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Kali Cooper
Kali Cooper
REALTOR/Broker

Real Estate Information - Central Indiana

Why Should A Buyer Get Pre-Approved First?

Though it's not uncommon for a buyer to be offended or taken aback by the fact that a Realtor won't show them houses without their being pre-approved by a lender for a mortgage, there are many reasons why they not only should NOT be offended, but why it benefits them!

1) Your lender will tell you how much you are approved for - and about what the payments will be at that price.  This will help you determine what your monthly budget will allow in terms of the purchase price of your next home.  Many times, lenders will approve buyers for more than they really feel comfortable spending.  So it's important to discuss your expected monthly payments with your lender.  Also, expect that these might increase as taxes increase!

2) If you are shopping for homes without a pre-approval, you might be looking at homes that you would never be able to afford, and thus will end up being disappointed no matter what you end up buying, because it won't match that "dream home" you saw that cost $50,000 more that you can afford!

3) Lenders will be able to tell you what financing programs might apply to you.  If you get an FHA loan, then they have strict guidelines on the habitability of a home - some foreclosed, bank owned, and short sale homes cannot meet these restrictions.  If you get a Conventional mortgage, then you have to make a larger down payment but you can get out of paying PMI (monthly mortgage insurance).  And in some areas, you can find no money down financing - which is great to know if this applies to you because it saves you some money upfront, which you could then put into updating a lower priced home, thereby saving you money in the long run.

4) When you find a home you love, you need to be ready to make an offer! Trust me, it's absolutely heartbreaking to find the perfect home only to have another offer being submitted by other buyers at the same time you find it - and you still need to get pre-approved!...

MarketWatch - September 2014

Central Indiana Home Prices Up Nearly 7 Percent Year-to-Date

Inventory rises by 1.7 percent; five counties show increase in available homes for sale.

INDIANAPOLIS – With average home prices reaching $176,835 in August 2014, home sales prices are up 6.7 percent compared to August 2013.

Eight of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first eight months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Shelby and Boone counties led the way with 19.1 and 10.5 percent increases, respectively, in average home sales prices. In Shelby County, homes sold for an average of $118,256, while homes in Boone County averaged $283,140. Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion and Morgan counties also reported gains. Madison County experienced a decrease of 0.9 percent, declining to $84,569.

In August 2014, pended home sales declined 8.8 percent year to date, with nine counties experiencing a decrease. In August, Shelby County saw the largest year-to-date decrease in pended home sales which fell 17.7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2013.  On a monthly basis, August 2014 pended home sales declined 9.5 percent over August 2013, a decrease of 250 homes sold.

“This year’s sales are healthy although they appear sluggish compared to last year, which was the fourth best year in Indianapolis real estate history,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Even as sales typically slow during autumn and winter months, we believe the Central Indiana housing market will remain strong on balance.”

As pended sales declined, the number of homes for sale increased. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region rose 1.7 percent in August 2014 with 12,169 homes on the market, 204 more than in August 2013. Five Central Indiana counties saw varying inventory increases with Hamilton County...

101 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale



A great first impression is a key to selling your house or condo. Prospective buyers want to see your home in “showplace” condition. Most buyers select their home based on emotion and then justify the decision with facts, so it’s important to make the house look great. Remember, you have just a few seconds to create a winning first impression. Here are 101 ways to prepare your house for sale to help boost your bottom line and sell your home quickly.

Start With the Outside

The first impression people have of your home is what it looks like from the outside. Believe it or not, some buyers make a decision to keep on driving to the next property just by looking at the outside of the house. Here are some tips to make them want to come inside:

  • Spruce up the lawn by cutting, trimming, weeding and removing all yard clutter. A great-looking lawn makes a great first impression.
  • Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds – it gives a fresh and maintained look for a low cost.
  • Trim your trees and bushes.
  • Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
  • Power wash home's exterior, driveway, walkway, patio and deck.
  • Consider painting if the house needs it, or if the color is “dated” – a fresh coat of paint on the outside can make the house look completely updated.
  • Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Place potted flowers near the front door.
  • Plant some bright flowers in places that could use some brightening.
  • Tighten and clean all door handles.
  • Clean windows inside and out – make them sparkle.
  • Make sure your house numbers are easy to see, and consider getting new ones if it would improve the look from the street.

Now Let's Head Inside

The way you live in a...

What About Down Payment Assistance?


This question is one I'm asked all the time - "What about down payment assistance programs?" 

Many people, especially first-time homebuyers, don't know what programs are available to them as they begin their home search.  Sometimes people don't realize that they'll need a down payment, or they don't know how much they'll need.  But with the Next Home program made available through Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), you don't have to have a down payment if you qualify for certain income guidelines and you are purchasing a home within their limits.  For example, in Hancock County, a 1-2 person family can earn $66,000 and purchase up to $250,200.  But in Marion County, a 1-2 person family can earn up to $79,200 and purchase a home for $305,800 or less.  Click here for more information on these limits.

The income and purchase limits vary by county, but Next Home can give you up to 4% down payment assistance with an FHA loan, and 3% down for a conventional loan.  This assistance comes in the form of a second loan - with no interest and no payments - which is forgiven after two years of owning your home.  You cannot refinance or sell within those two years, but most people don't anyway.  If you do, the loan only has to be repaid when you refinance or sell.  Because of this, this is not a program that can be used by "flippers" or investors.  However, it is an excellent program for owner-occupants that either don't have a down payment or wish to keep the money they have for repairs or updates to the home.

Additionally, there is another special offer available for a short time from Fannie Mae for REO (Real Estate Owned - which...

Why use an agent with F.C. Tucker Company?

At F.C. Tucker, I can be your single point of contact for all of your real estate needs. When you need brokerage, relocation, title, insurance, mortgage, leasing, home warranty or vendor services, I can make your transaction a success.

Being associated with the number one real estate company in Indiana gives me the resources that allow me to devote more time to you.

  • Sales – More than the next three companies combined.
  • Size – Over 47 offices throughout Indiana.
  • Worldwide Referral Network – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the world’s oldest and largest real estate referral network.
  • Online Exposure – TalkToTucker.com, the premier site for real estate information.
  • TrendGraphix – A Tucker exclusive that provides market information.
  • Home Services – The ultimate personalized service for buyers, sellers and past clients.
  • MyTucker – It’s fast, it’s free and it’s another Tucker exclusive.
...

September 2013 MarketWatch

Central Indiana Home Sales Up 18.6 Percent Year-to-Date
Inventory tightens by 9.4 percent; seven counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 2,415 pended sales in August in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 18.6 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, August 2013 pended home sales rose 3 percent over August 2012, an increase of 71 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Seven of the nine counties reported increased sales compared to August 2012.

“As we move further into the third quarter, we remain encouraged by the direction of the market,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Home sales and home prices continue to grow as the inventory shrinks– necessary factors for market stabilization.” In August, Shelby County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 75.7 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 65 from 37 in August 2012. Hancock and Johnson counties also experienced increases of 22.4 and 13.6 percent, respectively, over August 2012. Boone County saw the biggest decline, decreasing 11 percent from August of last year. Hamilton County experienced a decrease as well, down 4.7 percent. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 9.4 percent in August 2013 with 11,965 homes on the market, 1,242 fewer than in August 2012. Seven Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hendricks County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 18.1 percent. Johnson County’s inventory increased by 20 homes to 986, while Morgan County’s inventory remained unchanged from last year.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 5.8 percent. Tucker’s data indicates...