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ICON Realty Partners, LLC Blog

Indianapolis Real Estate

By Mark Saunders | Broker in Carmel, IN
  • Buyer Tips to Indianapolis Real Estate

    Posted Under: General Area in Indianapolis, Home Buying in Indianapolis, How To... in Indianapolis  |  July 11, 2011 11:12 AM  |  1,652 views  |  1 comment
    indianapolis real estate buyer tipsAre you planning to purchase a home sometime in the near future? If so, it is important to have a clear idea of what things to look for and what issues to address before and during the purchase process. After all, purchasing a home is a major investment. As such, you want to be certain you are making a good decision. To that end, here are a few things to include on your buyer checklist.

    Getting to Know the Neighborhood

    It is easy to fall in love with a house, but it is essential to pay just as much attention to the neighborhood in which the house is located. Whether looking for Indianapolis real estate or Washington DC real estate, the help of a knowledgeable agent may help immensely here. Some questions to ask yourself regarding the neighborhood include:

    • How close is the home to shopping facilities, medical facilities, schools, places of employment and other important businesses and facilities?
    • How do local property taxes compare to the taxes in similar areas?
    • What types of fire and police services are located within the neighborhood?
    • Are any hazardous waste sites, air pollution industries or other annoyances located in or around the property?

    Getting Familiar with the Property

    If the neighborhood meets your criteria, the next item on your checklist is the property on which the home is located. Some questions to ask include:

    More...

  • Indianapolis Foreclosures | 5 Tips

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Indianapolis, Home Buying in Indianapolis, Financing in Indianapolis  |  July 7, 2011 11:49 AM  |  1,628 views  |  1 comment
    Indianapolis Foreclosure SearchAs the number of foreclosures on the market has grown over the past few years, so has interest in purchasing these homes. After all, it is no secret that some foreclosures can be purchased at an extremely low price. Still, before looking into purchasing a foreclosure, it is important to have a clear idea of what to expect from the process. To that end, here is a look at the top five things you should know before jumping into that new cheap condo downtown.

    #1: Foreclosures Are Not Always Cheap

    While it is true that some foreclosures can be purchased at a great price, you should not automatically assume the house will be cheap just because it is a foreclosure. In other words, while it certainly doesnít hurt to include foreclosures in your home search, you shouldnít limit your search to nothing but foreclosures when looking for a great deal.

    #2: Foreclosures are Frequently in Need of Repair

    When a home is put on the market, the owner typically makes numerous repairs to the home in an effort to attract the most buyers. In the case of foreclosures, on the other hand, the former owner has no reason to make repairs. Therefore, a foreclosure will generally require more repairs than a non-foreclosure. This is not to say all foreclosures are in terrible condition. Rather, you should go into the process expecting to make at least a few repairs when purchasing a foreclosure.

    #3: The Utilities May Not be Working

    In most cases, banks do not put the utilities in their name after the owner has vacated the property. Therefore, you should expect to have all of the utilities turned off long before you purchase the home. Not only can this make the process of getting the utilities turned on a more difficult process than it is with a standard home purchase, but you might face some additional unforeseen damage to the homeís major systems.

    More...

  • Getting a Home Loan in Indianapolis

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Indianapolis, Financing in Indianapolis, Credit Score in Indianapolis  |  May 5, 2011 7:03 AM  |  1,800 views  |  1 comment
    Indianapolis Home LoansObtaining a home loan is often a tricky prospect, as there are a number of factors to consider beyond the interest rate. In short, it is best to investigate all aspects of obtaining and securing a home loan before committing to any particular lender or home loan program. Here is a list of common sense tips that will help you when deciding on a home loan program:
    • Just because a lender provides you with a “maximum loan” amount doesn’t mean you should consider it. A maximum loan amount is the amount the lender feels that you can comfortably afford; however, your personal finances may dictate something different. In other words, taking out the maximum loan amount may simply be too much for you to handle, so consider every aspect of your finances when determining a reasonable mortgage amount.
    • Look beyond the loan rate when deciding upon a home loan program. Just because you found a home loan program that boasts a great rate doesn’t mean it is the best loan for you. In short, there is far more than meets the eye when it comes to home loan, including points, closing costs and related fees, so get all of the necessary information about a home loan program before you assume you are getting the best deal.
    • Think carefully when deciding whether an adjustable rate mortgage or a fixed rate mortgage is right for you. Adjustable rate mortgages may come with lower mortgage payments, which can be quite attractive, but at some point the rates will change and likely stick you with higher mortgage payments. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, are fixed for the life of the loan, thereby providing a good deal of financial stability for homeowners.
    • If you snag a great home loan rate, lock it in. Most lenders will provide something in writing regarding locking in a home loan rate, so make sure to understand this information so you can be sure you get the same, low rate your lender promised you.
    • If you want to get the lowest home loan rates, make sure you come to the table with a good down payment. In short, the best loan programs and rates are preserved for individuals who have large down payments of at least 20 percent and, of course, good credit scores to go along with it.

    Author Bio: Ana is a real estate agent located in Dallas, Texas and assists apartment renters find great deals on Dallas Apartments. To learn more about the Dallas area and to view Dallas commercial properties, please visit her website.

  • Upgrading Your Indianpaolis House for Sale

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Indianapolis, Remodel & Renovate in Indianapolis, Design & Decor in Indianapolis  |  May 5, 2011 6:50 AM  |  1,713 views  |  No comments
    The fastest way to sell your home can be by upgrading it. This is especially true if you haven't done a thing to your house in years except sweep and vacuum. A fresh, updated home is one that is more appealing to buyers, and even if you're strapped for cash in a tough market, you can make small improvements that will help buyers find more to love about your property.

    Start Painting

    A careful paint job can do wonders to cover up dated wall coverings and the wear and tear of the years. If you are willing to spend the time, you can paint over scarred and dingy cabinets to brighten them up. You can paint over outdated wall paneling or wall paper – but be sure you learn the best techniques ahead of time! You can paint over your walls and your front door. It's amazing what a few cans of paint and rollers can do. If you buy three cans at once you can even qualify for a contractor's discount in many big box stores if you ask for it.

    Stick to neutrals when you paint and take your time to plan out your paints and color schemes ahead of time. If you're nervous about painting over cabinets or doors, stick to painting your walls and trim. Fresh walls and trim in bright neutrals are appealing and make your house appear cleaner – especially if you've steam cleaned your carpet ahead of time.

    Replace Faucets

    It's amazing how much a new faucet can do to dress up a bathroom. Faucets get old and bit corroded with time, and they aren't very hard to replace if you're handy following instructions. Buy a new faucet from a discount store or online. If you're ordering the faucets online, look for discounts through store promotions or use coupons to help cut down the cost of the faucets in the store.

    Then just follow the instructions to replace the old, dated faucet you have on your sink now. It's far easier than you think so long as you have a wrench and the courage to climb under your sink and unscrew a pipe. A word of advice – be sure to have a bucket on hand. This can get a bit gross, but the improvement and cleanliness of your newly improved sink is amazing. With new paint and a new faucet, your clean bathroom will look great compared to your neighbor's home that still sports the crusty faucet and unusual wallpaper.

    Replace Doorknobs

    You don't think of it, but your doorknobs show every bit of wear and tear in your home. If your home is old enough to have solid brass, iron or glass doorknobs, leave them be – they are classics and doorknobs like yours are actually selling points for those looking for authentic details. If you have a tract home built in the fifties or later, start be taking a good look at your door knobs. Are they loose on the door? Is the shiny brass flaking off? Can you even tell what material they are supposed to be? Remember, these door knobs were cheap decades ago. Replace them!

    Again, online sellers and big box or discount stores can deliver great bargains on door knobs in new, updated finishes. For consistency you might try and match the hinges of your door, but if the hinges are painted, you have a lot more options when it comes to knobs. Find some that compliment your new bathroom fixtures and that blend with your light fixtures if possible so that your home looks cohesive. Then just grab a screwdriver and get started.

    Removing the old knob is usually as simple as removing the screws and putting on the new one isn't more complicated than putting in two new screws. Amazingly, it's often small details like this that make potential home buyers appreciate how updated your home appears, even if you haven't been able to touch your countertops or major appliances.

    Rebecca Garland is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing her experience with renovations and home staging in evernthing from older Houston houses to temporary housing in Denver with readers. Thanks to a large fixer-upper, Rebecca has entirely too much experience making a home look great on a thrifty budget. You can learn more about Rebecca on her website, www.internetauthor.net.

  • 6 Reasons to Buy Indianapolis New Construction

    Posted Under: General Area in Indianapolis, Home Buying in Indianapolis, Remodel & Renovate in Indianapolis  |  February 17, 2011 10:01 AM  |  1,742 views  |  1 comment

    Indianapolis Residential ConstructionGross!  Is what she said.

    Yes, my client at a recent showing was totally grossed out. It happened when she walked into the master bath of a nicely staged 5 year old resale house. The shower had a bit of mold that looked impossible to treat and their were nail clippings on the floor next to the walk in closet. Needless to say, she ended up choosing a newly minted spec / inventory house by a local builder.

    I really can’t blame her after that experience.
    Even though this true story is a bit drastic, there are several reasons why purchasing a builders spec may make a lot of sense to you.

    Here are a few reasons why buyers go new:

    Homebuilder Warranty: Most new homes from a reputable builder come with a new home warranty.  Most warranties from home builders in Indianapolis for example will cover craftsmanship (nail pops, hair line corner cracks, squeaky floors) for a year, mechanicals (HVAC) for two years, the roofing system for five years and the structural integrity (foundation) of the house for 10 years.

    Great Perks and Incentives: Builders do not want standing inventory. Just take a moment and think about it, carrying costs can include mortgage interest, heating and cooling costs, landscape maintenance, home maintenance, and even theft.  Because of this, buyers can take advantage of huge incentives on sitting inventory. Everything from additional options and price reductions to financing points are not out of the question.

    Latest and Greatest Features and Options: Handscrapped hardwood is all the rage here in Indy. Four year ago, you couldn’t find it in a house. You used to only find pot fillers next to the range on very expensive homes, now they are everywhere.

    Green Tech: There is no question that all legit home builders are focused on utilizing materials that will make the home more energy efficient. You now commonly find 90% efficiency furnaces, low-e windows, better insulation, and wider roof overhangs on new homes.

    Read more at our Indianapolis real estate blog.
  • Ryland Homes of Indianapolis

    Posted Under: General Area in Indianapolis, Home Buying in Indianapolis, In My Neighborhood in Indianapolis  |  February 9, 2011 8:16 AM  |  1,772 views  |  1 comment
    Ryland Homes IndianapolisRyland Homes is one of the leading builders in the city of Indianapolis.  If you are looking for an easy way to search for a Ryland home in the metro area, please check out our Ryland Homes of Indianapolis search site.

    Ryland Homes is one of the leading homebuilders in metro Indianapolis, and builds in several Indianapolis area communities, including Brownsburg, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, and Zionsville.

    Ryland Homes has built more than 285,000 homes since the company was founded in 1967. They have also helped to finance many of those homes, which range in style from traditional to contemporary. Ryland Homes can be found in 28 cities across the U.S., in neighborhoods that feature tennis courts, community pools, and walking trails.

    Click hear to search our Indianapolis home builder guide.

  • Estridge Homes of Indianapolis

    Posted Under: General Area in Indianapolis, Home Buying in Indianapolis, In My Neighborhood in Indianapolis  |  February 9, 2011 8:08 AM  |  2,052 views  |  No comments
    Estridge Homes IndianapolisEstridge Homes has become one of the leading builders in the city of Indianapolis.  If you are looking for an easy way to search for a Estridge home in the metro area, please check out our Estridge Homes of Indianapolis search site.

    Estridge Homes is one of the leading homebuilders in metro Indianapolis, and builds in several Indianapolis area communities, including Brownsburg, Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Westfield, and Zionsville.

    Estridge Homes has built more than 7,000 homes in the Indianapolis area since the company was founded in 1967. During those 40-plus years, they have worked to “design and build homes as if we were building them for our own family.” Estridge was the first, and continues to be the only, Indiana builder to have received the National Housing Quality Gold Award.

    Click here for more information about Indianapolis area home builders.

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