Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Downtown Living

Posted by Kelly Todd on February 3, 2011  |   No Comments »

We just listed a fabulous condo in the historic Lockerbie Glove Company (you can easily find details about this place if you explore our little website), which got us thinking about living downtown. Indianapolis is, in our humble opinion, a gem of a city…over the past decade, great investments have been made to revitalize the downtown area and it has worked. From the cultural trail to residential real estate to fabulous restaurants and museums, Indianapolis is a world class city to call home.

Back in the day, downtown Indianapolis was just a place that Dad went every day for work…today, it’s a place where people go to dine, exercise, explore and celebrate. Currently Devour Downtown is going on, which is an incredible showcase (and a great bargain, if you ask us) of top restaurants in Indianapolis. During the warmer months (pretty please let those warmer months arrive soon), festivals and concerts at the White River State Park are the way to spend your time downtown. Year round, there is something to explore in Indianapolis.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, we would love it if you considered MOVING downtown…from lofts found in converted warehouse spaces to newer construction, there are some fantastic spots to call home in downtown Indy. If you are interested in a little tour (which may or may not include a stop for a Flying Cupcake or a brew at Chatham Tap on Mass Ave.) of downtown real estate, give us a jingle…we’d love to show you the options.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Kelly Todd on February 2, 2011  |   No Comments »


Iced In

Posted by Kelly Todd on February 1, 2011  |   No Comments »

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to stock up before the big ice storm of 2011. I was not the only one with this idea, as the rest of Indianapolis was there as well. As I watched people load their carts with bread, milk and beer, it struck me how frantic people can be when preparing for a storm. While a cart full of bread may keep tummies full, I wondered what these people had done to prepare their home for the big freeze. Were they stockpiling firewood and propane tanks (according to a friend, yes)? Were they pulling out the flashlights and headlamps and crank radios (according to another friend, yes)? What had these people done at home to prepare?

In an effort to prevent frantic preparation behavior around our beloved city of Indianapolis, here are the top five tips to keep your house ready for any winter weather Mother Nature throws our way.

  1. Have your heating system checked by a professional annually. This will ensure that your system is working safely and efficiently which, in turn, will save you money. If you heat by wood, clean your fireplace or stove. Have your chimney flue checked, for any buildup of creosote, and cleaned to lessen the risk of fire.
  2. Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary, insulate walls and attic. This will help you to conserve energy and reduce your home’s power demands for heat.
  3. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside. This will provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping more cold air out.
  4. To keep pipes from freezing, allow the faucets to drip a little and know how to shut off water valves.
  5. Check in with your insurance agent to be sure your homeowner’s policy includes coverage for weather-related damages. Having the peace of mind, should something catastrophic happen to your property from a fallen branch, tree or power line, will prove to be invaluable.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Kelly Todd on January 26, 2011  |   No Comments »


Everyone knows a REALTOR®

Posted by Kelly Todd on January 21, 2011  |   No Comments »

It’s true. Everyone knows a REALTOR®. Your sister’s best friend’s second cousin has a neighbor that dabbles in the industry and your dad’s fraternity brother from IU, “Freckles,” has sold real estate for the past 50 years. Think about it – you know at least three. This is a good thing, as having so many real estate agents from which to choose gives you, the consumer, plenty of opportunity to explore your options and select a professional that will represent your best interests.

When the real estate market “changed” a few years ago, many REALTORS® left the business. Ultimately, this exodus was a good thing for homeowners and homebuyers, as many of the agents that fled the industry were part of the problem that led to the “change” in the market. Some of these agents were in the business for a quick buck and did not spend time learning the ins and outs of the Indianapolis real estate market. To be fair, many of the agents that left the business over the past few years were fine agents that were solid, ethical and intelligent professionals that chose to take another path.

For perspective, in 2007, there were 7,057 licensed REALTORS® affiliated with the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS®  (MIBOR). In 2010, there were 5,665. Quite a change, no? So, now that you have a smaller pool to select from, what should you look for when selecting a REALTOR®? While we would love to say that the only factor you should consider is whether the agents’ names are Allison Steck and Kelly Todd, there are plenty of other questions to consider (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, Allison and Kelly exceed all of the criteria outlined below).

Here are the top three big issues to consider:

  1. Brokerage. With what company is the REALTOR® affiliated? There are a myriad of real estate brokerages in Indianapolis, ranging from full-service (like the F.C. Tucker Company) to smaller shops that operate on a real estate a la carte strategy. Depending on your home buying and/or selling objectives, consider the resources available through your agent’s brokerage. In this market, buyers and sellers should demand a full arsenal of real estate resources and expertise. Just like you likely would not consider going to a discount dentist that is only going to clean your two front teeth, don’t select a REALTOR® that is affiliated with a broker that only has the resources to open a front door.
  2. Expertise. How many transactions has the REALTOR® successfully closed in the past year? As previously mentioned, at the end of 2010 there were 5,665 licensed REALTORS® with MIBOR.  Fourty-one percent (41%) of these agents closed between one and four transactions in the 2010 calendar year. Using the dentist analogy again, would you have your smile spruced up by a dentist that only had two clients all year? Doubtful. Expertise in any field is inextricably linked with volume…select an agent that has done enough business to have the experience you need to buy or sell a home (just a little shameless self-promotion…The Kelly Todd Group was in the top four percent {4%} of REALTORS® in Indianapolis in 2010 based on closed volume).
  3. Ingenuity. Anyone can stick a for sale sign in your front yard. What else is your REALTOR® going to do to sell your house or help you find a new one? How closely is she watching the market to guarantee that your house is marketed through the most effective channels? Is your agent willing to do the research to be sure you are buying the very best property in your price range? Demand resourcefulness, creativity and honest communication from your REALTOR®, and remember that your REALTOR® works for you, not the other way around.

Above all else, go with your instinct. Buying and/or selling a home is one of the few transactions that not only includes a large sum of money, but also includes a heavy dose of emotion. Having an agent that is able to both identify the facts and understand the emotion behind a home is something that can’t necessarily be defined, it’s something you will sense during your conversation. As Ralph Waldo Emerson so perfectly stated, “trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.”

-allison and kelly

Bonjour. Hola. Ni Hao. Hello.

Posted by Kelly Todd on January 17, 2011  |   No Comments »

Back in the day, Realtors relied mostly on face-to-face communication with clients. While Allison and Kelly still love that face time, we also love technology. For those of you that have seen us on our iPhones talking, texting and typing, you know this to be true. As such, it’s time for KTG to jump right into 2011 with a new website and this new blog.

Indianapolis real estate is an exciting and evolving market. We’ll use this blog to share valuable insights on the market, inspiration for keeping your house at its highest potential and, of course, an abundance of information on all things related to living in Indianapolis.

So…please join us on this new adventure, ask questions and send us your thoughts on what makes Indianapolis a fabulous place to call home.

-allison and kelly