The Fc Tucker Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Central Indiana home prices up more than 7 percent

Central Indiana home prices up more than 7 percent year to date

Inventory rises by 2.5 percent; four counties show increase in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With average home prices reaching $173,393 in June 2014, home sales prices are up 7.4 percent compared to June 2013.

Seven of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Shelby and Boone counties led the way with 21.3 and 10 percent increases, respectively, in average home sales prices. In Shelby County, homes sold for an average of $118,171, while homes in Boone County averaged $282,310. Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion counties also reported gains. Madison and Morgan counties experienced a decrease of 7.9 and 2 percent respectively.

In June 2014, pended home sales declined 12.5 percent year to date, with nine counties experiencing a decrease. In June, Shelby County saw the largest year-to-date decrease in pended home sales which fell 24.3 percent compared to the first six months of 2013.  On a monthly basis, June 2014 pended home sales declined 14.9 percent over June 2013, a decrease of 445 homes sold.

“When comparing this year’s sales numbers to last year’s, it’s important to consider that 2013 was the fourth best year in Indianapolis real estate history,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “In 2013, we were still recovering from the previous cycle of the housing downturn, so last year’s spike in sales was tremendous. I believe we’re likely approaching a ‘new normal’ where sales growth will be less dramatic moving forward.”

As pended sales declined, the number of homes for sale increased. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region rose by 2.5 percent in June 2014 with 12,000 homes...

Central Indiana home prices up 7 percent year to date

Central Indiana home prices up 7 percent year to date

Inventory rises by 0.4 percent; five counties show increase in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With average home prices reaching $168,669 in May 2014, home sales prices are up 7 percent compared to May 2013.

Seven of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Shelby and Boone counties led the way with 24.2 and 9.2 percent increases, respectively, in average home sales prices. In Shelby County, homes sold for an average of $119,943, while homes in Boone County averaged $276,054. Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion counties also reported gains. Madison and Morgan counties experienced a decrease of 7 and 2.8 percent respectively.

In May 2014, pended home sales declined 14 percent year to date, with nine counties experiencing a decrease. In May, Shelby County saw the largest year-to-date decrease in pended home sales which fell 27.7 percent compared to the first five months of 2013.  On a monthly basis, May 2014 pended home sales declined 14.6 percent over May 2013, a decrease of 459 homes sold.

“Though sales have been slow to grow this year, we’re still optimistic,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Affordability and low interest rates have been favorable for buyers looking to make smart purchases, so we hope to see more positive momentum in the coming months.”

As pended sales declined, the number of homes for sale increased. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region rose by a modest 0.4 percent in May 2014 with 11,414 homes on the market, 48 more than in May 2013. Five Central Indiana counties saw varying inventory increases with Johnson County experiencing the greatest uptick at 10.4 percent to 978 from 886 homes in May 2013....

Central Indiana home prices up more than 8 percent year to date

Central Indiana home prices up more than 8 percent year to date

Inventory tightens by 1.4 percent; four counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With average home prices reaching $165,238 in April 2014, home sales prices are up 8.2 percent compared to April 2013.

Seven of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first four months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Shelby and Hamilton counties led the way with 24 and 10.4 percent increases, respectively, in average home sales prices. In Shelby County, homes sold for an average of $112,294, while homes in Hamilton County averaged $260,670. Boone, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion counties also reported gains. Madison and Morgan counties experienced a decrease of 7.5 and 2.0 percent respectively.

In April 2014, pended home sales declined 17.3 percent year to date, with all nine counties experiencing a decrease. In April, Shelby County saw the largest year-to-date decrease in pended home sales which fell 39.4 percent compared to the first four months of 2013.  On a monthly basis, April 2014 pended home sales declined 19.9 percent over April 2013, a decrease of 628 homes sold

“While we would have expected to see sales increase, given the low interest rates, you can’t directly compare last month’s pended home sales against April 2013. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison because April 2013’s sales were the biggest we’ve seen,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Still, we’re encouraged that April 2014’s pended sales marked the fourth month-to-month improvement, an indication the market is moving in the right direction.”

Despite the drop in pended sales, fewer homes are on the market compared to April 2013. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region...

Central Indiana home prices up more than 6 percent year to date

Central Indiana home prices up more than 6 percent year to date

Inventory tightens by nearly 8 percent; eight counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With average home prices reaching $161,191 in March 2014, home sales prices are up 6.1 percent compared to March 2013.

Eight of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first three months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Johnson and Boone counties led the way with 14 and 13 percent increases, respectively, in average home sales prices, while Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties also reported gains. Madison County experienced a slight decrease of 7.8 percent.

In March 2014, pended home sales declined 19.3 percent year to date, with all nine counties experiencing a decrease. In March, Shelby County saw the largest year-to-date decrease in pended home sales which fell 30.7 percent compared to the first three months of 2013.  

“Now that harsh winter conditions have finally lifted, we expect warmer weather will attract more potential buyers to open houses,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “As we move into the second quarter, we believe home sales will increase and prices will remain strong.”

Despite the drop in pended sales, fewer homes are on the market compared to March 2013. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 7.7 percent in March 2014 with 9,961 homes on the market, 829 fewer than in March 2013. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hendricks County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 19.1 percent, a decline of 192 homes. In Johnson County, inventory rose 14.2 percent to 874 from 765 homes in March 2013.

Of the pended home sales in the region last month, one was priced $2,000,000...

Central Indiana home prices up more than 7 percent year-to-date

Central Indiana home prices up more than 7 percent year-to-date

Inventory tightens by 12 percent; eight counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With home prices reaching $155,886 in February 2014, home sales prices are up 7.2 percent compared to February 2013.

Eight of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices in the first two months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. Shelby and Hendricks counties led the way with 14.5 and 12.2 percent increases, respectively, in home sales prices, while Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Marion and Morgan counties also reported gains. Madison County experienced a slight decrease of 9 percent.

In February 2014, pended home sales declined 22.8 percent with eight counties experiencing a decrease. In February, Boone County saw the largest decrease in pended home sales which fell 39.5 percent. Only Hancock County experienced an increase at 3.3 percent.

“This prolonged weather has certainly affected the housing market, just as it has for other sectors,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “But spring is around the corner, and with the improving weather will come a revival in home sales.”

Despite the drop in pended sales, fewer homes are on the market compared to February 2013. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 12 percent in February 2014 with 9,229 homes on the market, 1,260 fewer than in February 2013. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hendricks County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 24.7 percent, a decline of 237 homes. In Johnson County, inventory rose 3.8 percent to 787 from 758 in February 2013.

Of the pended home sales in the region last month, one was priced $2,000,000 or higher; four were priced $1,000,000 to $1,999,999; 53 were priced $500,000...

Home prices open the year up nearly 9 percent

Latest Market Report

Home prices open the year up nearly 9 percent

Inventory tightens by 8.3 percent; eight counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With home prices reaching $159,391 in January 2014, home sales prices are up 8.6 percent compared to January 2013.

Six of the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks experienced slightly higher home sales prices than in January 2013. Shelby and Hendricks counties led the way with 28.1 and 21 percent increases, respectively, in home sales prices, while Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson and Marion counties also reported gains. Madison County experienced a slight decrease of 11.5 percent. Morgan and Boone counties also experienced decreases of 6 and 1.5 percent, respectively.

In January 2014, pended home sales declined 31 percent with all nine counties experiencing a decrease. In January, Shelby County saw the largest decrease in pended home sales which fell 61 percent. Hendricks County experienced the smallest decrease at 8.5 percent.

“The record snowfall and cold temperatures certainly had an impact on home sales in January,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “However, as soon as we get moderation in the weather, I’m confident sales will break loose.” 

Despite the drop in pended sales, fewer homes are on the market compared to January 2013. Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 8.3 percent in January 2014 with 9,320 homes on the market, 844 fewer than in January 2013. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hendricks County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 19 percent, a decline of 172 homes. In Johnson County, inventory rose 7.9 percent to 792 from 734 in January 2013.

Of the pended home sales in the region last month, one was priced $2,000,000 or higher; two were priced $1,000,000 to $1,999,999; 35...

Home sales close the year up 14 percent year-to-date

Home sales close the year up 14 percent year-to-date

Inventory tightens by 7.6 percent; eight counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 1,315 pended sales in December in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 14 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, December 2013 pended home sales declined 18.6 percent over December 2012, a decrease of 301 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Three of the nine counties reported increased sales compared to December 2012. 

“We’re optimistic about the start of the new year,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Prices are up, inventory is tightening, and homes are selling faster, staying on the market an average of 81 days – all signs of a strengthening market.”

In December, Morgan County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 45.5 percent, increasing the number of pended home sales to 48 from 33 in December 2012. Hancock and Madison counties also experienced increases of 5.9 and 1.2 percent, respectively, over December 2012. Shelby County saw the biggest decline in pended sales, decreasing 35.5 percent from December of last year. Johnson and Hendricks were also among the counties that experienced decreases – down 34.3 and 30.3 respectively.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 7.6 percent in December 2013 with 9,594 homes on the market, 794 fewer than in December 2012. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Shelby County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 16.7 percent. In Johnson County, inventory rose 8.5 percent to 820 from 756 in December 2012.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 6.8 percent. Tucker’s...

Central Indiana home sales up 16.2 percent year to date

Central Indiana home sales up 16.2 percent year to date

Inventory tightens by 6.7 percent; eight counties experience drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 1,941 pended sales in October in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 16.2 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, October 2013 pended home sales fell 11 percent compared to October 2012, a decrease of 240 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Three counties reported increased sales compared to October 2012.

“Though a decrease in home sales is typical as we move deeper into the year, consumers may also be hesitant to jump in as they cautiously watch the potential for increasing interest rates,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Still, we expect prices to continue rising due to the smaller supply of homes across Central Indiana – a positive sign of market stabilization.”

In October, Madison County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which rose 9.3 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 141 from 129 in October 2012. Johnson and Boone counties also experienced increases of 5.7 and 2.7 percent over October 2012, respectively. Morgan and Hamilton counties saw the biggest declines – 23.3 and 21.7 percent, respectively. Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Shelby also experienced declines.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 6.7 percent in October 2013 with 11,410 homes on the market, 822 fewer than in October 2012. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hamilton County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 15.1 percent. Only Johnson County saw an increase in inventory, up 8.1 percent.

Overall, sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 6.1 percent....

2013 Veterans Day Free Food

Monday is Veterans Day, and as a way to show appreciation for the service of our veterans and active duty personnel, many restaurants are offering free food or significant discounts on purchases. Please show your appreciation by sharing this list with any service members you know! (please note the dates because some are starting their offer this weekend or extending it beyond Monday!)

Applebee's – Nov 11th: Free entree from a limited menu. Menu and details www.applebees.com/veterans-day-menu

Bar Louie - Nov 10th-11th: Free lunch or dinner www.barlouieamerica.com

Bob Evans – Nov 11th: Free all-you-can-eat pancakes www.bobevans.com

Boston Market - Nov 11th: Free whole chicken with purchase of a family meal www.facebook.com/BostonMarket

California Pizza Kitchen - Nov 11th: Veterans get a free pizza at participating locations www.cpk.com

Carrabba’s – Nov 9th-11th: Free appetizer. Confirm your location is participating www.carrabbas.com/Locator

Champps Americana – Nov 11th: Free burger and fries champps.com/Events/VeteransDay2013.aspx

Cheeseburger in Paradise – Nov 11th: Free All-American Burger and fries with the purchase of a drink www.cheeseburgerinparadise.com

Chili’s – Nov 11th: Free meal from special menu ...

Central Indiana home sales up 17.8 percent year to date; down slightly for September

Central Indiana home sales up 17.8 percent year to date;
down slightly for September

Inventory tightens by 7.5 percent; eight counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 1,921 pended sales in September in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 17.8 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, September 2013 pended home sales declined 1.6 percent compared to September 2012, a decrease of 31 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Four of the nine counties reported increased sales compared to September 2012. 

“Real estate sales have been strong in 2013 compared to 2012,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “We’ve already sold more than 23,000 homes year-to-date, and we’re on pace to end the year in higher territory.”

In September, Hancock County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which climbed 21.3 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 91 from 75 in September 2012. Johnson and Madison counties also experienced increases of 11.6 and 7.9 percent, respectively, over September 2012. Hendricks County saw the biggest decline, decreasing 16.2 percent compared to September of last year. Shelby County experienced a decrease as well, down 13.2 percent.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 7.5 percent in September 2013 with 11,963 homes on the market, 963 fewer than in September 2012. Eight Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hamilton County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 15.5 percent. Johnson County’s inventory increased by 51 homes to 1,002, while Madison County’s inventory remained nearly level compared to September 2012.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased...

Central Indiana home sales up 18.6 percent year to date; up 3 percent for August

Central Indiana home sales up 18.6 percent year to date;
up 3 percent for August

Inventory tightens by 9.4 percent; seven counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 2,415 pended sales in August in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 18.6 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, August 2013 pended home sales rose 3 percent over August 2012, an increase of 71 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Seven of the nine counties reported increased sales compared to August 2012. 

“As we move further into the third quarter, we remain encouraged by the direction of the market,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Home sales and home prices continue to grow as the inventory shrinks– necessary factors for market stabilization.”

In August, Shelby County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 75.7 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 65 from 37 in August 2012. Hancock and Johnson counties also experienced increases of 22.4 and 13.6 percent, respectively, over August 2012. Boone County saw the biggest decline, decreasing 11 percent from August of last year. Hamilton County experienced a decrease as well, down 4.7 percent.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 9.4 percent in August 2013 with 11,965 homes on the market, 1,242 fewer than in August 2012. Seven Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hendricks County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 18.1 percent. Johnson County’s inventory increased by 20 homes to 986, while Morgan County’s inventory remained unchanged from last year.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 5.8 percent. Tucker’s data indicates...

Top 5 Ways to Avoid a Messy House

Houses seem to get messy all on their own. You can do a deep cleaning one day, and then a week later, you'd never be able to tell. This endless cycle is the frustration of many homeowners and renters, and the problem seems to compile when children are thrown in the mix.

Rest assured that there are a few simple things you can do that will help you stave off that overwhelming feeling that the mess has taken over. Just a few minutes every day, or every few days, can save you hours of cleaning down the road. By targeting the things that contribute to clutter most, you can stop them in their tracks.

Keep a Clean, Clear Sink

Sinks are natural deposit spots. It's so easy to set dirty dishes in it, and let them pile up to overflow onto the counter beside it. When this happens, you have less room to use the kitchen and an increased chance of bacteria and mold growth on food residue. Even worse, a full sink makes it tough to start chipping away at the dish pile.

An empty, clean looking sink will inspire you to keep the entire kitchen that way, and make it easier to do so. Do dishes as you use them, and suggest that other members of the household do the same.

Stay Ahead of Laundry

No one likes to run another load or match up pairs of socks. However, the sad truth is that laundry does not go away, and the longer you avoid it, the more of a homekeeping monstrosity it becomes. Stay a step ahead by not letting piles of clean (or dirty!) clothes build up.

Wait until you have a full load in order to use water most efficiently, and then wash that load. Make sure that you're not washing things together that will leave color on each other, but don't get overly concerned about old light and dark t-shirts that have been washed hundreds of times already. When that load is done, put the items away. ...

Central Indiana home sales up more than 19 percent year to date

Central Indiana home sales up more than 19 percent year to date

Inventory tightens by 20.3 percent

INDIANAPOLIS – With 2,457 pended sales in July in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 19.4 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, July 2013 pended home sales fell 0.3 percent compared to July 2012, a slight decrease of seven homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Four counties reported increased sales compared to July 2012.

“It’s common for home sales to slow a bit as we move into the second half of the year,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company.  “Even though pended sales pulled back slightly in July, the average home price continued to climb. With competitive prices and shrinking inventory, we believe our housing recovery will continue to move in the right direction.”

In July, Hancock County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 30.3 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 99 from 76 in July 2012. Morgan and Marion also experienced increases of 15.9 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, over July 2012. The largest decline in pended home sales was seen in Shelby County, with a 22.9 percent decrease, representing 11 fewer homes sold in July 2013 compared to July 2012.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 20.3 percent in July 2013 with 10,912 homes on the market, 2,781 fewer than in July 2012. Nine Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Marion County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 29.5 percent.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 5.9 percent. Tucker’s data indicates that eight counties experienced slightly higher home sales prices than in July 2012. Year-to-date, Hancock County led the way...

Top 5 Tips for Organizing Problem Items in Your Walk-in Closet

Pictures of walk-in closets with fancy organizer shelves, different heights of hanging clothes bars and fancy boxed drawers are plastered all over housekeeping magazines. Organizing clothes is usually not most people's biggest problem -- it's what to do with certain specific items, such as scarves, belts, ties, purses and handbags, and SHOES! Shoes always seem to remain a mess on the bottom of the closet. But a little creativity can take care of these problem items.

Five simple inexpensive tips for dealing with these items:

1. Shoes: An old wooden bookcase works perfectly for housing your shoes. If you don't have one, you can pick up a brand new one for under $20 at Walmart. Depending on your space, you can use a tall bookcase or a short bookcase. Most wooden bookshelves allow you to adjust the shelves by placing small dowels in holes on which the shelf sits. This is great because you can size your shelf height according to the type of shoes. Boots will require a tall shelf, while sandals will need a narrow shelf. In addition, if you slant the back of the shelf lower than the front (by placing the dowel one hole lower), the shoes will not fall out. If motivated, you can paint the bookcase or decorate it to match your decor.

If your closet is too small for a bookcase, and you have some extra wall space in your bedroom, you can use the top of the bookcase for nicknacks, and because your shoes stack neatly, it will not add clutter to your room. It will be easy to find the shoes you want, easy to put your shoes away, and if you need room for more shoes, just add another bookcase.

2. Scarves: If you have space on your hanging clothes rod, tie your scarves loosely on the rod side by side. They will be easy to get to and easy to select. Color-coordinating them should also be easy. If you tie them loosely, they will slide apart...

Top 5 Ways to Organize Your Laundry Room

The laundry room -- always a mess: full of dirty laundry, an ironing board in the way, soaps, baskets and other necessities taking up valuable space. Worst of all, You've tried to get the room organized but nothing you do seems to help.

Of all the working areas a home contains, the laundry area pulls the most weight and it shows in the room's ever-present clutter and plethora of unmatched socks waiting for their mates. Getting the room organized feels like a task without end, but just a few organization tips can help this small but indispensable room function the way homeowners have always wanted. Here are our top five ways of organizing your laundry room.

1. Put Your Available Space to Work: The most important organizational task is making the most of your laundry room's space. Whether you have only a tiny laundry nook or an entire basement, utilizing every inch of the room is the first step to total organization. For small nooks that only contain a washer and a dryer, consider erecting shelves above the appliances for detergents, softeners and other laundry necessities. Another way to ramp up a small laundry nook's functionality is by installing fold-out arms on the wall beside your dryer. You can hang dress shirts, sweaters and dresses as you remove them from the dryer and you can fold the arms away when they're not in use. Those who have the luxury of a full basement or a large room dedicated solely to laundry, build or purchase cabinets in which to store laundry supplies and use the top as a folding station. It's impossible to have too much cabinet space in a laundry room.  

2. Install Some Risers: Risers placed strategically under appliances are phenomenal. For today's popular front-loading appliances, height is not an issue so feel free to raise that washer and dryer as high as you can manage. While top-loading appliances...

Top 5 Ways to Beautify Your Home Garden

The warm weather of spring and summer conjures visions of relaxing in a garden environment, but many people don't know how to turn their available outdoor space into a garden retreat. Contrary to popular belief, it's easy to create a beautiful and inviting garden regardless of how much space you have at your disposal. Single family homes, apartments with decks or even a dedicated corner in an indoor setting can be used as a garden without a great deal of investment or manual labor. Armed with innovation and artistic thinking, you can turn your ordinary yard into a garden gorgeous enough to grace the cover of a home decor magazine. Follow these handy tips as a blueprint or use them to fire up your dormant creativity.

1. Make the Most of What You Have: This tip is especially useful for people with certain obstacles to overcome including space limitations (apartments, etc.), uncultivated yards and small budgets. First, take a good, long look at your available space and try to see the area with a fresh perspective. With this approach, you can turn unsightly tree stumps into decorative flower planters, hilly landscapes into nasturtium beds and small apartment decks into a taste of the outdoors. Use colorful blooms and patterned planters to add depth and texture to your existing space.

2. Layer Up with Ordinary or "Found" Items: In addition to planting flower beds and vegetable patches, place ordinary objects around the area to give your garden a comfortable, lived-in feeling. Raid your home for old teapots, ceramic containers, baskets or any other items that will safely hold your plant life. If you have the space, consider using old wheelbarrows, carts and even old tires as planters. A little imagination can go along way toward jazzing up a simple garden.   

3. Add Creative Lighting Treatments: With the right lighting,...

Top 5 Features that Make a Property a Good Candidate for Upgrades

property upgradesWhen you buy a new property, you need to look at it as an investment as well as a home for your family. From the perspective of a home, it should give you things that you want and need right now -- enough bedrooms for your children, for example, or a home office if you need it. However, as an investment, it should also provide some things that you can benefit from in the future. You need to know how to spot a property that is ripe for upgrades. These upgrades could quickly and dramatically increase the value of the properly, making your investment a wise decision.

1. An Unfinished Basement

Getting a finished basement can be nice because it gives you all of that extra space, but a home with an unfinished one will come with a much smaller price tag. This basement is an open canvas for you as a homeowner. It gives you room for a rental space if you want it, or you can simply expand your home. Imagine the difference in value if you take a home with only three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms and turn it into a renovated house that offers five bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. You could sell it for far more than you paid with all of that extra floorspace, and you would also make the home attractive to new buyers who would not have been interested before.

2. Older Kitchens

A new kitchen may draw you in, but you have to remember that the kitchen -- along with the bathrooms – is where the most dramatic updates are made in every home. Things begin to look outdated very quickly. At the same time, people want modern kitchens with amenities like built-in ice makers and faucets that pull off to become spray hoses. These are simple upgrades, but they make the home both worth more and far more attractive since buyers will not feel like they have to do all of the work.

3. Non-Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans...

Central Indiana home sales up 19 percent year to date; up 13.5 percent for May

Central Indiana home sales up 19 percent year to date;
up 13.5 percent for May

Inventory tightens by 17.5 percent; nine counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 2,857 pended sales in May in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 19 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, May 2013 pended home sales rose 13.5 percent over May 2012, an increase of 339 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. All nine counties reported increased sales or sales on par with May 2012. 

“A robust housing market recovery is underway in Central Indiana as inventory declines and housing prices rise,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “The balance is tilting toward a seller’s market, but there are still great opportunities for buyers to find an array of houses at various price points.”  Homes on average are selling 13 days quicker year to date than in 2012.

In May, Morgan County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 33.3 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 104 from 78 in May 2012. Boone and Hancock counties also experienced increases of 31.9 and 27.3 percent over May 2012, respectively.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 17.5 percent in May 2013 with 11,366 homes on the market, 2,386 fewer than in May 2012. All nine Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines. Hamilton County’s inventory decreased the most at 26.4 percent, while Morgan County’s inventory was the most stable, down just 2.7 percent.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the Central Indiana area increased by 5.7 percent. Tucker’s data indicates that all nine counties experienced slightly higher home sales prices than in May 2012. Marion County led the way with a 9.6 percent increase in home sales prices,...

Central Indiana home sales up 16.6 percent year to date; up 13.2 percent for April

Central Indiana home sales up 16.6 percent year to date;
up 13.2 percent for April

Inventory tightens by 18.2 percent; nine counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With 2,788 pended sales in April in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 16.6 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, April 2013 pended home sales rose 13.2 percent over April 2012, an increase of 325 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. All nine counties reported increased sales compared to April 2012. 

“The pace of home sales surged in the first quarter,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Our sales associates are seeing a notable shift in buying habits as the number of desirable homes on the market tightens and prices begin to climb.”

In April, Shelby County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 61.5 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 63 from 39 in April 2012. Johnson and Marion counties also experienced increases of 42.1 and 14.7 percent over April 2012, respectively.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 18.2 percent in April 2013 with 11,084 homes on the market, 2,458 fewer than in April 2012. All nine Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Shelby County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 25.2 percent. Morgan County’s inventory was the most stable, down just 3.6 percent.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 5.6 percent. Tucker’s data indicates that six counties experienced slightly higher home sales prices than in April 2012. Year-to-date, Marion County led the way with a 10.9 percent increase in home sales prices, while Madison, Hancock, Hamilton, Morgan and Shelby also reported gains. Hendricks, Boone and Johnson...

Central Indiana home sales up 13.1 percent year to date; up 1.2 percent for March

Central Indiana home sales up 13.1 percent year to date;
up 1.2 percent for March

Inventory tightens by 16.9 percent; nine counties show drop in available homes for sale

INDIANAPOLIS – With more than 2,516 pended sales in March in Central Indiana, overall year-to-date home sales are up 13.1 percent compared to this time period last year, according to statistics compiled by F.C. Tucker Company.

On a monthly basis, March 2013 pended home sales rose 1.2 percent over March 2012, an increase of 30 homes sold in the nine counties that F.C. Tucker tracks. Five of the nine counties reported increased sales compared to March 2012. 

“The first quarter of the year is off to a strong start,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Company. “Continued increases in home sales and home prices, and decreases in inventory are positive signs that the Central Indiana real estate recovery is still on solid ground.”

In March, Johnson County saw the largest increase in pended home sales which spiked 23.4 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 216 from 175 in March 2012. Hancock and Madison counties also experienced increases of 16 and 6.6 percent over March 2012, respectively. Boone County saw the biggest decline, decreasing 31 percent from March of last year. Shelby and Hendricks counties also experienced decreases of 9.3 and 6.5 percent respectively.

Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 16.9 percent in March 2013 with 10,790 homes on the market, 2,202 fewer than in March 2012. All nine Central Indiana counties experienced varying inventory declines with Hamilton County experiencing the greatest decrease in inventory at 22.7 percent. Morgan County’s inventory was the most stable, down 6 percent.

Overall, year-to-date sales prices for the nine-county Central Indiana area increased by 5.2 percent. Tucker’s data indicates that six counties experienced slightly higher home sales prices...