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.

Dec. 5, 2019

What Is My Home Worth In 2020?

2019 is wrapping up, and its been a busy year for Real Estate in central Indiana. Are you considering selling a home in 2020? If so, here are a few things to think about. The starter homes (houses under $200k) should continue to sell fast and see values increase. They just aren't building homes under $200k anymore, so I do not see this slowing down anytime soon. However, I think we will see home sales in the $250k+ range start to slow down a bit. There are so many new construction subdivisions going in that it's starting to get more competitive. I think we will see better builder incentives in 2020.

So what should you do if you're considering selling? If you're in a starter home and need more space I would suggest trying to hang on to that home and keep it as a rental if you have the financial ability to do so. Rental properties are great investments, and these homes continue to climb in value. Rental rates have climbed a lot in the last couple years. If you would like to discuss average rents for your home, and what it takes to rent your property please contact me for a free evaluation.

If you purchased your home several years ago after the financial crisis there is a good chance you are sitting on a lot of equity. This was the peak time of the housing recession and you probably purchased at a very good price. Its not uncommon to see homeowners sitting on $30k-$70k in equity who purchased homes in the years following 2009. In many cases, if you're looking to upgrade to a larger home you can roll that equity into a new home without changing your payment at all, or with a small payment increase, but end up with a much larger and nicer house.

If you're looking to downsize you can be in a tough position because smaller home prices have risen so much. It's not uncommon to see someone with a $250k home downsize into a $200k home that's only half the size, but the home price was only $50k less.

What is your home worth? Contact me for a free home evaluation and set of comps! No obligation, even if you do not plan on selling AT ALL!

Posted in Buying, Selling
Nov. 28, 2019

What are my options for handling Estate property?

Closing out an estate after the passing of a loved one is a difficult time for family members. If you will be selling the real estate, you generally have a couple options. List with an agent, have it auctioned off, or for sale by owner. For more information about listing with an agent and auctions click here for more info. Or if you need some general FSBO tips you can see my FSBO Tips Page.

Posted in Selling
Nov. 23, 2019

Hendricks County USDA Loan 0% Down Map

If you're tight on funds for a down payment, make sure you know about 0% Down USDA Loans. I've spoke to a lot of buyers who didn't know they existed. Basically, these loans are designed for more rural areas, but homes can be in town, not just out in the country. For Hendricks County, most of the county is eligible other than Brownsburg, Avon, and Plainfield. At the time of this blog they will lend to those with credit scores as low as 600, but they will consider your whole financial picture when qualifying you. I work with several lenders that do a lot of USDA loans, so if a 0% down option is what you need please contact me and we can talk about all your options.

Posted in Buying
Nov. 17, 2019

Another Rental Property Acquired!

Another rental property complete, and it could not have gone any smoother! I purchased this one on October 17th and got it all cleaned up and some renovation work done the first two weeks on my own. My contractors worked the second two weeks on it to finish all the main stuff out. At the end of October I already had it rented out, with tenants needing to move in November 15th. It was tight, but we signed the lease on the 15th while the carpet guys were installing (final step). If you're interested in learning about all the benefits of owning rental property, please reach out to me!

Nov. 7, 2019

Free TV and Electronics Recycling - Hendricks County

Getting rid of old electronics can be a pain. The regular trash won't always take them, and it almost always costs money to recycle them. When I am doing property renovations on houses, I am always inheriting unwanted TVs and computers. Almost anywhere you call it costs $20-$40 to get rid of them. Not anymore! A few months ago I came across a place in Plainfield that takes all electronics for FREE and recycles them. After collecting 6 old TVs from the last 2 houses I renovated I decided to try them out.

They are easy to find on google maps, but the drop off door is NOT marked. See the image below for the door location. You enter on the one way entry road off Reeves Road, go past the front parking lot, and its the first door on your left. Again, its not marked, but just knock on the door.

Info:
Electronics Recyclers International

 

Oct. 18, 2019

Links To My Social Profiles

Below are a collection of links to my various social profiles and real estate review sites to learn more about me and real estate in general. Be sure to take a look!

Links:

Facebook Business Page
Google Business Profile/Reviews
Zillow Reviews
Realtor.com Reviews
Linkedin
Instagram Profile

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 renters/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.

Using the schools calculator here is an example of the increases for a $150,000 property based on if its owner occupied, a rental/farm, or commercial. You can see a much larger tax increase those who's property is not owner occupied.

 

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!