Chattanooga TN rental market?

25 Replies

Hope everyone is excited for the upcoming holidays! My wife and I traveled to Chattanooga Tennessee last year and fell in love with the city. We are from upstate New York but we were curious as to what is the rental market in Chattanooga? The city reminded us of our small city back home which is crazy expensive to get started in $300k+ for a duplex which usually needs updates to get market rent. The cost of rental apartments down there is drastically less to buy and the rent is also less than where we are from, we just don’t know the demand. We would probably be looking at buying a starter duplex and hiring a property management company to test the market. Any insight from locals would be awesome. Many thanks and Merry Christmas!

Welcome, @Brian M. ! My wife and I had a similar experience with Chattanooga and moved here from CA a little over a year ago. We just purchased our first SFR which had tenants in it so we didn't have to put it on the market. However, all the other landlords I have spoken with have not had trouble filling SFRs or duplexes down here. We have not been disappointed by the opportunities of living in this area so far, so best of luck!

@Brian Levredge runs a property management company and is one of the experienced real estate people on BP in this area. Give him a shout.

It's a great market. I moved here from Nashville 4 years ago. The market blends a low cost of living with relatively high quality of life, and is growing rapidly. I have two SFRs here, and I'm buying another one his summer. 

What are the attractive qualities of the Chattanooga market? I have heard that it attracts outdoors enthusiasts but don't know much more than that. 

Any growth drivers, major employers, or upcoming expansion plans?

I personally bought and moved here for the outdoor recreation opportunities

@Daniel Hyman 

The city has several major employers. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield is headquartered there

Unum Provident

CBL & Associates

Cigna Health

Amazon

U.S Xpress

TVA

Coke

Volkswagen 

McKee foods

Erlanger Health System

Electric power board 

Growth drivers is auto and tech startups. The city has the fastest internet because of the fibre-optic network installed by EPB. I’ve met a few Techies who moved there recently from California. 

@Brian M. Welcome brother! This is a great community with lots of growth and potential.  @Jeremy M. , my wife and I too moved here from SoCal back in Feb of this year, we dont regret it for a second!  I will second Jeremy's notion of @Brian Levredge and his group as solid for PM.   @Jeremy Milford, if you would like to get together some time for coffee/eating, shoot me a PM, would love to talk more with you about your experience here!

-Wes

Wow thanks for all the feedback! Both my wife and I are tired of NY being a vampire state and the constant snow. Spent a day in Chattanooga last year and fell in love! We will definitely start looking deeper into that market for sure. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

@Wes Harrington, was also curious to know what property/ school taxes are like in Chattanooga. We also bought a duplex two years ago but the school taxes alone were $4,000 a year

@Brian M. So most of our property taxes have ranged as little as ~$650 - 1500/yr.  I know they can be a bit more if you are Chattanooga proper/downtown, Northshore, etc, but I can only speak for what we have. Hope that helps.

-Wes

@Wes Harrington

I guess you can’t argue with those numbers. Much appreciated

Welcome @Brian M. , My wife and I been at Chattanooga for the last 20 years and seen the progressive transformation. Great city to live & work with less than 2 hours drive to bigger cities like Atlanta, GA or Nashville TN. The property taxes were revised this year but still little less than $2000/year for a duplex in the city (for the ones I own). If in the county, its about half of that.  Hope this helps

-Dennis

@Dennis s.

Thanks for the input, in my area taxes are better than other surrounding towns so we got a little luck there. Any input on the good areas? I keep seeing “Red Bank” when I look on realtor.

Brian

I have two rentals in east ridge (part of Chattanooga). I’ve been managing them myself. When I put them on the market I had 20+ people inquiring about the houses within 24 hours. Probably had 2-3 people I would consider qualified to pick from so has been easy to rent out. 

Here is how I would break out chattanooga

- east ridge - lots of rentals and mostly blue collar and not a ton of crime. 

- east brainerd - super solid area, Walmart around every corner. Prices won’t rise like crazy but it’s a very solid area especially with Hamilton place mall nearby. 

- st Elmo - the hot part of town. Used to be ghetto risen like crazy past few years. Be careful buying near here because there are pockets of rough area around it. 

- Northshore - same maybe even hotter than st Elmo although I think prices have slowed a bit. 

- red bank - probably the next good area to buy rentals because folks moving to area can have affordable housing and be close to downtown. 

Ooltewah and Hixson are also nice place idk much about the market. 

Hope this helps, philip 

Hi everyone!  I have been away from BiggerPockets for a while and was just researching about the rental markets in Chattanooga.  I had been looking in Nashville and have been looking at similar markets that weren't over priced.

Do any locals have insight on the where in the Chattanooga area they are seeing success?

Just starting to look again so thanks in advance for any advice.

@Ali MirRasekhian

See comments from Philip Hinchman above.  They are pretty spot on.  I have units all over town and they all tend to do pretty well provided you buy right.  That's easier said than done these days.  Zip codes that are much more intensive to manage are 37406, 37404, 37407, and 37410.  Try to avoid those if possible.  

Would you choose investing in Chattanooga over Knoxville?

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That's what I'm wondering,Chattanooga or Knoxville?. Anyone out there knows these two markets and care to chime in on issues like price vs. rent ,ect ?.

Thanks to those who have posted all of the great information above! 

I am a Houstonian recently relocated to the Cleveland area just NE of Chattanooga and was wondering if anyone can give me insight into the market here. I am most interested in buy and hold rentals, but hubby is more of the flipping mentality. Any recommendations for local realtors who specialize in working with investors, great property managers, etc? 

As regards Chattanooga, we were actively looking for flip houses in East Ridge last fall and saw plenty for sale in the $50-70k range. Now it seems prices are mid-80’s plus! Is it just the time of year, or have prices really gone up?

Thanks!

@Rebecca Welch welcome to the area! My partner and I work regularly with investors getting them into both flips and buy and holds. The market is definitely hot right now, though we sometimes find it more difficult to find potential flips on MLS that will work with investor numbers. It seems like the sellers are trying to take advantage of the market in unrealistic ways when it comes to rehabs, so we generally have to watch them sit for awhile until the price comes down closer to where our investors need them to be. I've seen some having more success getting into wholesale or off-market properties first then we list them after rehab. You just have to be careful with some of those in the wholesale market because they aren't always in great flip areas so you may have to sit on it longer. Rental market is great. Many options for MF under 200k in good producing areas. Red Bank, yes - you will continue to see it rise.

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