Visiting Indianapolis to View Neighborhoods and Properties

17 Replies

Hi. My fiancee and I are coming to Indianapolis April 16-18, 2016 to view potential investment properties and to get a feel for the city. We’re considering moving there. I can find and research realtors myself but thought I’d ask if anyone has strong recommendations for realtors familiar with the areas surrounding Methodist Hospital, going north up to Butler U. We’d also like to meet with someone who is familiar with the areas around Fountain Square.

We’re pretty self sufficient and will do a lot of driving around to view properties and neighborhoods on our own. What we’re looking for are realtors with knowledge of these areas who can give us some history and development perspective. We’re not expecting a half day tour; we have a short list of properties we’d like to see. Thanks!

Happy to help or just meet for a lunch or dinner... My company can help with purchase, all levels of rehab, property management, and sales... Or any part or piece in between.. It's your money you need to be happy with how you spend it...

Be real careful with Fountain Square/Bates-hendricks, etc... Indy is very much street to street in regards to property/rent values.. Definitely recommend you get multiple opinions from multiple sources until you get use to the neighborhood(s)... My company charges $5 a comp, and you get quarter mile radius (or neighborhood) of all properties active, pending, or sold within past 1 year.. You also get 24 months of leasing history(as long as it was listed in the MLS). We provide Spreadsheet view, map view, individual listings with full pictures for you to review.. Hotpads.com is good for figuring what other actively listed properties are worth in the area... Plug in the address and look around...


Last piece of advice, don't get stuck in analysis paralysis... Good to be thorough, but don't overthink and talk yourself out of a deal...

@Lee Smith Not sure what you meant by "be careful with FS or Bates Hendrick area". I believe this area is booming with all the gentrification happening in downtown. Indeed Indy is tricky and varies street by street in terms of price/rent/crimes etc. and one should have feet on the ground to know which areas are good and which ones bad but that's true for areas outside center township too.

Oh it's definitely booming, but one block to far in most directions and prices drastically reduce.. You may think you are getting a hell of a deal, but it may not pay off for 2-5 years, if at all... Ask me how I know!

I get 1-3 calls every week from out of state and international investors who have been taken to the cleaners by wholesalers, other investors, property managers, etc.... That's why I recommend EVERYONE get multiple opinions on properties...  

I had a California investor call me last year.. He paid 40k for a 4 unit.. It was worth about 10k... He was told  it needed 25k in work to get it rent ready... It needed more like 60-80k.... He bought it, he paid the 25k, and after several months, he called me.... It was still vacant, and almost every bit of work he had done needed to be ripped out... My favorite was they replaced the horizontal soil stacks in the basement with PVC, but didn't support the original cast iron ones that still were in place vertically... The PVC had literally cracked and broken under the strain....  

I had a Seattle investor call me a month ago.. She was with a licensed property manager here in Indiana. She had bought a house for too much, and she paid way too much in rehab... The doors weren't even on the hinges in most rooms. They had a flood in the basement over the winter, and they didn't catch it for 3+ weeks.. The only reason they caught it was because they FINALLY had a showing, and they caught the 12" of water in the basement THEN.....  Did they do anything? Well, they opened up the drain(which was clogged from building material trash left in the basement), and then walked away... Do you know what that much humidity can do to a house?  I do!   $4000~ later we finally were able to list it over the weekend.. Surprise surprise we have 2 sets of applicants in a weekend.

I am not trying to be nasty @Mayank S. , just trying to prove a point... You really need a good crew on the ground if you are going to be an out of state investor... You need someone you can trust! Even with my clients, I tell them that they should double check my numbers(get 3rd party opinions).. It's your money, spend it they way you want to, not on bad deals....

Lastly, I get so tired of seeing out of state/international investors getting ripped off, I offer a service where I will go out and take video(1080p/60FPS) of their property for $100... I'm just there to take video, not fight with their contractors, but I will point out problems I see.. It amazes me how many owners haven't even seen their property in 6+ months.... I am not blaming the owners... I understand how it feels for them.. I get the disgrace and feelings of foolishness.. That's why I want to help... 

@Lee Smith Everything you mentioned is absolutely correct and I totally concur with it. These are real time situations faced by investors. That's why it is even more important to do due diligence when buying out of state sight unseen. I am glad you have a heart to help other novice international/OOS investors taken on a wild ride and duped by shady operators every single day. I am out of state investor myself and thankfully I have a great team in place  with @Ryan Mullin whom I trust and communicate regularly. At the end of the day, we all need to tread with caution and do necessary due diligence before ready to part with hard earned $$$...

Hey @James Dishongh

I believe  @Lee Smith  and @Mayank S.  are both right, and saying the same thing in different ways. It is always comical to me to see a  property at the corner of Keystone and Prospect labeled "Fountain Square!!!!!!!!!"................until an out-of-stater buys it, and pays a Fountain Square price tag.

It is always best to have boots on the ground--and trustworthy, knowledgable ones at that. Most of the folks who are from Indy and active on the forums (Lee) are name brand guys who have studied and watched the market longer than I have been alive. That being said, you will also find that the younger names here in town have a different appetite and risk tolerance. It is just a function of who you ask, what their track record states, and what your goals are in Indy.

Happy to provide any insight I can to assist in your buying decision. I would encourage you to field as many opinions from experienced investors as you can. Best of luck!

Hi @James Dishongh ! First off, welcome to Indy! I'm sure you and your fiancée will have a great time while you're here. I'm another Indianapolis realtor/investor and and second and third what everyone has said - investing in Indy can be tricky, but it all depends on what you're looking for. I think that's one of the best things about the city - it's got something for everyone, even when it comes to investing!

I'm actually going to be over near the Butler campus on Saturday afternoon if you're still looking for someone to provide some context on that side of the city. I'd be happy to meet up and answer any questions you have.  Again, welcome and happy hunting! 

I want to thank all of you for your responses. I really do appreciate it! 

@Lee Smith   I've been doing a LOT of Google maps driving, and discovering as I've read here several times, that Indianapolis can vary street by street. I find that particular aspect sooo interesting because, well... it seems like the prices "shouldn't" vary as much as they do. But that's why we're coming out to see the city first hand. :)  I suspect it has to do with crime. 

Also, since you mentioned it, I've seen quite a few homes with partial work done... but the house is up for sale. Your California investor has been busy! Are these partially renovated homes the result of out of state investors? Ma and Pa landlords getting in over their head? Newbie investors? 

@Mayank S. Thanks Mayank, I appreciate the second opinion. I think Lee just doesn't want any more competition in Bates-Hendricks ;)  From the pricing data I've seen, it certainly does look like Bates-Hendricks is improving and it's on our short list of areas to view. Thank you for the referrals as well. 

@Clay Manship Thanks for your feedback. You make a good point regarding risk tolerance. It does vary per investor. I'm still trying to find out where mine is and keep it in line with my partner. I'm thinking this is something that simply comes from experience. 

Again, I appreciate everyone's responses! Thank you! And if any of you are interested in the Portland market and/or coming out to visit our fair state, feel free to contact me.

Originally posted by : @James Dishongh

I want to thank all of you for your responses. I really do appreciate it. 

@Mayank S. Thanks Mayank, I appreciate the second opinion. I think Lee just doesn't want any more competition in Bates-Hendricks ;)  From the pricing data I've seen, it certainly does look like Bates-Hendricks is improving and it's on our short list of areas to view. Thank you for the referrals as well. 

@james dishongh I realize that your comment is tongue in cheek, however, the advice that Lee gave was spot on and I would listen to what he is saying. I get those same calls he's talking about all the time. Yes, there are some great gentrifying parts of Bates Hendricks and Fountain Square but this is a perfect example of how you can go a few streets in any direction and be in pretty rough areas. Not all of Fountain Square or Bates Hendricks is good and people stretch the boundaries in what they consider these areas.

Originally posted by @James Dishongh :

.... 

Also, since you mentioned it, I've seen quite a few homes with partial work done... but the house is up for sale. Your California investor has been busy! Are these partially renovated homes the result of out of state investors? Ma and Pa landlords getting in over their head? Newbie investors? 

@Mayank S. Thanks Mayank, I appreciate the second opinion. I think Lee just doesn't want any more competition in Bates-Hendricks ;)  From the pricing data I've seen, it certainly does look like Bates-Hendricks is improving and it's on our short list of areas to view. Thank you for the referrals as well. 

Again, I appreciate everyone's responses! Thank you! And if any of you are interested in the Portland market and/or coming out to visit our fair state, feel free to contact me.

I don't mind competition, there's enough business that everyone is welcome to the party.. I know I work hard enough that my clients and I will always get ours.. hehe Most people don't want to work as hard as we do!

The half finished houses are a mixture of the things you list...  To be honest i think a majority are out of state investors that get ripped off. They just get razzled and decide to dump and run...  If you can fog a mirror in Indiana, you can get your General Contractors license(Surety Bond, Liability Insurance, and workmans comp certificate).  There's a lot of contractors that are in it for the short term screwjob... I work very hard to vet our contractors and make sure they are legit and check on them quite a bit... I am going to do a video on that shortly to show people all the work that goes into vetting contractors and even tenants! hahah

@Mike D'Arrigo  Thanks Mike. Make no mistake, I'm listening to what @Lee Smith is saying. I've looked at Lee's site and have read quite a few of his posts here and I respect his experience and market knowledge; if I gave a different impression, then that's my error. 

I'm really looking forward to our trip to Indy this weekend. I've been looking at a LOT of properties all over town and I can see that Lee (and others) are right when they say proceed with caution and just don't assume the neighborhood name tag makes it an automatic win. I see a lot of opportunity in Indianapolis, and that's why we're going there to see for ourselves. Check back with me next week, I might have a completely different opinion after seeing the city first hand. :)

@James Dishongh I don't think you'll have a different opinion after seeing the city first hand. I think you'll be impressed. Indianapolis is a very vibrant and modern city and great for cash flow in the right areas. We sell turn key outside of the inner city. Feel free to reach out or take a look at our website.

@James Dishongh if you're still looking for investment property I highly suggest talking to @Clay Manship who posted a little ways up. I've purchased some from him and it has been a great experience, plus he knows the city like the back of his hand. I can't say enough nice things about him and the help that he's given me. 

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