Things to do in Chattanooga TN

Chattanooga is a wonderful place for a family vacation or to call home. There are endless sites and activities in Chattanooga and with in a hours drive that you can visit if you desire. There are literally too many to list with any real justice, but we have compiled a few of our favorites that will get you started. A great way to discover new and less frequented attractions is to ask those working at or visiting the following attraction where they would recommend and you might just make friend along the way.

Chattanooga Attractions

1. Whitewater Rafting on the Ocoee River: This is the same river used during the Atlanta Olympic Games and it one of the top rafting destinations in the world, but do not fear there are numerous stages of the river that can suit almost any level of paddler or opt for a guided rafting trip that you will not soon forget.

2. Caving at Ruby Falls: Located on the inside of Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls offers an incredible look at some of the most beautiful limestone caves around.

3. Hiking at Cumberland Trail State Park: This state park is truly one of a kind and offers and endless number of hiking trails along the Cumberland Plateau many of which have incredible vistas and stunning waterfalls to view along your journey.

4. Boating or Fishing on Chickamauga Lake and Nickajack Lake: Both lakes are located along the scenic and pristine Tennessee River and offer a perfect destination for boater and fisherman alike.  In fact, the Tennessee River is known as one of the best places in the county for both Crappie and Smallmouth Bass fishing. Likewise locals will tell you that the area to the downstream of the respected dams are catfish factories.

5. The Tennessee Aquarium: This is truly one that you do not want to miss. The Tennessee Aquarium offers a host of both entertaining and educational exhibits including and IMAX theater that is over 6 stories high.

6. Rock City: Sitting at the top of Lookout Mountain, Rock Cities offer some of the most incredible views in the South. This is another gem that I wouldn’t pass up.

7. Ride the Incline Railway: Going up Lookout Mountain, you will experience some incredible view not to mention the insane 72% grade up the mountain.

Chattanooga Home Prices

Home prices in the Greater Chattanooga very stable especially in comparison to other nearby metro areas such as Atlanta and Nashville. The median home price is usually around $115,000 for the metro area, but areas some areas like the Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain Real estate Markets can range upwards to $400,000 and $200,000 respectively.

Current Trends for Home Prices in Chattanooga TN

The current trend for the majority of area in and around Chattanooga is upward and it is expected to continue as the supply of available homes continue to dwindle. The Greater Chattanooga market has fared well since 2009 and is showing a steady appreciation in many areas. Although a considerable jump in values is not expected in the coming months a steady monthly gain is anticipated and is typical of the area. The market as a whole is not a volatile market where you can expect big gains in a given year like South Florida or the Las Vegas markets, but you also can feel safe in the fact that even in a bad year values typically will not fall more than 5%.

Buying a Home in Chattanooga TN

No matter whether you are looking for a new home, vacation home, or an investment property, Chattanooga is great market for some incredible values and is also very stable. Chattanooga offers a real bargain when compared other neighboring metro areas such as Nashville or Atlanta. Chattanooga is perhaps one of the most scenic cities in all of the South offering homes with some remarkable vistas of the Appalachian Mountains and stunning lakes such as Nickajack and Chickamauga. If you are serious about buying a home or condos in Chattanooga TN, take a minute to read a few of the tips below. Then set up an automated search for listing updates on our daily updated and reliable site.

Chattanooga Home Buying Tips

1. Consider state income taxes. Chattanooga rest on the border of Tennessee and Georgia. Tennessee has no state income taxes while Georgia’s is significant.

2. If you can afford a home with a nice view, it will be worth the extra cost.

3. The majority of the homes in the Chattanooga area are built on crawl space instead of a slab due to the hills in East Tennessee. Although the construction cost is higher, many home owners prefer homes on a crawl as they are easier to remodel and repair any plumbing issues. Do not be deterred from buying a home on a crawl as they are just as solid and do not require any additional maintenance are not any more prone to issues than a slab.

4. Get qualified to know exactly what you can afford.

5. Do not look at too many homes. Search through as many homes as want online, but only preview homes that you actually might purchase. Walking through too many will make the homes start to blur together and perhaps frustrate you into compromising and purchasing home you otherwise might not.

6. Stay away from lease purchase or rent to own homes. With all of the options available today to purchase a home with little to no money down, there is really no reason to consider a rent to own. In most cases this type of purchase offers little to no benefit to the buyer. In most cases, they are means for a upside down or greedy owner to sell the home for more than it is worth as they cannot sell it through conventional means. Likewise buyers with poor credit are drawn to this type of sale as they can essentially buy while they are working on their credit. This is a horrible idea as there is no guarantee that borrower is unable to get approved now will be able to later. A lease purchase buyer might loose any earnest money if they are not able to buy by the agreed upon date.

7. Use an experienced agent. There is really not reason to not use an buyers agent as the seller pays the commission. A seller’s agent is working for the seller and will always try to get top dollar for their clients. If you use the seller’s agent you will likely pay more and most seller’s agents will not reduce the commission because you do not have a buyer’s agent as most brokerages will not allow it. In the same way a builder’s agent works for the builder and they definitely will not give you a better deal as it might compromise a appraisal of a future deal with an agent or worse give them a bad rap in the Realtor community.

8. Be ready! Often good deals go quick so if you find one you need to be ready to jump on it. So be financially prepared at all times once you begin your search.

Search Homes For Sale on Nickajack Lake

If you have ever driven South on Interstate 24 you probably have taken notice of Nickajack Lake which is one of the most beautiful lakes you could imagine to see driving through the East Tennessee Mountains. Nickajack Lake is actually part of the Tennessee River like other lakes such as Kentucky Lake, Wilson Lake, Wheeler Lake, and Pickwick Lake. So if you have ever visited on of these it is actually the same body of water just on a different dam further down the river.

About Nickajack Lake Houses

Nickajack Lake houses for the most part not only offer a enticing view of this pristine lake but also the peaks of the Cumberland Plateau and the Appalachian Mountains which makes these homes increasingly sought after. Nickajack is a great lake for both recreational activities as well as fishing. It is known by many anglers as being a hot bed for crappie and stripped bass as the area just below the dam is one of the best catfishing spots in the state. The great thing about Nickajack is that it is large enough for boaters and anglers to do their own thing and not be get in the way of the other.

Much like any home on the water the market for homes for sale on Nickajack Lake has remained very strong. Like the general market in Chattanooga, these lake homes have not seen the impact of the real estate bubble that many areas have experienced. The market for real estate in Chattanooga TN as a whole has remained very steady in terms of both number of sales as well as home values. So homes on Nickajack make a great investment not only because they are limited and lake homes are almost always in demand but also because the in and around Chattanooga is one of the strongest markets in the Southeast. If you would like more information about owning a home on Nickajack or Chickamauga Lakes, please contact us for more details.

Chattanooga Real Estate Taxes

If you are trying to estimate your future real estate taxes, the easiest way is to have your Realtor provide you with a buyers MLS report which will show the current taxes for the property. Agents are supposed to pull this information directly from the tax records. However in some cases the assessed amount is grossly lower than it should be or for new construction homes only taxes on the vacant land are shown. Likewise the county property assessor may/will reassess the property at some point which will reflect the new purchased amount which generally will affect the assessed value for the property.

Estimating Chattanooga Property Taxes

To estimate the upcoming taxes for real estate in Chattanooga TN and surrounding areas whether the property is a single family home, condo, or land use the following formula:


Sales Price x .25 = Assessed Value

Assessed Value / 100 * Total  Rate (see below ) = Annual Property Tax


2012 Tax Rates for Hamilton and Neighboring Counties

BLEDSOE     $2.0662  $2.0662
BLEDSOE  PIKEVILLE   $2.0662  $0.8412  $2.9074
BRADLEY     $1.7920  $1.7920
BRADLEY  CHARLESTON   $1.7920  $0.4230  $2.2150
BRADLEY  CLEVELAND   $1.7920  $1.4904  $3.2824
BRADLEY     $1.7920  $0.4070  $2.1990
BRADLEY     $1.7920  $0.3356  $2.1276
GRUNDY $2.0954 $2.0954
$2.0954 $0.4000 $2.4954
HAMILTON     $2.7652  $2.7652
HAMILTON  CHATTANOOGA   $2.7652  $2.3090  $5.0742
HAMILTON  COLLEGEDALE   $2.7652  $1.3400  $4.1052
 $2.7652  $1.4227  $4.1879
HAMILTON  LAKESITE   $2.7652  $0.2400  $3.0052
 $2.7652  $1.6200  $4.3852
 $2.7652  $1.3500  $4.1152
HAMILTON  RIDGESIDE   $2.7652  $1.9000  $4.6652
 $2.7652  $1.6634  $4.4286
 $2.7652  $1.0000  $3.7652
HAMILTON  WALDEN   $2.7652  $0.4400  $3.2052
MARION     $2.1686  $2.1686
MARION  CHATTANOOGA   $2.1686  $2.1686
MARION  JASPER   $2.1686  $0.3000  $2.4686
MARION  KIMBALL   $2.1686  $0.1000  $2.2686
 $2.1686  $0.2500  $2.4186
 $2.1686  $0.5190  $2.6876
MARION  WHITWELL   $2.1686  $0.5474  $2.7160
MARION     $1.9650  $0.1921  $2.1571
 $1.9650  $0.5190  $0.1921  $2.6761
McMINN     $1.5553  $1.5553
McMINN  ATHENS   $1.5553  $1.1147  $2.6700
McMINN  CALHOUN   $1.5553  $0.4945  $2.0498
McMINN  ENGLEWOOD   $1.5553  $1.1625  $2.7178
McMINN  ETOWAH   $1.5553  $1.2700  $2.8253
McMINN  NIOTA   $1.5553  $1.0000  $2.5553
MCMINN  SWEETWATER   $1.5553  $1.1400  $2.6953
MEIGS     $1.8726  $1.8726
MEIGS  DECATUR   $1.8726  $0.3848  $2.2574
RHEA     $1.7496  $1.7496
RHEA  DAYTON   $1.7496  $0.4700  $2.2196
RHEA  GRAYSVILLE   $1.7496  $1.3500  $3.0996
 $1.7496  $0.9600  $2.7096
SEQUATCHIE     $2.1386  $2.1386
SEQUATCHIE  DUNLAP   $2.1386  $0.7620  $2.9006

FHA Approved Condos in Chattanooga TN

If you are a first time home buyer, you are probably considering purchasing your new home by securing a FHA mortgage. So if you are looking at Chattanooga condos for sale, you really need to be sure that the condo communities that you are considering are approved by FHA for financing. Although there are other means to obtain a loan, by limiting you search to only FHA approved condos will ensure that when you decide to sell you are not limiting the potential buyers who would consider purchasing your condo.

Current Chattanooga FHA Approved Condos

The best way to ensure that the condo subdivision you are interested in is FHA approved is to contact your lender who will be able to pull up a list of approved properties. Unfortunately this list, while it rarely does, may remove a condo complex from the list. So it is recommended to secure a fresh list from either your lender or real estate agent when you decide to start previewing homes. Most established subdivisions will be eligible for a FHA mortgage and the majority of good builders will ensure that they meet FHA criteria so that their properties are eligible. However it is essential to double check before making an offer so that you can be certain that you will be able to obtain the financing that you desire as some sellers or builders may require you to attempt to obtain other financing such as a conventional mortgage which will require a larger down payment before releasing your earnest deposit in the event the condo is not FHA approved. Restrictions to be eligible for FHA financing include percentage of unit sold, percentage of units rented, the way the condo is deeded, and some association requirements. Do not be deterred from purchasing a condo, because of FHA’s approved condo list as it is meant to protect buyers from making a poor investment and the majority of condos are eligible.

Likewise VA approved condos also has similar restrictions but generally follow FHA guidelines.

Selling a Home in Chattanooga TN

If you are trying to sell your home there is really only two considerations:

1. Realizing the most equity in your property i.e. getting the best price.
2. Selling your home in the least amount of time and in the most efficient way possible.

How to Sell Your Home in Chattanooga

In order to do both of these things, there are a number of items to take into account:

1. Probably one of if the most important considerations is selecting a real estate agent.

-Per the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
FSBOs accounted for 10% of home sales in 2011. The typical FSBO home sold for $150,000 compared to $215,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

– Remember this is your livelihood so you want to select the best agent available. So generally it is not the best practice to select an agent just because they’re a friend of a friend unless you know one of the best in the industry.

– When it comes to selling your home, you must understand your agent’s plan for marketing your property. Arguably the best marketing means is a dominating web presence since, according to the NAR, nearly 90% of home buyers begin the search for their new home on the internet. Of course there are other means to market you home such as mailers, magazines, newspapers, and flyers, but if you want an edge on the exposure for your home, selecting an agent with a dominant web presence including a top ranking website and one that is tech savvy and can place adds for you on as many national real estate sites as possible.

2. If you want to sell your home in a reasonable time frame, it must be priced to sell. This means that your home must be priced based on what has recently sold in your area and should priced in the better 25th percentile of comparable homes that are currently for sale. If you home is not priced well all other efforts no matter how diligent will likely be in vain. Likewise when pricing your home, you should try to think like a potential buyer and take as much emotion out of the equation as possible when it comes to pricing. Search similar homes as a buyer would and pick the top Chattanooga homes for sale that you would want to view. If your home is not in the top 5 to 10, you will likely want to make an adjustment.

3. If you want to sell your home for top dollar, it has to look its best. Buyers will discount their offer based on cleanliness, excessive clutter, or anticipated repairs or remodeling. If you are considering doing some remodeling, consult with your agent to make sure that the benefit will outweigh the cost. Also make the home easily viewed to be as buyers potential home meaning buyers do not want to make your home theirs. So make it easy to for them to view the home as their home not yours. So take down the majority of your family pictures and personal items and just leave enough to keep your home homey.

4. Make your home available to showings as much as possible. Granted you do not have make your home available on at 10:00 on a Sunday night, but the availability of the your home is key. Generally 9-6 any day of the week will be sufficient. However if a qualified out of town buyer who is ready to pull the trigger needs special accommodation, I would recommend considering it.

5. Do not be present for the showings. Just like removing personal items, you want to take you out of the equations so to speak. Buyers are fickle and frequently make irrational decisions and you do not want them to exclude your home or make a lower offer because of a preconception of you. If is a last minute showing it is not unreasonable to ask the buyers agent to call when they’re on the way, so that you can leave.

Search Real Estate Deals in Chattanooga TN

If you are looking for a great buy in the Chattanooga real estate market, they’re is really no secret in finding a steal. There really is not a magical/elusive way to purchase that will make you extremely wealthy. You have likely heard of every way possible to purchase a home before including new construction, resales, short sales, auctions, foreclosures, tax sales, ect. Each has their pros and cons and a steals are available for different types of sales, some will just require more work before/after the sale than others and profit has to be weighed a factor of time. The reality of finding a great buy in Chattanooga is readiness and perseverance.

How to Find Chattanooga Real Estate Deals

No matter whether you a looking at new homes or foreclosures in Chattanooga TN or anything in between, you really have to be ready to pull the trigger to get a steal. Your biggest hindrance in purchasing a home is timing, so the more flexible that you can be with your move in schedule the better (if you’re planning to occupy it). When you are pressed for time you compromise more than you would if it were not issue. However this is not a luxury that all of us can afford, but you can by ready at all times. The fact is that great buys or either found or made meaning you either negotiate a great sales price for the home you want or you jump on a great deal as soon as you find it or if you lucky both. So if you’re serious about getting a great buy always be looking for properties, everyday if possible and have all your ducks in a row on the financing side including being prequalified, providing all your basic docs lender beforehand, and having respectable deposit ready. Strength in offer comes by way of deposit, ability of borrower, and a quick close. So have all these working for you. You’re best bet is to make an offer before anyone else does and make the seller negotiate quickly before they realize other parties are interested.

Search Gated Communities in the Chattanooga Area

If you are looking for a gated subdivision with either a guarded entrance or a electronic coded security gate, you can use our advanced property search to find the perfect property in community that suits your needs. You may also want to do a broader search and browse all Chattanooga Area subdivisions.

About Chattanooga Area Gated Communities

Is living in a gated community right for you? There are many reasons to consider a gated subdivision but it is also important to remember that this type of lifestyle is not for everyone. Many younger families, singles, and retirees love the benefits and added security that a gated subdivision offers. Likewise a gated community is perfect for vacation ownership as well as absentee owners as it offers the additional security so that homeowners do not constantly have to worry about their investment. In the sense of the security of property and its owners, there is really no downside other that perhaps the added cost of gate mechanism or a paid guard which usually are minimal and well worth the desired security that they provide. However potential home buyers will want to consider their lifestyle as well as current and future needs from the property and be certain that their needs also coincide with the community’s protective covenants. As a new homeowner you do not want to start off on a bad note with your new neighbors or have to be reprimanded by the homeowners association. Moreover this is such an easy thing to avoid by simply asking if whatever you are concerned with is permitted.

Search for Chattanooga Farms For Sale

Who wouldn’t want their very own cozy and quaint East Tennessee farm. Whether you are searching for a actual working farm, a mini-farm, or an equestrian property, you can search all available properties here on our easy to use website.

Buying a Chattanooga Farm

Searching for a farm in the area really is all about what intentions that you have for the land. Whether you are actually looking to grow a crop, potentially raise cattle, or breed horses, it is all about the soil. It is not difficult to research what type of soil that best suits your needs, it is more about being selective to ensure that the properties in Chattanooga you are most interested have the best variation of that soil type available in the area on site combined with the type of terrain that is suitable to your needs. Besides the soil and terrain, location will be the most important consideration you have. You will want to think about your drive times as well as gas mileage. Also if you are considering a property in a developing area, you may also want to consider the potential best uses of the property in the future. You may want to purchase a farm that has development potential in the foreseeable future so that you may have the opportunity to sell it and retire or leave a sizable inheritance for your children.