Indianapolis Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 10, 2016

Homeowner FAQ: What Factors Influence My Home’s Resale Value?

Factors that Influence Home Resale Values

It’s safe to say we all know what would hinder us from buying a home. If we were to harness those ideas and think about what would prevent us from buying a house, we can begin to make a list of what will factor into the resale value of our own homes. The resale value of a home is the amount the home is worth to potential buyers if you were to place your house on the market. Some factors influencing resale value are beyond a homeowner’s control and the factors also vary greatly from one consumer to the next. As you discuss your home’s resale value with your Realtor, it is important to remember it is time to put your best foot forward. The following are a list of general, and valuable, factors that play into the worth of your home. 

 Size and Location

The value of your home can greatly depend on its size. The square footage of your house and the acreage of the lot are two factors that play into how any home is bought and sold. Usually, the industry will break up the price of a home into dollars per square foot to help potential buyers envision the amount of space they’re getting for their money. Another important factor in determining resale value is the geographic location of your home. A house being sold in one township can fluctuate in the very next township due to taxes, costs of living, neighborhood, and proximity. The location of your home may be a great asset depending on who is looking into buying it. Your Realtor will be able to help evaluate the worth of the town, city and state in which your house is located. 

Updates and Upgrades

When looking into the valuation of your home, it is essential to consider your home’s upkeep: how much work you’ve put into it to change its value. When was the last time you had your HVAC unit serviced? Have you considered replacing the carpet where you spilled coffee in the living room? When thinking about what factors influence the value of your home and the ability to sell it efficiently and timely, it might be time to ponder seemingly minor home improvements. Buyers will usually look for a newer roof, especially in older homes, and updated appliances and hardware in kitchens and bathrooms. Making these changes while you still own the home could pay off eventually as you can likely list your home at a higher price. Updated homes are both very appealing to the average consumer and add resounding resale value to your home. 

While it doesn’t necessary increase the value of your home, offering a home warranty can be appealing to buyers and help seal the deal. Home warranties are different than home insurance because they cover repairs that may be needed after the sale has closed. The home warranty will cover typical home systems like plumbing, heating and air, and appliances that may conjure an unforeseeable problem. Many buyers will ask for a home warranty to be purchased as part of the closing costs. Many sellers will purchase a warranty, usually one that covers the buyers’ first year of ownership.

Appearance and Condition

The aesthetics and embellishment of your home will come into play when determining the resale value of your home. Buyers usually want a move-in ready home. It could be an effective idea to paint bright-colored walls a neutral tone, remove personal interior decoration and let the most natural light enter the house. This will allow the buyer to look at your home in an unbiased state and therefore, increase the value in their eyes. If the buyer can see that there is a clean slate and can approximate that there is not “too much work to do,” it can be worth their while! Curb appeal is also factors into resale value, especially if you have land that you are selling with the house. Maintaining sturdy roofing, clean siding and even a serviced fireplace can add value to a home when trying to sell. These points of upkeep will prevent the need to knock off dollar signs when pricing your house. 

 

There are countless factors that affect each individual buyer’s opinion on the value of your home, but knowing the solid influences listed above can help you understand where to start. If you’re trying to sell in a seller’s market, it can be less overwhelming knowing you have maintained valuable factors that will come into play when putting your house up for sale. We hope you gained some good knowledge about resale value and continue to come back for more helpful tips and tricks! 

Aug. 1, 2016

The Finest Bike Trails in Indianapolis & Central Indiana

Bike Trails in Indianapolis

Bicycling is becoming one of Hoosiers’ favorite leisure and athletic activities. Motorists are learning to share the road as Indianapolis and many other cities have become more bike friendly, adding bicycle lanes and traffic signs just for those of us on two wheels. Despite the long list of other things to do in Indy this summer, you have to get out there and explore some of our biking trails. Here are some of our favorites.

The Best Bike Trails in Indianapolis & Central Indiana

Cultural Trail 

This eight mile trail runs through the stunning and entertaining districts of downtown Indianapolis including Fountain Square, Mass Ave. and the Canal area. These areas have a variety of local shops, neighborhoods, small businesses and restaurants that are accessible from the bike trail. Along the cultural trail, there are numerous art displays including the Glick Peace Walk and the iconic neon sign, Ann Dancing by Julian Opie. This trail holds multiple stations that offer bike rentals. Check out Indiana Pacers Bikeshare for the option to rent one of 250 bike at over 25 stations in Indianapolis. Memberships and 24-hour passes are available.

Monon Trail 

This nationally-known trail runs from downtown 10th Street to 191st Street in the Westfield area. The trail used to be a railway and was paved over in hopes to encourage outdoor recreation. It connects to many other smaller trails along its 19.7 mile adventure. On the Monon, you will ride by the Indiana State Fairgrounds and through the town of Broad Ripple. Broad Ripple is one of Indianapolis’ most artistic villages and is home to great eateries and entertainment. While riding, you will experience wooded areas, distinguished red bridges, and exciting cityscape. 

Bike Trails in Indianapolis

Fall Creek Trail

The three mile section of Fall Creek Trail starts at George E. Kessler Park, near the well-known Ivy Tech Community College. The trail is filled with local nature and a couple canoe/kayak launching areas. The smaller part of the trail offers a route on which you will not need to stop and is along a quiet waterway in the middle of the city. If you wanted to extend your biking quest, there are six more miles of trail ending to the west of Fort Harrison at Skiles Test Nature Park. This trail connects to the Monon Trail as well. 

Pennsy Trail

Once you start to make your way out of Indianapolis, there are a number of hidden gems burrowed throughout Central Indiana. The Pennsylvania Trail, or Pennsy Trail offers riders 3 segments of trail. The first mile or so goes over Shadeland Avenue to the artsy Irvington area. The second section is three miles of nature and countryside trail in the town of Cumberland. The third section is on the west side of Indiana in Greenfield, giving riders a scenic four and a half miles of peaceful bike trail. The Pennsy Trail is known to be part of an initiative to create a trail that connects the eastern most point of Indiana to the western most point. Visionaries hope to name the trail the National Road Heritage Trail. Look for this trail to expand in the future. 

White Lick Creek/Vandalia Trail

These west suburban trails are part of the National Road Heritage Trail connection. They wind in and out of the parks and neighborhoods of cozy Plainfield and Avon, Indiana. A plethora of native wildlife and landmarks can be viewed and explored while on the White Lick Trail and its extensions. Starting at Hummel Park, six miles of trails and bridges tucked in woodland along the creek allow riders to enjoy the wonderful scenery Indiana has to offer. 

 

There are more bike trails popping up all over our state everyday. These are just a few you can start to explore. Whether a novice or experienced trail rider, Indianapolis and Central Indiana offer a trail for everyone and every skill level. Now, it’s time to get riding — don’t forget a helmet!

July 21, 2016

Selling in a Seller’s Market

Selling Your House in a Seller's Market: Guidelines to Follow

 

When the market shifts, tipping supply and demand in your favor, an opportune time arises to sell your home. This is what we call a seller’s market—when there are more buyers than sellers on the playing field at a certain point in time. Houses will fly on and off the market, buyers will make their bids faster, and sellers can become, well, overzealous. While it may seem like anything goes for sellers, it is important to remember some basic rules that apply to selling a home even in a seller’s market. For the best outcomes and highest return, follow these tips for selling a home while there is increased demand:

Selling Your House in a Seller's Market: Guidelines to Follow 

Hire a knowledgeable Realtor

One common rule sellers may forget in a seller’s market is the great need for a knowledgeable Realtor. A Realtor is an essential tool which will certainly help you get the most for you money. Some sellers envision an easy transaction; putting their home on the market and signing it over days later to an excited buyer. Regardless of the market, however, there is still much work to be done to protect you, your home, and the buyer during this process. Your Realtor will navigate paperwork and terms for all aspects of your sale—an invaluable advantage to having him or her on your side. Realtors will also be able to professionally communicate with potential buyers and other vital people in the home selling process. Realtors will know how to effectively market your home and make it stand out, even in a seller’s market.

Price your home logically

In a quick market, sellers are often inclined to price their homes significantly higher than what they are worth, aiming to cash in on an eager market. While it is possible to get a great return during an advantageous time, you have to be realistic. Your Realtor will be able to refer to what similar homes in the area are selling for and will know the local market for your own interest as well. It will be a longer and more arduous process to overprice your home only to get an inconsistent appraisal, potentially making your buyer have doubts or back out of the deal. 

 Selling a house in a seller's market: What you need to know

Present your home well

In the long run, minor home improvements like fixing a faulty roof or leaky faucet will save time and money as these fixes can help sell a home faster and more smoothly. Sellers should consider minor home improvements before putting their home on the market. A favorable market does not imply you should sell a home without putting in the work to make it worth the sale. A Realtor will be able to predict what fixes buyers might point out and can direct you to quality resources during that process. Sellers should be aware that home buyers and their Realtors will come into a showing with a list of items to check before they consider putting in an offer. Home sellers should maintain yard work and simplify outdoor décor. Making sure your home is clean and decluttered is a basic rule for courteous home viewings. Neutral colors in fresh coats of paint and other simple, home staging are also necessary when putting a home up for sale and seeking the highest price point.  

Be flexible

Flexibility is another attribute sellers should prepare for. With a great Realtor and their skill in properly marketing your home, showings will happen often and sellers will need to be ready to leave the house with children and pets so that a buyer can visualize their new life in your old home. In a hot market, sellers need to plan for the possibility of multiple showings in one day. Have places in mind where you, your family, and pets can go during these showings. It's certainly an inconvenience to pack up the family and leave for several hours at a time, but it's a necessary hardship when selling a home. No one wants to buy a house that they can't get in to see. Be as flexible as possible and keep in mind that this sacrifice will pay off with a home buyer! 

 Selling in a Seller’s Market

 

While sellers in a seller’s market may in fact have the upper hand, it is still critical for the seller to abide by the basic rules to efficiently, effectively, and properly sell their home. As exciting times are ahead, taking the proper amount of time to prepare for a sell will benefit any seller, regardless of the market. Skillful Realtors are ready to support you in your move and work through repairs, opportunities and celebrations alongside you. We would love to hear about what aided your victory in a seller’s market. For those looking to purchase a home during the uptick, check out our recent post on buying a home in a seller’s market.

 

Here are additional resources that'll help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar: 

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 13, 2016

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction Home

 Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction Home

To build or not to build, that is the question! The great debate for homebuyers these days is whether they want to purchase a home that is empty or one that has been previously occupied. New construction homes are houses that have never been lived in and have been built in an empty lot and from the ground up. Newly constructed homes are popping up from suburban neighborhoods to custom designed houses in the woods. These homes are becoming a more popular choice as buyers assess their options. Here’s our take on some pros and cons of factors involved in buying a new construction home.

Everything is New

Pro: Many new construction homes are being designed and built with the most energy-efficient materials on the market. With “green living” as a popular choice to today’s consumers, a new construction home can be very appealing. With everything about the newly constructed home being fresh, homeowners will be able to keep an accurate log of improvements and maintenance from square one. Many homeowners will appreciate knowing the date and yield of the mechanics and treatments in and on their home. 

Con: When a buyer is choosing a lot or a newly constructed home, they are unable to benefit from the character of a previously owned home. Many buyers want the charm that comes with a story hemmed in the walls of an older home. Unless it is a custom-designed house, many newly constructed homes can look quite similar in design. 

Renovations and Resale

Pro: When it comes time for the new construction homebuyer to sell the newly constructed home for the first time, many updates have already been designed into the making of the house. Even with a few years under its belt, a newly constructed home can have a great resale value as only one owner has lived in it. 

Con: Although many buyers think that it would be cheaper to do self-improvements to a previously owned home, many times the profit from those improvements will not be the same as expected. In the long run, the money put into home improvements on a previously owned home may not entirely show up in the resale. 

Time Lines

Pro: When buyers are looking at previously owned homes that are for sale, it is inevitable that one they are considering will slip out from under their nose. When buying a new construction home, one can grab the lot or house being constructed and be secured with the house by contract. This allows the buyer to be able to make a personal timeline knowing that the house being built will be theirs eventually. 

Con: Sometimes with a new construction home, the builder needs to get the building done quickly because they have lots and property to fill up and pay off. Although personal timelines can be more adaptable with new construction homes, builders are on their own timeline and this could cause potential problems to occur with rushing workers. This is one reason why it is beneficial to have a Realtor who can make sure checklists are completed and no problems are left unattended.

Customization

Pro:  New construction homes may have options for the buyers to choose from while the building process proceeds. As opposed to previously owned homes, some new construction homes can be bought at a lot level and a buyer can follow the entire process of building. Paint colors, hardware, windows and other amenities could be personally chosen and customized by the buyers depending on the building company. Obviously with a custom-designed home, a buyer can help pick floor plans and many other customizations. 

Con: Customization is where a lot of the hidden costs appear. Landscape, decks and even heated floors all sound great to the consumer but often cost a pretty penny. A Realtor can help with hidden cost navigation. 

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction Home

Whether buying a new construction home or a previously owned home, working with a Realtor can come of great benefit, especially for first time homebuyers. We hope you take this information and discover the best possible situation during your home buying process. We would love feedback on this subject as new construction homes are becoming a common choice in recent years. For those who are not convinced on new construction homes, check out our recent post about buying a historic home! Onward and Upward!  

If you're considering buying a new construction home, be sure to also read these articles: 

Tips for Buying a New Construction Home by Paul Sian

Is It Better To Buy a New Home Or An Older Home? by Debbie Drummond

11 New Construction Home Buying Tips: How to Buy a New House by Ryan Fitzgerald  

Posted in Buying a Home
July 5, 2016

6 Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

It is officially summer and with the sun in the sky longer, homeowners should consider adding a couple of maintenance tasks to their list of activities. The joy of a to-do list in the summer is soaking up some vitamin D and a enjoying a warm breeze while crossing each item off the list! Summer is a good time to check in with different areas of your home that have not particularly been in use during the colder months. Like any well-functioning machine, it’s time to oil up the parts of your home that maintain a great summer living experience and contribute to a good year’s worth of homeownership.

1. Keep up with your AC

If you breezed over a check-in with your air conditioning unit in the spring, it is important to get around to it now. Changing the air filter is a great first step. Once it is replaced, it is recommended to clean the filter every two weeks in order to maintain clean air quality in your home. Rinsing the filter with warm water or using a vacuum cleaner are the easiest ways to rid dust from the filter. Preserving the filter can increase efficiency within your home during the months where the AC is on high. On the outside of your home, be sure to clear out any ground covering weeds or plants around the HVAC unit. However, be vigilant while using clippers near the unit’s wires. When mulching or landscaping, make sure no debris has fallen into the unit.

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

2. Dust Your Fans

Between the cold winter months and the open windows of the spring months, your ceiling fans have more than likely built up a collection of dust. To ensure healthy air quality within your home, dusting your fans will make the difference. Give the tops of the blades some extra dusting love! Switch the direction of the blades during the summer months to counterclockwise to create a cooling downward air-flow. On most ceiling fans, there will be a switch near the drawstrings and lightbulbs that will adjust the direction the blades rotate. 

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

3. Take care of your yard

Summer is an excellent season to spend some extra time on yard maintenance. Trimming your trees, your shrubbery, and vines will guarantee a tidy look to your yard and also maintains healthy plant growth and desired sizes of each plant. A tree’s branches are presumably the size of its underground root system; therefore, if a tree or shrub's branches are invading your porches or decks, most likely the roots are underground doing the same. Since it is summer, place the trimmings in a bonfire pile and enjoy making s’mores with your family! When mowing the lawn, be sure to pick up branches and debris beforehand to preserve the lawnmower's blade. As a bonus, try your hand at a potted herb garden or small vegetable garden in a patch of yard that has both sunlight and shade.

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

4. Maintain your Wooden Deck and Siding

When rain turns to snow in the winter, ice can create small holes and cracks within the wooden areas of your home. If your house has wood siding or a deck, be sure to inspect those areas. Doing so will bring awareness to parts that need patched or replaced. Having a wooden deck can require a seal or fresh coat of outdoor paint as well. Generally, your deck may require a fresh coat of sealing paint or stain every two to three years. 

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

5. Locate Heat-Sensitive Products 

We all have those items that are sitting in the garage or shed that are heat-sensitive and too toxic to just throw away. If unexpired, the items can be placed in a cooler area during the humid and hot months. If you need to get rid of them, contact your local town or city government about disposal procedures.

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

6. Wash Windows and Screens

Summer is the ideal time to clean the outside of your home’s windows. Precipitation and debris build-up can be taken off with typical window cleaning products or a garden hose and rag. While you are at it, take the screens off of the windows and use a soft bristled cleaning brush and soap to get bugs, dirt and other fragments off. On cooler evenings, air flow will be able to come and go with ease!

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

 

As we enjoy these treasured summer months, maintenance tasks can easily be achieved. We hope these tips inspire you to conserve your house and practice seasonal upkeep. Let us know if you have any other tasks you implement during the summer months. Grab your sunscreen and radio and give your home some love! 

Posted in Tips
June 21, 2016

How to Deter Home Burglars

How to Deter Home Burglars

Summer: the season of the most sunburns, cookouts, and, unfortunately, home break-ins. The warm months are especially inviting to home burglars who search for houses with open windows or those which have been vacated for summer getaways. Millions of American homes will be broken into this year by amateur thieves — those who are looking for blatant signs of your home’s temporary vulnerability. Of course, living on well-lit and safeguarded streets will decrease your chance of a home burglary, but it’s important to take caution in deterring home burglars no matter how safe your home seems.

Tips for Deterring Home Burglars 

One of the simplest ways to deter burglars is to make your house appear to be occupied, even when you’re out on a trip to the pool or on a vacation out of town. If you’ll be on an extended trip, have someone frequently check in at your home to check the mail, mow the lawn, and upkeep a lived-in curb appeal. A home with a month’s worth of deliveries stacked on the porch or a foot-tall grass is a home calling for intruders. For shorter outings, leave lights on, the radio turned up, or a few pieces of clothing hung out to dry so your home appears to be currently in use. While these things may seem like common sense, they may be the simplest, overlooked ways to discourage those spontaneous occurrences by robbers scanning your neighborhood on a summer afternoon.

The next step in safeguarding your home is investing in security features. Look into what you can afford — deadbolts, alarm systems, extra lighting, cameras, or even just a safe for your valuable belongings. Steve Houseworth, a program director for Theft Talk, recommends just putting up a yard sign for a security system even if you cannot afford a security system at the time. This will, at the very least, trick potential burglars into thinking your house is a little tougher to get in and out of. If you’re willing to invest in more structural security, the garage door would be a good place to begin. Make sure your garage door has a deadlock as it is one of the most susceptible break-in avenues otherwise. The next most-used entries are through sliding-glass doors and windows. Even just placing a wooden pole in sliding-glass door tracks will make your home a little more secure.

How to Deter Home Burglars

With home burglaries occurring every minute in the US, it’s best to be prepared and aware to prevent your house from being victim to one of these crimes. Create bonds and plans with your neighbors to help one another, be smart about sharing your travel plans and spare keys, and invest what you can afford in home security procedures. 

We hope these tips are helpful in making your home more secure this summer and all year-round. While we all hope to never have our homes targeted in a burglary, we can all help ourselves and one another by being prepared. Please let us know if you have any tips to add for deterring home burglaries.

Be safe and enjoy your summer!

Additional resources on preventing home robberies: 

10 Theft Protection Tips to Keep Your Home Safe by Ferris Property Group

Landscaping Tips to Prevent Home Burglaries by PlanitDIY 

Why Join a Neighborhood Watch Program? by HouseHunt

How to Avoid Getting Robbed From an Open House by Bill Gassett 

 

Posted in Tips
June 14, 2016

The Best Places to Canoe & Kayak in Indiana

The Best Places to Canoe and Kayak in Indiana

Indiana is a state of many adventures. If you’re the outdoorsy type, get out there and explore Indiana’s great outdoors this summer. Between cookouts, pool days, and concerts, make your way out to one of these beautiful bodies of water to do some canoeing and kayaking. 

Lake Monroe: Let’s just start with the obvious. Indiana’s largest lake is home to incredibly beautiful scenery, wildlife, and natural resources. It’s a perfect place to take the family for a canoeing, hiking, or an entire camping trip. Check out Most High Adventure Outfitters for rentals of almost anything you could need. If you go to the Paynetown State Recreation Area just south of Bloomington, you can rent canoes, kayaks, and other watercrafts from Lake Monroe Boat Rental.

Tippecanoe River: See some of our state’s beautiful indigenous birds as you glide down the gentle Tippecanoe River, flowing from Noble County to the Wabash River. Fishermen, bring your poles; there is a lot of great fishing along some of the grassy banks. The water is so clear you might even see some fish as you paddle along!

Cedar Creek: Check out cedar creek for a shorter, yet potentially more intense trip. You’ll encounter some nice rapids along the way as well as tree-filled alleys and difficult twists and turns. Cedar Creek is considered one of Indiana’s Natural, Scenic, and Recreational River System—that means it has such wonderful natural resources that it is protected and preserved by the state. This 32-mile long creek is a great place to go and disconnect from your everyday distractions. It’s just you and the water!

Falls of the Ohio: Rich in history and wildlife, the Falls of the Ohio is great place to visit in the late summer and fall. Discover 390 million year-old fossil beds and the home site of the George Rogers Clark cabin. Be sure to check in advance and go when the dam is closed for more casual paddling. This is a unique place to visit because it is bursting with wildlife and history but also provides a beautiful view of downtown Louisville. The best place to enter is in Clarksville, Indiana at one of the many boat ramps.

Whitewater River: Go on a guided canoe trip of the swift and scenic Whitewater River. It’s not actually white water but there are some rapids. Whitewater Canoe Rental offers a wide selection of guided trips ranging in difficulty and length. The Whitewater Valley was the first place in Indiana to be settled.

Big Pine Creek: Melting ice and spring rain bring exhilarating whitewater rapids to Big Pine Creek in late spring and early summer. One of the only places to get a real whitewater paddling experience in our state, this destination is best for experienced kayakers and canoeists. You’ll have to bring your own gear and be prepared for a fun adventure when you arrive. There are multiple access points at the Rainsville and Twin Bridges.

These are just some of our favorite places to canoe and kayak in Indiana—but there are many, many more! With such a great selection of waterways to explore, we hope you’ll get out there and paddle. Get your life jackets on, apply your sunscreen, and paddle away into Indiana’s beautiful scenery. 

 

Where are some of your favorite places to canoe/kayak in Indiana?

June 3, 2016

Buying a Historic Home: What You Need to Know First

What You Need To Know Before Buying a Historic Home

Throughout American history, people have left their marks on this country in a number of ways. One avenue to look back and connect with the culture and identity of those who came before us is through appreciating the places where they lived. Historic homes are a treasure to many communities and districts around the country, telling stories of the past both virtuous and controversial. Because of their unique architecture and rich history, these homes can make for very charismatic places to live. If you are looking to purchase a historic home to make your own, there are some peculiar details in addition to the basics of buying a home you should know first.

Here's what you need to know before buying a historic home:

Structural flaws are more likely. In addition to many of the common issues found during a home inspection, older homes may have more serious structural imperfections. Make sure you hire a home inspection company which specializes in old homes — they will know exactly what to look for. It is unlikely that any historic home will be in near perfect shape, of course, but some structural issues may be impossible or extremely expensive to reverse. While having imperfections is part of a historic home’s uniqueness, you will have to decide how much you’re willing to accept.  

It comes with a lot of responsibility. Living in a locally or nationally treasured home means you are responsible for preserving and appreciating what makes that home special. You will have the opportunity to take a great amount of pride in doing your part to keep the home’s history alive. If your idea of owning a home is having a private, personalized opinion on your house, owing a historic home (which will be much more visible to the public eye) might not be your best option.

Your utility bills may be higher. Due to the way homes were built in previous decades and centuries, and the wear and tear they have undergone since, older homes are often more expensive to insulate and maintain. Your utility bills will likely be higher than that of newer homes, no matter how hard you try to be proactive about keeping bills low. You might consider entirely replacing heating/cooling systems or updating the insulation or piping throughout the home. 

Upgrades might not be an option. In order to preserve their value and meaning, many historic homes are part of historic districts which have strict rules for what homeowners can and cannot change about their homes. In some places, there are set guidelines for what you can upgrade, often restricting homeowners from making any changes to the exterior of their homes. In other cases, you’ll have to apply before a board to request permission to make changes or upgrades to a home. Even in cases where an upgrade seems necessary in order to make the house livable, some districts will allow no such altering of their historic homes. Your Realtor should walk you through the neighborhood’s unique guidelines and help you find a home that you can properly live in, restore, and preserve.

Some tax breaks are offered. Because historic homeowners are taking a responsibility to restore and preserve pieces of local history, they may receive breaks on their taxes. This will help offset some of the repairs that may be necessary.

Your home will have a personal charm. If you want a home like no other, look into purchasing a historic home. While there may be some extra costs and responsibility involved, it can be a rewarding and exciting experience to bridge the stories of the past with the present.

What You Need to Know BEFORE Buying a Historic Home 

We hope this overview was helpful if you are considering purchasing a historic home! Please comment with any other suggestions or questions.

 

If you liked this article, you will also like: 

In Defense of Buying a Historic Home: It Could be Downright Amazing by Rachel Stults for Realtor.com

Historic Home Buying 101 by Bobvila.com 

Tax Incentives for Historic Preservation by Houselogic.com

 

Posted in Buying a Home
May 26, 2016

Can’t-Miss Summertime Attractions in Indianapolis

Can't-Miss Summertime Attractions in Indianapolis

This year marks the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, welcoming a sold-out crowd of 350,000 fans. As Indy’s largest summer event (and one of the largest sporting events in the world), the 500 often takes the cake for the most coverage, excitement, and popularity among other things to do in Indianapolis. But with amazing music venues, festivals, shopping, and events, Indy has even more to offer for summertime attractions! Take it from Condé Nast Traveler Magazine who just ranked Indy among the top 30 places to visit this summer! June through September are some of the best months to get out there and explore what makes this city great.

Here are some of the can’t-miss summertime attractions in our Midwest Paradise:

  • Explore art from over 300 nation-wide artists at the 2016 Talbot Street Art Fair. If you enjoy seeing beautiful, diverse art work, meeting great people from around the country, and free admission, this event is for you! Bring the kids and enjoy this two-day celebration of the arts.
  • See some of the best live music at Indy’s #1 outdoor music venue. The Lawn at White River State Park is one of the best places to soak up sunshine and good vibes this summer. With musicians visiting like Bob Dylan in June and Ray LaMontagne in August, there is a little bit of something for everyone. The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn’s Summer Concert Series features hot music, cold drinks, and beach chairs!
  • Visit the new baby Orangutan, Mila, and hundreds of other animals at the Indianapolis Zoo. This spring the Zoo welcomed their first Orangutan birth and visitors have fallen in love with baby Mila. The Indianapolis Zoo also has dolphins, cheetahs, lizards and many other beautiful animals to see! Summertime is a great time to walk around the outdoor exhibits and see how much the animals love getting their sunshine.
  • Eat the best local street food at Georgia Street’s Food Truck Friday. During lunchtime every Friday until September 2, Georgia Street will be lined from Capitol Ave to Illinois Street with some delicious local eats. There is no admission fee, and there are usually over a dozen trucks lined up serving a hugely diverse assortment of food. Goal: try to eat at least once from each of Georgia Street’s food trucks throughout the summer!
  • Taste and experience Indiana’s best wine (and food) on June 4th. It’s really all about the wine at Vintage Indiana’s 17th Annual Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival. You can meet Indiana’s winemakers and learn about their craft and delicious products, sample 200 wines, enjoy the best Indiana food, and dance along to the music! This event is for adults only.
  • Ride and exercise with the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare. You don’t have to own a bike to get fit and have fun this summer. Indy’s bikeshare program lets you pick up and drop off bikes at 30 locations around the city, making it easy for you to get around! It’s very affordable to purchase a membership and will help you explore all the little hole-in-the wall restaurants, coffee shops, and stores in our booming city.

 

We hope you have a wonderful Indianapolis summer and let us know what other great Indy attractions you enjoy! 

May 18, 2016

Clever Packing Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Moving can be a dreaded ordeal. You set your move-in date, get excited about your new home, and then fear begins to set in thinking of the myriad belongings you’ll have to take with you. From furniture to electronics to all the little junk drawers — things pile up and can making moving seem overwhelming. One of the best ways to overcome the anxiety of moving is to start early. With some preparedness and these clever packing tips, you’ll realize moving isn’t so scary after all.

Here are some of our favorite clever packing tips to make your move a little easier:

Go to local stores and ask for any extra boxes.

You'd be surprised at how expensive packing boxes can be! Most retailers get shipments of their products every day of the week and then break down and recycle all their empty boxes. If you catch them at the right time, you might be able to get a handful of great packing boxes for free! Try grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores.

Plastic-wrap your liquids.

You don’t want your cleaning supplies, cooking oils, or toiletries to spill as you’re moving them. Just take off the bottle’s lid, place a piece of plastic wrap underneath, and then replace the lid, wrapping the plastic all the way around to create a seal.

 Clever Packing Tips

Use towels, T-shirts, and blankets to wrap fragile belongings.

Instead of buying bubble wrap or special packing boxes, multitask by packing some of your clothing or towels around glasses, vases, and picture frames. Your fragile items will be protected, plus some of your clothes will already be packed! 

Move an entire closet of clothes all together.

If you have a closet full of hanging clothes, try just wrapping a garbage bag or a few large bands around the body of the clothing and then tie the tops of the hangers together. This way, you can pick up whole chunks of clothing at once and hang them right back up in your new closet. This method will also help you avoid the dreaded, tangled mess of packing clothes hangers.

Move dressers without unpacking the drawers.

Before you carry your large dresser down the stairs and into a moving truck, take out all the drawers and set them aside. This will make the dresser a little lighter for carrying. Then, before you move anything else into the truck, replace the drawers in the dresser and move it all at once. When you get to your new home, move it the same way and your dresser will be intact! 

Use empty egg cartons to pack small items and jewelry.

Each compartment of the egg carton will help you keep your nails and screws separate and keep necklaces from getting tied together.

Clever Packing Tips

Label your boxes.

Either with color-coded label stickers or simply with a sharpie, make your life easier by knowing what’s in each box. You can label them per room so you and your moving helpers know where to set each box down upon arrival, or you can make a short list of the important items in each box to make them easier to unpack efficiently. 

Clever Packing Tips

Whether you’re moving across the country or just a few blocks away, moving can be stressful. We hope these packing tips help make your move a little easier.  

Do you have any tips to add to our list? Please comment below with your clever packing tips.

 

Here are some additional moving resources that we know you'll find helpful:

The Very First Step to Preparing Your Home for the Market 

Who to Notify When You're Moving by Bill Gassett

Take the Stress Out of Moving by Deborah Rhodes

Things to Leave Behind When Moving by Anita Clark  

Packing Mistakes to Avoid by Teresa Cowart

Posted in Tips