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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Steilacoom, WA by way of East Tennessee
1,049 posts, read 3,825,285 times
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Hello all,

I figured that that their are plenty of people moving to the area looking to buy a house, what are your observations on the cost of housing and general direction of prices?

As for my observation, seems generally prices are going up, I've seen many homes that are priced fairly high. I've been following a few homes that have been on the market with multiple price drops, but generally it appears that the local market is weathering the housing slump fairly well. Does that Jive with what you all are seeing??

On an affordability scale, comparing where I moved from (WA state), it is getting closer and closer to equality in pricing. The prices in Port Orchard, WA area (smaller town) are going down, while price here are going up.

MBMouse, what are you seeing on pricing more up than down or the contrary? Anyone else have observations to share.

Why my interest in housing prices? My wife is riding me like a new pony, about buying a home and I'm getting saddle sore I own land already, but that means building, trying to figure out if it's better off buying existing, than building something.

Tony
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
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Hi Tony,
I am seeing about the same steady equity growth this year as last. This is unscientific, just what I see. There is still about a 5% growth in the JC area, little more in the city and about 7% in Kingsport proper. However some have seen 3%, some have seen 9%. I think it all really depends on the property itself. Whether it has been maintained, improved, not maintained etc.
As for construction verses existing, I would very much go for the existing right now. The reason is the lending requirements right now. Very hard to get a construction loan. Unless you are paying cash, and even still I believe you can get a better value from updating an existing. The cost of materials are going way up, contractors are raising rates due to gas also.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:08 AM
 
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Post Generic, Non-Helpful Observations from a recent home purchaser

City Estimated Price per Finished square foot 7/08
Johnson City, TN $85
Kingsport, TN $80
Elizabethton, TN $80
Bristol, TN $75
Bristol, VA $78
Abingdon, VA $100

Of course, this is not done to standard, but based on about 100+ homes that met the following criteria: 3+BR 1.5+BA, 1600+ sqft, fireplace, central air, 15 minutes to a grocery.

I don't know why Bristol, VA is slightly higher than Bristol, TN, but for comparable houses, it does seem to run slightly higher. On the other hand, if you are looking for a fixer-upper with lots of space, your best buys right now seem to be in Bristol, where you can sometimes get down into the $55-65 per sqft range and still get something better than tolerable.

Abingdon of course is so high because of the ungodly amount of law firms based there....
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Steilacoom, WA by way of East Tennessee
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One other thing that I've noticed, close in properties seem to be selling way faster than outlying areas, down in Telford/Chuckey things seem to be going slower than, say Jonesborough/Johnson City. I'm guessing Gas Prices is the reason, used to be people wanted away from the city, now closer in = good.

I spoke with a realtor in Kingsport and he said the same thing, closer in properties selling fairly quickly.

Tony
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,697 posts, read 6,426,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1790 View Post
On an affordability scale, comparing where I moved from (WA state), it is getting closer and closer to equality in pricing. The prices in Port Orchard, WA area (smaller town) are going down, while price here are going up.
The prices may be getting closer but they're still miles apart, especially for lower- and middle-income folks.

I just did a few searches on Realtor.com and found that while only 9% of single-family homes in Port Orchard are priced under $200K (2% under $150K), in Kingsport that figure is 66% (48% under $150K). A search of homes for sale in Kingsport, JC, Bristol TN/VA, Blountville, Piney Flats, Bluff City, Gray, Mount Carmel, and Church Hill revealed that 61% are priced under $200K (43% under $150K).
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Steilacoom, WA by way of East Tennessee
1,049 posts, read 3,825,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamoshika View Post
The prices may be getting closer but they're still miles apart, especially for lower- and middle-income folks.

I just did a few searches on Realtor.com and found that while only 9% of single-family homes in Port Orchard are priced under $200K (2% under $150K), in Kingsport that figure is 66% (48% under $150K). A search of homes for sale in Kingsport, JC, Bristol TN/VA, Blountville, Piney Flats, Bluff City, Gray, Mount Carmel, and Church Hill revealed that 61% are priced under $200K (43% under $150K).
Cool, You'll need to show me how you got the percentage thing, I haven't seen it used before.

I'm not saying that the total pool of housing is the same, I went on the website the local WA realtor website that I've been following for 4 years now. There are currently more homes below $200k than there were 3 years ago. Also, while there are many more homes here cheaper than in Port Orchard, there are several comparable homes that I've seen that cost as much here in TN as in WA.

Two things that affect affordability are wages and mortgage rates, what are the mortgage rates doing? Fox news just had a report that June sales are down and mortgage rates are up. I dunno, but to me it appears that local sales are pretty good, many of the homes that I looked at (in my price range) have sold already.

I've been a housing bear for a while, but it does look like the local market has not tanked as I thought that it would. I figured that buyers from FL, CA, etc would be lacking due to the crashing markets elsewhere.

Tony
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
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I am told in the Boone's creek area it is more like $135 a square foot by a realtor.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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we just closed on our house. the wife and i have been checking things out seriously for a year now. i myself have been addicted and cant keep away from mls. there have been alot of changes that i have noticed.

like you said the further away the longer its on the market and often times the cheaper the property. now this is in general but you get the idea.
as far as boones creek goes i would believe that price comparison. you have a lot of new construction going on in the $2-$300k range plus lake front property.

you will pay more in jc than kingsport or bristol in most cases depending on the neighborhood, and schools.

i feel that the tri cities has done well in the down market b/c of its history and lack of major change. a lot of markets have constant relocators, unlike the tri cities ( population seems settled). financially people may not need to sale due to living in same home longterm.

the thing i found hard about finding the right house was keeping in my budget and finding good schools for my son. my wife and i also dont like to commute so short driving distance was a must also. so when you put all three of those together it becomes kinda hard to find the right place.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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i feel the prices of homes in the tri cities are fair. the cost is certainly gonna reflect the schools, neighborhood, size, condition,etc.

i myself cant stand new construction. i think the building practices of today are far inferior to "Back in the Day" but thats a give and take. you can also look at it as being "Green" by staying away from new construction.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:51 AM
 
31 posts, read 125,575 times
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Default Home prices

I'm not surprised to see areas in boones to be so high. My figures were based over a wide geographical area for a specific type of house. The variation inside of cities can be tremendous. For example, in Bristol VA, not the largest of the cities, I have seen a difference of as low as $40 per square foot for some neighborhoods near the TN border to $100+ in lowry hills. And not all of the difference is in quality.
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