Julie Tornquist When Julie Tornquist first came to Indianapolis with her husband five years ago, they were not familiar with the area at all. They understood that the city was a diverse and vibrant place, but an early meeting with a realtor opened her eyes to some local perceptions. "He saw that we were white and executive, and so he just assumed that the Northside was where we wanted to go." That made a lasting impression with her, and has led to a new career as a downtown realtor. "It's an exciting time to be looking into urban living. There are so many choices that people realize as soon as they start the process of looking."

In her short time as a realtor, Julie has learned that, while Indianapolis has been growing leaps and bounds, many of the old preconceptions about the core neighborhoods of the city still linger. "I'm surprised by how many people have stayed on the periphery for such a long time, without ever looking in. For years, there has been a perception that Indianapolis' downtown neighborhoods are the wild west, and that's not what people find when they come down here themselves."

For younger people, Julie has noticed that "the experience" is one of the biggest draws. "I had one couple that was interested in urban living, but wanted to take the city for a 'test drive' - they weren't sure where to go yet. For them, the amenities that they found were the biggest draws - Tea's Me, Goose the Market, those kinds of places can make an area fit. They are loving their new home." While the younger crowd is drawn to amenities and a 'feel', families who move to Indianapolis have a key priority - education. "I can't tell you how much our charter school program has meant to so many people looking at our city." Julie knows this first-hand, as it was a challenge that her family faced five years ago. "We weren't sure what the options would be for our children, who had been homeschooled since Kindergarten. Fortunately, we had the new presence of Herron High School - which was a big draw for us." The presence of Indianapolis' charter schools is a selling point for many families, Julie says. "People need to see that with education comes improvement." She spoke of the emergence of The Oaks Academy in Fall Creek Place as an example of what schools can do for a neighborhood. "When it opened, there were people calling that area "Dodge City", and now look at the advances that have been made."

When asked about best advice for those looking into Indianapolis as a home, Julie's response is simple. "Find someone who's plugged in. There's nothing that makes me happier than sharing Indianapolis with someone, and seeing them get excited as well. There are so many people who are ready to be ambassadors for our city . . . you're bound to find something that's perfect for you. It's not just exciting, it's infectious."

Anyone interested in looking for real estate through Julie can contact her at 317.854.5314.