Buyers

WHY Buying A Home From Me Is A Smart Decision!

Buyers trust me with their biggest investment! My buyers know that I am working for them!  I don’t believe in putting a buyer into any home that they cannot afford.   I will give you my honest opinion based on my knowledge of the real estate industry – even if it isn’t what you want to hear!

My 39 years experience has taught me how to listen to your wants and needs.

Free buyer representation!  Typically the Seller pays both the listing REALTOR® and the buyer’s agent at closing so I work for you for FREE.  I then share the commission that the Seller has agreed to pay at closing.   Builders also pay me to represent you.   Call me before you go to a new build community so I can sign you up properly with the builder.  In all of my years of representing buyers, I’ve never found a buyer of a new home sorry that they had their own representation!   Why not?  It’s FREE to you and the builder has a representative in the community working for their best interests.

My user-friendly website allows a buyer to search for homes and save favorites.  There is an easy foreclosure search, address search and MLS number search too.   The detail page is awesome!  Find the school, lots of pictures, mortgage calculator and you can even calculate your distance from the home to work!  Send me an email and I’ll create a special searche that will automatically email you when a new listing appears that meets the search criteria. You will also be informed when a property on your Favorites list has a price change or an open house.

I can help you customize your home search and guide you with sound advice to get you to the closing table as stress free as possible!  Use the marketing tools on this website to start your search or send me an email of your wants and I’ll do the looking for you!  You will even receive email alerts of new listings or price changes meeting your search criteria.

I pay to be a ‘premier’ agent on Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com and RealtyTrac AND I even show up as an exclusive agent on Facebook in certain zip codes.    Spend just a few minutes with me and let me show you how to make your home search easy with all of our technology.

Your new home is a click away. Contact me by phone 317.997-7404 or email: janet@janetgiles.com now to start your home search.

Are you an FHA Buyer ?- see this short YouTube Video – a VA purchase is very similar but you’ll never need to worry about any steps to closing when you use me as your Buyer’s Agent:


Email: janet@janetgiles.com if you would like a copy of this FREE Kindle eBook.  This has nothing to do with buying or selling —it is a ‘moving’ guide that everyone can use!

PURCHASE AGREEMENT INSIGHT!

When you use me you won’t need to worry that your purchase agreement will not be perfect -however – here is a quick rundown of what you will need and what the Purchase Agreement will cover.

  • You will need an Earnest Money check (or just a copy of the check made out to the listing brokerage until we get an accepted offer) once we write an offer.  The check will not be cashed or even given to the listing brokerage until we have an accepted agreement but I must present a copy of the check with your offer.
  • The current Purchase Agreement that is endorsed by the Indiana Association of Realtors and MIBOR is a 7-page document.  It will signed by you as the Buyer(s) and if accepted (and not countered) will also be signed by the Seller(s).  The Purchase Agreement sets forth all the terms of the sale: the price, way of financing, your inspection, your closing items and who pays for what and your closing date.
  • Counter Offer – any change in the Purchase Agreement terms offered by the Buyer(s) not accepted by the Seller(s) will be returned to us in the form of a Counter Offer.  The Counter Offer states only terms that are not accepted in the original Purchase Agreement and is attached to the original Purchase Agreement and made a part of that Purchase Agreement (there can be as many Counter Offers as gets the job done).  Each Counter Offer  has a response time to keep the agreement in effect.  Miss a deadline and the entire offer can then be voided.
  • The Seller(s) Disclosure will need to be signed by the buyer(s) as part of the Purchase Agreement package.  If the home is older than 1978 there is also a need for a Lead Base Paint Disclosure.  The listing brokerage should have the disclosures available for us to approve.
  • Also as part of the Purchase Agreement package – you will need a copy of the preapproval letter from your lender to be sent with the original Purchase Agreement.  This shows your ability to purchase the home and makes your offer STRONG!  In today’s HOT market, not having a preapproval letter ready when you find your dream home can cost you the deal.  In multiple offer situations (and especially in bank owned home sales), offers will automatically be rejected without a preapproval letter.

Sitting in front of a house and wish you knew the price? I have my own app for this but apps on Trulia and Zillow are great too.:

iPhone, iPad and Android users can click and download my personal mobile app in the right column on this page.  It is a super app for finding homes for sale whether you are in front of a particular home for sale or just searching.  You can then contact me easily at that very moment.  Once you download MY APP you will love it – send it to your friends!

Looking for a HUD home (a home loan originally FHA and has now gone into foreclosure)? Then click here to be taken to the HUDHomeStore.   I can show you any of these homes.  You must use a HUD authorized agent (that would be me, Janet Giles) to write the offer.   ALSO, let me warn you – just because a HUD property shows up in the local BLC (MLS) that does not mean that the home is available. I will need to do a final check through the HUDHomeStore to make sure that it has not just pended. This is often disappointing to a buyer but it happens all the time.

Search for VA Homes for Sale - These are homes that a Veteran has lost to foreclosure.  VA has recently made some changes in their site – clicking on the “foreclosures” in the Search for a Home Box on my site will give you all foreclosures.

USDA Home Loan - USDA home loans are for certain rural areas.  Not all banks or lenders will do a USDA home loan and the home you want to purchase must lie within the boundaries set by the USDA.  (Yes, this is the United States Department of Agriculture that sponsors these loans).  Here is a link to the USDA website and information for Indiana.  I have recently sold to buyers using the USDA funding and am familiar with the process.  It will take a little longer for loan approval than a VA or FHA loan but it can lower the down payment significantly with a Seller’s willingness to pay closing costs.  Let me know where you want to purchase and I will check a current map for eligibility.  Bargersville, Lebanon and Mooresville are among the towns covered under USDA.

Want to Search Local MLS Sites in Other Cities?   You can always download real estate apps on your iPhone and iPad and most other smart phones like Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com or just pull up those sites on your computer.

Buying a Home with Resale in Mind then buy a home that appeals to the masses!

  • Don’t pay a premium for a home with an amenity that is just for your own pleasure and wouldn’t have the same meaning to other buyers. If you plan to make the home your unique domain that’s okay too but just remember that certain amenities don’t always return value if you need to resell the home quickly or you are expecting a high return on the value.  (An example would be carpet that is red or green and not a neutral color even though it is high quality and like-new – it is a not-want or a swimming pool, for instance, is something not every buyer would want or even having a water view might be wonderful for you but a danger to young couples with small children.
  • Lot and Landscaping is important too.  One of the best curb-appeal methods is attractive landscaping.  Even though most real estate value is usually concentrated in the building, the lot is important, too. Obviously, it should be as level as possible. Assuming the property is in a typical neighborhood, the lot should be rectangular – no odd shaped lots or oddly situated lots. Yard sizes are smaller in modern homes than in older homes, but there should still be a decently sized front and back yard. Do not buy a house where the entire back yard is taken up by a swimming pool, for example. Do not purchase an over-landscaped property, either. You would normally pay a premium for that, which you may not be able to recover when you sell. You will get your best value if the house is moderately landscaped or under-landscaped for the area. You can always improve the landscaping during your ownership by improving the grass and adding bushes and trees. Just do not spend too much.
  • House Size should not just meet your needs but if you are looking at resale in the near future keep this in mind.  In each residential neighborhood, houses will vary in size and rooms, but they should not be too different. If resale value is an important consideration, you should not buy the largest model in the neighborhood. When determining market value, the homes nearest to yours are most important. If most of the nearby houses are smaller than your house, they can act as a drag on appreciation. On the other hand, if you buy a small or medium house for the neighborhood, the larger homes can help pull up your value. This is one of those times where determining your “wants” versus your “needs” can be extremely important. Buying what you need in a more prestigious neighborhood may provide more financial reward than getting what you want in a less desirable neighborhood.
  • Bedrooms and Bathrooms – Three and four bedroom houses are the most popular among homebuyers, so if you can stick in that range you will have more potential buyers when it comes time to resell. Five is okay, too, as long as you do not have to pay too much extra for the additional bedroom. There should always be at least two bathrooms in a house, preferably at least two and a half if it is a two-story.  One bathroom with a place to wash up for day-to-day visitors, one for the master bedroom, and at least one to be shared by the other bedrooms.  I realize that not all buyers can start out with 3 bedrooms and more than one bathroom but remember I am talking about resale in a need-to-sell quick market.
  • Closets, Garages and Laundry – Walk-in closets are extremely desirable for the master bedroom. For the rest of the house, just be sure there is plenty of closet space. Don’t forget space for linens and towels. Garages add to the resale value and you should always make sure to get at least a two-car garage. Lately, three-car garages have become desirable in some areas of the country. The laundry facilities should be located somewhere convenient on the main floor of the house, but not in a place it will create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.
  • The Kitchen is really the most important room in the house.  The larger the kitchen, and the more updated the kitchen, the quicker the resale. Family activity centers around the kitchen and having the dining room, breakfast nook and even family room adjacent to the kitchen extends the ability to entertain in this popular area. There should be easy access to the back yard, as there will be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining. In addition, it should be a short trek between the garage to the kitchen so hauling groceries in from the car does not become a horrendous chore.
  • Who doesn’t want a fireplace? Everyone loves a cozy warm fire and today fireplaces can be put almost anyplace with the new ventless type fireplaces. Usually a fireplace is in the family and you will pay more to have more than one fireplace so make sure that you don’t over pay if you are rarely going to use it.  One fireplace will always add value but two may not.
  • Swimming Pools do not necessarily add value because of safety issues for families with small children. Having a pool may limit the number of potential homebuyers when are ready to sell, so by a home with a pool for your own enjoyment not as an investment.

Finding the Right Neighborhood

Moving to a new area can be stressful. Even if you have lived within a city for a very long time, moving to a new neighborhood can mean a complete change of lifestyle. When you decide it is time for a change, how can you locate the best neighborhood for you and your family?

1. Drive around the area. Drive down the streets and up and down nearby streets. Check to see if the places you like to go are nearby. If you have kids, is there a school nearby? Is there a grocery store and/or mall nearby? Think about the area you live in currently and right down the things about that area that you like. Use that comparison sheet when you are driving around as a checklist for the criteria you would most like to see in your new neighborhood.

2. Check public records for comparable home sales data. Are the values of homes going up, down or remaining steady? Remember your home is an investment. You will want to watch for neighborhoods that are increasing in value, because it is a good indicator that your home will increase too. If home values are going down or seem to be erratic, find out why.

3. Check zoning! This is very important. If there are empty spaces of land around or nearby your neighborhood, make sure you find out what that land is zoned for in the future. Very often people buy  homes in areas near future commercial zoning and find out about it once it’s too late. Don’t wait until they’re erecting that future plaza mall in your backyard to figure out that the gorgeous lot behind your new home is zoned for commercial builds. Once you have found out the zoning, make sure you feel comfortable with it before you buy the home.

4. Find out about future development. Often development can signal higher property values, but it can also mean more traffic and congestion. Make sure that you are comfortable with the development and it’s proximity to your new home.

5. Visit the area at night. If you can, visit the home at night. Often times the view of a home is nice during the day, but can turn into a bunch of parking lights at night. Listen to the neighborhood at night. Is there a lot of activity or does it seem fairly peaceful?

6. Find out about crime. Make sure that the neighborhood has a safety level that you feel comfortable with for your family. Check with local police departments or go online for crime statistic information in the area.

7. Check into the local schools if you have or plan to have children. Find out about the school district and don’t be afraid to ask about test scores.

8. Test the commute. If you can, visit the neighborhood during the week to figure out how long your commute will be each day. If you utilize public transportation to get to work, find out how far away it is, and if it is in an area you feel comfortable visiting each day. Many people buy a house without calculating how long it will take them to commute. Remember commutes can be very stressful, tiring and even costly each day. Take that into account when you are making your decision.

9. Talk to the neighbors. Current residents have nothing to gain by convincing you to live in their neighborhood. They will most often give you an honest, reasonable analysis of the area and what they like most and least about living there. You’ll also have a chance to socialize with future neighbors to find out if the people in the area share you common values and goals.

10. Find out if there is a Homeowner’s Association. HOA’s can be very positive, or negative depending upon the rules and people involved. Read the bylaws carefully and make sure that you understand them and that the restrictions are ones that you can live with each day. Many associations have provisions as to what color you can paint your house and what kind or style of landscaping you can use. Some are more relaxed and flexible, others can be rather stringent. Make sure you find out before you purchase the home because they will play a large role in your lifestyle within the area.

Finding the right neighborhood for you doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Following these simple guidelines will help give you a great start to finding your perfect new home!

NEW INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH MY SERVICES AT MIBOR….I can now provide free of charge lots of the history of a home, tax information, schools, neighborhood make-up and more as it has just become available to Realtors for marketing purposes.