I have lived in Tennessee for most of my life and have traveled to many places, but my favorite city in Tennessee is Chattanooga. I say that it is Tennessee’s best kept secret. To be honest, I have debated on moving to Chattanooga for the past several years, but I couldn’t make that big commitment. Being a single parent, it is hard to make that big jump. So instead I settled for a vacation home. I know what you’re thinking… vacation homes are for rich people. I am far from being wealthy, honestly lived in the American “poverty” standards 95% of my life, but I have always been able to manage by sticking to a budget and learning to be resourceful.
A lot of people have been asking me how I got to this point. So I want to walk you through this process and can go into the financial and legal details in a different post.
I have been manifesting the idea of getting a “second home” in Chattanooga for the past two years, this is also how long it took me to save up for a downpayment for this type of loan. “Second Home” is also a lender term for a home that you will occupy that is at least 50+ miles away from your primary residence. Why a second home you ask? I fell in love with this city the moment I first saw it. If you have ever driven through the mountains you could see why. I wanted my family to visit and fall in love like I did so we did a few days at an Airbnb during a spontaneous trip around Christmas and thats when I KNEW I needed to have a space here for us to come visit. (My sister actually had her bachelorette/birthday party in the city as well)
As soon as I had most of the downpayment saved for this house, this is where I started my search. I already had an idea of what I was looking for. I didn’t need anything very fancy and I also was not opposed to a fixer upper that needed work. I just needed something that could house my family. I tend to travel with my daughter, father, sister and her husband. (Of course my sister’s three fur babies would be able to come too) I looked at several different houses but I had one thing I wouldn’t compromise, and that was the home had to be in the Overlay. (I will go over the details about this in another post, as well) This space will be a shared space. My family and I would be there several times during the year, but this also has to be an income producing property. I need this to pay for itself and eventually turn a profit.
The next step after researching what I wanted I needed to find a licensed realtor to help me. I am a licensed agent but I don’t have access to the MLS, and Zillow was not cutting it. One of my preferred lenders in the area linked me with an amazing realtor, Jessica. She was so amazing and worked day and night. She would send me a list of homes and I would let her know which ones I was interested in and she would FaceTime me and send me pictures as well. Googlemaps was also a great resource to view the neighborhood. You can actually click on the interactive map and do a 360 view of in front of the house.
I FINALLY found this space and it had quite a few selling points. Despite me being open to finding a fixer upper, it is new construction so I didn’t need to worry about any major repairs or issues. It was in an established neighborhood close to Downtown Chattanooga. You can also see Lookout Mountain from the house and the back yard is tree lined, meaning there are no backyard neighbors. It is a two bedroom but it does have two full bathrooms. Honestly I was relieved to finally find a place because home searching can be exhausting. One of my goals for 2021 was to save up money and find this space and it felt good to check this off of my accomplishments for the year.