Knoxville Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Multiple Offers in Seller's Markets: Sometimes homebuyers wonder if it's even worth trying to compete against other buyers in a seller's market. It's not unusual for a seller to receive receive two, three, four, or even more offers when there's very little inventory on the market.

It's almost always a good idea to write an offer anyway. Somebody will be the winning offer. Why can't that person be you? 

Write Your Best Offer: Don't hope for negotiation in a seller's market. Offer your highest price, one you can live with if your offer should be rejected. Do your best!

Tim Sharp 865-705-2062  REALTOR “listing agent and buyer’s specialist Realtor”.  He can be reached by phone, email, or even by text messaging. Just Listed Knoxville Real Estate

Oct. 21, 2019

Becoming a Referral Associate

Are about to leave real estate – you can utilize your licenses as a referral agent for extra income By Becoming a Referral Associate – Just Listed Knoxville Real Estate  Referrals.

As a Just Listed Knoxville Real Estate llc, you’ll earn extra income just by referring the people you know. Friends and family, Social media contacts, Members of any groups or organizations you belong to just about anyone you meet, Yourself.

How do you become a Referral Associate? We make it simple. To become a Referral Associate, you need a real estate license and an affiliation such as Just Listed Knoxville Real Estate llc. 

In other words, you have a license, use it! You are a Tennessee Licensed Real Estate Agent. 

NO REALTOR Association fees or NO Multiple Listing Membership fees. NO quotas and therefore No stress NO meetings or responsibility.

Expenses will be minimal only state fees, E&O insurance, Continuing Education to stay licensed. NO company fees.

Ready to get started, Questions? Speak with Tim 865-705-2062 or Steve 865-235-1520 visit us at REAL ESTATE FOR BUYERS / SELLERS


Posted in Community News
Oct. 21, 2019

Best Home Warranties Based on In-Depth Reviews


A complete guide to understanding what makes a good home warranty contract and company.

Posted in Buying
Oct. 21, 2019

List of things that will help you have an even better vacation or weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountain

Here is a list of things that will help you have an even better vacation or weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountain area:

Posted in Thing To Do
Oct. 17, 2019

Standard Estimated Life Expectancy Chart for Homes


The following chart details the predicted life expectancy of appliances, products, materials, systems and components.  (For homes located in Florida and the surrounding coastal region, please refer to InterNACHI's Florida Estimated Life Expectancy Chart for Homes.) ( NAHB Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components )
Consumers, and inspectors and other professionals advising their clients, should note that these life expectancies have been determined through research and testing based on regular recommended maintenance and conditions of normal wear and tear, and not extreme weather or other conditions, neglect, over-use or abuse.  Therefore, they should be used as guidelines only, and not relied upon as guarantees or warranties. 
Surface preparation and paint quality are the most important determinants of a paint's life expectancy. Ultraviolet (UV) rays via sunshine can shorten life expectancy.  Additionally, conditions of high humidity indoors or outdoors can affect the lifespan of these components, which is why they should be inspected and maintained seasonally.
Caulking (interior & exterior)
5 to 10
Construction Glue
Paint (exterior)
7 to 10
Paint (interior)
10 to 15
Roofing Adhesives/Cements
3 to 8
Appliance life expectancy depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Furthermore, consumers often replace appliances long before they become worn out due to changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences.
Air Conditioner (window)
5 to 7
Compactor (trash)
Disposal (food waste)
Dryer Vent  (plastic)
Dryer Vent  (steel)
Dryer (clothes)
Exhaust Fans
10 to 20
Gas Oven
10 to 18
Hand Dryer
10 to 12
Humidifier (portable)
Microwave Oven
Range/Oven Hood
Electric Range
13 to 15
Gas Range   
15 to 17
9 to 13
Swamp Cooler
5 to 15
Washing Machine
5 to 15
Whole-House Vacuum System
Modern kitchens today are larger and more elaborate.  Together with the family room, they now form the “great room.” 
Bathroom Cabinets 
Closet Shelves  100+
Entertainment Center/Home Office 10
Garage/Laundry Cabinets 70+
Kitchen Cabinets 50
Medicine Cabinet 25+
Modular (stock manufacturing-type)
Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.
Acoustical Tile Ceiling
40+ (older than 25 years may contain asbestos)
Ceramic Tile   
Wood Paneling
20 to 50
Suspended Ceiling
Natural stone countertops, which are less expensive than they were just a few years ago, are becoming more popular, and one can expect them to last a lifetime. Cultured marble countertops have a shorter life expectancy, however.
Cultured Marble   
Natural Stone
20 to 30
Decks are exposed to a wide range of conditions in different climates, from wind and hail in some areas, to relatively consistent, dry weather in others. See FASTENERS & STEEL section for fasteners.
Deck Planks
8 to 25
Structural Wood
10 to 30
Exterior fiberglass, steel and wood doors will last as long as the house, while vinyl and screen doors have a shorter life expectancy. The gaskets/weatherstripping of exterior doors may have to be replaced every 5 to 8 years.
Closet (interior) 
Fiberglass (exterior) 
Fire-Rated Steel (exterior)
French (interior) 
30 to 50
Screen (exterior)
Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)
20 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement)
Vinyl (exterior) 20
Wood (exterior)
Wood (hollow-core interior)
20 to 30
Wood (solid-core interior)
30 to 100+
Copper-plated wiring, copper-clad aluminum, and bare copper wiring are expected to last a lifetime, whereas electrical accessories and lighting controls, such as dimmer switches, may need to be replaced after 10 years.  GFCIs could last 30 years, but much less if tripped regularly.
Remember that faulty, damaged or overloaded electrical circuits or equipment are the leading cause of house fires, so they should be inspected regularly and repaired or updated as needed.
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)
Bare Copper
Bulbs (compact fluorescent)
8,000 to 10,000+ hours
Bulbs (halogen)
4,000 to 8,000+ hours
Bulbs (incandescent)
1,000 to 2,000+ hours
Bulbs (LED)
30,000 to 50,000+ hours
Copper-Clad Aluminum
Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
up to 30
Lighting Controls
Residential Propane Backup Generators
Service Panel
Solar Panels
20 to 30
Solar System Batteries
3 to 12
Wind Turbine Generators
Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are durable household components, and engineered trim may last 30 years.
Engineered Joists
Laminated Strand Lumber
Laminated Veneer Lumber



Fastener manufacturers do not give lifespans for their products because they vary too much based on where the fasteners are installed in a home, the materials in which they're installed, and the local climate and environment.  However, inspectors can use the guidelines below to make educated judgments about the materials they inspect.
Adjustable Steel Columns
Fasteners (bright)
25 to 60
Fasteners (copper)
65 to 80+
Fasteners (galvanized)
Fasteners (electro-galvanized)
15 to 45
Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized)
35 to 60
Fasteners (stainless)
65 to 100+
Steel Beams
Steel Columns 100+
Steel Plates
Flooring life is dependent on maintenance and the amount of foot traffic the floor endures.
All Wood Floors
Brick Pavers
8 to 10
Engineered Wood
Exotic Wood
15 to 25
Other Domestic Wood
75 to 100
Concrete and poured-block footings and foundations will last a lifetime, assuming they were properly built.  Waterproofing with bituminous coating lasts 10 years, but if it cracks, it is immediately damaged.
Baseboard Waterproofing System
Bituminous-Coating Waterproofing
Concrete Block
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)
Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF; treated)
Post and Pier
20 to 65
Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade
Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation
Slab on Grade (concrete)
Wood Foundation
5 to 40
Framing and structural systems have extended longevities; poured-concrete systems, timber frame houses and structural insulated panels will all last a lifetime. 
80 to 200
Poured-Concrete Systems
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Timber Frame
The quality and frequency of use will affect the longevity of garage doors and openers.
Garage Doors
20 to 25
Garage Door Openers   
10 to 15
Home technology systems have diverse life expectancies and may have to be upgraded due to evolution in technology.
Built-In Audio
Carbon Monoxide Detectors* 5
Home Automation System
5 to 50
Security System
5 to 20
Smoke/Heat Detectors*
less than 10 
Wireless Home Networks
* Batteries should be changed at least annually.
Thermostats may last 35 years but they are usually replaced before they fail due to technological improvements.
Air Conditioner (central)
7 to 15
Air Exchanger
Attic Fan
15 to 25
Ceiling Fan
5 to 10
Chimney Cap (concrete)
Chimney Cap (metal)
10 to 20
Chimney Cap (mortar)
Chimney Flue Tile
40 to 120
8 to 20
Diffusers, Grilles and Registers
60 to 100
Electric Radiant Heater
Evaporative Cooler
15 to 25
15 to 25
Gas Fireplace
15 to 25
Heat Exchanger
10 to 15
Heat Pump
10 to 15
Heat-Recovery Ventilator
Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler
Induction and Fan-Coil Units
10 to 15
Ventilator 7
As long as they are not punctured, cut or burned and are kept dry and away from UV rays, cellulose, fiberglass and foam insulation materials will last a lifetime. This is true regardless of whether they were installed as loose-fill, housewrap or batts/rolls.
Black Paper (felt paper)
15 to 30
Liquid-Applied Membrane
Wrap Tape
Masonry is one of the most enduring household components. Fireplaces, chimneys and brick veneers can last the lifetime of the home.
Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)
Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)
Man-Made Stone
Masonry Sealant
2 to 20
Custom millwork and stair parts will last a lifetime and are typically only upgraded for aesthetic reasons.
Attic Stairs (pull-down) 
Custom Millwork
Pre-Built Stairs
Stair Parts
The lifetime of any wood product depends heavily on moisture intrusion.
Flooring Underlayment 
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Wall Panels
The quality of plumbing fixtures varies dramatically.  The mineral content of water can shorten the life expectancy of water heaters and clog showerheads.  Also, some finishes may require special maintenance with approved cleaning agents per the manufacturers in order to last their expected service lives.
ABS and PVC Waste Pipe
50 to 80
Accessible/ADA Handles
Acrylic Kitchen Sink
Cast-Iron Bathtub
Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (above ground)
Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (below ground)
50 to 60
Concrete Waste Pipe
Copper Water Lines
Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink
5 to 10+
Faucets and Spray Hose
15 to 20
Fiberglass Bathtub and Shower
Gas Lines (black steel)
Gas Lines (flex)
Hose Bibs
20 to 30
Instant (on-demand) Water Heater
PEX 40
Plastic Water Lines
Saunas/Steam Room
15 to 20
Sewer Grinder Pump
Shower Enclosure/Module
Shower Doors
100+ (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits)
Soapstone Kitchen Sink
Sump Pump
Toilet Tank Components
Toilets, Bidets and Urinals
Vent Fan (ceiling)
5 to 10
Vessel Sink (stone, glass, porcelain, copper)
5 to 20+
Water Heater (conventional)
6 to 12
Water Line (copper)
Water Line (plastic)
Water Softener
Well Pump
Whirlpool Tub
20 to 50
Radon systems have but one moving part:  the radon fan.
Air Exchanger
Barometric Backdraft Damper/Fresh-Air Intake
5 to 10
Radon Fan
5 to 8
The life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, building and design, material quality, and adequate maintenance.  Hot climates drastically reduce asphalt shingle life.  Roofs in areas that experience severe weather, such as hail, tornadoes and/or hurricanes, may also experience a shorter-than-normal lifespan overall or may incur isolated damage that requires repair in order to ensure the service life of the surrounding roofing materials.
Aluminum Coating
3 to 7
Asphalt (architectural) 
Asphalt Shingles (3-tab)
BUR (built-up roofing)
Coal and Tar
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber
15 to 25
Fiber Cement
Green (vegetation-covered)
5 to 40
40 to 80
Modified Bitumen
Simulated Slate
10 to 35
60 to 150
7 to 20
Outside siding materials typically last a lifetime.  Some exterior components may require protection through appropriate paints or sealants, as well as regular maintenance.  Also, while well-maintained and undamaged flashing can last a long time, it is their connections that tend to fail, so seasonal inspection and maintenance are strongly recommended.
Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia
20 to 40+
Aluminum Siding
25 to 40+
Asbestos Shingle
Copper Downspouts
Copper Gutters
Engineered Wood
Fiber Cement
Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts
Manufactured Stone
Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts 25+
Vinyl Siding
Wood/Exterior Shutters 20
Site and landscaping elements have life expectancies that vary dramatically. 
American Red Clay
Asphalt Driveway
15 to 20
Brick and Concrete Patio
15 to 25
Clay Paving
Concrete Walks
40 to 50
Gravel Walks
4 to 6
1 to 2
Polyvinyl Fencing 100+
Sprinkler Heads 10 to 14
Underground PVC Piping 60+
Wood Chips
1 to 5
Wood Fencing
Swimming pools are composed of many systems and components, all with varying life expectancies.
Concrete Shell
Diving Board
Filter and Pump
Interior Finish
10 to 35
Pool Water Heater 
Vinyl Liner
Waterline Tile
Aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, while wooden windows should last nearly 30 years.
15 to 20
8 to 20
10 to 20
Vinyl/Fiberglass Windows 20 to 40
Window Glazing

Note: Life expectancy varies with usage, weather, installation, maintenance and quality of materials.  This list should be used only as a general guideline and not as a guarantee or warranty regarding the performance or life expectancy of any appliance, product, system or component.
Posted in Buying
Oct. 16, 2019

Failed Home Inspection May Lead to Re-Listing Home

If you've ever tried to sell a home, you're familiar with home inspections. These inspections are usually ordered by a potential buyer when a house goes under contract. A home inspection is done by a professional who provides details about the overall condition of your house, including major structural and mechanical defects.

A home inspection which turns up multiple issues with your home can ruin a deal and leave you without a buyer. At that point, your agent may recommend pulling your house off of the market, making the necessary repairs, and relisting it. Let's look at what needs to be done to pass the next inspection and why re-listing your home may be a good move (pun intended).

How a Home Inspection Works

Let's say your house goes under contract and they buyer orders a home inspection. The inspection report reveals a lot of issues with your home. So many issue that the buyer decides to end the contract. Now you're left without a buyer and more issues than you ever imagined. Your agent encourages you to pull your house off of the market, fix the issues, then re-list it. You see that the issues are major and repairs need to be made so you agree.

Get a copy of the inspection report and talk to your agent about which repairs are most important. Without making repairs, you're setting yourself up for another failed inspection and a new potential buyer with the same concerns as the first. It's likely your agent has dealt with a situation like this before and may have suggestions for repair companies and which repairs are top priorities. Determine which issues you're going to resolve and get professionals in to provide estimates.

Home Inspection
  • Termite damage
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Mold issues
  • Roof issues
  • High radon levels

When the time comes to re-list, the buy-sell agreement must disclose any repairs that were not made. In addition, potential buyers need to be made aware of previous issues that have been fixed. Talk to your real estate agent about how to handle questions from buyers related to repairs. Withholding information could lead to a lawsuit.

If you are reading this article to gather information before selling your home, vs. being in the position of having to re-list, consider having an inspection done on your home before putting it on the market. Although you'll have to spend a bit of money, you will know what problems exist ahead of time and can make the repairs before signing a contract with your real estate agent.


Although a home inspection might lead to bad news, issues can be tackled and your home can be re-listed in better condition.  Potential buyers can rest easy knowing they can move in without having to tackle major issues. On the other hand, if there are a limited number of issues, the buyer might be willing to purchase the home but may want to re-negotiate the price so they have enough money to make the repairs.  Either way, a home inspection is an important step in finalizing the sale of your home and relisting your home can be an ideal solution after problems have been resolved.


I've worked in the real estate sector for more than a decade and enjoy sharing my knowledge on the subject and researching the latest trends. In my free time I like to craft, spend time with my family and dog, participate in outdoor activities like hiking, and I'm passionate about photography.

Posted in Selling
Oct. 16, 2019

How to Declutter Your Home-The Ultimate Guide

How to Declutter Your Home

There are a number of reasons why you might have chosen to read this guide. Perhaps you are tired of listening to your best friend regurgitating Marie Kondo tips that she learned from binge-watching the Netflix series.
Perhaps you are on a mission to streamline your lifestyle and cut down on the amount of housework you have to do (by eliminating clutter, the average home requires 40% less housework!).
Perhaps your clutter has got out of control and you can no longer find your tennis shoes/cat/kitchen!
According to NAPO (the National Association of Professional Organisers – yes, it’s a real thing!), we spend the equivalent of around 12 days a year looking for things we can’t find. If you could free up those 12 wasted days, and reduce your housework by 40%, and end the closet-shame, think about how much easier life would be. Not only would life be easier, but you may also be healthier.
study conducted at Indiana University, discovered that people who live in clean houses are healthier than those who have untidy homes.
No more emergency tidying when someone is coming round (and then finding boxes of things you shoved under the bed months later when you are looking for something else). No more avoiding rooms because you just don’t know where to start. No more buying take-out because the kitchen is just so cluttered that cooking is a chore.
No more excuses.


You know that stressed, frustrated feeling you get when you look around at the clutter and just don’t know how to fix it? As you declutter, those feelings untangle and dissipate.

Every time you clear a space, you are clearing your mind. Follow this guide and it will take you step-by-step to where you want to be.
Here are some of the most popular, tried-and-tested decluttering methods to suit everyone:


Take each room at a time and work methodically through it until it is completely decluttered. Anything that belongs in another room gets taken to that room to be dealt with when its turn comes. Perfect if you have problem rooms you need to focus on.


Rather than working one room at a time, you can deal with a certain type of clutter at a time, such as a paperwork overload or clothing clutter. This is ideal if you can identify a very specific clutter problem you want to tackle.

The Kon Mari Method

Popular decluttering guru Marie Kondo has created the Kon Mari method, a technique which has gained millions of followers by focusing on the wellbeing benefits of a tidy home. Gather together all of the clutter in your home, ask yourself if each individual item ‘sparks joy’, and eliminate the unnecessary things that you are hoarding.

Swedish Death Cleaning

This is the process of prioritizing and organizing your belongings, usually as you age, so that you leave behind only the things you wish to. The technique is increasingly popular with people of all ages as it involves the positive approach of deciding what is truly important.

Just 10 Things Technique

Simply take a bag or box and fill it with 10 things that you do not need. They may be recycled, binned or donated, but they must leave your home as soon as possible. Make it a regular habit and you will soon see and feel the difference.

Moving Forward Technique

We all accumulate things that are no longer relevant to our lives. Get rid of books you are no longer interested in, clothes that no longer fit, souvenirs from times you don’t care to remember, and move forward.


Before we jump into our decluttering system, here are some general tips that will help you get motivated, stay on track, and make the most efficient use of your time.

    1. Make a small start on the decluttering by picking up 5 items right now and getting rid of them by giving them away, recycling or binning them. Enjoy the feeling you get from having made a start and recognize how much better it would feel to do this with the entire home! This is a good tip if you tend to procrastinate.


    1. Be sensible about sentiment; if your house is covered in kids’ art or photographs, take pictures of each piece and then store it away in the attic or a scrapbook. Downscale by holding onto a couple of cups and saucers rather than the whole 40 piece tea set that your great-auntie left you.


    1. Are you surrounded by half-finished things? Get a couple of ‘project boxes’ for the things you truly must keep and store each project and everything it requires inside. If you haven’t made any progress with a project in 3 months, then get rid of it.


    1. Stop the flow of paper! If you are a gatherer of leaflets, catalogs, and mail, then it is time to change. Open your mail beside the recycling bin and get rid of unwanted things immediately. Take pictures of receipts, instructions, notices, and leaflets so you have the information you need without the paper.


    1. Make a list of local places that need donations. This is particularly helpful if you feel guilty about getting rid of things; by decluttering you could be helping others. Listing charities, hospitals, and residential homes will give you an added sense of purpose.


    1. Keep a box in your car so that it is as easy as possible to take unused things out of your home and get them to where they can be useful! Each time you pass a goodwill store, simply take the box in.


    1. Seeing double? Make a list of things you know you have two of. If you could always find the item when you needed it, would you need another? Nobody needs 5 pairs of scissors! Get rid of duplicates and spares.


    1. Think creatively to maximize the potential of every space. Is there space under your bed for storage boxes of out-of-season clothes? How about hooks on the back of your doors? Storage baskets on top of the bookcase? Shelves in an awkwardly shaped alcove?


    1. Never give up your valuable space to accommodate someone else’s clutter. Give back books and clothes you have borrowed, return belongings to your ex, make your brother come round and pick up his bicycle… anything taking up space in your home should be yours.


    1. It is perfectly acceptable to put a waste-paper bin in any room that needs it. If you find yourself gathering trash off the floor or other surfaces, then its time to add a bin to the room.


    1. Learn to love the label – if a label on a box makes you more likely to remember what it contains and put things back in it, indulge in some pretty labels and pens and get to work.


  1. Refuse to hoard – if you are holding onto clothes to make memory cushions, storing up corks to make a notice board, or hanging onto craft materials for a hypothetical scrapbook, be honest about whether you truly have time and motivation or if it would actually feel good to let go.


Set Goals

It is important to decide what you want to achieve before you start.

Visualize what you want your home to look like and how it would change your life. Imagine getting up in the morning and not having to rifle through piles of clothes. Picture how much easier life would be and how much time you would save.
Decide on a timescale. Without this decision, you are much more likely to procrastinate or give up. Make a firm commitment and be specific. Instead of saying, “I’d like the closets to be tidier,” say “By the end of the month, I will donate every unwanted item from our closets and organize the storage so it works effectively for us.”

The Handy 5 Box Rule

We are going to keep this really simple. All you need to begin are 5 bags or boxes to sort the clutter:

    1. Trash: anything that is broken, damaged or unusable should be thrown away.


    1. Recycling: recycle wherever possible.


    1. Sell: ask yourself if it is really worth the time and effort listing lower-value items and if not, donate instead.


    1. Donate: donate to a charity or pass things along to friends. Enjoy the opportunity to help others as you streamline your home.


  1. Keep: these should be things you either need or love. Be ruthless. If something needs to be fixed, only keep it if it’s worth fixing and you truly intend to.

Get Rid of It!

According to the NAPO, “72% of Americans believe they would gain more space in their homes by purging unused items, but 41%… haven’t decluttered for over a year”.

Until those bags are out of your home, they are technically still clutter!
    • Immediately take the trash to the bin; this is going to make the biggest difference to your home.


    • Take recycling to the nearest recycling center as soon as possible, even if it means making a special trip.


    • Starting with the higher value items, list everything for sale as soon as possible. Set yourself a deadline – if it isn’t sold within a month, it gets donated.


    • Put the box of donations in your car and drop them off at the soonest opportunity. Putting them in the car means getting them out of the house and you’ll be much more likely to actually donate them.


  • Divide things that are to be kept into those that should be stored away, and those you need regular access to. Items that can be stored should be packed away and safely stowed in the attic, basement, or garage. Items you want to keep should have a specific place where they belong. Give every item a home, and it will be much more likely to be returned there!


Whether you have problem rooms that are crying out for decluttering or you want to work through your entire home, the way you approach different spaces will be different. Let’s take a look at some more specific decluttering tips for each room.

Decluttering the Kitchen

A tidy kitchen could not only make cooking more enjoyable, but it could have a positive effect on the food choices you make. “Research shows that cluttered kitchens prompted people to eat 44% more of their snack food than a kitchen that was organized and decluttered” (NAPO).

    • Free up bench space by mounting a rack on the wall or on the back of a cupboard door for easy access to small containers such as spices.


    • Simple hooks can be used to wall-mount brushes, dustpans, and mops.


    • Cut down on plastic bags. We all have too many. A plastic bag dispenser is incredibly space-saving for the reusable bags you choose to keep.


    • To save floor space in a smaller kitchen, place the waste bin inside a cupboard.


    • Place half-shelves into kitchen cupboards to give you twice the storage and make it easier to see exactly what you have.


    • It is amazing how dinnerware builds up – get rid of any odd plates, chipped bowls and ask yourself if you really need 26 mugs for a household of four people.


    • Cull your gadget collection – if you haven’t used an item in the past six months, you are unlikely to really need it. Do you really need an olive-stone-remover or a fish de-scaler?


  • Increase your chances of putting things where they belong by storing your most-used items in the most easily accessed places. It will make it easier to prepare food, and easier to clear away.

Decluttering the Bedroom

Believe it or not, a tidy bedroom could give you that great nights’ sleep you are after! “Research shows that people [who declutter their bedroom] may sleep better at night.”
(Hopkins Medicine)

    • Simplify your nightstand by removing anything that you don’t need right by your bed.


    • Make the most of your drawers by using dividers to create more useable spaces for storing smaller items.


    • Use a jewelry tree or small hooks to easily store jewelry.


    • Over-door hangers or hooks are a great way to keep bathrobes and cardigans off the floor/bed/chair and within easy reach.


    • Store shoes and bags that you only use for special occasions or spare bedding/blankets inside your luggage and stow under the bed or in the bottom of a cupboard.


    • Minimize your vanity clutter by getting rid of any cosmetics and accessories that are old or unwanted. Throw them out or pass them to a friend.


    • Keep appliances such as hairdryers, straighteners or curlers in a basket with the accessories you might need when using them.


  • Do you really need a chair in the bedroom? If it is only ever used as a place to drape clothes or stack books, then get rid of it and enjoy more floor space.

Decluttering the Kids Rooms

Of all the rooms in the house, kids’ rooms are probably the places that accumulate the most unwanted clutter, simply because children develop so quickly that before you know it they have grown out of the toys, clothing, and books that just months ago they were growing into!

    • Kids grow out of clothes quickly; only keep items that fit well. Items that are too big should be stored in a box under the bed or on top of the wardrobe – label the box with the size.


    • Display kids’ collections on photo shelves on the walls, or in transparent craft-storage boxes so they can see their treasures without covering every available surface.


    • Use cheap poster frames to display a few of their favorite posters/works of art, rather than having lots of torn pictures peeling off the walls.


    • Children grow out of books as well as clothes – regularly ask them to choose books to donate to younger children, and then move them to a younger child’s room or donate to charity.


    • When you buy a toy with many pieces, buy a lidded box that it fits into. Small individual boxes are easier to access than big mixed toyboxes that need to be tipped out.


    • Memory boxes are fantastic; let the child choose the most precious items to keep.


    • Soft toys can be stored in handy nets or toy hammocks on the walls.


  • Install hooks at the child’s level so they can reach them easily.

Decluttering the Entrance Hall

As the first place you see when you enter the home, the entrance hall is an important place. If it is messy and cluttered, your mood instantly alters. Of course, because it is the first place you reach, it also can become a dumping ground for coats, shoes, and countless other things.

    • A large basket for outdoor shoes will keep them all in one place and keep floors clean and clear.


    • A bowl in the entrance hall is handy for spare change and keys, eliminating the frantic morning search for car keys.


    • Label coat hooks with names, and add another row of hooks below to hang bags or baskets for hats/gloves/scarves, etc.


    • Make use of wasted space in the entrance hall with slimline storage units or bookcases. Even a narrow or shallow storage unit can be useful.


    • A two-part system with an inbox for important mail and a wastepaper basket for junk mail to be recycled/binned will cut down on paper clutter.


    • A noticeboard in the entrance hall is a great place to post reminders, lists, and notes as it is the last thing you see before you leave the house.


    • Cut down on photo clutter on surfaces by turning your hallway wall or staircase wall into a photo gallery.


  • An ottoman or storage bench is an ideal place to stow bags or toys out of sight.

Decluttering the Home Office

Whether you work from home or have a study for keeping on top of paperwork, it is difficult to keep the home office from absorbing clutter from other rooms. A tidy office boosts productivity and puts an end to procrastination!

    • Keep family clutter out of the office space – remove everything not required for work.
    • Cables, chargers and leads can be a hazard as well as a major source of clutter; a cable sorter is invaluable (no more detangling!).


    • Test your stationery – you might be surprised at how many pens don’t work and how many notebooks are filled. Throw away anything no longer useful; never return a dry pen to the pen pot.


    • Check for duplicates of documents; there is no point having paper copies of documents already stored digitally.


    • Shred unwanted paperwork immediately – shredded paper doesn’t join a pile of unsorted paperwork!


    • Clear your noticeboard every Monday – a cluttered noticeboard is pointless as we simply ignore it. Keep just 10 tacks to pin things up and don’t buy any more.


    • Keep a cloth or some cleaning wipes in the office so you can easily and quickly wipe down surfaces – the home office is one of the places we often forget to clean.


  • Arrange your desk drawers for maximum productivity. Put the items you use most frequently into the top drawer, and those you use rarely into the bottom. Every Monday get rid of things from the bottom drawer that you haven’t used.

Decluttering the Living Room

As the room where you are most likely to spend time relaxing, it makes sense to declutter and keep it tidy so that it is easier and more enjoyable to hang out in. The living room is for living, it doesn’t have to be an empty space, but great storage and display areas will transform the way you live in it.

    • Look up for unused space – ensure storage units and bookcases offer you maximum storage by extending them all the way to the ceiling using additional shelves or boxes.


    • Choose a coffee table or side table with storage inside for toys, blankets, or other bulky items.


    • Wall-mount the television and install a shelf below for electronics so you can ditch the bulky storage unit in favor of more floor space.


    • Reduce the number of photographs, postcards, and other paper mementos and swap for a multi-aperture frame on the wall or album.


    • Cut down on unnecessary furnishings – get rid of surplus scatter cushions, curtains that pool on the floor and stick to just one rug.


    • Instead of displaying everything you own, cut back on ornaments and knick-knacks by getting rid of those you don’t absolutely love, and storing half of them away so that you can rotate your display.


    • Get rid of unwanted magazines and get hold of some magazine files for any you really want to keep.


  • Keep a basket in the living room that is for things that belong upstairs. When it is full, take it up and put everything away.

Decluttering the Laundry Room

The laundry room can be crucial for keeping your home free from clothing clutter. Whether you have a small laundry station or a larger room to work with, streamlining this area can cut down the time you spend sorting, washing, drying, and folding.

    • Simplify your cleaning supplies by sticking to a couple of quality, multi-purpose cleaning products, and reusable cloths. Store them in a bucket and take them with you from room to room as you clean.


    • Wall-mounted ironing boards and irons save space and are less likely to get damaged.


    • If you don’t already have kitchen cupboards in the laundry room, make the most of wall space above the worktop with wall units or shelves with storage boxes


    • Don’t let odd socks, things that need mending and stained items clutter the workspace; peg odd socks up to await matches and get rid of items that are beyond use.


    • Don’t hang clothes from chairs or door handles; install a clothes rail so that you can safely hang clothes and prevent them from getting wrinkled or dusty.


    • Keep a handheld vacuum cleaner in the laundry room for getting rid of lint, fluff, and dust.


    • Put a spare change jar in the laundry area – save any coins left in pockets towards a treat.


  • Separate baskets for lights, darks, and delicates mean you can stop sorting laundry piles on the floor or bench.

Decluttering the Bathroom

Most of us have too many lotions and potions in our bathrooms, and you might be surprised how many items are hiding away in cabinets or on shelves that you are not intending to use! Save valuable space, cut down on dust and create a relaxing haven in your bathroom.

    • Empty your medicine cabinet, throwing away anything that you don’t use or that may be past its best.


    • Store the items you use most often at eye level for easy access.


    • If you buy multiple items or stock up on supplies when they are on offer, keep them in a separate lidded box until they’re needed.


    • Eliminate unnecessary decorative items – does the smallest room in the house really need decorative bottles or wooden boats taking up space?


    • Minimize window clutter – if you have privacy glass, you don’t really need a blind in the bathroom.


    • Utilize the space under your sink with a cupboard that hides the pedestal.


    • Choose mirrored bathroom cupboards instead of having a mirror on the wall.


  • Every bathroom should have a bin – store small bin liners in the room so it is easy to quickly empty it.

Decluttering Closets

We all have far more clothes than we really need (and yet it often feels like we’ve nothing to wear!) Being more careful about what we keep and what we buy can transform how we feel about our closets, and that can change how we feel about the way we look. “In 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, that figure is 30 outfits — one for every day of the month.” (NAPO)

    • Declutter clothing by type, start with something simple like the underwear drawer; finish it before you move on.


    • Turn all of your clothes hangers one way. Each time you wear something, return it to the closet with the hanger the other way around. You’ll be surprised to find how many items weren’t worn after 3 months – time to donate!


    • Roll or fold items and place them vertically instead of horizontally (as if ‘filing’ them) so you can see what you have without making a mess.


    • Tie hangers also come in very handy for scarves and belts, and can save you valuable space that would otherwise be lost.


    • Store small handbags inside larger bags (once you have donated any you no longer want or use!)


    • If items often fall off hangers, opt for velvet coated hangers that are designed to be non-slip.


    • Utilize unused space below hanging racks by placing a shoe-rack in the bottom of the wardrobe.


  • Make the most of the top of your closet – a shelf in a built-in closet or boxes on top of a wardrobe can make a huge difference to your available storage.

Decluttering the Garage

The garage can become the ultimate storage area for things that we don’t quite know what to do with, projects we haven’t got around to or things the children have outgrown. Garage space can make up a large proportion of the space you own, so why waste it? “60 percent of parents admit they’ve been unable to park their car in the garage due to their overflowing belongings”. (NAPO)

    • Utilize old wardrobes and chests of drawers in the garage to store items.


    • A peg-board provides excellent versatile storage for tools and cables and is easy to make.


    • Re-use glass jars to store screws and other small items. They look great labeled and lined up.


    • Use heavy-duty hooks to keep larger garden tools safely off the floor.


    • Bicycles can be easily mounted on the wall to increase the usable floor space.


    • Throw away old, unwanted, or damaged outdoor toys. Store smaller toys such as bats and balls in wheeled storage bins that can be easily pushed outside when needed.


    • Offer outgrown bicycles, scooters, and other toys to charity or quickly sell them on. These are always in high demand and often show little wear.


  • Don’t let your garage become a dumping ground for items you don’t know what to do with! Don’t keep things ‘just in case’. Either let it go to someone who needs it, or dump it – few things are more valuable than the space you are freeing up!

Decluttering the Attic and Basement

If you dread the thought of going into the attic or basement because of the seemingly endless number of things you might find, then you can be sure there is stuff hiding away that you no longer need or want. If you can’t even get into these areas properly, then it is time to rid your home of unwanted clutter and reclaim your space.

    • These are well-known ‘junk amnesia’ areas – if you find something you didn’t know you had, then you don’t need it!


    • Start by getting rid of the largest items, this will clear space for you to work and give you a motivational sense of accomplishment.


    • Make decisions – don’t leave anything for ‘later’. The key to sorting out problem areas such as attics and basements is working methodically, fully dealing with each item as you reach it.


    • Invest in strong, wheeled storage boxes; the wheels will enable you to maneuver them easily when you are looking for something.


    • Don’t neglect these areas when it comes to effective storage – cheap storage furniture (nobody will see it!) transforms the space, giving you easier access than piles on the floor!


    • Ensure you have good lighting in areas that tend to be dark. This will help you identify clutter before it can build up.


    • Everything in the attic and basement should be clearly labeled so that you don’t undo your decluttering when searching for something.


  • Vacuum as you go – the attic and basement tend to be the dustiest parts of the home, and this can make it unpleasant work. Clean as you go; it will be much more rewarding.


Once you have decluttered, it is essential that you set in place good habits so that you don’t end up back in the same situation again. When you future-proof your home from clutter, you spend less time tidying and more time enjoying your home. That’s not to say that no clutter will ever build up again – of course it will, but with these management strategies it will be so much easier to eliminate!

    • Look around, if you see an item that does not have an official, designated home where it should stay, then give it one and stick to it.


    • Commit to buying better. Instead of opting for cheap throwaway fashion, choose quality pieces that are classic and versatile. Be more selective and choose quality over quantity.


    • Admire your work. When you have decluttered an area, spend time in it and make a genuine commitment to keeping it clutter-free.


    • Invite people round. There is nothing that makes you more suddenly aware of clutter than an eminent visitor. It is also a chance to enjoy your home without embarrassment.


    • Don’t get sucked in with multibuy offers for products you don’t need. It is not a saving if it costs you your space.


    • Have a ‘one-in-one-out’ rule for decorative items. Only buy something if you love it enough to replace an existing belonging. This will automatically make you more selective.


    • Allow yourself one junk drawer – just make sure that once it is full, you clear it out.


  • Eliminate paper wherever possible; opt for paperless billing, email receipts, and digital manuals.

Sources & References

[1] Tidier Homes, Fitter Bodies: University of Indiana
[2] The powerful psychology behind cleanliness: Psychology Today
[3] NAPO: National Association of Professional Organiser
[4] Preparing Your Bedroom for a Great Night’s Sleep: Hopkins Medicine

Find Professional Organizers

Don’t feel like doing it on your own? You can find a professional organizer here.

Books on Decluttering

Posted in Selling
Oct. 14, 2019

What type of real estate agent do I need?

What type of real estate agent do I need?

Before you start looking for an agent, think about the type you need. Some represent the seller. Some represent the buyer. And some do both. Here’s a brief explanation of each.

Buyer’s agent

As you might guess, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. This includes finding listings in the buyer’s price range, scheduling showings, taking the lead when it’s time to make an offer and guiding negotiations with the seller to get the best deal for the buyer. When a contract’s accepted, the agent leads the buyer through the closing process. 

Selling agent

Now, here’s where it might get a little confusing. When a seller accepts the buyer’s contract, the agent representing the buyer becomes known as the selling agent since that person is responsible for “selling” the home to the buyer. The terms “selling agent” and “buyer’s agent” are often used interchangeably. But the important thing to remember is the agent continues to represent the buyer’s interests.

Seller’s agent

On the flip side, the seller’s agent — also known as the listing agent — represents the seller’s interest. A seller’s agent makes recommendations about the sale price of a home, lists the property being sold on the multiple listing service, or MLS, and markets the property. The seller’s agent also schedules open houses and negotiates on the seller’s behalf.

If you use the same agent to sell your existing home and help you buy a new one, your agent acts as the seller’s agent on the sale of your current home and the buyer’s agent on the purchase of your new home.

Your real estate agent’s obligation to you

When you choose an agent, you’ll typically be asked to sign a buyer’s agreement (if you’re buying) or a listing agreement (if you’re selling). When you sign with an agent, they’re generally obligated to act in your best interest.

But what happens if your buyer’s agent is also the listing agent on a property you want to buy or vice versa? That’s known as dual agency, and it’s legal in many states. However, it can make representing both the buyer’s and seller’s best interests more difficult.

If your agent does have dual agency, your agent is required to tell you. It’s up to you to understand all the potential conflicts of interest, and to decide whether you want to work with someone who’s not representing only you in the transaction. It’s a tricky situation, so you should proceed with caution. Be sure to have a full and frank conversation with the agent before you sign on. 

Posted in Buying
Oct. 11, 2019

Elkmont Is A Tennessee Ghost Town That’s Perfect For An Autumn Day Trip

Tennessee is a true colorful wonderland when it comes to the autumn season. Although the entire state explodes with orange, red and yellow, it’s the eastside that really knows how to show out. If you haven’t been to the Great Smoky Mountains during the months of October and November, then your fall season is about to get an infusion of beauty…with a solid amount of creepiness, too. Elkmont is an abandoned logging town tucked away in the mountains that’s only accessible by way of a hike. Venture out into the crisp air of autumn for a hike unlike any other in the state. You’re bound to have a story or two by the end of it!

It’s a pretty incredible experience, to find yourself walking with ghosts in the Great Smoky Mountains. You can find more information about Elkmont and its future right here.

Once you finish up hanging with Tennessee’s ghostly history, check out the Dutch Maid Bakery in Knoxville!

Address: Elkmont Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
Posted in Thing To Do
Oct. 10, 2019

The Treats At Wild Love Bakery In Tennessee Have Been Called The Best In The Nation

Finding a good bakery is like finding your way home. It’s the kind of place that brings back those lovely feelings of nostalgia, the sweet smell of butter and sugar in the air, the kind folks at the counter. The comfort food that fills your belly and your heart. At Wild Love Bakehouse, a nationally touted bakery in Knoxville, Tennessee, you’re bound to find all the sweetness you need with a quick stop through the Smokies. This is one locally owned and operated business that’s made national news for one of the best reasons, and Tennessee is loving it.

If you’re looking for a bit more information, you can find it on the Wild Love Bakery website or their Facebook page.

Still in Knoxville? Check out this epic bookstore, full of your favorite titles!

Address: 1625 N Central St, Knoxville, TN 37917, USA
Posted in Thing To Do
Oct. 9, 2019

Appraisals are no longer required on some home sales of $400,000 and under

Regulators raise appraisal threshold for first time since 1994

Beginning Oct. 9, 2019, certain home sales of $400,000 and under will no longer require an appraisal.

Under previous rules that have been in place since 1994, appraisals were not required on all home sales of $250,000 and below, but last year, federal regulators proposed increasing the appraisal threshold for the first time in 25 years.

Last November, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released a proposal to increase the appraisal requirement from $250,000 to $400,000, citing the home price appreciation that’s taken place since the threshold was last increased in 1994.

Last month, the agencies all approved the rule. And Tuesday, the rule was published in the Federal Register, making the appraisal threshold increase effective the following day, Oct. 9, 2019.

That means that certain home sales of $400,000 and below will no longer require an appraisal as of Oct. 9, 2019.

Now, it’s important to note that the new rules do not apply to loans wholly or partially insured or guaranteed by, or eligible for sale to, a government agency or government-sponsored agency.

What that means is that loans sold to or guaranteed by the Federal Housing AdministrationDepartment of Housing and Urban DevelopmentDepartment of Veterans AffairsFannie Mae, or Freddie Mac will still require an appraisal, per each agency or companies’ rules.

Put simply, the loans that are affected by this rule are either held in portfolio by lenders or sold to secondary market investors via the private-label securitization market.

In August, the FDIC and OCC signed off on the rule, while the Fed approved the rule late last month. With the Fed approving the rule, the increase became official, but the rule could not go into effect until it was published in the Federal Register.

That’s done now, and the rule goes into effect on Wednesday.

The change will likely have a sizable impact on the real estate market, as according to regulators, the new rules will apply to approximately 40% of home sales.

The agencies estimate that increasing the appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000 would have led to an additional 214,000 residential mortgages that did not require an appraisal in 2017, representing 3% of total HMDA originations.

Under the previous rules, there were 750,000 transactions in 2017 that were exempted from the appraisal requirement. By increasing the threshold to $400,000, there would have been an additional 214,000 sales exempted from the appraisal requirement in 2017.

Under the new rules, 72% of the eligible transactions would have been exempted from the appraisal requirement, while 28% would still have required an appraisal.

Chart courtesy of FDIC

It’s also important to note that the rule does not entirely exempt the relevant home sales from any type of appraisal-type action. According to the agencies, the final rule “requires institutions to obtain an evaluation to provide an estimate of the market value of real estate collateral.”

The agencies state that the evaluation must be “consistent with safe and sound banking practices.” To that point, the rule establishes that an evaluation “should contain sufficient information and analysis to support the regulated institution’s decision to engage in the transaction.”

According to the agencies, many of the comments they received suggested that evaluations are “appropriate substitutes for appraisals and institutions as having appropriate risk management controls in place to manage the proposed threshold change responsibly.”

For more details on the evaluation portion of the rule, click here to read the rule in full.

“The appraisal threshold was last changed in 1994,” the federal agencies said in a joint statement. “Given price appreciation in residential real estate transactions since that time, the change will provide burden relief without posing a threat to the safety and soundness of financial institutions.”

Again, to read the full rule, click here.

Posted in Mortgage