May 022017
 

Virtual 360 Tour by Matterport

Think of this technology in terms of the Google ‘streetview’ where you can walk around with your browser and see the views captured from Google’s streetview recordings from their vehicles. In this case the same technology is used to capture the interior view of a home.

When you connect via the link you have the option to view via a ‘dollhouse’  or ‘floorplan’ display which you then click on a spot to be whisked into that area of the home. As you move about the home you can pan around as if you were standing in the room itself. There isn’t a better way to view without actually standing in the home. As so many buyers first shop via the Internet, this is a tremendous tool for the difficult to photograph large homes.  This is especially handy for buyers moving from another distant location. We think you’ll be as amazed as we were when we first saw the potential.

Call or text The Derrick Team on this or any other questions you have on how we go ‘Above & Beyond’ to market your home. 317-563-1110.

Mar 212017
 

When searching for your next home it’s important to select areas you want to live in then narrow down the search based on type of home you’re looking for. We’ll discuss in this article the best way to do so in Hendricks County and how this applies to most other surrounding central Indiana counties. What you’ll see is if you use the wrong search parameter, you might be not seeing all the homes for sale in your target area.

One of the key factors to realized is that the address of a home does not really give you an accurate search parameter. A property address is assigned based on the post office that is servicing an area so you’ll find many homes within a town’s limit or geographical area that has another town’s postal address. For example, many homes along the eastern edge of Hendricks County have Indianapolis addresses because they are serviced by the larger post offices in Indianapolis. Also, as the county population has grown new zip codes have been added such as the Avon zip code that was added in 1999.

Using Avon/Washington township as an example, your home may physically be in Avon/Washington township but may have an Indianapolis, Brownsburg, Plainfield, or Danville mailing address. Part of the reason is due to the fact that Avon is squeezed between Brownsburg to the north, Plainfield to the south, Indianapolis to the east, and Danville to the west. And Avon was not officially incorporated as a town until 1995. Technically both Brownsburg and Plainfield have expanded their town limits into Washington township but that has mostly stopped after a few lawsuits between the towns and Avon.

So, for now we’ll still consider most of Washington township as Avon, as the town, like many others around the area, has the goal of eventually incorporating the entire township. Both Avon and Brownsburg have recently had studies of merging township and town governments thus expanding their town borders to the edges of those townships, much as Zionsville has done in Boone county. For that reason, it’s safe to say unincorporated areas in many populous townships will be absorbed into the nearby town at some point in the future. This is the reason we tend to search using the best common denominator of these trends, which is the school system. For the most part the borders will eventually be drawn by township, as Hendricks Counties school systems are set by township boundaries (see map).

This is not something that applies to all areas which is why you’ll want to have a realtor that is aware of the area you are looking in. Indianapolis for example has IPS which is based on the old city boundaries before all of Marion county was absorbed by the city. There are also cross county school districts in more lightly populated areas of the state.

Below we outline the search parameters we typically use by area in Hendricks County, broke down by school system and tell you the geographical area each one covers.

Avon would be Avon Community School Corp and encompasses Washington Township in the central / eastern part of Hendricks County.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/avon

Brownsburg is Brownsburg Community School Corp and includes both Lincoln and Brown Townships which covers the north east part of Hendricks County.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/brownsburg

Danville is Danville Community School Corp and includes Center and Marion townships covering the center and middle western area of Hendricks County.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/danville

Plainfield is Plainfield Community School Corp and covers Guildford township which is the south west corner of Hendricks County.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/plainfield

The north west area of Hendricks County is less populated and is covered by North West Hendricks Community School Corp. It includes Eel River, Union, & Middle townships and the towns of Pittsboro, Lizton, and North Salem.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/HCNW

The south west area of Hendricks County is also lightly populated and is covered by Mill Creek School Corp. It includes Clay, Franklin, and Liberty townships and the towns of Coatesville, Clayton, Amo, and Stilesville.
http://thederrickteam.callcarpenter.com/HCSW

Buying or selling in Hendricks County, or anywhere in the Indianapolis Metropolitan area, don’t hesitate to call or text us at 317-563-1110! We’re here to help you with any of your real estate needs, 7 days a week!

Mar 022017
 

USDA
Many of our listings qualify for the USDA no money down program. This program is for rural homes such as ares in the western areas of Hendricks County and beyond such as Danville & North Salem. Check here to see if this is an option for you.

Next Home
Another option for you might be the ‘Next Home’ program. Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority has a program to use and supplement other offerings for home buyers who need some help to purchase a home. They provide a brochure on their web site detailing many of the options here: Homeownership Brochure.

The lenders who are participating in the program are listed here: Current Lenders.

Call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 to start your search for a new home. Don’t forget, we can help you with your home purchase and our services are paid by the seller, not you. So let’s start looking!

A few of the lenders we’ve worked with that offer this & USDA (link takes you to their site for details):

Mark Wicks at First Merchants Bank – (317) 840-8200
Reggie Galvin at American Mortgage – (317)-272-0074
JP Brens at Caliber Mortgage – (317) 550-2116


Also included these handy links if the above links do not work.

Website link: http://www.in.gov/ihcda/2507.htm

Income Limits: http://www.in.gov/ihcda/files/2011-12_Income_limits_FOR_LENDERS.pdf

Participating lenders: https://ihcdaonline.com/AuthorityOnline/participatinglenders/participatinglenders.aspx

Brochure: http://www.in.gov/ihcda/files/IHCDA-OpportunitiesForHomeownership-032410.pdf

 

 

Nov 102016
 
Our Danville listing that sold in 9 hours.

Our Danville listing that sold in 9 hours.

Common wisdom has spring starting in late March because the calendar and outside weather tells us that. A common misconception is that the prime home selling season starting around the same time. But there are other factors that come in to play that show by March you’ve already missed the first opportunity to sell you home. Like this past spring we sold the most homes in March, and all of those homes had been on the market for at least a month, if not longer. So people who waited until March to list missed the largest surge of selling activity. A good time to start is now by finding your realtor and talk to them about what you need to do to your house. The Derrick Team is more than happy to come out and discuss what you need to do with no obligations!

Getting ready
First you have to consider the preparation of getting your home ready to sell. Depending on how you ‘keep house’, this can be anything from a couple of weeks to 2-3 months or more. The basics that you will need to address are de-cluttering, cleaning, and making everything looking spiffy! This often includes painting, replacing worn / outdated fixtures & flooring, and repairing items that will need to be addressed to sell the property. We see this all the time where the homeowner is totally unaware of how long it will take them to get the home ready for the market. So a good time to start working on this is around the Thanksgiving holidays in November when you might have some extra time off from work to do as many chores yourself to save from paying others to do it for you.

When should you be ready?
Plan to be on the market in January after the holidays are over. This gives you cushion, as the end of January to early February is our latest recommend time frame to target getting your home on the market (see chart below). Why then you ask? First, when the weather is bad buyers are sitting at home searching the Internet and getting ideas on what they want to see as soon as the weather gets better. You want them to find your home so you’ll be the first on their list. Second, you want to beat all the other sellers who do wait until March or April to list. Again you’ve picked up those buyers chomping at the bit while the weather was bad. Third, first time home buyers will start as soon as they get their tax returns. So there are at least 3 good reasons to be on the market early.

This past spring was our busiest ever and in April local sales in central Indiana were the highest ever recorded after a very busy February & March. Many of our listings had accepted offers the day they went on the market. We saw that many sellers that waited until May / June had to sit and compete with all the other late listings, when the market normally slows somewhat. All the current reports show this spring should be at least as good as last spring with interest rates still in the reasonable range and consumer confidence continuing to grow. There is a pent up demand from first time home buyers that continues to propel the housing market.

If you have any desire to sell in the next couple of years it costs you nothing for us to come talk with you. We’ll be happy to help with a free CMA and tips for getting your home ready with no obligation on your part. Call or text The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 or shoot us an email. Don’t wait and miss those early buyers.

Spring Home Sales

Jun 192016
 
1937 flooding in Indiana

Damaged Farmhouse – 1937

In 2004 FEMA started to finally update flood maps do to the discovery of several areas not properly covered during previous years flood events. This is  an ongoing process and in some cases homeowners are not aware their home has been designated a high flood risk area and may require flood insurance. The process is not very scientific and mistakes are made.

Any time you have a mortgage on property in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area), the lender will usually require you have flood insurance, which can be pricey. The issue is that you may not even realized it until you go to sell your house. You get a buyer and all the sudden the buyer walks because he was told he needs flood insurance by his lender.

We just had this come up with one our listings and the seller found out from a neighbor who just sold their house that the whole street end overlooking a small creek was now in a SFHA. Of course they look down the hill at the creek, so flooding has never been and issue. But now they will have to address it due to disclosure laws.

You might want to do a quick check if you have any doubts on FEMA’s web site here.

Flooded area of downtown Indianapolis - March 1913 Photo: HistoricIndianapolis.com

Flooded area of downtown Indianapolis – March 1913 Photo: HistoricIndianapolis.com

Oh oh! Found out the bad news? Now you can try and get a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) that exempts your property. But guess what, you are going to have to pay for it. More details here on FEMA’s site. Not all homes will be able to get one so you’ll be stuck with the higher rates.

Best not wait till it’s time to sell your home. Just the insurance costs will deter some buyers, not the mention that they may think you’ve had flooding problems before. Sometimes the random power of the government will bite you when you least expect it.

The Federal Government has continued to extended the subsidy on flood insurance for a few more years but plans to slowly implement increases.  You might want to check this out while you still have time if your home is anywhere near a creek or major drainage ditch. And be sure and check any property before your purchase so you won’t have any surprises later.

May 172016
 

Been looking for that perfect home but just cannot see it browsing the classifieds or on the Internet? Well we’ve stated the many reasons why you should use a REALTOR® when making an investment like a new home in another blog post. But did you realize that even if you decide to build, you’re better off working with your REALTOR® to guide you through the process? Years ago builders accepted the usefulness of paying REALTORS® a fee and it’s worked so well they now market directly to REALTORS® to move their inventory.Home Framing

But what’s important to you that as professional REALTORS® we will work with you to determine your needs and are familiar with the various builders working in the market. We can help you get the best deal in the area you most desire because of our working relationship with the builders. And best of all, it costs you nothing.

If you’ve signed the contract to build a home without the help of your REALTOR®, then one only knows what kind of deal you got.

So if even if you are only thinking of building a home, contact your REALTOR® first. They can make sure you get the best deal before you sign, and then help you work with the builder during construction. It’s the best money you never had to spend!

Questions? Feel free to text or call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact Form.

Mar 052016
 

Open HouseEvery time you talk to a good real estate agent while at an open house you will eventually hear from them “Are you working with an agent?” Good agents will respect that you are the other agent’s client unless you tell us otherwise. What is usually surprising is when the person tells us that they don’t want help from an agent in their search for a new property. They might even be annoyed when we offer to represent them in any transaction even thought it costs them nothing because the seller typically pays all commission fees. It’s one of those puzzling items that we run across quite often.

If you are one of those buyers not ready to commit to an agent representing you here are something to consider: A good buyer agent will spend a great deal of time and effort to find the perfect home for a committed client. This will include all the proper preparation and education on the processes for the client, searching and showing potential homes to the client, and of course working with the client with an offer all the way to closing and beyond. So if you don’t commit with an agent you’ll find most agents will only offer information on their listings you contact them about but not much else.

Now for a couple of suggestions when looking for an agent to help you: Do some research on agents in your area. Ask family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they’ve worked with any agents recently or any recommendations they might have.  Visit open houses in the area you are looking in to find agents that work that area. Google them and find out about their Internet presence. You’ll see their knowledge of the area from all of this. Then to see if they are a good personality match meet with them at their office and discuss what you’re looking for. Even at this point you have nothing to lose, as you are committed to nothing until you start looking at properties with the agent.

Finally keep in mind any buyer agency documents you sign are typically only for the homes that agent has shown you. If you decide to move to another agent later on that new agent will represent you on any additional homes you look at and decide to purchase. So as we tell our clients you can fire us at any time without further commitment.

The Derrick Team loves working with buyers no matter what price range. From first time homebuyers to those looking for acreage in far out rural areas we are glad to help. Give us a call or text us anytime at 317-563-1110 and we’ll be glad to meet with you to discuss your plans and options for purchasing a new home! Or use our handy Contact Form here.

Feb 122016
 

A well planned garage sale can put some $$$ in your pocket!

Garage sale todayIf you are planning to move, or just need to make some space, a garage sale (sometimes called a yard sale), is a great way to get rid of unwanted or unused items and pocket a little cash. Here are some general ideas that can help you clean up and get a reward.

Plan

  • It’s not a good idea to have sales on holiday weekends as most people already have other plans.
  • Look for community sales you can join or invite neighbors to join as you have more stuff and can split the advertising costs. More stuff increases a shoppers chance of finding something they like.
  • Check with your Homeowners Association and/or with local ordinances as sometimes a permit or registration is required. Some HOA’s only allow them during ‘community sales’.

Advertise

  • Run an ad in the newspaper and/or post an ad for free on Craigslist, Facebook groups, or other local Internet sites.
  • For larger sales passing out local flyers or posting on local store bulletin boards can draw traffic as well.
  • Put signs out the day before (check local ordnances) and check to make sure they are there the day of the sale. Most of the Indy area has 24 hour rules.
  • Remember, attaching signs to public signs and utility poles is a no-no, they must be free standing.
  • Good signs make a difference as most people are drive bys so make sure they are sturdy and easy to read from the road.
  • If it’s windy or you had a storm overnight go check them right before the sale is going to start. Consider using boxes with weights in them. And make sure and go pick them up after the sale.

Before the Sale Preparations

  • Supply plastic bags or boxes for multiple items. Keep old newspaper handy to wrap up fragile items.
  • Put dogs away as some people are scared or allergic of them.
  • Have a small calculator handy, buyers might otherwise question your addition.
  • Make sure you have room for parking safely on the street or yard area.
  • Place an ‘All Sales Final’ sign to make sure you don’t get people coming back the next day.
  • Have plenty of change at the start, at least $50 in small bills and coins. More if you have a lot of low priced items.
  • Don’t take checks from strangers as you have no way to get your money if the check is not legit.
  • Keep the money on you, not in a cash box as a tempting target. Carpenter aprons are a handy item to keep your money on you.
  • Price everything or at least group them on a table with a sign that says ‘All Items on this Table $5’. Price items in good shape for about a 3rd of what they are new. Make it easy on yourself and price them in even amounts like 50 cents, $1, $5, etc.
  • Provide electric power to test plug in items and batteries in battery operated items.
  • Have some soft music playing so people don’t have to whisper if they are talking about an items price.
  • Provide cold drinks (you can make a little money there) and even snacks as that can help keep people browsing.
  • Make sure all items are clean and neatly arraigned and during lulls in activity be sure and straighten the displayed items.

For the Sale

  • Expect early birds for the ‘professional’ yard sale shoppers looking for the under priced item they know are worth more and they can make a tidy profit from (if you want to discourage them put in the ads ‘Early Bird Pays Double’).
  • Put man items (tools, electronics, sports items, etc) and high dollar items by the street so the woman can get the man to stop.
  • Put broken or items with little value by the street with a sign ‘Free Pile’. This gets people to stop as well.
  • Don’t expect much for clothes, only baby items generally will sell at all. Use cheap hangers for hanging items (like from the dry cleaners) as buyers will probably take the hanger with the item.
  • Be sure and check the pockets as you might sell a shirt for $1 that has a $10 bill in it! As items sell, spread items out to fill in and make it look like you have plenty of items left to sell.
  • Be ready to haggle as everyone is looking for a bargain at yard sales.
  • Towards the end start dropping prices. This is where the price per table is handy. Just start moving everything to the cheap table. You can also box similar items (like toys, games, books, etc) and put a price on everything in the box.

After the Sale

  • Determine what items you want to keep for a possible future sale and box them up.
  • The rest can be donated to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, your favorite charity, or the trash man.
  • Don’t forget to go pick up the signs! Then sit back and count the money!
  • And if this is in preparation of moving, call The Derrick Team and we can help you with the next step, staging your home to sell and of course helping you market your home to buyers!

Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week!

Download our free Garage Sale Tips Booklet here

Jan 282016
 

Carpenter announced at our 2016 rally that this new product will be available soon for our listings. It’s really cool and The Derrick Team plans and using it. It’s basically ‘Google Streetview’ for homes as it works the same way. Check out this demo of a Colorado Ski Lodge. Depending on your Internet speed it may take a minute to load.
Call us today at 317-563-1110 for more details on this and other tools The Derrick Team uses to sell your home.

Jan 212016
 

 

We helped a buyer with this home sold as a short sale. They got a deal on 24 acres and this home.

We helped a buyer with this home sold as a short sale. They got a deal on 24 acres and this home.

What Is A Short Sale? You’ve probably heard the term, especially if you are looking in the home buyers market, of a home that is listed as a ‘short sale’. It sometimes can be described as a ‘pre-foreclosure’ as well, but basically it means the same thing as while a home is listed as a short sale the foreclosure process is continuing to be executed by the lender.

A few years ago this wasn’t something you saw on the market, but times have changed and as we all know things have been hard for a lot of people who own homes. So the banks (strongly encouraged by the federal government with HAFA) have worked on options for people who owe more on their home than it can sell for (short of the current amount of the mortgage). So a home that is listed as a short sale or possible short sale is usually a homeowner who cannot afford the home but is trying to avoid foreclosure.

Each bank has their own approach for short sales so this is just a general description of what to consider when shopping for homes. This information is mostly from our own experience in the short sales we’ve worked with so your own experience will vary, based on the lender involved and the agent’s due diligence.

First off, short sales usually take a long time (despite the common name). This is because all offers must be approved by the lender, and more commonly the investor who holds the note for the loan and signed off by many different people. Some banks are better than others at working with the seller and their agent. If the approval is still in process, it’s going to be a bit longer of a wait.

TIP: When considering making an offer on a short sale, find out if the hardship package has been submitted and approved. That can speed up the process of the lender approval of your offer.

In most cases you’ll find these homes are being sold ‘As Is’ so you are looking at a probable ‘fixer upper’. But depending on how long the home has been on the market, the general condition of the property, and the area sales numbers, you might find a really great deal on a nice home because the lender is more willing to accept lower offers at that point. The number one thing to have if you decide to make an offer on a short sale is; patience. So what we find is most often buyers that are ready to move right now will find a short sale will not work due to time constraints. In the end most short sales are sold to investors with cash offers.

But if you have the time, or are looking for investment property, a short sale can be worth considering. Just understand that there are often delays that can take up to 6 months or more to get a deal closed. And it’s not unheard of for a lender to change their mind and end up rejecting an offer they accepted a few weeks earlier. So be ready for anything if you decide to make an offer on a short sale. But you just might be rewarded with a really good deal.

Questions on a particular short sale home in the Indy West Metro Area? Give us a call at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact Form. We can help guide you through this maze and see if you think this is worth a try for you. Just be ready to hurry up and wait.

Jan 152016
 

anothersoldOne of the biggest steps to adulthood is that first time one buys their own home. After living with your parents and then in rentals having to live by the landlord rules that next true step to freedom is purchasing your own home. At the same time it’s a big step in responsibility as now you are solely responsible for payments and upkeep.

We love working with first time homebuyers as they are always excited and fun to work with. We take them step-by-step on the entire process and stay in touch after the sale. But what many people don’t realize is how important first time homebuyers are to the sale of all homes.

There is a market for homes we call ‘first time homebuyer’ or ‘starter homes’. These are smaller, lower entry point homes in any given market. As homeowners outgrow these homes they will find they are now looking for first time homebuyers to purchase their homes so they can move up to a larger home. The people with the larger homes are looking for these ‘moving up’ buyers to purchase their home so they can move to, well you see where this is going. First time homebuyers are the first domino that keeps the real estate market busy.

10 first time homebuyers will purchase 8-9 inhabited homes (a few are vacant for various reasons) on average. Of the sellers who then proceed to purchase new homes you now have about 17 transactions. As those sellers become buyers you go down the line and the original 10 sales become 25 – 30. So on average a first time buyer triggers 3 home sales.

This is why it is important for our economy that lenders work with first time homebuyers and have options available that will work for those with good credit. It’s what keeps the housing market moving forward.

We work with several lenders that have many options for first time homebuyers. No matter where you are in the buying / selling domino chain The Derrick Team is here to help. Give us a call or text 317-563-1110. Or use our handy contact page.

Dec 012015
 

Adopt! Don’t Shop!

We encourage all animal lovers to adopt when getting new pets. Purchasing pets leaves a pet in a shelter that otherwise could have a new home. And make sure and spay / neuter your pets, all ours are.

All of our current bunch of pets in the Derrick household are rescues in one way or another (except the tropical fish). We always like to help find animals a ‘furever home’. This is a list of the current residents and their story listed by seniority.


Fred


Fred came from a family member in 2002 who had rescued him but then found he didn’t get along with their current cats. Fred easily fit in with our pets at the time and has slowly worked up to the alpha cat that the others all respect. You could say he is alpha pet as the dogs give him leeway as well. He is the one cat that will always find me when I’m sitting on the porch and jump in my lap for a nap. He’s quite bold except when there are storms then he cowers in the basement. But then most our pets do the same.


Merlin


Merlin is a beautiful longhair that adopted us in 2008 by just showing up on the back porch. He was hanging around one afternoon and just walked up to me while grilling dinner that evening. I picked him up and he purred up a storm and never left. He has a personality based on the fact he knows he is cute and won’t let us forget it. He’s a happy kitty and gets along with everyone. He has become The Derrick Team mascot because he is so photogenic and everyone thinks he’s cute, which of course he is.


Skittles


Skittles is another longhair that just showed up one day in 2010. Once he figured out this is a great place to live he never left. While he is still considered semi-feral he will let Connie pick him up and take him into the ‘cat room’ for the night. His name of course is based on the fact he normally skittles when people get too close to him. But he too gets along with all the other pets and has settled in as a permanent member of our pet clan.


Bailey


Bailey came about after we had just lost our last dog Jazz around Xmas of 2011 due to sudden illness. Connie was working with Ark Foster Care at the time and found her on their web site. We had both hated not having a dog in the house and we adopted her in Jan 2012. She is an awesome dog and everyone loves her. She is a very happy dog now as she was found in an outdoor shed with 10 puppies. So after a hard life in the beginning she now enjoys guarding our couch every day.


Juno


Juno came from a family member who was no longer in a position to care for her. She is an older dog but is very healthy and loving. She immediately attached to Connie and will follow her everywhere in the house. Even though she is smaller than Bailey by half, she still tends to act as the alpha dog, but that’s probably more because Bailey just doesn’t care. Juno’s goal in life is to always warn us when the mailman is around. Apparently she doesn’t want us to get the bills in the mail.


Sassy



Sassy is our most recent rescue in late 2015. She came from Luv A Dog and is a young full blooded GSD. She was mistreated by her former owner so local animal control removed her from the home and a kind policeman took her in for police dog training. Unfortunately (but good for us) she flunked out of police dog school so we were lucky enough to adopt her. She’s one very large puppy and full of love. We’ve owned GSD’s before and love the breed. Despite failing school she still makes a great guard dog. Her favorite toys are rocks, empty carboard boxes, and sticks.

If you love a breed, there are rescues out there so Adopt! Don’t Shop!


Other Mentions

Rose & MyrtleMyrtle
Myrtle is painted turtle that came from a former co-worker in 2009. At some point she was a cute pet store turtle that then grew up and became a burden (turtles are very easy to care for). We setup a tank in the fish room and she has been happy to eat and sun under her lamp and continues to grow. Turtles can live for a long time.

Rose
Rose is another type of painted turtle that came from a friend of a friend in 2011. They were moving and once again the turtle was too much work. So she has her own tank next to Myrtle and is enjoying a nice life in comfort.

The Tropical Fish Room
After many years of having fish tanks in the house I finally built a dedicated room in our large pole barn / garage in 2009. Originally setup to breed angel fish it’s now setup to just enjoy watching the fish in 3 tanks totaling about 240 gallons. We enjoy sitting out there in the evenings and relaxing. It’s especially nice on cold winter nights to as we heat the room to tropical temperatures.

pondThe Pond
In 2005 I dug out a 35’x40’x5’ hole in back of the barn and created our own little pond retreat. Setup with plants, waterfall, gold fish, and a small wood deck, it’s become a nice place to relax on warm summer evenings. The pond also has self-populated with bullfrogs, crawdads, and an occasional turtle. Every winter the pond freezes and each spring it thaws and comes back to life. It’s a natural wildlife habitat and both our cats and the neighbor cats like to hang out there.

RockyRocky
Rocky is another kitty that just showed up in 2009. He’s talkative and friendly but won’t trust just anyone. In the end only our neighbor could pick him up so we agreed to share him. We split the cost to have him neutered and while he visits with us sometimes he mostly spends time in their horse barn in back.

Nov 132015
 

When you go to sell your home, this phrase is a good summary to set the stage on today’s market so I’ll define it here in a little more detail.

Price War
This is pretty self-explanatory but holds even more weight today. When we do a Comparative Market Analysis of a home we tell the seller the low range of prices is what you have to be at to win the Price War. Not usually a thing easy for them to accept, but to sell quickly you have to be the best deal around. The good news is that home values are creeping back up. But sellers who insist they want top dollar often will find their neighbors are selling much quicker because their high price makes the neighbors home look like a better deal. In other words you want a neighbor who lists at a higher price so you can easily win the Price War.

Beauty Contest
Now we move into the subject that not everyone understands. Today’s buyers are much more demanding on what they want their home to look like. It used to be “Move in ready” if the home had fresh paint, clean carpet and/or great flooring. Now we have to deal with the HGTV syndrome. Buyers want updates, whatever is the trend at that moment. Nickel finish fixtures, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, it’s a long list that comes from home improvement shows on HGTV and home centers playing along by pushing these items in ads. We like to refer to this look as being the ‘Shiny Penny’ that catches the buyers attention. While some buyers know to look beyond these items and think bigger such as home location, floor plan, local area, etc, the eye candy listed above from the HGTV syndrome is what impresses most. So in todays market it not just neat and clean to win the Beauty Contest, its show me the wow factor when I look at your home.

So if you cannot win the Beauty Contest, you’d better win the Price War. If you’re not in a position to win with the Price War, you’d better be first prize in the Beauty Contest. If you want to sell your home really fast, be ready to win both!

Want to know where you stand? Give us a call or text at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email and we’ll do a free CMA and tour your home to give you ideas on what’s worth updating to win both contests.

Jul 082015
 

Hendricks County May 2015 Report from IARWell let me tell you.

While spring is the traditional busy season the weather has turned warm during this unusually wet start to summer and the real estate market barely slowed down. Normally we’ve seen summer slowdowns after schools let out and families go on vacation. But this year while not as crazy as this past spring we’ve been busy selling houses on into July, the time of year I usually plan projects around the house.

The biggest problem we’ve been having and other realtors concur, we cannot get enough regular listings ($100-$250K single family homes). That particular part of the market is the hottest and homes sell quickly in that range.

Reading reports (links below) will confirm what we’ve seen but in general I think a lot has to do with the continuing lower interest rates that we thought would be climbing higher by now. When the Feds continue to say they will start raising them soon that adds to the urgency. So for now its go, go, go.

If you are even slightly thinking of selling, give us a call and we can help you decide if now is the right time for you to sell. Call The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110!

Check out the general realtor sentiment with this site: http://www.stats.indiana.edu/housing/RealtorSentiment.asp

Great site for looking at your county sales info from the Indiana Association of Realtors: http://www.indianarealtors.com/Research/Indiana-Real-Estate-Markets-Report.aspx

Hendricks County May 2015 Report from IAR

Hendricks County May 2015 Report from IAR

Jun 262015
 
Purchase Agreement

See link to sample purchase agreement below.

Every state has different rules in regards to real estate transactions so in this article I’m focusing on Indiana’s Residential Purchase Agreement and the contingencies that matter most to buyers (but really are important for sellers to be aware of as well).

Today’s purchase agreement is now more helpful to the buyers than in the past. Years ago purchasing real estate was more of a ‘buyers beware’ transaction as most of the contract favored the sellers. Any misstep by the buyers and they forfeited their earnest money to the seller or listing broker. Now there a few built-in contingencies that unless superseded by other documents help to protect the buyer. The 2 most important on a standard contract is the ‘Independent Inspection’ section and the ‘Financing’ section.

Any good real estate agent is going to instruct their buyer to plan on the inspection costs as that is one of the best protections a buyer has. The idea is that they don’t want to end up paying too much for a home that has hidden defects (or at least not obvious to the untrained eye). When purchasing a home, a buyer needs to understand that they are paying for an inspection because the inspector is working for you, not the seller. The inspection section in the Purchase Agreement gives the buyer a time period to have the home inspected for major defects and safety concerns and determine if they want them addressed by the seller. It’s what we refer to as another ‘buyer / seller negotiation’ process in the transaction. The buyer can ask that certain items be repaired or addressed and the seller can negotiate back. A good listing agent will have prepared the sellers for this part of the transaction so the seller should be prepared to address any major defects found by the inspection. In rare cases the buyer can determine the house is in such bad shape they can ask to cancel the Purchase Agreement with a mutual release and have their earnest money refunded. Our experience is if both sides are reasonable this can be worked out to both parties satisfaction. Keep in mind if a buyer waives the right to inspection, you’re back to ‘buyer beware’.

The other important section is the financing sections that outline the type of buyers financing and the timeline in which everything is completed up to the final ‘closing date’. For the most part this protects the buyer so that if for any reason the buyer cannot obtain financing to complete the transaction the buyer will get a full refund of the earnest money. For the buyers sake it’s always a good idea to have all your financing worked out before you start looking at homes. When we work with buyers we insist a buyer talk to a lender to confirm their financial status before we start showing homes. We don’t want to waste everyone’s time if there was never any chance the deal would close. But at the same time there can be other reasons for the buyer to not be able to get financing. In some cases it might be the home’s condition is so poor the lender denies the loan (usually FHA / VA loans). In other cases it can be the appraisal comes in too low and the seller is unwilling to lower the price so the buyer is unable to get the loan. And in some cases there are sudden financial hardships that come into play as the buyer loses their job. So in most of these cases the purchase agreement protects the buyer in that they at least should get their earnest money back. Keep in mind there are other factors that come in to play but this is mostly what we have seen in our past experiences.

There are a handful of other sections that give the buyer a chance to negotiate or back out such as if the transaction is dependent on the buyer closing on their current home (and that buyer fails to close) or the section that covers homeowner associations. But the inspection and financing are what we always see as the 2 most important when working from accepted offer to closing. So a buyer must pay attention to this and work closely with their agent and lender to make sure everything goes smoothly to get to the point of signing the closing documents and getting the keys to their new home.

Have questions on how the process all works? Check out this flow chart here. Or feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. Based out of Avon Indiana we serve Hendricks County and the surrounding Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

Sample 2015 Indiana Purchase Agreement: Purchase_Agreement_Improved_Property_-_2015_ts48492

Jun 152015
 
A Shiny Kitchen

A Shiny Kitchen

There are many different reasons buyers are out looking at homes. Normally when working with a buyer an agent tries to determine a buyer’s motivation before they start showing them homes. But some agents will just about show houses to anybody who asks (eventually they realize their wasting time, but that’s another blog post). For the most part the buyers out looking are at least thinking about moving or buying a home when they go out looking. We’ll break down the different motivations in this article.

Tire Kicker
You know the saying about car shoppers and the same can be said for home shoppers with a low motivation. They’re just looking at homes thinking about moving. Maybe their thinking their current home is too small (or too large), and want to see what’s out there for a price they can afford. They are working with agents they know and are willing to show them homes because of previous dealings. We have clients like this and we know eventually they will find a home that motivates them. But it can take months, if not years before they purchase a new home.

First Time Home Buyer
First Time Home Buyers usually have a higher motivation than Tire Kickers, but often not much higher. They’ve been thinking about buying a home for a couple of months (or years) but are usually renting and don’t have an immediate reason to move. Their motivation can pick up a level or two if they have a lease coming up and have to move by a certain deadline. Let’s just say their motivation varies, depending on the weather.

Growing Family
A current homeowner that has a more immediate need can have a much higher level of motivation due to a baby (or two) on the way and they are running out of room in their current house. They are working with an agent who has listed their home and hope to find one to make an offer on as soon as they get an accepted offer on theirs. Their motivation becomes very high when they have that accepted offer.

House Just Sold
This applies to a homeowner like above who for whatever reason is moving and has just sold their home. The motivation factor is very high in this case. This is where you might get above list offers if they really like a home.

Job Transfer / Relocation
Depending on the timeline (as in just started or already changed jobs) these home buyers are motivated or very motivated. Sometimes they will just buy a home that works and plan to move in a few years once they know they are staying in the area. Highly motivated buyers in this category might make above list price offers as well.

Investor
Never in a hurry until they find a good deal. Usually a low cash offer but sometimes will pay good price on a nice home with good income potential whether flipping or renting.

The reason sellers need to know all this is there is a wide range of motivation in the buyers looking at your home. So what you need to do is make your home stand out so you impress all buyers that look at your home. This is what we refer to as being the ‘Shiny Penny’. All buyers will gravitate to the ‘Shiny Penny’ and you’ll get more and better quality offers if you make sure your home stands out.

Want to make your home a ‘Shiny Penny’ when you’re ready to sell? Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 and we’ll come talk to you about what you need to do to your home with no obligation to hire us when you’re ready to sell. We like to help home buyers and sellers with all their real estate needs.

Apr 302015
 
Another Sold

Derrick Team Sold Another One

We find there are many reasons people choose to sell and /or buy homes. First time home buyers are looking to not throw money away on rent. Empty nesters don’t need all the space in their large home anymore. The family is growing larger and more bedrooms are in order. New job requires relocation to a new city. I could go on with a lot of reasons we’ve helped people with their real estate needs. But everything and anything as to why people move falls into one common reason: Life Happens.

When buyers are looking at a home they often ask why the sellers are moving. Of course they want to know if there is something wrong with the home, area, etc. but it’s also a basic curiosity. Unless the seller has OK’d it we cannot disclose this type of personal information. But then we are not disclosing anything when we honestly say ‘Life Happens’.

Often we’ll hear from a seller they had no intention of selling anytime soon, but then suddenly something comes up and now they are in a hurry to sell. A lot of things can change a sellers mind suddenly such as the aforementioned job transfer. But other times it’s not good news that is the cause. We as realtors often deal with joyless reasons such as the seller’s health issues, relationship problems, or even deaths.

So the main thing I think everyone should take away from this blog post is there are many reasons you can find yourself in need to sell your home and buy another. Be careful not to box yourself in thinking you’ll never move from your current home. We’ve been told by many sellers that they expected to die in the home (as stay forever) as we signed the listing contract. For whatever reason you may find yourself selling unexpectedly it’s because ‘Life Happens’.

The main problem we see when someone has to sell their home unexpectedly is when they have been using their home as a loan bank and tapping the equity to pay bills or make large purchases. All the sudden they find the ‘value’ the bank used to give the loan does not match the market value and now they have to pay money to sell their home. Be very careful when utilizing your home’s equity in loans because you know, Life Happens.

When Life Happens and you need to sell or buy a home, be sure and call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We understand there are many reasons to move and we will be there to help you no matter what your situation is. We understand that somethings are beyond your control because Life Happens.

Apr 272015
 

In the old days it was common for the seller to throw something in with the home to sweeten the deal during negotiations. Sometimes this is still considered but if the buyer is financing the purchase that gets a little tricky. Anything not installed in the home is considered ‘Personal Property’ in legal terms. So when you write up an offer any ‘Personal Property’ listed can become a problem when a lenders underwriter sees this. There are guidelines many lenders are required to follow if they plan to sell the note after closing. One we see more of is no personal property is to be included in the sale of a home. Lenders do not want to see that big screen TV being paid for over 30 years of the mortgage.

Part of the home.

Part of the home.

So what are things that can be included?
Common items include built in appliances like stoves, dishwashers, built in microwaves, and even refrigerators (though they don’t have to be mounted per say). Other items are built in play equipment like swing sets, sandboxes, & basketball goals. Also items that are large and bulky can be included like sheds, above ground pools, spas & hot tubs, and boat docs. Built in items like in wall speakers, retractable projection screens, and those fancy outdoor grills & ovens. Only a couple of items slide by the built in requirement like window treatments and pool tables, but sometimes even those cannot be included.

Then there are the no-no’s.

No-no

No-no

Common items that will be rejected by a lender are accessory appliances like wine coolers, blenders, coffee makers, that extra freezer in the garage or anything that is not built in to cabinets, walls, etc. Outdoor patio items and lawn equipment will never be considered in addition to any sort of furniture inside or out. Even items like bar stools that match the bar cannot be listed on a contract. Any of that shelving in the garage cannot be included unless mounted to the walls. I think a normal rule of thumb is if you can move it without using tools to undo it, it is considered ‘Personal Property’, with of course the occasional exception.

Now keep in mind this really only applies if the buyer is getting financing to purchase the home. With cash deals, anything goes! Otherwise these items can be included with a ‘Bill of Sale’ that takes place after closing and not paid out of the loan financing. This places the transaction separate from the home purchase and the lender doesn’t care about that part of your deal.

Be sure and go over everything with your Realtor when you list your home. This is something The Derrick Team will detail on your listing contract so feel free to contact us with any questions when you are preparing your home to sell. Call or text us at 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com

Also want to give a shout out to JP Brens at Caliber Home Loans in Avon who provided us with great info on this subject. Be sure and give JP a call at 317-414-2743 with any questions on financing questions you have. We highly recommend JP for any financing needs you need!

Mar 102015
 
Avon Home ready to show

Make is sparkle!

You’ve completed all the tasks to get your home on the market such as cleaning, decluttering, painting, etc. and just signed the contract to sell your home. Signs in the yard and your home is officially on the market. Now you start getting the calls from agents who want to show your home. Here are some tips on making your home stand out.

Be Ready To Show
First it’s generally a good idea to have the home ready for showings at all times. You just never know when an agent is out showing homes and their client’s spots your home and wants to check it out. Last minute showings aren’t that common but they do happen. In some cases that’s not possible depending on your situation but keep in mind you want to avoid turning down showings if at all possible. It often comes when an agent shows a nearby home and spots yours. So it pays to always be ready.

30 Minute Drill
Since you are going to be living there you will probably create messes as you cook, play, etc so just be neat and try to always clean up afterwards. Create a family drill where each member has a task to clean up an area in less than 30 minutes. Clean homes usually sell faster so in an ideal market you won’t have to do this drill very many times.

Light It Up
When you have a showing make sure all the lights are on and the drapes / shades are open. You want to buyer to see your bright clean home in the best possible light. Change out those money saving bulbs for brighter wattage in darker areas. When we are showing homes we often try to walk ahead of our clients and turn on lights but we don’t always see all the lights and may miss some nice accent lights that show off an area of the home. A neighbor or family member could come set up the home if you are not in a position to do this for all showings.

Air It Out
Smells invoke reactions and buyers will react to bad smells, even in a beautiful home. If possible open the windows and air out the home before showings. Remove any items that may cause bad smells like the trash with last nights leftovers, dirty litter box, soiled laundry, etc. or the smell will come right back when you close the windows. Avoid strong smelly sprays & scented candles as they often make the buyer think you are covering things up. Sometimes a little splash of bleach in the drains can make a room smell fresh and clean, but don’t overdo it.

Make It Nice
If you really want to impress your potential buyers put out some individually wrapped snacks on the kitchen table with a ‘help yourself’ sign. Little bottles of water work nicely with that as well. Have some soft easy listing music playing in one area just to make it feel comfortable. If you have a dedicated entertainment room a ‘G-Rated’ movie playing at a low volume can be a nice touch. The idea is to make them envision themselves enjoying living in your home.

For Pet Owners
Like most pet owners you probably let yours run around the house while you’re away. You really want to address this during showings as not all people like or feel comfortable around pets, especially large dog breeds. We’ve seen where agents wouldn’t even enter a home if a large dog is loose. So at a minimum we suggest you crate both cats and dogs for showings. Keep in mind it’s for the pets’ safety as well as doors may not be closed and your pet may escape the house and run away. But really the best option would be to remove the animals during showings. Talk with a neighbor or family member about helping if you are not always available to do this.

Vacate!
This may seem obvious but sometimes we come across sellers who hang around while their home is being shown. We’ve dealt with this a few times and it really makes our clients uneasy. The last thing you want to do is make them uncomfortable, as that feeling will stick with them. If you want to keep and eye on people looking at your home go over to a neighbors and hang out or sit down the street in your car. This is completely acceptable and it makes it easy for you to know when it’s safe to return to your home.

We try a prepare sellers that it can be quite a job to sell your home. But the better you are prepared the better your home will show so hopefully you sell quickly and you won’t have to do all these items very many times. Feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email with any questions you have about selling your home. We’re here to help!

Jan 312015
 

RinehartSOLDSo you’ve been though the process of searching, touring, and determining the home you wish to purchase. You made an offer and your Realtor just called you and told you your offer has been excepted. Congratulations, you just made the first step in your home purchase process. But you’re not quite done yet. Now it’s time to get busy as you and your Realtor have some things to do.

First, your Realtor should let you know specifically what to do per what you put in the Purchase Agreement (PA). There are contingencies that must be met to complete the entire purchase.

Getting A Loan
Typically if you are getting a loan there is a contingency for you to be able to obtain acceptable financing and the property to appraise for the purchase price. Your Realtor will work closely with your lender to make sure all the information is exchanged on the property and purchase agreement with all needed parties. This includes the Ernest Money (EM) you put down on the property (which is deposited in escrow by the listing broker at this point, so make sure you have the funds to cover). It is YOUR responsibility to provide all your personal financial information to lender as quickly as possible when anything is requested. Failure to do so can lead to delays or even the default of the PA, which then can make you lose the property and possibly your EM. Time is of essence after the first few days so do everything you’re told as quickly as possible. What ever you do, DON’T go spend a lot of money. We’ve seen more deals fall apart because buyers ruin their credit rating just as they are about to purchase a home. If you need to buy something, talk to your lender first.

The Home Inspection
At this same time you’ll be told to hire an home inspector if it was in the PA. We always recommend one for every home purchased as you want to make sure there is no hidden major problems that end up costing you a lot of money in the future. Take the time to get this setup as quickly as possible, and make the time to be there during the inspection. A good inspector will show you things you need to know, like how to check the furnace or water heater. They will educate you a little about your new home. A good Realtor will be there with you for the inspection (I will always try my best to be there for the entire inspection.) After the inspection we will write the inspection response based on what is documented in the report. At that point we will negotiate with the sellers if there are issues that need to be resolved.

Homeowners Insurance
After those two items are addressed things will slow down a little bit while waiting for the lender to finish preliminary underwriting on your loan and the appraisal is ordered. You will need to call and get homeowners insurance as that will be a lender requirement. Check with your auto insurance company as discounts often apply to combined home and auto insurance.

Listen To Your Advisors
If there are other contingencies your Realtor should keep you advised on anything you need to get taken care of. Be a responsible buyer and follow the advice of your Realtor and lender to make sure the entire transaction proceeds smoothly. Buyers who do not complete contract items in time can find they lose the property and their EM. But stay in the required timeframes and everything will move more easily to you owning a new home.

Just starting to look? Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110! We will assist you every step of the way to get you into you’re new home.

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