The real estate market in Indianapolis has changed almost overnight into a seller’s market. With inventory tighter, homes are selling more quickly and often for more than list price.
Many home buyers are left empty handed when bidding wars happen.
How can a buyer be prepared for multiple offers?
- Make sure you have a pre-approval, not just a pre-qualification. This can strengthen your negotiation power when submitting an offer and allow you to close quicker, if needed.
- Search homes within your comfortable price range. It’s not the time to look...
It's never a good way to begin a conversation with a buyer when they say, "How much less you think they will take if we are paying cash"? Inevitably, a home buyer believes they hold the cards if they are paying cash.
There are a few advantages to the seller if a home buyer is paying cash. Most cash buyers don't ask for an appraisal, they can close quicker and there are never loan issues. When it comes down to dollars in their pocket though, most seller's will choose the offer netting them more money.
A seller may take a small percentage off for the buyer with cash just to alleviate hassle. In today's real estate market though, most seller's don't have to. Cash is still king when all other factors are equal. If a home buyer expects to get a huge discount because they are paying cash, chances...
Buying a home is a major investment and one that should not be taken lightly. I know it’s not common to have a Realtor give you reasons why you should not own a home, but, there are times when buying a home is not the best financial decision.
Lack of Job Security or Possible Relocation.
There are costs involved in buying and selling a home that would be difficult to recoup in a short period of time. If it takes two incomes to qualify and both wage earners don’t have job security, you may want to wait to buy or look at buying a lower priced home.
If you may be relocating within a few years and don’t have the luxury of a corporate paid relocation, you should consider renting.
Major Life Changes
I see people leap before they take time to examine...
You have picked the perfect home, completed the general inspection and the appraisal; you are ready to move in. Then you find out, in order for the home to qualify for an FHA loan, there are appraisal required repairs.
Appraisal called repairs are repairs bnecessary to complete the financing of your home. This list is not comprehensive, but a few of the known defects appraisers may call.
Need A Termite Inspection? Although you will probably want a wood destroying pest inspection, you may be required to have a termite inspection. In some states, where termites are prevalent, this may be required for VA and FHA loans. A pest inspector will go the property and inspect it for any visible signs of termites. If there are no issues he will sign off on a report and send it...
There is probably more controversy and misunderstanding around the subject of buying a home in the short sale process than any other type of home sale in Indianapolis. All the tales of short sales taking 6-8 months to close make buyers a bit apprehensive about tackling the process. And...rightfully so!
Although you may go weeks or possibly a month before you hear anything about the offer you submitted, I have rarely had a short sale take more than three months from contract offer to close. This is about 2-3 times as long as a traditional sale, since most sales take 30-45 days to close.
Regardless of which side of the sale you are on, time often seems to stand still in a short sale negotiation...
Property taxes are generally a huge consideration for homebuyers. In Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana, property taxes are set at 1% of gross assessed value for owner occupied properties.
This isn’t the price you pay for the home, it is the value the assessor has placed on the home. If you plan on living in the home, you will pay 1% of that assessed value. Assessor’s don’t actually visit every home they assess, so the value may be more or less than the price you pay and the assessed value is subject to change.
Non owner occupied homes are taxed at 2% of the gross assessed value. In Indiana, you must file a Homestead...
A recent conversation with another real estate agent prompted the topic of this particular post. He was working with someone who signed a contract with a new home builder and then experienced buyer's remorse. The buyer called the builder's representative and said they wanted to cancel the contract, then stopped payment on the check they had written to the builder without the agents knowledge.
Was this a legitimate way to cancel the contract? I'm not an attorney, so my response is based on my understanding of the standard new home builder contract. New home builders may have specific differences in the language of their contract. Most of the contracts I am familiar with contain similar language to that expressed here.
Here are a few terms from builders contracts:
1. Loan Contingency...
Building a new home from the ground up is exciting. You get to make all the choices when buying a new home, instead of settling for the previous homeowners choices.
The many options available can often be overwhelming and more expensive than a home buyer considered. When you see a home builder sign advertising from the “low $140,’s” or whatever their low price point is, you need to know this is the starting point.
Generally, it is the smallest floor plan, with the lowest cost flooring and fixtures. The basic model with many home builders will have laminate countertops, vinyl flooring and chrome fixtures. Anything more than basic is an upgrade with...
While the news is rife about how hard it is for even qualified borrowers to secure loans, a number of homebuyers are getting financing and saving money by taking advantage of one of today’s most popular mortgage options: FHA loans.
FHA loans are offered by the Federal Housing Administration, which is a department of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (known popularly as HUD). The FHA was developed during the Great Depression to engender homeownership across all socioeconomic levels of American society, and to ensure the integrity of that housing. Today, the FHA is one of the primary funding vehicles for homebuyers, playing a role in over half of all mortgages used in home purchases since the housing debacle began in 2007.
Although buyers often talk about “FHA loans,” in reality, the FHA doesn’t loan money out at all. Instead, for borrowers that fall under the...
If you don't have a clear picture in mind of exactly what you are looking for in a new home, or where you want to live, searching for a home can be overwhelming. You'll have to ask yourself questions like: Do I want to live in the city? Do I want to live in the suburbs? What kind of a home am I looking for, a single family detached or maybe a condo? Are there specific amenities you are thinking about? What about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms you'll need?
Once you've made a list of requirements for your new home, you can save a lot of valuable time by setting up a saved home search on our website with your specific parameters.
Personalized Searches Delivered Right to Your Email
As you make your way to the Property Search page...
If you locked in your interest rate on a home this past week, congratulations! The Indianapolis real estate market may not find better interest rates than we have right now.
The current mortgage rates make buying a home in Indianpolis a better financial option than leasing.
A recent call from someone asking about a lease had me thinking about what the monthly cost of leasing vs. buying would be for the same home, if this person actually bought the home.I ran the numbers based on today's interest rates, as shown in the graph.
The Cost of Renting vs. Buying
In this particular case, they were looking at homes in Carmel...
A few days ago, a first time home buyer asked me, 'How many insurance policies do we have'? It really is a bit confusing when you start looking at the additional monthly costs of obtaining a loan.
There are two insurance policies you need when financing a home. The first is your standard homeowners policy, which covers the structure and personal property against loss. The second is property mortgage insurance. Actually three, including Title Insurance. In Indiana, the owners title policy is almost always paid for by the seller, though and is a one time fee. Title Insurance is another post.
Why Would I Pay Mortgage Insurance?
Mortgage Insurance allows home buyers to buy a home without having 20% down. I know it seems like a lot of money, but let's consider the alternatives. If you had the choice to lease or buy a home today and had enough money for down payment and closing costs for an FHA loan, your monthly payment would most likely be less than the cost to lease, while you are building equity in your home....
You've found the Indianapolis home you want to buy and have been approved for a mortgage. Congratulations! You are on your way to being a homeowner. Now that you have approval, make sure you don't do anything to sabotage it.
Since there may be 60 days between the application date and the closing date, it's important for applicants to remember that mortgage approvals can be revoked at any time prior to funding. There may be last minute verification of employment or an updated credit report run before final approval. As mortgage applicants, there are many events that are out of your control -- job security and health matters, for example. But there are also events that are within your control.
Knowing that mortgage approvals can be fragile, here are 8 things you should absolutely not do while your home loan is in process. It may be the difference between being approved by the bank, and being turned down.
- Don't buy a new car or trade-up to a bigger lease....
In November, Congress extended and expanded the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit program to include a subset of 'move-up' buyers -- homeowners that have owned and lived in their home for 5 of the last 8 years. The credit ranges up to $8,000 per buyer. There's now just 7 weeks left to take advantage.
To be eligible, home buyers must be under contract for a new home no later than April 30, 2010, and must be closed no later than June 30, 2010. In addition to meeting the deadline dates, there's a basic set of requirements to be tax credit-eligible:
- You can't purchase the home from a parent, spouse, or child
- You can't purchase the home from an entity in which the seller is a majority owner
- You can't acquire the home by gift or inheritance
- Each buyer in the purchase must meet eligibility requirements
There's other criteria, too. For one, the...
Buying a home is a process which requires due diligence from the home buyer. There are definitly enough websites out there to make even the most knowledgeable buyer feel overwhelmed. I've located some very beneficial websites which I believe are important to homebuyers and answer some of the most common and important questions home buyers ask.
This one is from the IndyGov website. The site is fairly easy to navigate and provides a vast amount of knowledge for a particular area and address. The site provides information on the following:
- Flood Zones
Search the Website for Indianapolis Property Information
Many home buyers today believe they can should automatically offer a reduced price if a home has been on the market for awhile. Another fallacy is there must be something wrong with a home if the price has been reduced. Don't mistake the reduction of a home's listed price as a signal that something is wrong with the home, or that a price reduction is automatically in order when you decide to make an offer.
In many neighborhoods around Indianapolis -- the supply of homes for sale has outpaced the demand for homes. When supply exceeds demand, there is a downward pressure on price until a balance point is reached. During the recent boom in real estate, this economic equation was reversed, creating upward pressure on prices.
Nationally, some areas have seen over a 20% reduction in price since 2005. Here in Indianapolis, our ...
The Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure Law (I.C.32–21–5) requires sellers of 1–4 unit residential property to give a disclosure form to buyers. The disclosure form is a two page document which details items of importance to buyers, the condition of items and whether or not they are included with the property. Items of importance on the sellers disclosure include:
- Electrical System
- Water and Sewer System
- Heating and Cooling System
- Known Hazardous Conditions
Hazardous conditions include knowledge of radon, mold, methane gas, radioactive material, lead based paint, toxic materials, asbestos insulation, biological contaminants, etc. Also included is a...
Decorating a home is truly a matter of personal preference and one distinct difference of opinion between home buyers and home sellers is often paint color.
While you may love the red wall in the family room, if you are trying to sell your Indianapolis home, you may want to consider neutralizing the color, especially dark colors. Dark colors tend to make a room look smaller and less open.
A tip for Indianapolis home sellers: Buyers will offer 3-4 times less than the cost of a simple repair or paint job required to make a home perfect for them. So, if $500 dollars fixes a real (or perceived) problem, buyers will reduce their offer by $1,500-$2,000 for the property, or will make no offer at all. Unfortunately, buyers and their real estate agents are not always honest in their feedback. Sometimes, they'll give no feedback at all.
The phone rings – it’s someone I’ll call Mr. Boston, asking about negotiating a price on property. The conversation went something like this. Mr. Boston – Yes, I received an email from your team about negotiation. I was wondering how you structure and negotiate an offer.
Okay, says me……..what specifically can I help you with?
Mr. Boston – How much off of a home can someone expect to offer in Indianapolis? What would be your strategy?
Me: There is not a standard, there are actually homes on the market which are priced correctly and selling quickly. My strategy would depend on the home, location, neighborhood, amenities, how long the home has been on the market, recent comparable sales……..
Mr. Boston: What if the home has been on the market for three to four months?
Me: There is no way I can determine a fair offer price on a home without knowing anything about the home. There are many factors to consider, such as, neighborhood,...