published Saturday, August 13th, 2011

What you get for $250,000 in the Chattanooga housing market

What kind of house will a quarter of a million dollars buy in Hamilton County?

As it turns out, quite a lot. And almost certainly more than it would have in the pre-Great Recession years.

At $250,000, roughly double the median price of all houses sold in the Chattanooga last month, eight houses in Hamilton County are available.

Earlier this week, a Times Free Press reporter, accompanied by Realtor Steven Sharpe of Keller Williams Realty, visited four of those houses.

Two list for exactly $250,000, one is a dollar less at $249,999 and one is $100 less at $249,900.

All four have four bedrooms (or space that could be a fourth bedroom) and at least two-and-a-half baths, and the four range in size from 2,169 to 4,528 square feet. They also range in age: The oldest was built in 1913, the newest in 2011. Three are in Chattanooga, and one is in an unincorporated part of Hamilton County.

Descriptions of each house are based on the tour and comparisons available from Multiple Listing Service information. Also included are comments by Sharpe (who is not the listing agent for any of the properties).

FERGER PLACE

Address: 125 Eveningside Drive.

Schools: Zoned for East Side Elementary, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.

Size: 2,169 square feet.

Bedrooms: 3.

Bathrooms: 2 1/2.

Lot size: 75 feet by 140 feet.

Year built: 1913.

Annual taxes: $1,327.

Days on market (under current listing agent): 8.

Description: Two-story, red brick home in contained neighborhood convenient to downtown and Brainerd features large rooms, two gas fireplaces, kitchen built-ins, master suite (unusual for the period), stair chair-lift (appealing to buyers with special needs), crown molding, fenced backyard, large front porch, covered car parking spot and a back-porch half bath. Basement room could be a fourth bedroom. The kitchen needs updating, and the rest of the house would probably require some sprucing up, but the home appears solid.

Sharpe: “Anyone interested in this type of [older] home, this is what they’re looking for. It’s classical. [Ferger Place] has a tight, neighborhood feel to it.” Like “a gated community. It has a quiet, restricted [neighborhood] feel.”


TWIN BROOK

Address: 7467 Twin Brook Road.

Schools: Zoned for Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, Ooltewah Middle School, Ooltewah High School.

Size: 2,800 square feet.

Bedrooms: 4.

Bathrooms: 2 1/2.

Lot size: 130 feet by 140 feet.

Year built: 1971.

Annual taxes: $2,794 (2010).

Days on market (under current listing agent): 38.

Description: Traditional brick, two-story home in settled East Brainerd neighborhood features hardwood in most downstairs rooms, formal living and dining rooms, and den with fireplace and wet bar. Kitchen has new countertops, pickled cabinets, beadboard siding, new built-in bookshelves, desk and deep storage drawers. Master suite and three other bedrooms on second floor. Upstairs baths appear updated. Crown molding throughout adds nice touch. Entirety of backyard is fenced pool and patio area. Poolhouse contains refrigerator and half bath.

Sharpe: “This makes for a great entertaining home. It’s a comfortable home. There’s nothing you’d have to do to move in here.”


THE LAKES AT STANDIFER

Address: 8432 Maple Valley Drive.

Schools: Zoned for Wolftever Elementary School, East Hamilton Middle/High School.

Size: 2,200 square feet.

Bedrooms: 3.

Bathrooms: 2 1/2.

Lot size: 60 feet by 125 feet.

Year built: 2011.

Annual taxes: Not applicable.

Days on market (under current listing agent): 92.

Description: New construction with multitextured sidings features open floor plan with coffered-ceiling great room, kitchen, formal dining room and ventless gas fireplace. Covered back porch looks out over the neighborhood’s manmade lake. Master bedroom, also on first level, includes double tray ceiling and bath with granite countertops, soaker tub, separate shower and furniture-like vanity. Second floor has two additional bedrooms, landing/loft space that could be an office or homework room and a large bonus room that could be fourth bedroom, den or playroom.

Sharpe: New builds traditionally offer “a little less home” but preference of style and location plus underground utilities and a mandatory warranty of at least a year. “You have the benefits of everything new and not having to worry with [repairs]. You have smaller entertainment spaces, but everything is brand new.”


HIXSON

Address: 6470 Fairview Road.

Schools: Zoned for Big Ridge Elementary, Hixson Middle School, Hixson High School.

Size: 4,528 square feet.

Bedrooms: 5.

Bathrooms: 4.

Lot size: 114.14 feet by 204.84 feet.

Year built: 1990.

Annual taxes: $3,596.

Days on market (under current listing agent): 38.

Description: Unusual brick and stucco home on Big Ridge is rather plain in front but is roomy inside and features a scenic view of Chickamauga Lake and beyond from the large rear deck and screened-in porch. Main level has two master suites, plus two other bedrooms, both with separate jetted tubs and showers. Eat-in kitchen could use at least some new countertops — they’re fuchsia — but has some nice built-ins and adjacent laundry room. Built-out basement featuring large great room with kitchen area, potential bedroom and full bath could be a man cave or handicap-accessible in-law suite. There’s also a circular driveway in front, a drive that wraps around the back, a roomy two-car garage and a sloping back yard.

Sharpe: Though parts appear to be “frozen in time,” the home is “all about entertaining. It’s a little bit of a hidden gem if this is the lifestyle you’re wanting to have.”

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about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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