May. Indy. Speed.


It’s May in Indianapolis. No matter what your favorite sport or your attitude about open-wheel racing, it’s a different month here than anywhere else.

Growing up in Indianapolis, I have some extremely vivid memories of the Indy 500 in its heyday. Was it the legend of the one-name drivers (Parnelli; A.J.; Mario)? Was it the fact that it was all this town was known for (like Chicago and gangsters! Like L.A. and movie stars! Like Florida and old people! Like Seattle and rain! Like … well, you get the point). Whatever it was, May was race month. The reason to even have a “May” on the calendar was to allow us four weeks leading up to the race. So what made the month so different? Use to be it was a full four weeks of practice, qualifying and racing. Not only did Speedway shut down, most of Indianapolis did too. Offices were half-empty many days with the staff taking “off-site” meetings. Retailers wrote the month off, since no one purchased anything that wasn’t replacing something that broke or didn’t have the word “beer” in the name. Half the TV news was track-related. And though I wasn’t in the real estate business then, I imagine the number of homes sold was nowhere near the percentage of annual sales you’d see in other cities.

And for me? I was simply a younger, more vulnerable person then. It was too easy for someone to convince me to blow off the day and sit in the sun with a cold one. Too easy to get me to stay up all night in a muddy parking lot, just to get a good parking spot in the infield where you could see forty feet of racetrack … from the roof of the van. Heck, I even bought a replica pace car.

Today it’s still great racing and great fun, albeit with foreign-sounding names, and only two weeks of it. Though most business is the “normal” that most cities would see in May, we still take the occasional off-site meeting. As for real estate, it’s already starting off as a very good month, especially compared to 2010. We’ve sold a bunch of homes to people who understand there are some great values out there.

Thinking about buying a home? If you want, we can even get you into that Speedway-area home in time to park cars in your front yard on race day. Now that’s old school.


Posted by: Jim Newell

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