Shagbark Resort cabin can be the perfect vacation home

Our featured “Cabin of the Month” for July is a privately located resort cabin offering Smoky Mountain living at its finest! This 3-bedroom, 3-bath vacation home sits atop the mountains in the gated Shagbark Community. With its round-the-clock 24/7 gate, the on-duty guard watches over the only entrance to the community.

Handsome tongue and groove as well as cathedral ceilings designs adorn the interior of this cabin. Its spacious open floor plan offers extra space for all the family and is great for entertaining large groups. Outside, the cabin’s large wrap around decks with covered portions are perfect for relaxing.

Privately located within a gorgeous woods setting, Shagbark Resort is just 12 minutes away from the Pigeon Forge Parkway and 12 minutes from Wears Valley and the back entrance to the Smoky Mountains National Park. There is ample opportunity to use the back roads to avoid traffic and make your way around Sevier County to just about anywhere you want to go!

Click here to learn more about this vacation cabin. To schedule a visit to see the cabin, you may text or call me at 865-765-6157 or my support line at 865-654-2111.

Building is making a comeback

As we reach a point where listings are scarce, we are entering a new season where building is making a comeback! It is an exciting time, as we have not had much new construction since the downturn more than 10 years ago. Since that time, it’s been cheaper to buy than it has been to build, but these past few months we have seen that trend began to shift. The number of residential properties for sale in our market is the lowest it’s been in quite some time. This has resulted in prices – especially for vacation rental cabins – increasing significantly, finally reaching a point where they are selling for amounts during the peak times in the early 2000s.

The top 3 reasons to choose building over buying

Over the last year, we’ve seen many buyers become discouraged with the market prices, which is understandable. But if owning a vacation cabin is something you’d like to pursue, there are a lot of great reasons to consider building. The best reason to pick building over buying is that you can create your cabin to meet the current trends that make it as profitable as possible. For example, a cabin with an indoor pool will gross significantly more than a cabin without one, and there are options for building a cabin with an indoor pool at a price that makes sense. It doesn’t even have to be a big cabin like it once did as the price for building a 1-2 bedroom cabin is much more in line with where the prices for buying an existing cabin are now. Indoor pools pay for themselves.

Secondly, you can pick your location. That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider the fact that with so few cabins, the ones in the best locations that are priced correctly will have offers on them even before they are listed due to the high demand, or multiple offers on them within a day or 2 of being listed. But there is an abundance of lots in a variety of places and many of these have fantastic views. So with the number of lots so high, you can almost assuredly find a place that will have the surroundings you want, whether that be a wooded area or one up on top of a mountain where your guests can admire the view.

Third, lenders are providing competitive options for building as it becomes more popular. We’ve had several lenders reach out to us about their construction loan options in the last few months, some of whom have revamped what they’re doing to keep up with the changing market.

If you haven’t found the vacation cabin you are looking for, building may be the best option for you. We’d love to talk with you about how we approach new construction and help you find the perfect lot for your goals!

(Or if you just want to know more about the pros and cons of building, we are here to help with that, too!)

Selling in a sellers’ market can mean increasing your rental income

Many of you who have been keeping up with my monthly articles know that our market here in the Great Smoky Mountains is a sellers’ market, particularly in the area of vacation cabins that provide rental income. A good cabin with strong rental income potential – even when it isn’t already performing at the level that it can be producing – are under contract with a buyer in about a week. In some cases, real estate agents in the Smokies have buyers who are waiting for a cabin that fits their goals even before we get the listing, and so it’s not uncommon these days for a rental vacation cabin to be sold before it’s listed. It’s also not uncommon for a cabin to get multiple offers within a day or two of being listed and then being sold for the “highest and best” offer shortly after.

For those of you who own a cabin and are thinking about selling, this is awesome news! It means you can probably sell the cabin for quite a bit more than what you paid for it if you bought it after the housing market crash nearly 10 years ago. And if you bought it before the crash, I have great news for you, too: our market is reaching the price levels of that time, so you can sell it for what you paid. Just recently, our MLS saw a 2-bedroom cabin listing in Starr Crest for a little over $400,000. I haven’t seen a 2-bedroom cabin of that size around here go for that much since before the market crash in 2008!

Increasing your rental income

If you love your cabin and are blessed by the value its rental income is adding to your budget, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can turn that cabin into an even bigger profit. Many of our clients who worked with us during the downturn are now reinvesting their profits from the sale of their cabin into a bigger cabin, or one with better amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, that is opening up the opportunity for them to earn more rental income.

My staff and I would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you about how this works and determine if selling your cabin to buy a newer one is something that would be a great fit for your financial goals.

Call me at 865-765-6157 or Greg at 865-643-2103 and we will be glad to show you how you can increase your rental income.

Starr Crest Resort cabin can be a fantastic vacation home or top rental investment

Starr Crest Resort cabinOur “Home of the Month” pick for May is this perfect vacation Starr Crest Resort cabin.

With the means to pay for itself when you’re not using it, this Starr Crest Resort cabin is a gorgeous true log cabin located on an over sized lot!  The lot is very private, which is a rare find for Starr Crest! Make this your vacation home or a rental investment property.
Offering front and center views of the famous Mt. LeConte this 1,500 square foot cabin on Lone Eagle is conveniently located just under two miles from the Pigeon Forge Parkway and is only a few minutes more to the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. This cabin features walls of glass with handsome wood interior, ample parking, and a spacious floor plan. Coupled with the great community amenities at this Starr Crest Resort cabin, it makes for the perfect mountain getaway. Best of all, the cabin has the potential to be a top performer on a rental program or rent it yourself on VRBO.
The resort’s HOA includes pool and playground access and takes care of the wide and easy-to-access roads.

You can see more details about this Starr Crest Resort cabin here.

If you’d like to schedule a visit to this Starr Crest Resort cabin, call me at 865-765-6157 or my support line at 865-654-2111.

Don’t miss seeing this one bedroom rental cabin at The Preserve

This one bedroom rental cabin at The Preserve in Wears Valley is our “Cabin of the Month.”

one bedroom rental cabinWith its amazing National Park views off of both decks, you will definitely want to check out this one bedroom rental cabin if you are looking for a fantastic rental investment opportunity in the Smokies! You will love the walls of glass, river stone fireplace, the upscale touches, hardwood floors, large beams and timbers. The loft serves as a large open game room, and the multiple decks offer plenty of privacy for you to enjoy the views of Smoky Mountain nature at its best!
This roughly 1,400 square-foot one-bedroom rental cabin is a true log cabin located in The Preserve, a very popular destination resort for many of the tourists who visit our area. The resort has its own wedding chapel and outdoor pavilion overlooking one of the most majestic mountain scenes around the area.
You’ll be hard pressed to find rental cabins with such fantastic views in this price range – this one bedroom rental cabin is in the top two most popular of its kind for this rental company.

You can learn more about this one bedroom rental cabin here.

 If you’d like to visit the property, contact me at 865-765-6157 or call my support line at 865-654-2111.

Sky Harbor cabin can pay for itself!

Sky Harbor cabinThis serene, private two bedroom Sky Harbor cabin is our featured “Cabin of the Month” for April! This true log cabin is the perfect second home or investment property!  With a master bedroom on the main floor, this cabin’s 1,200 square feet space offers an open concept floor plan perfect for entertaining your entire family and guests. The oversized windows in your new investment’s cathedral ceiling bring in the majestically serene views of nature. You’ll adore the gleaming wood floors throughout.
Upstairs, the Sky Harbor cabin’s large open loft is equipped with a game room. The wrap around deck with its own private hot tub is the perfect place for relaxing in the evening with a glass of wine as you wind down from the day of exploring and/or shopping, thanks to the convenient location that puts this cabin just 10 minutes from the Parkway into Pigeon Forge, 15 minutes to Gatlinburg, or just a few minutes more into the National Park!

Best of all, this Sky Harbor cabin will pay for itself. Ask us how!

If you’d like to know more about this Sky Harbor cabin, click here.

If you’d like to visit this Sky Harbor cabin, call me at 865-765-6157 or my support line at 865-654-2111 to schedule a showing.

Make this 2-bedroom cabin your vacation home

For our March “House of the Month,” we’ve selected this beautiful 2-bedroom cabin in Parkside Village.

2-bedroom cabinNow you can own your own perfect getaway with this cozy two bedroom and two bath cabin smack dab in the center of Wears Valley! It’s located just minutes from town and offers easy access to either Townsend or the National Park. This is a mountain lover’s dream!

Well maintained and newly stained, this 2-bedroom cabin’s open floor plan will offer you the chance to relax with family and friends or enjoy a nice game of pool in the downstairs game room.

You can learn more about this 2-bedroom cabin here.

Turn this into your cash-flow nest egg today! Contact me at 865-765-6157 or call my support line at 865-654-2111 to visit this 2-bedroom cabin.

This 1-bedroom cabin is March feature

For our March “Cabin of the Month,” we’ve chosen this 1-bedroom cabin nestled in Parkside Village.

Taken care of by a great owner, this 1-bedroom cabin offers the perfect opportunity to get away from it all and just relax in the quiet of the woods. Located in the heart of Wears Valley, this is your1-bedroom cabin chance to own your very own quaint one bedroom and one bath. Make it your second home or continue to enjoy it as an income producing rental property!
The great open floor plan flows well and is perfect for you and your closest family. Adorned with small handcrafted details that really make this cabin stand out from the rest. Step out onto your back deck that is wonderful for grilling or enjoying a cup of coffee on a crisp Tennessee spring morning.  And of course, it comes equipped with a covered hot tub so that you can enjoy a relaxing soak, rain or shine!

To learn more about this 1-bedroom cabin, click here.

If you would like to schedule a visit to see this 1-bedroom cabin, contact me at 865-765-6157 or call my support line at 865-654-2111.

Buying smart as a real estate investor

The most common type of phone call we receive from buyers looking for real estate in our market usually starts out something like, “I’ve never really owned vacation rentals before but I want to buy one with great rental history!”

real estateI always tell them, “Awesome, you want to become an investor! I can definitely help you with that!”

The conversation then turns to identifying what exactly they are looking for in an investment property and what their budget is for buying real estate. Once we have those parameters figured out, the next point to focus on is understanding what their long term plans are with buying real estate. Always be looking for real estate property with the expectation that you will sell at some point.  This is the first, most important step in the process of buying real estate. We have found that it is fairly common for investment cabin owners to relist their cabins within five or so years.  Either their investment strategies evolve leading them to buy other cabins or to invest in other ideas, or life happens and their focus on where they want to spend their investment dollars changes. So, always buy with the sale in mind. What does that mean? Well, it means there are several criteria you want to do your best to meet as you search for the best investment.

  1. It’s got to be in a great location. Location is everything, as I’m sure you know. You’ve got to buy something in a great location. You can change almost anything about a home but you can’t change the location. You can’t move a house if it’s in a bad location. So how do we define “great location?” Well, in the Smokies, a great location is generally something that has a beautiful view of the mountains, is close to attractions, and is relatively peaceful. If your investment property doesn’t meet at least some of those criteria, it had better offer something incredibly unique that renters will find appealing.
  2. Buy the lowest priced property of the best quality on the block. You definitely don’t want to own the most expensive home or cabin in the resort, and the reason is this: when you get ready to sell, you will have a hard time getting that piece of real estate to appraise for what you want from it. Appraisers look at similar properties in the same area of the property for sale as much as possible, and often times a property that is priced higher than the ones around it sold for has trouble getting approval for the price you are being offered. Without an appraiser’s stamp, a lender won’t be able to authorize the deal unless the buyer is willing to pay the difference up front. Most buyers using a lender usually can’t (or won’t). By going after something that is less expensive, you have enough room to maneuver as it appreciates in value.
  3. Buy as high quality of property as you can afford. People are always looking for the best deal, and I personally love helping them finding someone else’s mistake that they can turn into a win. But even with that goal it’s important to remember that the cheaper something is, the more you will have to spend to turn it into a gold mine. You want to buy real estate property with good bones that will hold up better without much maintenance. On that subject, don’t buy something with an outdated, obsolete floor plan. You want to buy something that can be changed to keep up with the interior design trends. So buy something with potential to be great without having to completely rebuild from scratch.

Remember, the goal in real estate investing is to make money with the property, both on the front end over the years as you rent it and on the back end when you sell it for a profit. If you’re not striving to reach those two goals, it might be someone else buying your mistake instead!

Next month, I’ll take you through some of the strategies I encourage my buyers to use once they’ve found the “diamond in the rough” so that remodeling the home increases their profits rather than cutting into it.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the local real estate market, my team and I are always here to help and answer questions.

This cabin can be your vacation home

For our “Cabin of the Month” of January, we’ve selected this vacation home in Cedar Falls.

Level lovacation homets are hard to come by here in the Great Smoky Mountains region, but this cabin is on one! It’s the perfect spot for enjoying time with your family around the fire pit! Enjoy the private setting of this vacation home located in the beautiful Cedar Falls resort, just minutes from Pigeon Forge! Step onto the wrap around porch with your fresh cup of morning coffee and take in all that nature has to offer, including your very own stream that runs right across your property.
This one bedroom, almost 1,400 square foot vacation home cabin utilizes an open concept floor plan with soaring ceilings, hand crafted gorgeous fireplace, wood floors, upscale furnishings and over-sized windows to take in nature. It is handicap accessible with a ramp entrance and wide doorways. You’ll find the cabin is a well maintained vacation home that comes equipped with 2 Master suites. Both have their own attached baths. The cabin also comes with its own unique carport for parking your vehicles.
This property has never been on rental but is in pristine condition and has excellent income potential. You can see other details about this vacation home here.

To learn more about this vacation home or to schedule a showing, call us at 865-654-2111.