Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rent vs Buy?

Rent vs Buy?  I like to refer to it as "Rent Until You Can Buy!" 

When you rent you build wealth for the landlord.  When you buy you build wealth for yourself!  The majority of us must rent for awhile when we are first out on our own.  The goal should be to start building wealth for yourself as soon as you possibly can.

There are many factors that play into the decision to rent vs buy.  Some of them are:

  • How long you plan to live in the area
  • The current interest rates
  • Will there be future rent increases? (The answer is yes!)
  • Property taxes
  • Income tax savings
  • Potential appreciation
  • Selling costs

One of the best financial calculators that I have found can be located by CLICKING HERE.  This will be a great tool for helping you look at your situation.

Of course, a great REALTOR will also be of tremendous help!  :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tip for cleaning white kitchen appliances

I have shared this tip many times over the years with buyers and sellers.  I am always amazed by how well it works on getting those yellowed spots off white appliances!

Here is the link I found helpful:

"Sometimes you just need to try something simple... like baking soda. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemons all have natural cleaning powers that rival manufactured cleaning solutions. They are easy and safe to use, and can often clean for much less money than other cleaning products on the market.

General Baking Soda Tip: Make a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1 gallon of hot water. This mixture will clean of grease and grime as well as deodorize.

Baking Soda and Whitening: Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a few cups of warm water and wash down the outside of white appliances. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes before rinsing clean and it will help remove yellowing of the appliances and restore the whiteness."

Hope this helps!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What to Look For in a Pre-Approval

Today the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS released a white paper on the pre-approval process.  A must-read for any buyers obtaining a mortgage or sellers accepting an offer with financing contingencies.

Click here to view it:  What to Look For in a Pre-Approval

We are so very fortunate to have a lot of great lenders to work with in Indy!  Let me know if you would like a recommendation.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

24 Hours in Indy -- What Would You Suggest?

Last night I had dinner with a friend in Cincinnati who mentioned that she and her husband will be taking a road trip to Indy this weekend.  She asked what I would suggest as they will be staying downtown at the Conrad, want to do a bit of shopping, are total Foodies (he likes hot & spicy, she is a vegetarian) and they prefer to sit at the bar and listen to great music.

My first suggestion:  Check the events section at to see what is happening.  This weekend is the Circle City Classic and a Colts game.  This is great information to help them avoid the traffic and maximize their time experiencing our city and not sitting in traffic.

Start at Keystone at the Crossing with brunch at Cafe Patachou before shopping at the Fashion Mall.  And right now, make sure you use the entrance at River Road next to Maggiano's and not the main entrance to avoid all that construction traffic!

Shop until you drop, then enjoy the drive downtown.  When you exit the Fashion Mall on 86th Street, turn right and go 2.4 miles to Meridian Street.  Turn left on Meridian and experience "One of America's Most Beautiful Streets."  Along the way you will see Second Presbyterian Church, which received the world's attention during Ryan White's funeral and the Governor's Mansion at the NW corner of 46th and Meridian.  Don't miss my favorite home at 4356 N. Meridian Street. (below)

After checking in and relaxing for a bit I would head out to enjoy Indy!  Here is where I am torn on two different suggestions.
Option 1:  Dinner at St Elmo's followed by drinks and live music at the Slippery Noodle.  The challenge with this is that St Elmo's has a Sunday menu that is all but impossible for a vegetarian.
Option 2:  Take a cab to 45 Degrees on Mass Ave for a pre-dinner drink.  Then walk half a block to Mesh for dinner. (awesome patio with fireplace) Then perhaps an after dinner drink at Tini.  The challenge with this option is there is no live music in the Biergarten at the Rathskeller on Sunday night.
After sleeping in on Monday morning, I would take a walk over to the canal and have lunch outside at Creation Cafe.
What would you suggest for 24 hours in Indy?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


As I was driving downtown between appointments today, I was amazed by all the visitors here for GenCon. One of the best people watching weekends of the year in Indy...combined with Indy Fringe, the MotoGP at the Speedway, and the last weekend of the Indiana State Fair. Nearly 150,000 visitors are in Indy this weekend!

This got me to wondering how many of the GenCon visitors have rooms in their homes just for gaming. Several of my last buyer clients have been looking for the right space for their "Nerd Den" as one called it. I was talking with one GenCon visitor from Portland who is building shelves in his office for his collection of miniatures.

I love the variety of people I have the pleasure to help find the "right home." And, yes! I have a Game Room of my's my home office...all MONOPOLY!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Closing Costs

Closing costs.  One of the most confusing elements of a real estate transaction because they vary depending on the type of payment (cash vs mortgage) and on any negotiations in your Purchase Agreement.

Often buyers will ask the seller to "pay their closing cost."  That is too vague for me so when I write an offer I spell out exactly what the seller will be paying on the buyer's behalf.  I also point out to the buyer that the seller is not really paying this...the buyer is financing it over the life of their mortgage.  Example:  If a property is listed at $100,000 and the seller would sell for $97,500, they will stick to the list price of $100,000 if they are paying $2,500 of the buyer's closing cost.  Sometimes it works better to have the cost paid and less out of pocket expense at closing and sometimes it is better to have a lower mortgage balance.  Your Lender will give you a detailed itemization of these costs and I will work closely with them to best determine how to craft a purchase agreement to your best advantage.

A buyer can ask the seller to pay these costs on a bank-owned home and if using FHA, VA, or conventional financing.

Let me know if you would like more information or a referral to a great lender that can help you determine your financing options!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Warranty Companies

I am often asked for recommendations on home warranty companies. Below you will find a partial list of companies I have had buyers choose in the past.

The first three listed below are affiliate members of MIBOR, The Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS:

First American Home Buyers Protection
Lori Shoemaker

Home Warranty of America
Julie Bareford

HSA Home Warranty
Angela Tevebaugh

2-10 Home Warranty
Katy Torgerson

America's Preferred Home Warranty

American Home Shield