Columbus and Madison, IN, Real Estate Blog

What's my ROI?

Posted by: Claire Belby on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:00:00 pm on MIBOR's Blog: My 4 Walls

This time of year you might be thinking about which home improvements seem like a good idea for 2015. We all have the list swimming around in our brains. That little voice that says, “I love this house, I just wish we had a bigger master bath or I wish the basement was finished.” I wish, I wish, I wish.

As with any housing decision, determining needs vs. wants is really important, but when remodeling you have an extra question. What is the return on investment for this project? Sure you’ll enjoy it in the present, but what does it mean for future resale. Most Americans move every eight or nine years so even if moving isn’t on your mind right now, chances are you will move at some point therefore you should consider the best improvement investments.

REALTORS® intuitively know that kitchens, baths and basement remodels are great investments. also has this cool widget that enables you to drill down to city. We took a look at Indy and here’s what we found.

According to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (, a steel entry door replacement tops the charts for return coming in at 105% of cost recouped. Garage door replacement is up there too at 86%. In the more “fun” category, an attic bedroom remodel will bring 85% back and a minor kitchen remodel will bring 76% in returned investment.

Your REALTOR® will tell you this is good research, but you should also consider the enjoyment you will gain from your completed project and not just the numbers. Also, when it comes to the...

5 Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), from

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:

1. Inspect the lights and wires.

Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.

Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:

  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.

3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.

LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should...

Lighting of Columbus City Christmas Trees Tonight!

Mayor Kristen Brown invites the Columbus community to help ring in the holiday season with the lighting of the lighting of the Christmas trees at City Hall and The Commons. A special ceremony including the lightings and refreshments will be held in front of City Hall at approximately 6PM, followed by a tree lighting at The Commons on Washington Street.


Nights Before Christmas Tour of Homes

Nights Before Christmas

Candlielit Tour of Homes


November 28th & 29th

December 5th & 6th

The 2014 Tour of Homes will be here before you know it! Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at $15 for adults, $10 for children. You'll see historic sites,  private homes, and a local church, most of which are in Madison's National Historic Landmark District. Afterwards, take the time for a carraige or trolly ride along main street. Enjoy treats from our local restaurants, or a glass of wine at one of our wineries. Shop at our antique or specialty stores.

Tour hours: Friday 5-9PM, Saturday 3-9PM

Don't miss this great event!

Vist for more information


Déjà Vu Art and Fine Craft Show

From Columbus Area Arts Council:

An art and fine craft show that began in 2005 as a modest exhibit held in celebration of Earth Day has grown into the premier event of its type in the state. This year will mark the tenth time the Déjà Vu Art and Fine Craft Show has been presented. Now held in observance of America Recycles Day, this year’s show will feature more than 60 professional artists.

In observance of the show’s tenth anniversary, several activities are planned during the week preceding the event. They include a children’s design competition called the Cardboard Challenge, a free showing of the award-winning documentary Waste Land, and a preview exhibit at Phi Gallery in the Hotel Indigo Columbus Architectural Center. A reception for the participating artists will be held there from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 14.

Art lovers who attended shows in the past have been astonished to see the quality of art and fine crafts made from materials most people throw away. The event serves to demonstrate that with imagination, much of what we consider useless can be turned into something beautiful, and repurposing materials to create art will help save energy, natural resources, and landfill space.

Artists from Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio will show art and fine crafts such as painting, sculpture, jewelry, wearable art, woodworking, glass art, and weaving. Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 15 at The Commons in Columbus, Indiana, the event is free and open to the public.

Returning for her third Déjà Vu Art and Fine Craft Show is Indianapolis artist Anita Hopper. A member of the prestigious Indiana Artisan and the Featured Artist of this year’s show, Hopper visits thrift shops looking...

Small Town Sunday: Madison Indiana

FROM WLKY.COM: Copy and paste the link above to watch the video.

Madison, Indiana, is the largest city along the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Louisville.

At 12,000 people small, the town has a tight-knit feel with a strong grasp of its roots.

Whether you're traveling there by boat or by bridge, Madison is a town people continue to fall in love with.

Velicia Crisafulli and her husband fell in love with the town and decided to retire there.

"We were able to buy a home here on Main Street. We walk or ride our bikes everywhere. It's an immensely walkable town," she said.

After many visits and an 11-year stint in Washington, D.C., the Crisafullis couldn't be happier with their decision.

"We also really appreciate the art scene here, the live music, there's always something going on. We like the restaurant offerings, all of those amenities you're looking for when you retire," Crisafulli said.

Paul Nicholson and Janet Harding also ended up in Madison, but in an accidental manner. They were on their way to Vevay, Indiana, but they never made it there.

"We fell in love with this town overnight. We stayed up all night in the motel trying to think of a business that we could bring here and we were surprised there was no place to take a boat ride between Cincinnati and Louisville." 

They now operate Rockin' Thunder Jet Boat Rides.

There are only 15 boats in the world like the Jet Boat they use.

When asked about Madison, Paul said, "It's so refreshing to have people say 'Hello' and talk to you on the street. Even if they don't know you, they always wave to you and smile and I can't imagine living somewhere else."

With a rich history dating back to 1809, Madison has big-city amenities in a small-town setting.

"Madison has both. It's a small town feel because you run into the same folks...

A Simple Christmas Open House

A Simple Christmas

Saturday November 7th 10am-8pm 

Annual holiday open house at Something Simple, 219 E. Main

A Simple Christmas 6-8 10am-8pm.  Annual holiday open house at Something Simple, 219 E. Main.


On Tap This Weekend in Columbus: Wine-A-Ree

 Enjoy wine and beer tastings from numerous local and area wineries and breweries, arts vendors for holiday shopping, and a silent auction of goods/services. Tickets ($20 advance/$25 door) include unlimited tastings, an entry for a door prize drawing, and a commemorative wine glass. Tickets available at Viewpoint Books. Proceeds benefit Hoosier Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Visit Website

Vendors include:

  • Buck Creek Winery
  • Butler Winery
  • Cedar Creek Winery
  • Chateau de Pique Winery
  • Ertel Cellars Winery
  • Harmony Winery
  • Huber Orchard Winery
  • Salt Creek Winery
  • Simmons Winery
  • Smith's Winery
  • Winzerwald Winery
  • 450 N Brewery
  • ...

4 Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall

crisp chill in the air, the turning of leaves and the scent of pumpkin spice are all hallmarks of fall...

There’s no doubt it’s a beautiful season, and if you’re planning on selling your home by the end of the year, you can capitalize on all the good work nature already provides for us.

Accentuate the Positives When Selling Your Home


Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit for more tips.