Aug 202014
 

What is a multi-generational home you might ask. Reading a recent PEW report you’ll see there is some debate about that. But we won’t dive into that in this post. We’ll go more into a multigen (short for multi-generational) typical layout and what we see buyers looking for. So for now we’ll just say a home with 2 generations of adults living under the same roof, as that is a growing trend these days. A typical description is a home with in-law quarters as often it’s elderly parents with health issues moving in with their middle aged children so the children can be readily available to take care of them.

Multigenerational homes have been common in other cultures for centuries. It typically was expected for the children to live with aging parents while still having their own children living with them. In older sections of Europe homes are retained by a family for generations and thus designed with that in mind. It’s also common practice in Asian & Hispanic families to have multiple generations under one roof. Here in the U.S. it’s typically more of economic reasons that are starting to drive the multigen home trend. Adult children move back in with their parents for the financial support and elderly parents move in because of growing healthcare expenses and needs.

In-law Quarters

A very nice inlaw quarters in our listing in Avon. Includes private elevator from garage.

The trend we’ve seen as Realtors in Central Indiana is that in larger homes (6000 sq ft and larger) buyers are looking to see if there is a separate area that would give the parents some privacy and would be easily accessible (no stairs usually). This area should have a bedroom, full bathroom, and an area to set up a small kitchenette. But the ideal setup they really like to see includes a full kitchen, living room, laundry area, and a separate entrance to the outside or garage. The idea is that those living in this area can have total independence but still be just on the other side of a doorway.*

It’s becoming popular enough that if you Google multigen homes you’ll find several sites offering floor plans. And as mentioned before, we are finding that buyers are out looking at larger homes with their aging parents in mind. So if you find you’re thinking having your home remodeled for this purpose, be sure and check local zoning requirements first. Then check with a Realtor for local trends, as you want to make sure that on down the road the changes you make will not affect the sale of the home in a negative way. Otherwise you might want to check into local builders that are building homes designed for multigen homes in areas already zoned for them. We’re thinking multigen homes are going to become much more common in the near future.

If you’re in the market for a multigen home, need to sell yours, or just have questions about remodeling your own home for one, don’t hesitate to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com

* It should be noted that this area has access to enter the home so this is not the same as an apartment. If you try to secure the home entry you now you have a multi-family home, which is zoned differently and is not usually allowed in typical neighborhoods. So if you plan to remodel your home for an in-law quarters be sure and check your local zoning first.

Jul 132014
 

The Hendricks County Agricultural Society was organized in 1852, and bought grounds three acres in extent, a mile west of Danville, for fair purposes. Many changes were made, and additions to the grounds were purchased from time to time. Fairs were held annually until 1881, when the society having previously become involved’ in debt, it was totally unable to pay its premiums, and the property was sold. From the History of Hendricks County ~ Intra-State Publishing Company – 1885

Find out all about the current Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds here: http://www.4hcomplex.org/

Connie with Noel Brumm’s 1947 International ID 6 tractor we sponsor at the Antique Tractor display!

Connie with Noel Brumm’s 1947 International ID 6 tractor we sponsor at the Antique Tractor display at the 4-H Fair.

The Derrick Team manning the booth at the 2015 Hendricks County Fair

The Derrick Team manning the booth at the 2015 Hendricks County Fair

Nothing like Fair Food!

Nothing like Fair Food!

Apr 022014
 
5 acres we sold just outside Danville

5 acres we sold just outside Danville

Part of the American Dream is to own that place out of the city with maybe a few acres, a pond or lake, and plenty of space for horses. This was something I wanted back when I was younger and hoped to have some day. It’s still a popular dream as any of our listings with a few acres gets a lot of inquiries. But it sounds really great until you actually try to purchase your Land Dream Home.

For this blog post we are focusing on raw land, as that is what we receive so many questions on what a person needs to do to make an offer. Usually the conversation starts with “We want to make an offer, what do we need to do?” The caller is excited and doesn’t want to lose out on the opportunity to buy the first part of their Land Dream Home. But then it gets a little more complicated.

As in all purchases the ‘how you pay for it’ comes into play here. Unlike what is referred to as ‘developed land’, meaning land with a home built on it; it can be difficult to get a lender to finance ‘undeveloped land’ or raw land. Land with a home on it is much easier to place a monetary value on thus the appraisal can give a clear value on how much money can be loaned to the buyer. Raw land on the other hand often has potential value based on its possible use. Agricultural land can be used as collateral for a farm loan but the value is based on possible future crop production. Commercial land can also be valued based on future income possibilities. But with residential the value can vary greatly based on what it’s used for and what is eventually built on it. So lenders tend to stay away from loans for raw land.

The only exception is the situation where the buyer is ready to build a home. This is a type of bridge loan where the lender approves a loan based on the land value and the home to be built on it. These typically are limited to 18 to 24 months while the home is constructed. The loan is then converted to a standard mortgage once the home is completed. So the best way to approach this option is to pick out the builder and type of home you want to build and find the land to build on. If you won’t be ready to build for a few years this probably will not work for you.

Another option is to buy on contract. In this case the seller has to be willing to be the lender for a set period of time, usually limited to a few years. The buyer agrees per a ‘land contract’ to put a certain percentage down, usually 20-25% and make monthly payments like a normal loan. Typically these are limited to 2 – 4 years and at the end of the term the buyer must pay the remaining balance or forfeit the land back to the seller. Interest rates are usually higher than general rates at the time. So as you can see this type of loan strongly favors the seller for taking all the risk as they may end up having to put the land back on the market. This is not necessarily the best approach to start with your Land Dream Home.

So how does one actually buy raw land? One word: Cash. In any purchase cash is king but in this case it really is the only viable option. So we recommend that if you want to buy raw land to start the process for your Land Dream Home, start saving now to purchase in a few years. There may be other options for you to get cash such as borrowing against retirement accounts but that would be a discussion with your financial planner, not something we Realtors can advise you on. Then there are always rich relatives but again that’s outside of our advice window.

So to summarize you have 2 viable options. If you are ready to build hire a builder and work with a lender on a construction loan. Or pay with cash.

If you have any further questions or need help in locating the perfect land for your Land Dream Home give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110. Even if you are a few years out from having enough cash, feel free to contact us. We’ll help you down that long road to your Land Dream Home. You can find some land search links at our web site http://IndianaAcres.com.

15 Acres we sold in Brown County

15 Acres we sold in Brown County

Feb 202014
 

Deciding to own a home is an important decision that people shouldn’t take lightly. It’s a large financial investment of both time and money. But it’s a good one for those who have settled down roots in a community they want to live in for the next few years at least. Or maybe you’ve outgrown your current home with an expanding family. Whatever the reason this chart outlines the typical processes involved with buying a home.

 HomeBuyerFlowchart

Talked To Lender?

This should really be a part of your decision process in the beginning for several reasons. Most importantly you need to know if and what you can qualify for. You may find some unknown issue with your credit that needs to be fixed first. Or you may find you can buy a more expensive home than you originally thought. But no matter if you are buying your first home or selling and buying another, you need to know your financial position first. If you don’t know of any lenders give The Derrick Team a call and we can recommend one.

Call The Derrick Team

Now you know your financial situation you’re ready to tour some possible homes. Don’t make the mistake of going it alone as you really can save a lot of time using a realtor to help you. And it comes as no cost to you as the seller pays the fees. Call The Derrick Team and we’ll sit down and go over the processes and determine how to start your search for your new home.

The Home Search

This can be a long process or can happen real quickly. It just depends on what you are looking for and what’s on the market at the moment. We can really help you narrow down the choices and point out the items to focus on with your particular needs. We will set up an automatic search that sends you properties as they come on the market so you can be the first to have a chance to make an offer on that perfect home. We also can quickly get you information on any home you happen to see on your own. There is no reason to not have a realtor help you with your search.

The Offer & Negotiations

Once we find the home you want we will go over your options working closely with your lender to put together an offer that tempts the seller to accept immediately. We pride ourselves in writing ‘clean offers’ that often result in our clients winning over other offers submitted at the same time. We work closely with you every step of the way in the negotiations during the offer process.

Hire A Home Inspector / Negotiations

Once you have an accepted offer the first step for you is to hire an inspector. While you don’t have to do this step we always recommend it based on our experiences in hidden problems with homes. We can recommend inspectors and Dennis will do everything possible to be with you during the entire inspection to answer any questions you have. We work with you every step of the inspection process and if needed, negotiated repairs. If for some reason seller is unwilling or unable to make repairs you then have the option to go back to searching for homes again.

Home Appraisal Process

The home appraisal is another point that can become an issue if the property does not appraise for the sale price. While this is usually the seller’s issue we will work with your lender and the seller to negotiate a new sales price if needed for you to get the loan. If for some reason seller is unwilling or unable to adjust the price you then have the option to pay the difference or go back to searching for homes again.

The Closing

After making it through all the contingencies in the steps to buy a home we now have the last step with the actual closing where you take ownership of the property. We will be there at the closing to assist you in this step as well. The only thing left after this for you to move in!

 

As you can see this process can be very complicated (and this is a very simplified description of the actual process). Having a realtor on your side each step of the process is something every buyer should have right from the beginning. With The Derrick Team you have 2 agents there to help every step of the way. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110, 7 days a week. Your realtors are here to help! Or use this handy Contact Form!

Download our Buying A Home book for free!

 

 

 

 

Feb 102014
 

 

Juno&Bailey

Juno, Bailey, & Connie Having Fun!

Bring your pals to the 11th Annual Dogtona!

Every year Hendricks County dogs get to enjoy the best event ever created,  just for them by the Hendricks County Humane Society! Local doggies get to dress up and strut their stuff for a day just for them.

This year’s big day is March 15, 2014-11am – 4pm

The fun starts at 11:00 AM at the  Hendricks County Fairgrounds – Hendricks Power Expo Hall so it can be rain or shine!

The cost is $5 per Dog, but the people who bring them can enjoy the fun for free. All proceeds support the Hendricks County Humane Society! More details on the flyer below.

Just some of the fun things to enjoy:

  • Simple fun games for dogs to play and get treats
  • Informational booths for humans
  • Non-profit animal related booths and adoptable dogs!
  • Fun competitions: Any Dog-Dog Show, Clever Pet Tricks, Leave It Contest, Talent show, and more!
  • Refreshments will be available at the K-9 Kafe

The Derrick Team be there shooting photos and videos and having a great time.

Both our dogs Bailey & Juno had a blast last year (click for video).

dogtona

Feb 052014
 
Merlin is often 'triggering' automatic lights at our home.

Merlin is often ‘triggering’ automatic lights at our home.

By now you’ve probably heard the term ‘Smart Home’ as a selling buzzword on a lot of new technology available today. But what really is a Smart Home and what does the future hold?

The general definition is a home with programmable controls for running systems within the home. A common item found in homes today is a programmable thermostat. Google ‘Smart Home’ and you’ll find plenty of companies with items to sell you to make your home automated (or smart). There actually have been items available for quite some time to automate homes and once the personal computer became a common household item linking the computer to these systems was a natural fit.

For example we’ve been using automation to control some of the lighting at the Derrick household since the late 90’s. Originally based on a system known as X10 many lights are either triggered to switch on & off by motion sensors or computer set timers. We now incorporate Insteon, which is another system compatible with X10. Over the years these device controllers have expanded in capability to pretty much turn anything on and off you want to automate. So from this perspective you can make your home as smart as you want (and how much $$ you want to spend). Today you can control anything from your computer, tablets, smart phones, or anything that connects with the Internet and back to your home. But these are all controlled by programmed timers, some sort of trigger, or by a remote switch device. Things are starting to change for the next level of ‘Smart Homes’ and the future of home automation.

'The Smart' Nest Thermostat

‘The Smart’ Nest Thermostat

A good example of the next level of automation is the Nest thermostat. Now we have an automation device that learns your habits and controls the heating & cooling in your home based on your personal activities (or it’s interpretation of them). And you can easily track and control the Nest via the Internet from your smartphone or computer. Coupled with the fact that Google just purchased the company you know this will soon be expanding into other household devices. They’ve already developed a smoke detector that will talk to the Nest and shut down the heating system when it is triggered.

Many appliance manufactures are adding monitoring systems to give the homeowner alerts. In the near future I can see a refrigerator that inventories it’s contents and lists them on your smartphone so you know to stop at the store on the way home because the kids just emptied the last of the milk. Add Google or Amazon to the mix and the milk will just show up on it’s own.

A more practical application would be a service call is automatically called when diagnostics indicate a problem and the home security system then knows to allow access for a technician with the proper verification code. You’ll be notified there was a problem and it was fixed without lifting a finger. At the point where the devices in your home are making decisions we can almost call it a ‘Artificial Intelligence Home’.

So the true definition of a ‘Smart Home’ is changing as fast at technology does. There are already a lot of voice controlled options so when you couple the security and home control systems it is now possible to come home and talk to your home to get in the door, turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat, etc. In the not too distant future your home may just talk back to you. It’ll be up to you to determine if that is ‘Smart’.

Whether it’s a smart home you want or any home, The Derrick Team is here to help. Call or text 317-563-1110 for all your real estate needs. Or use our handy Contact Form.

 

Jan 022014
 
Merlin-Dreaming

Dreaming of a new home?

We always suggest any homebuyers check with a lender before getting started on your search for a home. There are many reasons for this but the most important is knowing where you stand in what you can afford and what options you might have available to you. You might find you’re not in a position to buy in the area you want or maybe you can actually afford more. For example if you are looking for a fixer upper you need to know about 203K repair loans and if you qualify. There are so many options you just need to find out what works best for you.

If you want to be ahead of the game you need to gather all the info the lender will ask you and review it yourself first. The usual rule is 2 last paychecks, 2 months of bank statements, and last 2 yearly tax returns (signed). Now consider what other bills you owe such as car payments, credit cards, and any other ongoing payments for more than a few months as they will show up in the credit check by the lender. Add these all up and then you might see the need for a ‘financial diet’.

So where do you start? First examine the short term debts such as credit cards and revolving accounts that have a balance that could be paid down. Also look at things like car payments, especially if you are in the last year of the loan. Now figure out where you can diet (items you can do without i.e. financial ice cream). Take that money and pay down or off any bills you can to get yourself in better financial shape. Why is this important? First you want make sure you are ready for the financial responsibility it takes to own a home. But more importantly it helps you qualify for a better rate and possibly save you thousands of dollars on your home mortgage over the life of the loan.

So buckle down and stop eating out all the time. You’ll find you get in both better financial and physical shape with proper dieting. Call The Derrick Team with any questions when considering a home purchase. We’ll be happy to help you even when you are starting your ‘financial diet’. We can help guide you months, even years in advance of your next home purchase! Call or text today at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact Page.

 

 

Dec 162013
 

When you use The Derrick Team as your Real Estate Brokers you are represented by true professionals who are there for you. When you recommend us to your family,  friends, & coworkers, etc you know we will work hard for them and make you look like a hero. Think of everyone you know and let us know who is the next person who will be selling and/or buying a home, no matter how far in the future it might be. We are happy to work with people to plan a large transaction such as buying / selling real estate. And don’t forget you’ll receive a gift for any leads to go under contract! Call or text us today at 317-563-1110.

Photo-Mean-Business-Mailer

Nov 202013
 

love-referralsWe all could us some extra $$$! Here is all you have to do.

Next time you’re chatting with friends, family, coworkers, etc, and the topic of buying or selling real estate comes up, ask if they’ve been working with an agent to help guide them through the process, even if they’re 6 to 24 months out from doing anything. If the case is they have not or just are not impressed with the ones they’ve been dealing with, tell them you know a great team of agents ready to talk to them about anything real estate. Then send us their contact information and we will take it from there. Once we have successfully represented them with a real estate transaction, we’ll send you a gift card. Now how easy is that? And the bonus is they’ll love you for hooking them up with The Derrick Team. We work hard to keep our clients happy and make sure everything goes as smoothly as we can.

A big thanks to those who have already taken advantage of our referral program. This past year Alice, Noel, Keida, Todd, Tim & Brandi, and Cathy (our referral queen), all received gifts from us. It’s easy for you and you’ll know your referral is in good hands with The Derrick Team.

Call or text us at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact form here.

 

Nov 012013
 

Almost ThereYou’ve probably heard the horror stories from friend or had the unlucky experience yourself where you’ve sold your property and then unexpectedly you haven’t. You were making plans to move, maybe already had an offer on another home and now everything is back to trying to sell or buy a home. It’s one of the more frustrating parts of buying and selling real estate, but it happens. So in this article we’ll discuss some of the common reasons and some indicators to be on the lookout for.

There are several items that can require negotiation when selling / buying real estate and each one can be a potential trouble spot. Obviously the starting point is negotiating the price and contingencies in the purchase agreement. An offer with more contingencies is the first warning as that makes more hurdles to get over to finally close the transaction. The Derrick Team takes pride in writing ‘clean’ offers that avoids this when possible. Solid offers mean better chances of closing making everyone in the deal happy.

Problem Spots
But there are usually at least 2 contingencies that cannot be avoided after the price has been agreed upon. First the buyers should be getting an inspection for their own protection and a seller should be prepared for this, even if selling ‘as is’. Once the inspection report is done the buyer can renegotiate getting items repaired or an adjustment to the price. This is a common part where things go wrong as the buyer is in control here and the seller has to be on top of things to keep the buyer happy. If the buyer is not satisfied they can walk away and only be out the inspection costs.

The second contingency kicks in if the buyer is getting a loan, as then the property must be appraised to determine the value meets the loan amount. This can be tricky in today’s market because of the recent drop in home prices in some areas (that’s just now starting to climb again). This is a wild card and again the seller needs to be prepared for this possibility. In some cases the appraiser will point out some condition items of the home that have to be addressed as well, especially if its a FHA, USDA, or VA loan.

A few of the other common reasons are the buyer loses their job, the buyers own house sale falls apart, or the buyer loses interest and walks away (usually forfeits the earnest money). In rare cases the seller suddenly doesn’t want or need to move anymore and does a mutual release to remove the property from the market. In that case the buyer can hire a lawyer but it usually costs less to just go find another home.

For all these reasons and more it pays to have a good Realtor working for you. As mentioned a solid clean initial offer reduces the chance of a deal falling apart.

Being Prepared
A seller should know the general condition of their property and thus have some expectations on what a home inspection is going to turn up. When setting the marketing price that should be a consideration so if needed you can have a little wiggle room to address possible issues. One of the things we guide both sellers and buyers on is that the inspection report should be used to spot potential safety and expensive repairs, not cosmetic issues. But then there is always those surprise issues that show up (mold, hidden water damage, termites, etc) that can change everything.

If the home marketing report is used to set a realistic sales price the appraisal shouldn’t be an issue. But some homes are easier to estimate depending on the types of homes in the area. If there is an issue with the appraisal there are ways to keep the deal moving forward and a good Realtor knows how to do that. But this sometimes is what we call the ‘wild card’.

So a couple of things to watch for from the initial offer are a low earnest money amount (buyer doesn’t have much to lose if they just walk), or a lot of contingencies that have to be addressed before closing. A good Realtor will discuss all these with you and if any of them are a big concern.

Another red flag can be when the lender seems to be dragging their feet on getting the loan approved resulting in multiple delays on the closing date. Again a good Realtor can stay in contact with the lender to see what is holding things up and let you know what your options are if things don’t look good.

What You Need
A smart Realtor stays on top of every deal to make sure no options are missed when things start to go wrong. We at The Derrick Team work hard for our clients to make sure we get deals closed. We advise our clients on possible sticking points to try and eliminate surprises and explore multiple options when there are. We want everybody to be happy when we walk away from the closing table with another successfully closed transaction.

Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 when you are ready to sell or buy and know you’ll be well represented in your next real estate transaction. Use our handy Contact Form here.

 

 

 

Oct 132013
 

Update: Since we wrote this post in 2011 Avon has even more now as other area communities build them as well. Here is an interesting video from Mythbusters: http://youtu.be/OvoFjirrgYA

We know that local governments have to look for solutions that solve issues and a common way to do this is looking at what other communities have done to address the same issue. The “Let’s see how that’s working for them” mindset. When it comes to traffic control in the Indy metro area, the city of Carmel in the northern metro area jumped in with the trendy solution to busy intersections by installing roundabouts, and are still adding more every year. Saying it’s been used in Europe for a long time and is a proven way to ease busy traffic flow was they typical reason given for the decision. Whatever the reason, they’ve embraced it so other local governments are paying attention.

Avon was in the same predicament and after paying for traffic studies decided to “give it a go” as the British would say. With 5 done and more in the planning stages, they really jumped in with both feet and aim to be the #2 roundabout community in the Indy metro area.

From a personal perspective I was skeptical because of what I saw in the early stages of Carmel’s rollout. Traffic flowing smoothly until granny pulls up and will not enter the roundabout if ANY cars are in the circle resulting in long lines of backed up traffic. The other issue is roundabouts tend to bring out the aggression of those many aggressive drivers in Carmel. The fundamental requirement for smooth flowing traffic at a roundabout is being polite, paying attention (not texting or yaking on the cell phone), and slowing down to safely drive through. None of these are common in Carmel drivers. So when Avon announced their plans I was dreading the fact I would be required to use roundabouts to get anywhere in the area.

Fast forward to today and after a couple of years of use, drivers in this area generally follow the requirements listed above and traffic does generally flow better through our area roundabouts. So now my skepticism has abated as whether this was a good move by the town of Avon. The interesting part will be to see as the town grows and traffic increases, will these current designs be able to handle the traffic as smoothly as it does now.

For those not sure yet, try to follow these instructions from www.RoundaboutUSA.com :

HOW TO DRIVE A ROUNDABOUT

  • As you approach a roundabout there will be a YIELD sign and dashed yield limit line. Slow down, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, and be prepared to stop if necessary.
  • When you enter, yield to circulating traffic on the left, but do not stop if the way is clear.
  • A conventional roundabout will have ONE-WAY signs mounted in the center island. They help guide traffic and indicate that you must drive to the right of the center island.
  • Upon passing the street prior to your exit, turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit.
  • Left turns are completed by traveling around the central island.

A couple of unanticipated bonuses on roundabouts have occurred to me recently. One, you never have to worry about signals being down due to power or technical issues. Second, if you go through a roundabout and realize you meant to turn off at an exit, you just drive around again and exit at the correct one (good for a busy Realtor who forgets where their next stop is).

So love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay. I do ask that you do everyone a favor, you still need to use you’re turn signal when exiting. That signals waiting drivers that’s it’s OK to proceed.

Let me know what you think about roundabouts. Maybe you found another bonus we all need to hear.

And that about rounds up this post (couldn’t resist).

Oct 072013
 

 

 

2.5 Million sales volume for 2015

2.5 Million sales volume for 2015

RallyAward

The Derrick Team

Aug 222013
 

Derrick Red Ad signYou might think that all Realtors are the same but just like any other profession each individual does things a little different. With Connie and Dennis Derrick you’ll find our ‘different’ is good for you.

We work as Realtors because we enjoy it.
We work harder at this work than others we’ve done before because we like what we do. We really enjoy working with our clients to achieve their goal of selling and/or buying property.

We have experience beyond real estate.
Connie has had her license since 1996 and has years of customer service. She’s often the person who will contact you with updates. Dennis has been remodeling homes for years and has knowledge beyond most Realtors on important construction factors. Also he has been involved with Internet marketing and web design since the late 1990’s, which translates to extensive marketing tools for our listings.

We like to have fun with it.
While there are a lot of serious work in the process of selling and buying, we also like our clients to enjoy working with us. We consider good clients friends for life.

You have a team working for you.
With The Derrick Team you get 2 Broker Associates working directly for you backed by a large staff at Carpenter Realtors. You’ll find this very important during contract negotiations. Teams are better than one when you really need it.

Award Winning Realtors.
The Derrick Team has been winning awards for the past several years. Our dedication to our clients will continue to equal long-term success for both our clients and future clients.

We are the ‘Pet Friendly’ Realtors. We have quite a few pets ourselves and understand your love for yours. We know pets are great companions and will enjoy visiting and getting to know your closest pals.

Contact The Derrick Team by calling or texting 317-563-1110 or shoot as email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com.

2.5 Million sales volume for 2015

2.5 Million sales volume for 2015

 

 

Aug 152013
 
Weapons of War

Weapons of War

There’s nothing like an invasion of those pesky little flies that seem to come from nowhere, fill areas of your home, and then fly right into your face. I hate it when you go to take a drink and there is one taking laps around the top of your glass. Well I did some research and came of with some simple methods that helped us win this battle, or at least turn the tide in our favor.

First step is to clean your drains (they also go by the nickname drain flies), because they can live off the scum growing inside your kitchen & bathroom drains (yech). I just used bleach and very hot water to do the trick.

Second step is to arm yourself with a weapon. I took a spray bottle, filled it with water and a little dish soap, and set it to drown mode (mist). Now when that pesky little guy is in your face, mist away at him. It will knock him out mid-flight and then you can drown him wherever he lands (soapy water doesn’t hurt many things). I was so irritated with these guys I spent one morning hunting them down and misting a bunch of them! (yes, I’m easy to entertain).

The final step is to set traps to eliminate the sneaky ones. They are also known as vinegar flies because they love it.  Take some vinegar as it makes a great smelly bait (I used apple vinegar), and mix it with a couple of drops of dish soap in a small cup. I prefer a clear cup so I can see my results. Then cover with thin plastic (I used saran wrap) and secure with a rubber band. Finally poke some small holes for them to crawl through and set in areas they hang out (mostly around drains & moisture).

We did all these and the number of flies dropped dramatically in 2 days. I’m going to refresh the traps and see if any more show up before I declare total victory, but from now on I know how to battle these small, sneaky little foes.

And if you’re trying to sell your home, you don’t want your current tenants (the flies) to annoy potential buyers!

If you have any good methods you’ve learned let us know in the comment section. We all want to win this battle!

Update: 2 weeks later and I only occasionally find a dead one in a trap. Haven’t seen a flying one in a long time. I declare victory!

 

 

Jul 082013
 

Demo Man Dennis DerrickSome are born with the need to tinker. I am one of those persons and got that from my Father. He was always working on some sort of project around the house as I was growing up. Even then I was aware that this was not an automatic thing for all dads. Today as each generation has been raised with more diverse talents and occupations available the ‘around the home handyman’ is becoming less common. But since you can figure out how to do anything on the Internet (right or wrong), some still try to be that handyman that produces, um shall we say dubious results. This often becomes all too obvious at a point when you try and sell a home.

One of the most common ones we see is the attempt to paint, when a person shouldn’t really be allowed to hold a paintbrush. Walking through a home as they proudly show off the freshly painted walls, we have to point out the fresh paint on the ceilings, trim, windows, floor, etc. and politely ask how soon will you be finished cleaning up the, um overlap. Painting is more than slapping paint on the walls so keep that in mind if you plan to give it a shot. And if selling is in the near future, pick your colors carefully.

Flooring is often marketed these days as DIY with simple ‘peel & stick’ or ‘snap & click’. But again it stands out when the edges around the walls are not matched up, there are buckles in the middle, and the transition to the next room is an afterthought. As in painting, the quality of the installation is all in the details. And the cost of materials can make for an expensive mistake.

Another project today’s handyperson likes to tackle is tiling a backsplash or for the more brave, a whole shower. Watching the shows on HGTV makes it look like a snap. One little piece at a time you slap sticky stuff on it and slap in on the wall. Later you fill in the gaps with more sticky stuff to cover up the gaps, no matter how large. How hard is that? Let’s just say many find out halfway through the project they may have been just a little too ambitious.

These are just some of the most common little ‘big’ jobs that handy wannabes will attempt to spruce up their home. Our advice to anyone thinking about it: research and practice a little before taking on a larger project and take your time and pay attention to details. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years think carefully on how your workmanship will look when your home is on the market. Otherwise you may find yourself paying a professional more to undo all the damage you did.

Want free advice on getting your home ready to sell? Give The Derrick Team a text or call at 317-563-1110 today!

Jun 262013
 
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Dedicated web site address

One of the many tools The Derrick Team utilizes to market our listings is the Call Carpenter Homes magazine. Our listings are added in there automatically by Carpenter when we list your home. But one thing that only The Derrick Team does is include a web site address in an ad so the reader can easily get more information on your home.

Carpenter prints the exclusive Call Carpenter Homes magazine bi-monthly filled with hundreds of Carpenter listings. We talk to many people who love to browse the magazine just to see what’s out there. The Derrick Team takes this one step further with a newsletter insert featuring local information along with our own listings.

CallCarpenterMagsOn a typical month we distribute between 300 to 400+ of the magazines with our insert. We deliver in neighborhoods, through stands in local businesses, and as hand outs in open houses and events like the Hendricks County Fair. So your home gets even more exposure locally to help you sell your home.

Find the Derrick Team Newsletter & Call Carpenter for Homes Magazine at: Specks Pet Supplies on US 36 and Los Rancheros at CR 100N & 267  in Avon, Edwards Equipment on Main Street in Danville.


Looking for business owners in the Avon / Danville area to co-market with.Derrick Team Magazine Rack

If you have or know someone with a area business with walk in traffic we’d like to invite your business with a free-to-you co-marketing opportunity!

The Derrick Team is one of Hendricks County’s successful real estate teams with Carpenter Realtors and utilizes all forms of marketing, much of it unique to The Derrick Team. While we have a strong presence on the Internet, we also utilize traditional printed media to connect with the local community in Hendricks County and the Indianapolis western metropolitan area.

We will be glad to include your business information and even provide ad space in our newsletter in exchange for a location to setup stand in your business. We take care of keeping the stand full with fresh stock. You just let us know what you would like to include. We can add flyers for your business in the magazines or a coupon in the newsletter. And we will do all the printing at no cost to you. We’ll even blog about your business to increase you own Internet presence.

Now how often do you get to advertise like this for free?

Call The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 for more information.

 

Jun 142013
 

Almost ThereAfter your agent has successfully negotiated the final documents with a buyer you smile and think your home is finally sold. Nope, the show hits the road and a good agent kicks into high gear. Depending on contingencies there will more negotiations possible during the sale process.

Typically the first will be from an inspection done for the buyers. This can be just for the buyers satisfaction but more often these days the buyers lender will have requirements that your home will have to pass before they will give the buyer a loan on the home. Common ones are termite inspection or tests on the well water and septic system if they apply. FHA loans can be denied if there is peeling lead based paint or the roof is beyond its designed life.

A good Realtor will note these items at the time of listing so you as the seller are prepared for possible costs involved with selling your home. But some items cannot be seen and thus will be part of the negotiations after the inspection report is delivered to the buyer and the buyer’s lender. These expectations also can be discussed before the inspection with the buyers if the accepted price considered items needing repairs. This is one of the reasons home warranties are popular now, as this will assure the buyer if mechanicals such as heating systems are really old they will be taken care of after the sale for minimum costs. The Derrick Team always recommends home warranties to our sellers.

Next comes the wild card, the appraisal. A good Realtor has looked carefully at the comparative home sales when pricing a home and has advised the seller on the possible appraisal value. Except for cash buyers, the appraisal will always set the price the buyer is going to pay. That is unless they can apply more cash on top of the loan amount to make up the difference (very rare these days). At the time of sale a good Realtor will examine recent comparative sales to provide to the appraiser if applicable. These days communications with the lender / appraiser / Realtor has to be limited so caution is the word. If the appraisal comes in lower than the sale price, the seller must discusses with their agent possible negotiations and options to keep the sale in motion. A good agent will have ideas to work out a deal that is acceptable to all parties.

Finally there is the closing. Working out a good time for everyone to meet and sign the paperwork along with when buyers take possession is one of the final negotiations, often based on the original purchase agreement but can be changed if all parties agree. The good thing is this is the one everyone is eager to accomplish and usually can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. You know everything’s been handled well when you have a smooth closing.

So keep in mind when hiring a Realtor to sell your home, the marketing is only the first step. You want an experienced Realtor ready to be representing you every step of the way, keeping all the gears well oiled all the way to that smooth closing. Call The Derrick Team today to discuss our marketing and closing processes that leads to happy clients at 317-563-1110.

May 102013
 

Information For BuyersSome of the usual tips you get to your home ready to show are clean and paint where needed. We’ve covered this in more detail on other blog posts. Here are a few important tips to set your home above your competition on the market.

1. Documentation on work performed on your home.

I would almost call this a diary of your home improvements. Gather up any invoices, documentation, permits, etc of major items that have been repaired, replaced, or upgraded. This can be a simple as a repair to the furnace to a bathroom remodel or new roof installed. Warranty information is especially important. Other work could be outlined in a document with dates and work performed such as owner performed landscaping, painting, etc. Not only does this impress buyers but this can be used for inspections and appraisals which is an added bonus.

2. Find documentation from when you purchased the home.

Most people don’t realize there can be some very helpful documents in your last purchase package. First is that most title companies will give you a discount on your owners title insurance if you provide the title work from the last purchase. Also there might be a boundary or stake survey included in the packet. If you purchased new it should have the model information and floor plan. Again very helpful and could be added to #1 item above.

 3. Utility and service vendor information.

Good agent will ask you for this so it helps to go ahead and gather this up ahead of time. You’ll need to come up with average costs for items such as electric, water, & gas if applicable. Also include cable, phone, and Internet services. Don’t forget if you use a lawn service, trash pickup service to include that as well. Of course this all can be neatly laid out in a document and added to the book. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?)

4. Seasonal photos.

If you have really nice landscaping with flowers the bloom in the spring find some photos you’ve taken (you didn’t just look at them did you?) If applicable maybe some nice fall foliage photos of the trees in full color. If you have that ideal back yard that looks great with a fresh snow include that one. Also any wildlife photos you snapped in the back yard that adds to the beauty setting of your yard. Share these photos with your agent and of course, add them to THE book.

Well I think you get the idea now, do some work upfront to wow your buyers on how well you’ve taken care of and enjoyed your home. This will in turn add value in the eyes of the buyers but also help when this is presented to the appraiser. When they determine the monetary value of a home they compare it to similar area sold homes and then make adjustments based on condition. With your documentation they can make those adjustment on the ‘plus’ side and in turn raise the overall value of your home.

The Derrick Team will be glad to help our sellers create this book in a nice format as part of our “Above and Beyond” marketing. Give us a call for more details at 317-563-1110.

Apr 022013
 

 

slide0013_image071If you’re looking to buy a home, this is the app for you. It currently works on any GPS enabled iPhone, iPad, and Android phone.

This app features the ability to find homes around you and bring up the MLS data and photos on your device. Point towards a home, snap a photo, and it will tell you the features as listed on the MLS.

If you want more details or want to setup a showing click the request for info and the app shoots us a request and will get back with you shortly! Can’t get much easier than that!

Just type in your mobile phone number on the Home Search App at the bottom of the right column or click here to download.

Mar 082013
 

I need a lot of money to buy a home.
Not really. Depending on your credit rating and financial income there are ways to purchase a home with practically no money down. There are programs that finance up to 4% of the required 3.5% down required for typical FHA loans, leaving you extra to be used for closing expenses. Combined with seller assistance you can really purchase a home with little or no money down. (more details here)

I have to pay a REALTOR to help me buy a home.
Not true! REALTOR services are 100% paid for by the seller so as a buyer we represent you for free. There is no advantage to not using a REALTOR to purchase any real estate property. But by law and our ethics we must represent you and your interests over the seller’s, as they are represented by their own agent. (more info here)

I don’t need to worry about financing until I find the home I want to buy.
Bad move. We always suggest the first step is to check with a lender to find out where you stand in getting a loan. Sometimes they say go for it. Other times they may find you need to take care of some things financially to put you in a better position to get a good loan. But the main reason is that you don’t want to spend time looking to find the perfect home and THEN discover you cannot get a loan to buy it. It also helps guide you to what kind of home you can afford and in some cases where you can look (like you can afford more home than you thought). (check this post for details)

The national news on real estate is all I need to pay attention to.
Big no-no. The cliché in real estate is location, location, location. And as far as the real estate market is concerned, city, area, neighborhood. Just 2 blocks away can be a different market, depending on the area. This is where using a REALTOR pays off as we know the market in our area. For ANY questions on real estate ask a local agent. (typical local report here)

REALTORS get paid by their brokers no matter if they sell homes or not.
Mostly false. Except in a few cases almost all REALTORS work as Independent Contractors. The Derrick Team works with Carpenter Realtors as contractors and we only get paid with successful transactions, of which a portion is shared with Carpenter for services provided. So if you spend time with one agent, then use another to write an offer, the first agent gets nothing for their work. Keep this in mind when working with an agent. If you like an agent, stick with them so they will get paid for their work for you. That will in turn make them work harder for you. (read this for more info)

Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110 with more details on these or any other questions you have. Remember, our services are paid for buy the seller so it costs you nothing.

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