Birdwatchers are known for maintaining a "life list" of birds they see. If you're a novice birdwatcher, you'll want to begin keeping your own life list, most likely starting with backyard birds — after you settle into your home of choice among South Bend homes for sale or other homes in nearby Berrien County. You may want to try feeding birds (seed, suet, and fresh water will attract many species) so you can learn common backyard birds. An app like the one the Audubon Society offers can help you with identification.
Next, explore some nearby birding hotspots in Berrien County.
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.
If your home will soon be listed among South Bend homes for sale, you've probably already been busy updating its interior to make it appealing to home buyers. While making the interior of your home shine is certainly essential, your home's exterior needs some attention too, and overlooking it can be an expensive mistake. Getting your home sold quickly and at the right price means presenting a complete package to potential buyers, a home that is attractive and functional inside and out. So what can you do to make your home's exterior more appealing to buyers? Here are the 5 exterior features buyers want:
Student loan debt is a growing problem, and for many Americans thinking about buying their first home, the weight of that debt can be crushing. We believe that owning a home should be possible for anyone, and our real estate agents are here to help.
According to a recent report by Forbes, student loan debt is at an all-time high in 2019, with 44.7 million U.S. borrowers collectively owing $1.56 trillion in student loan debt. If you're one of them, that debt can feel like an impenetrable barrier between you and your dream of becoming a homeowner. Here's why it's not.
Student debt is especially a problem for first-time home buyers, who tend to be younger and less experienced. Many student debt holders cite their debt as a major reason for putting off buying a home, despite today's historically low mortgage rates and the variety of low to no down payment mortgage options available.
Are you buying or selling a home? This is one of the most important transactions you'll ever make, and you already know you need a professional to guide you through the process. But what are your options for real estate agents, and what are the differences between them? Real estate brokers, agents, and REALTORS® are all property pros who can help buyers and sellers, but they have different qualifications and responsibilities. Whether you're buying your first home or turning over yet another investment property, it's never too late to brush up on their backgrounds and understand the distinctions between your professional options. Instead of using these terms interchangeably, make sure you know what each word means.
So, what's the difference between real estate agents, real estate brokers, and REALTORS®? At Cressy & Everett Real Estate, our real estate agents and REALTORS® are committed to representing every client with compassion and transparency. We want you to be as informed and empowered as possible, so here's our breakdown of the roles that each of us play.
Like so many homeownership issues, your decision to downsize your home is very personal. Downsizing means moving away from a neighborhood where you've created years of memories. The emotional disruption can be a challenge, but the financial benefits will likely outweigh the emotional costs.
Our real estate agents have helped many homeowners through transitional phases in their lives. Ultimately, the decision to move or not to move is yours to make. When you're ready, agents at our offices throughout Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan will be there to assist you. In the meantime, here are 5 Signs It Might Be Time to Downsize Your Home.
Are you ready to paint the town green for St. Patrick's Day 2018 in South Bend? While our city loves to celebrate all of the holidays throughout the year, St. Patrick's day always holds a special place in the hearts of South Bend residents. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly event where the kids can have a blast, or a day of drinks, dancing, and celebration with friends, you'll find it close to home in South Bend. Our Cressy & Everett real estate agents are ready to celebrate, and we've got the details on 6 great places to spend St. Patrick's Day in South Bend.
The countdown to Spring 2018 is officially on! While you're dreaming of lazy days spent enjoying warmer weather, there are things you can do now to start getting your home ready. Spring is a time of growth and rebirth, making it a perfect time to freshen up your home--both inside and out. This is especially important if you're getting ready to sell your home this spring.
Here are a few things you can do this weekend to start getting your home ready for spring.
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.
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.
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.
South Bend loves sports, so it's no surprise that the Super Bowl is always one of the best events of the year in the city. Whether you're busy shopping for South Bend homes for sale or simply passing through for a visit, there are a ton of great places in the city to catch the big game in style. Enjoy great food, cold drinks, and plenty of new friends on Super Bowl Sunday. Our real estate agents have all the details on catching the Super Bowl in South Bend.
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.
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.
When you move to a new community, there is a certain excitement that can be found in discovering a new restaurant, strolling through an art gallery, and cheering on the home team. When you visit our city to tour South Bend homes for sale, you'll find plenty of dining, entertainment, art, and culture choices to enjoy with someone special
Our real estate agents live, work, and play in the local area. We invite you to stay in town after the sun goes down. To guide your date night adventure, we've created a list of 10 Things to Do in South Bend on Date Night.
Are you preparing to sell your house, and looking to maximize your return? There are so many things, big and small, that you can do to make sure you're getting the best possible sale price for your home. Knowing what buyers want is half the battle, and being prepared to put in some work is what will get you across the finish line. Our REALTORS® are here to help, with a guide to maximizing your return when selling your house.
Are you ready to sell your home, but waiting out the winter before you decide to put it on the market? You may have heard that winter isn't the best time to sell a home, but there are actually some significant advantages to putting your home on the market during the cold-weather months. Some of the most committed buyers on the market will still be shopping hard during the winter, and a slightly slower market gives your home a better chance to stand out from the pack. Still need convincing? Our REALTORS® have five reasons why winter can be a great time to sell your house.
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.
There's no place like home for the holidays and the Saint Joseph is preparing a holiday schedule stacked full of holiday events. Whether you're shopping for great gifts, taking in spectacular scenery or spending quality time with the kids, Saint Joseph is the place to be for the holidays. Our real estate agents are already hard at work getting ready for the holidays, and we've got all the details on holiday events throughout the Saint Joseph, MI area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Changing leaves, a fresh crispness in the air—all the signs are here. Colder weather is on its way, and it's important to make sure your house is ready for it. Our real estate agents want to help make sure that autumn weather won't damage your house. This fall home maintenance checklist will ensure that you're prepared for the chilly months ahead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clutter comes in many forms but with one common characteristic, all clutter slowly builds up over time, eventually obstructing what's really important. For clutter that invades your home, our agents at Cressy & Everett Real Estate have some great tips on getting your home ready to list by decluttering.
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.
Home safety makes your house a refuge for you to enjoy. When people are at home, they want to feel completely at peace within a space that's uniquely theirs. Unfortunately, there can be unseen dangers that follow you even here.
Over the past several years, Americans have become much more alert to issues such as lifestyle and health. However, people still struggle with a number of "invisible dangers" that can be life-threatening despite our best efforts. Many of these are found right in your home.
There's a movement spreading from one Main Street to the next across American communities: Buy Local. It teaches a community's residents about the benefits of buying from locally, independently-owned businesses. By supporting Saint Joseph's locally-owned and operated businesses, you can have a dramatic effect on Saint Joseph's local economy and help to preserve the character and spirit of our Southwest Michigan community.
Saint Joseph--better known as the Riviera of the Midwest—has almost anything you could ask for. Our agents from Cressy & Everett Real Estate live and work in the community and know the area well. We value the beautiful homes in Saint Joseph, Michigan and appreciate the downtown area's impressive walkability.
If you're an architecture aficionado in South Bend, Indiana, you're in luck. While the Windy City gets all the glory for its architecture tours, you don't have to drive all the way to Chicago to experience Art Deco office buildings from the 1920's or Classical Revival hotels from the 1890's. Right here in South Bend, we have more than 20 well-preserved buildings that show off the best of American and European architectural styles from the past 130 years. And on the first Friday of every month, a local history expert leads a downtown walking tour that highlights them.
"Then & Now: A Downtown South Bend Architecture Walking Tour" leaves at 5:30 from the American Trust Co. clock, and its route varies according to the season. Whether you're a history buff, an art student, or just a South Bend resident who's curious about the city you call home, this monthly walking tour is a great opportunity to learn more about our historic downtown area.
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.
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.
When temperatures start soaring in the Midwest, something else tends to increase too: the number at the bottom of local energy bills. Keeping your home cool and comfortable all summer can be very energy-intensive, especially during heat waves drought-filled days. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy warns that summer AC costs, like wintertime heating costs, could make up as much as 45 percent of your total monthly utility costs. But did you know that some of these increases aren't actually inevitable?
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.
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?
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!
Goshen, Indiana easily has one of the most thriving downtown communities for a city of its size--nearly 32,000 residents--sporting an eclectic cultural scene, beautiful historic architecture and intriguing places to eat and shop. As our town motto says, "Everything comes together in Goshen"... or more precisely, everybody.
Considering a home in South Bend? South Bend features eight distinctive historic districts for you to choose from. Each one has its own special style and great features to entice you. Let's look at them now and get familiar with all South Bend has to offer:
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.
If you're about to put your home on the market and hoping for a quick and lucrative sale, you may be tempted to tackle the project yourself. Eliminating the skills and expenses of a real estate agent can save you a somewhat pricey sales commission, which puts extra money in your pocket. If that sounds too good to be true, it's because it is.
Get to Know Angie Bryan, Elkhart Office
Angie Bryan grew up in Kosciusko County, and has lived most of her adult life in Elkhart County. She has been an independent contractor for the past 20 years, having owned and operated a home-based medical transcription business. Angie's favorite things to do include traveling and spending time with friends and family.
"I pledge to serve my clients with excellence, professionalism, diligence, and honesty; to continually seek to better represent my clients and customers by building my knowledge and competence, and to serve my community well by providing support and guidance to help buyers and sellers achieve their goals" stated Angie.
Find out more about Angie and her services, or simply start your home search by visiting her website.
South Bend, IN - April 13, 2017 - REAL Trends 500 report ranks Cressy & Everett Real Estate as the #249 largest brokerage nationally among all brokers based on closed transactions for 2016. The company is also ranked #1 in sales volume throughout the Michiana region.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for our company and particularly for our Realtors. It is through their tireless efforts serving buyers and sellers that 3100 transactions successfully came together. More than a number, the achievement reminds us of all the families we helped find their next home. " said John De Souza, President.
About REAL Trends 500
The REAL Trends 500 is an annual research report that identifies the country's largest and most successful residential firms as ranked by closed transaction sides and by closed sales volume. This report represents the most trusted standard of measuring the performance of the nation's leading realty service firms.
Get to Know Syndy Bolser, Edwardsburg Office
Bolser studied at Indiana University and belongs to a huge family! She has 5 children of her own, and with 11 siblings, her parents have a total of 36 grandkids! She enjoys the hub-bub and chaos that comes with such a large group. According to Syndy, nothing beats the sound of all the happy chatter and laughter!
"I strive every day to provide the public with the most current, personal, knowledgeable, professional, and efficient real estate services available" states Syndy. "I offer the experience and knowledge it takes to negotiate and facilitate your real estate sales. I talk to new buyers and sellers every day. Call me for any of your real estate needs!"
Find out more about Syndy and her services, or simply start your home search by visiting her website.
Get to Know Krista Corey, Edwardsburg Office
Krista is currently a member of Volinia Baptist Church. She has attended this church her entire life, and now her children are also. She is one of the leaders of the New Kidz on the Block 4H Club, and has been doing 4H her whole life. Krista loves photography also and made it a part-time business!
My vision is to help someone find their place they can call home", stated Krista. "I want to help sellers & buyers by giving them the best I can be professionally."
Find out more about Krista and her services, or simply start your home search by visiting her website.
Life in Downtown South Bend, Indiana is anything but average. Every morning you'll find a world-class city waiting outside your front door where history, entertainment and outdoor fun meet to create an active, engaging lifestyle. The diverse population of South Bend's downtown includes retirees, college students, families, young professionals and everyone in between. South Bend is the sort of city where every new resident is welcomed as a member of the community. Once you experience Downtown South Bend, it's hard to imagine living anywhere else.
SOUTH BEND, IN – March 1, 2017 – Cressy & Everett Real Estate has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of more than 550 high quality independent real estate firms in over 60 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.
Cressy & Everett's website, cressyeverett.com, received high marks in a variety of critical areas relating to website performance, including usability, design, content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to review the websites of participating members.
The specific measurements for the WQC are updated each year to reflect the most current online marketing strategies, as well as evolving consumer preferences. Companies must be re-certified every two years to maintain the certification.
"The 150 companies that earned the WQC this year have created websites that engage consumers with thoughtful design, rich local content and up-to-date information on homes in the local market and around the world. We are pleased to recognize them for giving consumers a superior online experience and supporting that with exceptional customer support," said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Pam O'Connor.
"Our website is important to our brand, but more importantly to our customers who count on the accuracy and easy of use to find their dream home." said Sherri Reiner, Director or Marketing for Cressy & Everett Real Estate. "We have our finger on the pulse on a daily basis, and constantly look for ways to bring value to home buyers, such as 3d Walkthroughs, YouTube Videos community and school stats and of course...great photos. We have a special feature called My Home Finder which emails the consumer, instantly, when a new listing hits the website. In today's fast selling market, this speed to buyers inbox is crucial. We take pride in showing every home listed by any company on our site and make sure it's updated from the MLS every 15 minutes. There are several moving parts to the site to keep homes updated that quickly, but we know what buyers want, and our sellers appreciate the speed to market."
As a member of LeadingRE, Cressy & Everett Real Estate provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in any market.
As a real estate company, not everything we do is about houses. We're about community and supporting organizations that make our communities better. One corporate partnership we're proud of is with the South Bend Cubs. As a first year ball club, the inaugural and record breaking season in 2015 was not only promising, but over the top. Now in 2016, records are still being broken and we're happy to be a part of it. If you're interested in seeing a game, contact us for tickets.
1st Time Home Buyers Seminar
What is a Home Buyer Seminar?
Our 1st Time Home Buyer Seminar covers some of the issues that concern us most when making one of the biggest decisions of our lives.
Who Should Attend?
If you would like answers to any of these questions, others you might have, then come to our 1st Time Home Buyers Seminar. I'll walk you through the process of buying your first home and help you know how to navigate your way through so that it is an easy and enjoyable experience.
Also, we'll also be bringing in Michael Grove with Ruoff Mortgage to talk with us about the lending side of buying a home as well.
When and Where?
Reserve your seat here!!
Steve Deane, president of Cressy & Everett Real Estate, and Sue Cox, Vice President of Sales are pleased to announce that Scott Hammontree has accepted the position of Managing Broker of the Elkhart office located at 945 E. Beardsley, Elkhart, IN effective August 1, 2013.
"Scott's previous career as a business owner serving the RV industry in Elkhart gave him the management and leadership skills needed for his new role here at Cressy & Everett." said Steve Deane, president. "As our new branch manager in Elkhart he will expand our team of sales professionals while helping us to maintain our 98% customer satisfaction rate."
Scott earned a BS Degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He is a licensed Realtor in Michigan and licensed Broker associate in Indiana. He joined Cressy & Everett in 2011.
He was active in the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association - Recreational Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC) as an executive board member, and held the position of Vice President of the Council in 2010. He received the IMHS-RVIC President's Award in 2010.
(South Bend, IN– May 10, 2013) Steve Deane, president of Cressy & Everett Real Estate, and Sue Cox, Vice President of Sales are pleased to announce that Quinn Thurin has accepted the position of Managing Broker of the Ironwood office located at 332 N. Ironwood Drive, South Bend, effective July 1, 2013. In addition, he has been named a partner in the company.
Quinn currently serves as President of the Greater South Bend / Mishawaka Board of REALTORS as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Association of REALTORS. "Quinn has earned a reputation of professionalism, honesty, high integrity, and a passionate commitment for service - all traits that as a company we hold in high regard." said Steve Deane, president.
Quinn, a South Bend native, and graduate of Notre Dame, joined Cressy & Everett in 1995. He has been a consistent multi-million dollar producer, always in the top 10% of the St. Joseph County MLS, and a recipient of Cressy & Everett's Founders' Award.
He is married and has two boys - 12 and 13. He serves on a number of community groups such South Bend Rotary, Boy Scouts Troop 111, and has recently served as a board member of Northern Indiana Artists.