Knoxville, TN Market?

7 Replies

Hi all!

My husband and I live in Duluth, MN. We have two properties we bought in 2017, both of which seem like they're going to turn out pretty well! We moved here for my job in the Air National Guard, anticipating a twenty year retirement while building a real estate company on the side.

And then life happened. I was diagnosed this year with an autoimmune disorder that will make me ineligible to reenlist in the military. I will finish out my enlistment in January of next year, so now my husband and I are looking into other options to establish a solid cash flow when I lose my fairly comfortable salary. I have a degree in IT and my husband works in the trades, so finding other work will not be an issue. However, we figure we can use this opportunity to take a chance on the real estate side of things and hope to eventually work that full time.

Here's our plan. The cost of living in our area is very, very high and the market is very hot. In addition to this, it's cold here 4 months of the year and we are not cold weather people. We have done some research and found that Tennessee, specifically the Knoxville area seems like it could be a good market for both rentals and fix-and-flips. We would like to purchase a house in cash, rehab it and either flip or refi and rent it. Then we would rinse and repeat as many times as we could. Our current home in Duluth could be sold for roughly $20k in profit or rented at $1350 a month, $700 over our mortgage payment. 

What I'm hoping to learn from those already investing in the area is how the market looks down there from the rental side and the flipping side? Are there are state specific pros and cons to investing in TN to consider? Any advice on good areas and bad areas within the metro area and the suburban areas? We are looking to invest in the $30k range to start with.

Thanks in advance :)

Hi Hannah! I'm sorry to hear about your new health challenges, but it sounds like you're staying optimistic about transitioning out of the military. I got out of the Army about 2 years ago and it has been an exciting adventure.

So full disclosure, I don't own any rentals in the East TN area (yet), but I was born and raised in Knoxville, so I may be able to help a little. There are several great markets in Tennessee, including Knoxville and it's surrounding suburbs. West Knoxville, particularly Farragut, is a higher priced area with more commercial growth. You'll find more A class neighborhoods there than anywhere else. Karns, Powell, and Halls are great communities in the north with steady growth and decent schools. As you get inside the 640 bypass closer to downtown, you'll find less B and more C/D class residential areas mixed in with the commercial areas. In the downtown area, there are a lot of people buying fixer uppers to rent to the college students that go to UTK. If you're planning on BRRRR'ing most of your houses, it might not be a bad idea to start looking away from the college. UTK is a pretty big party school, which eventually means trashed rentals.

Another area to take a look at is Maryville. It's been a growing area for awhile now, but since it's still outside Knoxville, the prices may be cheaper. There are several large business around Maryville, so you should find a decent customer base.

Hope you find some great deals down in Knox-vegas and feel free to ask more about the area.

Spot on.  Do be aware of TN eviction laws... i've heard they can be difficult for the owner

Originally posted by @Justin Caughron :

Spot on.  Do be aware of TN eviction laws... i've heard they can be difficult for the owner

 Don't know much about other state laws but belive you have heard wrong. Evicting tenants here is not a difficult process 

east tn is a great place to live! I dont want to discourage you but the market is tough everywhere, and knoxville is no exception. Rents are low around here and demand for single family, high, so finding a 1 percent rule house, nearly impossible outside a war zone. You might be able to get a duplex that works. There are tons of very small mobile home parks around that might fit the bill. Otherwise have you considered syndication?

If you want more specifics, please pm me, i will be happy to help!

Thank you, everyone! I appreciate the insight. I feel a little more comfortable looking at areas now, and will be looking into the eviction laws.

@Hannah Hess, You might consider investing in a mail campaign to see the type of results you get. There are over 4,000 Absentee Homeowners with property in Powell, Halls, Maryville and Knoxville, TN - Home value $50-200,000, high equity single and multifamily.

You might also consider Seniors in the same areas that have owned their homes for at least 20 years and could be ready for downsizing.

Let me know if you would like to see a breakout by zip.

Karen Emery I’m interested in that inf as well :)

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