published Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

TV star house for sale

by Brittany Cofer
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press - The 6,500-square-foot house located on Stringer's Ridge that was featured in a HGTV series was recently put back on the market. The house is for sale for $1.2 million and has an overall view of the city of Chattanooga.

Three years after construction and hundreds of series replays later, the HGTV Dream House that sits atop Stringer’s Ridge is once again up for sale.

The 7,800-square-foot residence — built by general contractor B.R. Smith for his daughter, Kelli Smith, and her then-fiancé James Ladd — was initially meant for the newly engaged couple, but after 18 months of construction and taping, the pair broke off the engagement. The house went on the market in 2007 shortly after the TV show wrapped, but when it didn’t sell, Kelli Smith decided to move into it on a trial basis, her father said.

“It’s too large of a home for one person, so that’s the reason for selling it,” B.R. Smith said of the five-story house.

About two weeks ago, the five bedroom, 41⁄2 bathroom house went back on the market, with an asking price of $1.2 million — down from $1.35 million when it was for sale in May 2007.

B.R. Smith said with the resurgence of banks’ willingness to back jumbo loans — mortgage loans greater than $417,000 — the down housing market and recession won’t have much of an impact on selling the house.

From the business side of it, he said it would be hard to sell a large home without a jumbo loan. “I think we have it priced really well,” he said.

Gail Hunter, a Realtor for Re/Max Properties, said she has already received several inquiries on the home and has shown it to a couple of prospective buyers.

“The people who have the money to buy this kind of home, still have the money to buy this kind of home,” she said. “With all the new people coming from Volkswagen, Alstom and all these new companies, we’re getting people from outside of our local people that are coming in as well, and this isn’t necessarily a huge number for them.”

Though the average home price in Chattanooga is about $130,000, Chattanooga Association of Realtors President Randy Durham said there is still demand for seven-figure dwellings in the area. When priced competitively, he said, they usually sell within a year.

“That’s one thing you’ve got to keep in mind — it’s going to take some time,” Durham said.

The decision to put the home up for sale was a tough one, B.R. Smith said. In the three years since it was built, the family has held several events at the home and still has fond memories of the time and effort put into building the house and taping the show.

“We all enjoyed it,” he said. “We had a good time. It looked like we weren’t having a good time, but we were having a great time on the TV show. ... It was a hard decision, because there’s a lot of history here.”

about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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hcirehttae said...

I don't like TV shows that make a spectacle of people's real lives. Don't you think there's always a negative blow-back, as in this case? How wasteful is it to build a house like this for no one to live in? Stop watching TV shows like this one and they'll stop making them. Live your real life, folks.

August 11, 2010 at 12:46 p.m.
littleoleme said...

I'm a little confused about the square footage of this house-the article states 7800 sq ft while the caption on the picture says 6500 sq ft.

August 11, 2010 at 4:57 p.m.
NoMyth said...

Ugly exterior and way overpriced...the lot looks terrible in the photo...not what is expected for 7 figures. I hope the author will write a follow-up story in one year when this property will still be available.

August 11, 2010 at 8:36 p.m.
wcsquigulum said...

That place looks like apartments in the projects. Where are the junk cars on blocks?

August 11, 2010 at 10:06 p.m.
moonpie said...

If there is a way to build an uglier house, perhaps HGTV should show us....

August 11, 2010 at 10:56 p.m.
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