According to an article in the Daily Times ((link...)) by Rick Laney on Wednesday, 8/29, our local housing market was in a "free fall". But by Friday, there was some sort of weird cross between an advertisement and editorial right there on page 3 painting quite a different picture. It wasn't marked as an ad, but didn't look like the usual news article either. Very confusing. Did anyone else notice it?

With plunging real estate prices and sales being the top of the news nationally, you would expect Blount County's market to follow the trend at least somewhat.

So which is it? And what's up with the DT?? Can't make up their minds? Or maybe too much pressure from the local powerbase: realtors and developers. I guess realtors DO place a lot of ads in the course of business. I'd like to think the paper would print the facts, though, and that those facts wouldn't change with the winds of outside pressure.

Saw that article when it

Saw that article when it came out. Read it and thought, the newspaper is not backing up the headline, "Blount housing market 'flooded'.

The article is only referencing "Blount County" in one small paragraph when quoting Henegar who said "the market is just flooded". There was nothing else to back up the headline or anything to do with Blount County real estate as compared to the national reports.

I too thought the advertisment/editorial was a little misleading, but believe you could tell it was an advertorial due to the sponsorships listed.

I don't think you will find from either of these write-ups whether Blount County real estate is slowing or not. Also, not sure Blount County realtors would admit a problem, if there was one.

Bird Cage Liner

I’m pretty sure the actual paper on the 29th used the word “plunges” instead of “flooded”. Can anybody confirm?

This is what happens when reporters rely on the AP for your local news. A lot of the confusion came from mixing national stories in with the local one. Obviously, there is a slowdown, but only because there are less junk mortgage loans to be had. Banks that provided “risky” loans now know how risky they were. Some people who weren’t ready for home ownership are now proving it. The market overextends, the market corrects itself. Let your representatives know that taxpayers shouldn’t be bailing out either.

Irregardless, I know for fact there was talk of all local realtors getting together to bail on the Daily Times for a week (hence the second article and the real estate banner at the top of frontpage). Could you imagine, a three page paper filled with only divorce stories and “ads” championing all the great works of the Sheriff and Mayor?

At least now those who were on the fence about weather the Daily Times is true “news” outlet have their answer.

"Plunges" vs. "Flooded"

I remembered the title of the original article being "Plunges," but when I finally got around to writing about it and went to the website to re-read it, the title there was "Flooded." I thought maybe I was going nuts. Glad you remembered it the same way.

Look at the bigger picture last Weds.

IIRC this real estate article was on the front page of the Daily's website.

Look at what all happened last week.

Monday BlountViews broke the story about the TN AG Opinion dated July 12, 2007 regarding the SRO budget.

Tuesday no coverage in the locals on the AG issue.

Wednesday this real estate article was on the Daily's website. A tiny article regarding the TN AG Opinion was in the Women's Section. Then they had breaking news! The new mobile command center was unveiled. That moved the real estate story further down on the website thanks in part to the BREAKING NEWS graphics.

Thursday the print addition of the paper had the nice big photo of the new command motorhome below the fold on the front page. But no place in either the print or on-line versions did we see any mention of the Governor coming to town. No place.

Friday brought after the fact coverage of Judge Meares and the Governor.

From my view in the cheap seats- breaking the news of the command center on Wednesday served several purposes. It deflected attention away from the AG opinion and it may have appeased the major advertisers who may have been upset with the title of the real estate article if not the whole article.

Dems - get your Blog on

Tuesday no coverage in the locals on the AG issue.

We know we are not going to change the DT and how they operate.

This is where this stuff will be exposed. The problem is exposed to whom?

I’ve been discouraged by Democrat and moderate responses on issues discussed here; (link...) here; (link...) here; (link...) and here; (link...)

Blount Views is the only place this junk is getting vetted. Propagate this site to others as much as you can.

I like Cuban food as much as the next person, but we really have much bigger issues.

FA, all good points. I

FA, all good points.

I helped the guy at RoaneViews launch their site just over two weeks ago. They already have 43 users and 145 posts.

BlountViews was launched seven weeks ago, and we have 63 users and 173 posts.

Which is good, but not great. Not sure if people are shy, don't know about it, too busy, or what, but anything y'all can do to help build the community will help.

As for the topics, I don't see anything wrong with some general interest community info (such as the new Cuban restaurant). It doesn't have to be all politics all the time. It might also help attract readers who aren't all that interested in politics, who might come to read about something else and learn something about local politics and maybe even get interested.

Ride both rails

Problem is with residents being over taxed here in Blount, many can’t afford to get out to restaurants because their disposable income is being taken by wasteful spending of tax dollars.

Granted, community information is important, but first we need to expose Blount’s corruption to an audience that is willing to make changes. I’m still not sure there is that willingness here. Either thru complacency or apathy, many here seem resigned to their lot.

I agree. I have been known

I agree. I have been known to stand on picnic tables and shout to the world just how much I do agree.

While there is no doubt that I am a Democrat, on this local level of politics I have a hard time defining things as Dem or moderate. Rather, I see it as those who want accountability and those who are simply part of the Good Old Boy Program.

Yes, we need to take these issues to the steps of the court house. Before we do, we need to share and air the info. To that end I just posted the agenda for next week's BC Education Committee meeting. (link...) Let's address these agendas and committees one at a time.

The answer is YES!

Just ask a Realtor friend as I did. Last year at this time they were slammed with property transfers and they were counting the money all the way to the bank. This year, nada. Very little is moving. And, another tell-tale sign is the ol' DT itself. Yep, just check out the meager number of property transfers in Sunday's papers. The list used to run on and on. Now, it's but a blip. As they say in the neighborhood, "Them's slim pickin's!" The market is down, and it's down BIG time.

Another Maryville Paper?

I saw the advetorial on real estate and thought that the DT was trying to give free ad space since they ran the last article of the plunge. It's interesting to see who buys ad space and the coevrage they get. I thought the DT was going under when Proffitt's was sold.

Any chance another local paper could get started that does real investigative reporting?

There is currently an early

There is currently an early version of a site created by a friend called (link...) . It will allow any resident the opportunity to have their voice heard and others to reply. The webmaster will have final editing control to avoid personal attacks and slander. Just the facts – good or bad.

The main goal of the owner I think is to make kind of an online “news stand”. So if anyone here reads different papers locally or from around the globe send them through the talkback feature.

I think they plan to launch in earnest in late October.

If a new paper is

If a new paper is started--with real investigative reporting--be sure to steal Rick Laney from the DT. He's the only guy that has the audacity to challenge the Powers That Be in Blount County (his article on "McMansions" comes to mind) while bringing to light the treasures of the area (his "Lost Arts" series from a year or so back, for example).

The DT is talking about us

The Daily is talking about us (link...)

Pretty funny really. Of course, we all know how those DT polls go...

The DT polls seem to

The DT polls seem to consistently get more responses than the KNS polls. Thus, at least someone is interested.

Daily Times Polls

When the polls in The Daily Times ask anything about county government or elected officials, the number of responses shoots up to about 900 (always in favor of the county government and elected officials). Most days they get about 100 votes. The county probably has someone on staff with the title of "Daily Times Poll Voter."

You're right

I've noticed the same thing. Are the laptops in our cop cars online?

not a blog

What really gets me is that the term blog is screwy. How is a commentary from the editor different than a blog? He gets paid to write? He / she writes what the ad department tells them to write? Or what the corporation that owns the paper tells them to write?

What we have here at BV is an On-Line TownHall.

Give us a break

The Daily Times wrote an article about the housing market, which is tanking. BIG SURPRISE! The realtors didn't like it so The Daily Times is kissing up to them. If the newspaper had any sense, it would print the numbers it probably already has. It would take five minutes to get the real Blount County real estate information, but I'm sure the real estate firms would pull their advertising (if they haven't already) if The Daily Times actually had the nerve to print it. A local realtor told me today that the publisher promised to fire Rick Laney if he writes about the Blount County real estate market again, so don't hold your breath for any additional reporting.


The DT may be able to keep all their advertisers if they fire Laney, but they would lose practically every reader I know. He seems to be the only reporter left there who isn't afraid of stepping in a little controversy, or of doing a little legwork. In the absence of investigative reporting, we should just have the courthouse and Justice Center post all their press releases to their website and cut out the DT middle man.

Side note: Do you realize that the Sheriff has a PR professional working there? The Public Information Officer ((link...)) generates all these press releases, amongst other things: ((link...)) Here's a link to the newsletter "The Enforcer", which we could probably all subscribe to when we jettison our Daily Times subscriptions: ((link...))

I always thought the schools would have a better shot at budget time if they had a full-time (or heck, even part-time) person to report all the good stuff they do and the difference they make in the community. But that's a topic for another day.

You gotta see it

For those who haven’t followed the link provided by yokel; (link...) you are missing out.

There you will hear the sheriff’s woes of having to beg, borrow, pray, beg some more and hope for more money. Does not asking for more, or better yet, actually making an attempt at a budget cut never occur to this “fiscal” conservative?

Never less, the rank-in-file follows The Enforcers lead and repeats the mantra of not having enough tax payer money to pay his employees as evidenced by Dunn’s page.

Next, Long discusses the difficultly of lack of man power. Next paragraph, he goes on to ask us to welcome 9 new patrol officers.

Then, Gourley goes on to welcome two new officers, and then reminds his fellow officers that they should support (pay) their FOP more so the “bad guys” don’t win. Thanks for shedding a little “good guy / bad guy” light on it President Bush.

Following suit, Headrick goes on to tell the tragic tale of no money for staffing – then he welcomes two new additions………,

……………………………………… the sky still blue?

How much money are we spending in Blount County on crimes by people that aren’t citizens of the United States? There are larger social issues ready to come to a head if the construction market is tanking. Where will our sheriff find himself? As an “enforcer” of the law or as a friend to developers still looking for cheap labor?

I love that BCSO newsletter!

Remember those questions Commissioner Reeves ask? Right from her blog complete with the BCSO written response. She met with the Office on Friday June 1 and posted the following on June 4-

1. TRAINING FACILITY: I would like an update on the status of your new training facility and plans for same. Have you completed the driving track (paving, marking and signage, etc.)? If so, please provide your budgeted costs and actual costs for that work. Have all outstanding bills been paid? Have you begun offering training to surrounding counties? If so, please provide details on the staffing required to offer that training, how much traffic you have had, your actual revenues to date and projected revenues for next year.

“The Sheriff’s Office Training Facility is not new. We have been at the same location on Honeysuckle Road for several years. The new phases of the training facility have been in the planning stages for five years. We currently have a 20 lane firing range and a ropes course that was built by the Air National Guard. We are working with the Air National Guard to secure funding for advancements to the firing range, which will include baffling, a new target system, and a range house. The driving track is not yet completed. We have not yet begun offering training to out of county agencies, therefore there is no revenue.”

Monday June 4 the Enforcer Newsletter came out with this-

This year’s in-service was the most
successful that we have had in the history of
the Sheriff’s Office. The critiques that we
received were excellent. The three days of
EVOC on our new track was a great
experience for everyone involved, and we think
that all officers took with them just a few more
tools to add to their toolbox. Corrections in-
service also went well, and the realistic training
that the officers participated in at Alnwick
definitely made the officers think about what
they would do if a situation such as what they
trained for ever arose. Kudos to everyone for
helping us to make 2007 in-service a great
experience for everyone. Not only did we train
our officers, we trained officers for Maryville,
Alcoa, Townsend, Airport Authority, and a few
from Loudon County.

(No subject)

Teacher; “Hey kids who wants to be Sheriff when you grow up?”
Little Johnny; “No, I’d like to be something honest.”

I case you do believe a Sheriff has to be a ass-kicking, budget whining, track having, excess car buying, mobile command driving, bad ass – here’s your link (link...)

A woman as Chief? Holy Crap!*, that's gotta be a fluke; (link...) Crap!, Crap!, Crap!*

One place you won't see a woman; (link...)

* Just learned the use of this word. Our Vice Lord Mayor used it over and over in his UW charity video. Before he went on to give his sermon.

Also, you will see today the DT is asking "Do you give to the UW" in it's poll. They are obviously reading this blog. Why don't you enter the conversation by writing. Oh yeah, writing is something you try to avoid.

The recent real estate ads

I called the Daily Crimes today and spoke with someone in advertising about the two recent "ads" that were put in the paper today and earlier this week. The person said they were asked to put them in. I asked if anyone paid for the ads and they said they did not think so. They also added that several people were upset with the original real estate article. Someone else is supposed to call me back with an official response to whether anyone paid for those expensive ads (I mean, a full page and half page ad!!!!!!). How come the Daily Crimes will put free ads for real estate people but when they write an "incorrect" article about something or someone else they do not get the same priveledges?????????? Bunch of wussies! And Dean Stone, YOU ARE NOT A TRAFFIC ENGINEER! A LOOP AROUND THE TWO CITIES WILL CAUSE UNBRIDDLED DEVELOPMENT. GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER!

Don't forget the Web

Don't forget the heading banner on their website (the one that now has Uncle Sam on it). They had a real estate ad up there since they wrote that article, just taking it off today. It was featuring thier real estate suplement, but had the Realty III logo on it. Was that paid for?

real estate is not tanking!

The article was basically pulled directly from an article by the National Assoctiation of Realtors. There was little fact in it related to Blount County. You can't take what is happening in major markets or markets where housing prices were extremely inflated (California, Florida) and apply that in BLount County. Bad reporting! The market is down in Blount County about 25% compared to last year according to Knoxville Area Association of Realtors. But keep in mind, the last three year period was not a normal market period. Sales volumes were exceptionally high. The home sales market has been slowing increasing in the last three months though which is closer to a normal sales volume trend. Seejane ride...One responce by a frustrated realtor does not a market trend make.

Why is it so hard?

Why is it so hard to just say the words? Blount County is apparently following the national trend in real estate. Big deal.

You confirmed it yourself. Our volume was inflated the past 3 years. Now it is "slowing increasingly." Not staying the same. Not getting higher, but "slowing."

We'll call it a decline or correction instead of a "plunge" or "tanking", if it makes the Realtors Association feel better.

Hiding this fact is not worth trying to squelch free press in Blount County, though. Does the real estate industry think we don't watch the news?

I'm sure there's a silver lining: doesn't everyone love to buy in a buyers' market?

free press

I am all for free press and exchange of ideas. Get the facts straight though. By the way, I incorrectly typed "slowing" when it should have said the market has be "slowly" increasing. It is increasing none the less. There's your silver lining.

How do we know that?

I am a number junkie so I want to see comparisons between the number of homes on the market this year, last year and the year before. I want to see the average number of days it takes to sell a house here and know what that time frame was for the past few years.

Would you have a handy dandy link for those numbers?


The market is down 25% but slowly increasing?

In defense of area realtors,

In defense of area realtors, I had two problems with that article.

First, they took a national AP report and localized it by talking to one builder, whose remarks provided the headline ("Blount housing market 'flooded'"). They didn't talk to any realtors to get any other statistics to support that assertion. It may very well be true, but we don't really know from what is reported in this article.

Second, there was a photo of a house with a 'for sale' sign in the yard. It was as if they went driving down the street and took a photo of the first house they came to with a sign in the yard. There was no context given for the photo, no interview of the realtor whose sign was picked out, no mention of how long the house had been on the market, etc.

The caption says "This house in downtown Maryville is one of many across the country listed for sale in a fluid real estate market." Huh? What does that mean? There are always houses for sale, in good markets and bad. If I were that realtor, who also happens to be one of the paper's biggest advertisers, I would not be a happy camper.

Anyway, I'm sure there is a slowdown, especially after the overheated market of the last few years (as noted by tn_trigger) that was fueled in part by sub-prime and other "creative" mortgages. But there has also been some significant growth in Blount County, and I'm guessing it will continue.

Here are statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau on Blount County building permits for the last five years (Annual New Privately-Owned Residential Building Permits Blount County, Tennessee):

Buildings Units Value ($Millions)
2002 243 460 56.3
2003 245 290 36.8
2004 1002 1042 129.5
2005 906 1007 130.5
2006 871 950 124.5

Also according to the U.S. Census, Blount County's population grew from 105,283 in 2000 to 118,186 (est.) in 2006, a nearly 12% increase. Population has grown by more than 37% since the 1990 census.

(And here's an interesting report that shows Blount County population and housing growth were significantly higher than the overall East TN and State from 1990-2000.)

Another thing that isn't mentioned in the article, and that I haven't really seen quantified anywhere but that I sense to be true, is that Knoxville Metro area real estate is more of a "steady as she goes" market that isn't impacted as much by national trends (as also noted by tn_trigger). We seem to enjoy a more modest but fairly steady rate of appreciation. I have always attributed this to the area's large dependence on government and related jobs which are traditionally more stable, but again that's just an observation that I haven't seen quantified anywhere.

Thanks R.

I think the uniqueness of BC has to be considered too. When housing UpNorth tanks those folks are not as quick to come buy a second or retirement home here and we have far more of those in our area than non-tourists areas like Lima, Ohio does.

And the fact that in 2006 the county had restrictions on just how many homes could be built in areas with overcrowded schools had to have some impact on those numbers. The way the developers complained was a good clue on that.

These are the things that have the greatest impact in my neighborhood. Everyday I see those new homes which took a year to sell are now having other new homes / spec houses built right behind them.

Other indicators I have to follow are the TRA on-site septic permits which show a developer's build out plan over the course of years then to look at the housing sales for those same lots. More importantly I am listening to the neighbors who have been trying to sell their homes.

Well, having said all that

Well, having said all that above, the Mrs. says "guess you didn't see the editorial in today's paper?"

It's not online, but today's "Our Voice" is a "mea culpa" on the article we're discussing.

It says "The Times apologies if it left the indication that the bottom had dropped out of the real estate market locally because that is far from the case."

It cites statistics that weren't mentioned in the earlier article:

• There has been no increase in foreclosures locally, and 30 year mortgage rates are slightly lower now than three months ago.

• Building permits are down 38% from a year ago, "because builders have been staying well ahead of the demand," and because there may be fewer newcomers.

• Total real estate sales for the first nine months of 2007 are down 18.3% as compared to the same period in 2006.

The editorial says the Times "regrets if it has unintentionally confused readers by indicating the national situation was also the local status."

It concludes that unemployment rates are good, mortgage rates are good, real estate sales are "soft but solid," and that it's just taking a little longer to sell a piece of property.

The numbers don't paint quite as rosy a picture, but it's certainly not as bad as the original article made it sound. We've noticed houses staying on the market a little longer in our neighborhood, but there are also a couple of new ones being built, including one spec home. There are also 100+ new lots just becoming available in two new subdivision additions.

and all I really want to

and all I really want to know is how long will it take to sell my house and if I am going to have to give it away to get rid of it.

housing market

well, the house we're trying to buy is in foreclosure and the realtor has said that in her 30 years selling real estate in blount county, she has never seen so many houses for sale or in foreclosure.

If you are giving it away...

Please post it here first. ;-)

National Home Sales Down 10 % - Blount County Down 18%

I guess all those realtors who pulled advertising from the Daily Times were right, what's happening in the rest of the country certainly isn't happening here.

Another "ad" in The Daily

Another "ad" in The Daily Times today re the real estate market in Blount County, Section A, Page 3, half-page.

"...those who buy now will reap the gains of home price appreciation..."
"median price of new home in 1991 ws $120,000. In 2005, it was $240,900 - just over double in price."

Are they saying the median price of a new home in 2019 will be $480,000? This is of course assumes there will be room for "new" homes in 2019 and there will be people to afford them. Wonder what the appreciation on existing homes was from 1991 to 2005.

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