Real Estate Information Archive


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Financial Planning and Your Home Purchase

by The Jana Caudill Team

Planning on buying a home over the next two, three, five years?  Take the time now to put a sound financial plan in place that will set you up for success when you’re ready to make your home purchase.

SAVE for your down payment.  The days of no money down home purchases are gone, at least for the foreseeable future.  And coming up with enough money to satisfy the bank who is considering issuing you a mortgage doesn’t happen overnight.  What would it be like if you took an extra twenty, forty, even a hundred dollars out of your monthly salary and socked it away toward your down payment?  Saving money is a long term endeavor so you need to start now.  A smart person (I fail now to remember who it was) once said, “You’ll know you’re doing a good job saving money when it starts to hurt a little.”

CUT expenses.  In order to increase your capacity to save money you either have to make more money or cut back on the money you spend.  The best way to go from no savings to a nice sized down payment on a home is to look at your budget and make little cuts here and there.  Ask yourself, where am I spending my income right now?  How much money can I save by making my own coffee and skipping that daily stop at Starbucks?  What about fast food?  Try cooking at home one or two more times a week.  Cook enough so you have plenty of leftovers to take to work the next day for lunch instead of opting to super-size the number 5 at the drive-thru.  Cutting expenses and saving go hand in hand.

MONITOR your credit scores.  You’ve cut back on your spending.  You have even found a way to stick another fifty dollars under the mattress every month for the down payment.  None of this does you any good if your credit scores are in the tank.  Keep a close eye on your scores!  Make your payments on time.  That 30-, 60-, 90-day late payment can stick around to haunt you for some time!  No bank will give you a mortgage if they see you are unable to handle the bills you already have.  Get your free annual credit report here.  This report will show you your scores from the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Then when you’re ready to speak to a reputable Realtor your family finances will not hinder you when they help you find your dream home.

2010 Trick or Treat Times

by The Jana Caudill Team

2010 Hours for Trick or Treat

The Jana Caudill Team would like to wish every ghoul, goblin, and ghost a very happy and safe Halloween. Here are the hours for Trick or Treat for Sunday, October 31st.

PORTER COUNTY                                                           

Chesterton 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30

Hebron 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Kouts 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

LaCrosse 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Portage 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31

Valparaiso 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Wanatah 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Unincorporated Porter County 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31


Cedar Lake 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Crown Point 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Dyer 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

East Chicago 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31

Gary 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Griffith 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Hammond 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Highland 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Hobart 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Lake Station 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31

Lowell 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Merrillville 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Munster 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

New Chicago 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Schererville 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Schneider - 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Shelby - 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

St. John 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Whiting 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Winfield 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31


DeMotte - 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 30

Wheatfield 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30


Lake Village 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

Sumava Resorts 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31


Looking for a new home to haunt for next Halloween? The real estate process doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Put the Jana Caudill Team to work for you.

July Market Update

by The Jana Caudill Team

Although experts predict it will take time for the economy to fully recover, there has been a lot of encouraging news recently.

  • The percentage of first-time buyers dipped to 29 percent as a result of more repeat buyers entering the market, suggesting signs of a return to a more balanced market.
  • Americans have shifted into savings and are now putting away a larger portion of their income – so much that the U.S. savings rate has now surpassed that of Canada!
  • Home prices edged up almost 4 percent between May and June of 2009, due to repeat buyers purchasing at higher price points, and distressed properties accounting for a smaller percentage of sales (33 percent of sales, compared to 45 percent the month before).

Learn more about the current real estate market and other great home selling tips by watching the July episode of This Month in Real Estate. The Jana Caudill Team works hard to sell homes fast and for the most money. Please contact us for all your real estate needs.

Recycle Your Electronics!

by The Jana Caudill Team

The Jana Caudill Team is going green! We are trying to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of trash that enters our landfills. Did you know that 98% of electronic components can be recycled? Drop off your old electronics at the following locations:

Lowell Street Department           598 Union Avenue

Whiting City Garage                        1915 Front Street

Hobart City Barns                             340 S Shelby

Portage Street Department        2303 Hamstrom Road

Valparaiso Compost Site               2150 W Lincolnway

This is a great way to get rid of clutter and save landfill space! These locations are for county residents only and are not open to businesses or organizations. Please contact the location for hours and items accepted. Click here to learn more about recycling in Lake County and Porter County.

The Jana Caudill Team are Northwest Indiana real estate specialists! Contact us for all your home buying and selling needs. We have a best buy list of properties that are sure to sell quickly. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get a great deal.




8 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Curb Appeal

by The Jana Caudill Team

Now that warmer weather is finally here, many home owners will begin spending more time outside. Staging a yard can give a home the all-important, buyer-pleasing curb appeal. Here are some suggestions that are both inexpensive and easy.

1.       Make it green. Give the lawn a healthy look by watering and using appropriate nutrients to keep it lush.

2.       Trim trees and shrubbery. Overgrown greenery can take over the view and hide the home.

3.       Plant flowers. Lots of color brightens up the yard and adds cheer.

4.       Mulch your flowerbeds and edge your lawn.

5.       Power wash to keep the house looking well cared for and clean.

6.       Tidy up. Put garbage cans, hoses and other clutter neatly away and out of sight.

7.       Paint neutral. Start with the door and trim if you can’t paint the entire house.

8.       Define the path. Guide potential buyers to the front door with a defined walkway.

The Jana Caudill Team has two listing specialists that are experts on selling homes. They know what it takes to get a home sold in today’s market. Give us a call for all your real estate needs.

*Source: Realtor Magazine

Explanation of Using Tax Credit For a Down Payment

by The Jana Caudill Team

We're Hiring!

by The Jana Caudill Team

We have a TON of leads!

The Jana Caudill Team is growing again! We're looking for ambitious real estate professionals to join our team. Must be people-oriented, positive, energized, motivated, service-minded, ethical, charismatic, a team player and have great communication and follow-up skills.  If you're learning based, professional, and a hard worker, rush your resume to us.

The Jana Caudill Team is Northwest Indiana's Number 1 Real Estate Team.


Use the learning resources of Keller Williams University and Star Power Systems to advance your Real Estate career. Email a cover letter and resume to


Report: NWI Home Values to Increase in 2007

by Jana Caudill


What housing bubble?

While much of the nation suffers from continued falling housing prices, Lake County will see 3.2 percent growth over past year in residential real estate value in 2007, according to a report by Fortune magazine. This places Lake fifth in the Midwest and 30th in the nation in a ranking of 100 real estate markets conducted by the magazine.

Porter County was not included in the survey, but realtors said housing values there mirror its sister county: rising slowly and steadily.

And realtors here say the 3.2 percent is an average. Houses in some areas, such as St. John and Crown Point, could see even bigger increases in value.

In contrast, residential housing values have declined 3 percent nationally, with larger drops in fast-growing coastal and vacation areas that experienced huge housing value gains in recent years.

Northwest Indiana real estate agents are basking in the glow of the report, which was prepared by Fortune magazine, Moody's and FISERV Lending Solutions and posted on

Leading the way in the nation in rising home values, according to the magazine report, is McAllen, Texas, with Youngstown, Ohio, the top city in the Midwest.

Lake County, listed as the Gary area in the report, ranks 30th in the nation and fifth in the Midwest. Only Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland, Ohio, and Wichita, Kan., outrank the Gary area. Lake County even outranks Indianapolis (the Midwest's No. 7 with a 3 percent rise in value) and Chicago (the Midwest's No. 11 with a 2.6 percent hike in value).

The report comes as a bit of surprise after reports of the price-bubble bursting in top real estate markets such as Miami and San Francisco. And the nation as a whole saw a 3 percent decline in prices, the first time since the Great Depression that prices declined one full year.

James Shaw, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Leaders of Crown Point, said averages contain increases as well as decreases.

And many areas, such as Lake and Porter counties, could ride the wave of steady appreciation brought by being close to, but not part of, Chicago. Suburban and exurban areas did well, both nationally and locally.

Jana Caudill, owner of Keller Williams Realty Leaders, predicted some areas of Northwest Indiana will do even better than the 3.2 percent-increase forecast.

"I'm excited to see the forecasted increase over 3 percent," Caudill said. "But some areas, like St. John, Dyer, Crown Point and Schererville, should see even larger increases in value."

For example, Crown Point is booming, Shaw said.

In 2005, the average listing price was $183,681. In 2006, it was $202,383 -- a 10.2 percent increase.

And right now, the average listing price is $298,333, although Shaw said that is far from what the average for 2007 will probably be.

Shaw said Northwest Indiana is grounded in reality -- increases that won't be deflated later.

"This market is so stable and steady," said Shaw.

The Dec. 25 issue of Fortune is also its annual Investors Guide and will be on news stands until March, according to Susan Brown Williams, communications director for Fortune.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8