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Related News Articles

Here is a collection of articles mentioning the appraisal profession from the Indianapolis Area real estate market.  Additionally, any articles written by or written about Indianapolis Appraisal Associates, Inc. associates will also appear on this page.   


Wall Street Journal with Indianapolis Appraisal Associates, Inc.

Wish TV 8  July 5, 2007 "Some Hoosiers may be overpaying property taxes"

Attorney General taking a hard look at real estate fraud

Making Home Improvements Pay...2006 Cost vs. Value Report

Kelley School of Business News Room  S   Story 7    Story 8

Story 9     Story 10    Story 11   Story 12

Wall Street Journal- June 25, 2007

Indianapolis Appraisal Associates, Inc. / Kelley School of Business GLB financial institution compliance policy collaboration

United States WSJ article in .pdf      European article WSJ in .pdf      Asian article WSJ in .pdf


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Wish TV 8  July 5, 2007 "Some Hoosiers may be overpaying property taxes"

Click here for the full story and to watch the video clip

By Daniel Miller
News 8 @ 11:00

INDIANAPOLIS - In about three weeks, property taxes will be due for Marion County homeowners who haven't filed for an extension.

Luciano Pisciotta says his east side home is an ongoing project.

"It had been on the market for several months," Pisciotta told 24-Hour News 8.

He bought it for $60,000 in 2004. Today it's worth nearly $120,000.

"We fixed it up. We had to do a fair amount of work before we could even move into the house, including painting and tearing things out," he explained.

After three years, Pisciotta says something did not look right after getting his current property tax bill.

"Someone is not taking a close enough look at the paperwork they're sending out. Anyone who's in business, and the government is in business, you really need to crunch numbers before you send people a bill for these things," said Pisciotta.

Pisciotta's home measures about 1500 square feet. His tax bill is for a home nearly 2100 square feet. So he called for help.

"Our phones started ringing, I think, just about as soon as the bills came out," said Brett Martin with Indianapolis Appraisal Associates.

Martin is a licensed Indianapolis appraiser. He measured Pisciotta's home and found the discrepancy.

"That can change a lot, in fact that can change a lot in a market," Martin explained.

He says people can be overpaying and not know it.

"At the end of the day, if you can't stick a sign in your front yard and sell your home for the assessed value in a reasonable amount of time, I would consider getting a professional appraiser," Martin told us.

You have options if you're concerned about your property tax bill:

  • You can contact your township assessor for a review of your bill.
  • You can get an independent appraisal of your property which costs about $300.
  • You can file an appeal.
  • You can call your state representative about the tax rate. This won't solve your current issue, but it may prompt lawmakers to look at the issue for the future.


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Attorney general taking a hard look at real estate fraud

INDIANAPOLIS -- With mortgage fraud cases appearing across the state, Indiana's attorney general is cracking down on wayward real estate brokers and appraisers. In the past year, Attorney General Steve Carter's office has brought disciplinary complaints against 170 appraisers. Currently, about 640 investigations of real estate brokers and salespeople are under way, the office said. (AP)


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Making Home Improvements Pay...2006 Cost vs. Value Report  back to top

View the PDF version of the full report published in REALTOR® Magazine

This article was published on: 12/01/2006

2006 Cost vs. Value
Making Home Improvements Pay

What’s the return for remodeling?
Remodeling magazine’s annual report compares construction costs with resale values for 25 common remodeling projects in 60 U.S. markets.

Prices for most remodeling projects continue to climb, while the recoup value of improvements at resale is declining to levels last seen in 2002. These are the findings of
Remodeling magazine’s 19th annual
Cost vs. Value Report,  the eighth prepared in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine. None of this should come as much of a surprise to you: This year’s recoup values confirm the housing slowdown many parts of the country are experiencing.

With both home-sale and remodeling activity at record levels in the last five to six years, some cooling is inevitable. Indications are that the current downturn represents a return to normal levels.

A number of improvements designed to make the report more reliable and useful has also affected both cost and value data. For starters,
Remodeling took a fresh look at the specs for the 25 projects it studies each year. (REALTOR® Magazine, in the past, has limited the number of projects it included in its coverage.) The cost-to-construct figures (which include labor, material, subcontractors, and gross profit) are higher than in previous years, but also more accurate. (Read full project descriptions at The estimates of resale value are also more accurate than ever before (see Survey confidence is high, below), thanks to the more than 2,000 members of the NATIONAL ASSOCATION OF REALTORS® who completed Remodeling’s e-mail survey this past summer.

In addition, the report introduces nine regional averages, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This breakdown provides higher confidence levels than could be achieved with the four larger U.S. regions measured in previous years.

What the numbers mean

When comparing cost estimates for actual projects, remember that averaging tends to have a leveling effect on (Job Cost) data. And, seemingly small differences in size, scope, or quality of finishes can dramatically affect the final project cost. Remember, too, that, even in neighborhoods in the same city, local conditions can affect both the cost and value of a remodeling project, making our numbers appear too high or too low.

In an actual real estate transaction, the cost recouped for a given remodeling project depends on a variety of factors. These include the condition of the rest of the house, the value of similar homes nearby, and the rate at which property values are changing in the surrounding area. A home’s urban, suburban, or rural setting also affects its value, as does the availability and cost of new and existing homes in the immediate vicinity.

{Indianapolis Appraisal Associates brings value to clients and customers by marrying information from the report with our home pricing expertise and our knowledge of qualified remodelers in our area.}

View the PDF version of the full report published in REALTOR® Magazine

About the report

Research team
Specpan, an Indianapolis-based company, programmed and hosted the Web-based survey, collected and compiled the data, and provided pre- and post-survey consulting. More than 100,000 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® members — salespeople, brokers, and appraisers received e-mail links to the survey. Of those, 2,188 provided value estimates. Hometech Information Systems, the Bethesda, Md.–based estimating software developer, provided cost-to-construct estimates for each of the 60 cities surveyed. Survey confidence is high. The statistical accuracy or confidence level of the national averages is 95 percent (+/– 2 percent), which means that 95 percent of the time, national results for this survey will fall within 2 percent to either side of the results published here.

No cause for alarm

Should you be concerned about lower recoup values in this year’s Cost vs. Value Report?
The unusually strong housing market over the past few years has boosted both remodeling and new-construction activity. For many home owners, the appreciation in house prices significantly added to their net worth. Similarly, home improvement projects often paid for themselves through a comparable increase in the home’s value. But every good thing must come to an end. Eventually, things return to normal. Luckily, today’s normal is great news for home owners and real estate practitioners: When you consider its value at resale, a home improvement project costs only 20 cents to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 cents to 80 cents spent on a project goes directly back into the home through increased value, not to mention increased owner enjoyment.
 By Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Replacement projects lead returns

Of the top 10 projects nationally measured by cost recouped at resale, seven, including the top three, are replacement projects. An upscale fiber cement siding replacement returned 88 percent of the investment. Midrange vinyl siding replacement was second at 87.2 percent, and midrange wood window replacement edged out minor kitchen remodeling for third at 85.2 percent. Only roofing replacement finished outside the top 10 projects, at 73.9 percent for a midrange job, and 72.9 percent for an upscale one.

Energy efficiency in the face of high fuel prices could be a logical reason why replacement projects are high-value performers. But Charlie Gindele, president of Dial One Window Replacement Specialists, in Santa Ana, Calif., calls that a rationalization. The thing that motivates people, by and large, is the aesthetics, he says.

Amy Mills Siler, a salesperson at Joan Ryder and Associates Real Estate Inc., in Bel Air, Md., agrees that most home buyers are looking for a house with curb appeal. If they drive up to a house with dingy aluminum siding and old windows, the buyers automatically get a bad taste in their mouth, she says. The old saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ falls on deaf ears with most clients.

Gindele, who works in Orange County, Calif., where median housing prices in the second quarter of 2006 topped $726,000, says the return on investment is just an added bonus to home owners, who undertake remodeling projects for a variety of benefits. Among other things, they do it because they want the ease of operation, the beauty, the sound-deadening component, he says. But it’s nice to recover your expense.


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Kelley School of Business News Room

Kelley School of Business Indianapolis faculty featured in Wall Street Journal

7/10/2007 (Kelley Indianapolis)

A professor at the IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis has received national kudos for his work helping local small businesses manage technology security issues.  The June 25th edition of the Wall Street Journal recognizes Kelley Associate Professor of Accounting Eric Johnson for a class project that engages teams of Kelley Indianapolis undergrads to help local small businesses analyze the security of their computer networks and other information systems, pointing out potential vulnerabilities and recommending improvements.

The article, “Where to Find Good, Cheap Tech Help,” points out “Most small business owners can’t afford consultants or an IT staff.  For tech support, they draw on other resources…”  The piece goes on to explore potential sources of advice and information, and highlights the Kelley Indianapolis class project as a model of a productive academic partnership, specifically mentioning Johnson’s work with local company Indianapolis Appraisal Associates, Inc.

“It’s great to have the classes’ work recognized by the Wall Street Journal – the article points out a real challenge that small companies face,” said Johnson.  “Large corporations have internal IT departments and consultants to deal with information security issues. Smaller firms don’t have the resources and end up taking an ad hoc approach – or worse, no approach at all.”

Johnson’s class focuses specifically on security issues – safeguarding data, computer resources, and protecting companies from legal liabilities that come with the use of telecommunications and information technology.  As part of the course, teams of 3-4 students met with local companies like Indianapolis Appraisal Associates and worked with management over the course of the Spring 2007 semester.  The teams focused on issues like acceptable use and anti-virus policies, database security, e-mail use guidelines, server security and more.

The project was met with enthusiasm by the small business community and paid off in valuable hands-on experience for the students as well; Johnson intends to repeat the project next year.

“It’s really a win-win,” Johnson finished.  “We all know that small business is the lifeblood of Central Indiana’s economy, and we’re pitching in to help them succeed.  At the same time, we’re exposing Kelley students to real-world experience outside the classroom.”

The Wall Street Journal article can also be viewed online by visiting and clicking on the title.

The IU Kelley School of Business has been a leader in American business education for more than 80 years. With an enrollment of more than 4,800 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students, it is among the premier business schools in the country, with both the undergraduate and graduate programs ranked among the best in the United States.  Kelley’s Indianapolis campus, based at IUPUI, is home to the school’s Evening MBA and Master of Professional Accountancy programs and a full-time undergraduate program.

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