SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tennessee (WJHL) – If a property on Lake Boone is priced right, it can be sold within 24 hours.
But there are too few properties for sale around Boone, and too many impatient buyers are hoping to secure their piece of the lakeside. The result is a highly competitive and increasingly expensive real estate market.
“There are some very expensive and high standard properties for sale. Millions of dollars more, ”said Steve Lohoff of Town & Country Realty.
Lohoff specializes in lake properties. He saw the effect of the Boone Dam repair project and the lowering of the lake in 2014 on the surrounding real estate market.
“It seems that in the first year or two, there were people who were panicking. Especially the people who didn’t live there full time. They sold at a depressed price, ”he said.
Over the past two years, Lohoff said sales on Boone Lake were still in demand.
“Recently, now that the lake has risen, people have stood their ground and waited until now to bring their properties to market. They bring great value right now, ”he said.
The news of the rising water again excited sellers.
“They put their properties in order, made their updates and put them [the market]. Because they knew people would line up and wait for that, ”Lohoff said.
Over the past few months, Lohoff has sold six or seven lots in his own neighborhood, the Grande Harbor community of Blountville. While the land behind some backyards still looks more like a desert than a lake, that should change soon. TVA said Boone Lake will return to normal summer pool levels in July.
Lohoff said many buyers are from other states, including New York and California. Cash buyers account for around 40% of transactions.
“It would be nice if we had more listings and more properties for sale,” he said. “Because when they hit the market and they’re priced accordingly, they fly off the shelves.”
The data shows that the housing inventory in the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Boone is tight.
The Northeastern Tennessee Association of Realtors says that so far this year, home sales are up 17.2 percent. Land sales fell from four to 19 in the first four months of last year.
The registrations available have decreased. NETAR reports that active listings are down 25.3% from the spring of last year.
Ronnie Nelson of Piney Flats owns five different properties near Boone Lake. When it comes to renting them out and selling them, there are waiting lists. He says there is no need to advertise. Interested parties come to see it first.
“People told me I was crazy when I bought when the water ran out. Now they’re, “Well, maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea after all,” Nelson said.
NETAR data shows the average selling price is $ 379,868 in neighborhoods around Boone Lake. This is 10.3% more than last year
Nelson has seen values rise since he acquired a property on the lake in the 1980s. He first sold the house and bought it back in recent years.
“When I bought it, I bought it for $ 62,000. Sold for [$160,000]. And bought back five years ago for [$310,000]…. so I probably refused [$800,000] for that now, ”he said.
Potential buyers offer him the highest amounts for his properties. But Nelson is clinging to his slice of Boone heaven for now.
“It’s like a vacation home every Friday. People from New York and Pennsylvania, when they get here, fall in love with it, ”he said.
Nelson is delighted that the rising waters are bringing back the sense of lakeside community he once enjoyed.
In about a month, he plans to finally be able to put his boat back in the water. He’s been stuck in his dock since water levels suddenly dropped in 2014.
He describes Boone Lake as a “diamond in the rough,” and the word is finally out.
“If you want a good location on the lake, you’re going to have to buy a house, tear it down, and build whatever you want,” he says.
He believes the properties will only increase in value in the future.
“In the next two or three decades, it will be priceless,” he said.