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!

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):

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

 

 

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!

 

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.

Jan 212016
 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 182016
 

If you are looking at older homes or homes out in the country, chances are you’ll see some that have a private well as their primary water source. We’ll discuss what it usually entails and what to watch out for. But we will stress as always that you want to make sure and have any house you plan to buy inspected before you close on the purchase, and if the home has one, the well. These often go hand in hand with a private septic system. Check out our companion post on septic systems here.

What is a private well?

Older homes were often built in areas where municipal (city) water was not available. With old farm homes the original water source might have been a cistern filled by rain or a well with a hand pump outside. Fortunately, these systems normally will have been upgraded to a modern pressurized well system by now and is the system used for new homes today as they are still being built in areas that don’t have municipal water sources nearby. A typical single family home well consists of the well bored into the ground with some type of electrical pump that pulls the water out of the well on demand. In some cases, the pump is above ground and draws the water out but here in central Indiana most wells are deep enough to require submersed pump which is typically located near the bottom of the well and pumps the water up to the pressure tank. The pressure tank is used so that the water maintains a constant pressure when a spigot or faucet is opened. The pressure tank will have a controller that turns the pump on and off depending on demand. The diagram below (from Axsom-Franke Plumbing’s web site based out of Columbus IN) shows the basic layout of a system utilizing a submersible pump common in central Indiana.welldiagram

Depending on the water quality from the well there may be added filters and more commonly a water softener (due to the area’s hard water) as part of the complete system servicing a home. It’s also not uncommon to have a reverse osmosis system that further processes the water for drinking and the icemaker in a refrigerator. While each of the additions to the water service help the water quality it’s important to note none of them purify or sterilize the water so water quality is something the homeowner must always be aware of. Regular water testing is recommended just to be sure the well is producing quality water.

What to look for

A seller should have information on a well and you’ll want to make sure and review any documentation they might have. Depending on the age of the home and the well itself you’ll want to look for the equipment such as the pressure tank and if included the water softener. Both these items tend to perform poorly after years of use, and if the water quality is very hard they will wear out sooner. So if the units are older consider asking for a home warranty as they seem more likely to fail within the first year of new owners (probably due to the change in user demands).  Since the pump is probably down in the well you’ll want to know if any work has been done recently and the age of the pump if it’s ever been replaced.

wellheadWhen touring the home look for a well head somewhere out in the yard. It’s usually a 5” diameter pipe, these days typically PVC, sticking out of the ground about a foot or so that has a cap and a power conduit to one side similar to the image on the left. Note the distance to things around it as an older installation may not conform to current local ordinances. The most common issue we’ve seen is an improper distance between a well and septic system which is 50’ minimum in Indiana.welltank

Next locate the pressure tank, it’s usually located in the basement or a utility room with the furnace, water heater, etc. You’ll be able to tell if it’s a new unit pretty easily as it will look similar to the image to the right. Older tanks may have issues with keeping pressure so consider the cost of replacing it if it looks rather old. Ask your inspector to look it over carefully if it appears very old. Keep in mind the cost of replacing the pressure tank or the pressure switch which controls the pump is usually minor to the cost of replacing the pump or having a new well dug.

As far as other parts of the system (filters, water softener, etc.) are concerned, these items tend to be replaced on a regular basis so don’t put much faith if they look more than a few years old. Just count on installing new systems after you move in. We’ve found renting equipment like that makes more sense because of the improvements made to these types of systems every year. But it really just depends on the quality of the water from your well. We’ve seen two different well systems on homes next door to each other that have completely different water quality with wells of similar age.

Which brings up the final item for you to check. Be sure and order a water test when you do the inspection. Your inspector knows the proper way to take a sample and will send it to a lab for analysis. It’s not unusual for the test to show poor water quality in a home that someone has been living in. That’s when you ask for the well to be disinfected with chlorine bleach and then retested.

Don’t forget that once you buy a home with a well water system there is some required homeowner maintenance. Filters need replaced and salt added to your water softener if they are part of the system. And regular water testing is recommended. If the test shows bacteria here is a great document from a local home inspector (Center Grove Inspections) on how to disinfect your well: Water Well Care

If you’re in the market for homes that might have a well (older or rural type homes), you’ll want an agent with experience and of course The Derrick Team is here for you. Call or text 317-563-1110 today with any questions you might have.

Helpful Links:

Found this great video on shocking your well here:
https://youtu.be/MZJ6FxK6cwk

Indiana State Dept of Health information on wells:
http://www.in.gov/isdh/23258.htm

More online resources for homeowners with wells:
https://www.wqa.org/
http://www.groundwater.org/
http://www.wellowner.org/
http://www.ruralwaterresources.com/

See more details on the well diagram above at:
http://axsomfrankeplumbing.com/well-pump-installations/

 

 

 

Jan 152016
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 142016
 

If you are looking at older homes or homes out in the country, chances are you’ll see some that have some type of private septic system for waste-water disposal. We’ll discuss what it usually entails and what to watch out for. But we will stress as always that you want to make sure and have any house you plan to buy inspected before you close on the purchase, and if included the septic system.

What exactly is a septic system?

Unlike a municipal (city) sewer system which treats waste-water for a large number of dwellings a private system is normally installed to treat a single family home.  In rare cases a group of homes in the country will be on a shared private system and the only thing I’ll say about that is be VERY careful if that is what services a home you are interested in. Now for purposes of this discussion I’ll show what a single household septic system SHOULD be based on current guidelines. For older homes this may not be the case so you might want to check with county health department records to see what actually is installed (if they actually have any records of it at all).

Most homes with a private septic system are serviced by what is known as a ‘gravity’ type system. The diagrams below from the Indiana Construction Guidelines document (found at the link at the end of this post), show a common installation meeting current requirements. But most installed systems should at least have a tank to catch solids and a drain / absorption field. (I saw an old farm house where the tank drained directly into the creek in back).  The diagrams include a dosing tank which is a new recommendation but not usually needed for most gravity systems. Perimeter drains are also a newer item and are often required in newly installed systems.

Construction_Guidelines_for

The basic idea is the tank will handle the solids which are partially digested by microbes and then the liquid overflow will drain out to a absorption field to keep the tank from constantly filling up with liquid. The nice thing with the gravity system is the maintenance is much simpler than some of the other types (no motors or pumps unlike the dosing tank shown in the system below).

Construction_Guidelines_flo

With regular maintenance a properly installed gravity system can last many years. What many people don’t know is that the system is sized depending on bedrooms in the home at the time of installation, not bathrooms. It’s based on how many people might live in the home at any given time.

What to look for

So now that you understand the basic function what do you look for when purchasing an home with a septic system? When we list a home with a septic we try to find out what the seller knows as far as location, last time is was cleaned (pumped) out, and if they had any issues or repairs done while living there. Also, if there were any additions / remodeling done to the home was the septic upgraded or moved properly if needed (otherwise if might be undersized if bedrooms were added or part of the drain field was covered up). This is basically what you as a buyer should want to know before you even make an offer. When looking at the home you might be able to walk out in the yard and at least locate the clean-out for the tank. Then you have an idea from there where the drain field might be as it usually will be away from the home and downhill from the tank. Look for any fresh digging or uneven spots to indicate some work had been done. Or look for standing water in that area which might indicated the drain fields are not working, especially if the water is discolored and smells like, well not good. If all looks OK from what you can tell you’ll still want to have it inspected, and in some cases your lender will require it as part of the loan approval. If everything checks good and you end up buying the home you do want to keep in mind that even if you don’t see your septic system, it does require some maintenance (see list below).  If the home is empty or is a foreclosure there is no real way to tell how well the septic will perform once you’ve lived in the home for awhile. Best just to assume the worst in that case and figure in the repair / replacement costs when making your offer.

If the type of home you’re looking for might have a septic you’ll want a real estate agent that has some experience with them and yes, The Derrick Team does. Our current home has one and they function just fine when properly maintained. In my younger days I owned a home with a system that had major problems as well. And that was no fun at all. Give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110 to see what we can help you with, we work 7 days a week.


Here is a list of recommendations based on what most septic companies see from common repairs:

  • Have your tank pumped every 3-5 years depending on usage / number of persons living in the home.
  • Take care of the absorption field as its basically a function of the volume and strength of water poured into the system so conserve water when you can. Never funnel rain or basement drainage systems into it or onto the yard area where the absorption field is located.
  • Minimize use of chemical or biological liquids and check for ‘septic system safe’ labels on cleaners and such. Even antibacterial products may adversely affect your system as there are bacterial microbes that break down the solids in the tank.
  • Don’t dump in or flush anything that doesn’t decompose.
  • Keep trees, bushes, or any building away from the tank and drain field as roots and shading will reduce the systems effectiveness and possible lead to it failing.

For more details on gravity and other systems check out this link to the Indiana State Department Of Health:  http://www.in.gov/isdh/23283.htm

 

Dec 072015
 

When I purchased my first home back in 1985 I was in the same situation as many first time home buyers: I had more energy than cash. So it was natural that any home in my price range would be a little rough. But I had basic carpentry and general home repair skills that I learned from my dad so a little work didn’t scare me. The home I purchased had been built during WWII and was a solid little home. But it did indeed need a little attention.

The first project my buddy and I attacked was the wobbly toilet. That ‘little’ project turned into replacing most of the rotten bathroom floor and the cracked leaky toilet. We did this while the girls kept reminding us that it was the ‘only’ toilet in the home so we had to get it done in one afternoon. We did get it taken care of and over the course of several years I did quite a bit of those little (and sometimes big) projects. But I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and never really gave it much thought.

Today many first time home buyers are in a similar situation as they’ve grown tired of paying high rent but don’t have a lot of cash to buy a ‘move in ready’ home. What this article will discuss is some of the more expensive items to look for when searching for a ‘fixer upper’ so you don’t end up with a ‘money pit’ that needs a lot of money (that you didn’t have in the first place).

When looking at lower price point homes one of the first things to check is if it has a private well and / or septic system. You don’t need to automatically avoid them but understand the possible costs if either (or both) are in bad shape and need repaired or replaced. I’ll be writing another blog post about them in the near future. If you are looking at newer production homes which are commonly found in some areas with affordable prices you typically avoid issues with your water and sewer because they are provided through the local town or city.

Next you want to look for possible foundation issues as anything wrong with the foundation affects the entire building. Major defects such as crumbling foundation walls or sagging floors can be very expensive to repair. If the home has a crawl space, you’ll want to be sure and find out if anything has been done to it lately and be sure and have it inspected as we see a lot of moisture problems show up that the owners were not even aware of while living there. One of the advantages of homes with basements is you can usually easily see if there are any moisture/leaking issues.

After that be sure and look up at the roof and gutters as nothing ruins a home more than a leaky roof. Check on the age of the roof if the seller knows and look for stains in the ceilings anywhere inside the home. Make sure when you hire an inspector they will go into the attic to look for any staining or damage on the upper framing structure.

The reason I mention the above items first is they all will pretty much require you hiring a company to repair / replace and in each case the costs are usually very expensive and not usually covered by typical homeowners’ insurance. There are many other items such as plumbing, electrical, heating & cooling systems that need to be checked so you’ll want those inspected as well. Again you probably will need to pay someone to repair these items unless you have knowledge of these items or have a friend / family member who works in that trade and owes you a favor. You can also ask about a home warranty when you purchase your home to cover some of the mechanical systems (heating /cooling, water heater, etc) the first year you live there.

So what kind of home isn’t a ‘money pit’? Generally, you want a home that is in need of updating (which can be a personal opinion), fresh paint, new flooring, or just general cosmetic issues that you or a general handyman can take care of for materials and low (or free) labor costs.

HomeSweetHome

Home Sweet Home

The home that we now live in was a ‘fixer upper’ I purchased in the ‘90s that I knew needed major repairs. But I also knew it was a solid home because I had it inspected and it is in a great location in Hendricks County. I have since gutted and redone almost everything myself or paid contractors for items beyond my knowledge and/or abilities and we now have a great home that is perfect for us.

Buying a ‘fixer upper’ isn’t for everyone but sometimes the current financial situation requires you to at least consider a home that needs a little fresh paint and new flooring. Just remember to look at each home with the idea of it’s potential after you do a little work to ‘personalize’ your home. It’s actually nice to sit back and look at your work and take pride in what you’ve accomplished.

If you are thinking of looking for a ‘fixer upper’ be sure and give us a call. We’ll be glad to help you find a home that needs a ‘little’ attention. Or one that needs a ‘gut job’ if that’s what you are up too. I don’t mind crawling round a home with a flashlight to help point out obvious ‘major’ issues with a home you are interested in. While I’m not a trained inspector I can at least point out some things that will keep you from wasting your money hiring an inspector to tell you the home ‘has issues’. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110, 7 days a week. We’re here to help!

Aug 192015
 
Building a deck

That’s me, working on our home.

First time home buyers are always fun to work with because of the excitement they bring to the process (along with some anxiety). First timers have made that commitment to own their own home because they have been paying rent, sometimes for years and have nothing to show for it but an empty bank account. This article is for those first timers and those considering their first home purchase. It’s also a general summary of the responsibilities that come with owning your home and most importantly taking care of your investment.

First and foremost is of course the financial aspect of making payments as almost all first timers must get a mortgage to cover some part of their purchase. There is also the need for insurance and we cannot forget that the government will take some of your money in property taxes. But most of this is explained up front during the discussions on financing and the purchase itself. I want to discuss the after the sale responsibilities of maintenance.

All home owners should understand the value of proper maintenance of your home. It’s an investment and you probably expect to sell it someday and at the very least get some of your money back that you’ve paid into it. And when you do indeed decide it’s time to sell, proper maintenance or lack of it will have a big impact on how much return you get on your home investment.

Let’s start with the basics, regular maintenance such as lawn care. Don’t just mow the lawn but maintain the trees, bushes, and general landscaping to keep the yard looking neat. Go ahead and plant flowerbeds and install attractive lawn decorations but don’t overdo it and make the yard look like a flea market for landscaping. It’s also important to keep up your home appearance for the sake of your neighbors who are selling. Remember the more they get for their home when they sell also increases the value of your home. Plus it’s just a good idea to keep your neighbors happy.

Maintaining the home’s exterior is probably one of the most important as water intrusion will destroy not just the outside but the interior as well. Keep the gutters clean and make sure the downspouts carry the water away from your foundation, the further the better. Make sure your roof is in tip top shape and if you don’t know what to look for have it inspected by a roofing contractor on a regular basis. Replace loose or missing siding or any of the exterior cladding on your home as soon as you see it. Waiting to do repairs on the exterior is inviting much more damage to the homes entire structure and will cost much more in repairs in the long run.

Next on the list would be your mechanical systems which typically consists of your heating / cooling system, water system (plumbing, water heater and possibly a well & septic system), and electrical. All these often need some regular maintenance, especially the heating / cooling system so be sure and become familiar with the systems in your home and follow recommended guidelines. Again, regular maintenance can save you money by extending the lifetime of these systems and avoiding major repairs from ignored minor issues.

You should also pay attention to your interior structure such as walls, ceilings and flooring. Much of what needs attention here will be from normal wear and tear but keeping things clean regularly helps in the long run. Allowing items to get really dirty ruins the finish and you’ll find in order to make it look good enough to sell you’ll have to replace it completely, and those costs take away from your bottom line.

This is just a few basics items of what you need to take care of to maintain your home. Each home has different priorities to the maintenance schedule such as type of building materials, type of heating system, etc. But regular maintenance can make your return on investment when it’s time to sell well worth it. We’ve seen a lot of owners take a lot less for their home because of the poor condition it was in due to the lack of maintenance. Keeping your home in great condition makes financial sense but it’s also nice to live in a well maintained home so do it for yourself and your family’s health and well-being as well. And again, a neighborhood of well-maintained homes brings everyone’s homes value up when it’s time to sell and makes for happy neighbors.

If you have questions on your homes’ condition in preparation to sell feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110, even it’s a few years away. We’ll be happy to come out and take a look and let you know what you might need to address at no obligation. It’s what we love to do, help people with home ownership!

 

Jun 262015
 
Purchase Agreement

See link to sample purchase agreement below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample 2015 Indiana Purchase Agreement: Purchase_Agreement_Improved_Property_-_2015_ts48492

Apr 302015
 
Another Sold

Derrick Team Sold Another One

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 272015
 

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

Part of the home.

Part of the home.

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

Then there are the no-no’s.

No-no

No-no

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

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

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

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

Jan 312015
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 132014
 

U-Haul-TruckOne thing we often hear from our clients selling their home and buying a new one is they don’t want move more than once. They want to move right from their current home into their new home. It’s an understandable desire as moving all your belongings is usually a highly underestimated task. One never realizes how much you own until you have to pack, move, and unpack. So the thought of doing it twice or more brings about a certain dread. The reality is the only way to make sure you only move once is to buy your new home first. But since most of our clients need to sell their current home first, that’s not a real option. So we’ll explain the best way to prepare yourself so that when you put your home on the market you’ll be in the best position to move only once.

The first step to prepare your home for the market is to declutter your home. This is also an excellent time to purge all those items you’ll never need again. Garage sales, giving items to friends & family, and donating are excellent ways to get rid of items that have some use, just not for you. And before you pitch any items in the trash, first consider recycling when possible. For any items you won’t need until after you move pack them away and if possible store them elsewhere. The idea here is the less you have to move to your next home the easier it is move over a weekend. These days you typically have only a few days to move out after closing so plan on a quick 2-3 day move and you’ll be fine. Don’t forget when you move out you cannot leave anything behind unless that is agreed to in the purchase agreement so give yourself time to have the home ‘broom clean’.

Next you want to have a target in mind of where you want to move. It’s best to search for homes before you even list your house so you have an idea of what’s on the market and what you can afford. Be sure and talk to a lender and get prequailified so you don’t have any nasty surprises later when you go to buy another home (we’ve seen that one before). Visit some open houses in the target area and talk to neighbors you see out. Having an idea of where you want to buy (and can afford) when you’ve sold your home helps keep the timeframe lined up with back to back closings so you only have to move once. You’ll need to watch the inventory supply for your target area. In some of the most popular areas homes sell quickly. If you are determined to buy in an area like that have your home ready to go on the market at any time. Then when the perfect home comes on the market get your home listed ASAP, and price it to sell quickly. A good REALTOR can help advise you on local sales prices so you’ll want to be the best deal in your area. You can also consider making a ‘first right’ offer on the home you like but many sellers are reluctant to do so in areas where homes sell quickly. Also be prepared to offer top dollar whenever you do make an offer. Again, a good REALTOR can advise you on the best tactics to entice the seller to accept you offer over other possible offers.

Finally, when you have an accepted offer on your home and have successfully negotiated an offer on the home you are buying, everything becomes time critical. The entire process of inspection, appraisal, necessary repairs, etc must move in lock step on both transactions. Any delay in one will affect the other and possibly jeopardize both. A good REALTOR will help you by staying on top of both transactions to ensure you have a back to back closing (usually on the same day) so you can work out an acceptable timetable with both parties and you’ll only have to move once.

So to summarize:
1. Reduce the amount of items you need to move so you can move in just 2-3 days.
2. Do your homework and know where you want to move based on what you’re approved for by a lender.
3. Get a good REALTOR that will make sure everything moves in lockstep in the sale of your home and the purchase of your new home.

A couple of items to note is we still recommend to our clients you have a backup plan in case you sell your home but some last minute issue keeps you from closing on your new home right away. And while it’s not always possible its handy if the home you are buying is vacant so there is no issue with immediate possession.

You’ll want to find a good experienced REALTOR with both listing and buying. The Derrick Team, Connie & Dennis Derrick are your experienced REALTORS and are here to help your move from your current home to your new one as smoothly as possible. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week!

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!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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