustle and bustle of the tourist traffic of the Smokies as well as the busy city life in Knoxville, you’ll want to check our our featured “House of the Month” for January. This recently remodeled lovely home is located within walking distance of Lenoir City High School! Plenty of interior features including wrap-around counter space, 2 full tile showers with glass doors, powder room, soaring cathedral ceilings in the great room, recently painted interior, all brick (low maintenance) construction, level yard, in ground sprinklers, wrap around porch, family fire pit and much, much more!

This home is family ready with 4 full sized bedrooms with generous closet space. Just minutes to downtown Lenoir City and perfect for the daily commute to Knoxville. Hop on I 40 and be in town in just minutes!

To learn more about this home, click here. To schedule a showing, call us at 865-654-2111.