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Builders offer new twist on move-up incentive

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A Detroit firm has come to Indianapolis with a new twist on the "move-up" incentive for new houses.

Marketplace Homes LLC is advertising its services in conjunction with national builders Drees Homes and Westport Homes Inc. Instead of offering to help would-be buyers of new houses sell their old homes, Marketplace is offering to become a rental property manager. The company says it will even guarantee lease payments from the old house for as long as six years.

However, there's no guarantee that those payments will cover the new mortgage payment. Or that home buyers will be able to finance a second mortgage.

"That's where it gets tricky. You do have to qualify for the second mortgage," Marketplace Homes marketing assistant Elyse Sarnecky said.

Marketplace makes its money on commissons paid by the builders. The company sends a "solutions manager" to the existing home to determine its rental value. Marketplace will then guarantee a certain stream of income, whether it successfully rents out the home or not. Sarnecky said the longest a house has gone unrented is about three months.

"The rental market is really strong right now," said Lisa Andrews, a co-owner at Carmel-based Silver Property Management Inc., a residential rental property manager.

Foreclosures have pushed quality renters into the market, but the crisis has also created a lot of rental inventory, Andrews said. As a result, rental rates are staying low. Andrews said she encourages single-property owners to see the rental income as a way to mitigate their losses, rather than cover a mortgage.

Andrews said she's not concerned about potential competition from the Marketplace Homes program because they're targeting traditional homeowners, not investors.

Marketplace's "buy now, sell later" program seems to have worked well in the depressed housing market of Detroit, and now it's expanding to multiple cities. Marketplace, which is privately held, says its program accounted for 200 sales of new homes in metro Detroit last year.

Marketplace says it has helped sell two new homes in the Indianapolis area in the past two months, one by Drees in Somerset in Fishers and one by Westport in Bay Creek East in McCordsville.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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