Welcome to the The Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

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

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. 

Aug. 24, 2016

1902 W Sheffield Dr, Muncie, IN 47304

We just listed an incredibly well-maintained home in popular Halteman Village in Muncie and are excited to share the photos from our recent shoot.

The home has a ton of upgrades including granite countertops, new roof, new AC/Furnace and a new water heater.

The home is 1560 square feet featuring two bedrooms and two FULL bathrooms. It's just 60 seconds off of McGalliard Rd. but resides on a quiet, large lot with lots of shade and a fenced-in oasis in the backyard.

Checkout the photo/videos below or learn more by visiting the official page for 1902 W Sheffield Drive.

1902 W Sheffield Drive 1902 W Sheffield Drive 1902 W Sheffield Drive 1902 W Sheffield Drive

Aug. 17, 2016

5 Tips to Get Your Summerlake Home Ready to Sell

What Makes Summerlake Buyers Different?

People who purchase homes in Summerlake tend to tour at least 4 homes within the neighborhood before making their choice. Often, the layouts are more or less the same, and their choice on which home to purchase comes down to two things:

The pricing of the homes they toured and how the homes made them feel.

We’ve toured hundreds of homes in Summerlake and can tell you that these are the most common things that win over buyers who are looking to purchase a home in Summerlake.

1. Upgrade the Basics

Unless you paid a lot of extra money when you were building your home, you probably have a lot of basic finishings in the house that will turn buyers off. You don’t have to go crazy, but things that should be upgraded are light fixtures, add lights/fans to bedrooms, swap the brass door knobs out with something more modern, and add cabinet hardware to your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

2. Crisp white Trim

This is one of the most important things you can do to make your house stand out. Grab a gallon or two of crisp, bright white trim paint and hit all of your baseboards and door trim. 

3. Water Your Grass

Certain times of the year in Indiana can be rough on our lawns. When many of your competitors’ lawns may look yellow and patchy, watering your lawn twice a day for a few weeks will get it looking amazing and give potential buyers a much better impression of your home.

4. Make The Front Stand Out

Half of a buyer’s mind is made up when they pull up. Paint your shutters, garage trim and front door. If you’ve got a tree add a tree-ring to the front and some fresh mulch.

5. Get Fresh and Clean

We all know a house that smells like pets or smoke are big turnoffs for buyers, but so can many food scents and air fresheners. Rent a Rug Doctor, clean your carpets, and use light, non-intrusive scents for things like air fresheners or candles. You may love “Pumpkin Spice” but it might drive someone else nuts.

If you’d be interested to have someone from our team come by and give you some tips on how to get your Summerlake home ready for sale, send us a text to 317-200-6626 or email hello@Team-Whitaker.com!

July 6, 2016

For Sale: Gorgeous in Greenfield

I love the East/North East side of Indianapolis. So many great, pocket communities with lots to offer at a great price. Better yet, many of these areas have great schools and thriving communities, which add so much to the value of the homes for sale there.

One of our more recent listings, 535 Reed Court in Greenfield, is a shining example of stretching your dollars a LONG way and getting a lot in return for your investment.

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140

When we talk about sprawling, it's hard to really gauge just how big 3000+ square feet really is until you're standing inside of it. 

But large and open concept aren't enough to describe this home. We're also talking about top of the line appliances, high-quality finishings and an incredibly functional layout.

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140

The backyard features shade, a beautiful and well-maintained deck, with no neighbors behind you. That kind of privacy is hard to find!

535 Reed Court Greenfield Indiana 46140 Kitchen

The kitchen and dining room have been completely tiled, appliances upgraded to stainless steal and the custom cabinets help to pull the whole room together as an elegant yet down-to-earth space the whole family can enjoy together.

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Dining Room

The living room is also a massive space where the whole family could easily fit to watch movies or play games. The open concept layout butts it up against the kitchen and dining room, so it's easy to be a part of the action whether you're relaxing in the living room or working in the kitchen.

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Living Room

Another shot from the entryway shows you all three of the downstairs entertainment spaces used by the current owners. Can you imagine the freedom and space to have a pool table in your main living quarters with no need to sacrifice space for furniture?

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Pool Table and Entertainment Room

 Upstairs, the house continues to amaze with 4 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a loft space for a playroom or entertainment area (as if we need more entertainment space in this already luxurious home).

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Loft Area

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Loft Area 2

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Master Bedroom

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Bedroom 1

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Bedroom 2

535 Reed Court Greenfield IN 46140 Bedroom 3

As you can see, you're getting a lot of high quality living space for very little money with this Greenfield Gem. If you're interested in learning more about this property, contact:

Lorna Castillo, Associate Broker
Call 1 (317) 438-9715 or 
Email Lorna@Team-Whitaker.com

 

Watch the video tour here:

Nov. 18, 2015

Whitaker Realty Group To Donate 25% of Earnings to Pendleton Schools

The Whitakers have a lot to be thankful for. Other than a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and a healthy family of 5, we also can't help but be thankful for the community that has helped to raise our children.

For 5 years, our children attended Maple Ridge Elementary, and those were some of the best and most important years of their schooling.

I remember helping my daughter build her Kindy 500 race car, in all of it's glorious pinkness. I remember coaching my son's soccer team to an amazingly rewarding season of teamwork and fun. I remember after-school cheer classes. I remember the school honoring myself and other Veterans during their Veterans Day celebration.

I remember the teachers, how hard they worked to keep us informed of what was happening with our kids, taking a genuine interest in their progress. I remember Mr. Lord, who was by far the best principal I'd ever met.

The bus drivers, the incredible Parent Teacher Organization, every single person involved in the giant machine that kept our children safe, happy and educated through those formative years, all of them did right by my children, and it's high time I find a way to do right by them.

Effective Immediately

I've decided it's time to give back to the schools that have done so much for my children, and for the other children of this community.

For all of my real estate transactions that take place in Pendleton, I am donating 25% of my earnings to Maple Ridge Elementary School. The funds will be donated at the end of each month and will be applied to things such as:

  • Reading Program Prizes
  • End of Year Parties
  • Teacher Wishlists
  • Reading Libraries
  • School Supplies
  • Special Events
  • And More!!!

How You Can Help

Anyone who uses us to buy or sell a home in the Pendleton School District (South Madison Community Schools) is automatically enrolled. Any home we help someone buy or sell will be immediately eligible. If you want to hire an awesome real estate team to represent you and give back to your community, this is the single best opportunity to do so.

Our Goal

While we don't have a magic crystal ball to tell us the future, our goal is to be able to donate the funds from at least two real estate transactions per month, every month, to Maple Ridge Elementary. This is a very attainable goal, we only need one buyer and one seller per month to reach that goal.

This goal is not capped. If we sell a million homes in Pendleton, we're still going to donate 25% of our earnings to Maple Ridge. 

Thank You

Seriously, this is our most important focus right now, helping our already amazing schools to do more and be more for our children. I appreciate you sharing this with others who might be able to help us to help our schools provide our children with an even more amazing educational experience than they have to date.

All the Best,

Jason M. Whitaker
Real Estate Broker
Team Executive
2014 Best of Trulia Winner
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Posted in Giving Back
Nov. 10, 2015

Understanding the Difference Between Positive Thoughts and Positive Intentions

Nov. 10, 2015

Detach Yourself from Your Outcomes

Nov. 9, 2015

Selecting the Right Lender for Your Home Loan

Posted in Real Estate Videos
Nov. 9, 2015

Life is How You React To It

Monday Morning Motivation

Happy Monday! I hope you had an AMAZING weekend! As always I like to start the week off right with some words of inspiration...

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" - Charles Swindoll

You can't always control what happens to you.... But you 100% can control how you react to it!

Bad things happen to good people, it is a reality of life.... choosing to overcome those bad things, choosing to become victorious is what will make you become a "Winner"...

Choose to become victorious in life and go create the life you want and deserve!

Sincerely,

Your Realtors
Jason and Shelly Whitaker
Keller Williams Realty
317-833-7718
www.WhitakerRealtyGroup.com