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Hills, that is.

OK, so I actually didn’t move to Beverly Hills. In fact, I didn’t even load up a truck.

But I did move. Visit me at my fancy schmancy new site: www.JuliaOdom.com

It’s got all the things you’ve come to know and love: Crimes Against Paint, *How to buy a house for 50¢,  local images. You know, the good stuff. But now in a shiny new package!

*Just kidding about that second one!

My only regret is that I didn’t get to see this in person. I lifted this photo, with permission, from a real estate website in Phoenix (courtesy of Greg Swann). I made it safe for work by adding my own touches.

Yes, this is an actual house for sale. I can only assume that this room is in the basement and their agent never bothered to go down there (or is profoundly blind). Scroll down to see it – if you dare.

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Snow Day!

First things first, I owe the Hamilton County Department of Education an apology. This afternoon, when I got the come-get-your-kid robo-call, I *totally* rolled my eyes. Yeah, right, whatever! was my thought.

They were right, I was wrong.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to slip a little flask of vodka in my pocket (for warmth of course!) and take a walk around the neighborhood for some pictures. I live in the Highland Park/Ridgedale area between Missionary Ridge & downtown Chattanooga so seeing some of the quaint old cottages in the snow is a real treat.

OK, so that didn’t really happen. What DID happen was I took a picture of the house across the street from me from my toasty warm library (yes, I have a room that I call “the library” –  when you live in a hundred year old house you get to be pretentious like that) and then shamelessly used the photos from our last snow that Jason Kelley, a kindly Highland Park neighbor, posted to the local listserv (and graciously gave me permission to use).

Wouldn’t you like to live here? Click to see what’s available.

East Ridge is not known as a hotbed of progressive ideas and great housing but city officials are setting out to change that while capturing hearts and minds with a new public relations campaign starting soon.  The Come Home to East Ridge ummm, Welcome to the New East Ridge errr, There’s More to East Ridge than the Flood Zone!* program is aimed at making Hamilton County residents, new & old, think about East Ridge as a great place to live and own a home. Plans are to emphasize East Ridge’s proximity to downtown Chattanooga & East Brainerd businesses while showcasing its affordability, stable home prices, lower taxes and revitalization plans. Low crime rates and lickety split emergency services response times were also mentioned as pluses for those who already live in the 37412.

While the city has a lot to overcome if they truly want to change the image of their fair city, it sounds like they are headed in the right direction with plans to beautify the I-75 Exit #1 area as well as both the Chattanooga & East Ridge sides of the tunnels. Sprucing up the de facto entrance and exit to the city will go a long way toward making East Ridge a player in the competition for Chattanooga real estate dollars. Efforts toward tighter codes enforcement designed to make landlords, and the businesses along Ringgold Road, clean up their properties are already underway. If you ask me, storm water management to help control flooding in those areas that are prone to it would be even better.

Having said all that, these guys really do have a point. Prices are rock bottom in East Ridge but without the crime and marginal schools that you might see in other areas with similar home values. There aren’t many areas in Chattanooga where you can find a nice home for sale at less than $100,000. East Ridge is one of the few. Hey, even if you end up having to pay for flood insurance, your new home is probably going to cost you less each month than something comparable elsewhere. With 100% financing by using THDA grant money, the low overall cost of ownership here might be enough to turn some renters into honest-to-God homeowners. Who knew?

Do you want to be a part of East Ridge’s renaissance? Click to see homes for sale.

*I just made up those names myself. Hmmm, wonder why they didn’t hire me to do the PR?

If you are coming from downtown Chattanooga, cresting the hill on MLK going toward Highland Park & Missionary Ridge, this is what you’ll see.

I will not even pretend that I get up all raring to go and take photos of gorgeous downtown Chattanooga. I have a child who goes to school at Brown Academy right there in front of UTC, otherwise I would totally have snoozed through this bit of loveliness.

That dark blurry bit at the bottom right corner is Park Place, the old school building turned loft/condo. The various units have square footage from 790 all the way up to 2,750 so there’s a good choice of space, whatever you may need. And for buyers with kids who may have avoided downtown condos in the past due to a lack of outdoor play areas, Bryant Park – a fenced playground – is right next door.

It’s a pretty easy walk to UTC and the nightlife of downtown, especially Nightfall and the Bessie Smith ‘Strut’.

Want to hear about another great perk when it comes to buying at Park Place? As of right now, the Lyndhurst Foundation is offering a $10,000 grant to buyers. Yep, you can negotiate your best price on the condo of your choice and then Lyndhurst will give you a $10,000 credit at closing. In some cases you might even be able to use this cash as part of your down payment (your mileage may vary – check with your lender on this).

Click here to see what’s currently for sale at Park Place. None of these are my listings, FYI…

Pocket doors & clawfoot tubs & transom lights, OH MY!

Crye Leike is scheduled to auction the former home of Lula Adeline Rackley at 862 Oak St. Chattanooga, TN 37403 (smack dab in the middle of the Fort Wood historic district) on February 11, 2010 at 5pm.

For its age and lack of updating, the house is in surprisingly good shape. With the exception of some flooring that has buckled in the living room (parlor? salon? Sunday go-to-meetin’ room?) the wood floors are lovely, if worn, and not at all wonky like most old houses. I’m not saying you could play a fair game of marbles on these floors, but they’re not bad at all.

Lula enjoyed three large rooms downstairs, all with their own pocket doors, a full (albeit small) bathroom and a kitchen that is large and remarkable for its lack of cabinets.  Upstairs, Ms Rackley rambled around in 5 bedrooms, each of which has at least one decent sized closet – not common in houses this age. The smallest bedroom is just crying out to be turned into a master bath since it shares an interior door with a larger bedroom.

For the purist, one of the best things about this house (I’m gonna need a drum roll for this one……..) NONE OF THE WOODWORK HAS BEEN PAINTED! Yeah, that deserves both a drum roll and cyber yelling. And beautiful woodwork it is.

So, if you’re interested in taking on a project of stupendous magnitude – this is not a task for the faint of heart or short of cash – call or email me and I’ll hook you up.

Click to see the photo gallery provided by the auction company.

For the eBay uninitiated, an absolute auction means that there is no reserve and no minimum. The person holding the highest bid at the sound of the gavel will be the purchaser, no ifs ands or buts.

Here’s all the legal mumbo jumbo from the auctioneer (with whom I am completely and totally unaffiliated):

REAL ESTATE TERMS: A Non-refundable deposit of 10% will be required on the day of the sale. Funds are accepted in the form of a Cashier’s, Personal, or Business check. Closings shall take place no later than 30 days after the auction. 10% Buyers Premium will apply.

Under title X the purchaser of a single-family residence built before 1978 has a maximum of 10 days to inspect the property for the presence of lead base paint. The period of inspection is 10 days prior to the auction. All bidders must sign a waiver of the 10-day post inspection period

Disclaimer: All Property sells as is, where is with no warranties either written or implied, any announcement from the Auctioneer on day of sale will take precedence over any other statements, either written or oral.

OK, so that could be some sort of metaphorical title referring to the Chattanooga real estate market….but it’s not.

I’m talking about actual blue skies, the kind you see when it’s neither freezing cold nor raining. You know, the kind of thing we haven’t seen yet in 2010.

And so, I give you (drum roll please!)…..

BLUE SKIES

(peeking from behind dark clouds)

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