News

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INVENTORY IS LOW

There are several factors that indicate that we’re in a competitive real estate market. One of the most obvious signs is when there are very few homes for sale. When the inventory of homes for sale is low, you will have fewer homes to choose from and more competition from other buyers for listed homes. A Realtor® that understands the current market and can get you in to see new listings quickly, can also help you to close the deal on the home you are looking for.

HOUSES ARE MOVING QUICKLY

Another sign of a competitive market is the quick sale of new listings. If you are shopping for a home in a competitive real estate market and you do not attempt to view a listing the first day it is for sale, it could be sold before you ever have a chance to take a look. To understand the market in the area you are looking to buy, a top buyer’s real estate agent can review statistics such as average days on market to offer sound advice.

An experienced Realtor® is priceless, they know how to compete in a multiple offer situation and negotiate the results you want.

Probably the best part of having a buyer’s agent is that it costs you nothing! The buyer’s agent gets a commission from the seller of whatever home you choose, so they really are only working for your interest.

MULTIPLE OFFERS

During a competitive real estate market, buyers need to accept the fact that they will be competing with other buyers. A multiple offer scenario is the best case for a seller, but is a challenge for a buyer. It is very important that if you’re buying a home in an aggressive real estate market that you have the right Realtor® to fight on your behalf.

FIND YOUR HOME WITH MIKE THOMAS ASSOCIATES REALTORS®

If you are ready to buy, and don’t know where to start, call today and we’ll help you get started. Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® are the real estate market experts in the Greater Fort Wayne area and Northeast Indiana.

Lack of Inventory Impacts Number of Home Sales in February

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — As the industry gears up for the spring home-buying season, diminished supply levels led to a lull in contract and new listing activity in February as found by the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report released by the state’s REALTORS®. Statewide year-over-year comparisons (February 2017 vs. February 2016) show:

  • The number of pending home sales decreased 0.8% to 6,422
  • The percent of original list price received increased by 1.0% to 94.7%
  • 62 days average days on market through February
  • The number of new listings decreased 3.4% to 7,960

“To anyone thinking about listing their home soon: now is a great time to make your move,” said Cheryl Stuckwish, the 2017 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS. “Buyer demand is overtaking supply and consumers are feeling confident in real estate as a good investment. Hopeful buyers should seriously consider locking in a rate and price sooner rather than later. When demand is high like this, it is likely going to get more expensive and competitive going forward.”

It’s Time to Sell

April 3, 2017

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BUYERS ARE WAITING FOR YOUR HOME

As interest rates edge up, and inventory remains low, home buyers are ready to jump on new listings. Don’t wait, with a shrinking inventory, available homes become more valuable. This is your opportunity to capitalize on this market.

MORTGAGE RATES ARE STILL LOW

Low mortgage rates equal lower monthly payments for buyers. With hints of increasing rates on the horizon, buyers will be enticed to hit the ground running this spring, which is good for sellers. Savvy home buyers will be aware of the potential for future rate hikes, and will want to close quickly to lock in current historically low rates.

A much healthier labor market has lifted the spirits of buyers, and they are ready to make the leap.

JOB MARKETS ARE STRENGTHENING

Good news for everyone, unemployment rates are decreasing and wages are finally increasing, spurring consumer confidence to a level not seen in 15 years. With Mike Thomas Associates you can confidently partner with a professional you can trust to provide honest advice so you can do what’s best for you and your budget. A good agent knows how to get things accomplished when it’s
time to sell. If you are in the market to buy, you will need an experienced advisor to help you navigate the purchasing and negotiation process. New listings are frequently receiving multiple offers and it helps to have a team of experts on your side. Act quickly and take advantage of the low interest rates and strengthening economy.

LIST WITH MIKE THOMAS ASSOCIATES REALTORS®

If you are ready to sell, let’s get your home listed NOW. Call today and let us run a comparative market analysis to determine an approximate value for your home. Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® are hard working professionals with a proven track record of getting homes sold in the Greater Fort Wayne area and Northeast Indiana.

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March 25th & 26th, 1:00 - 5:00pm

Talis Park Map & Directions »

Oakmont Development and Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® welcome the community to the Spring New Home Tour on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, March 26th at their new subdivision: Talis Park. Located in Northwest Fort Wayne off of Coldwater on Badiac Road in the award winning Northwest Allen County School district, the Spring New Home Tour at Talis Park will showcase 4 premier home builders: Majestic Homes, Lancia Homes, Foster & Park, and Windsor Homes. Come out to the Talis Park Subdivision and discover why this private secluded neighborhood is the perfect location for families seeking a safe and comfortable community.

Learn more about Talis Park »

Oakmont Development is known as a developer of attractive and safe communities, serving Northeast Indiana for over 40 years. All Oakmont Development subdivisions are designed for buyers of all ages and price ranges, with reputable builders. Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® is a premier real estate agency focused on regional development in Northeast Indiana and specializing in new construction.

For further information on the upcoming event, lot information or to discuss your real estate needs visit oakmontdevelopmment.com & mikethomasrealtors.com or call (260) 489-2000.

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In real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale. The mild temperatures this winter has had most people thinking spring already. The local housing market in Greater Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana is taking off, and if you are planning on selling your home this spring, now is the time to take a good look at your curb appeal.

First impressions are important. In this digital age people make instant decisions on whether or not to take a look at a new home for sale based on online photos.

The goal of curb appeal is not only to increase your appraisal value, but more importantly to get buyers interested and have them actually step inside your home.

SIMPLE TIPS THAT ATTRACT BUYERS:

  • Pressure-wash any dirty siding and deck as well as any oil-stained
    driveways or faded sidewalks.
  • Paint the front door, trim or shutters. A bright colored front door that complements your house color will really make your home stand out.
  • Spruce up your porch containers, window boxes and front beds with some colorful flowers for an instant lift.
  • Install new house numbers if yours are old or faded.
  • Update exterior lighting fixtures and add solar lights to walkways.
  • Hide your water hose in a storage bench or pot and keep trash bins out of sight.

Selling a house can be a complex process. A Realtor® can help you at every stage, from setting a price to marketing the property to closing the sale. Contact us today to get your home sold in Northeast Indiana.

NEWS:

  • MIKE THOMAS ASSOCIATES: Acquires New Office in LaGrange, IN and welcomes 12 new agents to the team
  • TALIS PARK (New Subdivision in NW Fort Wayne):
    “New Home Tour” Featuring Four New Home Builders
    March 25th - 26th (1pm - 5pm) visit oakmontdevelopment.com

Indiana Home Sales and Prices Up Across the Board

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — Existing-home sales activity hurtled upward as buyers closed 4,521 transactions in January 2017, a 5.2 percent rise from a year ago. This is according to the Indiana Real Estat Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®. Statewide year-over-year comparisons (January 2017 vs. January 2016) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 4.5% to 5,521
  • The percent of original list price received increased by 0.9% to 94.2%
  • 68 average days on market through January
  • The number of new listings decreased 1.0% to 6,998

“Buyers are out in force right now and facing stiff competition from other interested parties,” said Seymour’s Cheryl Stuckwish, the newly-installed 2017 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “If you are considering buying a home this year, making a move sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Demand is high, and prices are following suit. “On-the-fence sellers who aren’t sure when they want to list should note the strong buyer demand and positive job creation happening now,” Stuckwish continued. “After all, stable incomes lead to flourishing housing markets because people need good paying jobs to buy homes.”

LaGrange Real Estate Agents

Left to Right: Real Estate Agents: Daniel Orlando, Kara Rosentreter, Susan Acree, Rod Lantz, Joy Sharp, Stacy Rofkahr, Pam Farber, Jody Holsinger - Managing Broker, Irene Lutz, Katlyn Nevarez - Janet Gerardot, Administrative Assistant, Cynthia Hostetler, Ashley Skinner

(February 1, 2017) LaGrange, IN - Mike Thomas Associates Realtors®, a premier real estate agency focused on regional development and real estate in Northeastern Indiana, announces the acquisition of Real Living - Homes and Beyond, a real estate firm located in LaGrange, Indiana at 2575 N State Road 9. The transition will occur on February 1, 2017 and twelve new agents are welcomed to the Mike Thomas Associates.

“We are proud of the professional experienced Realtors® that have worked at Real Home Living. The agents have an extensive knowledge of the community and the real estate market,” said Jennifer Callison, Vice President and co-owner of Mike Thomas Associates. “We are thrilled to have such a great team join us and look forward to serving LaGrange County residents,” she said.

We are thrilled to have such a great team join us and look forward to serving LaGrange County residents.

Mike Thomas Associates has consistently grown since 1977 to serve the region through two locations in Ft Wayne, one office in Auburn and one office in Angola. Now, with a LaGrange office, Mike Thomas Associates provides over 100 real estate agents who collaborate throughout the region to meet clients’ needs. Making an investment to grow in Northeastern Indiana, the agency has a 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility under construction in Fort Wayne and recently built a larger office in Angola.

“For nearly 40 years, we have specialized in connecting buyers and sellers for all segments of real estate including existing homes, lake, commercial, agricultural property and new development. We represent a network of quality builders. The agency is strongly focused on relocation services and offers a full staff dedicated to this segment of the real estate market. We look forward to growing in LaGrange County,” said Mike Thomas, President of Mike Thomas Associates.

Jody Holsinger and Cynthia Hostetler are the managing brokers in the LaGrange office. 


To discuss your real estate needs or interest in becoming an agent please contact the LaGrange office at (260) 260-463-2881.

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Working with an experienced Realtor® when building a new home can save you time and money. Building a new home provides you with many exciting possibilities that are impossible when purchasing an older home.

In a new build you have control over the details. Everything from layout and flooring, to kitchen cabinets and counter tops, is yours to customize.

ADVANTAGES OF USING A REALTOR® WHEN BUILDING YOUR HOME

  • A Realtor® can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as location of build site, contract, construction, walk-through and closing.
  • As experts in the new home buying experience, the Realtors® at Mike Thomas Associates do the “homework” for you and can simplify the homebuilding process. They can help you understand the contract and negotiate a better price and terms since they know what questions to ask and have only your interest in mind.
  • An agent is your exclusive advocate and can help you understand your obligations including important deadlines.
  • A buyer’s agent costs you nothing as the builder has usually allocated a sales commission to be paid to a buyer’s agent as most consumers are represented for the above reasons.

PUT OUR EXPERIENCE TO WORK FOR YOU
Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® work with ALL builders in the greater Fort Wayne area. For the last 40 years, our sister company, Oakmont Development, has enabled us to understand the building process inside and out and are uniquely qualified to help you with the home building process.

We would love to find you the right community and facilitate the construction of your new home. Call today for any questions concerning new construction and get started building your dream home in the greater Fort Wayne are.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — In 2016, 86,455 single-family homes were sold in Indiana, which translates into an 8.1 percent rise in contract signings over 2015 (6,211 more). This data is found within the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-end comparisons (2016 vs. 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 4.9% to 86,455
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.0% to 95.2%
  • 89 Average days on market through December
  • The number of new listings decreased 3.6% to 111,201

“Statewide closed transactions and home prices were better each month of 2016 than the year before, while the year as a whole topped the last two years,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Although as inventory remains tight and buyers are waiting to jump into the marketplace, pending sales for the month are down a bit compared to the prior year. Unemployment fell in 2016; and, with home values expected to rise as the year goes on, many view the first few months of 2017 as an opportune time to close on a home.”

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VISION 2020
The Regional Partnership of Northeast Indiana started in 2006, and since its formation much has changed. The Partnership’s Vision 2020 initiative has reversed the downward trend of per capita income for the first time in 15 years by recruiting 21st century talent, creating a competitive business climate, supporting entrepreneurial endeavors, improving public infrastructure, and enhancing quality of life in the region.

The vision for the future of Northeast Indiana is a thriving economy and the development of the unique character of the communities of the region.

The quality of life improvements planned by the Regional Partnership include the stewardship of natural resources, enhanced arts and culture, new development that draws business to the area, and the restoration of vibrant downtowns.

DOWNTOWN FORT WAYNE DEVELOPMENT
The revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne has been key to drawing new and developing businesses to the Northeast Indiana region. 2016 saw the doors open on the Ash Skyline Plaza on Harrison. The residential housing portion and rooftop Skyline Park is slated for completion early 2018. In 2017 plans are underway to redevelop an area of downtown known as The Landing on West Columbia Street between Harrison and Calhoun. The development will provide new downtown housing as well as retail and business accommodations. This project is one step closer to connecting downtown Fort Wayne to the upcoming Riverfront project that will become a center of activity and fuel the unique character of our region.

Additionally, a passenger rail line that connects Columbus, Ohio to Chicago, with a stop in Fort Wayne at the Baker Street Train Station, has been awarded federal and state approval. The projected passenger train project will make Northeast Indiana a point of destination.

The future of our region is bright and full of opportunity. If you know anyone that has considered relocating to our thriving region, I can help with all of your real estate needs!

Price Appreciation and Red-Hot Sales Activity Define Statewide
Market in November

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — Outpacing last year for the fourth straight month, Indiana existing-home sales are up 22.2 percent over last November. This data is found within the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.
Statewide year-over-year comparisons (November 2016 vs. November 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 4.2% to 5,615
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.1% to 94.9%
  • 68 Average days on market through November
  • The number of new listings increased 3.0% to 7,003

“The weather might be cooling off but the housing markets across Indiana are on fire,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Contracts are being signed at a remarkable pace for this time of year, and we saw new listings increase this month for the first time since March. It’s a welcome sign more homeowners are considering this winter a good time to list given the buyer traffic we’re seeing in many markets.”

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FUN TO BE FOUND: INDOORS AND OUT
Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of all the beautiful Indiana outdoor fun or check out the incredible food, shopping, and cultural experiences that Northeast Indiana has to offer. From our famous artisan Foodie Trail of Northern Indiana Lakes Country to one of the many wineries and breweries in the region there is something for every taste and plenty of unique and interesting places to stop in for a steamy cup of coffee or a hearty bowl of soup.

Warm up with a little retail therapy at the Outlet Shoppes at Fremont. Or, stop in and find that perfect unique gift in an array of boutique and specialty shops in downtown Angola, Auburn, and Fort Wayne, a charming alternative to national department stores.

There are countless holiday festivities to attend. From tree lighting events in just about every town, to wagon rides through downtown Angola, there is always something fun to get you in the holiday spirit. Don’t forget to check out the Festival of Gingerbread at the History Center, located in downtown Fort Wayne. Take in the Fort Wayne Ballet’s Nutcracker or enjoy the DeKalb County Holiday Festival in Auburn, Indiana. With so many one of a kind holiday happenings, there is something fun for everyone. Bring in the new year Hoosier style at the newly renovated Philmore on Broadway in downtown Fort Wayne, or reserve your spot to enjoy the 6th Annual Masquerade Ball at Parkview Field that includes a midnight fireworks display.

In Northeast Indiana, we stay active in the winter.

It’s a perfect time for outdoor play; with crisp refreshing air and fluffy snow covering the ground. Fight the winter blues and strap on your skates to practice your figure eights downtown at Headwaters park in Fort Wayne from November to March, or ride the thrilling toboggan run at beautiful Pokagon State Park that operates from November 25 through the end of February. Throughout the 11-county region, we have opportunities to explore winter’s natural wonders with snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, or quiet winter hikes. It’s really a magical time of year. Be sure to take advantage of all that Northeast Indiana has to offer. Call me today with your real estate needs.

Pent Up Demand Sustains Post-Summer Boost in Contract Signings
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — At the end of the third quarter, Indiana existing-home sales are up 7.4 percent (4,559 sales) compared to Q3 2015. This data is found within the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

  • The number of pending home sales increased 2.4% to 7,072
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.1% to 95.4%
  • 89 average days on market through October
  • The number of new listings decreased 0.1% to 9,319

The traditional statewide monthly review (September 2016 vs. September 2015) includes inventory information.

“Between pent up demand and favorable interest rates, we expected the post-summer selling season to start off stronger than last year; and it did,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “However, statewide pending sales are up by just 2.4 percent. This is a sign the all-too-familiar supply crunch stuck around in September, and many would-be buyers haven’t been able to get their foot in the door yet.”

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Ft. Wayne, IN - Mike Thomas Associates Realtors®, a premier real estate agency focused on regional development and real estate in Northeastern Indiana, announces the construction of their new office in Fort Wayne, IN. The office is located at 9601 Coldwater Road, south of Dupont Rd and North of Till Rd.

Fall into Energy Savings

October 28, 2016

Child throwing leaves and smiling, enjoying the fall season

Whether you are looking to design a new home or remodel an existing one, this time of year energy savings is on everyone’s mind. Energy efficiency is a wise investment that will save energy and money, making your home more comfortable and increasing its value.

If you plan to design and build a new home, many builders have
standards that optimize a home’s energy efficiency.

If you are looking to upgrade the energy efficiency of your existing home an energy audit can help you to find out where your energy updates can give you the most bang for your buck. Be sure to check if you are eligible for federal tax credits for energy efficiency. Some expire at the end of 2016.

LOW-COST ENERGY SAVING TIPS:

  1. Lighting makes up about 10 percent of your home energy costs. Save as much as 80 percent of that energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with new and improved light bulbs such as energy efficient CFLs or LEDs.

  2. Use energy efficient appliances and home electronics. Look for the Energy Star label to save up to 30 percent on related electricity bills. Wondering how much you can save? Check out the Energy Star website to compare your current product with a more efficient one.

  3. Take advantage of heat from the sun. During the day, open south facing window coverings to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home and close them at night. Cover drafty windows with plastic sheeting or install tight-fitting insulating drapes.

  4. Another way to save on your energy costs this winter is to adjust the temperature, a programmable thermostat makes it easy. When you are at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as comfortable. When asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for a savings of around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.

  5. Maintain your heating systems by scheduling a fall tune-up to keep the chill outdoors. Be sure to replace your furnace filter every month. As a real estate professionals, we can help you understand which upgrades to your new or existing home may give you the best return on your investments. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — Indiana homebuyers scooped up 8,524 existing singlefamily homes in August, 10.7 percent more than a year earlier, according to the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-over-year comparisons (August 2016 vs. August 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 7.2% to 7,902
  • The percent of original list price received increased 0.8% to 95.6%
  • 85 average days on market through September
  • The number of new listings decreased 2.0% to 10,395

“Earlier this year it was predicted that low inventory could be the biggest risk to the 2016 market,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 president of the Indiana Association of REALTORS. “What’s remarkable is statewide sales have managed to outpace last year in 7 of 8 months so far, rebounding in August to offset the dip in sales reported in July.

“Many potential buyers were sidelined this summer as strong sales activity ate supply,” Smith continued. “Given the pent up demand, it may be enough to delay the usual slowdown that happens as the weather cools off and schools start back up.”

Chief Deputy RJ Robinson, Mark Bock and Officer Tony Tribble
Chief Deputy RJ Robinson, Mark Bock, managing broker of Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® and Officer Tony Tribble in front of the Water Rescue Airboat on display at the fundraiser for the Steuben County Sheriff’s Lake Patrol Department.

Angola, IN (August 25th, 2016) - Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® hosted a rib fest benefit and fundraiser for the Steuben County Sheriff’s Lake Patrol Department on Thursday, August 25th with the Jim Weber Band.

“Everyone who came enjoyed seeing the Dive Team and Water Rescue Airboat the Sheriff’s Department had on display. Officer Tony Tribble was well-engaged with the attendees explaining the boat and how it is used. We are fortunate in the land of 101 lakes to have this equipment in the rare instance of an emergency on the water, ” said
Managing Broker Mark Bock.

Chief Deputy RJ Robinson said, “Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your appreciation BBQ! What a wonderful gesture for our office and our community.”

Through Mike Thomas Associates, local community support and company sponsors: Thrivent Financial, 101 Secure Storage, Jas Singh of Centier Mortgage and Todd Austin of Northside Home Inspections were able to honor, raise awareness and donate nearly $1000 to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Lake Patrol Department.

To learn more about the Sheriff’s Lake Patrol Department or to make a donation contact Chief Deputy RJ Robinson 260.668.1000 ext 5000 - www.steubensheriff.com

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Child taking a walk, hand-in-hand with mom and dad during sunrise

DEVELOPMENT
Northeast Indiana is an incredible place to live, work, and grow your business. The Regional Cities Initiative of Indiana has brought together the diverse communities of Northeast Indiana through the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), and has been helping to make Northeast Indiana a magnet for talent from around the nation. The Road to One Million plan has been given $42 million by the state of Indiana to match funds to quality projects in Fort Wayne and the Northeast region, and aims to draw one million people to the Northeast region by 2031. What this means for residents of Northeast Indiana is revitalized downtown areas, more city developments drawing new business to the area, and improved quality of life. Recently voted #5 in the nation as a best run city, Fort Wayne yields some of the highest returns on all of its public spending investments. In the downtown area of Fort Wayne, the new Ash Skyline Plaza, almost completed Cityscape Flats, and planned Downtown Arena will create hundreds of jobs and draw many new businesses.

Fort Wayne is one of the nation’s top 10 cities to do business. - Business Review USA

COMMUNITY
In Northeast Indiana, the communities are as diverse as the people who live here. In the northern region, with over 100 natural lakes, there is no shortage of lakefront property and tight knit communities that are unique to this area. If a vibrant nightlife is what draws you, Fort Wayne, the second largest city in Indiana, offers no shortage of venues and festivals for every interest and culture. Families can quickly see the draw to this region. Fort Wayne has been recognized as one of the best places to raise a family and one of the most affordable places to live in the nation. Home to two of Indiana’s top 20 High Schools, Homestead High School and Carroll High School, many are drawn here to give their children an opportunity for success.

MAKE THE MOVE
If you are thinking about moving your family or business to the Northeast Indiana region, we are here to help! Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® offers a full staff dedicated to relocation. Our relocation director matches clients with agents based upon specific needs and location. Give us a call or visit us online today to get started.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — July existing-home sales fell 2.1 percent compared to a year ago, as found within the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Statewide year-over-year comparisons (July 2016 vs. July 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 0.5% to 7,494
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.3% to 96.1%
  • Average days on market through August was 87
  • The number of new listings decreased 5.9% to 10,528

“Lack of available inventory, not lack of buyer demand, is likely what caused July home sales to fall behind last year,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Many would-be buyers are ready to make their move, but they can’t buy what isn’t for sale or has already sold. Given the competitive market landscape, we expect to see price appreciation and a shortage of supply continue into fall.”

Couple carrying boxes into a new home

HOMEOWNERSHIP
For many, homeownership represents freedom and independence; fundamentally staking a claim on their own little piece of a community. For all, homeownership is a stake in the future. Studies have shown that over time, the physical and mental health of homeowners improve due to greater stability and an elevated overall sense of contentment with life. Although recent years has seen an increase in real estate values, this year the pace has slowed. Buyers who have been waiting for the prices to stabilize finally have the chance to jump in. As home prices slowdown, more homeowners will be prompted to list their homes, giving buyers more choices. Home builders are focusing on starter and mid-range homes, which will make homes more accessible for buyers. In Northeast Indiana, the inventory is currently historically low. If you’ve been on the fence about selling your home, with so many buyers currently looking to buy, now is a great time to get it out there.

MORTGAGE RATES
May’s employment report came in well below expectations, as stated in the recently released Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. According to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac, “This week marks the 10th consecutive week the 30-year rate has averaged under 3.7 percent, allowing an extended window for homebuyers to take advantage of these historically-low borrowing costs.” . If you have been uncertain about purchasing a home, this summer is the time to go for it, this could possibly be the best rate you will see in your lifetime.

In today’s current housing market, the faster you make the decision to purchase a home, the sooner you reap the lifetime benefits.

If you are struggling, trying to figure out where to start, having a healthy credit score and getting pre-approved for a home loan will help you establish what value of home you can afford. Lenders generally offer lower interest rates to borrowers with a stronger credit score. While a larger down payment on your home will lower your monthly mortgage payments, this year many banks have launched programs that allow people to put as little as 3% down on their new home without the cost of private mortgage insurance. If you have been waiting for the right time to move into homeownership, call us today to let us help you get started.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — May existing-home sales are up a sizable 14.3 percent from this time last year, as found within the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-over-year comparisons (May 2016 vs. May 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 2% to 8,393
  • The percent of original list price received increased 0.9% to 95.9%
  • Average days on market through June was 71 days
  • The number of new listings decreased 5.3% to 11,516

“The current housing market is one of the more competitive I’ve seen,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “As a result, inventory constraints are sticking around as sales make further gains. Would-be buyers aren’t dawdling in a time when quality listings often sell right after entering the market. For this hot market streak to keep up through summer, we really need a supply boost to satisfy the fierce demand.”

Father helping young son fish off a dock

Northeast Indiana, and its 101 natural lakes, offers year-round beauty, charm, and adventure. With endless splendor and the tranquility of nature, it is a lifestyle steeped in relaxation with a deep appreciation for the natural world. If you have been waiting for the right time to purchase a lakefront property, with interest rates at historic lows and threats of rates increasing, market conditions are perfect. If you have never thought about buying a lake home, it is an investment worth considering. A home located on a lake is a great real estate investment.

NORTHEAST INDIANA LAKE COUNTRY IS CALLING
A house on the lake is not just a home location, it is a remarkable lifestyle in a community you’ll love. At the lake there is never a shortage of fun. Lake living has its perks, with swimming, kayaking, sailing, fishing, and boating out your back door, finding a way to relax and unwind is easy.

The serene views of nature provide an instant source of relaxation after a long day’s work. A home on the lake is also usually more secluded than your typical neighborhood home. The mature trees surrounding the lake provide a natural “privacy fence” that shields you from roads and neighbors. The water also draws wildlife throughout the year including geese, ducks, deer and other animals.

When living on the lake, entertaining is easy. The location of your home will make it easy to host camping, cookouts, and parties where your guests can swim, fish, boat or just enjoy a relaxing evening around a bonfire. Another benefit of lake living is the tight-knit community that you will become part of. With the shared bond of the love for the outdoors, it is easy to get to know your neighbors.

Being on the water is not the only draw to the region. With picturesque Pokagon state park, fine lakefront dining, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, golfing, farmers markets, art galleries, and a fast-growing wine and brewery industry, there is something for everyone.

In Northeast Indiana, there is a lake to fit every desired lifestyle with many affordable housing options.

If you are just looking for a summer home or are hoping to permanently relocate to the area, we are here to help. Come explore why so many Hoosiers are choosing the 101 Lakes region for their home. Call me today for more information.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — There were 7,485 existing Indiana homes sold during April, up 10.9 percent from a year ago. This data is found in the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-over-year comparisons (April 2016 vs. April 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 2.5% to 8,426
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1% to 95.2%
  • Average days on market through April was 61 days
  • The number of new listings decreased 9.7% to 11,414

“The 2016 housing market is much more intense than a year ago,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Low inventory continues to put upward pressure on prices. Now that spring has sprung, heavy open house traffic and multiple offer situations are likely to keep our members busy. We also expect to see price appreciation and a shortage of supply continue through summer.”

Debating putting your home on the market? Now may be the time. Many buyers are so motivated and ready to make a purchase that quality listings are netting heavy open house traffic and often getting multiple offers. Contact a REALTOR® in your area to get the listing process started today.

Meeting a Realtor

Steering a course through the real estate market is a complicated process. To a majority of Americans, homeownership is still a huge part of their “American Dream.” For most people, it is the most expensive purchase they’ll make in their lifetime. NAR President, Gary Thomas states. “REALTOR® have the expertise and experience to help sellers protect their investment and help buyers build theirs.”

Buying or selling a home is a significant financial and emotional undertaking and having proper representation is critical.

WHAT DOES A REALTOR® DO?
When looking for a new home, almost 90% of buyers begin their search online1, but there’s no substitute for an experienced professional. But don’t just call the agent on a listing you like and sign up. That agent is working for the seller, who’s trying to get you to pay top dollar for their client’s home. You need a “buyer’s agent,” who represents you exclusively. Your REALTOR® can go beyond the basic statistics of a home, they can advise you regarding critical details in the homes you’re taking into consideration. They help you to make the most informed decision about one of life’s most important decisions. They can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders. Your REALTOR® assists you in finding qualified responsible professionals during the evaluation of the property. They can also help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

When you are ready to list your home for sale, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the prices, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. Your REALTOR® also enthusiastically markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. They help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, when unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered, the required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers.

When you work with a REALTOR®, you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests.

Your agent is an expert who’s bound by contract to do everything in their power to protect you. The real estate market has frequent changes to laws, regulations, and procedures. As a REALTOR®, I live and breathe real estate and make it my business to stay current with all updates. Give me a call today, and let me put my knowledge and experience to work for you.

1 National Association of REALTORS® 2012 Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Sales Strengthen in Spite of Low Inventory Woes
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — The Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS® shows that statewide, when comparing March of 2016 to March of 2015, the following occurred:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 14.3% to 8,125
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1% to 94.6%
  • Average days on market through March was 74 days
  • The number of new listings increased 2.3% to 10,962

“New listings saw the usual seasonal increase this month, but strong sales kept inventory tight,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “After holding out, more would-be sellers are realizing now is an excellent time to get their homes on the market. Even more would-be buyers are moving quick if they find a home they love. With consumer confidence high and interest rates low, our members can expect a bustling summer season.”

The latest IAR Sentiment Survey digs deeper into what REALTORS® are predicting market-wise: 70% of respondents stated that over the next 3 to 6 months they see their market improving for sellers; 71% stated they think single family home prices will increase. The survey is conducted quarterly by the Indiana Business Research Center within the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Why a New Build?

April 18, 2016

Beautiful Built Home

BENEFITS OF BUYING NEW
Newly constructed houses have always been a popular option for those looking for a new home. This is one of the only ways that you can customize every detail of your home, from where your house sits on the lot, to the layout, fixtures, paint, and appliances. New homes today are much more energy efficient that their older counterparts, in both their construction and appliance options.

New homes are also engineered to minimize maintenance and often include many fire safety features not available in properties built in years past. Some new homes use composite materials for a home’s exterior trim rather than wood, drastically reducing the amount of upkeep over the life of the home. A new home build is generally warrantied by the builder for a minimum of a year, giving the buyer extra peace of mind.

At Mike Thomas Associates, we are experts in helping home buyers find the perfect new home to suit their needs.

MIKE THOMAS ASSOCIATES: OAKMONT DEVELOPMENT
Mike Thomas Associates specializes in new construction and knows the building industry. We create new home sites for builders and buyers in Northeast Indiana. With our own development company, Oakmont Development, we work with you to find the builder that will suit your needs and guide you through the process of building your new home. We represent a large network of quality builders and assist our clients with all aspects of the process to build their home.

Oakmont Development has created comfortable sub-developments for a full range of lifestyles in Allen County, providing homeowners with good investment opportunities and an attractive safe community environment for all ages.

For more information please visit www.oakmontdevelopment.com today.

BUILD WITH A REALTOR
Our experience from Oakmont Development makes Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® the best choice for building a home in Northeast Indiana. A MTA Realtor® can help you better understand your building contract and save on construction costs while fully customizing your home to your standards. To find out how I can help you get started fulfilling your new home dreams please call me today.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — Statewide closed and pending sales continued to pick up pace during February, while available inventory dipped by 10.6 percent to the lowest point in recent years. This is according to the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-over-year comparisons (February 2016 vs. February 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 16.4% to 6,471
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.1% to 93.4%
  • Average days on market through February was 98 days
  • The number of new listings increased 9.5% to 8,244

“The biggest risk to the 2016 market could be a shortage of homes for sale, especially in the entry-level price range,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Strong buyer demand and a limited supply of homes for sale keep pushing prices up, so some homeowners might be enticed to sell. If they want to sell, that would be a good development because it would help relieve the inventory shortage. We’re optimistic about the increase in new listings as we head into spring.”

Home in Springtime

THE RIGHT TIMING
Spring is just around the corner here in Northeast Indiana, and for those looking to purchase a new home this year, the search has already begun. If you are looking to sell your home, now is the perfect time. The 2016 housing market is very low on inventory and buyers are eager to find their new home and take advantage of low mortgage interest rates before they rise.

First impressions matter, buyers are very quick to decide if your home is even worth considering.

If you are planning on putting your home on the market this spring, there are a few things to consider to make sure you are ready to sell your home. Take a look at your home’s curb appeal objectively, maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint or a pop of color on the front door, or just a good power washing. If you already know you are planning a move, before you show your home, declutter and depersonalize your spaces so that potential buyers can picture themselves there.

INVEST IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
If you are not ready to list your home for sale but plan to at a future time, remember that neighborhood appeal is a major factor for buyers. People are often encouraged and inspired when one person relandscapes, others do the same. Other inexpensive ways to increase the value of your neighborhood is to work together to clean up common areas like islands or vacant lots. Help make a difference by getting involved in your neighborhood association or local schools. Improving a neighborhood helps strengthen the value of its homes. Get to know your neighbors and help create a friendly community.

Let’s make Northeast Indiana a warm and welcoming place to live.

MARKET TO SAVVY SHOPPERS
Be sure to list your home for the right price. Overpriced homes are more challenging to sell and can sit on the market for months after reasonably priced homes have already sold. As a market expert, a Realtor® can help you determine the optimum price for your home. A Realtor® will help you with the subtleties of putting your home on the market. They are your number one resource for marketing your valuable asset and making your home selling dream a reality.

Home Values and Sales Jump Despite Wintry Weather

INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — January’s median home sale price jumped to $124,900, which is an 8.6 percent increase from the same month of 2015. This is according to the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Other statewide year-over-year comparisons (January 2016 vs. January 2015) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 6.8% to 5,219
  • The percent of original list price received increased .8% to 93.4%
  • Average days on market through January was 83 days
  • The number of new listings decreased 9.3% to 7,066

“Even though winter can be a slow season for real estate, market activity hasn’t let up just because of a little snow and ice,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Strong buyer demand and a limited supply of homes for sale keep pushing prices up. Potentially higher sale prices could be enough incentive to convince on-the-fence sellers that now is the time to make a move and list their properties.”

New Homeowners

FINANCIALLY FAVORABLE
One of the main benefits of homeownership is the ability to build wealth over time. Some people refer to a mortgage payment as a type of “forced savings.” It’s not obvious that you are saving any money by making payments each month, but you are building up the value of an asset, similar to how you would build up the value of a savings account by making regular deposits.

Home ownership can be a very savvy financial investment for those who purchase a home within their budget.

There are also many tax deduction benefits for homeowners. Additionally, there are many financial incentives for first-time home buyers in the state of Indiana. With near record low interest rates, down payment assistance programs, and tax incentives, now could be the right time to buy your first home. Renting is appealing because initially it is more affordable than purchasing your own home, but long term, the advantages of buying your own home outweigh the disadvantages. Most importantly, you are not throwing away all that money on rent, you are building up valuable equity in a home you own.

Instead of paying off your landlord’s home or building, pay off your own home and help secure your future.

SOCIALLY SENSIBLE
Homeownership is an important goal of a very large percentage of Americans and is an indicator of economic/financial health. Research has also shown that owning a home brings substantial benefits for families, communities, and the country as a whole. It allows families to put down roots and become part of a larger community. Some of the documented social benefits include higher student test scores by children living in owned homes, higher rate of high school graduation and lower teenage delinquencies, and a general increase in positive outlook in life, to name a few. Because of these many societal benefits, policy makers often promote homeownership.

MAKE THE MOVE
With historically low interest rates, rising rates for renting a home, and the new option for down payment protection in 2016, now is the time to help grow your nest egg with a home purchase. If you or someone you know is ready to take on the excitement of home ownership, give me a call. I can help you figure out your next step.

Indiana Home Sales and Pricing Climb Again in December

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) –There were 80,244 existing, single-family homes sold in Indiana last year, a 6.9 percent increase from 2014. Median sale price of those 80,244 homes increased 5.6 percent to $133,000. This is according to the Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®.

Monthly comparisons (December 2015 vs. December 2014) show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 9.6% to 4,810
  • The percent of original list price received increased .3% to 93.7%
  • Average days on market through December was 83 days
  • The number of new listings decreased 4.4% to 5,241

“Many housing markets across the state are past the slump of the Great Recession,” said Shelbyville’s Nancy Smith, 2016 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “High energy activity—from buyers and sellers—is keeping up, and many indicators suggest the momentum seen last year should bridge over into 2016. If the job market and wages remain strong, even healthier market conditions are yet to come.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Northeast Indiana - The Heart of the Great Lakes Region

NE INDIANA IS A GREAT PLACE TO WORK AND LIVE
Northeastern Indiana is uniquely positioned for those considering relocation to the middle north territory of the United States. The area is central to the Great Lakes region and with a diverse workforce, abundant resources, and a low cost of doing business, it is an ideal location for up and coming businesses. As the second largest city in Indiana, Fort Wayne has a regional population of nearly 700,000. Fort Wayne is nationally recognized for many reasons.

#1 Minor League Ball Park STADIUM JOURNEY MAGAZINE
#2 Best City for Babies PARENTS MAGAZINE
#5 Up and Coming City for College Grads CBS MONEY WATCH
#7 Best Zoo in the United States TRIP ADVISOR.COM
#9 Best Place to Start a Business NERDWALLET.COM

Just outside of Fort Wayne a treasure of year-round recreational and cultural opportunities await. With over 100 lakes, northern Indiana is home to numerous sites for hiking, camping, and boating along with Indiana’s only refrigerated toboggan run. In Steuben County, waterfront restaurants on the “Foodie Trail”, award winning wineries, and unique shopping opportunities regularly draw a crowd.

EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
Northeastern Indiana has been below the national average in cost of living for years. It is also home to a wide range of educational opportunities from early childhood development to graduate level programs. Finding the right place for higher education is easy, with almost a dozen colleges located in Fort Wayne alone. With considerable health care services across the ten-county territory, northeast Indiana is equipped to meet the healthcare needs of its residents.

NE Indiana is an exciting thriving region, invite your friends and family to move to the greater Fort Wayne area.

REVITALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The state of Indiana, through the Indiana Main Street program, encourages the revitalization and restoration of downtown areas in Indiana cities and towns. Fort Wayne has taken this initiative a step further by not only making cosmetic and structural improvements, but has revitalized the area by planning and promoting events to re-connect citizens to city centers. A major investor in the downtown Fort Wayne improvement has been Ash Brokerage. According to Mayor Tom Henry, the creation of the Ash Skyline Plaza will be a “point of destination” for residents, businesses and tourists alike. There is also a proposed initiative to revitalize the riverfront areas of the 3 Fort Wayne rivers. Let me know if you have any other questions about northeast Indiana and assisting your friends and family with their real estate/relocation needs.

Strong Pending Sales Suggest Promising Start to New Year

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) –Out-pacing last year for the 11th straight month, November’s average sale price rose 6.7 percent statewide to $158,175 — the largest jump since March 2015. This is according to the most recent Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®. The report’s other year-over-year comparisons show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 10.1% to 5,387
  • The percent of original list price received increased .4% to 93.9%
  • Average days on market through October was 75 days
  • The number of new listings increased 6.4% to 6,796

“We’re approaching the end of a year when home prices hit pre-recession levels in many markets across the state,” said Brownsburg’s Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “And despite a small dip in closed sales, November’s increase in pending transactions suggests closed sales will get a head start going into 2016.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Couple planning paint colors

RENOVATING YOUR DREAM HOME
Sometimes when the home of your dreams is out of the reach of your budget, a fixer-upper is something to consider. A home that needs a little work will usually not sell for top dollar, giving you the chance to turn it into something that can become what you envisioned in the first place. Most buyers are unwilling or unable to put a lot of work into a home to make it into their dream home. This opens up many possibilities for the willing buyer. Think of a fixer-upper as a blank canvas.

You have the chance to make a fixer-upper exactly as you want without having to settle for a home that doesn’t reflect your taste.

It is hard not to get excited about the idea of buying an older property and renovating it into your dream home or turning it around for profit. But along with the potential for making money in purchasing an older home, there is also the risk of exposing hidden problems. An informed contractor will know what is required to properly update the home. Knowing what you are getting yourself into is key. The guidance of a professional Realtor® is exactly what you need to help you understand the essentials of home buying of any sort.

PRESERVING AND RESTORING HISTORICAL HOMES
Taking on the task of purchasing and restoring a historic home has obvious charm, what’s old is new again. Many Americans are moving out of the suburbs and back into cities. Before investing in a historic home, make sure to do your research to find out if the home you are interested in is historically significant. The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the official US site for historic properties. Understand that if you are going to restore the home or add to it, it could cost you more money than an equivalent home in another part of town due to the strict guidelines that must be adhered to. Aside from these challenges, many historic homeowners find more benefits than simply the charm and beauty of owning a piece of history.

When looking into updating a historic home, understand that there can be tax benefits or incentives to aid your restoration. Many home buyers do not realize that there are FHA Loans that will cover not only the cost of purchasing a fixer-upper, but also for remodeling expenses and closing costs. If you are interested in getting in touch with builders in the area that specialize in preserving and restoring historical homes please contact us today.

PICKING THE RIGHT FIXER-UPPER
A Realtor® can help you determine the right fixer-upper and coordinate necessary inspections to avoid a costly mistake. Pay attention to certain red flags that could break your renovation budget. There are other issues that could add to your renovation budget, especially when buying an older home or restoring a historic property. Contact us today for all your questions about fixer-uppers or any of your real estate needs.

Seasonal Cool Down Milder Than Normal

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) –After 10 consecutive months of besting last year, October closed sales slipped narrowly by just 12 homes statewide. This is according to the most recent Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®. Other year-over-year findings from the report show, when comparing October 2015 to October 2014:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 2.9% to 6,320
  • The percent of original list price received increased .3% to 94.2%
  • Average days on market through October was 105 days
  • The number of new listings increased 0.6% to 9,106

“Modest market growth is normal for this time of year,” said Brownsburg’s Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “But actually, the seasonal cool down has been milder than years past. Interest rate hikes are widely expected before the year ends, and buyers want their slice of market pie before that happens.”

After skipping rate increases twice this fall, the Federal Reserve will meet in December for the final time in 2015. Word within the industry is any rate increase would be marginal.

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Painting your home

WHY MAKE REPAIRS TO A HOME THAT YOU PLAN ON SELLING?
If you’re planning on putting your home up for sale at the beginning of spring, now is the time to address necessary repairs. In the end, these repairs can save you money and keep your house from sitting on the market. A well-maintained home gets better offers. Even if you get a buyer right away, there is the risk that they will ask for concessions and credits for items that you didn’t mend. Buyers will most likely hire an inspector to identify issues that need to be repaired. Any issues that you haven’t fixed will either have to be addressed before the sale or you’ll have to drop your asking price to compensate. Most common repairs are easy and inexpensive to solve and can be finished in a weekend. Once you take care of any issues, your home, and not its flaws will be the focus.

WHICH RENOVATIONS GIVE YOU GOOD RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT?
Getting a good return on investment depends on many factors. Each home is unique and a Realtor® assessment is recommended to determine which improvements will be best for your home. Winter is a great time to consider indoor home improvements. With the busiest part of construction season over, contractors are typically more available for quick renovation turn around.

It is a well documented fact that home buyers look first at kitchens and bathrooms. While renovations on these rooms are the most costly, they’re more likely to pay for themselves. Home buyers also tend to respond favorably to an open floor plan, the presence of a master suite, or a family room.

Remodeling can mean the difference between “for sale” and “sold.” Not every home can be remodeled to be an open floor plan, keep an eye on market trends to see what is working for others.

Today, one in five Americans are working from home, and that number is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years [1]. This means that the addition of a home office is more important than ever. Most people who own homes with formal living and dining rooms rarely use them. The inexpensive addition of doors to a rarely used room instantly transforms the space into a usable home office and has appeal to many home buyers. If you have an older home, it would be wise to set aside a portion of your remodeling budget for unexpected repairs that might be uncovered during the renovation process.

Let us help you get your home ready to sell by determining which improvements will give you the best return on your investment for your neighborhood. Contact us today for free advice on how to get your home prepared for sale.

[1] Telework Research Network

Post-Summer Selling Season Off to Stronger Start than Last Year

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – At the end of Q3 2015, there were 4,757 more homes sold statewide than at the same point in time last year—an 8.4 percent increase. This is according to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS®. The typical year-over-year findings from the report show that statewide, when comparing September 2015 to September 2014:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 11.3% to 6,909
  • The percent of original list price received increased .6% to 94.4%
  • Average days on market through September was 95 days
  • The number of new listings decreased 5.9% to 9,332

“We expect to be heading into the usual seasonal drop-off,” said Brownsburg’s Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “But right now, Indiana’s economy is ranked No. 8 for business climate and No. 12 for job creation in the nation. The Hoosier State’s strong economic position—plus ultra-low borrowing rates—may help soften blows to housing activity linked with the cold season.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Kids on Bus

GOOD SCHOOLS ARE A TOP FACTOR FOR HOME BUYERS NATIONWIDE
Whether you are in the market for a home or are a current home owner, you know that there are many factors to consider when looking to make a wise investment. The quality of a school district can have a profound effect on housing values.

The 2015 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that the “quality of the school district” was the sixth-most-important factor influencing the neighborhood choice of home buyers around the country, but for buyers 35 to 49, the school district was the fourth-most-important factor. Top rated school districts seem to be insulated from property value decline.

HOW IS SCHOOL QUALITY MEASURED?
With the introduction of various school rating/grading systems, both by state governing bodies and individual companies, people have become more aware of a school’s ability to prepare children for the future. In the state of Indiana, the Department of Education releases accountability grades for individual schools that can be accessed on-line at the doe.in.gov website. There are also other independent school rating agencies that help you compare schools based on test scores, academic growth and college readiness for a more in-depth look at what is driving the rating of individual schools such as http://greatschools.org.

Two of the top 25 schools in the state are located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, including Homestead Senior High School in Southwest Allen County and Carroll High School in Northwest Allen County.

PUBLIC EDUCATION
In Fort Wayne, Indiana alone, there are four independent school districts including: Northwest Allen County, East Allen County, Fort Wayne Community, and Southwest Allen County. DeKalb and Steuben Counties have seven school districts combined.

PRIVATE EDUCATION
Another factor to concider when choosing a home’s location is its proximity to private schools. Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program, commonly referred to as the school voucher program, allocates funds to eligible Indiana students to offset tuition costs at participating schools; providing parents more financial flexibility when sending their children to a private school. This program is allowing more families the opportunity to chose the location of their home, such as in a thriving downtown community or near a lake and the choice of a specific school in which to educate their children.

If you are looking to help increase property values by improving the rating of the schools in your district, there are ways that you can help. Get involved in your local schools by tutoring, attending school events, or volunteering to support our essential educators the community in which we live.

Contact us to learn more about how to make the right purchase for you and your family.

Federal Reserve Sends Strong Signal to Buyers with Unchanged Rates

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Indiana REALTORS® today released statewide housing data that indicates an upswing in sales, prices and new listings.

According to the latest Indiana Real Estate Markets Report, August 2015 surpassed August 2014 across the board:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 7% to 7,371
  • The percent of original list price received increased .7% to 94.8%
  • Average 98 days on market through August
  • The number of new listings increased 2.7% to 10,606

“The continuation of the Federal Reserve’s low-rate policy means mortgage rates will remain attractive to buyers,” said Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “By keeping these loan rates down, another surge in home sales and new construction could be likely. More homebuilding can counteract the reductions in home inventories seen across the state.

“A fundamentally sound real estate market is essential to a healthy economy,” continued Bright. “If interest rates stay low and the job market—particularly wages—remains strong, favorable market conditions should continue into the winter months.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Home

FUELING THE MARKET
Recent housing trends indicate American families are moving out of large urban areas to smaller mid-sized cities. Realtor.com® recently announced that Fort Wayne was among the 20 markets receive that 1.5 to three times the number of views per listing compared with the rest of the nation. (http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/08/03/20-hottest-housing-markets-right-now) Some of the key factors that are spurring the move away from the nation’s largest cities are: the number of homes for sale per capita, the cost of living index, unemployment rate, median house income, crime rate rating and school quality rating.

WHY FORT WAYNE?
Fort Wayne, Indiana is located in the northeast corner of the state, it is a diverse industrial and commercial center with an attractive downtown and a friendly, small-town feel for a city its size. Fort Wayne’s cost of living is 16.30% lower than the national average and recent job growth has increased the number of jobs available in Fort Wayne by 5.31 percent. (http://www.bestplaces.net/city/indiana/fort_wayne) This thriving community was also ranked among the top 35 mid-sized cities for having one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. “Fort Wayne International Airport has expanded destinations to Charlotte and Philadelphia and overall flights have increased 15% this last quarter as compared to previous years,” according to Jessica Miller, Air Service and Marketing Manager, Fort Wayne International Airport Authority.

All these factors work together to make Fort Wayne & NE Indiana one of the most attractive Real Estate opportunities in the nation

POINTS OF INTEREST
Fort Wayne, Indiana is a city with a whole lot to offer. With an incredible array of cultural destinations, there is something for everyone. The historic Embassy Theatre downtown, constructed in the roaring 20’s, serves as the venue for concert tours, Broadway musicals, and a host of other events held throughout the year. In addition, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has been repeatedly voted one of the top ten zoos in the nation and is celebrating its 50th year of operation this year. Fort Wayne is also home to an number of minor league sports teams, including the MILB Tin Caps, the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets, and the NBA Development League Mad Ants. Fort Wayne was recently voted the best place in the country for minor league teams. Over the years, the city has really built up a reputation for hosting some truly fun and unique festivals celebrating everything from food to different cultures to the arts. Almost every weekend from spring through fall there is something going on here in the Summit City. Fort Wayne is also keeping its rich history alive whether it’s through reenactments at the Old Fort or the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library.

A stone’s throw away from Fort Wayne is a world renown collection of automobiles that are on display each year at the Cord Duesenberg Festival in Auburn, Indiana and throughout the year at the museum. The Northern Indiana Lakes Country proudly boasts of 101 sparkling scenic lakes and beautiful Pokagon State Park, perfect for any sportsman or outdoor enthusiast. With a growing number of wineries in the area, Northeastern Indiana is becoming a choice destination for those looking to spend time in the beauty of nature and unwind.

Confident Consumers Still View Housing as Wise Investment

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Indiana REALTORS® today released statewide housing data that confirms strong buyer demand is sustaining competitive markets with reduced inventories.

The latest Indiana Real Estate Markets Report shows July 2015 outperformed last July in all but one category:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 5.9% to 7,459
  • The percent of original list price received increased 0.3% to 94.9%
  • The average days on market through July was 77 days
  • The inventory of homes for sale decreased 7.6 percent to 40,731

“Low mortgage rates are empowering consumers across the state to invest in housing,” said Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “It’s a great time to be a seller. Despite fewer listings and rising prices, buyer demand is not letting up. Low inventory means buyers have to move fast when they find the right home.”

“A fundamentally sound real estate market is essential to a healthy economy,” continued Bright. “If interest rates stay low and the job market—particularly wages—remain strong, even better market conditions are yet to come.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Home

Outdoor living environments offer many great opportunities to welcome family and friends to your home. Most homeowners spend the majority of their attention building a home inside the house. While that’s a natural first step, it can be just as important to take advantage of potential square footage outside. This can mean a variety of decisions. Not sure where to start? Perhaps you want to boost the visual appeal or function of your outdoor space, or you want to find a way to draw others to new spaces? Here are a few simple suggestions that will offer a lasting return on investment for your property.

Outdoor Dining:
An outdoor cooking area is a fantastic way to increase the value and enjoyment of your property. If the idea of a second kitchen sounds overbearing, remember that you can keep it simple. A functional kitchen that doesn’t necessarily dominate your landscape can make all the difference for your outdoor area. With an outdoor kitchen, you can utilize a whole world of additional cooking options. Methods such as smoking, or the use of an open-flame offer unique meal alternatives to your family and guests. While a full-fledged outdoor kitchen can be quite pricey, keep in mind they do typically receive a very strong ROI (Return on Investment).

Warm up your Space:
Think of all the warmth and relaxation that comes with a fire. Introducing a fireplace to your outdoor area will make your family feel right at home during the summer and fall seasons. You could use brick, stones, dig a pit with a retaining wall, or purchase a fire-pit with easy mobility. A welcoming fireplace pairs well with cookouts, late night talks, or simply a warm place to share an evening.

Pergolas, covered porches, 3 season rooms & decks are great ways to add livable space to your home.

Architectural Features:
If you’re looking for a way to expand your living environment, decks and stone patios are a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your home. Building a gazebo, or adding a pergola or shade walls to your patio can add a classic style of beauty to your outdoor living space. These attractive hardscape features create a peaceful space to relax in the cool shade, provide a great place for a barbecue, or bring privacy to your hot tub. Looking for a way to unite your new outdoor living room to your existing home? A beautiful paver, natural stone, or flagstone walkway can be the perfect element to tie together your outdoor living environment. Creating your hardscapes using durable construction materials will ensure that they can be enjoyed for many years to come, adding value to your property.

These are all suggestions that help create a relaxing space to unwind with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, or entertain guests. It’s important that each update you make offers a strong return, and these choices will bring exactly that. A warm, inviting outdoor area will impress a potential buyer if need be, and will keep your family feeling right at home; inside and out. The professional Realtors® of Mike Thomas Associates are dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to make your real estate dreams a reality.

At the half-way mark of 2015, housing well on the way of outperforming 2014

(Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Association of Realtors®) – The 9,080 homes sold statewide in June is a 16.5 percent increase from the same month of last year. This is according to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by REALTORS®

The rest of the year-over-year comparison from the report shows housing outperformed June 2014 in all measures except inventory:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 8.5% to 7,911
  • The percent of original list price received increased 0.7% to 95.3%
  • The average days on market through June was 93 days
  • The inventory of homes for sale decreased 7.6 percent to 40,731

It’s been nine years since we’ve seen activity and pricing at these levels,” said Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Despite a continued lack of inventory and increasing prices, consumers all across the state see the opportunities that low interest rates present and are confident about housing as an investment.”

The year-to-date comparison from the report shows that at the half-way mark of 2015, housing is well on the way of outperforming 2014.

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Low inventory continues to demand fast action from buyers

(Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Association of Realtors®) – May Stats released: The number of homes sold statewide in May increased 15.8 percent from April and 2.8 percent from the same month of last year. This is according to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by REALTORS®.

Here is the traditional year-over-year review from the report that shows housing outperformed May 2014 in all measures except inventory and new listings –

  • The number of pending home sales increased 9.7 percent to 8,232
  • The percent of original list price received increased 0.8 percent to 95 percent
  • The average days on market through April was 79 days.
  • The inventory of homes for sale decreased 5.6 percent to 39,917

“We thought last month’s uptick in listings might indicate that potential sellers were getting ready to meet buyer demand,” said Bruce Bright, 2015 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “That didn’t happen. In fact, new listings decreased 3.8 percent from April. So our advice remains. Low inventory means buyers should get ready to move fast if they find the right home. Get your financing plan in place now, before you begin a serious search.

“A fundamentally sound real estate market is essential to a healthy economy,” continued Bright. “If interest rates stay low and the job market, particularly wages, stays strong, real estate will have done its part to foster the vibrant communities in which we want to live and work.”

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® are full time professionals and understand all the variables in determining the right home for you.

A few areas we help home owners through:

  • Price: We work with you in conjunction with your financial advisor to determine what you can afford for your long term financial planning.
  • Location: Consider where you work, location of schools for your own children or for resale of the home and proximity of parks and shopping.
  • Style: We all have our own style. We educate you on different architectural and interior design styles to determine your preferences.
  • Home Layout / Square Footage: There are an assortment of different home floor plans and we assist in helping you determine what to look for and how large of a space you need.
  • Lot Size: Are you considering moving to a place to have more room for privacy or would you prefer less land to maintain?
  • Investment: What locations will have a better increase in value? What features are important to consider when buying a property?
  • New or existing home? We help buyers determine the pros and cons and what to look out for in any real estate purchase.

We can help homebuyers sift through all the varying factors to make decisions about priorities and budget.

Buyers in most cases do not pay any Realtor® fees!
Realtors® handle all the detail work and negotiations from start to finish. The seller usually owes the commission, which is based on home’s selling price and is negotiable. The commission is generally split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

Full time Professionals:
We are experienced full-time, full-service Realtors® and understand the local market, its unique characteristics, trends and provide you with effective guidance throughout the home buying process. We address inspections, title work, surveys, reports, and a myriad of other details involved with purchasing a home for your security and investment protection. Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you will ever make.

Strategy:
We create a bidding strategy and determine the best price to offer based on history, market analysis and current conditions to assure you (the buyer) gets the best price!

It would be a privilege to help you find a home. Call us today.

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You can answer both of these questions with a Free Home Market Analysis from Mike Thomas Associates. We are skilled at helping you establish the fair market value so you can get the best price for your property.

What is a Home Market Analysis?

It’s a valuation of your real estate, offering an educated opinion of what your property might sell for if it were on the market. The agents at Mike Thomas Associates are skilled at helping you establish the fair market value so that you can get the best price for your property

A Home Market Analysis will provide critical factors for the homeowner, such as:

  • Find out the competitive home prices in your area
  • Current equity in your home
  • Increased value of your home since you purchased it
  • The information necessary to update your insurance coverage

A home market analysis helps homeowners avoid some common pitfalls when it comes time to sell.

The first few weeks after a home is listed are the most important.

Sell With, Not Against the Market
The first few weeks are criticial and pricing your home too high loses the attention of the market. Many are tempted to list their home based on how much they would like to get out of the sale without understanding what the home is really worth. Taking a close look at what the market is doing in your neighborhood makes sure the property is priced to sell.

A key mistake many make: overpricing the home.
High prices mean little traffic will be generated around the property. Low interest in the market puts the onus back on the homeowner to act. What often results is that homeowners end up with a final sales price that is well below the initial asking price.

Selling a home is not a simple task and there is much to consider. A comprehensive market analysis can lay the groundwork that keeps the homeowner in the driver’s seat when it comes time to sell. Be sure to ask your agent to prepare a home market analysis for you.

For a free home Comparative Market Analysis, call the real estate professionals at Mike Thomas Associates Realtors® for an appointment.

(Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Association of Realtors®) April stats are in: Pending sales have successfully predicted the future in 2015. They’ve told us in every report that housing would make for good news the following month.

And here we are in May with exactly that: good news. Indiana housing markets are thriving at the start of the second quarter. In fact, data from April shows that statewide, housing outperformed the same month of 2014 in all measures except inventory.

Other statewide April comparisons from the report show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 13.3% percent to 8,217 compared to 7,252 in 2014
  • The percent of original list price received increased 1.6 percent to 94.3 percent
  • The average days on market through April was 84 days.
  • The inventory of homes for sale decreased 4.2 percent to 38,903

The number of homes for sale decreased 4.2 percent from a year ago to just 38,903 available properties in the entire state. Low inventory means buyers should get ready to move fast if they find the right home. Get your financing plan in place now, before you begin a serious search.

The uptick in listings may indicate that potential sellers are getting ready to meet buyer demand. Either way, low interest rates help both sides of the transaction. If rates stay low and the job market, particularly wages, stays strong, this spring and summer buying season will end up being one of the best in years.

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Home

Home inventory is low which makes it a seller’s market. Interest rates are also very low. Now is a great time to list your home for sale.

SELLER TIPS: Price it right and then condition, condition, condition. Make sure the home is in top condition.

BUYER TIPS: Have a financial plan in place or be pre-approved because you will need to be prepared to act quickly due to the time the home is on the market.

PREPPING YOUR HOME TO SELL

When getting your home ready to put on the market, consider a number of home improvement tips that can increase your home’s appeal and value.

  1. Create Open Space – When people first walk into a home that they are thinking of purchasing, the first impression is critical. Keep your space open to welcome the potential buyer.
  2. Give Your Landscape Attention – When your bushes and trees are unkept, a potential buyer may have a negative first impression. Neat, tidy landscaping can positively impact your selling price.
  3. Let Your Light Shine – Lighting is critical. Lighting creates a mood. Carefully balanced bright lights, open curtains and even smart dimmer switches can shed light on every room in your home.
  4. Maintain, Maintain, Maintain – Make certain that all the small home fix ups are taken care of such as plumbing repairs, holes in walls, a broken switch, garbage disposal, and any scrapes and dings.
  5. Go With Energy Efficiency – If your heating or air conditioning systems are old and need replaced, many new systems as well as appliances are often 30 to 40% more efficient.
  6. Front Door Appeal – Remember that your front door makes a powerful impact. Research indicates that many buyers make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house.
  7. Easy Bathroom Refresh – Does your bathroom look clean and fresh? Replace caulk if it looks worn. Buy a new toilet seat. Add fresh towels. Make sure the bathroom sparkles. Clear all personal bathroom supplies. Keep counters clutter free.
  8. Flooring Talks – A high percentage of real estate professionals recommend spending some money on floor refreshing to assure that yours are clean prior to selling your home.
  9. Simple Neutral Wall Colors – When selling your home, make your home less personal. Remove your own personal preferences including wall color so that the buyer can imagine what color he or she would like to paint the home. Neutral colors can make a room appear larger.
  10. Remove Any Question Marks from Your House – Is there anything about your home that are blatant negatives? Is there a hole in the basement or garage floor that needs repaired? Fix these to make a positive impression and to sell your home for its highest value.

March home sales and median, average sale prices are higher than 2014

(Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Association of Realtors®) The first quarter of 2015 ended with impressive statewide numbers compared to last year. Data from March and the first quarter showed that housing outperformed the same periods of 2014 in all measures except inventory.

The number of homes for sale decreased four percent from a year ago to just 37,066 available properties in the entire state. Low inventory means buyers should get ready to move fast if they find the right home. The up-tick in listings may indicate that potential sellers are getting ready to meet buyer demand.

Other statewide 2014 year comparisons from the report show:

  • The number of pending home sales increased 10.8% percent to 7,109
  • The percent of original list price received increased 2.3 percent to 93.7 percent
  • The average days on market through March was 99 days.
  • The inventory of homes for sale decreased 4.0 percent to 37,066

REALTORS® always have their eyes on the job market, particularly wages, and interest rates to prepare for what’s ahead. Things look good on Indiana’s economic horizon. And pending sales tell us that housing will likely make for more good news in May.

IAR represents approximately 15,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange, or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of America’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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