Oct. 20, 2017

7 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Indianapolis

Although it’s known as the “Crossroads of America,” Indianapolis is actually a great place to make home. This midwestern metropolis offers a booming job market, a low cost of living, and an endless list of things to do. It’s also home to the Colts, the Indianapolis 500, and one of the best high school marching bands in the country. If you’re thinking about making the move, here are 7 things that all Indianapolis residents need to know.

1. The job market is booming

This may come as a surprise, but Indianapolis is consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the country for finding gainful employment. This is especially true if you’re looking for a job in tech or big pharma. As a matter of fact, the Indianapolis tech industry is so robust that some journalists have compared it to Silicon Valley. That said, the top three tech employers are DoubleMap, Infraware, and SmarterHQ. In big Pharma, Eli-Lilly is the major player. This massive pharmaceutical corporation responsible for manufacturing several brand-name drugs, including Cialis and Prozac.

2. It has a low cost of living

For a city with so much economic growth, Indianapolis has a shockingly low cost of living. According to PayScale, Indy’s overall cost of living is a whopping 8% lower than the national average. To be specific, Indy’s groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are lower than the national average by 8%, 9%, 8%, and 3% respectively. The best bang for your buck, though, is in real estate. The cost of housing is a whopping 19% lower than the national average. Some of the least expensive neighborhoods include Edinburgh, Beech Grove, and Mooresville.

3. You can enjoy all four seasons

If you like to experience the seasons, you’ll love Indianapolis. While the winters can be downright frigid, the summers are sunny and mild. According to Sperling’s best places, Indianapolis experiences 186 days of sunshine per year, and the average high in mid-July is only 85 degrees. Indiana is also home to several species of deciduous trees, so you’ll be able to watch the leaves change from the comfort of your own home. It also receives less rain and snow on average than the rest of the United States, so while it’s cold in the winter months, you may not have to shovel the driveway too frequently.

4. Commuting is a breeze

If you’re planning on living in Indianapolis, you’ll definitely want your own vehicle. According to Indianapolis Monthly, only 3% of Indianapolis households are without at least one car. 19% have just one vehicle, and the other 80% have two cars or more. On the other hand, Indianapolis has less traffic than most big cities. Every year, the Global Traffic Congestion Index compiles a list of the most congested cities in the world. Of the 174 cities on the list, Indy comes in at 171. Furthermore, only 1.8% of Indiana workers have a “super commute” of 90 minutes or more. So while traffic certainly exists, it’s much less of an issue that it is in New York, LA or the other 170 cities on that list.

5. You can watch professional football

Fans of professional football have a lot to look forward to in Indianapolis. The Colts relocated to Naptown back in 1984. Since then, they’ve made the playoffs 16 times, won two conference championships, and even the Super Bowl in 2007. The Colts’ fan base is so extensive that the 15th largest city in the United States transforms into a ghost town during home games. Today, the Colts play in Lucas Oil Stadium near Downtown Indianapolis. While the immediate surroundings have a relatively high crime rate, a skilled realtor can help you find a desirable neighborhood nearby.

6. It’s home to the Indy 500

In addition to professional football, Indianapolis is also home to one of the biggest motorsports competitions in the world. Every Memorial Day, more than 250,000 people fill the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The Indy 500 is part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. True fans of the sport can also learn about its history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. This interactive, educational facility includes race cars from IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One, and more.

7. There are some great marching bands

 

If you enjoy competitive sports, you owe it to yourself to check out the Drum Corps International World Championship. This professional marching band competition involves hundreds of talented marchers, musicians, and dancers. Every August, the best drum corps in the world gather in Lucas Oil Stadium to compete for the title of DCI World Champion. This affinity for great marching bands also extends to Indianapolis Public Schools. Take Carmel High School. Their Marching Greyhounds have won the Bands of America grand championships over 20 timesmore than any other band in the country.

Feb. 13, 2017

How to Choose the Right Property Manager

If you're considering a switch to a new property management firm, there are a few things to consider first;

- Ensure they are licensed, professional and experienced.

- Will work with you to maximize the property and get higher rent.

- Ability to protect the property from liabilities.

- Expert screenings to ensure the best tenants and an efficient process.

- Fast, responsive systems with easy-to-understand reporting.

- Understanding of the area and market.

- Transparent fees and competitive rates.

-Available around the clock for tenants and owners.

 

CLICK HERE to request our FREE whitepaper on property management and tips for choosing the right property management company to protect your investments. It's free to you and will save you time and money.

 

 

 

Feb. 1, 2017

How to Buy, Rehab, Rent and Refinance Properties

BRRR

No, I don't mean because it's February and cold in Indiana. I mean BRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance (and if you want to get fancy, add an extra R and REPEAT!)

It's a simple strategy and we've seen this work with our clients and want to help you do the same!

Buy

Find a 'fixer-upper', usually an as-is property with a lot of work to be done. There are a lot of deals found through the MLS but more commonly, you'll find these from an agent who has a connection in the REO world. It's still important to perform your due diligence but keep in mind, money you'll spend on an inspection is not the best use of your funds. 

Rehab

When you get a property under contract, you'll want to have a private lender who will loan you money for the puchase and work to be completed. The benefit to using a private lender versus a hard money lender is that you'll pay significantly less in interest points. 

Where to find private lenders? That's simple - it could be anyone, family, colleagues, relatives. Tell people what you are doing  and what you're willing to offer. a CD earning a fraction of a percent in interest could jump up to 8-10% quickly. 

The most important key is to be all in for 75% of the property's market value or less so budgeting and ensuring that you don't overspend on your rehab. Why 75%? That's because a typical bank will only loan on a refinance to an investor at that rate. So your goal is to buy a property for no money down to create a sizable amount of equity and cash flow at the same time.

Keep in mind, most banks have 'seasoning' regulations, typically around 12 months. Prior to 12 months, they will only loan on 75% of what is in the property. So to make this work in your favor, the seasoning needs to be right and the property must appraise at the value you need. 

Of course, there are other things to factor in with the rehab such as cost overages, emergencies and unknowns - but we'll save that scary stuff for another post specifically on renovating and rehabbing properties.

Rent

Once your rehab is complete, you'll need to rent your properties. If you hire a property manager, make sure you have clear rental criteria. A bank won't loan on a portfolio that is not performing and while a vacant property isn't great, a bad tenant is even worse. Evicting a tenant, fixing the damage that they did and the time the property will be off the market are all bad factors. On the flip side, a good property will retain a good tenant which will ultimately mean great cash flow for you!

Refinance

This is the final phase of the process. Find a lender who will lend to buy-and-hold investors. As with making any offers, finding a quality lender is 100% a numbers game. The more you call, the more you connect and the more likely you'll find a lender.

This is just an example of how to create sizable cash flow with little or no cash down. It works and it can be repeated to consistently build your portfolio and your investments. Are you interested in learning more and getting started? Let's talk - give us a call (317)572-9000 or send us an email to get started.

July 1, 2016

Independence Day Facts

Thanks to our great friends at Meridian Title Corporation for this great information. We hope everyone has a safe and fun Holiday weekend! 

Posted in Holiday
May 17, 2016

7 Reasons for Owner's Title Insurance

 
BUYING A HOME IS AN EXCITING AND EMOTIONAL TIME FOR MANY PEOPLE. 
TO HELP YOU BUY YOUR HOME WITH MORE CONFIDENCE, MAKE SURE YOU GET OWNER’S TITLE INSURANCE. 

HERE’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU.

1. PROTECTS YOUR LARGEST INVESTMENT

A home is probably the single largest investment you’ll make in your life. You insure everything else that’s valuable to you—your life, car, personal property, health, pets, jewelry, etc.—so why not your largest investment? For a one-time fee, owner’s title insurance protects your property rights for as long as you or your heirs* own the home. 

2. REDUCES YOUR RISK

If you’re buying a home, there are many hidden issues that may pop up after purchasing it. Getting an owner’s title insurance policy protects you from legal title discrepancies. Don’t think it will happen to you? Think again. Here are just some of the many situations that you’ll be protected from if you have owner’s title insurance.*

Unforeseeable title claims, such as:

FORGERY: making a false document – For example, the seller misrepresents the identity of the person selling the property. 

FRAUD: deception to achieve unfair gain – For example, someone steals your identity and either sells your house without your knowledge or consent, or takes out a second mortgage on the property and walks away with the money.

CLERICAL ERROR: inconsistent paperwork and historical records – For example, an unforeseeable discrepancy in the property or fence line causes confusion in ownership rights.

Unexpected title claims, such as:

  • Outstanding mortgages and judgments, or liens against the property because the seller didn’t pay required taxes
  • Pending legal action against the property that could affect your ownership
  • An unknown heir of a previous owner who is claiming ownership of the property

 

3. YOU CAN’T BEAT THE VALUE

Owner’s title insurance is a one-time fee that’s very low relative to the value it provides. 


4. COVERS YOUR HEIRS*

As long as you or your heirs* own your home, owner’s title insurance protects your property rights.


5. NOTHING COMPARES

Home insurance and warranties protect only the inside and the exterior of the home. Getting owner’s title insurance ensures your family’s property rights stay protected.


6. 8 IN 10 HOMEBUYERS AGREE

Each year, more than 80% of America’s homebuyers choose to get owner’s title insurance. 


7. PEACE OF MIND

If you’re buying a home, owner’s title insurance lets you rest assured, with the knowledge that you won’t be stuck with certain existing debts or legal problems once you’ve closed on your new home.

Click here for a printable version

March 16, 2016

5 Home Updates to Complete Before Listing

Spring is finally in the air and with that comes spring cleaning, honey-do lists and home improvement lists.

 

Once you've made the decision to list your home for sale, there are a few things you could and should do prior to listing it for sale. Your house should be prepared carefully, paying attention to every detail. One thing to remember when thinking about these is your home sale. Will you spend months preparing for a sale? Or will you do some minor touch ups to create a bigger return? It's something to consider when listing your home. As always, please contact a REALTOR® for help with deciding what to change. We've got tons of experience in the area and could save you costly repairs that won't make a difference!  

 

Spruce up the curb appeal: Your home should attract buyers from the outside before they would even consider going inside. Make sure the yard is free of weeds, be sure the lawn is mowed frequently and plant some colorful plants or flowers to give it a little life. Check to make sure walkways and the driveway are free of debris and sprouting weeds. Also check for cracks that could detract from the aesthetic. Pay attention to your front door. It should be painted and clean. Remove garbage cans, toys, ‘stuff’ your pets might have left outside without your knowledge! Walls and trim get dirty and dingy when you live in a home so a nice fresh, neutral color goes a long way.  

Hire a licensed home inspector: Buyers will do so once you’re in contract so it’s best to repair all items that will eventually be in an inspection report if you expect a quick close. It is well worth spending the money to determine if everything is working properly like electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

Clean and organize: This includes the loving area as well as the garage. It’s easy to accumulate stuff that you think you’ll use later on after just a few years in a house. Look at your home from the eyes of a potential buyer. Remove all personal items from immediate sight and if you’re moving regardless. Start packing away clutter. If possible, rent a storage unit to move seasonal items like decorations and seasonal wardrobes that take up space. Less is more.

Once you’re done organizing, it’s time to clean. Outdated fixtures are a huge turn off to buyers and easy updates like replacing hardware on cabinets is an inexpensive way to change the look of a room. If you’re smart about it, you can find great deals on lighting fixtures that are minimalist and work with most tastes. Try not to spend a ton, chances are, the new owners will have their own idea of what they want the home to look like so specific paint colors, flooring choices and renovations are usually a no-no.

 

Hire a Home Stager: Let’s face it, not everyone has great talent with colors and arranging furniture. Thankfully, we have stagers to do the hard work for us. A home stager can work wonders with a color scheme rearranging furniture and cleaning up clutter as well as using the right items for decorating to give the home an appealing look to potential buyers.

Gather all the paperwork: Keep files like user manuals, guarantees, warranties and instruction manuals together. (this is a good tip for ALL HOMEOWNERS!). Make a list of contractors who have worked on the house or that you may use on a regular basis such as lawn care, pest control, snow removal or HCAV maintenance. The future homeowners will appreciate it and it’s a good idea to have these organized and in the same place anyways!

 

These five things will help increase the odds that your home will sell quicker but there are more! Having a team of professionals in your corner who will guide you through the entire process to ensure a pleasant move will save you a lot of headaches and heartache. If you’d like to speak with one of our agents to list your home, contact us today! 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 22, 2016

Indianapolis Named one of Forbes Top Cities to Invest in Real Estate in 2016

Want to know which housing markets are booming in 2016? Forbes created a list of the best cities to invest in real estate  and Indianapolis is on that list.
Indianapolis Real Estate Investing
Let's begin with talking about the first steps to owning your own investment property - join us for our 
Investment Series | Buying Your 1st Investment in March! 
We promise you won't want to miss this information!
If you'd like a list of our off market properties and available investments, let us know
Jan. 24, 2016

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

As soon as you begin the homebuying process, you can expect unsolicited advice from just about everyone you know. As well-intentioned as their advice may be, remember that what may have been true in the past may not be so in the changing market today. 

If you're interested in learning more about the home buying process, please consider attending our First Time Home Buyers series where we discuss more in-depth the steps to owning your own home. 

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Posted in Home Buying
Jan. 8, 2016

How to Buy Your First Investment Property

Buying investment property can be incredibly stressful but also rewarding and a great opportunity. 

 

If you're anything like me, you spend your limited downtime pinning ideas to renovate and update your home. Human nature loves transformations. The before and after and what it takes to get from A to B. Just tune into any show on HGTV and you know what I'm saying. 

So it's natural that people like fixer-uppers. But it's important to know what you're getting into when buying such a property if you plan to rent it or sell it. Investing in the Indianapolis Real Estate market can be a huge success...but you have to do your homework first!

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