Keep Your Heating System At Its Best.

Our heating systems have been worked over during this bitter cold winter. Remember to maintain your heating systems to keep your home safe.

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If you have natural gas heating in your home, you probably know that natural gas has a sour smell (think rotten eggs). If you smell gas, it is important to be cautious because you likely have a gas leak.

Here are some tips if you should smell gas:

Avoid Flammable Items. Any spark can set off an explosion. Avoid turning on lights, igniting flames of any kind and do not shut down electronic equipment.

Leave Your Home. It’s not safe to stay in your home if you suspect a leak. Leave immediately upon the smell of gas.

Call The Professionals. Call your gas company or 911 from your mobile phone away from your home. They will come out to your home to inspect the leak and be able to remedy the situation.

If you have an electric furnace, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Little or No Heat. Try increasing the temperature by five degrees and give the system a few minutes to register the change. Also, check the filter. A dirty filter can prevent proper airflow and reduce the heat.

Blower Runs Nonstop. Switch the thermostat from on to off or auto. If the motor doesn’t turn off, it’s probably a faulty relay and you’ll need a qualified professional repairman.

Noisy Furnace. This may be indicative of a bad belt that is worn, damaged or sticking.

No Power. If the furnace won’t kick on at all, check the fuses to see if one is blown or tripped. You can reset the power or shut off the unit for about thirty minutes, then reset the furnace. Sometimes the furnace may just be overloaded.

It is recommended to have your furnace, water heater, and other natural gas appliances inspected annually by a licensed technician. Prevent problems by spending the time and money to have your heating systems inspected. Stay warm!

Fishers Is Given Safest City Award

Well, Fishers has been given yet another accolade!

Our town has been named as one of the safest cities in America. We were ranked the 36th Safest City In America by NeighborhoodScout.com, who each year, publishes a list of the top 100 safest cities in America.

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The criteria for the cities considered for the designation includes cities with 25,000 or more population, and is based on the total number of crimes per 1,000 residents. Crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

When asked to comment on this new designation, our Fishers Police Chief George Kehl stated, “We are excited and honored to once again be named one of the safest cities in America.” “This award is a direct reflection of the active partnership between the dedicated men and women of the Fishers Police Department and the residents they serve,” Chief Kehl continued.

This year Fishers was one of only two cities in Indiana to achieve this status. Carmel was given the ranking of 33rd safest city. Click here for the complete list of the 2014 Top 100 Safest Cities in America.

Luxury Makes a Comeback in Housing

As a result of the recession, the housing market notably saw a decrease in buyers who were interested in large and expensive homes. They opted instead for smaller, more affordable homes. But, starting in July of last year, buyers began searching for luxury home features once again. Affluent buyers made a return to the market and sales of homes costing more than $1 million increased 46.6 percent from July of 2012.

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“The housing market is being driven by the move-up buyer, the luxury buyer,” Brad Hunter, chief economist and director of consulting at Metrostudy, told The New York Times. “And those who have strong incomes, secure jobs, their stock portfolio is doing well — they are able to buy whatever they want. And what they are buying is larger houses.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the median size of new homes built for sale in 2007 peaked at 2,295 square feet. The square feet average dropped in 2009 and then, in 2012, increased to a new high of 2,384 square feet. And, it’s important to note that about 41 percent of new homes had four or more bedrooms, which is up from 34 percent in 2009.

These luxury buyers seek large kitchens and spacious master suites, as well as established suburban communities, like we have in Geist and Fishers. Buyers look for good job centers and excellent school systems.

As your Realtor, I can help you find the right home for you. The photo shown above is one of my listings which fits the bill for the luxury buyer. It sits beautifully on an eight-acre wooded lot overlooking Geist Reservoir and features a gourmet custom kitchen, main floor master suite and an entire list of amenities. Click here to see more pictures or contact me to schedule a showing!

Down Payment Solutions. Be Creative.

We all know that it takes 3.5% of the purchase price of a home to make a down payment.

So, how can you solve that financial goal when looking to buy a home? Sometimes you just need to be creative.

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Accept gift money. While not all of us have this luxury, it can sometimes be a saving grace to coming up with part (or all) of what you need to secure that down payment. Gift money is deemed as a gift from a family member or documented close relationship. That being said, the person who gives this financial gift must provide a gift letter and bank account paper trail of the monies being given to the you, the home buyer.

Line of credit. You can take out a line of credit or personal loan and deposit that loan (in its entirety) into your bank account. The caveat…you must wait at least two months for the funds to be eligible for the home buying transaction.

Inheritance or winnings. If you’re sitting on a large chunk of money due to a trust fund, inheritance, lottery winnings (don’t we all wish) or such, you can use these funds toward your down payment so long as the documentation is provided in full for how those monies were yours from the get-go.

Gas hog no more. Hey, be creative. If you’re holding onto a pricey recreational vehicle that you don’t really need, sell it. You can use the net proceeds as long as you have the full bill of sale, bank statement showing those funds were deposited, to provide to your mortgage lender.

401(k) or retirement loan. Usually borrowed funds for a down payment is not an option, but the exception is a 401(k) or equivalent retirement account (or current home equity line). You can actually borrow money from your 401(k) to get yourself a mortgage loan. Just keep in mind that this could be considered to be a liability and factored into your debt to income ratio.

You may be good to go with your down payment, but for many of us, these creative solutions can help when crunched for budgeting that 3.5%. Keep in mind that closing costs also average 3% of the purchase price, so that’s an additional expense you’ll need to have in your bank. Literally.

As always, look to me for advice on this and together with your mortgage lender, we will find solutions to getting you into that new home. Contact me to discuss your home buying needs!

Do You Subscribe to Fishers Alerts?

We all know too well the voice of Jim White announcing yet another school delay or closing. But, are you subscribed to the alert systems Fishers provides for free?

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The Fishers Alert notification system allows you to stay in-the-know in Fishers by customizing local alerts via text message or phone call. You can choose from job openings, current news, calendar events, meeting notifications and bid postings. You can click here to subscribe.

In addition, you can also subscribe to CodeRED Emergency Notification System, which contacts you with timely alerts during a major crisis or emergency. By entering your address and key information, the CodeRED system can also base its notifications upon where you live. Click here to register for these alerts.

These free tools are easy ways to be sure you know the goings on in our town.

New Urban Development Project Announced!

It looks like the landscape of 116th Street will change even further this summer.

The Fishers town council approved plans for a new 51,000 square-foot office complex to be constructed at the corner of 116th Street and Lantern Road. You’ll know exactly the spot…it’s where an empty Kentucky Fried Chicken building currently stands.

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The $18 million projected budget will include a three-story building, which will offer retail and medical destinations, and will also house a 330-space parking garage. Community Health Network will anchor 22,000 square feet on the second and third floors.

The Nickel Plate District downtown Fishers will benefit from this parking structure for the many concerts, farmers markets, eateries and businesses who currently don’t have a lot of surface parking.

Fishers Town Council President John Weingardt also noted the parking spaces will be available to the public after 6 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays.  The project will begin this summer and plans to be concluded by spring of 2015. This project is  just another part of the downtown redevelopment strategy to attract innovative businesses and bring creative, entrepreneurial talent to Fishers.

Money Management Tips Before You List.

If you’re planning to sell your home, you want to make your next move a fit for your life. A financially smart decision. The home of your dreams, but with a sound financial plan in place. Now is the time to do some money management to review your financial health.

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Get a credit status check-up. It’s just so important. This is the time to uncover any credit snags, bills that need whittled down a bit, or settle up any errors on your credit report. Sometimes rebuilding or repairing credit situations can take months, or even a year, so the sooner you begin this work, the better. Many free credit report checking services are available online. Your mortgage broker can also be a great resource in reviewing your credit situation.

Determine your housing budget. Look at it from a standpoint of what your mortgage payment will be. Maybe your new job or raise is the kickstart to a move, which is great…but don’t forget to factor in how much you’ll potentially net on the sale of your current home. You’ll need cash to close on your next home, pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, HOA fees, moving expenses, and more.

WIth this, rely upon me, your Realtor, to give you price point options to fit your needs. Partner with a mortgage broker who can help explain financial scenarios based upon purchase price, down payments, monthly mortgage and taxes. (And I have some excellent connections in the industry to help). Also, seek input from a tax advisor who can review your income tax outcomes from the move and a financial planner who give you an expert opinion on your financial health and help you plan for the future.

Get inspections. You know a potential home buyer will get a home inspection. So why wait? Even though you may feel as though you know your home well, a home inspections can prevent any inspection surprises. It also allows you to make repairs before you list your home and prevent any negative property condition reports. Also, as your Realtor, I can aid in the preliminary escrow report so you know of any outstanding liens.

Prepare a financial plan. As a seller, you need to factor in the average 5 – 6% of the purchase price to cover the listing agent’s work and the buyer’s agent as well. Build in a home repair budget to get your home ready-to-list. Whether it is a collection of small updates, or a hefty repair you know needs done to pass inspection, plan ahead for those expenses. Be sure to project other costs of selling your home such as property transfer taxes, buyer’s home warranty and other costs that are covered by home sellers.

Get your financial health picture as you plan to list your home. Be a smart seller. This work in preparation to list your home will pay off! As your Realtor, I will sit down with you and discuss these things and help you. Contact me today to help you get started in listing your home!