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Archive for the ‘Historic Homes’ Category

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…

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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.

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Another brand spanking new report, this one for my St. Elmo neighbors.

All St. Elmo Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 1/5/09: 23

Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 1/5/09: 1

Residential listings closed (sold) during December 2009: 2

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: a respectable 11.5

And because everybody is a nosy neighbor, here’s what actually sold in December:

DOM= Days on Market

Notice anything there? Not much sold (although it’s a fairly small area without a great deal on the market) but what did sell, went awfully fast. I’m not saying that everything in St. Elmo goes that quickly but that just goes to show you that if you price it right it will go, and quickly.

Want to know more about this charming little community? Click here for a recent blog post or see what’s for sale right now.

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What, what, WHAAAT? There’s yucky stuff in home ownership, Jules?

How could that possible be?

One of the pitfalls into the money pit that CAN be historic homeownership is the sewer line, the mother of all yucky stuff. Anyone who knows me knows that I LURRVE old houses. Along with that love comes a price to pay. I bought my house for a veritable song, so little that I won’t even bother telling you how much (but did you know that it’s a matter of public record?). I knew when I acquired the old gal that lots of work was going to be needed to bring her back to her former glory. What I didn’t know was that, lurking beneath the weed infested lawn, was an insidious force that was going to cost me $5,000 more than I thought.

A broken sewer line.

Was the sewer system/line working when I bought the house? Sure it was. Of course, no one had lived there in a few months so any slow or backed up lines wouldn’t have been apparent anyway.  The sewer line wasn’t actually broken to the point of disconnection, just enough that one part of the break was offset from the other part. Could it still have functioned that way? Absolutely, at least for a while.  But do you really want a monster lurking in your front yard ready to announce itself with sewage in your bathtub? I thought not.

Here’s the thing about a lot of these old houses in Highland Park, St. Elmo & North Chattanooga: many of them got some of the first sewer lines ever installed in Hamilton county. And they are quickly nearing the end of their useful lives. They might even already be broken or cracked and offset like mine was. The only way to tell is to have a camera run through the line. And that’s NOT something that your home inspector is going to do. It’s going to cost you another couple hundred bucks to have it done. If you are planning on a renovation that includes plumbing work, the city inspector is going to want to see that riveting footage before he signs off on the final inspection anyway. So you might as well get it done now when you still got the chance to ask the seller to pay for the repair if necessary.

Take it from someone who knows – you don’t want to add $5,000 to your renovation budget three days after you close. You should save until at least the next week.

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

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Chattanooga Real Estate St Elmo 1St. Elmo is probably the largest residential area of Chattanooga that has been designated a historical district. Both Fort Wood & Ferger Place share that distinction but each of those is a relatively small place. Not so, St. Elmo. Founded in 1885, St. Elmo was at one time it’s very own little city on the way from Chattanooga to Chickamauga.Chattanooga Real Estate St Elmo Thankful Church

Like pretty much every historical area in Chattanooga, the Elmo has suffered from years of decay and urban blight (gee, I really get tired of writing that about all these neighborhoods) but it’s on the rebound. About 10 years ago my sister was thinking about buying a place in St Elmo and my dad almost passed out at the thought. And then, about seven years ago, I looked at a wreck of a four square on Alabama Avenue that had been converted into a four-plex (not uncommon with some of these huge old places). When I told the owner – it was a FSBO – that I wanted to make him an offer, he said that they’d had so much interest that they wanted to hang onto it for a few more years. Original egg & dart mouldings, 10 ft tall pocket doors stored in the basement. Ahh, the stuff of historic home legend. I still wonder what might have been if I’d bought it (bankruptcy?)

But this isn’t about me.

See that pretty little church up there to the right? It’s the Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church, named for one of St. Elmo’s founding fathers (mothers?) Thankful Whiteside Johnson. Her husband bequeathed the land for the church with the stipulation that it be named for her.  Colonel Abraham Johnson founded St. Elmo on land Thankful had inherited from her family and named it for a novel written by a friend of his wife, Augusta Evans. The author said the view of the new community from Lookout Mountain reminded her of the view of St. Elmo castle in Naples.

Besides its gracious old homes, St Elmo also has a thriving ‘downtown’ district that includes many local business, some owned by residents of St. Elmo. You’ll also find ‘America’s Most Amazing Mile’ here, long time Lookout Mountain landmark and attraction “The Incline Railway.”

Think you might want to live in St. Elmo? For the adventurous you might have to reference my previous, buying a wreck post but there are also completely updated and gorgeously finished homes. Click here to check them out.

Chattanooga Real Estate St Elmo 3

Contact me for more information about anything you see on this blog.

Visit my website to search for homes.

Subscribe to my blog to stay updated on Chattanooga homes for sale, real estate news and community interest.

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Should you buy a house that needs repairs?

Short answer: No

Long answer: It depends

Should I buy a wreckLonger than you want to hear answer: I often work with buyers who are seduced by the siren song of the house that needs a lot of work. ‘Lot of work’ means different things to different people. A couple of weeks ago I showed a house that needed carpet, paint and a couple of trim pieces replaced. Her thoughts on the place: It needs a lot of work. My thoughts: God help the person who thinks this house needs a lot of work, because that person doesn’t EVEN KNOW ‘lot of work.’

And then there are the people who call me up to look at a particular home for sale and I tell them, ‘This one is going to need a lot of work.’ Because I’m thinking in terms of making this house top notch. And then they show up and say, ‘This doesn’t need much work.’ Because they are thinking in terms of just being able to move in without the floors falling in.

So how do I know what I should do, Jules?

Ask me. I’ll be happy to give you an opinion. With that and two quarters you could probably buy yourself a phone call (they cost more than one quarter these days).

You need to ask yourself these questions:

1. Can I get financing as is?

Because this alone is a total show stopper.

2. What are my goals for this house?

Am I going to live here the rest of my life, the rest of this year, or do I want to fix & sell?

3. What am I willing to live with?

Do I want top notch granite counter tops (or whatever is top notch in counters this year) or am I happy with the existing decor/state of the caulk?

4. What is my budget?

Do I think that I’m going to spend $500 on paint and carpet or do I have an $80,000 renovation in mind?

5. How good a deal am I getting?

AKA, if I have to spend $20,000 instead of the $2,200 that I had in mind, will I get it back when I go to sell?

6. Am I really the handy man/woman that I think I am?

What kind of follow through would my mother say that I possess? If she were answering honestly.

Have you thought long and hard about each and every one of those questions? And do you still think you want a house that needs A. Lot. of. Work?

More power to you. Give me a call. I love these houses. I might even help you work on it. Free of charge. Just because I love them so much.

Not really.

OK… maybe.

Not really.

OK… maybe, if you ask reeeeeeeeeaaaaallllll nice and paint things the colors I think they should be painted…

Contact me for more information about anything you see on this blog.

Visit my website to search for homes.

Subscribe to my blog to stay updated on Chattanooga homes for sale,

real estate news and community interest.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given)

or a community event to promote?

Email me the details: Julia@JuliaOdom.com

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Brainerd Chattanooga Real Estate Collage

How cute are these houses? Very. I know.

One place that I don’t often get calls about is the Brainerd area. In all the hubbub surrounding North Chattanooga and more historic areas like Highland Park or St. Elmo, Brainerd often gets overlooked.

But I’m on a one woman crusade to change that.

Because there are also cottages and bungalows like this:Belvoir Chattanooga Real Estate collage

These are not your cookie cutter subdivision kinds of places. No sirree, Bob. While they may not actually qualify as historic -most were built in the ’30’s and ’40’s – they certainly don’t qualify as modern (mid-century or otherwise). I could eat ’em up with a spoon.

And I haven’t even mentioned the lovely old homes of Glendon Place…

Glendon Place Chattanooga Real Estate collage

Tudors & Dutch Colonials & Craftsman bungalows, oh my!

Squeeeeee!

Admission: Yes, I’m the biggest house geek you’ll ever hope to meet.

Think you might like living in this part of Brainerd? Click here to see what’s out there right now.

Contact me for more information about anything you see on this blog.

Visit my website to search for homes.

Subscribe to my blog to stay updated on Chattanooga homes for sale,

real estate news and community interest.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given)

or a community event to promote?

Email me the details: Julia@JuliaOdom.com

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