Schools out for the summer and parents, grandparents, and caregivers are searching for fun activities to do with the family this summer in Northwest Indiana. If you haven’t had a chance to explore these top destinations in the area, be sure to schedule them into your google calendar and get ready for some fun in the sun.
Here is Sublime Homes’ 2018 bucket list of things to do in Indiana this summer.
Bike Trails - NW Indiana and the South Shore have hundreds of miles of bike trails, traveling along the lake and through nature as well as paved paths through woods and downtowns.
Lake Toy Rentals - Located in Cedar Lake, Indiana, the area’s leading marina serving Cedar Lake, Crown Point, St. John and surrounding check out Lake Toy Rentals. They offer stand up paddle board and kayak rentals. Plus they now offer cross training core and yoga classes on the paddle boards.
Zig-E’s Funland - Right in the heart of St. John is Zig-E’s. A favorite family destination for over eight years. Laser Tag, Go-Karts, Mini-Golf, Batting Cages, Arcade Games and more.
The Beaches -From Whiting to Michigan City, Indiana. Bring your beach chairs and sunscreen!
Indiana Dunes- Stretching 25 miles east along Lake Michigan’s south shore the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore and State Park welcome families to their beaches and trails all summer long.
Fair Oaks Farm - Fair Oaks Farms is a working farm that specializes in producing delicious dairy and pork products while educating the public about modern farming techniques and protecting the environment and farm animals. You can take your children to explore how their morning glass of milk or the vegetables they refuse to eat are brought to their table.
Sky Zone - For days when your kids want to unleash their wild side, take them over to the Sky Zone indoor Trampoline Park. Let your kids play in a safe environment as they defy gravity!
Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center- Located in Rivers County Park, Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center gives your children a hands-on learning experience. Watch your kids create and learn in a safe and secure space.
Zao Island - For fun for the entire family, head over to Zao Island in Valparaiso. Play laser tag, mini-golf, and arcade games in between go-karting, hitting the batting cage and watching the alligators. Your kids will love the playgrounds, and for adults, there are evening events like beer and laser tag, or wine and canvas painting classes.
Challenger Learning Center - Inspire your children with a love of learning and a curiosity about the STEM field and about space. Your children can feel like they are in mission control as they go on one of the Challenger Learning Center’s missions at Perdue University.
Tyler’s Tender Railroad Restaurant - If you love unique diners, trains, or arcades, then Tyler’s Tender Railroad Restaurant is the perfect place for a visit and for lunch! Play classic arcade games, take a ride on the small train, and enjoy a classically delicious meal. You can also book Tyler’s Tender Railroad Restaurant for a unique birthday party that your kids will love.
Albanese Candy Factory - This massive candy factory in Merrillville will make you and your children feel like you won a golden ticket. Indulge your sweet tooth and learn how your favorite candy is made at the Albanese Candy Factory.
Have you been to any of sites on the Sublime 2018 Indiana Bucket list? Do you have a favorite thing to do in Indiana? Post your pictures and your stories in the comment section below.
Image Credit: Lake Toy Rentals
Written By: Amy Alexander, Sales and Marketing Director
Buying a home is often times the largest investment in one’s life and it is also very exciting. As the buyer, you have searched for months, years even, for the perfect place to call home. Many markets are seeing a surge of homebuilding and if you’re lucky enough to live in an area, like St. John, Indiana, where there is new construction being built, what’s stopping you from taking a look at how far your budget can get you, if you buy a new home versus buying an existing home?
Both my mother and my best friend are moving to new homes. There have been offers written, contracts accepted and homes inspected. Each time, the thorough home inspector prepares a laundry list of pictures and lists the items that need attention in the home. In the case of my friend, the said house was built in the late 80’s and this inspection shows tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs--an over fused electrical circuit panel, foundation issues, and WATER damage. In the case of my mother, the home was much older, built in the late 60’s and much more maintained over years. The big inspection issue in this home was the entire HVAC system, not just the heating and air units, but the WHOLE system down to the ductwork needed to be replaced.
When my husband and I were looking for a home for our family we purchased a “short sale” “deal of the century” property. We were lucky to have been able to afford to renovate our home, which due to the type of sale was not in great condition. However, upon waving away our inspection, due to the nature of the home’s “as is condition” we were surprised to wake up, in the middle of the night to water streaming down from our ceiling--I’m not just talking a drip, but full on “honey, did you leave the water running in the bath” type of flow.
My point and the reason I bring these cases to the Sublime blog is not to get into a debate on the issues of older homes but to bring light to a discussion of the benefits of buying a new home because no one wants to wake up to water streaming down from the roof due to poor workmanship.
Here are my top three reasons why my next home / future home / dream home WILL be a new home.
1. Design your home around how you live:
I’m trying this new thing where I don’t wear shoes in my home. Have you read the articles and seen the videos on all the germs that come in to your home from your shoes? (I’ll leave that for another post) I am failing miserably but my husband and son excel at leaving their shoes in our entryway. Do you know what happens when you are a shoe collector like me and my family? Your entryway looks like the bargain room at a shoe store. We have no proper shoe storage or closet to store all our shoes. It’s awful. In my new home, I will have a proper mudroom with a designated walk-in shoe closet, and lots of drawers and cubbies for me to hide away shoes, boots, coats, hats, and gloves. Let’s face it we live in the Midwest and we have winters that last through April.
As a semi-custom and custom home builder, when you build with Sublime Homes we can modify ANY of our 10 semi-custom plans to work with your life or create a new plan if ours don’t seem to look just right. We’d even build you my dream shoe closet in your mudroom.
2. Price vs. Cost:
Why would I want to buy someone else's problems? The squeaky floorboards? The wood paneling on the walls? The outdated kitchen and bathrooms? That existing home might be the best price, right size and in the perfect school district but have you thought about how much money it will take you to remove those design features that the previous owner loved? While a lower priced home may seem more attractive at first, you must keep in mind that this is not the final cost of the home. Two summers ago, we paid $5500 to replace our air conditioning units when they decided to conk out on the hottest days of the summer. I’d happily provide you a long list of things I can dream about what to spend $5500 out of pocket on and let me tell you new air conditioning units are NOT at the top of my list.
Homeownership is expensive and you certainly should have a proper savings to afford unexpected issues--however, a newly built home has its advantages. Maintenance is minimal, compared to the unexpected costs of a buying a new roof, fixing a broken water heater or a buying new air conditioning unit while paying out of pocket for them. Many things like landscaping, for example, can be factored into your monthly budget and your mortgage. In most cases, while the price is lower on existing homes the overall cost tends to be higher over time. Are you looking for a fixer upper or do you want the perfect home for your needs? While I LOVE the show “Fixer Upper”, I personally would rather start fresh with my own plans and design ideas than try to fit my needs into an existing home. Where would I find the room for a walk in shoe closet in someone else’s home?
3. Energy Efficiency:
One of our current homeowners came to us recently and told us, that the home Sublime Homes built for them was so tight, they could have spent more money on upgrades for the house as they have saved money each month due to lower electric and gas bills. In my current home, I literally can watch my energy efficiency go out the window. Sublime Homes’ are built so efficient and one of the greatest features of a new energy efficient home is the cost savings. While your monthly mortgage payment may be fixed, the cost to provide energy to your home will rise over time. With every home we build, we hire a company to complete a blower door test to measure air leakage in the home. We also install Nest thermostats as a standard to control the heat and air conditioning system. Rest assured we do everything we can to build the tightest and most efficient home possible to pass along the monthly savings to you.
On the fence about buying a new home vs a existing home? Contact me, Amy Alexander, the Sales and Marketing director for Sublime Homes to discuss our process and why buying new may be the best option for you. firstname.lastname@example.org || 219-300-1779
Looking for a little laughter? Watch the video below from our friends at New Home Source.
Written By: Amy Alexander, Sales and Marketing Director
I was on a call the other day with a prospective client for about an hour. He came in as a lead almost a year ago. In this industry, a year or so of lead time is common as buyers start shopping early. Many are trying to get a feel for what’s in the market and what they can afford given their budget. This is especially true given the current trend we are seeing of many buyers making the choice to relocate from Illinois to Indiana to save on their property taxes. More often than not, buyers just want the reassurance that they can afford to buy new. For some it ends up becoming a reality, and for many others, they decide that they don’t have the time to wait for their new home to be built (6-7 months), so they move on to a used home. Nevertheless, many home shoppers know they want to move but they are often waiting for something like a life moment to happen to actually sign the contract.
This prospect, that I mentioned earlier, called me and we had a nice conversation. It was one of those great calls where I was mostly listening while the prospect was doing the talking. He was asking all the right “buying” questions. Then he asked the question that typically comes up in one form or another, “why are you better than the other builders in the area, as I’ve been speaking to other builders and I want to know why I should build or buy from you?” I dislike answering this question as it puts me on the spot for me to bad-mouth another builder, which I will never do, but often believe this is what that shopper wants to hear. I start to talk about how we are different from other builders in the market. I discuss our small but mighty team, our communication process internally with our team and with our clients, the trade companies that we strategically and consistently partner with to ensure the high level of product we require as well as our sublime standards. Not too long ago we completed a house in the Preserve for a family and the owner shared with us one of the reasons they decided to work with Sublime Homes to build their home, was because the products and craftsmanship that go into each home and that our sublime standards, are other builders upgrades. My conversation with my prospect and the testimonial of my homeowner got me thinking. I really need a better way to showcase our sublime standards.
There are so many different moving parts that go into the design, build and construction of a home that I’d be listing for days and your head would start to spin. I hope that this list that I’ve put together of our most commonly asked about standards is a good place to start. From there, if we’ve peaked your interest enough from our model, images and of course our standards, I’d love to educate you more on the building process and set you up to meet with our builder, Michael Graniczny and our amazing team. Like my friend (lead) from earlier in my post, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you even if it's only a couple of minutes--even better if it ends up being an hour!
If you've had the opportunity to speak with me, you'll know I live for chatting! If you haven't yet called in, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you. 219-228-2280 X1 or send me an email email@example.com
Written By: Amy Alexander, Sales and Marketing Director
"Our research for NWI consistently illustrated St. John as a highly ranked city in terms of "best places to raise a family" and "safest cities".
We’re often asked, how we started building homes and our business in St. John, Indiana. The answer is simple, our homeowners. When we started building, many of the homes built were in Illinois. All it took was for one client to ask Michael Graniczny, our owner and builder, if he would build in St. John, Indiana to have us hooked on this city. We love St. John! Not only do we love the community as a place to build dream homes, we practice what we preach. Many team members live within the St. John area and one of them is even building a new home with us, in St. John!
St. John, is a small community of about 16,000 residents tucked in between Schererville and Crown Point in Lake County, Indiana, just 24 miles Southeast of Chicago. The community is bursting with opportunity from new home construction to new local business openings to support the growing population. Many families are relocating to the St. John area to take advantage of free year-round holiday festivities, top ranked Lake Central School District, as well as low Indiana property taxes. Resident safety is also calmed by the consistent reports of low crime within the community, the National Council for Home Safety and Security has ranked the Town of St. John as the safest city in Indiana. In a recent interview conducted by our team with a handful of our St. John homeowners, we asked them, “What brought you and your family to St. John, Indiana? Why was this city an enticing community to call home?” The answer was consistent across the board and mimicked the sentiments of this homeowner “Our research for NWI consistently illustrated St. John as a highly ranked city in terms of "best places to raise a family" and "safest cities". We also know that the Lake Central School District is one of the best in the entire state of Indiana.” So whether you are single, married without children, growing a family or are empty nesters, you will discover a community that is a perfect distance to Chicago, friends and family that have not moved out of Illinois, and a perfect place that is far away from the hustle of life but close enough that it provides all the comforts of home. You’ll discover all that in St. John.
Sublime Homes started building in select neighborhoods in St. John in 2015. When we began building is this market, we built homes when the client came to us with their own homesite and floorplans. Over the years, we have established an entire portfolio of semi-custom homes as well as acquired our own homesites. Most recently, we have begun developing our own land for our own Sublime Development.
Today, you can find us as landowners of homesites, looking for homebuyers in the Rose Garden and the Preserve subdivisions as well as with in-progress projects in Crossing Creek, Renaissance and Willow Ridge.
At Sublime Homes we offer the option to build any of our floor plans in any of our communities as well as the ability to custom design your dream home.
We have one model home in the Preserve and it is currently for sale: Madison Floor Plan: 9761 Tall Grass Trail, St. John, Indiana. We also offer open house tours every Thursday from 1:30 pm- 3:30 pm and Saturdays from 12:00 pm - 4 pm.
For more information about building or buying a Sublime Home in St. John, feel free to Contact Us! f you want to learn more about the Rose Garden, Preserve or to schedule a tour of the community, you can contact our Sales team directly at 219-228-2280 X1.
As the leaves change color and the weather gets cooler, getting cozy becomes incredibly inviting. The fall season is a great excuse to curl up with a blanket, book, and warm drink. Fall’s cozy atmosphere is not just limited to knit sweaters and cute boots, the season welcomes Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and you can make your home feel incredibly warm and inviting by using Pumpkin Spice-themed home décor.
Even if you do not like drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you have to admit they smell heavenly. To make your home smell like your favorite coffee shop on a chilly day, you can use a number of PSL-themed scents. Pumpkin spice candles, lotions, and bath bombs all smell as good as the real thing.
While delicious pumpkin spice-themed treats technically are not home décor, they are easy to make and delicious to eat. You can whip up your own Pumpkin Spice Lattes year round or opt for pumpkin spice smoothies or cider. Anyone who loves to bake can make pumpkin spice cookies, pies, waffles, and cakes. For more savory eats, try making pumpkin spice oatmeal, bread, or popcorn.
If you like to have seasonal décor but are not ready to transform your home, you can add pops of pumpkin spice themed home products. Think warm-toned throw blankest, the color of latte foam, or more traditional fall hues. If you love all things PSL, you can find all sorts of fall colored throw pillows dedicated to your favorite drink.
If you really love the idea of a Pumpkin Spice for fall-themed home, consider using it as the foundation of your color scheme. For more neutral bases, look for warm cream colors, light orange beiges, or very light browns. For warm tones look for rich browns, burnt oranges, and highly saturated yellows on the ocher scale.
No matter how permanent you want this fall flavor of home décor to be, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is a great color for a home to feel warm and cozy.
When building homes for our wonderful families we strive to continue to build and use innovative products that continue to make the homes we build as energy efficient as possible. It’s in our values that we use products that are energy efficient and save our homeowners money. That’s why, we now include NEST Thermostats as a standard in our homes.
Have you had an opportunity to view the NEST learning thermostat? According to Nest, “It learns what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and connects to your phone. It has a big, sharp display. And it’s proven to help save energy. In independent studies, the Nest Thermostat saved an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. We’ve estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year.”
Spend a few minutes learning about how the product works and watch a short video to see how the NEST thermostat looks and works with your family in mind.
Close your eyes and picture your dream home. Imagine the spacious, light-filled rooms that make up its thoughtful floor plan. Think about the clean design you love, and all the luxurious details you always wanted to have in a home. Hold the picture you created of this beautiful home in your mind and envision what your life could be like if you lived there.
When you decide to buy a house, you deserve to move into the home that is a reflection of your design style and meets your family’s needs. Unfortunately, instead of investing in a new construction home, many people choose to buy older, houses that need tens of thousands of dollars for repairs and remodeling. Dated wallpaper is not going to remove itself. Older cabinets will need to be replaced by professionals. Trying to create an open floor plan in a home that was not designed that way is a major construction project, which can end up costing you thousands.
Buying a truly new home means you have total control over all design choices. Instead of stressing about attempting to recreate your dream home in an existing house, you can work with your builder and designer to ensure that all the details that make you excited to become a homeowner get included. After all, a new home is your home.
In addition, new construction can save you hundreds and thousands on energy bills as new homes are built with new appliances and energy saving construction materials.
At Sublime Homes, we fully believe new construction homes have a major impact on the lives of the people who live in them. We design every element of our new homes to ensure that homeowners have a space that facilitates comfortable living and an inspired life.
Leave a comment below on why you are choosing new construction!
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Guest Post by: Carmen Huizenga, Interior Designer at DeYoung Interiors
It is always a pleasure to share these pages with like-minded businesses and a few months ago when we partnered with DeYoung Interior’s, interior design team to help us stage our completed Colette Model, we felt it only fitting for them to tell our readers about the business and how they go about creating dynamic spaces for their homeowners. Did you know that DeYoung Interiors is a family owned business in Northwest Indiana and dealer in fine furniture since 1928 as well as they offer a full design center equipped with educated and experienced designers? They take pride in being able to help each client design a beautiful space no matter their budget. With so many great brands, there is something for everyone. So when DeYoung Interiors accepted our invitation to be a featured writer on our blog and share their wisdom with our readers, we were certainly excited.
Without further ado, we present you with this bit of design wisdom from Carmen Huizenga, Interior Designer at DeYoung Interiors.
DESIGNING DYNAMIC DWELLINGS
As a designer at DeYoung’s, one major aspect of my job is not only helping customers in store, but also decorating model homes. When we are asked to decorate models, it is so important to get the design right because it has such a powerful influence on potential buyers. The aesthetic of the model home is what makes it feel like it could be a home for your family.
While the finishes of a home are important to the overall aesthetic, the furniture and accessories really give a home it’s overall feeling. “For us, it is all about following the coloring and feeling of the space,” fellow designer Margi Swets said. As a designer, she continues, "the paint, granite, and lighting will affect the style we will chose to go with. When picking out furniture and accessories, balance is very important."
When Margi and I walk through a home for the first time, we get an overall feel for the space, and then create a vision with a base piece to start the design from. In the Colette Model, a large-scale peacock piece of artwork gave us the inspiration to continue the glamorous, but stately vision the Sublime builders had. For a home like The Colette, choosing bigger and more grand pieces keeps the large open concept feeling like a home.
"As a designer, the paint, granite, and lighting will affect the style we will chose to go with. When picking out furniture and accessories, balance is very important."
In The Colette Model, grandeur was the overall feeling. When you walk into this beautiful home in St. John, Indiana, the design and style of the home could easily take your breath away. Margi goes on to add, “that because of the ceiling's height and the detail in them, we chose art and lamps that will draw your eye up, accentuating the ceilings.” This Colette Model also offers an open concept floor plan, making it important to be sure each room flows effortlessly from one to the other. Rugs are also a huge help in defining a space in an open concept floor plan.
When we think of decorating a home for someone, we don’t always know what their style will entail. With this home, it was very different from some of the other homes we’ve done previously. For us, we take that as a challenge to think of it not just as a showpiece home, but a home that any family could envision as their own.
“I believe that anybody can spend their money anywhere. We have to work hard to earn it by taking care of our customers,” owner John DeYoung states. “We’re appreciative of every dollar spent here and we’re blessed to be in the business and grateful for our customers.” He also says that the furniture DeYoung’s sells is a real value for the quality that it is and our services are “second to none.” DeYoung Interiors is self-sufficient with its own delivery crews, warehousing, and service department. “It keeps coming back to us every time we take care of someone.”
About the Business:
MEET Brandon, SUBLIME HOMES' CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Through his teens, Brandon worked in various trades. These years of experience in the field, and the guidance of his parents, helped Brandon recognize the value of a college education. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1999 with a Bachelors in Business - Accountancy. Through a 16 year career as a CPA, he has risen through various industries to become a C-Suite professional. In both 2010 and 2015, Brandon was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 young professionals in the Chicagoland area.
On a personal level, Brandon has experienced the nightmare of purchasing an older home with a myriad of hidden problems. The stress, worry, and true financial and mental burden was a life-changing series of events for Brandon. This along with his giving heart has provided an enormous amount of motivation to help build a company that provides beautiful homes with the utmost quality. His personal goal, which is a shared goal of the Sublime team, has and will always be to make sure every client of Sublime Homes does not experience such pain.
Brandon always appreciated Mike’s talent for building quality homes. This is why in 2011 he partnered with Mike, recognizing that Mike needed a hand getting back into his passion after the great recession. In Mike and his obsessive focus on quality, Brandon has the utmost confidence that Sublime Homes’ clients will always receive the most quality home. In Jacklyn, Brandon recognizes her immense talent for beautifying a home through design that adds an unprecedented level of luxury to the quality Sublime Home. By partnering with Mike and Jacklyn, he feels as though he has the perfect partners for attaining our goals.
Author: The Sublime Team