ownerbuilder-2008July 31, 2010

Well kinda, We sold our place in Ohio and are attempting to buy a lot to build in an area near (about 30 minutes out)the resort town of Pigeon Forge Tennessee. It would appear that the buyers market is over here. They are asking eighty to ninety thousand dollars for a half acre lot. The sellers say take it or leave it, if you dont someone else will.

I would expect to pay a little more being close to a resort town but the tax office says the lots are valued at fourty thousand dollars. I know the tax record is not a retail value but are they that far off?

I asked real estate agents about the value and they say none have sold for quite a while so they can not say what the vales are for sure. One did tell me a person bought a lot about five years ago for a hundred thousand and sold it for twenty thousand dollars last month. Puzzled!

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The sellers are obviously in lala land, or in no rush to sell. Their prerogative, but kind of pointless for you if in fact there are other cheaper lots around.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:10PM
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First, about Tennessee tax valuations. All Tennessee counties reassess on a periodic cycle of four, five, or six years. As far as I know, most are on a five year cycle. That means the assessed values are current to five years old, depending which county the property is in and when they last conducted their assessment.

You can ask the County Assessor's office for the information, or you can find it on line by digging through the state web site. Some TN counties also have a good on line presence. Some don't.

Tax valuations are done by formula, like most places, so they are often behind the power curve when it comes to reality.

Second, the price of lots in high-end subdivision developments in East Tennessee is really high. I'm not sure why, other than fact that the developers could get what they were asking, at least up until the economy crashed.

Third, the owners of most of those lots are either the developers themselves or people who bought them on speculation. Most are in a position to ride the current situation out. The developers are in more trouble than the individual landowners. Some of them are in serious straights, so watch where you are buying very carefully. Some are in court proceedings at the moment.

Fourth, there is not a lot of prime non-development real estate on the market in East Tennessee at the moment. What there is tends to fetch a premium price, but it is much, much cheaper than lots in the high-end developments. The most expensive goes for around $25K an acre. Good, desirable, undeveloped land goes for around $10K an acre.

The closer to Pigeon Forge, the more expensive the land tends to be. To me, that is backwards. I want to be as far away from that road clogged, tourist trap as possible. Land within a easy commute of either Knoxville or Maryville tends to be higher, too. The farther you get away from those two places and Pigeon Forge, the lower the asking price.

My advice to anyone coming to this area is look outside the high-end developments unless you like HOA fees, higher taxes, and constantly dealing with other people who want to run your life. There is still lots of acreage available here at reasonable prices. You just have to look for it. Who knows, you might find a deal right down the road from us. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tennessee Web Site

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:35PM
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