Date Archives: December 2018

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Fireplace Safety Tips
If you're like many homeowners, you light up your fireplace to chase away the chills. Your fireplace does double duty this time of year: As glowing embers warm your living spaces, they also add the perfect cozy atmosphere. As you ignite the flames for the first time, remember to keep fireplace safety in mind.

Our real estate agents believe a fireplace adds warmth and beauty to your home, but we also recognize the inherent danger one can cause. To help you keep your home safe this winter, we researched fireplace safety so we could share these tips with you.

  1. Maintain and clean your fireplace and chimney
    Before you ignite your fireplace, remember to inspect it and clean away the soot and creosote buildup from last year's flames. Your chimney provides an exit for the smoke, gases, hydrocarbon, and other substances your fireplace produces, and while this minimizes the direct harm to you and your family, the creosote they produce causes fires that burn out of control. DIY Network offers tips for cleaning and maintaining a fireplace. If you'd prefer to have a professional perform this annual task, you can locate certified chimney sweeps and learn more fireplace safety facts at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

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Benton Harbor Ski Slopes & Trails
Benton Harbor, Michigan is perfect for people who love to slip on skis and enjoy the fantastic ski resorts and trails in the region. When you buy any of the Benton Harbor homes for sale this season, you will be pleased to know that some of the best skiing in the state is less than an hour away from your front door. 

Paradise for Downhill Skiers

  • Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area - 13421 Mann St., Jones
    Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area
     is an ideal place for beginner skiers to master their skills. The runs aren't too steep, and the atmosphere is 100% family friendly. When you buy one of the Jones homes for sale this year, you are buying a home in Michigan that is not more than a few minutes away from the slopes.

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FHA Loan Pros & Cons
At Cressy & Everett Real Estate, our real estate agents are experienced in all of the many programs that help you buy a home. A variety of programs are available for first-time home buyers and prospective buyers with different needs.

Navigating these programs is not always easy, but the right expertise can help. One program that many people ask us about is the Federal Housing Administration loan (FHA).

FHA mortgage loans are intended to put homeownership within reach of first-time buyers. Even those who may have had financial difficulties in the past can succeed in securing an FHA home loan if they can meet some fairly straightforward requirements.

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St. Joseph MI Light Up the Bluff
Nestled along the "Rivera of the Midwest," and Lake Michigan, Saint Joseph is a charming small town that includes a resort atmosphere and family fun activities.

With a plethora of fun, family-friendly events and attractions throughout the year, it's no surprise that Saint Joseph homes for sale are so popular. While some may think of summer events first in Saint Joseph, one of their popular annual events is happening soon: Light up the Bluff.

Fun for the Entire Family

The Community Tree Lighting ceremony, known as Light up the Bluff, always happens the first Friday of December. This year it's December 7th and the St. Joseph High School Choir will begin signing Christmas carols at Lake Bluff Park at 6 pm. The official lighting ceremony occurs at 6:30 pm, and the mayor lights over 1 million lights.

It's an amazing experience as they shine and twinkle, and Lake Bluff Park becomes a magical winter wonderland. Not only is the tree lit up, but there are holiday-themed displays. Take your family anytime after December 7th to enjoy a walk through the park and to explore all the light displays. It's sure to put you in the Christmas spirit as you observe the lights sparkling throughout town. The displays will remain up through Valentine's Day weekend.

Kicks Off Merry & Bright Weekend

Light up the Bluff kicks off Saint Joseph's annual Merry & Bright weekend. Immediately following, gather your loved ones and enjoy the Live from the Downtown event, running from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Local stores will decorate their windows in festive displays and offer special prices so you can start your holiday shopping early in the month. On Saturday, December 8, pets and their owners dress up and walk in the 20th Annual ReinDog Holiday Parade, starting at 4 pm. Afterward, Santa Claus arrives and will stay in his house greeting children until 7 pm.

Learn More About Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph homes include access to some of the most beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan, as well as historic attractions, such as the Silver Beach Carousel and North Pier lighthouses. It also hosts local annual events like Light up the Bluff. It's a wonderful place to live and get involved with the community.

If you're contemplating buying a home in Saint Joseph, contact us, and our real estate agents will be happy to help you learn more and get you started in finding your dream home.

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