May 232018
 

I’ve talked about homeowner’s maintenance responsibilities before and how that affects a homes value when you are ready to sell. But often ignored is the lot outside the home and that can sometimes lead to issues. I’ve mentioned before how it’s important to maintain your home. It can be for your own safety and security that everything works inside your home such as the furnace, water heater, electrical system, etc. But recently we’ve been running into issues with dead and dying trees, and that can lead to some expensive issues if not addressed, especially if they fall on your home.

Newer homes in neighborhoods often have very few if any large trees around them. Sometimes a few are left by the developer to maintain some sort of natural look in easements, common areas, and nature parks, depending on the type of development and requirements by the local zoning laws. But as neighborhoods mature we see landscaping that’s been ignored for way too long.

In homes older than 20 years previous landscaping can often grow beyond what was needed when originally planted (think large bushes hiding the front of the home). The decorative Bradford Pear was very popular back then and now we’re seeing them topple over in windy conditions as they don’t mature well without proper pruning. And any large tree close to the home should be looked at closely to make sure it’s healthy and won’t be falling on the home any time soon. It’s becoming a more common issue that some of the older trees are dying due to extreme weather, changing local conditions, and most commonly bug infestations such as the Ash borer killing Ash trees here in central Indiana.

Large Maple Trees Getting A Haircut

For the larger mature trees over 30 years old it’s a good idea to have an arborist or qualified tree trimmer examine the tree. Once the trees reach 30 – 40 tall you need to understand what could happen if it topples in a storm. Most of the time you’ll find they recommend a good pruning will help ‘storm proof’ a tree. They thin out the branches and remove unhealthy or dead branches, so the tree will fill in with younger branches and you’ll end up with a safer & shadier tree.

Another item to pay attention to is plants and trees too close to the home. Bushes and thick plantings up against the home can cause moisture and insect issues. Large trees too close to the home can damage the foundation and basement walls with their roots, not to mention clog up underground drainage pipes & septic systems.

So as a seller you’ll want to look at your landscaping before listing your home, so you can remove problem landscaping yourself or have it done professionally (highly recommended for large trees).

As a buyer, be sure and look around at any tall trees. Any more you should assume if there is an Ash tree, or large Bradford Pear around, it will have to be removed in the near future. Sometimes your home inspector will point out landscaping issues but most the time they focus on the house, so you’ll want to do your own scouting as well.

If you have any questions on this topic or any others on buying or selling your home don’t hesitate to contact The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110.

Apr 172018
 

Purchase AgreementEvery 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? We do free one on one buyer consultations. Check out the details here, 0r 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.

Mar 282018
 

If you are looking to buy a home in the near future, you will find you’re a up for a challenge here in central Indiana. The past 2 years we have seen the strongest ‘Sellers’ Market’ in years. What does that mean to you?  Basically, there or more buyers than there are homes for sale. So, sellers have the upper hand as in most cases if priced right, homes sell in less than a day, often with multiple offers. As a buyer, that is what you are up against, several other buyers whom are looking to buy the same home you want.

Listings are down, sales are up = Sellers Market!

What’s a buyer to do? Well first you must make sure you have an experienced agent representing you. The key in a multiple offer situation is making sure and writing a ‘strong’ & ‘clean’ offer. The ‘strong’ part is having your financing well in hand with a good prequalification letter from your lender. The ‘clean’ part is limiting the contingencies in the contract and understanding that the seller is going to be mostly interested in their ‘net’. There are a few tricks to make sure that’s how your offer works out and that’s what The Derrick Team is good at. Last year all our buyers were able to purchase homes they loved in this competitive market.

And what’s a seller to do that wants to buy after they sell their current home? Well that can get a bit tricky but there are some options. First if you have enough equity in your current home and great credit some lenders offer what amounts to a ‘bridge’ loan. There are different names for this but basically you use the equity to get a loan to purchase a home first, then sell your home after you move out and use those proceeds to then get a permanent mortgage on your new home. The advantage is you don’t have to scramble to find a home when your current home sells in one day.

If that isn’t an option, we always recommend a ‘plan b’ for our sellers. Find some sort of temporary housing arraignment after you close on your current home, such as short-term rentals or staying with friends or family. The idea is if you cannot find a home quickly after the sale of your home you don’t want to have to rush buying your next home and maybe settle for something that you’ll regret later. We did have sellers that managed to find a home and close on both the current and new homes at the same time last year, but it’s difficult to do in this market.

Just getting ready to sell or buy? Feel free to call The Derrick Team for a no obligation meeting to go over your options in today’s challenging market at 317-563-1110.

Looking to buy a home? The Derrick Team offers FREE ‘one
on one’ home buyer consultations. Click here for details.

Mar 022018
 

Excellent Communicators

“My wife and I had started out with another company to try and buy a home and soon found ourselves leaving message after message with no communication back. When we got a Christmas card from the Derricks we decided to give them a call since they were neighbors of ours. 98% of the time Connie would answer our calls, and 100% of the time they would respond. The Derrick Team’s effective communication through a otherwise rough sale of our previous home to the purchase of the home the Derrick Team helped us find went flawlessly and I can’t say enough nice things about the Derrick Team. Thank you!”

Brandon & Katie Pugh, Zionsville, IN

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“Dennis and Connie did a great job selling our home. They are courteous, professional, and gave us the attention that we deserved as we went through the house selling process. We particularly appreciated their follow through on all of our questions in a thorough and timely manner. We highly recommend Dennis and Connie Derrick to anyone in the market, whether buying or selling a home! George and Sharon Keenon, Avon, IN”

George and Sharon Keenon, Avon, Indiana

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First Time Home Buyers

“Connie and Dennis, first thank you so much for helping me find my amazing home!  You two have been incredibly kind and helpful!  Thank you for reaching out to me when I first started looking for a home.  You were the only ones who were consistent in helping me.  It was also really nice how you guided and walked me through the home buying process and you were always willing to help.  You were also really calm and laid-back during the process. You didn’t rush me and you gave me extremely helpful advice.  It was also really cool having two realtors on my team guiding me through the process. Thank you again for everything! “

Stephen, Whisperwood Lakes ~ Danville

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“Dennis and Connie helped us find our first home! They made the process easy and they were with us every step of the way. It was wonderful to work with them and know that any and all of our questions would be answered! Blessed to have worked with this great team!”

Alex & Laura, Plainfield – Indiana

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Selling Your Home & Buying Another

“Dennis and Connie,
WE LOVE YOU GUYS!! You sold our tiny house in the city within 24 hours of listing it, and helped us find our forever dream home quickly when the market was VERY competative! You knew how to write up a clean attractive offer for us to ensure we would get it. You guys made one of the most stressful times of our lives bearable and fun. Hands down, the best agents around!”

Matt and Karen St.Clair, 213 Maple St. Greenwood

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“Choosing The Derrick Team to list our house and find our dream home was the smartest thing we have done. They made the process of selling as stress free as it can be and were always available to answer questions. During the process of looking for a home to buy I appreciated their honest opinion of the homes that we were looking at to keep us focused on our goals. My wife and I truly felt as if we were going through the entire process and the support they provide afterwards with friends and family, you will not be sorry when you decide to make Dennis & Connie your realtors.”

Chris and Angie Book, Avon, IN

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Happy Clients!

“To whom this may concern,I had wanted to buy a house in Indiana .My son had recommended me to this cute little couple ,”The Derrick Team” . When I say team, I mean team. Dennis and Connie showed me as many houses I wanted to see.If I had a question it was never , “a stupid one”, if you know what I mean. They made me feel very comfortable and as if anything was possible.They made my dream home mine. I wish I could tell you the whole story. Let’s just say I had a plane flight back to Virginia and they called me the morning of and told me I’d gotten the house….they worked to the last second. Amazing ,just amazing! I love them both dearly.They also have been in contact with me several times since to see how I and my house was doing.God bless them both! They deserve it. Sincerely, Elaine Bass”

Elaine Bass, 7909 Patterson Dr. Avon , Indiana 46123

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“Ok so first of all, they are great people!!! We felt so comfortable with them both (which I think is most important). We wanted to see a house and we usually did that same day,.. Very professional and knew their job well!! They came highly recommend and exceeded all our expectations!!”

Lori & Scott Zorman, Highfall Ave , Greencastle

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Building A New Home

“After assisting us sell our house, The Derrick Team was our rock of support as we went through the process of building a new home. They were there when we needed them, answering questions and providing guidance in dealing with the builder and mortgage company. Kind, caring, and down to earth. We greatly appreciated everything! Don’t hesitate to give them a call!”

John and Abby, Carolina Commons, Avon, IN

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Need help buying, selling, building, or just planning for a future move? Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110.

Jan 242018
 

Had another great time at this years Dogtona on Jan 20th.

Here are a few photos we snapped with a quick video as well.

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Remember: Adopt! Don’t Shop! And please spay and neuter your pets.
We are a supporter and sponsor many fundraising events at the Hendricks County Humane Society

Oct 312017
 

As listing agents, we sometimes find that sellers don’t understand their responsibilities with a home they are selling and it’s condition. So I’ll explain some of the things we’ve seen with homes we’ve listed for clients and the best approach in dealing with them.

I think everyone can agree that the condition of a home greatly affects the sale price and how quickly it sells. A home that has been well maintained, no matter the age, will sell far more quickly and for a higher price range than average similar homes that are in the area. So as a realtor when we come to do our Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on a home, we look closely on the homes’ condition compared to other homes to set the possible sale price (as an appraiser will do). Updates on older homes will also be a factor but that has been covered in other posts, so we’ll focus on condition for now.

Some of the major items we consider will always be age of the roof, windows, and mechanical systems such as furnace, A/C, & water heater. Normally this is usually pretty easy to establish either from visual inspection or repair invoices from the owner. But there is a lot in a home that is hidden inside walls, attics, basements, and crawlspaces that no one can really be sure of other than the homeowner, and in many cases they often will not know either.

Every time we talk to a homeowner with a crawl space I ask if they have been in there within the past 6 months or so. The reason is this is one of the most common, expensive, hidden defects we run into on a regular basis. Water penetration is a bad thing for a home, and in a dark damp crawl space it’s the worst. Leaking pipes, water coming in around the foundation, and in heavy rains a raised water table can all leave standing water and high humidity. What you end up with is the 4-letter word we hate: Mold.

Expensive Leaky Shower Drain

Recently an inspection found a leaky master bath shower drain that apparently had been that way for months. What was a $200-$300 plumbing repair became a $3400 mold remediation. Another one was so bad the water from clogged gutters, poor drainage, and a nonfunctional sump pump had damaged some of the foundation, which resulted in a $10,000 foundation repair along with a $4800 mold remediation.

Attic spaces are not immune to similar issues. For years it was common practice to vent bathrooms & kitchen fans directly to the attic. Add to that attics also are often not properly vented so again you get an attic full of mold and a rather expensive mold remediation. A few years back on a fairly new custom built home mold was found in a section of the attic that was not vented at all. In another case the roof was in pretty good shape but due to poor ventilation the underneath decking had rotted.

Other expensive hidden items that have turned up include fireplaces with major issues, older or improperly installed electrical wiring, major termite damage, and damaged foundations.

The seller is ultimately responsible for the condition of the home, whether the conditions were known or not. The visible condition is only part of this responsibility. As a seller you must understand that hidden conditions and/or undisclosed conditions can lead to lawsuits if found after the sale of the home. So it’s always best for all parties to be up front it dealing with items found during the inspection and repairs.

How does a seller avoid the surprise costs? Not everyone agrees on the best approach, but we always will ask about maintenance items before listing the home. If seller knows of anything with issues, we advise to have them repaired first. Otherwise they must be disclosed up front. One option if the seller is not sure on their homes condition is to pay for a pre-listing inspection. But anything found must be addressed or disclosed. In other cases where someone is selling a home they have not lived in, inherited, or know nothing about, the home can be listed ‘As Is’ and priced accordingly. But even then major items in the inspection can kill the deal if the buyer walks.

The safest way to avoid the high dollar repair costs when selling your home: take good care of it while you live there. A well maintained home has the highest dollar for dollar payback on one of your most expensive investments.

If you have any questions on selling your home don’t hesitate to contact us at 317-563-1110 or via our web site www.DerrickTeam.com. We’ll be happy to come look at your home with no obligations to hire us. We’re here to help you today, tomorrow, or anytime down the road.

 

 

 

 

Oct 022017
 

Our clients are so happy with us they

recommend us to their neighbors!

All these homes are just some of the listings we sold in the past 2 years. See the complete list here.


2 homes in Westover Woods

Our clients on Burnett Blvd met us at an open house on Westover and hired us on the spot!

Their home sold in one day!


2 homes in Raymond Park

Our client at 2263 heard only great things about us from our clients at 2269 and hired us to sell her home.

Both homes sold in one day!


2 homes in Whisperwood Lakes

We met our clients at 913 at an open house and they hired us to list and find them a new home.

Our client at 912 found out about us and hired us to sell his home too.

The neighbor in the next cul-de-sac at 918 Tyne hired us to sell her home on New Years eve,

we made it active Jan 2nd and had accepted offer on Jan 3rd!


Park Place ~ Avon

We sold 7268 Woodside Dr and 2 months later their neighbors at 7276 Woodside Dr called us and we sold their home too!


Did The Derrick Team sell a home in your neighborhood? Talk to that neighbor and you’ll find they’ll be happy, because that’s what we do. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110. We’ll be glad to come talk to you with no obligations! You’ll be glad you did.

Jul 262017
 

Buyers today will typically have the home they purchase inspected by a licensed home inspector. Acting as buyer agents we always will insist they do as they are buying a ‘used’ home and not everyone takes care of their home the same. And even a well-maintained home may have defects that the seller was not aware of.

A new roof can be an expensive surprise.

As the seller, you should expect this as part of the sales process. Even if you are selling ‘as-is’ a buyer will most likely do an inspection just to make sure they don’t get any surprises. They buyer hires and pays for this inspection so the inspector will be working for the buyer. With that in mind they will almost always find something wrong. The buyer will then present you with a Buyers Inspection Response that lists items they want repaired before they will close on the sale.

First, here are things expected of the seller for the inspection, which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours.

  1. As a common courtesy, the seller should vacate the home during the inspection. Pets should be removed or crated during this time. If you cannot leave for some reason at least leave the inspector and buyers alone so they have some privacy. The inspector needs to be able to discuss items freely with the buyer.
  2. Access to the mechanicals, such as the furnace / AC, water heater, etc. is necessary for the inspector to check them out. Move boxes, items, etc away so they can remove the panel on the air handler unit.
  3. Any access to the attic areas or crawl spaces must be clear of all items. Cars parked in a garage can keep them from attic entry if that’s where the opening is. Locks on crawl space entry must be removed or a key left behind.
  4. Any electrical panel should not be blocked or hidden. If there is a picture hanging over it remove it. The inspector will need to pull the cover off to check the wiring.
  5. Any outbuilding, detached garage, etc should be unlocked or key left in home so inspector can enter.

Second, here are some things the seller can do to help prepare for an inspection.

  1. We usually suggest or sellers have the furnace / AC serviced when they list their home unless they’ve already done so recently. That way there are no surprises and inspectors will always point out serviced systems.
  2. If the home has a crawl space peek in there or hire someone to check it out before listing. This is where some of the most expensive repairs come from. Often from a non-working sump pump that leads to water damage and mold.
  3. If the roof is more than 10 years old or age is unknown, have a roofing contractor inspect the roof for damage before listing your home. This gives you time to get quotes and check for insurance coverage way before the inspector finds and reports the issue. This also is often an issue with appraisers and having the roof replaced can be a condition on the sale of the home.
  4. If you or a ‘buddy’ have done electrical work or you are aware of some electrical items that just don’t work correctly, it would be a good idea to have an electrician come inspect and repair any of these items. These often show up in inspection reports.
  5. Leaking pipes, call a plumber. It’s often not just repairing the pipes but repairing water damage that can run up the costs on inspection repairs.
  6. If you have a wood burning fireplace, it’s best to have it inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep.
  7. If there are any major items you are aware of but don’t want to fix, get quotes beforehand. It helps with negotiations when you have a quote on the repair costs ahead of time.

Keep in mind the Buyer’s Inspection Response is a negotiation and not necessarily a demand. But the items listed above are generally items that should be addressed, as nobody wants a leaky roof, electrical or plumbing issue, water or mold issue, or a furnace that breaks down the first time it gets cold. We generally say look at the items you would want fixed if you continued to live in the home and work from there. In some cases it can be negotiated as rather than making repairs the seller adjusts the selling price in compensation to the buyer.

As both buyer and listing agents we’ve see it all. For question on home inspections, selling, or buying a home feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week including weekends and evenings.

Jun 022017
 

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘The 3 most important things in real estate are; Location, Location, Location.’ While is seems silly to repeat the same word there is a reason we real estate agents say this. I’m going to discuss the details in this post.

As you probably know we are in a hot ‘sellers’ market’ right now that started gaining ground in 2015 and kicked into high gear in 2016 and so far has not let up in 2017. But this is not necessarily a universal thing as the market varies by the local market AKA ‘Location’. In many cases areas have become hot markets because of new trends. While others see slower but increasing growth in their respective market. And there are still markets with very little activity.

With what I’ll call ‘trendy markets’ we have seen some of the most explosive growth with buyers who want to move there causing the market prices to skyrocket. Some of the examples would be Fountain Square, Bates Hendricks, and Lockerbie Square in near downtown Indianapolis where young professionals have been snapping up tear down / rebuild homes like crazy in the past few years. There are other areas that have always drawn a special crowd such as Broad Ripple, Irvington, and Carmel. The first group is a newer trend as Millennials want to live close to the action in a revitalized downtown Indy. Broad Ripple and Irvington have always been popular with the younger urban cowboys while Carmel is an area popular with people with money and that want everyone to know it. The thing to consider is what happens to these markets when trends change.

The more traditional markets grow around slower developments in an area such as school districts, access to shopping, and restaurants. These are the areas the market has grown steadily along with local developments. This has been most noticeable in the ‘doughnut counties’ around Indianapolis, especially west and south but lately includes the northwest and northeast areas and everything around Carmel. This is where home builders bet their money and invest in large developments with lots of houses in the price range to match most of the existing housing. For most of the younger buyers with kids we will find it’s the school system that drives their choice on where to buy a home and this is usually the market builders are tapping into.

Finally, there are specifics to consider on the ‘Location’ importance. These are infrastructure items next door or nearby. Close to a school, good. Next to an airport, not so good. Busy roads, train tracks, airport flight paths, all can be something that people avoid like the plague. Walking distance to a park, shopping center, or downtown square, can be attractive for many buyers.

So as you see location plays a big part in in pretty much every real estate transaction. And what’s happening in a location drives the market prices. For example, a large executive home in Carmel sells quickly while the same home elsewhere takes longer to sell because of less demand. In some areas we’ll see the same type of home on 2 sides of a street and one will go for up to 10% more because of the school system.

So when you are looking for a home you should seriously consider the location as a prime factor in your decision. You can always change a home (updates, remodel, etc) but you cannot change the location. If you are not sure about market locations in central Indiana call The Derrick Team with any questions you have at 317-563-1110. We’ll be glad to point you in the right direction to the location that works best for you!

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.

Apr 012017
 

Thanks to all who came out, had a very good turnout!

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Mar 222017
 

The Derrick Team is sponsoring again this year and

Connie will be manning a booth. Come by and say hi!

Time for the dogs to have fun, come visit this great event for both dogs and dog owners!

 


2016 Event Photos

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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!


Looking to buy a home? The Derrick Team offers FREE ‘one
on one’ home buyer consultations. Click here for details.

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!

 


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


Looking to buy a home? The Derrick Team offers FREE ‘one
on one’ home buyer consultations. Click here for details.

Jan 302017
 

 “Mark my word: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.” – HENRY FORD, 1940

Where’s My Flying Car?

You’ve probably heard that according to many predictions years ago, we all should be driving flying cars by now. But here we are, no further along toward the Jetson’s future we were promised. I’m thinking we might be closer now than most people think and I’ll explain why.

The issues with flying cars obviously starts with making a compact machine that fits in the standard driveway and can fly on demand. It must be very reliable as a breakdown on a car leaves you stranded beside the road, but a flying car means you could crash rather spectacularly with a minor part failure. Then you add in the issue of drivers being good at flying when many fail to do well just driving on the ground. Finally, there is the power source that drives the car / plane or whatever you want to call it. But it might not seem obvious but many if these items are well along the way towards being here today.

First is the size. While this will still be a challenge there are more options now for a manufacturer in materials to make a lightweight vehicle such as carbon fiber or advance aluminum alloys. I imagine it will be a ducted fan system that provides lift and direction so it could be possible to fit all this into something the size of a large car or SUV. If it is to be drivable on the road (which is should) then it needs to be under 8 ft in width as that is the widest most roads are designed for. If nothing else, it will be able to retract from a wider flying stance to the 8 ft size for road driving.

From a reliability standpoint, I would say the technology and manufacturing abilities are here today. The only additions needed are some redundancy as seen in flying aircraft today. Some additional safety systems and maybe even a parachute system to allow for a softer landing in an emergency.

A real flying car: AeroMobil

A real flying car: AeroMobil

As far as the driving / piloting goes, that’s getting close to being ready as well. Think about the work on self-driving cars, then add in the advances of self-piloting drones and you can see many advances being made in a short amount of time. Once you can get in your ‘flying car’, punch in your destination (think GPS), and hit go, the system takes over and controls the car all the along the way with you being able to work or sight see the whole time. My thinking is there will be landing / launching pads scattered around so the car will ‘drive’ to the pad, then launch and fly to a destination pad and finally drive to where you wanted to go.

For the power source I would imagine the ducted fans, probably 4 smaller ones for best control and redundancy, would be driven by electric motors. So think of today’s hybrid cars with a small combustion engine to charge the batteries that drive the fan and wheels depending on mode. If your engine failed, you would have enough battery life to safely land at a nearby pad and drive to a repair shop.

I could go on more about the details of these items and what the next steps might be, but then I’d be writing a book by then. But by now you’re probably asking what does this have to do with real estate?

It’s all about planning for the future. If by chance flying cars are common in 10 years, it will change EVERYTHING about where you work and live. Will your current home work for you in that future? Maybe you’ll need a double wide garage to fit your flying car. If possible is your yard big enough to build your own launch / landing pad? If this happens sooner rather than later, it’s quite possible the next home you buy will end up with a flying car in the driveway. Homes often are a long term investment, so always keep the future in mind.

Whatever you’re thinking for your next home, we can help you find what you need, even space for your flying car. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 for any of your real estate needs.

Dec 152016
 

Check out our Beazer listing!

Buyers often have the impression that using a REALTOR when building a new home just drives up the price. But truth is builders typically figure in the REALTOR fees along with all the many other costs to determine their sale price / profit margin. So if you approach the builder directly they might give you a discount, but that would be one they already had figured into the sale price. And in the end you are at the mercy of the builder as you have no one representing you in what is typically a very complicated and expensive transaction. So I’ll explain what you need to consider when planning on building a home.

Let’s start with the most obvious. You usually need to sell your current home so you are going to hire a real estate agent and pay their fees to do so. It makes sense to then use that agent to represent you building your home as it costs you nothing. You have a relationship with them and you can trust that agent to continue to work hard for you, it’s how we build our business.

But let’s say you don’t have a house to sell, first time home buyer, new to area, etc. It’s even more important to have someone who knows the area and builders who are active in the area you are looking at. REALTORS have connections and you want to have that working for you during what is often a drawn-out process, depending on current new housing stock and your specific needs.

Now let’s look at some more general items that only your REALTOR is going to help you with.

You’ll want to establish your goals and what you are really looking for in your new home. Too often people get swept up with the first new home they look at and buy the trendiest options and end up spending more than they originally budgeted for. Your real estate agent can help guide you on your expectations based on your budget and help you stay ‘grounded’ on what options to consider. For example: You don’t want to build the largest home in the development, those are always more difficult to sell on down the line.

Once you’ve established your guidelines your REALTOR can help direct you to the appropriate developments in the area and your builder options. You may be leaning towards a particular development but not realize there are multiple builders working in that same area. Or you might find your best option isn’t even something you considered such as buying a lot outside a development and using a custom builder.

After you pick the area and builder your REALTOR can help you choose options that really add value based on that area and price range. For example: In a development where sheds or mini-barns are not allowed a 3-car garage is always going to make a home more marketable down the road.

Another item only your agent will be able to tell you about is area plans that would possibly affect the future growth in the area and how that would help with long term home values. This is important when you are determining the price range you are looking at. You don’t usually want to be the only high end development in an area as that can definitely effect long term home values for higher priced homes.

These are only some of the many reasons using a REALTOR to help you to build your dream home. If you even considering building don’t hesitate to call The Derrick Team to meet with you and discuss your plans, even if it’s a year or two away, it’s never too early to start planning. Call or text 317-563-1110 any time, we work 7 days a week. Let us help you build your dream home!

 

 

 

 

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

Nov 052016
 

As proud sponsors of the Hendricks County Humane Society, The Derrick Team always has a great time while supporting our favorite cause, helping the animals in Hendricks County. Here are a few pictures from all the fun!

 

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Oct 212016
 

It’s easy to forget when you are spending a lot of money on a house that you are buying a USED home (unless you happen to be building a new one). And often it is at least several years old, if not a few decades or more. When we first talk to buyers we find out how comfortable they are with home maintenance which can dictate how old of a home they might be comfortable with. But truth is a lot of older homes are better built than some of the newer styles. But that’s another whole blog post so we won’t go over that here. But the real key is that when you’ve successfully worked out the Purchase Agreement (PA) with the seller, you’ll want to pay and professional inspector to carefully go over the home to point out any flaws or defects the home has that aren’t readily apparent.

1308Interior10

Inspection of the furnace /AC and water heater is very important!

As you are looking at homes with your real estate agent you can usually note the basic conditions that tell you what might be needed. Because we’ve talked to our clients before showing them homes we’ll point out things and ask if they are comfortable taking care of that after the sale. For example, many homes will need some painting of some sort, and most our clients will be OK with that since they might want to change the colors anyway. But for holes in the walls or cracks in the ceiling it might depend on how handy our client is as to if that makes them move on to the next home. The reason we point this out is these are the items in the homes condition that are readily apparent and are “known issues” at the time you write the purchase agreement. So you factor those items into what you are willing to pay for the home. We help guide our clients on what their costs may be in addressing these issues.

The inspection after the PA is accepted by both parties is to look for the “unknown issues”. A good inspector will help educate you about the home you are about to purchase going over items like the furnace operation, water shut offs, etc. That’s why it’s important to be there why the inspector is doing the inspection. Unlike many agents we try to be there for all our buyer’s inspections. (sellers should leave during inspections). Inspectors will ALWAYS find something wrong, it’s their job. And remember these are USED homes. The age of the home will also determine how to look at issues as building codes have changed over the years so what’s OK in a 50-year-old home may not be for a home only 10 years old. What I like to point out is there will be a list of items the inspector finds on every home as no home is perfect. So as either a buyer or seller, don’t freak out when you see the list. That’s why we like to be there so we can mention this or that is a common problem found in most homes. Having attended many inspections, we’ve listed below many of the common items found at inspections, even in homes less than 10 years old. For a buyer don’t be surprised at the list and as a seller look this list over to see if you can address some of these items before you put your home on the market.

Electrical:

  • Loose outlets and switches (very common)
  • Open /uncovered junction boxes
  • Non-working GFCI outlets (important in newer homes)
  • Non-grounded outlets (important in newer homes)

Furnace / cooling systems:

  • Dirty filters (very common)
  • Dirty furnace (showing lack of servicing)
  • Improper ventilation for combustion systems (gas, propane, oil)
  • Indoor circuit breaker not matching outside AC unit

Windows / doors:

  • Broken seals on double-pane windows (very common)
  • Doors that won’t latch
  • Broken / cracked glass
  • Missing / damaged screens (very common)

Roof / exterior:

  • Roofing nail pops (very common)
  • Loose or missing shingles
  • Loose vinyl siding
  • Roof damaged (hail damage or worn out)
  • Rotten / damaged soffits or window trim
  • Unlevel or cracked concrete patio / sidewalk / driveway (very common)
  • Gutters full of leaves
  • Improper downspouts

Plumbing:

  • Dishwasher drain without proper loop (very common)
  • Leaky pipes / drains under sinks
  • Low water pressure (common in older homes)
  • Improper water heater pressure relief valve drain pipe (very common)
  • Sump pump inoperative in crawl spaces

These are just some of the more common items that are found in just about every home. If you inspected your current home today many of these items would probably show up. The main thing to keep in mind is you are not buying a perfect home (inspectors will also find problems with brand new builds). Use the inspection report to address items that relate to safety, security, and structural conditions. That’s what we are there to help you with as you go through what some might call the ‘scary’ home inspection. It’s usually something that all parties can negotiate items to be addressed and it’s very rare that a buyer has to move on to another home. Having a good REALTOR will help you make your deal work out, as either a buyer or seller.

Contact The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 with any questions on buying or selling real estate. We work 7 days a week, evenings too!

 

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.

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