The Definitive Guide to Investing in Indianapolis Real Estate


Your One-stop-shop for All of Your Indianapolis Real Estate Investment Needs.

You’ve obviously heard the news…

Indianapolis is a Great City to Invest in

It’s certainly not a secret any longer. We’ve seen an influx of investors flocking to our market, which has definitely had its impact which we’ll discuss throughout this page.

There are 5 big reasons why Indianapolis is such an attractive place for REI investing:

  1. Stable housing market
  2. Extremely low unemployment
  3. Population growth
  4. Low cost of living
  5. Solid returns

But, like all new cities where you’ve purchased properties, you have questions:

  • Where’s the best place to invest in Indianapolis?
  • How much cashflow can I expect?
  • What kind of cap rate can I expect?
  • How do property taxes work in Indianapolis?

We’re here to assist you in any way we can.

We can help you purchase homes, provide management, and become a long-term partner in your Central Indiana real estate venture.

Or, we can simply serve as a great resource to learn more about the market.

Table of Contents

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Where to Invest in Indianapolis

We take a lot of calls from investors who are interested in the Indianapolis real estate market. Inevitably, one of the first questions they ask is:

“Where Should I Invest in Indianapolis?”

The answer is: “It all depends on your investment goals.”

Like most larger cities, Indianapolis is very diverse.

We have very old neighborhoods and we have newer neighborhoods. Some areas in Indianapolis offer better cash flow than others, some offer better appreciation potential, and some neighborhoods are more speculative in nature.

In general, Indianapolis is a great city and so is the rental market. Finding the perfect investment property can sometimes be tricky and, because it’s so big, you’ll need to do your research to find a property that aligns with your investment goals.

We can help with that. Especially if you’re an out of state investor, we can be your boots on the ground and provide you with research and our expert opinion.

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Understanding Indianapolis Property Taxes

Property taxes are important, and if you’re investing in Indianapolis or you plan to invest here, you need to understand our property tax rules.

I can’t tell you the number of phone calls we’ve taken over the past several years from our customers regarding property taxes. And, trust me, they are not fun phone calls.

Me: “Hi Joe Investor. Good to hear from you. How can I help?”

Joe Investor: (very panicked voice) “Jeremy, I just received my tax bill and my property taxes doubled!! What’s going on??”

That’s followed by a few minutes of Joe discussing how his cash flow is killed, we have to raise rents immediately, being a Landlord is the worst idea ever, etc.

The bottom line is that Joe didn’t understand how property taxes work BEFORE buying his investment property. And Joe clearly didn’t use us to help buy his home, or Joe would have known exactly what to expect.

So, don’t be Joe.

Take a few minutes to understand how our taxes work here in Indiana. They are a little different, and depending on how and what you buy, you may have to adjust your budget and your cash flow expectations to account for taxes.

3 Keys to Successfully Buying Indianapolis Rental Properties

Indianapolis is, without question, a hot bed for real estate investment.

Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and what makes it even more difficult, is everyone wants the same piece of the pie.

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of investors with the same criteria looking for the same deals that you are.

Not only that, but when you’re dealing with A/B class properties, you also have to compete against a high volume of owner occupants.

The reality is that our market, due to increased demand, is facing a supply problem.

And with supply problems come price increases.

So, if you are in the market to purchase a rental home in Indianapolis, be forewarned:

You’re going to pay more today than you did last year.
There are fewer houses out there to buy.
You’ll face more competition than ever.

Here are 3 keys to help you close deals!

What Do A, B, C, and D Class Properties Look Like in Indianapolis?

If you’ve been investing in real estate for any period of time, or even if you’re just in the research phase, you likelyTry out this Interactive Map! know about property classes.

Just in case you’re brand new to REI and have no clue what I’m talking about, there’s an informal grading system that investors use to classify properties.

Yes, I mean literal grades such as an “A” property or “C” property.

At its core, the grading system is universally known and is an important factor to consider because each class represents a different level of risk and return.

Check out our block-by-block Interactive Map on Investing in Indianapolis!

As a company who manages mostly A/B properties, we are often asked what those types of properties look like.

So, we thought we would take some time to break down each class, provide some real life examples from right here in Indianapolis, and hopefully be able to help you determine which class of property best fits your investment goals.

Indianapolis Real Estate Investing: the 2023 Outlook

We speak with numerous investors on a weekly basis.

Most of those conversations go something like this:

“HI, I’m Joe Investor and I’m looking to purchase properties in Indianapolis. I’ve heard it’s a great area to invest, and real estate is much more affordable than where I live. I’m looking for cash flowing properties in good areas that meet or exceed the 1% rule.”

Then, we typically have to be the one to burst their bubble a bit.

Now don’t get me wrong, Indianapolis certainly is a great place to invest. Our economy is thriving and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

However, with a thriving, growing economy comes a more popular and competitive real estate market.

When you decide to invest in real estate, you have to have the proper expectations, and I’m finding that some investors just don’t, and that creates a very frustrating experience all around.

So, as an Indianapolis investor, here’s what you can expect in 2023:

What Kind of Cash on Cash Return Should I Expect?

Another common question we receive from many new investors to the Central Indiana market is:
What type of cash on cash return should I expect in Indianapolis?

As you probably know, cash-on-cash is simply the annual pre-tax cash flow of a property divided by the actual cash invested.

Generally, investors in Indianapolis, are shooting for somewhere between 8%-10% cash-on-cash return. But remember, as with cash flow, your cash on cash return can vary significantly year to year.

How Much Cashflow Should I Expect?

Indianapolis is a city where many investors have decided to invest because it’s considered a “Cash flow Market.” We’re not a market, like in coastal cities, for example, that sees dramatic increase in property values, but we are considered a stable market that produces cash flow.

So, a common question we receive from investors, is “How Much Cash Flow Can I Expect in Indianapolis?”

Generally, investors that we work with want and expect around $200-$300 per month in cash flow for single family homes. However, more recently, Investors seem to be finding numbers in the $100-$150 range (if financing).

Calculating cash flow is one of the most common and basic calculations you can use to evaluate rental real estate. It’s basically just understanding two big buckets: Income and Expenses.

Simply put, to calculate cash flow, you use the following:

Cash Flow = Total Income – Total Expenses

Remember, cash flow will not be evenly distributed. When we say that investors here in Indianapolis expect $200-$300 per month in income, we don’t mean that they will receive that amount every single month. Cash flow can vary significantly from month to month and from year to year.

What Kind of Cap Rate Should I Expect?

We work with a lot of investors throughout the United States and throughout the world. A question we receive from many new to the Central Indiana market is: What kind of cap rate should I expect in Indianapolis?

As you know, the cap rate simply measures the annual net income of a property divided by the purchase price.

Up until a few years ago, Indianapolis investors could expect anything between 8%-10%. Now, most properties seem to be falling in the 4%-8% range.

Some investors, especially those who are interested in buying in really nice areas, are settling for even smaller cap rates.

As you know, the cap rate simply measures the annual net income of a property divided by the purchase price.

Up until a few years ago, Indianapolis investors could expect anything between 8%-10%. Now, most properties seem to be falling in the 4%-8% range.

Some investors, especially those who are interested in buying in really nice areas, are settling for even smaller cap rates.

Want to Network With Other Indianapolis Investors?

The Marion County Sheriff Sale

The Marion County Sheriff Sale is simply a foreclosure auction.

It’s not a tax sale. Marion County has those too, but it’s a completely different sale with its own rules.

Basically, the Sheriff Sale is the final step in a lien-holder’s foreclosure process. As part of the foreclosure requirement, the lien-holder, generally a bank, puts the property for sale using the Civil Sheriff’s Department.

For an in-depth look at how the Sheriff Sale works, click the link below.

The Marion County Tax Sale

The Tax Sale is not to be confused with the Sheriff sale. They are each unique and have their own set of rules and guidelines.

The Marion County Sheriff Sale, happens once a month and deals with foreclosures across the city. The Marion County Tax Sale, however, only happens once a year, and deals with properties with unpaid taxes.

The Tax Sale auction can be a great opportunity for investors to purchase properties well below market rate, but it’s not without risk.

For more information on how our Tax sale works, check out the link below!

Indianapolis Make-ready Costs

Whether an investor is considering a new purchase that needs work, or whether the investor is faced with turnover costs between Tenants, money — and how much of it — is always an important consideration.

We understand that maintenance costs are some of the most frequent and largest expenses you’ll face as a property owner, and turnover and make-ready are large subsets of that.

As an Indianapolis Property Management company that handles all of our Clients’ turnovers and make-ready work, you can imagine how many times we get asked about these costs.

In an effort to stick to our core value of “Always Educating and Advising”, we have decided to put together a guide for Investors outlining average costs for some of the most common make-ready expenses that you will encounter.

Who to Hire for Your Investment Dream Team

If you’ve been an investor for any period of time, you know the importance of choosing the right things.

The right Realtor.
The right property.
The right Property Manager.
The right vendors.
Etc., etc., etc.,

These individuals and companies can make or break your investment experience. It’s important to get into business with people who know what they’re doing and have your best interest at heart.

We help investors buy and sell properties every week, so we’ve been around the block when it comes to working with Indianapolis businesses.

Today, we thought we would help take some of the guesswork out of who you should hire to be on your Indianapolis investment team.

Based off of years of experience, we’re giving you our top recommendations for Home Inspection Companies, Lenders, Title Companies, and Home Insurance Providers, so that your rental property buying process goes as smooth as possible.

Why Use Your Property Management Company to Purchase Rentals

When it comes to finding and purchasing rental properties, you want to ensure you have a knowledgeable, experienced partner to help you in your search.

Buying investment properties is a whole other ball game compared to simply purchasing a personal residence.

You have to think about the make-ready work, rent rates, cash flow, appreciation, crime rates, school districts, property taxes, etc, and how it will all fit in with your goals and strategy.

You also have to think about management. Are you going to self-manage or have a third-party handle that for you?

If you’re going to hire a Property Manager anyway, why wouldn’t you take advantage of using their brokerage services as well?

It makes sense on so many levels, and we’ll tell you why at the link below!

One-stop-shop Investor Services

When we say, “We are so much more than just a property management company”, we mean it.

While it’s important and we take it very seriously, we are not just here to collect rent.

We’re here to be your partner.

You’re one-stop-shop.

We’re here to educate and advise you.

Think of us as a real estate Swiss Army Knife that you carry around in your pocket. Ready to assist in any situation.

We can help you search for and purchase properties, facilitate any rehab or make-ready work that needs to be done, manage the property for you once the transaction closes, and finally, when the time comes, we can help you sell.

T&H Realty’s in-house Brokerage Team

Meet the team!

With over 25 years of combined experience, these Agents have the knowledge, tools, and resources to aid in helping you reach your investment goals.

From viewing properties, to inspection negotiations, to closing, we can help you grow your Indianapolis portfolio.

Our team is heavily experienced and focused on helping Investor clients build (or shrink) their portfolios.

With strong insight into both the sales and rental markets, we can provide you with the information and analysis needed to make the best buying decisions to meet your goals.

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