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Hiring a Dependable Moving Company

by The Jana Caudill Team

Cross country or cross town, sometimes it pays to hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting.  Did you know moving companies often offer more services than just hauling your belongings to your new home?  Many have packing and unpacking services.  I’ve even seen some offer a house cleaning service to give the home you’re moving into a good once over before you arrive.  It’s important not only to know what options you have available to help make your move run smoother, but also to know exactly what you are getting for your money when hiring a mover.

Tips on hiring a moving company:

  1. Get an in-house quote, then another, and another…A quote is no good if a company’s representative doesn’t come out and take an honest look at each room’s contents and then follow their visit up by putting their price, and what you are actually getting for your money in writing.  And the first quote isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you don’t have a second and a third to compare it too.  Get three quotes.
  2. Ask friends, neighbors, and family who they have used in the past and had success with.  Get the actual name of the company rep they worked with.  A good referral goes a long way in easing stress during a move.
  3. Dig into the quote.  Know if the movers will be assembling furniture like bed frames after delivery.  What’s the delivery window look like?  What about insurance?  You have to know what you’re getting for your money, and you sure don’t want to have any surprises on moving day, or when the bill from the moving company comes in the mail.

Follow these links to our helpful buyer and seller resource pages.

Northwest Indiana 2012 Trick or Treat Times

by The Jana Caudill Team

Northwest Indiana 2012 Trick or Treat Times

All times are for Wednesday, October 31

PORTER COUNTY                                                           

Chesterton                         5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Hebron                              5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Kouts                                5 to 7 p.m.
LaCrosse                           5 to 7 p.m.
Portage                              5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Valparaiso                         5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Wanatah                            5 to 7 p.m.
Porter County                    5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

LAKE COUNTY

Cedar Lake                        5 to 7 p.m.
Crown Point                       5 to 7 p.m.
Dyer                                   5 to 7 p.m.
East Chicago                      4 to 6 p.m.
Gary                                   4 to 7 p.m.
Griffith                                5 to 7 p.m.
Hammond                           5 to 8 p.m.
Highland                             5 to 7 p.m.
Hobart                                5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Lake Station                       4 to 7:30 p.m.
Lowell                                5 to 7 p.m.
Merrillville                           5 to 7 p.m.
Munster                              5 to 7 p.m.
New Chicago                     5 to 7 p.m.
Schererville                         5 to 7 p.m.
Shelby                                6 to 8 p.m.
St. John                              5 to 7 p.m.
Whiting                               5 to 7 p.m.
Winfield                              5 to 7 p.m. 

JASPER COUNTY

DeMotte                             5 to 7 p.m.

There will be plenty of ghosts and goblins on the streets this Halloween so please drive safely!

5 Inexpensive Value Adding Repairs

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you’re looking for some inexpensive repairs you can do to your home to add resale value you’re looking in the right place!  All of the entries on this list have reasonable price tags, and some of them won’t cost you anything but a little elbow grease and time to help you effectively stage your home:

  1. Clean up.  That’s right.  Not really a repair, I know, but think about the last time you walked into a home that smelled like the family dog, or had stacks of clutter everywhere you looked.  Let your mantra be “Pick up, put away, get rid of, clean!”  The house will be more presentable, and the rooms will look larger with less in them.  Vacuum then shampoo carpets.  Wash all your windows.  Fall is here with winter just around the corner.  If weather becomes prohibitive focus on the inside, and plan ahead for the outside…
  2. Exterior.  We’re talking curb appeal!  Same thing as above, just outside.  Now that the inside of your home is clean and presentable, don’t turn buyers away with yard clutter, the old broken down lemon in the driveway, or a mailbox slumping sideways on its post.  Tidy up and restore order, both in the front yard and back, before heading into winter.  In the spring and summer don’t let prospective buyers get stuck at the curb by dead grass, weeds, overgrown shrubs, peeling paint.  How about some colorful flowers?  Your mantra here is, “Mow, trim, paint, plant.”  If the entire exterior doesn’t need a paint job, consider painting just window and door trim to freshen things up.
  3. Flooring.  Buyers notice dirty carpets, rough wooden flooring, and chipped tile right away.  Yes, I’ll say it again, shampoo carpets!  Also clean and wax wood floors, and replace damaged tiles.  It may be necessary to completely replace flooring in certain rooms.  Be sure to go with neutral colors if you’re selling in the next few months or planning ahead to do so in the next few years.
  4. Bathroom and Kitchen sink fixtures.  Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens can be cost prohibitive.  Consider replacing leaking or outdated plumbing fixtures with something contemporary.  This is a great inexpensive fix that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
  5. Let there be light!  Change dim outdated lighting for more fashionable and brighter alternatives.  If painting interiors, going from dark to more neutral colors will make rooms feel larger.  Raise blinds and open curtains to let in more natural light!

Here’s a great resource to get an idea of your return on investment for more costly professional versus do-it-yourself projects.

The Benefit of a Household Inventory - Part 2

by The Jana Caudill Team

The best way to go about documenting your household inventory is to go room to room, writing down all your property in each location, its cost when purchased, year purchased, and current value.  You may not have all that information readily at hand.  That’s alright.  Just be sure to complete the list to the best of your abilities without exaggerating values.  I know this sounds like an incredibly daunting task, but if you take your time and only tackle one room at a time, say one room every Saturday morning until complete, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed, and more likely to be prepared if the worst ever happens.  Don’t forget basements, storage buildings, and the garage. 

Here’s a tip:  Use a video camera.  Take your handheld video recorder, and once again walk room to room filming the contents of your home.  This is in addition to your written list, not in place of it.  For the video you do not need to cover every individual item, just scan the room making sure you get footage inside closet spaces, jewelry boxes, and capture shots of all computer and other electronic equipment.  Narrate as you go, explaining what things are, so you have audio to go with your video.  Here are some inexpensive video recorders that are great for this task: Kodak Zi8, Flip, Sony.

It’s heartbreaking when any of our Northwest Indiana neighbors fall victim to catastrophe.  If you suffer a loss resulting from a fire, for example, that is not covered by your insurance there is still some relief possible through the government.  There’s helpful information in IRS publication 2194 titled “Disaster Losses Kit for Individuals” here which explains potential tax benefits available for people who suffer a loss that is uninsured.  This short article explains the basics as well, and again, I advise you to speak to your professional tax preparer and insurance agent to explore your current situation.

The Benefit of a Household Inventory - Part 1

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you haven’t already done so you might consider completing a household inventory of your family’s possessions.  The obvious reason is its aid in filing an insurance claim for a loss of property.  In the case of a fire, theft, flood, hurricane or any other event casualty that takes or otherwise destroys your personal property this list can help you in the process of getting reimbursement through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and if you ever have the misfortune of having to pick up the pieces after one of these disasters it can make the road to recovery somewhat smoother.  It’s a daunting task for sure, but compared to going back after losing everything and trying to reconstruct a list of the contents of every room, it is time well spent.

Here are the basics:  The first thing you need to do is speak with your insurance agent and be sure you fully understand what your current policy covers.  Second, fill out the complete inventory sheet of all your possessions.  Third, compare the current value of your possessions to your existing coverage.  You may discover previously unknown gaps in your coverage, or that you have too little or too much coverage compared to the total value of your possessions.  And lastly, take your list and store it somewhere safely outside your home!  Put it in a safe deposit box, or take a copy to stick in your drawer at the office.  Just don’t leave it at home.  Don’t go through the trouble of completing this very necessary exercise only to lose your list along with your possessions in a fire.

Please visit my website for more home buyer and home seller tips, and tune in next week for Part 2 of “The Benefit of a Household Inventory” to find additional tips to make the completion of your inventory faster and easier AND information on potential tax relief relating to property loss not covered by your policy.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

Photo of The Jana Caudill Team Real Estate
The Jana Caudill Team
Redkey Realty Leaders
503 East Summit St., Suite 2
Crown Point IN 46307
219-661-1256
Fax: 219-663-5949