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Total Properties Listed: 13,335
Month / Month Chng: -6.57%
Avg Days on Market: 103
New Listings Today: 12
Median List Price: $195,000
Month / Month Chng: -2.50%

Buying a home

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.


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


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.


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.


Carmel may be number one

Carmel Indiana is not the home of any former U.S. President, nor the birthplace of any great invention, or the site of a famous civil war battlefield, but it is, none the less, a very special place for a very special reason.  Carmel Indiana just may be one of the best places in the country to live.

Consider this, between 2000 and 2010, the United States Census reports that the population in Carmel, Indiana rose by 42,000 to its current population of just over 79,000 residents.  Forbes Magazine named Carmel Indiana the number one place in the United States to raise a family.  In 2010, CNN Magazine voted it the 14th best place to live in the United States.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors even awarded Carmel with its Climate Protection Award for its development of 80 roundabouts, which replaced 78 stop lights and made a huge step forward in making this Midwestern city a greener place to live.

So, many have spoken in one way or another and cast their vote in favor of Carmel as one of the best places to live in America.  Carmel has become a model city and Mayors around the country are sitting up and taking notice as they try and immulate the success of this amazing little corn fed city.  The chorus of praise is almost overwhelming.

Carmel began its existence as a small farming community.  It sits about 10 miles south west of Noblesville, the county seat, so it has never factored prominently in its own county from a governmental point of view.  It has, however, factored in prominently because of its ever expanding property tax base fed by its ever expanding development.  The growth began in earnest in the early 1970's when new unscale neighborhoods were developed south of 116th street and east of Keystone Avenue.  Sales of these new homes were robust and enthusiastic.  More development followed, which built on that early success.  Carmel was fast becoming the place to be for affluent executives who desired a suburban family lifestyle in contrast to their urban management work life.

As Carmel grew in popularity and notoriety, Carmel's Mayor and city council began to build on this success.  They began by encouraging development of the City's assets and expanding city services.  As the City's assets and services developed, more residential developers entered the game.  Residential and City development seemed to be competing for honors and both seemed to be winning.

As of 2012, Carmel has grown into an amazing place to live.  It has a 24.5 million dollar water park and fitness center, a 300 million dollar state  of the art concernt hall with more than 2300 seats, an art and design district, a centralized bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting it to neighboring communities, world class golf courses, one of the best public eductation systems in the state, a rebuilt downtown shoppintg district designed with a neoclassical influence and populated with quaint shops, boutiquess and restaurants, all of which combine to give the place a unique spot on the map of classic Americana.

Crime rates are low, the population is diverse and affluent, the cost of living reasonable and if that isn't enough, the residents of this little slice of American Pie need only drive a few miles south to Indianapolis to find even more world class amenties.   Professional sports, world class auto racing, incredible restaurants, exciting nightlife and entertainment.  The list goes on.

So with all this, you might be surprised to learn there are some critics of this grand experiment.  Most criticisms have focused on the ever growing budget of city govenrment.  As Carmel's city leaders move forward on more ambitious projects, the residents feel the pinch in their wallets.  Others have complained that the city, in its effort to create some utopian world, have overstepped their bounds on local codes and ordinances, making the city much too restrictive for anyone to have any real since of freedome.  In the final analysis, however, those detractors are a quiet minority drowned out by the overwhelming hoopla of those who send up an enthusiastic cheer for this all American city.  By most accounts, Carmel Indiana may be the best place in the countyr to live, if not the world.