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January
26

First-time buyers can sometimes be caught off guard by closing costs. Here's how you can prep for them.

When you're shopping for a home, it's easy to focus only on the price of the house and forget about the other costs associated with buying a home. According to Business Insider, closing costs can be over $2,000 in Indiana, including taxes. To avoid showing up at closing with empty pockets, our real estate agents recommend budgeting for the following expenses when preparing to buy a home.

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January
16

Buying your first home can be stressful if you don't know what you're doing. Here are the best tips to hit the ground running.

Are you hoping a new home is in store for you in the coming year? If "buy a house" is at the top of your New Year's resolutions, you'll want to start planning for your big purchase now, especially if it's your first time buying a home. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents to help you get on track.

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December
19

Buying the right home is especially important when you're a parent. Here's what you should look out for when shopping.

Whether you already have a family or are just planning on one, it's important to keep your kids in mind when shopping for a home. Here are a few things our real estate agents recommend paying attention to if you have a family or plan on starting one someday.

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October
10

Sometimes a pending sale can fall through. Here are the top reasons why.

As either a buyer or a seller, it can be a relief to go under contract. But our real estate agents say not to count on the sale quite yet, as there are a lot of things that can cause it to go sideways. Here are a few common reasons that pending sales fall through.

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September
19

A home's age is sometimes a big factor in whether or not you want to buy it. This guide will help you decide between new or older homes.

If you're thinking about buying a house, one of the questions on your mind may be whether to opt for a new build or an older home. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The following guide from our real estate agents lays out the basics of what you need to consider before making your decision.

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August
8

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it's also easy to make some rookie mistakes. Here's how you can ensure a smooth transition with your new house.

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it's easy to get carried away and make mistakes you'll regret later. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents on the top mistakes new homeowners make when they first move in.

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June
29

South Bend offers so many possibilities for new residents. Here are the reasons you should plan a move to this Indiana city.

You have spotted South Bend on the U.S. News and World Report's list of the 150 best places to live in 2022. The list compares affordability, quality of life, and job market to find the best communities in the country to call home. So why did South Bend make the cut? Our community offers a high quality of life for the cost of living here. Here are a few things our real estate agents routinely point out to homebuyers new to our area.

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May
24

Buying a home comes with upfront costs that you'll need to save up for. Here's how to find out how much you'll need.

Saving up the money necessary to buy a house can seem overwhelming, especially if you don't know how much exactly you'll need to have on hand. Let our real estate agents break it down for you so that you have a better idea of how much you'll need to save to make your dream a reality.

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April
4

Nervous about buying your first home? Here are some pointers that can help smooth out the process.

Buying your first home may seem like a lofty or overwhelming dream, but with a little preparation, your dream home can be yours! Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for buying your first home.

  • Start saving NOW.
    Buying a home requires a fair amount of savings. Upfront costs will include things like the home inspection, closing costs, and however much of a down payment you want to make. In addition, you'll want some money set aside to take care of any move-in expenses, such as repairs or upgrades that need to be made immediately. Saving up this amount of money can take some time, so start saving now, even if you're not planning on buying a home right away. The more you save, the better your buying power will be.

  • Do your research.
    In the meantime, while you're dutifully saving all of your extra money for your house fund, you can start doing some basic groundwork. Research homes in the areas you're interested in, finding out more about neighborhoods and market values so that you know where you want to start looking when the time comes. You may also want to look into mortgage options and calculate your payments so that you also know how much house you can afford in your preferred neighborhoods.

  • Get help.
    Saving up for a down payment as a first-time homebuyer is difficult, as you won't have equity in an existing property to put toward your next home. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs to help first-time homebuyers come up with their down payments. Grants and even some forgivable loans may not need to be repaid if you stay in your home for the minimum required amount of time.

  • Get preapproved.
    When it comes time to start the search for your dream home, the first thing you should do is to get preapproved. A letter of preapproval from a lender does a few things. First and foremost, it gives you a budget and lets you know exactly how much house you are shopping for. This can help fine-tune your search and prevents you from wasting time looking at houses you wouldn't have been able to afford. Just as importantly, it'll tell everyone, from your real estate agent to home sellers, that you're serious about buying a home and that you've got the financial backing to do so. With as fast as South Bend homes for sale are going under contract right now, this is especially important, as it makes your offer look more appealing and can help you to move faster if you see a home you like.

  • Find a good agent.
    Last but definitely not least: It's especially important for a first-time homebuyer to get a good agent, someone who can help them learn the ropes and navigate the home buying process from beginning to end. Look for someone who knows your desired areas well and can help you to find the home of your dreams for a price you can afford.

Buying your first home is a big undertaking, so it's especially important to have an agent you trust to help guide you through the process. If you're ready to start the search for your first home, contact us today, and we'll help make your dream a reality.

December
21

Buying a Home Just Got More Convenient | Cressy & Everett Real Estate

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the social distancing requirements that came with it, initially created a lot of chaos and inconvenience. However, as time goes on, we've all found creative ways to adapt. Some of the changes that were born out of necessity have now made life much easier.

The real estate industry is one place where going virtual has made a real difference. Our real estate agents love how much more convenient the buying process is for their clients. Here are a few of the ways social distancing has changed things for the better.

  • Virtual Tours
    Virtual tours are the first option most buyers will explore when looking at South Bend homes for sale. These are short videos that show off the best features of homes listed on the market. While this is certainly nothing new, many buyers use them to narrow down their choices before going further.

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November
23

Condo or House - Buy a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

So, you're looking at South Bend homes for sale, and you see many different types of properties with different square footage and features. Should you buy a house? Or should you buy a condo? Each has its benefits and drawbacks. One has a pool and is close to downtown. The other has a fenced-in yard and is in the suburbs. Since homeownership and condo living are two different experiences, what you decide to buy will come down to your needs, preferences, and overall financial picture.

How Are Condos and Houses Different?

A condominium is a private residential unit within a larger building or complex. Condos are more like apartments, so they're a denser form of housing. Condo owners have full control over what happens inside their home, but the exterior of the building and common areas are owned and maintained by a condo board or homeowners association (HOA). Condos are usually found in more urban areas and are very popular with investors, downsizers, and first-time buyers.

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September
8

Waterfront Living - Buy a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Waterfront living is one of the most desirable features of properties around the world. Many men and women are simply draw to the waterside, opting to lay down roots or purchase a second home with a waterfront setting. In fact, our real estate agents have noticed that many South Bend homes for sale buyers and sellers are often interested in exploring waterfront property opportunities around Lake Michigan in places like St. Joseph, Michigan. If you're wondering if waterfront living is right for you, here are a few reasons why homeowners love living by the water.

  • The Pros Usually Far Outweigh the Cons
    No matter who you ask, it's likely that they'll always end any complaint for living by the water with more reasons why they love the location despite any relevant problems. Waterfront property is one of the most desirable property types, whether it's oceanside or lakeside. Even if some properties require certain maintenance chores or small lifestyle changes, many homeowners continue to claim that nothing beats waterfront living.

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July
20

Buy Home Sight Unseen - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

When the market heats up and the competition is crazy, potential buyers are sometimes tempted to make a sight-unseen offer. That means making an offer without viewing the property in person. Sight unseen offers are common in this era of online shopping and advanced technology. And with the global COVID-19 pandemic keeping more Americans physically distant, homebuyers are more willing to put an offer on a home without physically seeing the property.

However, putting in an offer sight unseen can be risky. If you're considering this approach, do your homework and let our real estate agents help on the ground so you can make your offer safely, smartly, and without any hesitation. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Know What You Want
    Some homebuyers have an ambiguous idea of what they want in a home and tend to rely on that gut reaction when they walk into a home. Unfortunately, for buyers shopping sight unseen, this isn't an option. You need to have a clear picture of what you want in your dream house. This includes things like the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, floorplan, type of windows, and how close you want to be to amenities. Have a list of must-haves and deal-breakers to help guide your search.

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July
6

Swimming Pool - Buy a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

A pool is a fantastic amenity and a prominent feature that many homebuyers desire. However, like any other special feature of the home, a pool requires proper maintenance and upkeep — which is one reason why some homebuyers would rather not make an offer on such a listing. Our real estate agents are here to help you determine if a pool is right for your next home.

Should You Purchase a Home With a Swimming Pool?

As you search for South Bend homes for sale, is a pool high on your must-have list? Believe it or not, some homebuyers don't even consider if they want or need a pool before they begin their home search. This uncertainty can present added stress when you're on the fence about making an offer on what may be your dream home. Let's look at some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of purchasing a home with a pool.

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February
24

Overcome the Odds - Buy First Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Buying a home for the first time can be a challenge. At Cressy & Everett Real Estate, our real estate agents are always there to advise you. That means not only finding you the best South Bend homes for sale, but helping you make the right choices every step of the way.

Buying a home may seem intimidating at first, but there's good news. Many buyers simply jump into the process with both feet. If it throws them a curveball, they often end up having to walk away from the home they want. By spending some time researching – like you're doing right now – you are much more likely to succeed.

Your real estate agent is there to guide you, but in the end, you make all the decisions. So, the more you know about buying a property, the easier it'll be. A little knowledge goes a long way! Here's how to beat the odds as a first-time homebuyer.

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November
11

Buy a Condo - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're tired of paying rent but would like to pay a bit less than a typical single-family home costs, buying a condo in Saint Joseph, MI can offer the best of both worlds for some buyers. You'll own your unit and will build equity, but outside maintenance will be taken care of. In addition, prices for condos tend to be less than those for single-family homes.

Our real estate agents suggest the following five things to look for if you're thinking about buying a condo:

  1. What amenities are available?
    One advantage of condo living is that you may be able to enjoy amenities that many homeowners don't have. St. Joseph has some high-end condos with water views, so you may be able to have some impressive extras that might not have fit into your budget otherwise. You may also have access to other amenities such as a pool, tennis court, greenspace or fitness center. And if you like to socialize, look for a community that hosts events for its residents at the property's clubhouse.

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October
28

Bridge Loans - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

There may be a point when you're faced with a sudden transition and have to purchase a new property even before you sell your old one. In this scenario, you might wonder if you should apply for a bridge loan to span the gap between the sale and purchase. Our real estate agents explain how bridge loans can ease the transition from one house to another.

What Are Bridge Loans?

Also known as "gap financing," bridge loans are temporary loans used in residential and commercial real estate. They provide a lifeline for buyers who are eager to buy a new home before they've sold their current one. Unless you have enough cash for the down payment, it can be hard to qualify for a loan to finance a new home while you're still saddled with mortgage payments on your current home.

With a bridge loan, you'll use the loan amount as the down payment for your new home, which makes the process go more smoothly. And like home equity loans, HELOCs, and mortgages, your current home will serve as collateral. You can then move into your new home and start focusing on selling the old one.

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September
9

Multi-Generational Living - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

When you're looking to buy a home, there are plenty of things to think about. Not the least of which is whether or not you want a home that can accommodate your parents, grandparents, or even your kids years down the road if necessary. We always hope that our elders and children live long, healthy lives, but there are times where they need help from family members.

Our real estate agents understand the challenges to multi-generational homebuyers, so we've put together these five tips for buying with a multi-generational focus.

  1. Why Consider Multi-Generational Living?
    You never really know what's waiting around the corner, but keeping a close eye on what's happening currently with both your family, as well as economic conditions, can help you buy now for later.

    Multi-generational homes have been around for decades, but the market crash of 2008 made them a mainstay in the housing industry. As the housing market plummeted, more and more families were forced into single homes. Parents moved in with children, grandparents moved in with grandchildren, and children moved in with both.

    All of that to say, know what you may be in for based on your family's dynamics.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
12

Investment Property - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

While some people buy homes as investment property to supplement their income, others are making it their sole source of income. Additionally, income-earning home purchases are taking on different forms as homebuyers are becoming more creative with exactly how they use their new digs to gain wealth.

With so many competitive South Bend homes for sale, there's no doubt that there's an income-earning home just waiting to be purchased, but when should you consider an income-earning home or investment property? Let's take a look.

  • Rental Property
    Rental property is probably the number-one way buyers are getting into income-earning homes. In relatively high turnover areas such as large cities and areas near colleges, rental property can be a wise long-term investment for the savvy investment property owner.

    Unfortunately, many rental property investors initially forget the fact that with rental property comes a number of issues, including finding renters, upkeep, maintenance, and making sure bills are paid, all while realizing an income. If you're looking to purchase strictly for rental property, make sure you establish a business entity and speak with your CPA or financial advisor first.

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May
13

 

Home Inspection Issues-Cressy & Everett Real Estate

When buying a home, the seller should disclose any problems or information that would otherwise make you reconsider purchasing their home. But sometimes these things are only revealed after a home inspection.

Don't let a home inspection discourage you entirely from purchasing a home, though. Our real estate agents have been on both ends of home inspection issues and have a few tips and tricks for helping you work through them with the seller.

  • Get It in Writing
    Before you get too far, make sure that your contract has provisions for what happens if something goes awry during the home inspection. In most cases, basic contracts have wording that allows you as the buyer to request or schedule a home inspection within a number of days from the contract being signed. 

    Unfortunately, that's where most of it ends and there is very little detail outlining what happens or who is responsible for repairs if something is found to be unsatisfactory. At this point, it's up to you to negotiate with the seller to find a fair and equitable solution, or, better yet, leave this part to your real estate agent to negotiate on your behalf.

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February
18

Buy a Home this Winter

What's on your winter checklist? Winterize your vehicle? Get the kids new snow boots?

Buy a home?

Believe it or not, the winter season is actually a great time to purchase a home in the Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan real estate area (a.k.a Michiana). Most prospective homebuyers are surprised when our real estate agents inform them about the many advantages of purchasing a home during these snowy months. Our team at Cressy & Everett Real Estate, feel that all future homebuyers should be aware of the perks that come with viewing and putting an offer on a home during this time of the year.

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January
28

Buying a Home - Read This Before You Apply for a Mortgage

Our real estate agents often hear from our new clients that the process of getting a mortgage is intimidating. That's understandable!

Having an experienced real estate agent on your side does a lot to make applying for a home mortgage manageable.

Even so, it's important to know a few things about the process. Once you learn more, you'll see exactly what you need to do to make things easier.

That can be just what it takes to make your worries evaporate. The truth is, most people learn getting a mortgage is quite a bit easier than they imagined. It just takes some preparation.

These four steps will make it easier:

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December
10

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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November
26

Commuting & Home Buying

Before you finalize your list of new home must-haves, be sure you consider your commute time and travel costs. If you plan to buy a home in Saint Joseph, Michigan and work here too, it shouldn't be much of an issue. When the census documented local workers' travel time, they calculated an average 14.7 minute commute time. That's far less than the national average.

Our real estate agents understand the attraction of moving your family to a small town or suburb. Smaller communities have a lot to offer, but before you make a move, consider the pros and cons of an extended daily commute.

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November
12

Buy Home Holidays
The holiday season is a great time for decking the halls, spending time with family and friends and… house shopping? Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fall and winter festivities, you may want to consider adding a new home to your holiday shopping list. Our real estate agents share some reasons why it's the perfect time of year to buy a home.

  1. Less Competition
    Most people take time away from house-hunting in late November and December to enjoy the holidays, which creates a perfect low-stress opportunity for home buying. Inventory is typically lower this time of year, allowing you to compare homes without feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices. When you find your dream home, the seller is more likely to accept your offer. There's also less of a chance you'll end up in the middle of a stressful bidding war.

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October
22

Home Buying Fees
When you're looking at South Bend homes for sale, it's important to pay attention to your budget. Unfortunately, many people don't think about the additional fees you'll encounter when buying a home. The exact amount of money you'll need can vary significantly. Even though you may not have a firm number until you are going through the closing process, there will be extra expenses, so you need to be prepared. Don't let any of these fees catch you by surprise.

Before You Buy a House Know What You Could Be Paying

  • Home Inspections. Most people know about the general home inspection, but depending on the property, the results of the general inspection, and local ordinances, additional inspections may be required.
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October
15

Buying a House - Closing Day
Finding that one amazing home you love is exciting! Your offer was accepted, but it's not officially yours quite yet. Closing is the last part of the process and that's when the property officially changes ownership. Our REALTORS® are here to make your home-buying easier with these six must-dos before closing day.

  1. Make sure contingencies are completed
    The sale isn't finalized until all of the contingencies are handled. In most cases that includes the financing, the inspection, and the appraisal. These are all important because if the financing falls through, the inspection turns up major problems, or the appraisal comes in at less than the purchase price, you have the right to back out of the sale.
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October
1

South Bend Restaurants
People often ask our real estate agents about the features that make a city or neighborhood a wonderful place to live. Home buyers want to make sure there are plenty of things to do around town to keep busy and enrich their lives. One thing that stands out about downtown South Bend is the wide variety of quality dining options. You'll want to try them all! 

About the South Bend Downtown Dining Association

The Downtown Dining Association is dedicated to ensuring the residents of South Bend and the surrounding communities have plenty of options to satisfy their hunger. They help promote locally owned and operated restaurants that serve fresh made seasonal food. So the money you spend at their downtown member restaurants stays in the community and benefits the local economy.

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August
27

Move to a New country
If you're moving to another country, you have a few exciting challenges ahead. Relocating an ocean away is far more complicated than moving to another neighborhood. You have a lot of decisions ahead, and you'll need international contacts to assist you. 

Cressy and Everett Real Estate is a member Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a by-invitation-only network of the world's market-leading independent residential brokerages in over 70 countries, which means you have access to a network of world-class connections across the globe ready to help you make your move.

Our real estate agents have compiled a list of basics to consider as you plan your move to a different country.

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August
6

Buying a House in Nappanee
Nappanee, Indiana regularly ranks as one of the best small towns in the state to call home, and every new resident finds reasons to love the community. Nappanee's excellent school district, outdoor attractions, unique history, and tight-knit community make it an especially popular choice for families. Are you buying your next home in Nappanee? Our real estate agents are here to help you get to know Nappanee and provide a preview of what you have to look forward to in your new hometown.

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July
9

Buy Your Dream Home
We spend a lot of time talking about the steps you can take to identify your dream home, and for good reason. Finding the perfect home takes work. But what do you do when you've done the prep work, and identified a dream home that matches your budget? Our real estate agents know what it takes to make your homeownership dreams come true. We've put together a guide for what to do next when you have found your dream home.

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June
25

Buy First Home
Buying a home for the first time is a big deal, but that definitely doesn't mean that you have to get a bad deal. Studies show that first-time home buyers are more likely to overpay than more experienced buyers, and that is largely due to a lack of experience. The good news is that there are plenty of effective ways to prepare for buying your first home and avoid getting overwhelmed by the process. Our real estate agents are here to help, with a guide on how not to overpay when buying your first home. 

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May
29

Buy Your First Home
To rent, or to buy? Homeownership is a huge part of the American Dream for many people, but buying a home for the first time is also a big decision both financially and personally. Choosing the right time to switch from renting to buying can make life much easier, and there are plenty of good signs that can help you decide whether now is the time to buy a home of your own. Just as with the decision to buy a home, the signs that you're ready to buy are both financial and personal. Our real estate agents have five key signs that you're ready to stop renting and buy a home.

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April
23

Write a Winning Purchase Offer
You've found the home of your dreams, and now you're ready to put together an offer to make it your own. The challenge? If you fell in love with the home, someone else might have too, and you'll likely have competition when making your offer. Fortunately, there's plenty that you can do to make your offer stand out from the pack, and land your target home. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on how to make the seller an offer that they can't refuse. 

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February
20

Cressy Home Buying Plan
When it comes to important life events, buying a home ranks at the top. Whether your family is growing, you want to move closer to a job, or the timing is simply right, buying real estate is a process that will be much easier if you are organized and have a plan. Having the right professionals by your side is key, and our REALTORS® are available to assist you. 

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February
13

Benton Harbor 12 Corners Vineyards
Nestled on the peaceful shoreline of Lake Michigan, Benton Harbor, Michigan is arguably best known as a quiet summertime getaway on the great lakes. But there is plenty to see and do here during any season, as our team of Cressy & Everett real estate agents will tell you. Wintertime is no exception, and a great event is right around the corner – 12C Jazz and Wine at 12 Corners Vineyards.

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February
6

FHA Loans
FHA Loans: Why Home Buyers Should Know 

For all its rewards, the process of buying a home can certainly present its share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is often securing a home loan. If you're a first-time home buyer, have less-than-perfect credit, or haven't been able to save up the recommended 20 percent down payment, our Cressy & Everett REALTORS® want you to know that you still have options.

For many home buyers, an FHA loan is one of the best among those options. It's one of the easiest types of home loans to qualify for, and while you should still not take out a loan without fully thinking out your options, it might be just the opportunity you need to make your dream of homeownership a reality.

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January
22

Find the Right Neighborhood
Are you shopping for a home? Then you're shopping for a neighborhood, too! Finding the right neighborhood to call home is one of the biggest keys to finding a house you'll love long-term. By understanding what to look for in a neighborhood and how to narrow your options, you'll be ready to find the neighborhood of your dreams. Our REALTORS® are here to help, with a guide to picking the right neighborhood for your next home.

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January
16

Pre-approval is your first step to buying a house
When you commit to the idea of buying a new home, you'll probably want to jump right into it. You'll want to search online listings, check open house schedules and track For Sale signs in your neighborhood of choice. These activities will play an important role in buying a house, but it's important to obtain a mortgage pre-approval as your first step. 

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December
7

Elkhart Indiana Wellfield Botanic Gardens
If you're a serious home buyer, it makes sense to continue your search through the holiday season. Open houses are less crowded. REALTORS® have more time and mortgage companies are a bit more flexible. If you're considering buying one of our Elkhart homes for sale, you'll find an attractive assortment of homes and you can mix your home-shopping with local holiday fun.  

The holidays are also a great time to get to know Elkhart residents and community traditions. There are plenty of local holiday events. But if you have time for only one, visit Wellfield Botanic Gardens Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights 2017 presented by Welch Packaging. It's a "must-see" local Elkhart holiday event. 

Our REALTORS® live and work in Elkhart. Like many residents, we enjoy the Wellfield Botanical Gardens year round. It's a wonderful place to experience nature at its most beautiful. The gardens are even more special during the holidays when beautiful lights and music transform them into a true winter wonderland.

Elkhart Wellfield Botanic Garden Holiday Lights

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November
21

Pay your home loan early

A home mortgage is a commitment that affects your financial picture for a good portion of your life. It's a big ambition, but paying off your home mortgage even a little bit early can save you thousands of dollars over time. Our real estate agents have put together this list of ways to pay your home off early.  

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November
7

Senior Homeownership
After working and saving for decades, homeowners who are ready to retire are faced with one big decision. Should I stay or should I go? Whether you're ready to retire now or are simply planning for the future, it's a great idea to consider where you'd like to spend your retirement. Would you prefer to stay in the place where you have lived for many years, or move somewhere else to maximize your enjoyment of retirement? Our real estate agents are here to help you decide on the best place to spend your retirement.  

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October
23

Niles, Michigan Fernwood Garden
Nestled in the scenic St. Joseph River Valley, Niles, Michigan is a beautiful place in any season. But it really comes to life in fall, and nowhere are the colors of the season more vividly on display at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve.

A private, non-profit institution that focuses on preserving and displaying the best of Michigan's native flora, Fernwood Botanical Garden is ripe for exploration. Our real estate agents in Niles can help you learn more about all the great outdoor things to do in Niles when you move to our community.

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October
16

Home Buying Secrets That Will Turn You into a Real Estate Maven

Buying a house is one of the biggest—and hopefully one of the best—investments you will ever make. That being said it can be nerve wracking, especially if it's your first home. Our real estate agents want to help you make the best and most informed decision possible which is why we're offering share some of their favorite tips that will help take the mystery out of buying a house.

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October
10

Elkhart County Heritage Trail - Autumn

The temperature is dropping, the days are getting shorter, and the air is cool, crisp, and refreshing. With the pleasant, beautiful days of fall here in Northern Indiana, now is the time to start planning your autumn adventures in Northern Indiana. If you're looking for a fun way to spend the day, a chance to discover Indiana real estate, or an easy way to explore all of the great communities in our area, then try traveling the Heritage Trail.

Elkhart County Amish Country

The Heritage Trail winds its way through Amish Country and passes through a host of other wonderful towns in Elkhart County, with plenty of great stops for food and fun along the way. Our Cressy & Everett real estate agents are here to tell you all about the Heritage Trail.

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October
4

South Bend Leaf Peeping
Fall has arrived in South Bend, Indiana bringing with it an annual celebration of color. Leaves are changing and the colors are often breathtaking. As trees transition to their most colorful seasonal palette, residents with South Bend homes can enjoy the art of leaf-peeping. 

Gold, red, and orange foliage lines South Bend streets and walkways with hypnotic color. Its beauty worth sharing, so Cressy & Everett real estate agents want to give you a heads-up on where you can find some of the best leaf-peeping in South Bend, Indiana.

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September
19

Baroda Michigan Dablon Vineyards
The beautiful sights, sounds, and flavors of Baroda, MI are on full display at one of our area's most popular wineries. Dablon Winery and Vineyards opened in Baroda in 2009, and has quickly become a staple of the local winery scene. The property is gorgeous, the wine is delicious, and the atmosphere is fantastic. Every detail of the wine-making process, from planting grapes to pouring a glass, is handled with care by the friendly, knowledgeable staff on-site. Our Cressy & Everett real estate agents love getting out to experience the community, and we're excited to introduce you to this one-of-a-kind Baroda winery.

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September
11

Big City vs. Suburban Living - We'll Help You Decide
The hustle, bustle, and bright lights of the city or the quiet comfort of the suburbs? It's the eternal question for many people when buying a house, and the answer depends on a number of important factors. Your personal preference, financial picture, family status, desired home, and your idea of the ideal community will all factor into the equation. Our real estate agents love helping shoppers decide on the right location for their home, so let's take a closer look at the differences between suburban and big-city living.

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September
4

Saint Joseph Beach
When people think of the best beaches in the US, Michigan does not typically top the list. There are more famous beaches in Florida or California – but Michigan's hidden gems are just as beautiful and far more inviting for the average visitor.

No matter whether you're dropping by from a nearby state or searching for Saint Joseph homes for sale, it's important to know you have plenty of recreation options available to you. Silver Beach, just minutes from the center of downtown Saint Joseph, is a place you'll visit again and again. 

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August
21

1st Year Homeowners
Homeownership gives you a new sense of freedom. You'll have no landlord to chastise you about pets or children and no complaining neighbors down the hall. You can control your own heat and change your locks. If you're inspired to make big changes, you can tear down your walls and transform your home into an open-plan configuration.

Our real estate agents understand that homeownership comes with big choices and bigger responsibilities. These six must-do recommendations can guide you as you learn to cope with your new responsibilities.

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August
18

Baroda MI Round Barn
Ever wish you could spend an evening at a special place close to home with fantastic food, locally crafted drinks, and fun activities for every member of the family? The Round Barn Winery, Distillery, and Brewery brings a taste of wine country to our corner of Michigan, and it is truly a unique place to visit no matter the season. From the unique, historic location to a full menu of spirits crafted by passionate, local experts, the Round Barn Winery delivers a unique experience that leaves you looking forward to your next visit. Learn more about the Round Barn Winery from our Cressy and Everett real estate agents.

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August
8

An Inspiration for the Benton Harbor Community

Benton Harbor Arts District
Benton Harbor is a gem of Southwestern Michigan for so many reasons, but did you know a vibrant arts community is one of them? The Benton Harbor Arts District is s year-round destination for a mix of art, music, dance, theater, dining and family-friendly events.

Located in downtown Benton Harbor, Michigan on and around the intersection of Water Street and Territorial Road, the Arts District's shops, restaurants and art galleries serve as "the place" to connect with family, friends, and neighbors in the community.

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July
10

Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid
Buying a house is a major decision. Your first real estate purchase will be the biggest investment you've ever made, and it will stick with you for years to come, in the form of principal payments, interest charges, and other fees. That is s why it's so important to slip out of your wide-eyed newbie mode, and develop some strategies and skills that have served countless home buyers before you. Instead of buying a house blindly, make sure you are aware of these common mortgage mistakes, and how you can avoid falling into the same pricey trap.

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June
26

4 Tips for Finding the Right Neighborhood to Buy a Home

Finding an Elkhart neighborhood

One of the biggest secrets to finding the right home is that the neighborhood you choose is often nearly as important as the home itself. The good news is that finding the right neighborhood is actually very similar to finding the right home. It all comes down to understanding what you want, and then doing the research to see which locations best fit your needs.

So, how do you get started? Our REALTORS® in Elkhart are here to help with proven, time-tested tips for finding the right Elkhart neighborhood to call your own.

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June
14

Are You Financially Prepared to Buy Your First Home?

Being Financially Prepared to Buy

Buying your first home is one of the most exciting--and stressful--events in your life. It may be the biggest purchase you ever make, so you want to choose wisely and pick a house you can afford. To make this happen, arm yourself with the right information before you start your house hunt can ultimately help you buy with confidence.

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June
12

We've recently launched our latest marketing tool, the Cressy & Everett Video Library. So, what's that mean for you? You now have access to over 200+ short, informative videos for buyers, sellers, and current homeowners!

Where do you find it?

How can you use it?

  • Share a link to the video -- perfect for passing along tips and information to your family or friends via email, text, or social media!  

Curious about buying vs. renting? How should you prepare you home before putting it on the market? Thinking about a remodel? We have a video that will help you with hiring a reliable contractor for the job.  In fact, with over 200 videos in our library, you're sure to find one on the topic you're looking for.

As always -- our team of Realtors here at Cressy & Everett are available to help answer any of your questions when buying or selling your home. Contact us, today!

May
30

Buying a Home Seller's Market
A seller's market is great news if you're listing a home, but it can be significantly more frustrating when you're on the other side of the transaction. The good news is that while there are added challenges to shopping in a seller's market, you can absolutely still find a home you will love for a price that fits within your budget. No matter what type of market you're shopping in, your planning, preparation, and discipline are ultimately what will lead you to the right fit. To succeed when buying a house in a seller's market, it helps to add a healthy dose of adaptability to the equation.

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