The Grace Frank Group has real estate professionals-plus
Businesses, buildings and people may come and go—but the one thing any city can depend on long-term is real estate. The land will always be there. Being involved in the buying and selling of, and investing in, that land and whatever structure may be on it at any given time is a passion for Grace Frank, principal of the Real Estate Group that bears her name.
Frank, who has held many positions in the corporate world, brought her MBA in marketing to the Scenic City from Boulder, Colorado, more than a decade ago. She was attracted, as many are, to the outdoor activities available here. “When we first moved here,” says Frank, “people would say [Chattanooga] is the ‘Boulder of the East,’ and I would say, ‘Well, you’ve got a ways to go’.”
She says 11 years later, the city has made great strides in earning that moniker. She sees efforts in sustainability and economic growth not only making Chattanooga better for those who already live here, but more attractive for those who plan to live here in the future.
According to Frank, the Chattanooga real estate market is the tortoise character from that ancient parable. Progress is slow and steady without the roller coaster ups and downs of other cities experiencing similar growth. And that growth is green. That’s makes it even more attractive to potential investors and prospective homeowners. “Typically it costs ten percent more to build an [energy-efficient] home,” explains Frank, “but as you look at the years of maintenance-free living and decreasing your utility bills by 35-40 percent, the return on investment is excellent.”
The Grace Frank Group is an affiliate of the RE/MAX company and has been ranked among that company’s top teams for the last few years. Frank notes that the accolades are similar for individual team members in her group. For example, realtor Kim Bass is a multi-million dollar producer, a “Green” Designated Realtor, an Accredited Buyer Representative, and a Certified Distressed Property Expert.
The group is also licensed in both Tennessee and Georgia, where Frank says the housing market is experiencing a similar resurgence to Chattanooga’s. She says houses aren’t staying on the market as long as in years past and certain buyers are finding the location ideal, such as retirees who are less concerned about the state income tax. They’re finding lower prices for comparable homes.
Frank has found over the last 11 years that Chattanooga has wide appeal to a variety of home buyers. “Baby Boomers and Millenials seem to like downtown,” she says, pointing out that downtown condominiums are great starter homes for young professionals who want something within walking or cycling distance to commerce and nightlife, but also attractive to empty-nesters looking to downsize and leave the maintenance to someone else.
Conversely, the suburbs such as East Ridge, Ooltewah and Rossville are more attractive to families looking for more property for swingsets and near schools. And no matter where you live in the area, all the conveniences of a mid-size city are within a few minutes’ drive. And larger cities such as Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta and Birmingham are just a couple of hours away by car.
While Chattanooga is considered a stable real estate market, Frank does see some increase in home prices appearing in the area. She says inventory is down yet the population is increasing. So by the rules of supply and demand, prices are naturally rising. But lots of new construction will likely hold off any spikes in prices. New smaller, energy-efficient single family homes and trendy multi-family complexs are either under construction or in the planning stages and will accommodate Chattanooga’s growing popularity and the resultant growth in population.