Thursday, October 3, 2013

Don't Let Your Short Sale Leave You Taxed!

If you, or someone you know, owe more on your home than it's worth and need to sell NOW is the time to contact me!  Time is running out to save yourself from what could be a significant tax implication in the future.

In 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was passed in an attempt to help the millions of homeowners who, due to the housing crisis and economic crash, suddenly found themselves in danger of losing their home to foreclosure.

The act has helped many distressed homeowners find solutions that help them avoid foreclosure and opened up options to them that were previously unavailable.

However, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was always intended to be a temporary solution and it is now set to expire at the end of 2013. For distressed homeowners, this means that time is running out for them to take advantage of the program and potentially save themselves tens of thousands of dollars.

If you know of anyone who may need my expertise, please have them visit my website for a copy of my recent report entitled “Don’t Let Your Short Sale Leave You Taxed”  or you can contact me for a copy.

And then contact me for a confidential consultation today so we can get started!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Three Benefits of Painting Your Home’s Exterior This Fall

While the summer months are typically thought of as the best time to paint your home exterior, don’t be so quick to put the paintbrush down as autumnal weather sets in.

As it turns out, early fall can be an excellent time for painting the outside of your home, affording the following benefits:
  1. Fall has optimal temperature conditions for painting. In general, autumn temperatures remain above the minimum recommended painting temperature, which is anywhere from 35 degrees F to 50 degrees F. On top of this benefit, fall temperatures tend to fluctuate less between daytime and nighttime hours, putting less stress on paint.

  2. A fresh coat of paint is a great selling point. The early fall is a time period when the last influx of home sales occurs before winter descends and the calendar year wraps up. Applying new paint to your house is an economical way to boost curb appeal and desirability during this last surge of home sales, and is a way to set your home apart from other homes on the market that are vying for the attention of buyers.

  3. Painting protects your home from the winter elements. In addition to making your home look fresh and bright, a new paint job adds a great layer of protection to the exterior of your home leading up to the typically harsh winter weather of Central Indiana.
Want more information about improving curb appeal and readying your Indianapolis-area home for sale? Get in touch with me, your Prudential Indiana Realty Group agent at or 317.442.9786!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Been thinking about selling your home?

If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, but don’t believe it is worth enough to cover what you owe, you might be pleasantly surprised. The reason? Prices have gone up significantly during the last year!

This simple fact has helped a market that only about one year ago was still bouncing off the bottom, begin the slow, but steady process of recovery. As a result, people are buying homes again. 

I have a report that explains in detail why prices have gone up and why your home might be worth more than you think! Let me send you my report entitled “The Great Housing Rush.”  I believe you’ll be surprised by when you read the report. You can get the report by contacting me at or by downloading it at my short sale site.

Once you are done, contact me today at for a free market analysis.

Monday, September 16, 2013

4 Questions to Answer Before Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Paying off your mortgage early is a relatively risk-free move, which is not something that many other investments can offer. That being said, there are opportunity costs associated with paying off your mortgage early.

For instance, paying off your mortgage quickly while not having enough “rainy day” funds or exposing yourself to other risk may not be worth it, especially if you already have a good interest rate locked in. Or maybe getting rid of that 3 percent to 4 percent interest sounds good, except maybe you could have made 7 percent to 8 percent interest by investing it elsewhere.

It’s a tricky subject, but here are four questions you should answer before deciding to pay off your mortgage early.

1) How much principle remains?
This is key in understanding how much you will pay and for how long during an accelerated pay schedule. Generally, it is a good idea to make an extra payment on your mortgage whenever it makes sense financially, but if you have 28 years left on your mortgage, trying to pay it off in 12 may not be as easy as it sounds. On the other hand, if you only have 9 years left on your current schedule, it is probably easier than it sounds.

2) What do your other investments look like?
This is a follow-up to question No. 1. A home is one of the largest investments most people will make. But what about the rest of your portfolio? If you are sitting pretty on a couple of good stocks/investment groups and confident in their returns, you may decide investing in stocks, bonds, real estate or other capital is better than paying off a low-interest loan early.

3) What other debt do you have?
If you have credit card debt which is hitting you with a higher monthly interest rate than your home – and add non-tax-deductible interest on top of that – you’ll probably want to focus on paying that down instead. Or if you have children who will be entering college in a few years and you would like to put more money to their college fund, this may be a better use of money than paying off your mortgage early.

4) What are your upcoming life plans?
Do you plan on moving in a few years? What about having a child? Or maybe you are three years into a 30-year mortgage but only 10 years away from retirement. Take a look at how much you will spend short-term vs. save long-term and how that plays into your future life plans.

For a closer look at what making extra payments on your mortgage will mean to your bottom line, fill out this Early Mortgage Payoff Calculator and decide what your best course of action is.

If you still have questions, feel free to call me, your Central Indiana Prudential Realtor, at 317-442-9786 and I can assist you in your queries.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

U.S. Home Prices on the Rise: What’s Next?

The Indianapolis Star reports that the average price of homes in the U.S. is steadily rising when compared to where they were a year ago. The most recent data, from May, shows a 12.2 percent jump from the 2012 averages.

For regular readers of this monthly newsletter, this is no surprise. There has been consistent good news on housing, like last month’s piece on home-sale agreements, or the 20 consecutive months of home sale improvements. In many places around the country, and even here in Central Indiana, it is starting to turn into a seller’s market — though buyers can still find fantastic deals and historically low interest rates.

After years of a down market, we are seeing signs of growth faster than we have in previous years. So what do you do next?

Well … it depends. If you’re looking to sell, now is a great time to list. There are still a few months left of the peak buying season, and if you move quickly, you can still show off your home with green grass and beautiful landscaping. If you’re looking to buy, rising interest rates should motivate you to contact me today and begin the buying process, which includes determining the kind of home you need and getting pre-approved for a mortgage.  I even have lenders that I can recommend to you.

Even though the peak buying and selling season is winding down, continued growth is showing that this year’s gains will continue into fall and winter. But who wants to look for homes in the snow when you can do so now in this beautiful weather? And if you wait until next Spring you will most certainly see higher interest rates.

Contact me today to get started.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rising Mortgage Interest Rates Signal Time to Act

Central Indiana residents looking to buy a home this summer will be watching mortgage interest rates start to climb. Though rates remain at historically low levels, the national averages for interest rates are on the move.

According to, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was around 4.48 percent earlier this month. This is compared to around a 3.87 percent rate last year at this time.

Overall, the rise of interest rates signals a stabilizing economy that will need less caretaking from economic industries. This is good news, but for people looking to buy a home in the next few months, it could be a signal to act.

According to some experts, the steady growth in mortgage interest rates will keep moving along. This does not mean you have missed the opportunity to buy a new home, as rates are still remarkably low and home prices in Central Indiana are still affordable.

What these rising rates means, however, is that potential homebuyers should think about searching for their new home and listing their current property soon, as there could be an increase in home-buying activity as people try to lock in low rates.

Of course, every situation is different, and you should never rush into selling or buying a home. But for those residents who are interested in learning more or beginning the process, contact me today and learn what deals you can find, and get up-to-date information on mortgage rates and trends.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Potential Home Buyers: How Much Can You Afford To Spend?

 Having a finger on the pulse of how much your household brings in each month and also how much money flows out in that time period will be what helps you to understand which price range you should be shopping within.

One helpful tool that can get you on the right track is the Homebuying Calculator from MSN Money. By filling out the fields required on this calculator as accurately as possible, you’ll be given a solid estimate of how much money you can put toward a house.

One area that remains hazy on this calculator, however, is the “Other monthly obligations” item. Here’s a sample of what these items might include:
  • Student loan payments
  • Healthcare/gym costs
  • Monthly utility bills
  • Your household’s entertainment and recreation budget
  • Food budget
  • Clothing budget
  • Savings budget
  • Transportation budget
In addition, first-time homeowners must realize that it costs a lot to get a home up and running. Items you may want or need to invest in include:
  • Furniture
  • Large appliances — washer, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.
  • Furnishings and home accessories — lighting, dishes and cookware, window dressings, rugs, etc.
  • Outdoor items — lawn mower, ladder, outdoor furniture, etc.
Tally up the amount allotted to all these items — as well as any other areas where you have payment commitments — to get the best estimate possible for your home-buying budget.

Once you’ve squared away how much you can afford and are ready to begin shopping for a home, contact me to get the ball rolling on your home search!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Home Sale Agreements are Still Rising

For people into numbers, there are plenty of good stats coming out about Central Indiana’s real estate market. For people who aren’t into math, the key takeaway is that the nine-county Indianapolis-area real estate market is selling more homes than it has in years.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that year-to-date home sales are nearly 20 percent ahead of the 2012 pace, and the average sale price is more than 5 percent up from last year — through June the average sale price was $161k. Even high-end real estate is increasing, as seven $1 million homes were sold in June.

June saw 2,637 purchase agreements on existing homes. Marion County agreements are up 5.5 percent from last year, while Hamilton County saw an 8.3 percent jump.  If you are interested in more detailed information about home sales in your neighborhood, please let me know.

An active market is a healthy market, so if you’re looking to buy a home, now is a good time to start.

Let me know if you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Indianapolis area, and we will work diligently to put you in the home of your dreams.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Join in the Celebration!

The 4ht of July is almost upon us and many communities are having their celebrations this weekend.  Check out this list for more information on time and place of some of the celebrations around Central Indiana.

This Weekend's Celebrations 

The Hendricks County Rib-Fest takes place on June 29. Events start at 5 p.m. followed by fireworks at dusk. More information here.

Fishers Freedom Festival is this weekend, June 29-30. Events include a 5k, live bands and fireworks. Fireworks are on June 30 at dusk.  

The Greenwood Freedom Festival is taking place Saturday, June 29. Events include a street fair, parade and fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

Celebrations on the 4th

The Brownsburg Lions Club will hold its annual 4th of July Extravaganza from July 2-6. Fireworks are on July 4 at approximately 10 p.m. More info here.

CarmelFest 2013 is happening July 3-4. Fireworks start around 9:45 p.m. on July 4. Details here.  

Lights Over Morse Lake will take place from July 4-6. Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m. on July 4. Check out all the events.

The Family 4th Fest is taking place on July 4 from 6-10:30 p.m. at the Danville Community High School football field.

Symphony on the Prarie will host the Star Spangled Symphony from July 3-5 each evening starting at 8.

Indianapolis ~ Enjoy ice cream at the 38th Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social held at the President Benjamin Harrison Home. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 4. $17 adults; $6 ages 5-11; Free for 4 and under

~ 4th of July Concert for Cancer takes places on Georgia St. from 2-10 p.m. The music festival benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Saint Francis Hospital Patient Assistance Fund

~ The 12th Annual Rooftop 4th of July Celebration will be held at the Fountain Square Theatre Building. Enjoy dinner and fireworks from the roof. The event runs from 7-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $70. The event is for adults 21 and older only.

~ The Indianapolis Indians take on the Louisville Bats at 6:05 p.m. on July 4. Fireworks follow the game. Tickets range from $11-16.

~ The Regions Bank Freedom Blast fireworks show will take place on July 4 at 9:45 p.m. The building is located at 1 Indiana Square.

The 4th of July festival will take place from July 3-4. Fireworks are on July 4 at 10 p.m. Check out the schedule of other events here.

The Noblesville Fourth of July Festival, Parade and Car Show is taking place on July 4 starting at 5 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Find the schedule of events here.

The fourth annual Westfield Rocks the 4th is taking place on July 4 from 4-10 p.m. Get all the details here.

The All-American July 4th Celebration will take place on July 4 in Lions Park. Events start at 5 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Latest Numbers Are In!

The Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR) has just released it's figures for the month of May. 

New listings for the area increased 15.6 percent in May and were up 5.6 percent for the quarter ending in May.  Pending sales up 18.9 percent for the three month period and closed sales increased 23.7 percent.  However, this caused a decrease in inventory levels by 16.5 percent over the same period. 

We did see prices increase along with the increase in sales.  The Median Sales Price increased 2.3 percent to $132,500 for the 2nd quarter while the supply of inventory decreased 30.4 percent to 5.6 months.

Interest rates have begun to tick upward but still remain at extremely low levels keeping home ownership attainable.  

Specifically for the month, pending sales were up 24.1 percent over last year with closed sales up 30.6 percent.  The average sales price has increased by 4.5 percent over 2012.

Home inventory has decreased by 15.9 percent which has lowered the months of home inventory from 8.1 months to 5.6 months.

If you would like more specific information about the market in your county or neighborhood, please let me know.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tips For Buyers In A Seller’s Market

The real estate market in Central Indiana has settled firmly into seller’s market territory.
The newest report from the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS notes the increased activity on the housing market is creating somewhat of a frenzy, with “buyers eager for available properties compet(ing) like they haven’t in years.”

For sellers, this is a great thing.

But for buyers, it might take a bit more effort than in the previous few years to land the home you’re longing for. Here are a few tips to help buyers compete in this seller’s market:
  1. Know What You’re Looking For. Determine your needs and your wants in a potential home, all before you’ve even started looking. This way, the moment new homes come on the market, you (and your agent) will know which ones are up for consideration and which ones aren’t worth pursuing, all based on your predetermined parameters.
  2. Get Financing Squared Away. Plain and simple: Unless you plan to pay with cash, get preapproved for a loan. Otherwise, you’ll get left in the dust by buyers who have proof that they have the means to purchase the home in question, all while you’re still working to get finances squared away. Money talks; give sellers your word with a loan preapproval.
  3. Prepare Yourself For A Bidding War. Be prepared to be outbid by other buyers competing for the same home. You can combat this issue by shopping for homes below your price range; in the case that a bidding war ensues, you’ll be able to up your offer and still stay within your budget. Note that if you’re only shopping for homes at the top of your price range, you’ll need to mentally prepare yourself for disappointment if you can’t keep up with higher offers from competing buyers.
  4. Be Prepared To Make Decisions Quickly. In this market, homes change hands in short order. If you’re serious about a particular property, be ready to make decisions regarding purchase quickly. Tarry, and the home will likely get picked up by someone else in no time.

If you or someone you know is planning to buy or put their home on the market, contact me today, so I can get you started on this process.  Homes are moving fast and it's a great time to be a seller. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Do Some People Sleep At Night?

From time to time we hear of local real estate scams going cropping up. Most of the time they are of the nature of something to do with repairs to homes, especially when summer storms roll through.  More often than not, the victims are unassuming elderly individuals who have been convinced that the services are needed. When I hear of such reports I wonder how these individuals can sleep at night? 

The following alert was sent out by the office of Attorney General Greg Zoeller.  Apparently there have been numerous complaints regarding this.  While this "service" is not illegal it is highly unethical.  

If you ever have questions regarding anything to do with property you own please feel free to contact me.  I am your trusted resource for all matters Real Estate!

"Watch out for mailings offering copies of deeds"

News reports and consumer calls confirm that the “Property Deed Scam” is still hitting
home with Hoosiers.  The mailing is often from a private company, with a government-
like name, offering certified copies of your land deed for an excessive fee – up to $87.

Property deeds are public records and your county recorder can provide you a copy for free or at a nominal cost, often times a $1 per page.  Attorney General Greg Zoeller said that while the property deed service is not necessarily illegal, the solicitation can often mislead consumers into believing they need a copy. Homeowners are not required to have copies even when they sell a property.

Zoeller asks consumers to disregard the mailings and help warn family and friends –
especially senior citizens. If you have any doubts about a mailing offering a government-provided service, contact the entity directly to confirm the solicitation’s
legitimacy. If you have paid for this service, but did not receive your deed copy you can
file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting or requesting a complaint form be mailed to you by calling