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An empty home sits on Tunnel Boulevard. It had formerly been split into multiple apartments. Multiple homes around the Chattanooga area sell for around the $200,000 mark.

Robin Howard had a vision of restoring the original grandeur to the home of a onetime Tennessee riverboat captain. The modified American Foursquare home on Tunnel Boulevard was built in 1920 but, by the 1930s, had been divided into four apartments.

"It was really unique," said Howard, who with her late husband refurbished several houses. "Structurally, it was in great condition." To restore the home to a single-family dwelling, the main floor was divided into six rooms, two with gas-log fireplaces. The second floor was reconfigured to have four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and large closet.

New Sheetrock, wiring, plumbing and insulation are in place. Interior and exterior finishing touches remain to be done. And the landscaping -- the house sits on a shady double lot with lots of weedy growth -- is another piece of work.

But now Howard is trying to divest some of her properties to purchase a home on Chickamauga Lake. So the home with the potential to be a showplace is available for $200,000. "It would still have the same charm," she said, "but be totally finished."

The Tunnel Boulevard home is one of four $200,000 properties in Hamilton County visited earlier this week by a Times Free Press reporter accompanied by Realtor Steven Sharpe of Keller Williams Realty. The homes were built between 1920 and 2006 and range in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. 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).

Contact Clint Cooper at or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at


• Address: 314 Tunnel Blvd.

• Schools: Zoned for Woodmore Elementary, Dalewood Middle and Brainerd High School.

• Size: 2,994 square feet.

• Bedrooms: 4.

• Bathrooms: 4 plus two half baths.

• Lot size: 70 feet by 264.59 feet.

• Year built: 1920.

• Annual taxes: $1,924.

• Days on market (under current listing agent): 14.

• Description: Potential showplace, but lots of work ahead on the roomy stucco and brick home. Wiring and plumbing replaced and brought up to code along with insulation. Home has new windows throughout and two fireplaces converted to gas logs. Layout has been converted and Sheetrocked to afford four bedrooms, each with own bath and large closet. Floors, appliances, door frames, kitchen and bath fixtures and light fixtures among the needs inside. Exterior of home requires gutters, stucco and paint along with new sewer/water lines, which would connect to Tunnel Boulevard, where new driveway also may be required (depending on negotiations with owner).

Sharpe: "It's a blank slate. The bones are here. It would take a lot of work. It would take $100,000 just to get it livable."


• Address: 400 Marlboro Ave.

• Schools: Zoned for East Ridge Elementary, East Ridge Middle, East Ridge High School.

• Size: 2,291 square feet.

• Bedrooms: 3.

• Bathrooms: 2.

• Lot size: 161.2 feet by 149.9 feet.

• Year built: 1945.

• Annual taxes: $2,324.

• Days on market (under current listing agent): 169.

• Description: Appealing, well-landscaped brick home (with twin decorative sandstone lion sculptures greeting visitors) features formal living room and sitting room, formal dining room, breakfast room, small but updated kitchen with granite countertop and stainless-steel appliances, pantry, hardwood floors, crown molding, two bedrooms and bath on main level. Basement has third bedroom with full bath and huge closet. The home has a large yard, two-car carport, large patio and small deck.

Sharpe: "It's move-in ready. Nothing has to be done. The kitchen is well done. The cabinets are nice. The landscaping is great. It's in a convenient location."


• Address: 7001 Palermo Drive.

• Schools: Zoned for East Brainerd Elementary, Ooltewah Middle, Ooltewah High School.

• Size: 2,459 square feet.

• Bedrooms: 3.

• Bathrooms: 2.

• Lot size: 156 feet by 143.36 feet.

• Year built: 1966.

• Annual taxes: $2,138.

• Days on market (under current listing agent): 36.

• Description: Brick-and-frame raised rancher on wooded lot in the shadow of Interstate 75 has living room/dining room combo, kitchen with lots of cabinets but linoleum floor and laminate countertops, hardwood floors (though some stains) and paneled den with wood-burning fireplace. Main level also has master bedroom/bath and two additional bedrooms. Basement level, with bedroom, bath, sitting room and separate entrance, could be den, teen suite or in-law suite.

Sharpe: "The location is not great, [but] it's convenient to Hamilton Place and downtown, though you'd have to go through traffic every day. It has mature shade trees. [If you bought it,] you'd have to redo the wood flooring and the wood [paneling]. There are cheaper houses with the same layout all over the county."


• Address: 6718 River Stream.

• Schools: Zoned for Wallace A. Smith Elementary, Brown Middle, Central High School.

• Size: 2,000 square feet.

• Bedrooms: 3.

• Bathrooms: 2.

• Lot size: 120 feet by 186.06 feet.

• Year built: 2006.

• Annual taxes: $1,411.

• Days on market (under current listing agent): 73.

• Description: Split-foyer, brick-and-siding home offers great room with gas fireplace, hardwood floors, crown molding, dining room with attractive wainscoting and tiled kitchen with granite-look laminate countertops and stainless appliances. Split-bedroom layout has master suite with spacious walk-in closet on one side and two bedrooms and a full bath on the other. There is a small deck off the great room. Basement could be man cave, theater room or den. Entire yard slopes.

Sharpe: "It's typical new construction, very 2000s. You can find [a similar house] in a lot of neighborhoods. It has great open spaces and a basement room for entertaining, playroom or a fourth bedroom. [However], you'll always have to be going up stairs. There's nothing striking [about it]. It's very representative [of its style and era]."