Joe Hubbard, Other/Just Looking in

I am looking at buying a condo near the Univ. of Tennessee, what do I need to know?

Asked by Joe Hubbard, Tue Jul 24, 2007

I would like to look at a possible long term investment of a condo at the University of Tennessee and I'm not sure of what to look for (size, market up or down, costs, etc). I am a young individual with 3 small girls (2, 4 & 6) and not a lot of $$. If my girls choose to go to UT, then I will have a place for them - if needed. If not, then I can always sell. Any thoughts would be a big help! Thanx

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Your question generates a host of other questions that need to be answered to answer your first one. What is important to you, where do you work, are you going to live there or is it just an investment, what about the girls, what about your spouse or significant other, dog, cat, what is a lot of $$, what do you want to be close to, how do you like to spend your spare time, etc.

As far as real estate in Knoxville goes....there has not been a bubble in Knoxville. We have experienced steady, moderate appreciation over the last few years. If you ask the right questions and listen to the answers it is hard to loose money in real estate in Knoxville. I'd suggest you contact a real estate agent (yes, I am one but it doesn't have to be me) and discuss this further with him/her. Knoxville is a great place to live, so come on over and join us.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
My office currently has a condo listed that is located on UT Campus and listed for under $100,000.00. There are many deals like this out there! Here is a link to the condo:…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Greetings from a co-owner of a UT Condo; great idea! I grew up in TN and ended up away at school in Central Florida back in the '70's. My father mentioned many times that he should have made an investment in condo or cottage there after I moved off campus, so when my son started UT we had a plan in place - live in dorm Freshman year (usually required unless living at home) and buy a condo for rest of college years. We bought at 11th Place, 2 blocks off Cumberland at Laurel and Clinch and 12th Street Pedestrian Overpass to the Hill at UT. My son is closer to his classed there than he was in his dorm. We purchased a 3 bedroom and he has rented the other two rooms to other students which pays his mortgage. He is now in his second year of grad school at UT, working toward an MBA. He is co-owner of the condo and plans to keep it as an investment property when he graduates.

Students generally move off campus second year and the cost of rentals in downtown averages around $500.00 for a bedroom in shared units. My son has mentioned many times the convenience of having his own parking space two blocks off Cumberland (his building has gated parking garage with deeded spaces. Also, by owning , you avoid having to move in and out of dorms or other rentals - this can get to be a hassle and an expense. UT shuts down dorms during Winter Break, so if you are living in a dorm and have a job you want to work over the long winter break, you have to find another place to stay unless you live close enough to move home for the break.

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to contact me with any further questions. My advice is to get as close to campus as possible, make sure the unit has assigned parking, and check out how the units common spaces are managed (HOA and/or Real Estate Management). If you are planning on long term investment, I would avoid anything with a lot of amenities (pools, etc.) as they tend to have higher maintenance fees and could have some steep assessments down the road as those amenities age.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Hey Joe,

I think there are already a lot of great answers below, but I will throw in my two cents! Although Fort Sanders is closest to UT many of the condos in downtown Knoxville and the surrounding areas are literally within walking distance. Traditionally condos downtown have a much higher cost per square foot; so, if you need multiple bedrooms and an average lower cost you will probably need to look outside of downtown unless you want to spend in the 350K and up range. For example there are condos on the other side of the river in South Knoxville that you could either rent or purchase at a much lower cost than what you would find in downtown Knoxville. They will be building a walking bridge which will land close to the University within the next year and a half which will give you the convenience of being close but the feeling of seclusion you might prefer (they also have a pool and a park nearby which is great for the girls). This is just one possible solution.

As some other agents have noted although the market has slowed significantly; however, if you are looking to own a home for many years then you should (in theory) have the opportunity to recoup any investment you would make. What I am certain of is that there are many great opportunities in the Knoxville area and that we can find the right property to suit your needs. If you are not working with anyone yet feel free to reach out to me! Thanks, Shannon: 865-617-8287.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
I have sold the UT campus condo market for 10 years. You can expect rents to be $450 to $550 a month per bedroom. The Fort Sanders area offers very quick turn around on tenants. If being the property manager isn't your desire several companies will do this for you. Go to and view what I have listed on campus
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
Hello Joe, I am a Realtor with Century 21 Select Properties (865)531-2121 Office or (865)455-6168 Cell! I may have an idea for the perfect place for you and your girls. If you are interested please call my cell this is no hard sell and it may be of tremendous interest to your family. Thanks in advance. Best of luck regardless of what you choose, Tammy J. Smith.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 22, 2010
My son has a condo listed walking distance from UT. His friend was living there with roommates, which paid the full note from what I understand. Now they have fixed it up, cleaned it up, and it's ready to be rented out. It may not be sold yet - his name is Todd McNamee at 865-776-0019.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
Joe, I'm a UT graduate and East Tennessee native. East Tennessee's larger cities are seeing great growth and appreciation. Knoxville is seeing an impressive revitalization of its downtown corridor and Old City. With its proximity to campus, I would certainly keep it on my radar. Convenience is king in the Fort Sanders neighborhood, however you're going to see some pretty rough conditions in some parts. I wouldn't rule out the areas in south Knoxville near Chapman Hwy near graduate student housing and north Knoxville in Lonsdale and Merchant's Road.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
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