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Investing In Indianapolis: Area Visit

Up until a few months ago I had never thought much about investing in Indianapolis, or Indiana for that matter. I didn’t know a single person there, and was definitely not thinking about ever buying properties there.

In late fall of 2016 I was frustrated that we had not yet purchased an investment property in 2016, and I was also unwilling to lower our investing criteria. Our local market had become flooded with investors buying the ugly stuff that is normally left for buyers like me (darn those HGTV shows) so I decided that maybe it was time to consider investing in areas outside of Washington, so I went to work researching areas to invest.

I knew California and Oregon were out because they were too similar to our Seattle market. I axed Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico because I think their climate is pretty extreme for most people and that may prohibit growth. I could be totally wrong on this one, but one look at the summer temps and I think most people who are not from there or used to that would move or look elsewhere. Similar to the hot states, I eliminated the super cold winter ones like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Then I pretty much decided from there that the Midwest was probably where I wanted to focus.

Since millennials are more nomadic and less interested in home ownership, I decided to look for cities that would likely appeal most to them, kind of like an Austin, TX of the Midwest.  I narrowed it down to the major cities in a few Midwestern states, and then looked at each city’s population changes over the last 6 years.

The best cities in terms of population growth as a percentage happened to be Indianapolis, Birmingham, Nashville, St Louis, Kansas City and Little Rock.

Now for the most important search of all: a reputable, honest and knowledgeable agent who works with investors. For anyone that has ever tried to find an agent who knows how to work with investors, you would know how much of a challenge this is. Almost all agents say they work with investors, but few actually know how to. The reason why “investor agents” are so important is because they know the hot areas for renters, and they know that it’s all about the income the property produces. They ask all of the questions up front of the listing agent to verify what those expenses are before they even share the property with the investor. This saves everyone time and builds trust.

I found some great agents, and put them to the ultimate test – finding deals. Several of my initial favorites never actually sent me any deals. However, two really stood out, and they happened to be in Indianapolis and Nashville. So, that’s where I started.

Flash forward a few months and one new duplex later, Indy is my new favorite place to invest.

We recently returned from an extended weekend there, and really fell in love with the city and the people. I could instantly see the appeal of living there, it’s a pretty clean city with a great downtown nightlife scene. There was no traffic while we were there, and their freeways and highways are easy to navigate and make sense (unlike Seattle where it’s almost one way in, one way out being on the water).

We stayed in the Fountain Square neighborhood, which is in the process of revitalization. We found that most all of the remodeled historic homes were converted into modern style homes like this one:

Many local investors are buying up older homes in the historic neighborhoods and remodeling them with a 5 year hold plan as the neighborhood values increase. I can see this strategy working here, and it’s a very different strategy that I’ve never considered before.
One of the reasons we went to Indy was to check out the duplex I closed on in December, and meet with my property manager, contractor and our agent.

The duplex I purchased in December is in the suburbs, and we received differing opinions on investing in the suburbs vs in the city core from the property manager, contractor and agent.  One said the suburbs would offer better tenants, and the contractor said that people are moving from the suburbs to the city since it has been getting cleaned up the last few years.

Honestly, I think an investor would do fine either way here so long as it was a good area.

We were turned on to a few areas that are scheduled to have additional city services such as new sidewalks, so we spent a lot of time driving through neighborhoods and seeing what their houses look like.

In Fountain Square the houses were built in the early 1900’s and any new builds or renovations are done with a modern style design.

It’s very interesting seeing the historic homes right next to these modern homes, though it is pretty cool.

Our property manager also turned us on to a great wholesale company with amazing deals and fantastic returns.

My goal is to purchase another 5-10 properties here if we can find deals that offer the 15% + cash on cash returns that I am looking for, and I would definitely plan another trip back to Indy!

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About the Author

Jennifer Beadles

I’m Jennifer Beadles, and together with my family, we are living the day-to-day of a financially independent family thanks to our rental properties.

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38 thoughts on “Investing In Indianapolis: Area Visit”

  1. I am also Seattle-based and started investing in Indianapolis last June for the same reasons. I’ve acquired 10 units since last July and all have had at least 15% cash on cash. I’ve been buying a lot wholesale and renovating. Let me know if you want any recommendations on wholesalers, realtors, lenders, property management, etc. I’m super happy with my current team.

    1. Jennifer Beadles

      Hi Greg! Thank you so much for being open to sharing your contacts in Indianapolis! I’m going to send you an email and would love to share resources!

      1. Hi Jennifer! My husband and I have a goal to acquire 1 property a year for the next 5 years. We live in Boulder, CO and investing here is not feasible for us due to the crazy market here. We are considering a couple cities in the midwest, plus Tampa, FL because we are both from Tampa. Could you send me an email with you contacts in Indianapolis and Greg’s contacts? That would be super helpful as we begin this journey!

  2. I have really started to enjoy your blog and how open you have been with your experiences, numbers, and headaches/successes. I found your blog through BiggerPockets. I’m replying to this particular blog post because I am an attorney in Indianapolis who focuses his practice on real estate. I really do love my city and cannot agree more with you that Indianapolis is a great city to invest in at this time. The Fountain Square neighborhood is great, but there are many other neighborhoods in the area that are worth a look. Other than practicing real estate law, I am also getting my feet wet in REI. I would love to connect to see if my law partner and I could learn from you a bit more hands on, or at least see if there is anything we could do to help you on the legal side of REI in Indianapolis. Thank you for sharing all of this information and your experiences!

  3. I personally own 3 properties other than my home. The market is definitely investor friendly, even now. I got them 4 years ago 😉

  4. I personally own 3 properties other than my home. The market is definitely investor friendly, even now. I got them 4 years ago 😉

  5. Hi Jennifer, I found your blog as well through bigger pockets. I’m just now starting to look into the Indianapolis market as I wanted to branch out from Memphis and Birmingham where I have two turnkey properties. Would you mind sharing any of your contacts there in Indianapolis? I hadn’t though much about going outside of a turnkey company but you’re pretty convincing. Great blog! Fyi, I am currently living in the Kirkland area.

    1. Jennifer Beadles

      Hi Russell!
      While there are many benefits to working with turn key companies, there are also a lot of options out there when working with investment savvy agents, and I have a great team in Indy who can source deals and oversee the renovation for me which makes all the difference!
      I’ll be sending you an email shortly regarding my Indy contacts.
      Also, since you’re local I host a monthly meet up in Woodinville https://www.meetup.com/Addicted-to-ROI/ if you’re interested in chatting in person. I’d love to hear about your experience in Memphis and Birmingham.

  6. Hi Jennifer, I found your blog as well through bigger pockets. I’m just now starting to look into the Indianapolis market as I wanted to branch out from Memphis and Birmingham where I have two turnkey properties. Would you mind sharing any of your contacts there in Indianapolis? I hadn’t though much about going outside of a turnkey company but you’re pretty convincing. Great blog! Fyi, I am currently living in the Kirkland area.

  7. Hi Jennifer, so glad I stumbled on your site! I just finished reading Dave Green’s Long Distance Real Estate Investing book and found your blog through the BP forums. My husband and I have a duplex in Bothell and currently live in our house in West Seattle. We would love to buy more but with the crazy market have started looking out of state too – primarily Indy and Atlanta. Would you mind sending me your Indy contacts?
    Just joined the Facebook and meetup groups as well. Look forward to connecting in person next week!

    1. Jennifer Beadles

      Hi Cecilia! What a small world! Happy to share contacts with you, I also have a great investment team in Oklahoma City along with the ones I’ll send over from Indy and Atlanta. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person at our meet up!

      1. That would be great, thanks Jennifer!! I’m also looking for a good CPA in the Seattle area who is good with real estate investing – if you have a recommendation, I would love to get their contact info as well.

  8. Hi Jennifer, so glad I stumbled on your site! I just finished reading Dave Green’s Long Distance Real Estate Investing book and found your blog through the BP forums. My husband and I have a duplex in Bothell and currently live in our house in West Seattle. We would love to buy more but with the crazy market have started looking out of state too – primarily Indy and Atlanta. Would you mind sending me your Indy contacts?
    Just joined the Facebook and meetup groups as well. Look forward to connecting in person next week!

    1. Jennifer Beadles

      Hi Cecilia! What a small world! Happy to share contacts with you, I also have a great investment team in Oklahoma City along with the ones I’ll send over from Indy and Atlanta. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person at our meet up!

      1. That would be great, thanks Jennifer!! I’m also looking for a good CPA in the Seattle area who is good with real estate investing – if you have a recommendation, I would love to get their contact info as well.

  9. Hi Jennifer, being new to property investing, I found your blog to be informative and motivating. I’m currently looking for my first property.
    Would you mind sending me your contacts, please.

  10. Hi Jennifer, being new to property investing, I found your blog to be informative and motivating. I’m currently looking for my first property.
    Would you mind sending me your contacts, please.

  11. Hi Jennifer, being new to property investing, I found your blog to be informative and motivating. I’m currently looking for my first property.
    Would you mind sending me your contacts, please.

  12. Hello! My name is Jesse and I am currently in college at a state school in Indiana. I have had an interest in real estate investing since I was in high school. I am reaching out to try and gain information. I was wondering if there was anything starting out I should know or look into. Whether this be books, podcast, or who to contact. I am open for anything, just looking for ways to advance my financial literacy before I really dive into the invest game. If you know of anyone in the Indy area that I could contact for advising or even corresponding directly with you, anything would be amazing. I am very passionate about real estate and want to make it a career but still need the tools on how to make that happen and be successful! Hope you had a wonderful fourth!

  13. Hello! My name is Jesse and I am currently in college at a state school in Indiana. I have had an interest in real estate investing since I was in high school. I am reaching out to try and gain information. I was wondering if there was anything starting out I should know or look into. Whether this be books, podcast, or who to contact. I am open for anything, just looking for ways to advance my financial literacy before I really dive into the invest game. If you know of anyone in the Indy area that I could contact for advising or even corresponding directly with you, anything would be amazing. I am very passionate about real estate and want to make it a career but still need the tools on how to make that happen and be successful! Hope you had a wonderful fourth!

  14. Awesome post! Found you from the podcast interview and BiggerPocket. I heard a lot of good thing in Indy and but never really seek into more detail until now. I am about to close on a rental property in AL and still looking to get another one this year somewhere in Nashville, Indy, or another city that is still affordable. I am from MA and everything here is overpriced, even house hacking won’t even make sense to me here.
    Jennifer or Greg, could you send me some contact for the Indy’s team as well? 🙂
    Jennifer, I also contact Agent Invest and hope to hear back from them as well but would love get the contact in Nashville too if you don’t mind.
    Thanks,
    Mora
    morakot.mam@gmail.com

  15. Awesome post! Found you from the podcast interview and BiggerPocket. I heard a lot of good thing in Indy and but never really seek into more detail until now. I am about to close on a rental property in AL and still looking to get another one this year somewhere in Nashville, Indy, or another city that is still affordable. I am from MA and everything here is overpriced, even house hacking won’t even make sense to me here.
    Jennifer or Greg, could you send me some contact for the Indy’s team as well? 🙂
    Jennifer, I also contact Agent Invest and hope to hear back from them as well but would love get the contact in Nashville too if you don’t mind.
    Thanks,
    Mora
    morakot.mam@gmail.com

  16. Jennifer Berthon

    Hi Jennifer,
    I just found your blog and am very inspired by it. I have been investing in Indy as well (just a couple homes). If you don’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you could share your contacts. I’ve run across some stinkers!
    Thanks so much,
    jennifer

  17. Jennifer Berthon

    Hi Jennifer,
    I just found your blog and am very inspired by it. I have been investing in Indy as well (just a couple homes). If you don’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you could share your contacts. I’ve run across some stinkers!
    Thanks so much,
    jennifer

  18. Jennifer Berthon

    Hi Jennifer,
    I just found your blog and am very inspired by it. I have been investing in Indy as well (just a couple homes). If you don’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you could share your contacts. I’ve run across some stinkers!
    Thanks so much,
    jennifer

  19. Wow good wrote up!:)
    Looking to invest back in my home state…but via out of state from San Diego.
    Just signed up through your agent invest as well.
    Care to share your contractor and/or property management contacts? Would love to give them biz.
    Wanna pull the trigger ASAP but the above two are snagging point for me.
    Glad i found the site…via google;). Love BP too. Thanks much.

  20. Wow good wrote up!:)
    Looking to invest back in my home state…but via out of state from San Diego.
    Just signed up through your agent invest as well.
    Care to share your contractor and/or property management contacts? Would love to give them biz.
    Wanna pull the trigger ASAP but the above two are snagging point for me.
    Glad i found the site…via google;). Love BP too. Thanks much.

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