Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Over 23% Thinking of Selling. Why the Hesitation?

by The Jana Caudill Team

Last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that housing inventory was down 4.7% from the same time last year and that the month’s inventory of homes for sale stood at 4.8 - far below the six months necessary for a normal housing market. Why is there such a shortage of inventory?

A recently released Homeowner Sentiment Survey found that homeowners may not be fully aware of the opportunities that exist in the current real estate market. The survey, conducted by Edelman Berland for HSF Affiliates, also reports that many homeowners would be placing their home up for sale if they were better informed about today’s market.

Why the hesitation?

The survey shows that 55% of the 23% contemplating selling “would be more likely to put their homes on the market if given more information about the process”. What information do they need?

Here are a few of the challenges that potential sellers perceive to exist according to the survey along with what is actually happening in today’s market:
1. More than half (53%) don’t realize that “the number of homes for sale on the market is lower, giving buyers fewer choices”. As a matter of fact, only 6% of potential sellers believe that listing inventory has recently decreased.

In reality, as we mentioned before, inventory is down from last year.
2. 80% think credit scores make it difficult to get a loan.

In reality, though other studies have shown that many Americans believe that you need a credit score of at least 780 to get a loan when the actual median scores on closed loans are demonstratively lower than that.
3. 76% believe stricter lending requirements make it more difficult to get a mortgage.

In reality, the Mortgage Credit Availability Index shows lending standards have been consistently easing over the last year.
4. 68% think that current homeowners are trapped into their mortgages and are unable to sell their current homes.

In reality, a recent Fannie Mae study revealed that 32% of Americans are dramatically underestimating the current equity in their homes. Many more can afford to make the move they desire.

How can you tell if the time is right to sell?

By talking to a qualified real estate agent. The Jana Caudill Team can help you take an informed look at the NWI real estate market, your home value vs equity, and your current finiancial position to give you what you need to make the best decision for you and your family.

Moving to a New City

by The Jana Caudill Team

It’s not uncommon nowadays to move across the state or across the country to take advantage of a job opportunity, which most likely means moving to a new city that you know very little about.  Here are four great starting tips to get you headed in the right direction before packing up your Crown Point, Cedar Lake, or Hobart home and shipping off to an unknown area.

Know your needs and wants.  This one may sound like common sense but think about it for a minute.  Do you prefer urban, suburban, or country living?  Is this move an opportunity to try something new, OR will it require different living arrangements than you are accustomed to?  What about an apartment, Condo, or a single family home?  As far as accommodations go is this next step on your career path a permanent stop or is it potentially only temporary?  Should you consider renting if this is a temporary position?  If the length of your stay is indeterminate do you have elementary school children who will eventually need a good high school to attend?  Take the time to write out all your needs and wants now so you’re clear when you begin to…

Ask questions.  Do you know anyone already living in the area you’re moving to, or anyone who used to live there?  What about the company you are going to work for?  Who recruited and/or hired you?  What can they tell you about the city, the schools, the commute, shopping and entertainment, etc?

Visit.  You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive nor would you accept a job six states away without visiting the area first.  Use the information you gathered when you spoke with friends, associates, and contacts already living there as a starting point.  Drive neighborhoods; drive the commute to the new office.  What’s traffic like during rush hour?  How close are grocery stores, gas stations, and movie theaters?

Contact a good Realtor.  You might put this one right after defining your needs and wants.  A good Realtor can answer questions on the local housing market including the best way to get you those wish list items while staying within your relocation housing budget.  A good Realtor can also help you maximize your home viewing time while you’re in town visiting the new office.  Don’t know a Realtor where you’re headed?  Give us a call.  We’ll refer you to a great knowledgeable agent who can help you find the most home for the best price with the fewest hassles.

Moving With Plants

by The Jana Caudill Team

You plan to take the fruits of your greenthumb’s labor with you when you move to your new Crown Point, St. John, or Dyer home.  Take these few considerations into account as you approach moving day:

  1. Let’s say for a second you’re moving to a new state instead.  Are there any laws against bringing plants inside their borders?  Some regions, especially where agriculture is a significant part of the economy, may have restrictions on what can be brought into the state.  Check with your local Department of Agriculture office before hitting the road.
  2. If your plants are in containers that are breakable like clay pots transplant them into unbreakable plastic.
  3. If you discover your plants have pests, take care of the problem before the move instead of taking it with you.  Check with your local nursery on effective methods for handling mildew, bugs, disease, etc.  You don’t want to infect the soil around your new home unnecessarily.
  4. Last to pack, first to unpack.  Just like with children, your plants should be the last things loaded into the car before you drive off into the sunset.  They should also be the first to be unloaded at your destination.  Also, be careful not to leave plants for too long in the car where temperature extremes can wreak havoc on your little green loved ones.

Considerations for Moving Elderly Parents

by The Jana Caudill Team
  1. Get help.  You don’t have to do it all on your own.  There’s packing, unpacking, garage or yard sales, selling the old Crown Point, Hobart, or Valparaiso home, cleaning and prepping the new one.  Enlist your brothers and sisters, other family members, even your children and long-time good neighbors of your parents to help out with some of the smaller tasks.  The job can seem daunting.  This is one of those times you should take advantage of the relationships you have with others who like you love your mom and pop.  Recruit them to help you help your parents.
  2. Prepare the elderly friendly new home.  Do you need handrails in bathrooms?  Maybe a wheelchair ramp to the front door?  How about no skid matting in the tub?  Do a walkthrough of the new home, even if mom and dad are moving in with you, to make sure when they arrive they can get in and out and around safely.
  3. Be there emotionally.  Moves like these are trying for everyone involved.  Just keep in mind how many years your folks have lived in the home they now see themselves as leaving forever.  Honor the memories they and the rest of the family have created over the years while living there, yet focus on a positive future of opportunity in their new digs.  What benefits will the new location provide that the old one lacked?  Proximity to family?  A more active and healthy social life?  Help them view this move as an exciting new chapter in the family history, not the end of the book.

Moving With a Teenager - Tips for Teens

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you’re moving and you have children the bellyaching in your Dyer, Crown Point, or Cedar Lake home has undoubtedly already started.  And if you have teenagers the bellyaches may have morphed into moping, passive aggression, and even outright outbursts.  Here are a few tips to pass directly on to your teens to help them help themselves through the stress of a move.  Parents need read no further.  This is for teens only:

  1. Plan the room you’re moving into.  Get the dimensions from your parents of your new bedroom.  Where is the door, the windows?  Are you going to have the same setup you had in your old room, or are you going to shake things up since you have to move everything around anyway.
  2. Put together an MP3 playlist of favorite songs for the move. Talk your parents into playing it on the drive to the new house.  Tell them that article with moving tips for teens they made you read said it would be therapeutic.
  3. Take pictures along the way.  Use your digital camera or smartphone.  Post them on your Facebook or Myspace or wherever you have an account where you share stuff with your friends.  Post pics of your new school, new room, new backyard, new friends.
  4. Cut your folks some slack.  They love you, and the move is stressful for them too.  They’re trying to do what’s best for the whole family.

Moving With a Teenager - Tips for Parents

by The Jana Caudill Team

Moving is stressful.  The “To do” list of packing boxes, garage sales, turning off utilities, turning on utilities, notifying the post office, the physical job of the move, and unpacking, just to name a fraction of the beehive activity seems a mile long.  There are emotional “Goodbyes,” and first “Hellos.”  Add young children to the mix and your list doubles.  They are counting on you to take care of everything, even when they have no real idea of the totality of what goes into a successful move.

Now consider your teenagers.  What's the move like for children who are a little more mature, and are starting to have a more mature understanding of their world, who are beginning to have more mature relationships?  What about young adult children who have already started to drive, to date?

Here are some tips for parents to help their older children struggling with a move have a more positive transition to a new life in a new Crown Point, Chesterton, or Munster home:

  1. Talk to your teenagers.  The best way to address the issues surrounding a move is meet it head on.  Speak with all your children, especially your teenagers.  Ask them about their concerns.  Offer honest, positive advice.  Listen.
  2. Give them homework, and get them involved.  Have your teenagers research their new city on the internet.  Give them the assignment of locating the gas station, grocery store, movie theater, and McDonalds nearest to their new address.  Make it fun, but don’t forget there is work to be done.  Give them the responsibility of packing certain rooms besides their bedroom like the bathrooms, or the rec-room.  Help them to feel like an important part of this big change for the family.
  3. Give them a going away party with their friends.  Be sure it’s a fun activity with emails and mailing addresses exchanged all around before the night’s over so your teenagers can keep in touch by sharing stories of their new digs with old friends.

Your Children and the Big Move

by The Jana Caudill Team

Moving is stressful.  There’s packing and unpacking; change of address cards to be sent and notice to the Post Office; the last minute garage or yard sale; transfer or closing and opening of utility accounts; closing paperwork on the home you’re selling and the home you’re buying; inspections, repairs, allowances; family finances…  And on and on.  How do you keep it all straight?  Here’s a great checklist starting at two months prior to the move.

But what about your kids?  If you’re stressed out imagine what’s going on in their young minds:  Will I make new friends?  Will I hate the school?  Does anyone else like baseball as much as I do?  How far away is McDonalds?  I’ll never remember my new phone number, address, locker combination…  They won’t be concerned about the same things as Mom and Dad.  They will worry about things that directly affect them.

How do you settle your children’s nerves during a move?  Give them an opportunity to participate by working on small projects that address their own personal needs.  Children of any age can help pack boxes.  Have them label their own boxes so they get placed in their new room in the new house.  Have them draw out a plan for their new room, or make a list of things they want to learn from their parents about their new town before they get there.

Pack plenty of music, movies, and games if you have a long cross country drive to your destination.  Keeping kids entertained when cooped up in a car all day goes a long way in soothing their nerves as well as Mom’s and Dad’s.  And don’t forget the pets!  Now that you have arrived, here are some great ideas for the whole family once you get settled in.

Moving Across Country With Pets

by The Jana Caudill Team

We love our pets as part of the family, and just as moving can be overwhelming at times for Mom, Dad, Billy, and Suzy, don’t forget this short “Have to” list for our four-legged family members.  With just a few steps you can set Rover and Fluffy up for their own successful relocation and ensure none of the following important details fall through the cracks.

First, call the state Veterinarian’s office or Department of Agriculture in the state you are moving to.  Check the bottom of the page at this link for most states’ contact information.  Ask for the laws and regulations concerning the types of pets you will be relocating with, keeping in mind the more exotic your pet the more restrictions you may be facing.  This quick call will let you know everything you are going to need, including medical documentation, to license your pets in your new state.

Call your current Veterinarian for copies of medical records including an up to date list of vaccinations.  The reason?  See paragraph above.  You’ll want to have all your paperwork in order as each state has its own set of required documentation for incoming pets.

Lastly, make sure all animals are tagged with identifying information, including phone number, and that you have photographs handy of each pet should a certain someone wander off while the family takes a break at a highway rest stop.  Many lost pets have been known to find their way home after getting lost.  Not so during a move.  Take the time to make sure the whole family arrives safe and sound at your new home on move in day.

Here’s another handy checklist to assure a smooth move for your pets, and don’t forget to check our resource pages for more buyer and seller tips!

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8