SOLD – 5345 Rippling Brook Way, Carmel

5345 Rippling Brook WayFrank and Barb initially called Jennifer about a property she had for sale in Zionsville.  That property wasn’t a good fit for the empty-nesters, but after they got to know each other, the three decided working together on their big move would be fun.  So Jennifer began the hunt for their new home, and found it on the northeast side of Zionsville in June. While they worked through the closing process on their purchase, she helped them get their house in east Carmel priced and ready to sell.  They launched the listing of 5345 Rippling Brook on a Friday afternoon, and 5 showings were immediately scheduled for Saturday!  An offer was received Saturday night, and the house was sold by Sunday afternoon.  The entire process, from the purchase to the sale, through the closings of both, was absolutely seamless.  Not a detail was forgotten, Frank and Barb got to move smoothly from one house to the other before they turned over the keys, and now they are comfortable settling in to their new home, which is conveniently located very near their adult children grandchildren.


SOLD – 11472 Regency Lane, Carmel

11472 Regency LnThis house was AWESOME!  Loaded and landscaped, huge and gorgeous,
Jennifer knew it would not be a tough sale if she got buyers into it;
but the rub was that this would be the first listing for the
neighborhood in the emerging, post-recession market. Recent sales were
not exactly favorable for pulling top dollar on this one, so the
challenge would be to support list price with sales from outside the neighborhood.  Reality was (still is) that 4000 square feet of a house
like that doesn’t sell for under $500,000 in Carmel very often, so
Jennifer felt a $369,000 list price was very very fair, even though
the sales around had not drawn over $300,000 in the past two years.
She was nervous launching at that, but her gut was right; and within a
short bit of time, a full-price offer was received that closed
smoothly. And the neighbors are forever grateful!  The summer saw a
handful of homes in that small neighborhood hit the market and sell at
similar list prices, and Jennifer was reminded to trust her gut.  It’s
almost always right!!

SOLD! 7965 Chiltern Drive, Indianapolis

7965 ChilternThe Fergusons were treasured former clients from a few years back.  When they called Jennifer about selling their home of 15+ years on Chiltern Dr, she knew it might be a challenging sale.  The house was older, though clean and in good shape, but the neighborhood had been ravaged by the recession with abundant foreclosures and low, low selling prices.  It didn’t help that a giant electrical tower sat in the back yard!  Still, Jennifer helped them dress the house to impress and price it appropriately, but there was a nagging fear in her mind about getting any sale through an appraisal in that market.  She did the research, figured out the right financing to get over the hurdle of the electrical tower, and in less than two months, a strong offer was secured.  The inspections, however, turned out to be very, very challenging.  A collapsed sewer line and failing drain pipes in the crawl were unexpected and very expensive surprises!  Fortunately, Jennifer places third-party home warranties on day 1 of every listing she takes, and that saved the day on this one!  Over $13,000 in significant plumbing repairs were covered by just three $100 deductibles on filed claims, and what could have been a major fall-through, was salvaged and closed on schedule.

What Polar Vortex?? I hadn’t noticed!

house in snowPeople keep asking me, “How’s this weather affecting the real estate market?”  I suppose you’ll get different answers depending on who you ask, but I’ve actually sold three houses in the past week!  Our office had a stellar January, surpassing our sales volume from 2013, despite the arctic blast (if you’ll remember, last January was unseasonably warm!).  I suspect this is because so many would-be buyers and sellers are trapped at home, shopping and researching online.  And while I may be snowed-in from time to time, I’m on the phone, banging out emails and doing my job.  Carpenter helps me post my listings EVERYWHERE, so they are getting maximum attention right now.  We post on dozens and dozens of international websites.  Our homes are in print, on tv, in your mailbox, and, yes, if you can get to the house, there is always a flyer box out front with lots of juicy little details on the beauty before your eyes.  Buyers are finding our listings, and buying them.  So it looks like this is going to be a smashing year.  If we can sell this much in this weather at this time of year, well…bring on the spring!  We’ll need more inventory by then, for sure.  Who’s thinking about a move this year?


SOLD – 1167 S Vicksburg Drive, Greenwood

1167 S Vicksburg DrWhen Debbie and Don got married two years ago, they ended up with a spare house.  The market was really weak at that point, so Jennifer helped them lease it for a year, which offset their expenses (with a little profit to boot), while the market improved and stabilized.  The spring of 2013 found the tenant moving on to a new job, and the market extremely robust in their development.  The builder had finished up and cleared out, the foreclosures that had haunted the market in the prior year had sold and been revitalized.  Several strong sales had occurred over the winter, and the time was right for 1167 S Vicksburg to have a new owner.  Believe it or not, the condo was sold in 22 days, for almost list price, and closed just a few weeks later.  Debbie and Don are free to enjoy their newly-wedded bliss without a vacant house on their backs, and Jennifer got to write another Story of Sold.

SOLD – 5525 S 950 E, Zionsville

5525 S 650 EMargie was frustrated with the sales process on her beloved Zionsville home of 30+ years.  A new marriage had moved her to the south side, so she’d initially called a “friend” to help her sell it.  After six months, she called it quits.  She had limited showings, negative feedback, and no offers; but that is usually the outcome of no advertising, no open houses and no staging.  As spring advanced, she called in Jennifer.  Wallpaper was stripped from the kitchen, furniture was re-positioned in the front room, fixtures were changed in a bathroom, and the price was adjusted by just $3000 to hit a crucial price break. With aggressive advertising, Jennifer sold and closed the sale in 71 days.  Successful real estate sales are never about “who you know.”  They are always the result of having the right professional on the job who can help perfect the condition and pricing for the best fit in the market, and Jennifer has honed that knowledge with more than a decade on the job, writing Stories of SOLD.

JUST LISTED AND SOLD! 911 Cardinal Drive, Zionsville

16This is easy living! Not a thing needs to be updated. It’s all been completed for your smooth move. Let the great room be the setting for your fireside chat with friends, while guests dine elegantly nearby or casually among the landscape out back. Updates to the kitchen, including solid-surface counters, complete the modern feel of the main common areas, while 3 large bedrooms & updated baths complete the environment. Roof & mechanicals all new since 2008, new insulated siding in 06. Nice!

Play VisualTour

SOLD – 6068 Pillory Drive, Indianapolis

pillory6068 Pillory Dr was a hard one for Jennifer, because she had to deliver the news she does not like to ever deliver to sellers.  This neighborhood had sustained brutal quantities of foreclosures and shortsales in the prior 2 years.  Some 35+ homes were on the the market at that moment, and supply and demand dictated a sales price that would generate a dreadful loss on the sale in order to make that big move to the new job in St. Louis.  They were young, it was their first house, they’d bought it without representation, and they’d overpaid at the peak of the market six years prior.  Not fun news for Jennifer to deliver on a Saturday morning, but they were not surprised.  They’d been watching their neighborhood, they had a feeling the news wouldn’t be good, and they had prepared themselves financially, because the job waiting in St Louis was career-changing and promised a rewarding future.  Absorbing the loss now, freed them up to spread their wings and head west.  Sigh.  Jennifer listed the house at the appropriate price for the market, began the marketing, showed it enough to generate an offer, and then helped them negotiate the terms to protect as much equity as they possibly could.  The timing was perfect, too, because the house never had to sit empty.  The job was secured, the moving truck was packed, they closed via mail a week later, and their new life began with a lesson learned…when buying in the future, get representation from a strong Realtor who knows the local market to avoid over-paying!

SOLD! 4614 Summersong Road, Zionsville

Summersong RoadJack and Marnie were spending more and more time at their lake house in Michigan.  Their home in Zionsville was easy-enough to maintain, but an unnecessary anchor and expense, so they called Jennifer to get it sold.  What a delight their beautiful home in Ravinia was!  The marketing rolled out strategically, the house was priced appropriately, and within 4 days the first offer was received.  It wasn’t a bad offer, not quite acceptable, but workable.  Before responding to that offer, Jennifer called some folks who’d also seen the house that week and let them know that they needed to make their intentions known – and fast – if they were interested!  The very next morning, a second offer was received, and this one was ABOVE the list price.  Well, you can imagine how that turned out.  The appraisal and the inspections commenced, Jennifer had to do some fast work collecting bids for minor, unknown defects, but they were able to find a compromise on the repairs that suited all the parties.  It closed earlier this month.  While Jennifer is sad to see Jack and Marnie leave Zionsville, she is quite proud of her success on their behalf, and she knows that if they ever return, she’s earned their business in the future, and hopefully that of their local friends.

5 Signs Real Estate Recovery is Near (PTL!)

These suggestions come from David Stevens, president & CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (and thanks to Inman News for the interview):

1) MARKETS ARE STABILIZING. The real deliquency rate is down to 8.5% this year vs 10% last year.  New foreclosure starts are down. Florida, Nevada & Arizona are stabilizing.   All that means less bank-owned inventory, which would give private sales an opportunity to realize some stabilization and opportunity to sell at fair market value.

2) NEGATIVE EQUITY AND DECLINING HOME VALUES ARE CONCENTRATED IN FIVE KEY STATES.  In fact, 50% of the total national foreclosure problem is concentrated in those 5 states, so Stevens says that those who quote declines in the average price of homes are using “dangerous data.”  In fact, he claims that if the foreclosure sales are removed from total market data, the average sales prices of privately-owned homes would actually be up.  Now, I have to say I’ve been claiming this about Indy for the past 5 years.  We didn’t have a bubble, we didn’t have a burst.  Our foreclosure inventory is moving to a reduced level almost daily.  And good, clean, well-priced homes are selling at fair-market value.

3) THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST TIME EVER TO BUY A HOME.  30-yr fixed rates are actually at 4%.  No gimmicks, no tricks.  Yes, 4%.  They have NEVER before been this low.  Did you know that a 2% increase in the rate for a 30-yr loan on a $200,000 house could cost you $87,937 in additional interest over the life of the loan?  That is a staggering punishment for not acting NOW if you’re in the market to buy a house with the bank’s money!  Some would-be-buyers worry about property values continuing to decline and are sitting on the fence.  People!  If a $200,000 house declines 5% in the next year, that’s only $10,000.  Buying NOW could still save you $77,937 over the life of the loan, and who knows what type of equity you could build if you look beyond the short-term risk.  You’ve got to live somewhere.   That rental you’re in sure isn’t going to increase in value for you!

4) THE COMING HOME SHORTAGE.  I said, “what?”  But this makes sense!  Gen Y is stabilizing professionally and coming of age.  There are now 80 million Americans, ages 18-34 years old.  They are the largest generation of Americans ever; even larger than the Boomers. And they will need a place to live pretty darn soon.  They won’t be in college or living in their parents’ basements forever.  And if you haven’t noticed, there’s not been a lot of new construction in the past 5 years or so.    Home values are all about supply & demand.  Giddy up, that’s good news when you think about it!

5) JOB CREATION AND TIGHT CREDIT. Stevens believes those two short-term problems are the biggest weight on the housing market.  Jobs are obvious, and the tight credit situation is just the pendulum swinging too far from where it was before the crash in 06-07.  Give it time, the jobs will return, and the lenders will loosen up a bit.  It’s already starting.

Now, I see a lot of wisdom in these comments.  #2 is a BRILLIANT way to look at the choice of “risking it” to buy now.  I mean, I’ve been bellowing about these crazy low rates since they hit 4% (in fact, for years actually, because they were crazy good at 6% and then 5.5% and then 5% etc), but man, oh man, what would our parents have given to buy with money that cheap 30 years ago?  And to realize that holding out to “see what the market will do” could cost that much money?!  Also, #4 CURLS MY TOES.  He’s so right on that thinking.  Hopefully, all these production builders won’t go vertical fast enough and resale will have a chance on the fun-side of the supply & demand game.

Anyway, nobody can predict what will happen this evening, much less the future of the local housing market, but these comments give me hope.  Hang in there and if you want to save yourself about $88,000 over the next 30 years, CALL ME NOW 🙂  Happy Friday.