During my early years in real estate, if buyers could breathe, they could get a mortgage. That was before the market downturn in 2008. In fact, from 2003 to 2011 I had 3 transactions where buyers walked away from a closing with a large check in hand.
In those days there was a buyer’s down payment assistance program called NEHEMIAH. It would give the buyer about 3 percent in down payment funds and then charge back the seller along with a fee. NEHEMIAH funds do not exist today BUT if a buyer and a buyers agent worked their numbers, they could lower home-buying costs considerably.
With a reasonable offer on a house and not low balling the price, current buyer assistance programs, seller paid closing costs and property tax credits, you possibly could buy a house with just earnest money. That is usually about 1 percent of the sale price.
Here is an example;
DUE FROM BUYER
$54,500 – Selling price
$1,105 – Closing costs – Normally $3,466 but the buyer got some closing costs paid for by the seller
$55,605 – Due from the buyer
$ 500 – Earnest money
$53,657 – New loan amount
$ 1,635 – NEHEMIAH funds
$ 698 – Property tax credit
$56,489 – Total credits
$55,605 – $56,489 = <$884>
The buyer walked out of the closing with a $884 check in hand.
This was allowed before the market crash. Now you would be hard-pressed to find a lender who would allow this. Now they usually allow credits to the buyer for as much as they put into the transaction. So if the buyer gave $500 earnest money, the most they could receive back would be $500.
After the crash, lenders became very strict. Loans were much harder to get and buyer’s credit had to be above average.
Now it seems that lenders are loosening up. I just read an article where Waterstone Mortgage, a national lender based in Wisconsin and licensed to lend in 48 states, announced that it is now lending to borrowers who do not have a credit history. According to the company, it’s “Non-Traditional Credit Program” will use other payment history indicators like cell phone bills, rent, utilities, and insurance premiums when underwriting a borrower.
If you are ready to buy a house, talk to me and let see what kind of deal we can put together for you.
Looks like Pike Township is getting some new street lights…
From Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate Kayla Wright;
As new streets lights are being installed under Mayor Hogsett’s Operation Night Light initiative, I want to keep you informed on the installations around your neighborhood. The following locations are receiving new street lights and anticipated to be installed within eight weeks:
• 2500-3500 block of W 62nd Street (7 new streetlights to be installed)
• 2200-3000 block of W 60th Street (7 new streetlights to be installed)
• 6200-7000 block of Coffman Rd (8 new streetlights to be installed)
I have just finished compiling the sales for each neighborhood in Pike. If you are curious as to how many properties have sold in your neighborhood in 2018 and what the average price was, click the link below. You can also compare 2014 property prices (scroll down).
Would you like to know more about your neighborhood sales? Contact me at 317-319-9012 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Leroy Robinson represents the northern part of Pike Township. In his area, there has been a property at 8562 Lafayette Road that has been a challenge for the surrounding neighborhoods for the past 4 years. It seems that this property was zoned C4 which is commercial zoning. The owner of the Marathon gas station at 56th and Lafayette Road bought the property and was going to build a gas station there. The Traders Point neighbors spent time and energy trying to stop this from happening. They even built a website that details the ongoing events.
Leroy Robinson recently sent out an email with the following details;
Good day Friends,
Please see my notes from several meetings, regarding the development at the above address. With a collaborative effort, we did spend over two years opposing this development, including many hours testifying at several court hearings and the hiring of several attorneys. The property was subsequently sold to a new owner, who has moved forward with another version of the project.
Please review my notes and let me know if you have any additional questions.
Gas station at 8562 Lafayette Road:
· You will recall that the City was involved in litigation regarding this project.
· Specifically, a neighbor group appealed the issuance of an Improvement Location Permit for the construction of a gas station and convenience store.
· That litigation upheld the legality of the issuance of the Improvement Location Permit and allowed for the construction to proceed.
· The issue was then appealed to state court, after the lower court’s ruling.
· To the best of my knowledge, the City was not a party to any agreement regarding alcohol or tobacco sales or hours of operation and, as such, the City would have no legal basis for enforcing such an agreement.
· It would appear that the referenced agreement was a private agreement between the gas station developer and the neighborhood group and is a private matter between those parties.
· I have no information available to me regarding the name change and the City does not regulate the hours of operation for gas stations/convenience stores.
· The Assessor’s office lists the owner of the property as Star Ventures Real Estate, Inc. Information from the Secretary of State website regarding this entity is attached.
· They did agree to these hours:
· “We would agree for 2018 through 2023 that we will not be open after 12 midnight and we will not open before 5 AM. It is our plan to be open from 6 AM until 10 PM Monday through Saturday and from 8 AM to 9 PM on Sunday.”
· I don’t believe there is any restriction on them selling tobacco (and wasn’t for the previous developers).
· Regarding the Alcohol permit, they would have to apply for a new license.
· Based on the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s previous ruling, it is unlikely it would be successful. Even if they did apply, notice would have to be given and the residents would have the opportunity to appear before the board.
· I am unaware of what caused the Valero to Shell switch.
Councillor: District 1
200 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN. 46204
Things were busy at the ToxDrop this morning. There were about 20 cars ahead of me and 20 cars behind me. It moved fast and seemed very efficient.
Dispose of unwanted and unused household hazardous waste on;
First Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Traders Point Collection Facility
7550 N. Lafayette Rd.
ToxDrop services are only for residents of Marion County.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Electronics (find a list of acceptable electronics here)
Fluorescent light tubes
Used cooking oil
Used motor oil
Pesticides Pool chemicals
Propane tanks (less than 20 lbs)
These items are not meant to be thrown in regular trash cans and dumpsters.
I get asked what is the perfect neighborhood in Pike Township. My first response is “define perfect”. “Perfect” can be so subjective. Are you looking for;
• Perfect value/price
• Perfect appreciation
• Perfect schools
• Perfect appearance
• Perfect age
• Perfect neighbors
• Perfect amenities
• Perfect floor plan
• Perfect crime rate
• Perfect drive time to work
I don’t think there is a house in Pike that can meet all the above criteria plus what you might have in mind.
Yes, there are a lot of great neighborhoods that meet a lot of the perfect criteria but unfortunately it is impossible to predict the future. Things change.
Here are 4 things that I have learned in the past 17 years;
• The neighborhood needs a nice-looking entrance sign. This tells me that the homeowners association is active and doing its job. My neighborhood just spent $20,000 on 3 new signs. All of a sudden a condo was sold 15K higher than ever before.
• Minimal cars on the streets and driveways. Years ago there was a neighborhood in Pike that was only 2 blocks long. I counted 94 cars in the streets and driveways. It was a challenge to drive down the street without hitting something. This is not good for fire trucks, ambulances, and school buses.
• Curb appearances need to be above average. Are lawns kept up and cut? Are bushes trimmed? Does it look like owners have pride of ownership? This will attract buyers. The only way a neighborhood will appreciate is through sales. With sales you have comparables. This is what appraisers use to price a house. Usually, they only look at sales in the past 6 months.
• Neighborhoods go through changes. What might look good today may change over the next 5 years. What makes it change? The people that live in the neighborhood. Are they paying their homeowner association dues? Is the Board of Directors following up? Is there enough money to maintain the common areas and amenities? These things are important to a neighborhood.
This is where I have an advantage. I have lived in Pike Township for the past 30 years. I have shown 100’s of houses in Pike Township and sold quite a few. I am familiar with most neighborhoods and know their sales histories and price points.
I may not be able to find you your perfect neighborhood, but I can probably come close.
How would you like to come home after work one day and find out that a gas station is going to be built in the middle of your neighborhood?
Would you like to see a new house going up in the parking lot of a neighborhood shopping center?
Your neighbor just built a do it yourself addition to the side of their house and it extends to an inch of the property line. Is this reasonable?
Fortunately, the City of Indianapolis has zoning ordinances which prohibit these kinds of things. Zoning ordinances have been around for decades. There was a 625-page revision to the ordinances in 2015 and a 642-page revision in 2018. Revisions are made because of technology, traffic flow, environmental reasons, property value reasons (gives the city more property tax revenues), political climate, etc. Indy Rezone
As a Realtor, I was fortunate to find out about the Pike Township Residents Association (ptra.net) about 20 years ago. PTRA is an organization that hears presentations from builders, developers, homeowners, attorneys, etc. regarding zoning and zoning variances. The Board of Directors votes on the presentation. Although our vote is not binding, it weighs heavily with Indianapolis Zoning who makes the final decision.
I have seen hundreds of presentations asking for many types of zoning and zoning variances over the past 20 years. It has helped me see the numerous changes in Pike Township and how they came about. It is tremendous training for a Realtor. I was privy to information of new communities going into Pike usually a year or two in advance and how they might affect property values.
The meetings are open to the public. Neighbors are notified of zoning changes and variances if close by. It is interesting to hear their thoughts and concerns. Some are very well thought out.
Pike is very fortunate to have an organization like this. We are one of the few townships that do.
Pike Township Residents Association (PTRA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 that provides a forum for Pike Township neighbors to discuss regional and local neighborhood concerns such as land use, development, parks, and recreation, transportation, schools, drainage and sewage problems, water supply, area beautification, etc. PTRA serves as an umbrella organization for local neighborhood associations as well as serving the needs of individual residents and businesses. PTRA meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Pike Township Government Center (5665 Lafayette Road) and this meeting is open to the public. (ptra.net)
It is a great time to meet PTRA Board members, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate, City Council representatives, representatives from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Prosecutor’s Office, special guests, etc.
Meeting agendas are posted a day or two before the meetings on the PTRA website.