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!

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

 

 

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.

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.

Apr 232016
 
Save The Earth

Save The Earth

We are not referring to a fad that utilizes lots of shades of green, such as a color scheme using hunter green for decorating accents. But you might have heard the term ‘Green Building’ or ‘The Healthy Home’ being tossed around lately. The idea is building homes along the lines of being friendly to the environment. While using products that don’t harm the environment are considered, that actually is not the focus of a ‘Green Home’ today. Instead the focus is on the amount of energy used to heat and cool and how that in turn affects the environment. More energy used uses more of the non-renewable energy sources on the planet. So an energy efficient home is thus labeled a ‘Green’ home for using less energy.

With new homes there are a lot of new design options and building techniques that can add up to a lot of efficiency for overall energy requirements. We attended a workshop held by David Weekley Homes in Avon that discussed many of the new implementations they have rolled out with their homes. You can find out a lot about their ‘Energy Saver’ homes here. You can see where a lot of builders are working on building changes here. So if you are planning to build you might want to look into your options that can pay off in the long run.  Be sure and give your Realtor (The Derrick Team) a call for assistance with local builders.

Now for the other part of a ‘Green’ home we look at existing homes. The reason I bring this up is that it’s quite probable that at some point in the near future there is going to be a energy rating applied to all homes. You may already have gotten notices from your energy provider about free energy audits that they provide to check your homes efficiency rating. At this point they are going to test your home and recommend items you can address to make your home more efficient such as insulation, window replacement, etc. But at some point they will also be applying a rating to be used for comparison purposes. Comparison to what you say? To other homes when you go to sell your home. Most likely it will be a common item to list a home’s efficiency rating, much like the gas mileage when shopping for cars, in the not too distant future.

So what does this mean to you today? It might be prudent to pay attention to what adds to your home’s energy efficiency with any updates you do to your home. For instance if you need to replace the furnace, consider spending a little more to get a higher efficiency unit. And it might be a good idea to take advantage of a ‘Free Energy Audit’ if your utility provides one. I know here in Hendricks County, Hendricks Power & Duke Energy will do free audits for their customers.

So if you want your home to be ‘Green’, it’s going to take a little more work than slapping the trendiest color of green on the walls. If you have any questions on updating your home and the future value call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 today and we’ll be happy to discuss with no obligation to you. Or use our handy Contact Form here!

 

 

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 152016
 

One of our favorite events of the year in Hendricks County!

The Derrick Team will be sponsors again.

See fun from last years event here!

Here is a link to Hendricks County Humane Society’s web site with the latest details.

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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 252016
 

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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.

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