The Investor’s Guide to Grading Indianapolis Neighborhoods

by | BiggerPockets.com

When investing for cash flow, Indianapolis is an attractive market. Due to the affordability, diverse economy, and abundant inventory, more investors are buying up properties from out-of-state to maximize returns.

Before taking the plunge, though, be sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with the market. This goes for locals, too.

Map Key

  • DARK GREEN: A neighborhood
  • LIGHT GREEN: B neighborhood
  • YELLOW: C neighborhood
  • ORANGE: C/D neighborhood
  • RED: D neighborhood

Here’s my perspective on Indianapolis neighborhood grades from my years investing in the market along with being native to the city. Click here to take a closer look at the interactive map.

A-Class

A-class neighborhoods are primarily owner-occupied single family homes. The school systems are top notch. These single family homes start at $200k and up. They are expected to achieve lower returns compared to B, C and D neighborhoods, but this is offset by higher quality tenants, along with less management involvement. 

  • Carmel—Median income: $106,456 (zip: 46032, 46033, 46082)
  • Fishers—Median income: $97,100 (zip: 46037, 46038, 46085)
  • Zionsville—Median income: $118,190 (zip: 46077)
  • Meridian Hills—Median income: $141,563 (zip: 46220, 46240, 46260)
  • Westfield—Median income: $90,048 (zip: 46074)
  • Noblesville—Median income: $70,276 (zip: 46060, 46061, 46062)
  • Avon—Median income: $93,116 (zip: 46123)
  • Greenwood—Median income: $52,621 (zip: 46142, 46184)

Related: How Investors Get Burned Following the 2% Rule in Low-Income Neighborhoods

B-Class

B-class neighborhoods are going to be made up of a variety of both rentals and owner-occupied homes. Here you still see more owner-occupied homes overall. You will be able to find single family homes that need little work and get solid rental rates. Residents will include some education beyond high school and some blue collar workers. A very solid tenant base will live here. Rents will be around $800-$1,050.

  • Brownsburg—Median income: $68,647 (zip: 46112)
  • New Palestine—Median income: $66,711 (zip: 46163)
  • Plainfield—Median income: $61,140 (zip: 46168)
  • Southport—Median income: $51,762 (zip: 46227)
  • Whiteland—Median income: $56,944 (zip: 46184)
  • Clermont—Median income: $58,846 (zip: 46234)
  • Irvington—Median income: $60,231 (zip: 46219)
  • Bates Hendricks**
  • Fountain Square**—Median income: $38,366 (zip: 46203)
  • Broad Ripple**—Median income: $90,753 (zip: 46220)

**In recent years, Fountain Square has been experiencing gentrification driven by Millennials and has become a very hot part of town. You can find homes valued at $50k right next to $350k new construction. Bates Hendricks, just blocks away, is going through this phase as well, although it is a couple years behind.

**Broad Ripple can be considered an A neighborhood as much as a B. Very mature setting.

C-Class

C-class neighborhoods are going to be made up of about half and half renters and owner-occupants. Rents will run between $600-$800. The residents will be mostly comprised of blue collar workers. These, along with neighborhoods in B-class areas, are by far my favorite to acquire property in.

  • Speedway—Median income: $40,499 (zip: 46224)
  • Mooresville—Median income: $52,768 (zip: 46158)
  • Lawrence—Median income: $48,731 (zip: 46216, 46218, 46220, 46226, 46235, 46236, 46250, 46256)
  • Beech Grove—Median income: $37,624 (zip: 46107)
  • Martinsville—Median income: $36,379 (zip: 46151)
  • Eagledale—Median income: $26,233 (zip: 46222)
  • Little Flower—Median income: $39,298 (zip: 46201)

D-Class

D-class neighborhoods are going to consist of more rental homes. There won’t be many owner-occupied single family homes. Abandoned homes in these neighborhoods are more likely to get broken into when sitting vacant. These areas are generally not very safe and are highly management-intensive due to tenant volatility. Investors beware: Having local boots on the ground to manage is recommended. Money can be made here, but the risk increases. Rents run between $450-$700.

  • Haughville—Median income: $17,321 (zip: 46222)
  • Martindale Brightwood—Median income: $25,865 (zip: 46202, 46218, 46205)
  • Brookside Park—Median income: $38,039 (zip: 46201)
  • Grace Tuxedo—Median income: $29,114 (zip: 46201)
  • Willard Park—Median income: $29,114 (zip: 46201)
  • Mars Hill—Median income: $32,254 (zip: 46241)

I would enjoy hearing others’ insights as well.

*All median household figures were pulled from multiple reputable sources such as bestplaces.net and city-data.com.

How would you rate these neighborhoods? How is your experience investing in them?

Comment below!

About Author

Sterling White

Sterling White started in the real estate industry at a early age back in 2009. The company he co-founded Holdfolio is a real estate crowdfunding platform based in the Indianapolis market. Before founding Holdfolio Sterling and partner Jacob Blackett were involved in the purchasing and selling of 100+ single family homes nationwide. In his free-time he trains for a World Record.

38 Comments

  1. Ali Hashemi

    Very cool! Nice work Sterling! I always enjoy your articles and learn a lot from them – thank you.

    I’ll add a plug for the Southside of Indy as an underrated investment gem of an area. South all the way to Martinsville.

      • Ali Hashemi

        You’d be surprised. A lot of investment going on. In a few years you’ll be talking about it like people talk about bands that just got popular “…I used to listen to them before they got popular!!”. And here’s the reason why. People used to move to the southside for land (a couple acres and a nice house). Can’t get that any more so people are pushing further south. North side of Mville is 25min into town and land is cheap. Huge draw that early adopters are starting to see.

  2. Scott A Smith

    I think the analysis is mostly on point with the exception of the area north of 38th and south of 465 on the north side. Calling that entire area “B” is way off base and shows a lack of detail. 38th to 71st on the Westside has only gotten more questionable since I worked at 71st and Georgetown in the early 2000s. Broad Ripple and certain pockets around it are B- at the very best but I’d still say C+ these days.

    I agree with the others – the sweet spot is now on the south side of town. Closer to Fountain Square the better. I see huge growth potential there in the longer term.

  3. ron mccord

    These are the types of Posts invaluable to out of towners wanting to invest out of State……….
    I am sure I am not alone wanting to see more time and attention spent on maps and breakdowns of cross streets and zones and even the direction an area may turn.

  4. Curt Smith

    This was a custom map using google map’s edit capbility which I didn’t know existed till I poked at the “edit new” feature off the top left menu. Wow learned about google maps.

    Ron, you can get a rough (figurative and literally) map using trulia.com crime over lay. Gives shades of green to red. This is an approximation for A-D ….

    City-data.com has census data maps of average income per zip. This data is not granular enough. Crime mapping is to the city block +/-..

  5. Traci Gorman

    I think the downtown map is pretty accurate with the exception of Cottage Home which has made a resurgence in the last 3 years beginning with Ursala David’s Pre-Fab Homes along 10th street and Stillwell st, followed by Stenz Development on Dorman St./10th St and Stillwell St. and now everything happening along 10th street by CICC building. The new homes between 10th and 9th on Dorman and Stillwell range in $450 – $600 k and now with what is happening with Bottleworks (old Coca Cola Plant on that end of Mass Ave), the values will only go up in this portion of Cottage Home.

  6. Karen O.

    It’s also possible Fountain Square and Bates Hendricks are getting some interest as these neighborhoods are featured in the HGTV show Good Bones where mother/daughter team Karen and Mina are rehabbing homes.

  7. Milos N.

    So on the map Irvington is both orange and yellow, and interactive map say B/C/D, but your description here says its B.

    Does that mean “We only know its not A, it could be anything else, some parts are B”, or how else should one interpret it?

  8. Delaney Ridgley

    I really enjoyed this article, thanks for posting! As a former tenant in Broad Ripple, I can vouch for the Class B classification in that area. Tons of young, educated renters with a great vibe and tons to do. Thanks again for posting!

  9. Tyler Jahnke

    WOW as an out-of-state investor with property in Indianapolis this is an AMAZING resource!

    I’ll be in Indy at the end of the month checking up on my investments, strengthening relationships with my connections on the ground, and meeting new people. Would love to meet you one day Sterling! Would be great to connect!

    -Tyler

  10. Vamsi Boddu

    @STERLING WHITE..thanks for the great post..I’ve now shared this with other out of state investors who like me were caught in the Morris Invest/Oceanpoint fraud. Unfortunately all 4 of our properties are in the RED zone, I totally agree that those neighborhoods are D areas because a lot of houses on those streets are distressed..we were told by Clayton Morris from Morris Invest that the houses we were in solid C class neighborhoods but your map depicts them as being in D areas, this is the same experience for other investors too..We will get those properties rehabbed, place a tenant and sell it for a loss. This is the only way we can have minimum losses. Thanks again for the awesome content.

  11. Danny Ko

    This is great. Thank you so much for the great post.
    I am a new investor who is browsing everywhere to grab every bit of information on Indy to understand the market and you basically summarized everything here. Now I can kind of tell where to avoid.
    I plan on visiting the city soon to verify my research and this post will be very helpful!
    Thank you again!!

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account

Or,


Log In Here