Investors in Knoxville, TN

12 Replies

I am very new to real estate investing and I was just wondering if there were any local investors on here that could help share some knowledge about the market around the area. Meaning any trending areas in population, best school districts, best areas to look for, etc. Any information shared would be extremely helpful, thank you!

Probably the best advice I can give is take a step back and define what real estate investment strategy you will have - flips, single family, multifamily, price points, short term rentals, etc.; this will point you into a more specific path and focus. The area around Ijams has been hot, Oak Ridge and Maryville can be good, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for short term rentals, and lots of other options.

As far as neighborhood stats on crime and appreciation, etc I have found Neighborhood Scout gives a good overview:


Also, @Derek Tellier hosts a local meet up where you will find a lot of good people sharing inforamtion.

Hope that helps


I echo @Ken Dillard 's advice. I have properties in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Mt. Juliet. Knoxville is an interesting market with the University. You will need to define what type of property you want to purchase and the type of renter. Having purchased a property in Pigeon Forge, I would advise against that short term rental market since the management companies are unreasonable with their management fee- nothing is left over for the property owner after they get their fees. 

It may be worthwhile to look in Maryville since there is a college there, its a nice bedroom community from Knoxville, and has all the amenities but far less of the problems that Knoxville has. Good Luck!!


I second @Julie McCoy . I would say about half of the STR's in the Smokies are self managed by remote owners now. With Airbnb and VRBO, there's really no need for a PM anymore. You just need a local cleaner and a local handyman and you're off to the cash flow races.

But you asked about Knoxville. There is lots of opportunity for cash flowing investments in the LTR market in Knoxville. I don't personally own anything there, mine are spread out across PF/G-Burg, Chattanooga, and Nashville, but have kept an eye on it for a few years. If something came across my desk there I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

Originally posted by @Julie McCoy :

@John Porter @Brian Boyd I self-manage three STRs in the Pigeon Forge area, and one in California - no need to pay a PM an exorbitant amount!  If you're paying a PM, all your profit is going to them - but if you're not, STRs in that area are cash flow monsters. 

yup. What Julie said. 


@John Porter , you can earn 10-15% cash on cash net with STVRs in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area with Master lease/ triple net lease of property to a business manager. No different than owning a building and leasing it to Walgreens or CVS.

If you are self employed consider using Solo 401k to invest in STVRs. Allows for tax free cash flow and capital gains.

Hey John I currently have a dozen STR's in Knoxville. Most of them are walking distance to campus or downtown. I just purchased a few apartments near campus (about a 20 minute walk to Neyland Stadium) and they are doing 4x what the long term apartments are getting in the building. I started them at the beginning of football season so the numbers are a little inflated but they should average out to about 3x long term rental rates.

@John Porter For long term A friend just purchased a home in Concord with so many homes on or near lake front is a bonus. Farragut and also Turkey Creek seems to be where the younger Knoxville crowd seems to be compared to further out in the county, that and also downtown Knoxville. With the plans to revitalize the downtown area that plus the UT campus hopefully means continued growth. In Knoxville for STR you are supposed apply for a permit.

I manage several of them for others so those owners all got their own permits. For my own units I just make sure they are commercially zoned and you can have as many as you like. You just have to set up a new LLC for every two commercially zoned units you get. There are also a lot of good options for houses just outside of the city limits. Knox County doesn't have any regulations on STR's.

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