Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 15, 2022

Racing the Rates—Should You Sell Your House Now?

Typically it’s buyers who are most concerned about rising mortgage interest rates, and for good reason. A small jump in rates will cost them a few more bucks per month for the same house than it would’ve if they hadn’t waited to make an offer and lock in a rate. Add a few of those rate hikes together before they buy, and the added cost can be really aggravating.

Mortgage rates constantly go up and down, which is why they’re almost always in the news. It’s something to write about. Right now they happen to be going up again, as CNBC pointed out in this article about how rates jumped again and how it affects buyers. To summarize the big news, rates went up 0.35% in a week. Overall, not a huge deal. At least not enough to really change home values overnight.

But then they dig in a little more and added, “For a median-priced home, currently about $350,000, buyers putting down 20% will now see a monthly payment $125 higher than they would have just three weeks ago.” They’re going back three weeks to basically say that the monthly payment would be $125 more per month for the average buyer. That isn’t due to the one-week bump; that’s due to a few bumps over time. But it starts to add up, and buyers start to notice and feel it a little more.

Does this mean there’s going to be an absolute halt to the buying frenzy? No, at least not overnight. The market (and your home’s value) won’t turn on a dime and turn your dollars into dimes. But if the trend continues, and the news continues to point it out and alarm buyers, it could cause them to at least be less aggressive in how much they’re willing to pay in the near future. Or, perhaps they’ll just be less willing to get involved in a bidding war. Also worth noting: it could also come to a point, if rates rise significantly, where buyers simply won’t be willing to pay the prices they have been for a house.

After all, the value of homes is in large part based upon how much buyers can afford to pay per month, and what they want and will agree to buy for that much per month. So, if they get to a point where the rates are increasing their monthly payment too much, it will likely cause them to lower the amount they are willing to pay for your house.

There’s really no crystal ball to say whether or not rates are on an upward trend for good, or how high they’ll go. All you can deal with is the here and now, along with a little “what-if” assessing.

The Takeaway:

If you’re even remotely thinking about selling, here’s a good two-step game plan:

  1. Get a firm grasp on what your house is currently worth in the market right now.
  2. Assess whether or not it makes sense for you to capitalize on the current value and sell now, or let it ride and see if the rates keep hovering and values continue to rise (or at least stay about the same).
Jan. 10, 2022

Renting a House Is Getting Way More Expensive. Is It Time to Buy?

Prices for everything have been going up—from food, to gas, to services, and people are getting less for the dollar. Rents are no exception.

After an unprecedented period of time where renters could more or less just cite COVID as a reason to not pay rent, the moratoriums on evictions are gone and rents are roaring higher—particularly with single-family rental houses.

People rent single-family homes for many different reasons, and it often makes sense to do so. If you’re relocating to a new area and aren’t sure if you’ll stay in the area for long, or want to get to know the area before buying a house, renting certainly makes sense. Or, perhaps it’s the only option due to credit issues, or the inability to obtain a mortgage for other reasons.

But one reason for renting that may need to be questioned is the notion that it’s more affordable to rent than buy, especially if you’re trying to rent a single-family house.

CNBC recently reported that single-family rents are up 10.9% year over year, which is three times the 3.2% annual growth seen in October 2020. At the most basic level, this is due to the simplest of economic laws, which is supply and demand. Vacancy rates are at a 25-year low, so there are less homes to rent and demand for them is high, so landlords can easily demand higher rents.

Much of this demand reportedly roots back to people who would otherwise buy a house, but decide to rent because they feel home prices are high, and the competition to buy houses on the market has been fierce. Valid reasoning…until and unless renting actually costs more than buying. With rent prices increasing, and the competition getting as fierce for rental homes as it is in the buyers’ market, it does beg the question whether it makes more sense to rent if you can qualify to buy a house.

While home prices have certainly risen in recent years, buying a house can hedge against inflation, especially when rates are low, according to this Forbes article. Locking in a low, fixed mortgage rate with even a low down payment is possible. So, it may make more sense to take advantage of the historically low interest rates (before they jump up), brave the competition, and spend the security deposit (and first and last month’s rent) on a downpayment to purchase a home rather than rent one.

Renting might end up being your best (or only) option, but it certainly can’t hurt to weigh which makes more financial sense. Just running on the assumption that renting is your best or only option could actually be costing you more than you think.

Nov. 18, 2021

Old, New or Slightly Used

Old, New or Slightly Used

Close your eyes…think about your dream home…what do you see?

A shiny, new space with smooth modern lines, bright white walls and open spaces! A 3 and a half bath, four car garage is what makes your heart sing!

Or, perhaps you long for a grand hardwood stair case with a hand carved banister that once provided steadfast support for the little hands that wore it smooth from years of running up and down the steps that creak out the history of families before you…a lead glass window lights the way.

Ahh, daydreams!

Of course, there’s no clear right or wrong answer; it is really about your personal preferences. However, it is definitely a decision that you don’t want to rush and one where options should be carefully weighed.

But where do you start when it comes time to make that choice?

Indy A-Team can help!

If you want a home with character and aren’t scared of getting your hands dirty, maybe buying a project home is the way to go. Maybe there’s a particular neighborhood you have always wanted to live in but it has no new homes and no room to build. It would also seem the better choice when it comes to return on investment. So, maybe the decision isn’t so hard! On the other hand, you might be amazed at what you can afford if you decide to build your own home. Many builders offer discounts to encourage potential buyers to build.

Confusing, right?

So, let’s just stop and break it down!

According to Ramsey Solutions, here are some Pros for building new:

[We are going to take the liberty of interjecting a few pros of buying a project home for comparison.]

· Customization. If you build a house from the ground up, you’ll get to personalize the details to suit your lifestyle and tastes—from the layout, cabinets and flooring to the sinks, lighting, paint colors and doorknobs! Even tract homes built within subdivisions allow for some customization in color choices, flooring options and certain finishes.

· [You can also customize your project home but you may be limited by existing loadbearing walls or property footprint, or building regulations.]

· Low to no competition. It might come as a shocker given the state of the world over the last year, but the 2021 real estate market is hot. In February 2021, existing homes were on the market for an average of 20 days! With homes flying off the market so quickly, competition to find the best existing home at the lowest price can be tough. But if you already own the land you want to build your home on, you obviously have zero competition!

· [There may be fewer buyers competing for a home that is not turn-key or that at first glance seems undesirable.]

· Lower maintenance. Since new homes are built to meet current building codes and have up-to-date technology, you probably won’t have to worry about big repairs or heavy maintenance issues for the first few years—meaning no leaky roofs or failing HVAC systems! Plus, many homebuilders offer a limited warranty if something should break.

· Lower energy costs. New homes often feature the latest energy-efficient systems and materials, which usually leads to lower energy bills—woo-hoo!

· Newness. You get to start fresh as the first owner of your home and enjoy brand-spanking-new systems, finishes and fixtures.

· [The opportunities to greatly increase your initial investment can be much higher with a fixer upper.]

Heads up, be sure to keep your updates in line with the neighborhood. Otherwise, you could have difficulty recouping your remodel investment costs when it comes time to sell.

Projects with the best return? Bathroom updates and outdoor, curb-appeal improvements, like a new entry door or landscaping for curb appeal.

In conclusion, there’s no black and white formula to follow when it comes to deciding to buy existing construction or to build new or maybe to take on a remodel…but with some guidance and careful consideration of financial factors and what is best for your situation, you will be able to make the best choice. The Indy A-Team is here to help assist you in all things real estate and with these types of considerations.

Here are a few additional pieces of data to take under advisement if you are trying to decide which way to go.

The Indy Star says:

· How the real estate boom is affecting Hamilton County home prices: Prices of new and existing homes continued to rise in Central Indiana in the first three months of 2021, with Hamilton County leading the way.

· Experts said the demand for building supplies is driving up the cost of new homes while overwhelming demand for existing homes is doing the same on the resale market.

· The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis reported that single-family building permits in Central Indiana were up 66% over 2020 with 1,127 permits this year compared to 680 in March of last year.

This old house states:

· By far the most popular funding choice for a fixer-upper is a renovation loan, either through a home equity line of credit or a mortgage. Home equity lines can generally be borrowed against 90 percent of the equity that the homeowner will have in the house after the repairs and remodeling are completed.

· To illustrate: If a person buys a $250,000 fixer-upper with a down payment of $25,000, and the house will be worth $425,000 post-renovation, the homeowner will have $200,000 in equity. Even before the work is done, the borrower is eligible for a $180,000 home equity loan. The interest rate on a home equity loan is about the same as for a mortgage, but only up to about $100,000 in interest is tax deductible.

Oct. 20, 2021

Indy A-Team Realty’s Harrowing Halloween Haunts

Don’t you love October! It’s a special time of year for homeowners to celebrate the seasons! Such fun displaying the jack-o-lanterns, skeletons and the ghosts & goblins!

The breeze becomes a little cooler as the sky darkens and withering leaves catch the wind…a draft catches the back of your neck as you shuffle along kicking at the fallen leaves. Night creeps in quickly as the afternoon hours pass. Shh…do you hear a rustling in the leaves behind you? Thump...thump…thump...thump! Is that the pounding of your heart as your step hastens or is it the footsteps catching up with you? Don’t turn around!

BOO!!

It doesn’t matter where you grew up, all areas have a legend or lore about a haunt of some sort.

Indy A-Team celebrates Halloween by taking a look at a few of the locals.

 

Heady Hollow

Did you know that a school once stood in the area of the intersection of Allisonville and 126th Street? In the late 1800s, a tragic fire reportedly burned down the schoolhouse and claimed the lives of several children. The school was run by the Heady family who were one of the pioneering families of Fishers.

This scenic spot where Allisonville Road dips to its lowest point, near the traffic light at 126th Street is known as Heady Hollow. It's an area prone to fog and perhaps the occasional spooky sight. The ghosts of children are said to come out on these foggy nights, standing their ground and staring at motorists until they drive right through them!

Purportedly, residents of the home that sits on the southeast corner of this intersection have had some “occurrences” attributed to the spirits…one in particular likes to play with the lights; sometimes making the owners question their own sanity! Charles Heady, a teacher, is said to have been the builder and original owner of this house that was built in the 1890s. Perhaps the children blame him for the fire and go searching for him here!

There are actually several legends based around this same stretch of road. One states that the thick trees provided the perfect hiding place for thieves who hid waiting for unsuspecting travelers going between Noblesville and Indianapolis. Some legends say the ghosts of Heady Hollow are not dead children but the poor souls who met their fate at the hands of these roadside robbers.

Yet another tale talks of grave robbers! Men who made their way by digging up graves and selling dead bodies to medical schools. And wouldn’t you know it, one of them was called Ebenezer Heady! Heady Hollow provided plenty of natural cover for Ebenezer to meet up with doctors to exchange the bodies for cold hard cash. Ebenezer, whose actual existence has not been proven by census records, is rumored to have been one of these body snatchers… until the night he dug up his own son's body, possibly by mistake. After seeing what he'd done, he went mad, according to legend. The ghosts, it is said, are those of the spirits of the many people whose bodies were disturbed from their eternal resting place. Many of those reportedly had been buried at Heady Cemetery, a small collection of graves that still exist inside the Sunblest subdivision, just east of the hollow.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll certainly be thinking about this the next time I pass through that dark stretch of road at night!

Thornhaven Manor

In 1845, one of the richest men in Indiana built the biggest house in Henry County. Thornhaven Manor, as Steve Miller has named it, is a 6,000 square foot home sitting on seven acres. Legend says it was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Miller just wanted to buy a rental property in New Castle. But, oddly, the property owners of this home wouldn’t talk to him and Miller says the realtor would only answer the basics.

Intrigued, Miller was going to be that person that wasted the realtor’s time because he really just wanted to see inside the home. But after being in the house for maybe half an hour, he fell in love with the place! Or, was he drawn to it?

After purchasing the house, Miller and his mom were on the front porch one afternoon when they heard a blood curdling scream come from inside the house! Startled, Miller went running into the main

stairs. “Is someone here? Anybody hurt?” …nothing, nothing but an overwhelming smell of roses; like the sickening sweet smell of old-school rose perfume…and that was his first incident at Thornhaven Manor.

Ghost hunters galore have visited since Miller bought Thornhaven Manor. There are claims of sightings, scratches and simply terrifying experiences. Mediums have told him there are more than 40 spirits here. Researchers have told him of at least seven deaths.

Simon Powell, who built this home, was actually tried by the State of Indiana for harboring a slave by the name of Thomas. Are there spirits of slaves from the Underground Railroad watching over this place?

“You hear people walking,” said Miller. “You hear people talking.”

Miller spends a lot of his timing digging into the home’s history. We think he should spend some time digging in the cellar!

Sept. 28, 2021

Top 3 Loan Options for First-Time Home Buyers

Top 3 Loan Options for First-Time Home Buyers

Are you considering becoming a First-Time Home Buyer?

If so, the Indy A-Team knows that all the information and options can be a bit overwhelming. I mean this is the biggest investment of your life! Who will you trust for guidance in answering some of the biggest questions?

What’s a realistic budget? Which loan option makes the most sense? The Indy A-Team will guide you through the maze of choices making your decisions as easy and as informed as possible.

One way the Indy A-Team is able to achieve a higher position of support for their clients is by teaming up with members who are experts in their respective fields; finance, for example, so they can guide you through a less complicated world of decisions.

Your Indy A-Team has a long-standing relationship with experts like Michael Kerkhof who over the years has remained a constant authority on both special and traditional finance programs.

 

Check out the links below to find out more about your loan options:

 

Snapshots for the First-Time Home Buyer

FHA

Indy A Team FHA Loans

3.5% Minimum Down

620 mid credit score

Max loan amount $379,500 in Marion and surrounding counties

 

HomeReady/HomePossible

Indy A Team HomeReady and HomePossible 3% Down

3% Down

Minimum credit score 620

Median Income limits apply per property location

HomeReady website;

https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/originating-underwriting/mortgage-products/homeready-mortgage

HomePossible website;

https://sf.freddiemac.com/working-with-us/origination-underwriting/mortgage-products/home-possible

USDA

Indy A Team USDA Loan

0% Down

Property must be eligible; site for eligibility is below;

https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

620 mid score

Income parameters apply for household

 

The Indy A-Team has combined a solid foundation of knowledge and experience that holds onto the traditional loyalty and accountability of trusted realtors that still care and keep it personalized with the diversity needed to understand that today’s buyers require an authentic consumer experience while integrating more and more technological forward options.

 

Contact the Indy A-Team today to take the first steps down the path of home ownership!

Call or text 317-833-7718 or email shelly@indyateam.com.

 

 

List Price Statistics for Your Surrounding Counties

Posted in Home Loan Options
July 31, 2017

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

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