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Buying a Home in the Fall

horizon1The leaves are changing, but are home prices?

Warmer temperatures generally make for better buying as the market is more ripe with choice, and the overall demeanor of sellers is more accepting. The flipside is that more players are competing for the same properties, leaving many first-time home buyers out in the cold.

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Heating Season Bill Payment Help Begins Today

NIPSCO-WinterNIPSCO connects customers in need with assistance programs

With enrollment for federal assistance programs for low-income households beginning on Monday, Nov. 5, NIPSCO is encouraging customers experiencing financial challenges to consider available payment assistance options for the winter heating season.

While higher usage amounts are probable this winter when compared to last year’s unseasonably warm temperatures, NIPSCO is focused on keeping gas prices affordable. For 11 consecutive months, the utility has offered the lowest residential gas bills in the state (Source:...

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Home Lawn During Drought: To Water... or Not?

patton-lawnMany homeowners wonder whether they should regularly water their dry lawns during a drought or essentially leave them alone. A Purdue Extension turfgrass specialist says each option has its pros and cons.

During a dry season, many lawns will show initial symptoms of drought stress, Aaron Patton said. As grass loses water, its leaves become less rigid and wilt; in this stage, grass stays flat after it is stepped on rather than "bouncing back."

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Renovating Part of Your Home to Be Rented

for-rentHaving someone help pay off your mortgage sounds like a dream. However, many people are opting to renovate and rent out part of their homes to make this dream a possibility. Home renovations can be daunting and confusing projects to undertake. If you’re renovating part of your home to be rented out, such as a basement apartment, there are steps you should follow to ensure your remodeling process goes smoothly.

Hire a Contractor that Specializes in Rental Renovations
When it comes to renovations, many people may not know where to start. A good first step is to hire a contractor that specializes in rental renovations. They have the knowledge and experience to ensure the project is done correctly and within all legal standards.

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Strike While the Iron is Hot

forsalesignsThis is an unprecedented time in the history of American homeownership. “What’s so hot about it?” you may ask.

1. Home prices. According to the Schiller Housing Index (Composite 10 index), home prices peaked in March 2007, and are at the same price levels as in July of 2003. The consumer price index has risen 24% since 2003, which translates into a great bargain when buying a home!

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Tips for Restoring Your Historic Home

Horizon-building-1888-300x189There are many great historic homes in the Michiana region, and, while these homes are full of charm and style, if you live in one, you know that oftentimes they could use restoration or renovations to meet your modern needs.

Historic property owners have to often make decisions and considerations that are unique from owners of properties built more recently. Here are some tips to consider as you look to renovate and restore your historic home.

1. Look into Local Laws and Regulations

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Know What's Below: Call 811 Before You Dig

NIPSCO-Call-Before-You-DigNational Safe Digging Month is here - a time to remember the importance of calling 811 before starting any digging projects. Did you know that the colors of the paint and flags the 811 locators use indicate what is buried below?

  • Red = Electric
  • Orange = Communications, Telephone/CATV

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Dave Woodson Joins Prime Real Estate of Schererville

Prime Real Estate of Schererville, IN welcomes aboard Dave Woodson as a Realtor®. Dave specializes in internet and video marketing. Dave brings with him years of mortgage experience and local internet marketing for small and mid-size companies. He is regarded as an industry leader, speaking at real estate and mortgage marketing events on a national level. He speaks and trains in social media marketing, video marketing and LocalSEO. He was voted the “Most Influential Social Media Person” in Indiana for 2010.

Dave will operate out of our soon to be open Valparaiso office. He will focus on Michigan City, LaPorte, Valparaiso, Chesterton and Portage. He may be reached at (219)872-8000 or visit his blog He, also, hosts a...

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Home Prices are on the Decline- But, What About the Midwest?

We’ve all seen the news. “Home prices are on the decline…home prices are at a 20-year low.” However, what we don’t hear is that “Chicago land and the Midwest are stabilizing.”

Is anyone aware that home prices in the...

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Renting vs. Buying a Home

home-equityIf you’re currently renting but considering buying a home, you need to be able to afford more than just your house payment. There are several pros and cons to consider.

Purchasing your home offers financial advantages.

  • Home equity. Buying a home means that, over time, you may qualify for a home equity loan. Home equity come in two forms, either in a fixed-term loan or in lines of credit. Learn more about how owning a home can present an alternative to personal loans with home equity.
  • Tax deductions. When you purchase a home and pay interest on the mortgage, that interest is tax-deductible. Real estate taxes are deductible as well.
  • Ownership. When you buy...

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Steps to Buying a Home

closing-costsAre you considering purchasing a new home? It’s one of the most important financial decisions anyone can make. That means there’s much to consider.

How much can you afford?

The first step is assessing your financial situation. The financial experts at Horizon Bank can help you do this, but here are some general guidelines:

  • All of your monthly housing costs should be roughly 28 percent of your gross income, or the amount you earn before taxes. This includes your mortgage payment, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and related costs.
  • Examine your monthly expenses as compared to your income to establish a budget and determine what you can afford. Remember that utilities and maintenance costs may increase with a home as compared with an apartment, so it’s important that you have extra funds left over...

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