What do you know about Indy’s Great Urban Communities?

Ever thought about living INSIDE 465?  A lot of us do it…Indianapolis has some great suburbs but many want more walkability to restaurants and shops, a lifestyle that doesn’t include getting in the car all the time.

Indy has so many great areas that make up Indianapolis and over the next few weeks I will be profiling many of them.  Irvington, Fountain Square, Broad Ripple, Chatham Arch, Mass Ave, Holy Cross, the Old Northside, the Old Southside, Bates Hendricks, Garfield Park, Beech Grove, Speedway, Fletcher Place…I’m certain I’ve missed some!

What’s important about urban living to you?  Walkability?  Safety?  Restaurants?  Shopping?  Quality of Life?  Type of home?  Schools?  I want to explore them all and share my thoughts!

First up will be Irvington, it holds a special place in my heart since I call it home!  What areas do you want to know more about?  Let me know!

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Vicki Reed

What does the 2016 Indianapolis Real Estate Market look like?

What is the outlook for our local 2016 real estate market?  As an agent, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have numbers and studies of market experts providing indicators to make our best guess of the direction of the local real estate market for this year.

Last year was more of a Seller’s Market — meaning the demand for homes was usually higher than the inventory of homes for sale. We move into 2016 with the same low inventory and this results in multiple offers on lots of the homes in some areas and the final sales prices being closer to or above asking price.

It was not and is not an all out Seller’s Market, Seller’s cannot name their price, remember, a home’s value is determined by what someone will pay for it – listing a $200,000 home for $300,000 will not get you $300,000, even with low inventory.  With the tightening of federal regulations, lenders being pickier and appraisers being closely scrutinized, the likelihood of a repeat of past history is not there.

The Federal Reserve has not raised the cost of borrowing in nine years. The economy is picking up and experts predict they are likely to begin gradually raising the interest rates. Most agree that sometime in the first quarter of 2016, we will see the increase start.  Rates are still at historic lows at the moment so buying now is a smart move if you are on the fence…and you should call me to do it!

Still renting?  It is actually cheaper to buy than rent in most areas of the country including ours. Rental rates are increasing at a fast rate. Concerned about your credit score?  Have limited funds?  or just afraid to find out? You’ll never know until you try, I have several lender partners that I am happy to have you talk to…remember, all discovered is confidential and they will not share your financial information, but are always happy to help you create a plan to work through the issues and get you ready to buy a home!  . Wouldn’t you love to stop throwing money away on rent?

After 10 to 15 years of a wild ride in the real estate market, analysts are predicting that “normal” is returning slowly but surely. Distressed  (bank owned, shortsales, forclosure) property sales are finally dropping instead of being a huge part of the housing market. New construction is on the rise again and home prices are rising at at a more normal rate.

2016 should be another busy year in the Indianapolis market. If you have been thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to do it. Take advantage of the lower interest rates if you are a buyer. Sellers jump in the market while inventory is still low.  Just let me know what I can do to help!

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Vicki Reed

What inspires you EVERYDAY?

Reading the news online (I refuse to watch it and allow it to take up a lot of my time, but I like to know what’s happening around me), our schools are being threatened, our stores are being robbed, homes are being invaded and people are being murdered…not only in the Indy area, but around the country and around the world.  How do you get up everyday and continue living your life in a POSITIVE fashion against such negativity?

For me?  Well, limiting my news intake helps!  As I mentioned in a post last week, I have big goals this year and at the end of the year took a class that helped me bring clarity to my goals and my life and Clarity is Power!

Today as I sit in my attic office, staying out of the cold and snow, I am pondering how to get the best out of this year, the first BOLD Law that jumped out at me this morning is Come from Contribution – what do you contribute to others?  Not necessarily monitarily, but of your time, your experiences…

In 2015, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Michael J. Maher, author of The 7 Levels of Communication, and through him, introduced to the Generosity Generation (Gen-Gen for short).  Between the book, written about a real estate agent and mortgage lender, the concepts can be used in many sales driven fields.  It takes us back to getting off the computer and back out into meeting people face to face and the joy of writing (yes writing…not typing) hand written notes!  It really is nice to get the mail and get something that isn’t bills or junk mail.  I encourage you to pick up the book (click here to link straight to the page on Amazon!) and think about how you live your life and run your business.

Here is to a successful 2016!

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Vicki L. Reed

Boo ESPY’s…

Really ESPY…Caitlyn Jenner as the Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner?  This is a FORMER Olympic Champion who after years of living with the media…well the word I want to use is inappropriate…family and it;s pimp of a momager you decide to become a woman…and that takes courage?  More than…

Noah Galloway?  Galloway is a U.S. Army veteran. He lost two of his limbs while fighting in the Iraq War. He was given a second chance at life, and most recently competed on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (he danced himself to third place with the help of Sharna Burgess). Noah (click here to read his story) served our country and is firm believer in giving back to those around him in need, Galloway recently created the No Excuses Charitable Fund, which raises money and awareness for organizations that mean the most to him, including Operation Enduring Warrior and the YMCA of Alabaster, AL  Despite what some may call “handicaps” , he continues to compete, participating in adventure races around the country, such as Tough Mudder, Spartan events, Crossfit competitions plus numerous 5K and 10K races.

Lauren Hill?   “Never give up.”…this was Lauren’s mantra as she battled a brain tumor and rallied those around her to help her achieve her dream of playing in a NCAA game.  Hill attended Mount St. Joseph  a Division III school and played after being diagnosed with the inoperable tumor. She spent her final year polishing a layup and inspiring others to live fully.  “She taught us that every day is a blessing, every moment is a gift,” school President Tony Aretz said.  She did it by showing up for practice even though turning her head made her dizzy and left her physically spent. She appeared in four games, making five layups, before the tumor’s effects forced her to stop.  To read more of Lauren’s story click here

There are many other inspiring athlete’s out there, why Jenner?  Would love to hear your opinions!

Lauren Hill Never Give Up

Lauren Hill Never Give Up

Vicki Reed

 

 

Congrats to Two Chicks and a Hammer!

As a Realtor, I have seen their rehab work and followed their business…imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago while watching HGTV and seeing them and Indy with the pilot for their show!  Apparently the world likes them too as they have been signed to a 10 episode deal!

For those unfamiliar, Two Chicks and a Hammer is a mother-daughter house renovation team based in Fountain Square.  HGTV just signed them to a deal for a series that will follow Mina Starsiak and Karen E. Laine as they transform homes in Indianapolis.

A High Noon Entertainment talent scout found the team while searching for another company on Facebook, and after a long interview process, High Noon shot a pilot last fall.  “Two Chicks and a Hammer,” debuted May 4 on HGTV.  The first episode of the new series is scheduled to air in early 2016…read the Indianapolis Star article here:  Two Chicks and a Hammer.

Congrats to these ladies for being recognized…we’re all rooting for you!

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Vicki Reed

 

Breaking Away…

Yes everyone…it’s that time again…IU’s Little 500 is this weekend!  An event that sparked a hollywood movie and a legacy for Dave Blase…the most famous IU Little 500 rider who almost didn’t race!  Click here to read the Indy Star article about his story.

From the Indiana University Student Foundation page:

The Little 500 is the largest collegiate bike race in the United States. Modeled after the Indianapolis 500, riders compete in four-person teams around a quarter-mile cinder track at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The men’s race is 200 laps — 50 miles — and the women’s race is 100.

More than 25,000 fans flock to the campus in Bloomington, Indiana, each April to be a part of IU’s storied tradition. And who can blame them? The excitement, the competition, the pageantry — Little 500 is an experience like no other.

The race began in 1951 as a way to raise scholarship money for students working their way through college. Since that first race, IUSF has given away over $1 million to deserving undergrads.

Now about that Hollywood movie…do you remember it?  Dennis Christopher played Dave and Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earl Haley and Daniel Stern rounded out the 4 man team.  The synopsis is quite simple, Dave, nineteen, has just graduated high school, with his 3 friends, the comical Cyril, the warm hearted but short-tempered Moocher, and the athletic, spiteful but good-hearted Mike. Now, Dave enjoys racing bikes and hopes to race the Italians one day, and even takes up the Italian culture, much to his friends and parents annoyance. Meanwhile, the 4 friends try to break away from their townie, Indiana reputation while fighting with nearby college snobs.

I just love movies set in Indiana and about Indiana events…how about you?

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Vicki Reed

 

What do you think I do to earn my paycheck?

Think you know?  I know my friends understand that I’m busy A LOT, but reality is there is so much more to being a realtor than showing homes…this blog post by Andrew Fortune on his blog Great Colorado Homes puts it so perfectly, I wanted to share.  Click this link to read the post:  What Does a REALTOR® Do To Earn Their Commission?.

Now…want to become an Realtor?

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Vicki Reed

Indy Drivers…it’s time to talk…

…when you are in a left turn lane…turn left!  Do not go straight and run the drivers going straight off the road!

…when you are turning right and there are 2 lanes of traffic turning left that have the light…don’t try to “beat” the first one coming at you!  It just ticks us off!

…when it is evening, but not quite dark, but there is no sun…turn your lights on!  Last night at about 4:30 on my way home, I needed to change lanes on a city street and thankfully caught a glimpse of a car to my right just before I would have pulled into him…dark gray day…dark gray car…no lights…really thankful I didn’t hit him!

…it snowed a bit last night, city streets weren’t horrible this morning, but they weren’t dry…drive accordingly.  Even the interstates weren’t in great shape, hence the huge backups around town.

…the “slow” or right lane on the city streets or the interstate is not the passing lane – if we are in that lane and driving the speed limit or slower if the road conditions warrant it, GET OFF MY A**!  Your lack of planning to have enough time to arrive at your destination is not my problem, but it could get you injured or killed if you don’t slow down!

…Emerson Avenue runs North/South through the city and from 10th street to Kessler is a 4 lane road…THE SPEED LIMIT IS 40 MPH and there are a couple of SCHOOL ZONES…please at least drive the speed limit and slow down for the school zones!

Rant over and “let’s be careful out there” everyone, remember, getting somewhere quickly is not worth your life!

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Vicki Reed

Okay…so let’s FLOAT!

Have you ever heard of “float therapy”  Indy got it’s first float therapy center on the Westside in November and I understand that Irvington will be getting one early in 2015.  As a resident of Irvington, I’m excited and intrigued by this new business!

What is it you ask?  Well…the Better Being Float Center offers the experience of near-total sensory deprivation and from what I’ve read, once you’ve done it, nothing compares.  Shiny white fiberglass Float Pods are filled with approximately 10 inches of water and about 900 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts, the saltwater environment makes it difficult for germs to live in the water, but the tanks and water are cleaned and sanitized in between uses with hydrogen peroxide, UV, ozone, and filters.

Before you get into the float pod, a shower is required, and it’s recommended to apply petroleum jelly (provided) to any cuts or scrapes because salt can sting. For that same reason, it’s recommended to not shave prior to a float. Earplugs are provided to prevent water from entering the ears and an iPod dock is available to pipe music through speakers inside the pod. There are also controls to adjust sound and the light inside. The lights outside the pod are on a motion sensor, turning off shortly after one settles in the pod and back on upon exiting.

What does one wear to a “float” ?  Sure you can wear a swimsuit, but since the room is completely private and locked, why not go au natural!

Again, I haven’t experienced this…yet, but I hear that getting into the tank is like getting into a shallow bathtub and the temperature of the water adjusts, along with the air inside the tank, to match your body’s internal temperature. You simply step into the tub, pull the lid closed, lay down and, well, float.

I’m a little concerned about claustrophobia and I would guess that I’m not the only one!  If it’s an issue, you can leave the lid open or open it whenever you want!  The pods are designed to make a smooth and pleasant experience. They also recommend avoiding caffeine, nicotine and heavy meals prior to a float session.

The sessions are 90 minutes and $59, in addition to the relaxation for mind and body that floatation therapy offers, there are reported physical benefits including recovery from workouts and injuries, and provides relief from Fibromyalgia, arthritis, joint and back pain.

Try it and decide you like it?  Float tanks are sold for residential use. Royal Spa sells commercial and residential float tanks, including economy tanks and float rooms made in Indiana. Prices start at $6,950 for an economy tank and range up to $11,000 for a custom float room set-up.  Want to try it?  Visit the Better Being Float Center at 3065 Salt Lake Road on Indy’s Westside and watch for news of a location in Irvington early next year!

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Vicki Reed

How about a new home for Christmas?

There are benefits to buying a home at the end of the year, plus what a great Christmas gift to yourself!

Summer may be our busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.  The housing choices during December are less than in the spring, but market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.  The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year are fairly extensive:
1. Tax savings – If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions can be significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.
2. Motivated sellers – Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from a real estate professional, like me!
3. Builder incentives – there are a number of Indianapolis builders who have “inventory” or “spec” homes that are available now and empty!  As the builders move to close out their year, they may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.
4. Available movers – Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months, in the winter, it’s normally easier to find a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.
5. Paying toward something you own – If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.
6. Consistent payments – Landlords will likely increase your rent every year, once you buy a home, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan, the only fluctuation you might see is if your homeowners insurance or property taxes go up or down!
7. Freedom to renovate – Update your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures or replace your flooring; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”
8. Gaining equity – In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity!
So who do you know that I can help Turn their dreams into an address…?
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