Monday, April 13, 2015

Local Economy and Video Series Announcement

Local Economy and Video Series Announcement

The Indy metro area saw a decline in the unemployment rate - a full percentage point lower than the same time in 2014.
The State of Indiana unemployment rate is down by 2.4% over the last 2 years.

The state gained 1700 private sector jobs in the first quarter of 2015.
Speaking of jobs....a couple nice announcements:

Royal Interpack North America Inc - a manufacturer of recycled plastic rigid food pacakaging is going to locate is operations here creating up to 135 jobs by 2018

Raytheon will be expanding their presence in Indianapolis by 250 new jobs over the next few years.

The Indy Metro area is seeing a LOT of activity in the Real Estate market this spring.
New listings are up by 13.4% over last year
Closed sales are up by 12.6%
Average sales price is $166,384 - an 8.4% increase

HOOSIER HIGHLIGHTS - New video series

We as a company will begin a new video series this year.  Agents will be shooting short (30 second) videos highlighting some hidden gems, must do, must see items throughout Indiana. The videos will tell you the name, location and why along with a website, phone or address for more detail.  We want to share what we love about Indiana!
Stay Tuned
They will be posted on this website and our YouTube Channel

Local Economy and Video Series Announcement
#indiana #indy #economy #hoosierhighlights #thingstodo #realestatemarket

Friday, April 10, 2015

Changes coming to the closing process - August 1st!

Changes coming to the closing process - August 1st!

Any mortgage applications that are initiated beginning August 1, 2015 will be under new guidelines.  These new guidelines are all CONSUMER focused to make the forms less confusing and user friendly.
This short video is an excellent introduction to what will be changing and give you an idea of what the new forms will look like.

The biggest change is the new "3 day" requirement.  The final closing statement must be in the hands of the buyer 3 days prior to the actual signing of closing documents.  Those in the Real Estate industry are very familiar with the current process of sometimes getting closing figures the day of closing.  NOT AFTER AUGUST 1st!!!

It will simply be a learning curve that will involve communication, setting expectations and having a lot of understanding and flexibility while everyone adjusts.

Changes coming to the closing process - August 1st!

#HUD1 #settlement #NAR #closingchanges #realestate

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Final Four Indianapolis Fan Guide

Click below for the full schedule of events of the Final Four taking place this weekend:

Final Four Indianapolis Handbook

Basketball is to Indiana as Water is to the Ocean

#finalfour #indy #marchmadness

Instagram and House Hunting

Instagram and House Hunting

This short video talks about using Instagram to find some unique insight and features of homes

Instagram and House Hunting
#socialmedia #househunting #intagram

Friday, March 27, 2015

How important is DeCluttering - view from a buyer

How important is DeCluttering - a view from a buyer

Here it is -straight from a buyer :

"When we viewed properties, we opened every cupboard, drawer and space and would either admire or be dismayed at the amount of storage."

Most buyers make their decision based on an emotional connection with the home.  Space is usually tip top on someones list, so decluttering is NOT optional for a homeowner who wants to sell quickly and for top dollar.

Top Reasons to DeClutter:

1 - Clutter creates the perception of limited space. If a buyer doesn't think the home will hold their "stuff" they will be less likely to write an offer.

2 - Clutter creates a perception of disorder.  subconsciously they will believe the home has not been well maintained.  They might write an offer, but it could be a lot lower thinking they will have to invest more in general maintenance.

3 - Clutter reduces a buyers ability to picture themselves in the home.  Remember what was said earlier about buyers making a decision based on an emotional connection with the home?  They will not be able to make an emotional connection with the home when all they see is your "stuff", family pictures, refrigerator covered with school projects, etc.  The buyer needs to fall in love with your home, not your stuff.


Walk through your home and take pictures of every room.  Rooms always look more crowded in pictures - and since every buyer is on the internet looking at pictures - you want your home to appear spacious and inviting online.

Your plan is to pack and move everything anyway - right?  So think positive and get started packing now!  Go through the entire home sorting based on keep, trash, give away.  Rent a POD to store the items you will be taking with you - less you have to do later!  Personal pictures, collections, trinkets, excess furniture, counter clutter.  Get down to basics.  What do you really need to have for the next month or two?

Cabinets and closets need to look like they have plenty of extra room.

Don't think that clearing out cabinets and closets and then filling up your garage or attic with boxes will fool anyone.  That will just send the message "this home has not storage space".

You don't need to move out.  Vacant homes can make you look desperate and might invite a low ball offer.  Empty houses can also show off every mark and scratch.

Don't forget to recycle!  Goodwill will thank you.

#staging #declutter #homeselling

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Final Four and MORE!!!

Final Four and MORE!!!

If you haven't seen the pics of the JW Marriott getting ready for the final four - be sure to check it out below.  They have a giant NCAA bracket posted that will be updated.  Reminiscent of the Super Bowl days.  Easter weekend will be a great time to check out downtown Indy and all the basketball madness that will be happening.

And beyond that - there is plenty of other happenings throughout April statewide.

NameDateDaysStart DayCity
Shipshewana On The Road
2SatValparaiso, IN
Peace Zone Arts & Crafts Show3/28/151SatEvansville, IN
5th Annual Springtime In Indiana3/28/151SatNoblesville, IN
Shipshewana On The Road
2SatFort Wayne, IN
Blackhawk Manor Renaissance Festival
2SatFrench Lick, IN
Second Annual Spring Event4/11/151SatSaint John, IN
Calvary Christian School Spring Festival4/11/151SatIndianapolis, IN
Crafty Bear Fare4/11/151SatMooresville, IN
Hello Spring Craft Show4/11/151SatGoshen, IN
The Fiber Event
2FriGreencastle, IN
Garden Gate Jazz, Art, Wine & Craft Beer Festival4/18/151SatHuntingburg, IN
3rd Annual Morel & Music Festival
3ThuMorgantown, IN
Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival
3FriWakarusa, IN
Earth Day Indiana Festival4/25/151SatIndianapolis, IN
Lanthier Winery Spring Celebration Festival
2SatMadison, IN
Indiana Fiber & Music Festival
2SatClarksville, IN
Mansfield Village Mushroom Festival
2SatMansfield, IN
Funk In The City Art Festival4/25/151SatEvansville, IN
Redbud Trail Rendezvous
2SatRochester, IN
Final Four and MORE!!!

#finalfour #basketball #collegehoops #indiana #wildcats #indy #sports #festival #fair

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snow...Schmo.... Spring IS coming to Indiana!!!

Get all the details HERE

Snow....Schmo.... Spring IS coming to Indiana
#Indiana #FlowerandPatio #Landscaping #Lawnandgarden

Monday, March 2, 2015

Indiana Legislative Mid Season Update from Chamber of Commerce

Indiana Legislative Mid Season Update
#Indiana #Economy #Legislation

Monday, February 23, 2015

Boat, Sport, Travel and More in Indiana!

It may be bitter cold - but there are still things to do and see inside!  Not in this list - but probably the biggest event it the Annual Boat Sport and Travel show going on right now at the Indiana State Fairgrounds through March 2st.  Campers, fishing gear, boats and endless places to visit!  You can get all the details HERE .

NameDateDaysStart DayCity
Indiana Art Fair
2FriIndianapolis, IN
Shipshewana On The Road
2SatSouth Bend, IN
Maple Syrup Fair
9SatRockville, IN
Maple Syrup Festival
9SatSalem, IN
Women's Club Of Newburgh Arts & Crafts Festival2/28/151SatNewburgh, IN

Enjoy - and take heart, spring is around the corner....buried under all the snow.

Boat, Sport, Travel and More in Indiana!

#boat #sport #travel #Indiana

Plan 2020 - Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis

Plan 2020 - Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis

Indianapolis was built on a legacy of visionary planning.  Plan 2020 is the next chapter in that story.  Meshing community vision, values and strategy has created a multi-faceted, long-term vision that has five themes to develop a compelling future for Indy.

1.  Choose Indy - charged with creating the most livable community in the Midwest that will compete regionally for residents.

2.  Connect Indy - charged with creating a community that has access to places and information.

3.  Love Indy - charged with creating a city that welcomes, engages and inspires.

4.  Serve Indy - charged with creating a civically engaged and committed community

5.  Work Indy - charged with creating a community of economic opportunity

Plan 2020 will respond to these themes by identifying how Indy/Marion County can ensure their success.  These plans will be strategic, honest and transparent.  The core city plans include:

1.  Marion County Comprehensive Land Use Plan - policies about use, preservation, development and redevelopment of all land in Marion County.

2.  Marion County Thoroughfare Plan - policies regarding development of multi-modal transportation network for all major streets and corridors in Marion County.

3.  Marion County Parks, Recreation, Open Space Plan -  guides development of community park system.

4.  Indianapolis Regional Center Plan - promotes sustained growth of Indiana's economic engine, the downtown core.

5.  HUD Consolidated Plan - community development strategies that promote prosperous neighborhoods.

6.  Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy - positions a competitive Central Indiana in the global economy.

Stay in the know, get updates and give input  HERE or at their website

#Indy #Indianapolis #Plan2020 #Bicentennial

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Home Staging on a Budget

Home Staging on a Budget

"Staging" is the not so new buzz word in the world of marketing and selling your home.
How you present your house to potential buyers could make a difference in their offer amount. Studies are showing that sellers are receiving $2 for ever $1 they spend on staging.  That sounds like a worthwhile investment.  So...... where are some economical places to spend on staging?

1.  Closets - clear out and organize your closets so they look like there is plenty of room. Getting matching hangers can create a modern and visual impact.

2. Bedrooms - use gender neutral colors when painting.  You never know whether the next buyer is a male or female, or if they have a son or daughter.  This way they can picture themselves in the home. You can add pops of color through window treatments, pillows and other accessories.  Bedrooms should have a relaxed feel to them, so consider moving tv's, work desks, power cords, etc.

3. Bathrooms - sparkling clean is essential.  Toilet seats down. Clean walls with bleach/water mixture and fresh paint will be fresh and appealing. Clear countertops of clutter. White towels give a more open, spa like feel. Shower doors can be cleaned with muriatic acid.   You can get a 66% return on investment in bathrooms.

4.  Kitchens - sparking clean again.  No dirty dishes, clean the floors, walls, baseboards, windows. Dated cabinets can be updated with new hardware, new stain or paint.  Clean the inside of your refrigerator and all cabinets and drawers.  Buyers will open them all!!!  Be sure they are organized and look roomy.  They say you should remove rugs in the kitchen when staging because it will make the space look larger.  You can update appliances with stainless stick on coverings or appliance paint.

4. Dining rooms - set your table, but don't go crazy using every piece of that china you got for your wedding.  Having a vase with fresh flower.  If it is a table with leaves - make the table small to give the room more space.

5.  Living room - have drapes and shades open for light. Light colored furniture will make a space look larger. If your home is vacant, a large plant strategically placed can be a focal point. Keep walls neutral and add color through pillows, throws, pictures, accessories.

6. De-personalizing  - buyers want to picture themselves in the home, not you and your kids.  This means packing up your family photos (which you are going to do eventually anyway). They can be distracting. You can replace them with a variety of staging art.

7. Cleaning - particularly if you have pets.  Don't forget the baseboards, ceiling fans and windows.  You may not notice it - but buyers will!

8.  Low ceilings or small rooms - you can make them appear larger by hanging curtains all the way up to the ceiling. Neutral colors and thin rods will make the window seem larger and ceilings appear higher.

Home Staging on a Budget

#staging #homeselling #realestate

Monday, February 2, 2015

New Regulations for Homeowners in 2015

New Regulations for Homeowners in 2015

Attention!  It's all about energy efficiency.  The Department of Energy has 2 new regulations that involve air conditioning and water heaters.  So, if you are going to be replacing either of these items from this point forward, be aware of the new guidelines.

Air Conditioning:

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) standard is being increased from 13 to 14.  This is calculated by dividing how much a unit cools by how much energy it uses during a typical cooling season.  The higher the SEER, the more efficient.

This changes means that in almost all cases, a full system replacement will be necessary to make everything compatible.  The new indoor coil might not fit the existing space and structural modifications will be needed to accommodate the larger unit.

They are estimating the price increase will range from 55-65%.  The energy savings will vary based on geography, how often it runs and what SEER rating the previous condenser had.

There is a 16 month grace period (through July of 2016) to be able to continue to install SEER 13 for the south and southwest regions (which is NOT Indiana).

Water Heaters:

This one will not go into effect until April 16, 2015 (right after you file your taxes!).  Higher energy factor ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric and tankless water heaters. It will impace how water heaters are designed, manufactured, tested and installed.

There might not be the pace for a taller, wider or heavier water heater. It might trigger higher costs for structural modifications and well as the higher equipment cost.

The Department of Energy says these new regulations will help the country become more energy efficient and decrease the impact on the environment.

As Realtors, we need to be aware of these issues if we are listing a home with units at the end of their life expectancy, or representing buyers buying such a home.  Inspections are key and also need to be sure any home warranty will cover the required upgrades.

New Regulations for Homeowners in 2015
#aircondition #conservation #SEER #waterheaters #efficiency