Johnson County neighborhood launches "for sale by owner" protest


Drive through the Bargersville area in Johnson County and you'll find what appears to be an entire neighborhood for sale.

The lawns tell a strange tale in Shadowood, an upscale Bargersville subdivision.

Home after home after home bears a sign saying "for sale by owner." Nearly every house has a sign, including Glenn Moore's.

"They are. There's no exceptions," Moore said. "We sat down and a had a meeting and got together on it and so we're unanimous, yes. They're saying don't buy in here. That's what we were hoping were happen."

The signs are symbolic statements that these folks are frustrated.

Moore and most of his neighbors don't really want to move, but all of them put up signs in protest of new homes going up in their subdivision.

Moore says they're nice houses, but nothing like what he and his neighbors had built.

"Oh, a major difference. They're taking advantage of the location and what's here. We're not against the builder. We'd just like for it to meet our standard that we set here," Moore explained.

In this custom home community, a new builder bought up the vacant lots from a developer who went belly-up during the housing crisis.

Most of the original, custom homes sold for $700,000 to $800,000 or more.

The new Fischer Homes' houses will sell for half that price. That has neighbors concerned.

"We're worried about the value of our home, bottom line," Moore said.

This neighborhood isn't alone. In fact, as the housing market picks up, there's a trend in Central Indiana where different builders are completing unfinished subdivisions - many with different looks and different price points.

"It's unfortunate, but a lot of the developments have changed hands," said Brad Kriner, Division President of Fischer Homes Indiana.

Kriner says what people can pay for luxury homes has changed since the housing crisis, too.

"We can only build what the market bears. So, the alternative is to build nothing in the community and when we acquired the community from the former developer, really from the bank, this is the best alternative in our opinion. We're getting the most value we can possibly get from the homes," Kriner said.

Glenn Moore just hopes his dream home keeps its value, in what now has become a neighborhood for sale.

"They're kind of riding on our coattails I think. He's capitalizing, we think, on our quality and that kind of bothers us," Moore said.

Builders who finish existing subdivisions do have to follow the neighborhood's architectural standards and covenants. Fischer Homes has done so in Bargersville.

Their pricing strategy appears to be working, too. The company has already sold several new homes in Shadowood.