Nov 192019
 

Connie and I are both big animal lovers and we have several pets of our own. Currently we have 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 turtles and several tropical fish tanks. When we first met we ended up with a blended family of 4 dogs and 4 cats. Over the years we’ve always wanted to help local pets and for a few years we both served on the Hendricks County Humane Society’s board and volunteered to help with events every chance we could get. As our real estate business took off, we found we could best support local animals with event sponsorships. Our two favorite events we sponsor each year are the 2 largest fundraisers for HCHS, the spring doggie funtime event known as Dogtona and the annual fall wine tasting.

We’ve been involved with Dogtona (a play on NASCAR Daytona 500 held around the same time) since its beginning when the first event was held at the Danville National Guard Armory building. Each year it’s grown in size and popularity and its success has made it one of HCHS’s largest fundraisers. The past several years it’s been held at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds Events Center. The base concept is you bring your dogs to Dogtona for hours of fun playtime with other dogs in games, skill tests, photos, and various contests. The cost is only $5 per dog and human companions are free. There are also lots of vender booths with pet products, services, and usually a couple of rescue groups with pets available for adoptions. It’s loads of fun for both the dogs and their human companions. If you haven’t been you should come out to this event with your dog, they’ll have so much fun and you will too. And if you don’t have a dog, just come by and see all the fun.

Dogtona 2019

Looking for shoe treats at Dogtona is so much fun!

Check out more photos of the 2019 Dogtona

The Annual Hendricks County Humane Society wine tasting is their other big fundraiser that we have been involved with from the beginning when it was first held in Park Square Manor in Avon. Like Dogtona this event has grown over the years and often succeeds in raising more funds than Dogtona. Like most wine tastings there are several distributers that have various wines to taste and in the past few years they’ve had craft beers and liquors. There are many donated items for a silent auction and delicious hors d’oeuvres to complement the fine drinks. For entertainment they have live music and lately included magicians that wander around to the tables to do tricks for small groups. Another of the new additions is a photo booth which our group loves (photo below from 2019). If you enjoy wine or craft drinks, you’ll love this event and it’s for such a great cause.

2019 HCHS Wine Tasting

Having fun at the photo booth!

To get more information on these events and more be sure and check out the Hendricks County Humane Society website at: https://www.hendrickshumane.org/

If you are looking for a new companion don’t hesitate to contact us as we know several rescues in the area and we can help match you up with what you are looking for. Call us today at 317-563-1110.

We say adopt, don’t shop.

And please spay and neuter your pets!

Wine Tasting Sponsor

Hendricks County Humane Society Annual Wine Tasting

Aug 052019
 

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.

Jun 052019
 
Probably not a good 'Flip' Home.

Probably not a good ‘Flip’ Home.

While many of us in real estate roll our eyes at HGTV it still seems to inspire some investors (especially new ones), there is gold in those old homes. It is a sellers market and we’ve found you can sell just about anything with 4 walls, somewhat stable foundation, and a mostly intact roof. Add the late night infomercials of rich guys sitting around a pool peddling their guaranteed ‘Home Flipping’ plan, and we often get calls from these ‘Renovation Investors’. There’s a little more to this ‘gravy train’ than what they tell you.

First thing to consider, are you a full-fledged contractor that has your fair share of remodeling experience? If not, you’ll have to factor in labor costs to the major part of the renovation. And unless you have a reliable contractor, be ready for major headaches on this part alone.

Second, how much cash you have lying around? It can be difficult to finance the purchase a home in need of a lot of work. Lenders don’t like to take a chance on a home with major needs so the majority of the cost will be in the form of cash or some other secured credit line.

Third, are you ready for surprises? Any contractor will tell you it doesn’t take much to derail a project when demolition uncovers hidden problems. If you work on a tight budget to flip your home, you might want to have a plan B.

Finally, do you have a seasoned real estate agent to work with who knows a bit about home renovations? Buying a home to flip can be profitable or not depending on the location. A good agent can tell you the best markets to invest in knowing the activity and the best eventual post renovation sale price. Your agent can also keep you from ‘over renovation’ as in adding costly features to the home that don’t fit with the area.

So, if you think you can handle the first 3 items you’re good to go because The Derrick Team is here to help you with your ‘Flipping’ real estate needs. Feel free to call or text 317-563-1110 or visit www.DerrickTeam.com for more information. And if you want to make your own HGTV show, well we’ll see what we can do about that too.

Apr 012019
 

While I won’t say I’m an expert with this issue, I’ll go over things I’ve learned and experienced with what water or moisture can do to a home. Since most if not all of a home is made of wood, water intrusion can rot the wood leading to deterioration of the structure itself. And excess air moisture can lead to many issues including the dreaded 4 letter word: Mold.

Any time we visit a homeowner during a seller’s consultation I have a checklist I review while doing the first walkthrough. First, I start at the top and try to physically access the roof condition and try to confirm with the homeowner the age of the roof. In the past few years this has become more important for both the buyer and the lender along with the buyer’s insurance company. For the buyer an old roof means an expensive repair in the near future. The lender is worried about a leaking roof damaging the home. The insurance company now looks at an old roof as high probability of a damage claim. If you know your roof is older than 15 to 20 years, expect that to be an issue when you sell. But also consider replacing that old roof sooner to stop you from paying out even more when it leaks and does extensive damage to your home’s structure. Leaks can be slow to become obvious to you and by then a lot of damage can be done. At the very least if you’re not sure about your roof’s condition, have it checked by a roofing professional. Once you are sure your home is protected from falling water you’re one step closer to a dry home.

The next item I’ll go over with a homeowner is the foundation, basement, or crawlspace. Basements in central Indiana will often at least be damp. Older ones leak some or in some cases a lot. Waterproofing can be expensive but it’s important to have a dry basement or crawlspace. Most of this area has higher water tables and when it rains a lot water will collect in the ground around your home and by nature seeps towards lower areas such as your basement or crawlspace. If water stays there long, it results in ‘biological growth’ that often is in the form of mold. And if mold if allowed to flourish it can be very expensive to remedy. But the one thing most people miss is that mold is not the problem, it’s the wet condition that allows it to flourish. Also keep in mind the wet conditions will rot wood so after a long time the home can be structurally weakened. It’s very important to remedy wet basements and crawlspaces for many reasons and ignoring them can result in a very expensive bill to fix the moisture issue, structure damage, and remediate the mold.

Damaged roof decking from excessive moisture in the attic.

Damaged roof decking from excessive moisture in the attic.

And finally, there is the moisture issue that we’ve dealt with multiple times that really surprises the homeowner: the attic space. The design of homes has changed a lot in the past 100 years and now newer and updated homes are being made more airtight to save in energy costs. While older style homes could ‘breathe’, newer homes tend to keep everything inside, including moisture in the air. Showers and baths, washing clothes and dishes, and air humidifiers all add moisture to the air, especially in winter when cold temperatures outside dry the air. This moist, warm air eventually escapes into the attic and condenses on the cold roof decking if the attic is not properly ventilated. Properly ventilating the attic is something that has only recently incorporated in building codes. We’ve seen many times that in older homes the homeowner was unaware that this moisture in the attic was slowly causing mold and rot of the roof decking. In a few cases the entire roof and decking must be replaced just because it was missing a few vent holes.

The main thing to take away from this article is that you shouldn’t ignore your home maintenance. And pay special attention to water intrusion, from above, below, or within, as it probably contributes to some of the most expensive home repairs if it’s found too late. With a good roof with proper venting, watertight painting, good caulking on siding and windows, and good drainage away from the home, you’ll be way ahead of any of these water intrusion surprises.

Want a free no obligation sellers consultation on your home? Feel free to give The Derrick Team a call at 317-563-1110 or contact us here.

 

 

 

Feb 112019
 

There are many reasons to buy a home for you to live in. Any financial advisor will tell you so. But there are some reasons that maybe home ownership is not for you. We’ll go over those and you can decide if they apply to you.

Situation #1: If you have a job where you are often transferred to another location in the country, renting probably is better for you.

Situation #2: You don’t care about throwing away your money, building someone else’s wealth, instead of building home equity in an investment, renting is perfect for you.

Situation #3: Being in charge of home maintenance is just not your thing, as in you want to call someone when something breaks. Renting probably works best for you but there are options even if you own your home.

Situation #4: You’re not good with paying bills on time, renting is your ONLY choice as you’ll never get financing for a mortgage. And even renting might be difficult.

Situation #5: You prefer mom’s home cooked meals. Well maybe she could move in with you.

As you see there are some legitimate reasons to not buy a home but these days there are options that can still work in some of these situations.

With #1 it just depends on the job and if that is more important than home ownership, and #2 is acceptable. If you know you’ll eventually settle in one area, you could bu

Home values continue to go up!

y a home and rent it out when not based in that location. In that case you are on the receiving end of #2.

If #2 is your choice, landlords will love you.

With #3 Many people don’t like that they are in charge of home maintenance but there are options for them. If you buy a condominium, you will only buy the inside and the association will maintain the exterior, but you do pay a fee for that. Another option is there are service or home warranty companies that for an annual fee will come do repairs as needed for a set or discounted amount.

#4 is a credit killer. And without credit you’ll never have a chance to buy a home. If you are serious, you’ll need to pay all your bills on time for at least a year. And you might qualify for some rent-to-own options, but even then, your credit needs to be clean.

#5 So you don’t like to cook and mom’s the best in the world for you. It’s not uncommon these days to consider multi-generational homes, where parents live with their children and grandchildren. These homes often have a guest suit or in-law’s quarters. You get mom’s cooking and a built-in babysitter.

As you see in the chart, home values continue to climb. If you’re just not sure we’re here to help! We’ll be happy to meet with you one on one and discuss your personal situation and see what your best options would be. Sometimes that’s a long-term plan and we’ll help you every step of the way. Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week, evenings too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 072019
 

The Derrick Team had another very busy year with over 6 million in sales again.

 

Receiving our award for over 6 Million in sales in 2018.

Once again The Derrick Team wants to thank all those we’ve helped over the years and have contributed to our ongoing success in real estate. We had over six million in closed and pending sales in 2018. As we move forward into our 10th year in real estate full time we’re at over $30 million in total sales in the past nine years.

But in truth I will honestly say that money just pays the bills. What truly makes us successful is the enjoyment of helping our clients in all the trials and tribulations of selling and buying real estate. We succeed because we enjoy what we do and constantly strive to get better at each step of the process. The reward for us is when our client successfully walks out of closing with a big smile on their face and tells everyone they know about how great we helped them in the entire transaction. We love when they are more than happy to write up a review. But the best feeling is when they call and tell us they have someone who needs our help and they trust us enough to know we will take care of their friend as great as we took care of them.

People in real estate, and even those just in sales jobs, know many people base their success in the ever quest for higher sales numbers. We on the other hand like to make a living (always those pesky bills showing up), but have found our calling in working for ourselves (real estate agents are independent contractors), and the rewards have shown up in ways we would have never dreamed. We love our job and enjoy working with our clients and often end up as friends afterwards. We want to make our clients, clients for life.

Read what our clients are saying here!

 

Below are all the homes we sold in 2018.

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Feb 052019
 

Even though the 2019 Dogtona was delayed,
we still had a fantastic turnout!
Enjoy these photos of the dogs and dog lovers having fun!

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The Derrick Team are proud supporters of the Hendricks County Humane Society and everything they do for the local community of animals.

Jan 192019
 
1937 flooding in Indiana

Damaged Farmhouse – 1937

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 122018
 

Another fun time at the annual Hendricks County Humane Society Wine Tasting

Our awesome group of friends at our table.

The Derrick Team is always proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic fundraiser for HCHS!


More photos courtesy of the Hendricks County Humane Society, (see more on their FB page).

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Nov 052018
 

When buying or selling a home you generally will want to hire an inspector to assess the general condition of the property and buildings before closing. In other blog posts I’ve gone over that process, so this post is more about this common language you’ll see in the report.

Older houses have older systems!

As a buyer it is important to know the condition of the home mechanicals which generally includes the furnace – heating / AC units, water heater, and possibly water softener and other water conditioning systems. Often the inspector will check any included appliances but mostly that is to determine if they work or not. Items such as furnaces, AC units, and water heaters will have a manufacturer’s tag that includes specifics on the unit and when it was manufactured. At some point manufactures came up with standards on how long the purchaser should expect their product to function under normal usage. Thus they came up with the “Industry Standard Useful Life”.

Now the truth is that it is only a vague guideline and is not how you determine a unit is close to failure. But we’ve often seen buyers panic when they see that term used in the inspection report referring to the units in the home they are purchasing. What is more important to look at is the general condition of the units which lets you know the owner regularly serviced them. Good maintenance can extend the useful life, in some cases doubling the lifespan or more. With heating / furnaces it’s important that depending on the type some need a lot more maintenance than others. Any furnace or heating system that uses combustibles as the heat source, (gas, oil, propane, etc.) should be serviced regularly as the use of those products can cause corrosion from the fumes and moisture from the fuel itself. An ‘All electric’ heating system on the other hand just needs an occasional cleaning and if a heat pump a check on the refrigerant level. So the important factor that the inspector needs to determine is has the unit been serviced. Same pretty much goes with the water heater as they can last a long time if serviced properly.

As a buyer you want to pay more attention to how the seller has taken care of the mechanicals and not how old the systems are. If they are old and worry you we often recommend having the seller pay for a 1 year home warranty, just in case something is nearing the end. Often a change in how the unit is used with new owners will cause it to fail so the warranty will cover the buyer in that case as well. Probably the main item of note if a system is old is that newer systems are more efficient, so your utility bills might be slightly higher than with newer systems.

As a seller we always recommend you have your mechanicals serviced before you go on the market. Any time an inspector sees that the system has recently been serviced by a professional they will know it should be in good working order. And if you’ve been doing that regularly that just makes it look better for your potential buyers.

Have questions on what you need to do to get your home ready to sell? Don’t hesitate to call The Derrick Team about your mechanical systems or any other questions you might have at 317-563-1110. Or send us a message here.

 

 

 

Sep 132018
 

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!

A Home Inspection Nightmare

 

Aug 142018
 

Is The Market Slowing Down?

The real answer would be ‘Yes & No’. Why? There still are not enough homes to satisfy the demand and now that interest rates are inching up it seems would be sellers are getting cold feet. And buyers are still struggling to find homes that fit their budget or other requirements due to slim pickings. Some would just say the market is finally balanced as prices have peaked.

No one has a looking glass that can completely predict the future so anything could change at this point. The best we in the industry hope for is a slight cooling off but continued slow growth. More builders are building and investors are still buying up homes (we’ve sold 2 lately to a very large investment company). So in general as long as consumer confidence stays up the market should at least remain steady. The report below shows we’re still moving forward.

Have any questions on your home’s value or wondering what you could buy in today’s market? Give The Derrick Team a call 317-563-110 today for a no obligation ‘one on one’ consultation.

 

May 232018
 

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

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

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

Large Maple Trees Getting A Haircut

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 172018
 

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

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

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

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

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

Have questions on how the process all works? We do free one on one buyer consultations. Check out the details here, 0r feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. Based out of Avon Indiana we serve Hendricks County and the surrounding Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

Mar 282018
 

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

Listings are down, sales are up = Sellers Market!

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 022018
 

Excellent Communicators

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

Brandon & Katie Pugh, Zionsville, IN

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

George and Sharon Keenon, Avon, Indiana

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First Time Home Buyers

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

Stephen, Whisperwood Lakes ~ Danville

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

Alex & Laura, Plainfield – Indiana

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Selling Your Home & Buying Another

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

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

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

Chris and Angie Book, Avon, IN

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Happy Clients!

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

Elaine Bass, 7909 Patterson Dr. Avon , Indiana 46123

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

Lori & Scott Zorman, Highfall Ave , Greencastle

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Building A New Home

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

John and Abby, Carolina Commons, Avon, IN

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

Jan 242018
 

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

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

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

Oct 312017
 

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

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

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

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

Expensive Leaky Shower Drain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Oct 022017
 

Our clients are so happy with us they

recommend us to their neighbors!

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


2 homes in Westover Woods

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

Their home sold in one day!


2 homes in Raymond Park

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

Both homes sold in one day!


2 homes in Whisperwood Lakes

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

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

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

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


Park Place ~ Avon

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


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

Jul 262017
 

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

A new roof can be an expensive surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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