Thursday, May 10, 2012
Homes on Signal Mountain are selling, according to reports from Prudential Realty Center’s Barry Hamilton.
Last year, 205 homes sold for a cumulative $61,130,962, a roughly 10-percent increase in volume over the past year.
“Schools have been the main driving factor that has kept our numbers level over the past few years, in my opinion,” said Hamilton. He also attributes local home sales to the sense of community felt by many, all the parks and the scenic qualities.
“Most us know trees are a lot of the reason people like to live here,” said Signal Mountain resident and Tree Board member Dr. Jennifer Boyd.
According to her, a study conducted by Bruce Weber, senior forester of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, shows that Signal Mountain is estimated to contain a tree canopy of 73.5 percent, “an excellent amount of canopy cover.”
“We’re really talking about full canopy cover,” said Tree Board president Noah Long. “That’s very high; the average town in the U.S.’s tree canopy is about 24 percent.”
Chattanooga’s canopy, he said, is approximately 7 percent.
“Typically, [Signal Mountain] lots are bigger and we have houses pricing from the low $100,000s to million-dollar homes - that’s a huge price range, with houses for all people, mature trees and mature lots,” said Hamilton, pointing to continual local tree-planting efforts as one example of the sense of community that helps sell the mountain to prospective buyers.
In terms of monetary value, Boyd estimates the town’s tree canopy’s worth at more than $14 million based on an average price of $70 per tree, and that doesn’t include the extra benefits trees provide like increased home values, shade, carbon dioxide remediation and oxygen.
“Increasing canopy takes significant effort; it would take a lot of money and it would take a lot of time — to go from young trees to full trees takes about 30 years,” she said. “It’s vitally important for us, because of that, to maintain and protect the canopy we already have.”