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Month / Month Chng: -0.18%
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Median List Price: $265,000
Month / Month Chng: 3.11%

The StarHarborRealty.com Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Welcome to the New Real Estate World

     Welcome to 2021 Real Estate.  The fact that there is little inventory makes this a Seller's Market, however, this does not make it impossible to purchase a home at a respectable price.  In my personal experience, homeowners are having offers made on their listing within 48 hours of being on the market if the listing price can be justified.  The competition for the buyer is to have a line of credit or cash reserve to overbid on the home to be competitive with the rental companies purchasing everything with no appraisal, cash, and minimal inspection of only major defects.  I recently had a closing that had my buyers confused.  I will not name the company but the buyer's agent was here in Indiana, the title Company in Atlanta, GA, and the company that purchased the property was in Delaware.  A notary came to my office to have the sellers sign the documents, on day two the documents were sent to the title company and then onto the buyer, and then funding was 48 hours after the closing.  The sellers had to sign several documents in advance with the out-of-state title company which made my clients very uncomfortable.  This could possibly be the "new" closing process so we all need to be prepared and to inform our clients in advance.  Personally, I still love the local closing companies where we all sit down and sign the documents, congratulate each other, and then give over the keys so I too may need to update my thoughts.

     Back to my point, listing your home.  Sellers are hearing wonderful stories about offers thousands of dollars over the assumed value.  I advise any agents to first do a comparative market analysis on a home before listing so if the value comes in lower than the offering price, the appraisal may be challenged or the buyer can bring the additional cash to close.  Some agents are purchasing using the escalated value where the buyer will pay a certain amount over the appraised value.

     This is an interesting time to be a Broker.  I will give this article some more thought later, right now I need to get back to doing a comparative market analysis on two new listings.  Have a blessed day:)


Buying Commercial Properties/Investment Properties

Let us have a conversation about the Real Estate market and lack of inventory.  Properties are going on the market but gone in the same day!  Hi there, this is Kim. I want to open a conversation about the Real Estate Market and find out your views.  What do you think is going on and will it continue?

I was in a class last week and we were discussing how some investors have such large capital backing that they are buying up every home they can with a price point between $125,000.00 and $350,000.00 per home.  Why do you think they want these homes?  The homes are not being used as "fix-N-flip", the homes are updated if needed and then rented.  In my opinion, some investors in the Real Estate world are counting on the age group between 22 and 30 years old remembering their parents struggling during the Real Estate episode where the bubble crashed in 2008.  Unlike the Great Depression, this crash only took 18 months. The stock market and housing crash had its origins in the unprecedented growth of the subprime mortgage market beginning in 1999. 

Now fast forward to 2020.  The market today has us agents placing the homes on the market and then there comes a bidding war.  Yes, I am in Indiana where the housing cost is respectable but what is going to happen in the near future?  I had a home here recently that went on the market and in 12 hours I had an offer price $8,000.00 higher than my asking price.  When the appraisal came in, the home value was equal to my listing price.  This financing was VA so my client accepted the appraised value and we closed.  A week later I had a client place an offer on a home that was $16,000.00 over the listing price.  The appraised value came in near the listing price but $8,000.00 short of our offer, so my client brought an extra $8,000.00 to the closing table. Events like this cause fear in some people, especially if during 2008ish their family lost their home.  Home investors acknowledge the internal voice of clients and they know a client may feel safer paying $100.00 a square foot for rental space rather than losing it all in the real estate market.  I do not agree with this tactic however I was blessed to stay busy and did not have the financial worry of some.  My son and his wife are 26 and 27 years old.  They purchased a home over 5 years ago.  They were both blessed with feeling secure in their family’s home but what if that were not the case?  What if they would have seen their family lose everything? 

I would love to know your thoughts and views on the upcoming 2021 market.  Please respond if you have news or facts that may help others.

Thank you:)



2018 Time to Buy

2018 is going to be an amaing year to buy a home.  The market has settled down, home prices are at their best in the midwest, and lenders are still willing to negotiate your fees for your business.  As a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Indiana Board of Realtors, and Metropolitian Indianapolis Board of Realtors, I have an abundance of resources to help you find the home you are looking for.  Geist, Carmel, New Palestine, Avon, Indianapolis, Greenwood, etc...all areas have new home builds as well as exhisting homes just waiting for your offer.  Please call me, Kim Stewart (McNevin) at 317-292-9492 and find out what Star Harbor Realty, LLC can do your you.  You can always send me an e-mail at starharbor@comcast.net.  Thank you, may God Bless you and Gob Bless America.


New Palestine Listing

Wow, what a beautiful day and how about this awesome new listing in New Palestine!  4 Bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath new listing, asking only $222,000.00  In this home yo get more than you ask for.  The downstairs is completely lovely for entertaining and the upstairs has 3 bedrooms on the west side, a master bedroom of tne east side and then a Bonus Room/Loft area that seperates the two sections.  A half bathroom on the main floor and two full bathrooms upstairs.  3,116 sq ft as per the assessors office.  Open floor plan.  Quartz kitchen counters, stamped concrete rear patio and decor.  Excellent subdivision and well known New Palestine School District.


Best Time to List a Home

April 15th through August 15th in my personal opinion, may be the best time of the year to sell a home for it's top price.  April 18th is the deadline to file your taxes.  Some people may get a tax refund that would assist with a down payment on the purchase of a home or as an investment down payment if purchasing on contract.  Even though Indiana has a "year round" school system, people are still drawn to the idea that summer time is an easier time to move the family even if it is to another school district.  No matter the time of year, spring, summer, fall or winter, the staff at Star Harbor Realty, LLC is ready to list your home for you at the highest price we feel we can sell the home for you.  Star Harbor Realty, LLC is ready to assist you with your Buying, Selling, and Investment needs.  Kim Stewart, Managing Broker, Bryan Dirk Anderson, Broker, and Gretchen McHugh, Referral Agent, are here to take your call, identify your need, and then list your home for the top price.  Call us today, 317-292-9492 or e-mail us at starharbor@comcast.net to explore you Real Estate options. 


4919 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN

4919 N. Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208.  Majestic Meridian Street Manor home.  Burns + James Colonial Revival with Corinthian Columned Portice.  Grand Foyer with 35 X 9 Black and White marble entry.  Architectual detailing, extensive molding and trim, hardwoods, and many updates.  Elegant Living Room with French Doors.  Formal Dining Room with Butler's pantry and designer kitchen with fireplace.  Master suite with private balcony and chic bath.  Home has large 1584 sq. ft. 3rd floor ready to be converted to your design.  Home has the potential for 4 (four) floors of living space once the basement is converted.  Enchanting backyard with Pergola covered patio.  This home is supurb!  Contact Kim Stewart at Star Harbor Realty, LLC for your private showing of the home. (317) 292-9492.



***Just Listed today, 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 baths, 2405 square foot home in lovely Carrington Village in Beech Grove.  Just off of 9th Avenue, this updated home is just minutes from downtown Indianapolis.  Elegant home surrounded with beautiful landscaping, immaculate maintenance with quality care.  Quiet neighborhood with easy access.  Back deck is wonderful for entertaining, overlooks community pond!  Entrance to Carrington Village is across from South Grove Park.  Call Kim Stewart, Star Harbor Realty, LLC at (317) 292-9492 for your private showing.


March is the Month to List Your Home

     Star Harbor Realty is ready to list your home.  March is a great month to put your home on the market.  People concerned with moving their children during the school year, often start looking in the month of March.  The weather may start to give people a little break and folks have cabin fever.  They have been in their home all winter discussing issues with their present home and are ready to move.  Buyers may make an offer on your home contingent of selling ther present residence but that can work to your advantage with a First Right of Refusal.  This way you can continue to market your home and if another buyer makes an offer, your client with the First Right of Refrusal has the option to continue the purchase or let party #2 step in and negotiate the deal.  Now in the situation of my son, he and his girlfriend volunteer rescue pets.  They have been in an apartment all winter because they are in college.  It has come to their attention that an apartment in the Midwest is no place for pets so now I am looking for them a home with a fenced in backyard close to campus.  My son is probably not the only person with a pet that has decided the winter has been tough and they need a home with a backyard for Fido to play in rather than out walking the fuzzy baby four time a day.  This becomes another feeder market and is another reason to list your home in March.  It can take up to 90 days to close on a home.  The exit time from the apartment to the home will be in June.  You have given the apartment complex a 90 day notice of moving, had time to tidy the apartment and hopefully get your security deposit back, which could go toward new paint for your home or a down payment on the fence you need in the back yard for Fido.




118 S. 11th AVE, BEECH GROVE

     Please join us Sunday from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM for an Open House.  This amazing Beech Grove home has 3 bedrooms with a 4th room being utilized as an additional bedroom.  Stainless Kitchen Appliances stay with the home as well as an oversized washer and dryer.  Home highlights outdoor entertainment with a Hot Tub that will stay with the home.  The Hot Tub motor and jets were replaced 2014 and in wonderful working order.  The Kitchen has Hand Made Hickory Caminets by Robert Mueller along with Stained Glass Kitchen Window.  Tile Floors/Carpet replaced in 2012 by Carver Construction as well as a completely remodeled basement in 2008, again by Carver Construction.  Water Heater was replaced in 2009.  This home has too many upgrades to mention.  Come by our Open House on Sunday, July 27th and see for yourself.  

     Have a home you need to list?  Call Kim Stewart, Managing Broker for Star Harbor Realty, LLC at (317) 292-9492.  At Star Harbor Realty, LLC, we list homes, help you invest in Real Estate and will attend auctions for you.

     118 S. 11th Avenue in Beech Grove can be viewed on this web site or go to MIBOR and view Listing #21302189.  Hope to see you Sunday1


Star Harbor Open House

Please join us Sunday August 27, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM for an Open House in Beech Grove.


Welcome Gary Adams

From Kim Stewart, Broker for Star Harbor Realty, LLC.  :  During the recent years, Gary Adams, a Mortgage Advisor, has been closing residential loans for Star Harbor Realty, LLC and I can honestly state the professionalism of Gary Adams is truly exceptional.  At this time, I would like to congratulate Gary Adams in his new position of Mortgage Advisor with Stonegate Mortgage.  I can tell you first hand from my dealings with Gary, that from the inception of every transaction through and including the closing, his service is unique.  Gary is responsive, personable and easy to talk to.  He is dedicated to meeting with the client's to discuss their financial needs and consistently demonstrated his commitment to superior customer service.  It is because of the integrity, dedication and vast industry knowledge that Gary Adams has, that I enthusiastically recommend Gary Adams to my clients.  Gary's contact information is direct: (317) 777-6614. e-mail gary.adams@stonegatemtg.com   


Homes for Sale

Now is the time to start looking for your dream home.  January and February people usually hibernate from the world other than to go to work or the store because of the cold temperatures here in the Midwest.  What a great time to look for a home and put in an offer, that you feel is a good deal and less chance of bidding with competing buyers.  Contact me, Kim Stewart at Star Harbor Realty and let's sit down and talk about what you are looking for in a home.  I love to show homes no matter what the season may be and will be able to help you find the most home possible for your buying power.  Need your home loan be $50,000.00 or $5,000,000.00 I am the person that will find what you are looking for at a fair market value. www.starharborrealty.com or e-mail me at starharbor@comcast.net and let’s get busy finding you that home you want so very much


Open House

Cool OPEN HOUSE TODAY!  647 Danver Lane, BeechGrove, IN 46107.  Open House hours are 1:00PM until 3:00PM.  Lovely Carrington Addition, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath.  Just reduced to sell, $145,000.00  Come see home or schedule a private showing.  Call Star Harbor Realty, LLC at (317) 292-9492 or www.starharborrealty.com.


Buying and Keeping Home Value

Indianapolis Real Estate buyers look for financial stability in a neighborhood to assist in securing the present day value into the future. Home buyers want to make sure they have some control over the chance of losing value in the future market and location seems to be one way to at least do damage control.

 Home buying makes good since.  I always tell anyone in need of financial answers to contact either an attorney, CPA or Certified Planner for assistance.  With that being said, in my own opinion, as long as we can write off the mortgage interest on our taxes, buying is better than renting, especially for financial security.

 Discounts on already low Real Estate prices can be something to fall back on in the event of a potentially declining market.  Sellers are already pricing their homes at market value and are hesitant on going below the market.  I have had some sellers ask me when would be a good time to list their home.  I always tell sellers that the spring, summer and fall times of the year have the earmarks that make it a bit more interesting for buyers to home shop rather than in the winter.  Winter time is a tough time to sell homes because people do not want to get out in the cold and it also runs into the holidays which are extremely busy for most.  Personally I have had good luck for my buyer’s in the winter due to the decline in activity.  Good home, great price, peace of mind on future home value.

 Star Harbor Realty also suggests that when buying a home and looking for an investment that will grow, verses decline, come up with a score card on the homes.  What brings value to you?  Is it the distance to your work, upscale restaurants and shopping, bus or public transportation?  What ever the draw may be, do your score card and then envision the score card in ten years.  Will the values be the same?  Sometimes the value is in the least expected location which may be your best decision for long term value.

 Star Harbor Realty, your Indianapolis Realtor, is here to help you.


Preparing For New Home Ownership

Preparing for home ownership

If you are a first time buyer and expect to purchase a home, take heed of some good advice from experienced real estate professionals.  The real estate market has changed dramatically since the great recession of 2008.  Mortgage defaults, high unemployment, secondary market instability, are just a few of the factors that have changed the landscap for those who yearn for their piece of the American dream.

Consider this advise.  First and foremost, hire a real estate professional.  There is no guarantee that the home you buy today will be worth more tomorrow.  While that may have been the case in the past, home buyers today need to be careful as they attempt to make what will likely be the biggest investment of their life.  Therefore, now more than ever, they should rely on the expertise of a real estate professional.  Real estate professionals are in the best position to advise home buyers about those things that are most likely to affect real estate values now and in the future.

Safe-guard your credit.  Credit reporting bureaus gather information about you every day.  Your ability to secure mortgage financing is dependent upon your credit.  Unfortunately, much of the information that may be reported to the credit reporting agencies could be false or inaccurate.  Knowing your credit history and monitoring it periodically will help insure your credit score is accurate and healthy.  Know what impacts your credit and take steps to protect it.

Save lots of cash.  Although there are a few federal housing programs that offer no down payment financing for certain VA and FHA foreclosed properties, the vast majority of homes on the market today will require conventional financing, and that will necesitate a substantial down payment.  Many point to the decade leading up to the mortgage crash of 2007 and the liberal qualifications for mortgage financing as the root cause of so many mortgage failures.  Buyers with no money down had no skin in the game and therefore strategic default presented no serious concerns for those who found themselves underwater.  These days, down payments are a necessity, so plan to store up at least twenty percent of the purchase price, if you expect to buy.

Know your community.  While it may make sense to buy a house because it is priced so low, that bargain price may be an indicator of a more pervasive problem.  Because the market value of one property is affected by neighboring properties, neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures may struggle to rebound for many years.  Homes in more economically stable neighborhoods will cost you more, but are more likely to keep pace with the market as the market rebounds from five years of recession.  Other factors such as school performance, crime, and taxes will also impact your investment.

This is a great time to buy a home, if you can afford it and you know what to look for.  Gahter your resources and buy into the American dream.  This is a buyer's market.  The opportunities that exist today may not exist tomorrow.


Mortgage Advice

The most common real estate trap

Buying real estate is a complicated matter.  There is so much to consider when buying a house that it’s hard to keep track of it all.  Many buyers concentrate on the tangibles because that is what they can see and touch.  Unfortunately, it’s the things they don’t see that often hurt them in the end.  One of the most common pitfalls of buying a property has to do with the loan origination fees. 

While a good real estate broker will help educate you about the problems associated with loan origination fees, nothing can substitute for personal knowledge.  This is what every home buyer needs to know.  You will pay someone a fee anytime you take out a mortgage loan.  The amount you pay can vary widely depending upon the mortgage broker or person originating the loan.

One of the most common pitfalls real estate buyers fall into is the zero origination fee loan.  This is a popular option used by many mortgage brokers to bring business in the door.  Unsuspecting borrowers hear the pitch which informs them that they can opt for the bank paying the origination fees rather than they the buyers paying such fees.  When borrowers select that option, they can expect to pay nothing out of pocket at the start of the loan, but they will pay an extra fee with each mortgage payment over the life of the loan which will result in the loan origination fee being paid over and over every two years over the life of the loan.

To combat this predatory practice Congress passed the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (RESPA), which requires mortgage brokers, banks and other institutions to disclose the actual amount of loan origination fees and other fees to the borrower so that the borrower can be better informed about the real costs associated with the loan.


Sellers Benefit to using a REALTOR

Seller Benefits of using a REALTOR:  Key factor to selling your property is being informed of the comparative market analysis, terms and conditions of the sale, financing accepted and listed price of the property.  Anything will sell if it is priced right!

Over 50% of Real Estate sales use the assistance of a cooperative broker.  The listing REALTOR will pay other REALTORS what is known as a buyer’s agent commission which is a percentage of their agreed listed commission. On the BLC (MLS) this in noted in the BAC section.

Now getting back to why you need a REALTOR to help sell your home. Your REALTOR will suggest to you repairs that will enhance the salability of the real estate.  Being the marketing coordinator for the sale of your real estate may come through the BLC (MLS), flyers, open house, e-flyers, or other marketing networks that Real Estate Agents have shown to work to present your property in the brightest light possible. 

82% of Real Estate sales is generated through previous contacts your agent has had with clients, other referrals, friends, family, personal contacts and business contacts.  I personally will contact lenders that I have come in contact with, give them the property information and ask if they have any client’s that are pre-approved for a loan and looking in this area of the listing or for the style of home that is listed?  You need to be creative with your contacts and utilize every source you have.

Security is a huge concern when you list a home.  How many times do we hear of people gong into a home during a for sale by owner showing and have some item come up missing.  When you list with a REALTOR, the home will never be looked at unless the listing broker or the possible selling broker is in the home with the clients.  Card Lock Box is used to store the key to the home and a special card is used to open the box.  The REALTOR will take responsibility to make sure the home is secured as soon as the clients leave the home.

A REALTOR will assist in negotiations to get the most value possible out of the home as well as negotiating inspections, financing requirements and issues that may arise from the appraisal.  This is what REALTORS do, they negotiate for their customers and they do it a lot.  The REALTORS eyes are trained to look for specific statement in the purchase agreement and are there to educate you along the way on the sale of  your home.

There are a number of factors that take place from the time of listing your home to the official closing.  As questions come up, your realtor can help.  You may not have had a title search done in a long time and low and behold, when the title  search is ran, the title company finds clouds or liens on the title work.  You can not pass clear title until all liens, judgments, and clouds are cleared.  This process can take an amazing amount of time and you may not know how to get in touch with everyone or what to do.  Your REALTOR will assist with helping you clear the title.  Now you can sell your home and pass clear title to the new owners.

To give you a complete breakdown of the process, I will start with you contacting a REALTOR or a Real Estate Company like Star Harbor Realty.  We will come to your home, walk through the home, make a list of what we think could help you sell your home, even if it is to de-clutter.  We will take measurements of the rooms and then talk to you about your ideas for selling the home.  The price you have in mind and what time frame you would like to be able to sell the home in.  We will leave you with a copy of the listing contract to read over as well as a Sellers Real Estate Sales Disclosure to fill out about the condition of the home.  We will take this information back to the office with us, do a comparative market analysis, compare tax records and then return to see you, share our information and then hopefully agree on Star Harbor Realty listing your property to sell.  If the contract is agreed upon, we will take pictures of the home and put it on the BLC (MLS) along with the other information we may have to trigger interest from the public.  We will schedule an open house and from this point forward, market your home aggressively.  When we receive a Purchase Agreement from a client, we will meet with you to discuss the pros and cons of the offer.  After tight negotiations, will keep close contact with the buyer to make sure they are not running in to any problems.  We will keep you informed of appraisals, inspections, additional walk through, etc  You will be walked to the closing table with peace of mind that your REALTOR got you the best deal they could get!. 


Short Sale Information

A SHORT SALE is not so short even though as of June 15, 2012 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented new guidelines to assist the process.  These changes require mortgage services to make the short sale acceptance decision within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer.  Pre-approval short sales will also have the same timeframe.  There may be times when the lender needs more time to make the decision.  Remember that you may have one short sale for an answer but the lender will probably have several deals on their computer and/or desk.  If in the event that the short sale answer needs extended, the lender must give the borrower or borrower’s representative weekly status updates but the decision must be made within 60 days of the initial short sale application.  The lender may have needed the extension of time to do a price opinion on the home or to get the approval of the mortgage insurer.

SHORT SALES are more complex than the routine home sales.  There may be a couple lenders involved in a first, second and possible third mortgage plus the distance from each other so negotiations are done online, by phone, via fax, in person and possible all of the previous. 

Someone may question the reason behind the SHORT SALE but other see this as a better alternative than foreclosure.  In a SHORT SALE, fees are smaller, the property transfers ownership at a faster pace and you also eliminate all the problems that come with a home left vacant after foreclosure.  

If a homeowner is considering a SHORT SALE, you may want to consult with a REALTOR to assist with marketing the home and bank negotiations.  The components of an effective SHORT SALE package include from the seller, (1) a hardship letter informing the lender of the problems that arose to cause the loss of income.  This can be several reasons but the ones I have seen most as a Broker for Star Harbor Realty are divorce, medical bills, and/or loss of income or job.  (2) A completed financial form of your credit/debt ratio. (3) Completed Form 4506-T (Request for tax transcriptions).  (4) Copies of your last 2 months bank statements for all accounts.  (5) Copies of most recent pay check stubs for one month of all mortgagors or verification of Un-Employment, Disability, Pension, Social Security income.  (6) Copies of signed complete Federal Income Tax returns for the last two years, including all schedules. (7) Authorization signed for all third parties listed on the Note, for your account to be discussed with your REALTOR, attorney, relative, spouse, etc.  (8) A copy of the Real Estate Listing and the BLC (MLS) print out.  (9) Copy of a ratified sales contract upon receipt-subject to investor and/or Mortgage Insurance approval.  (10) A net proceeds sheet which has been prepared by your agent, a title company, or attorney.

Please be aware that the collection and foreclosure process will continue uninterrupted unless your lender decides to stop the process while you are working on the short sale.  Otherwise, your timely response is essential and you will need to be aware of the additional requests the lender may need to make the final decision.  Again, Collection and Foreclosure procedures will continue until a written agreement is signed.


Financing Home Loan Repairs

I was reading an article in Fast Track MIBOR SPOTLIGHT about Niche Mortgage Product for home buyers in Indianapolis.  As a note, the article is a second of a quarterly series from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. 

Here is the situation, someone is trying to sell a home that is in okay conditions but during the appraisal or inspection, some issues are identified such as needing paint, possibly a new furnace, roof issues, electrical problems, or a host of other than desirable problems that could break the deal.  Now, the seller is confronted with the problems identified in the appraisal or inspection but can not afford to make the repairs without taking a major loss.

Now comes in the Indianapolis Neighborhood Partnership to step in and utilize the Revive Indy mortgage loan.  The repairs that have been identified in either the appraisal or inspection can be rolled into the first mortgage if the buyer is financially approved and willing to use this mechanism of financing as well as do some of the work themselves.  This program gives buyers the control they would not have with the government rehab programs.

Loan details as given in the article:.....Inspection is required.  180 days max of loan closing for any health and safety hazards.  Marion County Property ONLY.  Property must appraise for the full loan amount and the buyer will need to qualify for the acquisition and rehab cost.  Buyer income limits apply.

For more information you may visit inhp.org


Condominiums still in the game

Like the California Condors which were recently rescued from near extinction, the American Condo is likewise making a comback, although they are not yet soaring quite so high.  Since the mortgage crisis descended upon the nation and the mortgage industry virtually self destructed, real estate sales have been slow to say the least.  Condo sales have been even slower.  That is due in large part to regulations imposed by Fannie Mae and FHA soon after the mortgage crash.

FHA regulatiosn restrict condominium financing to developments where there are no more than 50 percent rentals, no more than 25 percent of the space devoted to commercial use, and no more than 15% of the units are more than 30 days late on their homeowners association dues.  Fannie Mae imposes the same requirements as the FHA with regard to the HOA dues, but it also requires that no one entity own more than 10% of the complex and no more than 20% of the space be used for commercial business.  These restrictions have kept most mortgage lenders from loaning money on condos, because to do so would make it impossible for them to bundle them and sell them in the secondary market.

However, the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae have begun to lighten their restrictions, but on a case by case bsis.  Consequently, some major lenders are beginning to return to the condo market.  one of those is U.S. Bank.  Others will likely follow soon.

So whose buying condos and how have they done it?  To begin with, not many condos have been sold in recent years.  Those that have are primarely situated in highly desirable locals such as Miami Beach, or San Diego.  Where condos in hightly desirable locals are concerned, wealthy investors have purchased them with cold hard cash and purchased at fire sale prices.  The luxury condo market has been open season for those with cash and patience.

Notwithstanding the forecasted easing of mortgage restrictions, condominium owners would be well served by an association that can marshal contol over their HOA dues and the ownership divisions.  Well managed condominiums will likely survive, while those that are poorly managed will likely spiral into the vacation rental abyss.  High end luxury condominiums generally have less trouble with these issues, but they are not totally immune.

Still, condos continue to be a popular choice for those who want maintenance free living or a vacation home in a desirabe location.  Many are betting on a comeback and are jumping in with both feet now.  While the future of real estate is still somewhat uncertain, it is still a good bet that the market that everthing else is built on will recover in the future.

The national median existing-condo price is $157,200.00 as of mid year 2012.  That is up 3.4 percent over the first quarter of 2011.  Thirty-four out of 52 markets surveyed showd declines in sale prices.  Eighteen markets showed strong increases.  Economic forces all but halted construction of condos over the past six years and therefore supply of available condo units have fallen.

To the extent that current condo sales are made up of second home or vacation home purchasers, the typical buyer of those investments are 50 to 59 years of age.  Economists and market watchers believe that sales of real estate for the immediate future will be made up of largely younger first time buyers or well vested seniors with the financial wherewithal to do as they please.

Condominiums continue to serve a purpose and attract buyers as banks continue to loan money for their purchase, albeit under strict limitations.  The condo, like the California Condor, will be a survivor, but it will take strong HOAs to protect the bottom line.