You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from Real Estate, Community Happenings, Economic Development, and Home Improvement Tips, and Real Estate Investing.

Oct. 8, 2019

New Construction - Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

The answer to this can vary depending on your ability to do builder research, construction process knowledge, and comfort level. My first home I owned was one I had built in a subdivision. I did have a Realtor I was working with, but after signing the original papers that day I never saw her again until closing (we did have a few phone conversations). You should expect to meet your agent at the home several times during construction, and your agent should also just be dropping by to check on quality during different phases. In my case I had very little builder issues, they did what was expected other than some minor things that were corrected during the process. I don’t really have a complaint about it.

This year a friend of mine had a house built, did lots of research and chose who he thought was the best builder for this price range. My friend has good construction knowledge, and negotiated everything with the builder without an agent. This was someone who really didn’t need the help of an agent because of his knowledge and him living on site to keep an eye on things. However, he had issue after issue with the builder, cheap quality contractors, sloppy work, and poorly written builder contracts. He recently moved into his house, but it was a battle the whole way keeping them in check just to get what anyone would expect out of a new construction home.

Tips for going unrepresented with new construction:

  • Builder Research - Spend a lot of time deciding what builder is right for you. Read reviews and complaints online on many different sites to help your decision.
  • Price Research - Look online at various sites to see what other similar homes sold for in that neighborhood. You don’t want to build the most expensive home in the subdivision. You also want to know what upgrades are worth the cost and not. Many times upgrade prices are very high, and you can hire them out on your own after you move in to save some money.
  • Incentives - Builders are always offering incentives (much like car company’s) during given months. Most of the times they are free or discounted upgrades, or a credit of $xx,xxx in free upgrades of your choice. Just because they are offering something doesn’t mean you cannot push for more. You can negotiate larger credits and other upgrades.
  • Preferred Lenders - Many times they offer $2k-$3k in closing credit to use their preferred lender. This is also negotiable. I see new build listings all the time advertise a fixed lender credit, but at closing the buyer was able to get a lot more by negotiating. Also, keep an eye on their loan fees. Even if they are offering a sizable closing credit all their loan fees might be significantly higher than other lenders.
  • Additional Discount - Builders have buyers agent commissions built into their price structure already, which is why having a buyers agent does not cost extra. If you decide to purchase without and agent you should push for additional discounts since they are saving money.

Benefit of building your home with the guidance of a Realtor.

  • Contracts - Builder contracts are all one sided, and in many cases have financial relationships with their preferred lender and title companies. Nothing in all these contracts protects you if something goes wrong. Agents can help you understand what you are signing, and agreeing to.
  • Comps - Your agent can pull up past sale prices, closing cost credits the buyers received, and other info on similar homes the builder has already closed on. Additionally, we can contact the agents of those sold homes and ask for their clients feedback of the process, quality, and builder incentives they might have received (for comparison).
  • Agent Networking - When an agents client has a bad experience with a particular builder, you can bet they warn other agents. Additionally, agents who are working with builders they haven't worked with before will seek info from others who have.
  • Bonus Incentives - On occasion we get emails from builders offering bonus incentives to our buyers.
  • Upgrade Guidance - Which upgrades will you see a return on, and which ones are way overpriced? Not all upgrades are worth the expense. It's important you don't overpay for certain upgrades that won't give you any return.
  • Lot Selection - The additional money for more desirable lots may or may not be worth the costs. We can help you understand the positives and negatives of your lot options.
  • Extra Eyes On The Construction - Your agent will be with you the entire way with an additional set of eyes overseeing everything. It's even better if your agent has general construction knowledge to look for incorrect, or sloppy work.
  • We're On Your Side - When using an agent, we work for your best interests. Although most builders are fair, they are ultimately working in their best interests.
  • No Cost To You - Buyers do not have to pay for our services, as it is already built into their pricing model.

There you have it! Hopefully this post will help you make an informed decision. Would you like do discuss your New Construction options? Give me a call, or email me today!

Oct. 4, 2019

2019 Danville Community Schools Referendum

In Danville, the big debate for the end of 2019 are the two proposed referendums. Referendums are complex and confusing for the majority of the public, including myself. Years ago, voters approved a statewide property tax cap of 1% for residential, 2% on farm/rentals, and 3% on commercial. Since these property tax caps went in place, it has hit school funding hard (depending on the area). A large number of school districts across the state have been putting local tax referendums on the ballot in order to raise additional money to operate, maintain, and provide staff raises. In 2018 Avon Schools passed theirs (after having one fail a few years back), and in 2015 Brownsburg Schools were unsuccessful in passing theirs.

So what does Danville Schools referendum look like? It consists of 2 separate referendums, one smaller tax increase for teacher pay, and a much larger one for maintaining buildings, and updating facilities.

You can find a significant amount of information provided by the school system here: https://www.danville.k12.in.us/domain/221

As far as the opposing views, the biggest issues being voiced are the effect on seniors and those on fixed incomes, the overall size of increase on residents, effects on farmers, citizens questioning the need for many of the proposed school improvements, and more. After Brownsburg's failed 2015 referendum, the school found a way to fund their needs without tax payer increases, so many voters are saying Danville should follow suit.

I'm not here to take sides on the issue, but both sizes have valid points. Be sure to do your research before voting.

What will the referendums effect be on local Real Estate? It's no secret that strong school systems have an impact on home values. Those with kids looking to move into new areas typically look at school systems as a big factor in their decision. If it passes, it will likely benefit homeowners in the long run, but people might be cautious on buying until the new tax bills come out in April 2020. But some home buyers might instead opt to look at other school districts with more reasonable home prices and property taxes.

If it doesn't pass I still see home prices steadily climbing in the coming years. Danville is still very affordable. Avon, Brownsburg, and Plainfield homes are getting more expensive, busier school systems, and more traffic. There will always be home buyers looking for smaller communities, smaller schools, and quiet neighborhoods.

July 27, 2019

W.S Gibbs Memorial Park Details

W.S Gibbs Memorial Park will be the newest park managed by Hendricks County Parks & Recreation when its completed. Originally approved in 2013, work has officially begun this year clearing out invasive species. The first phase will begin in 2020 which includes the entry, parking, green space, some trails, and a pond. The future phases are likely to include a disc golf course, rope course, formal gardens, events lawn, community gardens, nature center, playground and much more! Future phase completion dates are not available as of now. 

The park is located at

Posted in Community Info
July 15, 2019

List of Hendricks County Microbreweries, Brewpubs, and Taprooms

The business of microbrewing has exploded in the last 10-15 years or so, and Hendricks County has a few of their own, with more coming. Below is a list of those located in Hendricks County (please note that some of these may actually make their beer in other locations, but have a retail location in this county).

  • Mind Over Mash Brewing Company - 486 Southpoint Cir STE 106, Brownsburg, IN 46112 www.mindovermashbeer.com

  • Books & Brew Brownsburg - 1551 N Green St Suite I, Brownsburg, IN 46112 - www.booksnbrews.com

  • Brew Link Brewpub - 4710 East, US-40, Plainfield, IN 46168 - www.brewlinkbrewing.com

  • Black Swan Brewpub - 2067 Hadley Rd, Plainfield, IN 46168 - blackswanbrewpub.com

  • NEW TAPROOM COMING TO DANVILLE! I worked briefly with the owner looking at locations. The concept is still in the early stage of getting things going, planning, equipment setup, and testing. More details to come!

If you hear of any new or upcoming microbreweries/brewpubs opening be sure to let me know so I can try them out, and add them to this list!

 

July 8, 2019

2019 Hendricks County Fair Midway Carnival Rides Information and Pricing

  • Monday, July 15th 5:00PM - All Rides 1 Coupon Each (this is a great time to go because of the small crowds, and little to no lines for the rides. Get a few friends together to go in on the big pack of ride coupons for the best deal.

  • Tuesday, July 16th 5:00PM - Unlimited Rides $20

  • Wednesday, July 17th 5:00PM - Unlimited Rides $20

  • Thursday, July 18th 5:00PM - Unlimited Rides $20 - Be sure to come see us at the Wright Realtors booth (5pm-9pm) in the Expo Hall for free stuff!

  • Friday, July 19th 5:00PM - Regular Price Ride Coupons

  • Saturday, July 20th 1:00PM - Free Rides from 1-2pm, Ride ALL DAY FOR $20, but must be purchased by 5pm. After 5PM its regular priced ride coupons needed.

Coupon Prices:

$1.25 each, 21 coupons for $20, 55 coupons for $50, and $120 coupons for $100. ALL RIDES TAKE MORE THAN ONE COUPON. Your best value is to go with the $20 wrist bands days/times, or go the first day where it's only 1 coupon per ride and there are almost no lines.

DRINK WATER, AND HAVE FUN!!

July 1, 2019

Why is rental property such a great investment?

Why is rental property such a great investment?

Three main reasons:

1. Value Appreciation - Both home values and rental rates increase over time.

2. Tax Benefits - The income is not subject to social security tax AND you get a large tax deduction for nearly 30 years (called depreciation).

3. Income Stream - Your cashflow overtop of your expenses is income, while your mortgage is being paid for.

Pictured is our rental we own (it’s getting some updates now in between tenants). My wife bought it in 2009 and lived there until 2011 when we got married. She got a great deal on it and it’s now worth twice what she paid for it (economy was not great then). On top of that, when we first rented it in 2011 it was renting for $800 per month. Today it’s now renting for $1200 per month.

If you’re in a position to purchase one, or keep your existing home when you move, it’s a great long term investment! All of Hendricks County has seen significant increases in home prices and rental rates the past few years. Brownsburg, Avon, and Plainfield are especially hot!

March 24, 2019

Home Warranties - Are They Worth It?

You will see a lot of varying opinions on these, but overall it's mostly negative if you do your research. On average, they cost around $475-$550 plus a $100 deductible. Many have limited coverage, and do not cover preexisting conditions to the property. When you have an issue they send out the cheapest contractors and fix the problem as cheap as possible. 

Then there is the problem of timing, getting someone out can be a couple days. I just read a story of someone who had a pipe leak. The warranty company told them to turn the water off and the earliest they could get someone out there was 4 days from then. No water for 4 days? No thanks, and they ended up calling their own plumber and paying for the fix themselves.

Then there are limitations. HVAC is a big one, and an expensive item when it needs replaced. You need to make sure you read the fine print on this one for home warranties. Some will only cover a maximum of $1000 or $2000 toward a new unit, and some will cover the whole thing. It can be a battle in itself just to convince them you need a new unit. 

Roof leak? Your homeowners insurance should cover that. Appliances? Those are more common items that can go out. An oven or dishwasher costs about $350-$600 for basic models, so a $500 a year warranty won't save you any money there. Washer/Dryers can be included or excluded depending on the policy, but those cost as much as the policy costs per year as well.

Overall, I never recommend home warranties to clients because of these reasons, and I almost always tell sellers to counter offer the buyers to pay for the warranty unless the offer is really good.

When is getting a home warranty worth it?

In my opinion, only if someone else is paying for it. Some agents will offer it to their buyers as a bonus item for using them. Some sellers offer one with the purchase of their home. Or when making an offer you can ask the seller to pay for it. It can bring (some) peace of mind for the first year when you move into your first home and have lots of moving/home expenses getting established. Beyond that, save your money.

At the end of the day, think of all the times you have been offered extended warranties on TVs, electronics, vehicles, phones, appliances, and even small gadgets. Had you purchased many of these warranties you would have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars and made maybe 1, or no claims during the warranty period. You are better off keeping your money in your bank account and paying for it when something breaks.

If you have any questions about home warranties or wish to share your home warranty story (good or bad) please contact me.

March 3, 2019

How Can I Increase My Family’s Net Worth?

How Can I Increase My Family’s Net Worth?

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016.

The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).

These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.

Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth.

As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.

That is why Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. According to this year’s results, 34% of Americans chose real estate. Stocks followed at 26%, and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

Bottom Line

If you want to find out how you can use your monthly housing cost to increase your family’s wealth, let’s get together to guide you through the process.

Feb. 22, 2019

Hendricks County Private School List

If you're looking for private education in Hendricks County, you have several options in the Brownsburg, Avon, and Plainfield areas. Here are your options, in no particular order.

  1. Our Shepherd Lutheran School PreK-8th - http://www.ourshepherd.org/
  2. Bethesda PreK-HS - http://www.bethesdaschools.org/
  3. St. Malachy PreK-8th - http://stmalachy.org/school/
  4. Kingsway Christian School - http://www.kingswayschool.org/
  5. St. Susanna PreK-8th - http://saintsusannaschool.com/
  6. Plainfield Christian School K-12 - Website Unknown

Alternatively, all the public schools in Hendricks County are also very highly ranked compared to all the schools in Indiana. The individual public school rankings can vary depending on what website statistics you are looking at, but either way, all Hendricks County Schools offer quality education.

If you are not familiar with the area and you are looking to move here with schools being a big factor please contact me. I would be happy to discuss your school needs and base your home search near those locations.

Posted in Community Info
Feb. 12, 2019

Let's talk paint. Cheap Paint vs Good Quality Paint

If you're looking to spruce up your home with a fresh coat of paint you might be wondering what the difference is between $20/gal and $50/gal paint. Both will do the job, but lets look at the pros and cons of each. Lets preface this with that you always need to do paint prep beforehand. Fill in those cracks, nail holes, dents, and dings first. Then sand them down. 

With $20 paint you will always need to do 2 coats of paint, and maybe 3 coats if you're covering a dark color. When I first started rehabbing properties I started with the cheapest paint to save money. My theory was, if I'm going to be doing 2 coats no matter the quality of paint I purchase, why buy the expensive stuff? In the end I found myself doing 2 coats plus touch ups in thinner areas, and sometimes 3 coats. That's a lot of extra time. When the walls get scuffed up the cheap paint does not clean easy either. My first home had cheap builder grade white paint and the entryway would always get hand prints on it from people putting their hands on the wall to take shoes and boots off. When I would take a washcloth to it to clean it the washcloth would be white from the paint coming off the wall. We don't want that!

Each house I've fixed up I have progressively kept going up in paint quality to the next price point. Now I always use the higher end stuff that retails for $45-$50/gal, every time. With paint discount promotions or asking for discounts you can get the good stuff for $30-$35 per gallon at Porter or Sherwin Williams. Big box stores also do sales several times per year. Paint is usually on sale somewhere, and I have not really found a preference on one brand, the high quality paints are good everywhere in my opinion.

With good paint, if you are just painting a room that does not vary much in color you can get away with one coat (plus maybe a few touch ups) by putting it on heavy. But ideally it does look best with 2 full coats of paint. For covering up walls that have more blemishes, FLAT paint is always best. Other types of paint such as semigloss, eggshell, satin, etc have a little bit of gloss to them which makes imperfections show more, although they do wipe down easier.

Happy Painting!