Monday, October 13, 2014

First Time Homebuyer Tips - Learn from my mistakes!

First Time Homebuyer Tips - Learn from my mistakes!


My hubby and I bought our first house back in ..... well, a long time ago.  It was before I got my real estate license.  Looking back, I can't believe what we didn't know.

Our First mistake (maybe) - we called the listing agent and looked at the house and wrote the offer with him.  This truly can be an okay situation - but when anyone asks me, I always recommend that you have your own agent representing your interests.  That's just me talking.

Our Second mistake - we didn't have a home inspection (yikes).  This was an older home that had been vacant for quite a while and didn't even have the utilities on.  What were we thinking?  Trying to save money I guess.  We were REALLY lucky in that everything turned out all right and functioned properly after closing.  But I do NOT recommend anyone following our example, You might think you are saving a few hundred bucks - and end up having to spend thousands on a surprise repair!

So  - here are some common sense tips for you if you are venturing into the Homebuyer realm:

a.  You are about to make one of the biggest financial purchases of our life.  If there is a spouse/significant other/family involved - COMMUNICATE!  Write out a list of what you really need and what can be compromised.  Share this list with everyone and particularly your Realtor. This can be a fluid list.

b. The internet was just coming into existence when we bought our first home. You have a plethera of info at your fingertips. RESEARCH.  Use your Realtor and do a little investigating yourself. Drive through neighborhoods at different times of day. Traffic, amenities, upkeep. Where are the schools, groceries?  If you go to open houses, be sure to tell the host if you are already working with a Realtor.  Find out about the HOA, dues, management. If you come up with several different areas - compare what you can get for your money in the different neighborhoods.  Again, your Realtor can assist with these items.

c.  Get pre-qualified by a REPUTABLE lender.  Ask your Realtor.  Talk to your bank or credit union.  Getting a second or third opinion is wise. This should actually be #1.  Know what you can afford, Find out your options on down payments.  You may need to get some advice on how to improve your credit.  Be informed and to into the house hunting process with a pre-approval letter in hand.  You will need this to submit any offer.

d.  Think ahead.  Are you buying a starter home and intend on moving up in 3-5 years?  Buying a fixer upper that you might fix up and sell? Will it be your home when you start a family? A small home in a trendy area might be great for a single/young couple - but if you will be starting a family soon - will you want to move to the suburbs? Will you have a house that will be easily marketable to make that move? Buying smart is thinking ahead.

e.  Timing is everything. Do you need to clean up some credit issues? Do you have a lease that will expire soon? Are you looking at homes that will need work before moving in? Are mom and dad about to kick you out of their basement?  Again - communicate with each other and your Realtor so everyone is aware of target dates to accomplish each step.

f.  Homeownership costs more than the purchase price.  They need to be insured, there are property taxes, utilities, lawn care and general maintenance.  I recommend asking for a 1 year Home Warranty when writing an offer on a home.  This can provide some comfort during that first year in case a furnace goes out, or water heater goes on the fritz.  There's no more calling the landlord or mom and dad.  The buck will start and stop with you.  Make sure you can afford the house and the upkeep!

We have agents who LOVE to work with first time buyers and the educational process! Give us a try.

First Time Homebuyer Tips - Learn from my mistakes!
#Firsttimebuyer #RealEstate

Monday, September 29, 2014

We will be BRAND new on October 7th!!!
Same great company and people - new name!

Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most respected names in business worldwide!


#RealEstate #BerkshireHathaway #Indiana

Octoberfestivus in Indiana (Yes, I made the word up)

The leaves are changing, humidity is gone, weather is oh so pleasant.... if we could just get rid of the bees it would be perfect!  Get out and check out what Indiana has going on this month!

NameDateDaysStart DayCity
Seymour Oktoberfest
10/1/14 
10/3/14
3WedSeymour, IN
Shipshewana Fall Crafters Fair
10/2/14 
10/4/14
3ThuShipshewana, IN
Riley Festival
10/2/14 
10/5/14
4ThuGreenfield, IN
Canal Days Autumn Festival
10/3/14 
10/5/14
3FriMetamora, IN
Bloomfield Apple Festival
10/3/14 
10/4/14
2FriBloomfield, IN
8th Annual St. John Oktoberfest
10/3/14 
10/5/14
3FriSt John, IN
Gaither Family Resources Fall Festival
10/3/14 
10/5/14
3FriAlexandria, IN
Borden Valley Day Festival
10/3/14 
10/4/14
2FriBorden, IN
Harvest Homecoming Festival
10/4/14 
10/12/14
9SatNew Albany, IN
Fishers Renaissance Faire
10/4/14 
10/5/14
2SatFishers, IN
Feast Of The Hunters' Moon
10/4/14 
10/5/14
2SatWest Lafayette, IN
Harvest Festival10/4/141SatNorth Manchester, IN
Sleepy Hollow Fall Festival10/4/141SatVevay, IN
Wesley Manor Apple Festival10/4/141SatFrankfort, IN
Apple Festival Of Kendallville
10/4/14 
10/5/14
2SatKendallville, IN
Village At Winona Fall Festival10/4/141SatWinona Lake, IN
Jay County Heritage Festival10/4/141SatPortland, IN
Friendship Music Festival
10/4/14 
10/5/14
2SatFriendship, IN
Potter's Bridge Fall Festival10/4/141SatNoblesville, IN
Ladies Night Exhale Party Lafayette10/4/141SatLafayette, IN

NameDateDaysStart DayCity
2nd Annual Vendor & Craft Fair10/4/141SatMarion, IN
Mooresville Arts In The Park10/4/141SatMooresville, IN
92nd Annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival
10/6/14 
10/11/14
6MonEvansville, IN
Fall Foliage Festival
10/9/14 
10/12/14
4ThuMartinsville, IN
Covered Bridge Festival
10/10/14 
10/19/14
10FriRockville, IN
Indiana's Elvis Fantasy Fest
10/10/14 
10/12/14
3FriPortage, IN
Oktoberfest With Polkaboy10/10/141FriCarmel, IN
Mansfield Covered Bridge Festival
10/10/14 
10/19/14
10FriMansfield, IN
Mississinewa 1812
10/10/14 
10/12/14
3FriLa Fontaine, IN
Navy Bean Fall Festival
10/10/14 
10/11/14
2FriRising Sun, IN
Shelby County Arts Fest
10/10/14 
10/11/14
2FriShelbyville, IN
Ethnic Expo
10/10/14 
10/11/14
2FriColumbus, IN
Nineveh Heritage Festival
10/10/14 
10/11/14
2FriNineveh, IN
Fall Fine Arts Festival
10/11/14 
10/12/14
2SatNashville, IN
Christmas In October Craft Fair10/11/141SatFishers, IN
Germanfest10/11/141SatIndianapolis, IN
Art On The Green
10/11/14 
10/12/14
2SatFrench Lick, IN
Cannelton Heritage Festival10/11/141SatCannelton, IN
Hebron Elementary Arts & Crafts Fair10/11/141SatHebron, IN
Annual Hoosier Fall Festival
10/11/14 
10/12/14
2SatKnightstown, IN
NameDateDaysStart DayCity
Oaktoberfest10/11/141SatSyracuse, IN
22nd Annual Jac-cen-del Craft Show10/11/141SatOsgood, IN
29th Annual Red Gold Chili Cook-off10/11/141SatElwood, IN
5th Annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch10/11/141SatBloomington, IN
Pink Party Craft & Vendor Fundraiser10/11/141SatHobart, IN
North Manchester Harvest Festival10/11/141SatNorth Manchester, IN
Mary Daly 3rd Annual Craft Bazaar10/11/141SatElkhart, IN
Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festival10/11/141SatIndianapolis, IN
Chad's House Artisan Craft Fair10/11/141SatFort Wayne, IN
Southern Indiana Fiberarts Festival
10/17/14 
10/18/14
2FriCorydon, IN
Valparaiso Fall Harvest Festival10/17/141FriValparaiso, IN
Four Rivers Arts & Crafts Harvest Home Festival
10/18/14 
10/19/14
2SatJasper, IN
Fort Vallonia Days
10/18/14 
10/19/14
2SatVallonia, IN
Autumn On The River Arts & Music Festival
10/18/14 
10/19/14
2SatBethlehem, IN
Trinity Talents & Treasures Bazaar10/18/141SatSouth Bend, IN
Indiana Gourd Society Fall Festival10/25/141SatCrown Point, IN
9th Arts Alive! Arts Fair10/25/141SatLawrenceburg, IN
Irvington Halloween Festival Street Fair10/25/141SatIndianapolis, IN
Holly Days Craft Show10/25/141SatFort Wayne, IN
Gasthof Amish Village Holiday Craft Bazaar
10/31/14 
11/1/14
2FriMontgomery, IN

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reduce Your Stress When Moving




#Moving #Packing #Stress

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Lawn Care - Tis the Season!

Fall Lawn Care - Tis the Season!

 Just when you are looking forward to putting away the mower and before you get all the blisters from raking....here are some considerations...

 1. Aeration
This process will give your yard room to breathe and lets new grass spread.  The tools pull up tubes/plugs of grass and soil.  I remember the first time I saw a yard after this was completed I thought someone had a lot of dogs to clean up after!  If your yard is used a lot - they recommend doing it twice a year (fall and spring).  If you just have a showcase yard - once a year is sufficient.

You can make this a do-it-yourself project if you want.  There is a hand tool that can be back breaking if you have a large yard (this is really designed to do small areas) but is definitely the cheapest option (probably around $20). I've seen special cleat like attachments you can put on your boots and walk around your yard.  I would fear hitting a really hard piece of ground and wrenching your ankle.  My DIY idea would be renting a gas powered machine and getting it done quickly and safely.  You can always pay a lawn service  - cost will vary by size of yard of course.

2.  Seeding
Even though you might think its time for your yard to go to sleep - this is the optimum time for seeding because of the temps and growth spurts of grass.  Best advice - buy GOOD seed...don't cheap out.  Kentucky Bluegrass is good for our climate.  Once you spread the seed - you will need to water it every day until it germinates (typically 10-20 days)

3.  Fertilizing
Doing this before the first frost will help your grass survive a harsh winter.  Remember this past winter?  BRUTAL!!!  You will want a product that is high in phosphorous (10-15%) because it's critical for root growth.  If your area does not allow phosphorous rich fertilizers, opt for nitrogen.

4.  Mulching
Tired of all the raking and blisters?  Instead, run your mower over the leaves a few times and grind them into a mulch.  The shredded mixture will protect the grass.  It also decomposes into an organic matter that will feed your grass!
#Fall #Lawncare

Monday, September 15, 2014

Let's Do This! Indy Do Days - Days of service in Indianapolis

#Indianapolis #Volunteer

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bookmark Your Home To Sell!

Bookmark Your Home To Sell!
#Books #Staging

Staging is in almost any Real Estate discussion these days.  De-cluttering is probably the first step in any good staging process.  The question is - what to do with all these books.....hmmmm

Here are some good ideas, tips and recommendations for using the books you have:

1.  Do you have built in bookshelves or even free standing shelves that go from floor to ceiling?
Stagers recommend using books on the high and low shelves and using the eye level shelves for some eye catching trinkets and decor.  For the shelves with books - don't just have them lined upright - that is a snooze fest.  Try having intermittent stacks of books between uprights.  Organize books by color - trying to use book colors that coordinate with your decor.  You can even use homemade book covers to achieve this goal.  Remember to use different hues of the same color.

2.  For bedside tables, desks or coffee tables - Odd numbers seem to be ideal for staging. (1, 3, 5) Again - try using the color coordinating idea.  One idea I actually used in my house is taking 5 "vintage" books, putting them in a stack, tying a ribbon around them and placing them on our fireplace mantel.  It gets a lot of comments!

3.  Bathrooms, beds, window seats, patios - how about setting a "stage" by having a bedside tray with an open book, vase of flowers, reading glasses, drink glass?

4.  Kitchens - open cookbooks to favorite recipes and perhaps having some of the ingredients sitting out?

5.  Kids rooms could have school books open as if doing homework at a desk or even on the bed

Stage your home to sell with those dust collecting books!!!

#RealEstate  #Staging

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Landlord Registration Requirement for Marion County

New Landlord Registration Requirement for Marion County


Beginning January 1, 2015 if you own one or more rental properties in Marion County, you will be required to register with the City of Indianapolis.  You will have to provide the following info:
Owner name
Owner address
Owner phone number
You will have to pay a $5.00 annual registration fee.  If you have multiple properties, you can register all of them at the same time for just $5.00.  If you register them separately - you will be paying $5.00 each.

Landlords will have to affirm that they do not have any unpaid taxes or unremediated code violations.

Failure to register may result in a $500.00 fine!

Details on how and where to register will be made available at a later date - so stay tuned for that info.

This proposal was opposed by MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors) believing this data already exists in government records and the impact of addressing problem properties will be minimal.  The ordinance did pass - but there were some positive revisions achieved by their input:
  Removed requirement that landlord provide Tenant Bill of Rights to tenant
  Removed requirement to include copy of lease with registration
  Removed requirement for landlord to provide an email address
  Inserted language allowing for non-physical address for landlord
  Capped fees at $5.00 per year

A big amendment achievement was inclusion of measurements and accountability. The new ordinance will require the Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) to annually report to the council the outcomes of the registry along with recommendations that may include the elimination of the registry if it shows not to be effective.

#Landlord  #Realestate

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fall is FULL of Festival Fun in Indiana

Fall is FULL of Festival Fun in Indiana....   get a load of this lengthy list!!
Get out and go, go go!!!
#Fall #Festival #Indiana


Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/4/14
9/7/14
4
Thu
Montgomery, IN
9/4/14
9/6/14
3
Thu
Tipton, IN
9/4/14
9/6/14
3
Thu
New Palestine, IN
9/4/14
9/6/14
3
Thu
Leo-Cedarville, IN
9/4/14
9/7/14
4
Thu
Roann, IN
9/4/14
9/7/14
4
Thu
Indianapolis, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Brownstown, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Brownstown, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Zionsville, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Rensselaer, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Bryant, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Upland, IN
9/5/14
9/7/14
3
Fri
Anderson, IN
9/5/14
9/6/14
2
Fri
Pendleton, IN
9/5/14
9/6/14
2
Fri
Darlington, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Valparaiso, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Mansfield, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Lafayette, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Dyer, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Indianapolis, IN
Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/6/14
1
Sat
Columbia City, IN
9/6/14
9/7/14
2
Sat
Ligonier, IN
9/6/14
9/7/14
2
Sat
Edinburgh, IN
9/6/14
9/7/14
2
Sat
Bridgeton, IN
9/6/14
1
Sat
Syracuse, IN
9/6/14
9/7/14
2
Sat
Cambridge City, IN
9/7/14
1
Sun
Schererville, IN
9/12/14
9/14/14
3
Fri
Bloomington, IN
9/12/14
9/14/14
3
Fri
Indianapolis, IN
9/12/14
9/13/14
2
Fri
Lebanon, IN
9/12/14
9/14/14
3
Fri
Paoli, IN
9/12/14
9/14/14
3
Fri
Lanesville, IN
9/12/14
9/13/14
2
Fri
Alexandria, IN
9/12/14
9/13/14
2
Fri
Terre Haute, IN
9/12/14
9/13/14
2
Fri
West Harrison, IN
9/12/14
9/13/14
2
Fri
Fishers, IN
9/13/14
9/14/14
2
Sat
Columbus, IN
9/13/14
1
Sat
West Lafayette, IN
9/13/14
9/14/14
2
Sat
Muncie, IN
9/13/14
9/14/14
2
Sat
Danville, IN
Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/13/14
1
Sat
Fort Wayne, IN
9/13/14
1
Sat
Indianapolis, IN
9/13/14
9/14/14
2
Sat
South Bend, IN
9/13/14
1
Sat
Linton, IN
9/13/14
1
Sat
Logansport, IN
9/16/14
9/20/14
5
Tue
Bluffton, IN
9/17/14
9/20/14
4
Wed
Sullivan, IN
9/18/14
9/21/14
4
Thu
Nappanee, IN
9/18/14
9/21/14
4
Thu
Bloomington, IN
9/18/14
9/20/14
3
Thu
Ellettsville, IN
9/19/14
9/21/14
3
Fri
Frankton, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Middlebury, IN
9/19/14
9/21/14
3
Fri
Milltown, IN
9/19/14
9/21/14
3
Fri
Francesville, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Nashville, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Plainfield, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Morgantown, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Brownsburg, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Plymouth, IN
9/19/14
9/21/14
3
Fri
Princeton, IN
Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/19/14
9/21/14
3
Fri
Veedersburg, IN
9/19/14
9/20/14
2
Fri
Mooresville, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Fort Wayne, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Hammond, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
New Harmony, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Brookston, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
La Porte, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Ferdinand, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Bloomington, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
New Palestine, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Lynnville, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Noblesville, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Sheridan, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Spencer, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Rochester, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
New Palestine, IN
9/20/14
1
Sat
Martinsville, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Albion, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Greensburg, IN
9/20/14
9/21/14
2
Sat
Shelbyville, IN
Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/20/14
1
Sat
Montgomery, IN
9/20/14
9/27/14
8
Sat
Mitchell, IN
9/21/14
1
Sun
West Lafayette, IN
9/22/14
9/27/14
6
Mon
Auburn, IN
9/24/14
9/28/14
5
Wed
Versailles, IN
9/24/14
9/27/14
4
Wed
Morgantown, IN
9/25/14
9/28/14
4
Thu
Huntingburg, IN
9/25/14
9/27/14
3
Thu
Indianapolis, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Evansville, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Crown Point, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Madison, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Wanatah, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Hope, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Thorntown, IN
9/26/14
9/27/14
2
Fri
Greensburg, IN
9/26/14
9/28/14
3
Fri
Cory, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Madison, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Carmel, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Batesville, IN

9/27/14

Name
Date
Days
Start Day
City
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Evansville, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Griffith, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Chesterton, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Huntington, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Leo-Cedarville, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Avon, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Valparaiso, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Atlanta, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Atlanta, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Fishers, IN
9/27/14
9/28/14
2
Sat
Mooresville, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Indianapolis, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Covington, IN
9/27/14
10/31/14
35
Sat
Noblesville, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Trafalgar, IN
9/27/14
1
Sat
Evansville, IN