Welcome to the The Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Read news, rants and reviews from the viewpoint of an Indianapolis-area real estate professional.

July 30, 2017

With this house you can live in Canada and the U.S. at the same time

So, maybe you (or someone you know) has talked about expatriating and moving abroad. While the appeal of traveling to other countries to live for an extended period of time (or permanently) is exciting, many worry about the difficulty of getting back to the states to visit with loved ones or for emergencies.

Well, if you've been on the fence about living in another country, now is your chance to do so with no risk!

 With this house you can live in Canada and the U.S. at the same time

3155 Beebe Rd, in the town of Derby Vermont, is an old building stone building that once housed a store and the US/Canada post office along the border of the two countries. While it has since been turned into a multi-family unit, it has the potential to be converted back to a single-family dwelling.

From the description on Zillow:

A chance to own property on the Canadian Border. It straddles the border, and a small portion of the building in in Canada. Historic building called the "Old Stone Store" was formerly a store and US/Canadian Post Office. Currently 5 living units in need of some fixing up to rent. Good systems in place, with mostly cosmetics needed. Good potential income. Owning a piece of history with good equity once rented out. Canadian or Americans can buy! This building also could be used as a one family home, a B&B, for room rentals, etc. Sold "as is." Come take a look!

While the 9 bedroom, 3000+sq. ft. home is for sale for only $109k, it's suggested that there's more than half a million dollars in cosmetic repair work needed to the property in order to restore it to its former glory.

You can view the full listing here.

July 12, 2017

Jason Whitaker Earns Accredited Buyer Representative Designation

Jason Whitaker earns Accredited Buyers Representative designation.WESTFIELD, INDIANA – Jason M. Whitaker with The Whitaker Group has been awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation (ABR?) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS? (NAR).

Jason M. Whitaker joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR? designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC, founded in 1988, is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. There are more than 40,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS?, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the world's largest professional association, representing over 1,000,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

You may contact the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council by telephone, (800) 648-6224, by e-mail, [rebac@realtors.org], or by visiting the REBAC website, [www.REBAC.net].

 

June 10, 2017

Can You Take Possession of a Home Before You Close?

Can You Take Possession of a Home Before You Close?

What a lot of people outside of the real estate industry (and many in it) don't realize is that possession doesn't necessarily have to happen at or some time after closing. In fact, under some circumstances, it's possible to get possession of a home prior to closing.

When Can You Take Pre-Possession of a Home?

While there are no hard and fast rules about when it's appropriate to take pre-possession of a home, the most common scenarios include:

  • Seller has vacated the property
  • Buyer is in a particular situation that requires them to move into the house prior to closing (e.g. an upcoming lease deadline)
  • The loan has been cleared to close, or has a high probability of being cleared to close

Does Pre-Possession Cost Any Money

Generally speaking, there is usually some "rent" amount associated with taking pre-possession of a property, though it's not mandatory. It's not uncommon for short periods of a time (a week or less) not incurring any costs at all. However, for more extended periods of pre-possession, is not uncommon to have a nominal fee charged for taking possession of the property prior to closing.

Who Is Responsible for the Property During Pre-Possession?

If the buyer is taking pre-possession of the property, he or she becomes entirely responsible for the condition of the home, including pre-existing conditions not addressed during the inspection phase. This does not preclude the necessity for an inspection, but damage or maintenance items that come up during pre-possession are generally the responsibility of the buyer taking pre-possession.

What Happens if the Deal Falls Through?

This is usually addressed in the pre-possession agreement between the buyer and seller. Generally speaking, the buyer will have a pre-determined amount of time to close on the property, and if they fail to do so they have set guidelines in the agreement that dictate how long they have to vacate the property if the transaction doesn't close, as well as any fees associated with  staying past the agreed upon vacate time.

Interested In Learning More About the Pre-Possession Process?

There are few real estate teams with the level of experience we have in dealing with pre-possession agreements. If you'd like to talk to one of our team members about the process, contact us today »

June 9, 2017

2017 Summerlake July 4th Celebration

2017 Summerlake FireworksFor anyone who has ever seen them first hand, it's hard to argue that it's difficult to find a better fireworks show than the one Bob Broyles puts on each and every year for the residents of Summerlake in Pendleton, Indiana.

He's been paying for, orchestrating and implementing the show himself for years, mostly at his own expense. This year, the community has come together to try to ease the financial side of things by raising $5,000 (still not his entire costs for the show) via a GoFundMe project.

If you are a Summerlake resident and are interested in seeing the fireworks show continue each year, consider donating to help Bob continue his awesome fireworks show!

https://www.gofundme.com/summerlake-fireworks-2017

May 26, 2017

Top 5 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Indy: April 2017 Edition

Top 5 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Indy

Want to take a look at the most expensive homes that sold in April in the Indianapolis Metro area? We've collected each of them here with photos and complete details!

Feb. 16, 2017

Jason M. Whitaker Earns NAR’s Military Relocation Professional Certification

Military Personnel and Veterans Benefit from

Realtor® Expertise in Military Benefits, the Relocation Process, and Support 

Fishers, Indiana, Febuary 16th, 2017 — Jason M. Whitaker with Keller Williams Realty has been awarded the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional Certification.  The National Association of Realtors® awards the MRP certification to Realtors® who help military personnel, veterans and their families find housing that lets them make the best use of their benefits and serves the unique needs of military life.

When military staff and their families relocate, the services of a real estate professional who understands their needs and timetables can make the transfer easier, faster and less stressful.  Realtors® who earn this certification know to work with active duty military buyers and sellers, as well as veterans. 

Service members may only have a couple of days to view properties and make an offer, and others might be deployed at the time and need someone who can represent them while they’re away. Working with a Realtor® who understands the singular complications that arise with military service can help make the home buying process simpler, faster and less stressful,” said National Association of Realtors® President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “The MRP certification lets home buyers and sellers know that a Realtor® knows the ins and outs of military housing benefits, such as zero-down payment loans, and the specific needs service members and veterans have when searching for their new home.”

The certification provides NAR’s members with resources to accommodate current and former military service members at any stage of their military career and is an approved elective for NAR’s Accredited Buyers Representative designation. To earn the MRP certification, Realtors must be in good standing with NAR; complete the MRP Certification Core Course; complete a reading providing background information on the military, included acronyms and understanding military culture; and complete two webinars.

 

For more information about the MRP certification, visit www.militaryrelocationpro.org

Posted in Fishers News
Feb. 2, 2017

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Celebrity Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil

So, the groundhog came out of his home and saw his shadow, predicting 6 more weeks of winter. While we're not surprised given the recent moderate weather we've had this January, it's also Indiana and we all know there's no way to tell what the weather will actually be like 6 weeks from now, much less tomorrow.

So, in honor of Groundhog Day, we're giving you a list of 5 things you probably didn't know about Punxsutawney Phil.

1. There Have Been Many Punxsutawney Phils

The name "Punxsutawney Phil" is the name of a succession of groundhogs since 1887. Since the average groundhog lives for 6-8 years, there's likely to have been a dozen or more groundhogs who have played the role of Phil since the tradition started.

2. The Groundhog's Predictions Are Wrong More Than They Are Right

According to a study done by Stormfax, the groundhog's shadow has been able to predict an early spring or late winter a staggeringly low 39% of the time.

3. Punxsutawney Phil Has a "Family"

As a part of the ceremony surrounding groundhog day, the groundhog emerges from his home not alone, but accompanied by his "wife" Phyllis and "daughter" Phelicia.

4. Phil Does Not Come Out of His Home on Groundhog Day

Gobbler's Knob is the ceremonial grounds for where the Groundhog Day celebration takes place. This, however, is not where Punxsutawney Phil lives. For the rest of the year, he and his "family" can be found at the Groundhog Zoo, a warm terrarium built into the Punxsutawney library.

5. The Groundhog is controlled by an "Inner Circle"

OK, maybe we should use the words "cared for" rather than "controlled by". There is a small group of 15 members who care for the groundhog, as well as plan and implement the annual ceremony on February 2nd each year.

Posted in Random Stuff
Jan. 30, 2017

5 Most Expensive Homes Sold In Indy: January 2017 Edition

As the first month of 2017 nears an end, we wanted to take a few moments to highlight the most spectacular properties that sold this January.

1. 7474 Allisonville Road - $1,975,000

Private One-of-a Kind gated estate w/over 8 wooded acres,creek,carriage house,in-law quarters and totally remod Executive home. Brand new gourmet kit, luxurious master suite and sitting room are all new along with a brand new Mstr bath.This home is fully renovated w/ high end finishes and amazing privacy located right in the heart of the city. Fantastic location.Home office with rich woodwork and a wonderful theater rm.Slate roof,all new outdoor patio areas,custom spa,and all new landscaping.

Click here to view the full gallery and description »

2. 10741 Sand Key Circle - $1,275,000

Geist Lakefront Home with Commanding Views of the open water. Main Level Master Suite w/2 Large Walk-ins. 2 Story Entry and Great Room. Updated Kitchen w/newer Stainless appliances. In-Law/Nanny Apartment w/private entrance and elevator access to all 3 levels. One Bedroom has Priv bath w/handicap fixtures. Walk-out level features Lg Family Rm w/Wet Bar, Rec Area, Exercise Rm, 5th Bedrm. Great outdoor area w 18x39 diving pool, spacious decks & patios. 3 Boat Docks & 2 Lifts.

Click here to view the full gallery and description »

3. 75 Clifden Pond Road - $1,200,000

Beautiful Custom Home Built to Perfection & Flawlessly Maintained Sits on 1.2 Acre Waterfront Lot! Bright, open floor plan w/views of outdoor oasis featuring in ground heated pool, spa, fire pit, waterfall & pond. Great for entertaining w/large upscale gourmet kitchen open to spacious Great RM & sunroom. Main Level Mstr. Suite w/access to deck & views. All bedrooms are en-suites w/WICs. Quality finished Lower level walkout w/gym, Family RM, bar/Kit overlooking pool & waterfront. A Must See!

Click here to view the full gallery and description »

4. 4350 79th Street - $1,100,000

Once in a lifetime you have an opportunity to buy a home with such incredible features. Nestled on almost 2 acres of privacy in Washington Twp is a ‘new’ old world estate, a true masterpiece of unsurpassed quality & craftsmanship! This fabulous estate home has every modern convenience imaginable: en suite custom baths for ea. bdrm, sauna, theater, music studio, amazing 3rd flr retreat (nothing like it-anywhere), pool, verandah, hot tub, outdoor theatre, zip line+++!

Click here to view the full gallery and description »

5. 8155 Illinois Street - $1,115,000

Attention to detail seen throughout this classic Cape Cod situated on a wooded double lot. Main fl Master suite w/fireplace & French doors leading out to beautiful grounds & pool. Open Kitchen/Hearth Rm w/raised ceilings, stone FP & loads of natural light. Spacious Great Rm w/beautiful FP, coffered ceilings and a wall of windows. Lower level w/Media Rm, Pub Bar, Billiards Rm, Exercise Rm, Spa Bath w/steam shower & sauna. Fantastic pool house w/bath & changing rm, great screened porch w/stone FP.

Click here to view the full gallery and description »

Dec. 5, 2016

$20 Curb Appeal Upgrade

Sept. 1, 2016

What Should I Be Looking for In a Home Inspection?

Home inspections are one of the most important steps in purchasing a new home. While a house may look dreamy inside and out, there could be dozens of hidden (and expensive) repairs that are not easily recognizable by the untrained eye. Having a professional home inspector thoroughly review the home you're purchasing is a fairly inexpensive way to protect you and your family from years of frustration and expensive repairs that home warranties and home owner's insurance will not cover.

Why hire a professional home inspector? Can I use a family member who is knowledgeable about construction or the trades?

A home inspector goes through a tremendous amount of training and licensing to inspect homes in a specific and thorough manner. They are not experts in any one trade (plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical) but are trained to identify hazards, potential maintenance issues and items not up to code in all of the construction trades.

Licensed inspectors also have a very specific checklist they work off of to make sure that every potential item in the house and on the property are inspected to the highest standards.

How much does a professional home inspector cost?

This can vary greatly depending on the size of the home and any additional items that may need to be inspected (pools, pool equipment, septic tanks, wells), but for you average sized home in a subdivision with city water and sewer, it will typically range from $250 - $350. Remember, cheaper does not always mean a better deal, more costly inspectors often charge more because they have more experience and are better trained to catch defects during their inspections.

What things should I be worried about from the inspection?

The home inspection will test the functionality, safety and expected life of many items in the home. You'll see pictures and descriptions of nearly everything in the home, but will want to be on the look out for items marked with these categories:

1. Major Defect

2. Minor Defect

3. Safety Concern

4. Maintenance Item

Now, a lot of these items are going to fall into the minor defect category. Home inspectors are not typically "looking" for these types of issues, they are usually discovered during the course of their search for major defects and safety concerns. An example of this would be a scratch or dent in a garage door.

Safety concerns are certainly something to take a close look at, but not all safety concerns create imminent danger to you or your home. For example, a loose electrical outlet housing or uneven sidewalks will not likely cause a catastrophe, but they are items you'll likely want to have addressed soon after purchasing the home to be sure.

Maintenance items are things that will need to be done to the house soon, such as painting exterior wood surfaces or servicing your your air conditioner.

The big items that you need to be on the lookout for are those that fall into the major defects category. These are items that can and often will pose an immediate hazard to your home or family, and/or can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.

What should I ask the seller to fix?

In short, you can ask them to fix whatever you'd like, but you have to remember that you're not buying a new home (if you are building a home, you should ask that EVERYTHING on the list be corrected). All homes come with some wear and tear. Resale homes are expected to have some minor defects and maintenance issues, sometimes even a few safety issues that are the result of regular daily use (think about those loose electrical outlets).

But major defects are what you should really be asking for. You shouldn't be purchasing someone else's house problems, and it is expected that a home for resale in regular circumstances should have no major defects, so it is not out of the ordinary to ask for them to be repaired.