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January
10

Interior designers can completely transform the feel of your home. Here's what you need to know about them.

If you want a professional, pulled-together look inside your home, you might be in the market for an interior designer. Whether you are just moving in, ready for a refresh, or wanting your house to look its best to help you sell it faster, here is the rundown on interior designers from our real estate agents.

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November
7

Lighting a candle may not be enough to rid your home of odors. Here's how you can freshen up your home naturally.

No one wants to walk into a stinky home, especially not if it's listed for sale. What can be even worse, though, is walking into a house that smells of powerful cleaners or strong, artificial-smelling air fresheners. Whenever possible, natural methods of deodorizing are best. Whether you are listing your home for sale or just want to make it smell better, here are a few tried-and-true tips from our real estate agents on getting rid of odors naturally.

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August
29

You want your home improvement projects to turn out great, but you also want them to pay off. Here are the projects to focus on for ROI.

Whether you're selling your home soon or not, it's a good idea to think of home improvement projects as investments. These aren't the average repairs that you have to do in order to continue living in your home, such as replacing the water heater or repairing the furnace. These are the projects that you do to make your home more comfortable or attractive, renovate outdated features, or add features that weren't originally available in your home.

Not all home improvement projects are equal investments, however. Some will help you sell your home faster and may even provide a return on the money you invested. Others will actually lose you money. Here are the best and worst home improvement projects, according to our real estate agents.

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July
25

These summer fixes can help save you money in the long run. Here's where you should start.

Summer is a good time to do needed maintenance on your home because the good weather enables you to do more, especially with the exterior. Some maintenance offers the ability to save money on future repairs or energy bills, however. Here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents on what summer maintenance will offer the most bang for your buck.

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July
7

Summer is all about spending time outdoors. Here's how you can give your outdoor spaces an upgrade.

Beautiful summer weather is a perfect time to start working on your outdoor living spaces. If you headed outside as soon as the weather warmed up, only to discover your outdoor living spaces aren't as ready for relaxing and entertaining as you thought they were, you're not alone. Here are a few upgrades our real estate agents recommend, ranging from easy and inexpensive, to a little more involved.

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April
18

Gardening season is approaching fast, and we have the tips to ensure a bright and lush garden all summer long.

Spring is in the air, and it's almost time to start gardening... almost! However, if you're impatient to get started, there are plenty of things you can do now. Here is a quick checklist of things our real estate agents recommend for getting a jump start on your garden and on your home's curb appeal.

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March
21

Smart home technology is an investment, especially when you consider the money it can save in the long run. Here is the tech you should include in your home.

These days, it's not just our phones that are smart. Our entire houses can be smart and save us money in the process. Here are six smart home upgrades our real estate agents recommend making to your home. At a minimum, they'll make your life more convenient, but they could actually save you money in the long run, too.

  • Smart thermostats.
    It's no longer a matter of whether someone is an early adopter: Smart thermostats are now commonly found in many South Bend homes for sale. These devices go several steps beyond the traditional programmable thermostat. The smart thermostat is accessible via your smartphone, enabling you to make changes from anywhere in the house, or even while away from home. It learns your habits too, keeping you comfortable with less input from you. Most importantly, it finds ways to save energy and money while staying within your comfort zone.

  • Smart lights and switches.
    One common power drain is leaving lights on, and it's especially likely when you have a lot of people or kids living in the house. Smart lights and switches enable you to check and turn off the lights remotely, put them on timers, or even set them to automatically turn off when a room isn't being occupied.

  • Smart plugs.
    Like smart lights, smart plugs attempt to eliminate wasted power from a common source. Many electronics don't actually power all the way down when you turn them off. Instead, devices like your TV and DVD player stay in standby, continually drawing power even though they appear "off." Smart plugs, on the other hand, enable you to easily kill power to these devices when they're not actually in use.

  • Smart shades.
    The sun can be both a help and a hindrance to energy consumption. In the winter, for instance, opening window shades to let the sun in can actually help to heat your home, reducing your energy bill. In the summer, on the other hand, closing the shades to keep the sun out will prevent your air conditioner from having to work extra hard to cool the home. If you're not home all the time to open and close the shades according to the sun's position, smart shades can do the work for you, helping you to save money on energy even when you're not at home.

  • Smart sprinklers.
    We've all shaken our heads at sprinklers running during a rainstorm, but the truth is that it's difficult to change an automatic sprinkler schedule to account for the weather. Enter smart sprinklers, which actually monitor the weather to make educated decisions about when additional water is needed for your garden or your lawn. Even better, the system can detect leaks, alert you, and shut down that section to avoid running up your water bill.

  • Leak detectors.
    Speaking of leaks, leaking water in your home can be a huge expense, both on your water bill and in the form of damage mitigation. Fortunately, there are a variety of leak detectors on the market than can help prevent complete disaster. Leak detectors range from simple devices that sit near a water source and alarm loudly if they detect water, to those that can alert you on your phone if a leak is detected. Some are even installed on your main water line so that they can shut off water in the event you aren't home to deal with the leak immediately.

Smart tech can be a smart investment in your home, especially if you're planning on selling soon. For more information about how smart tech is changing the housing market, contact us today.

March
7

Feeling overwhelmed by home improvement projects?  Here's how you can organize them and be efficient.

Managing a home renovation project is a lot of work, which is why many people hire a general contractor to oversee the entire thing. If a project manager isn't in your budget, or if you feel more confident managing the details yourself, there's nothing to stop you from overseeing your own home renovation projects! Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for how to manage the job effectively.

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January
24

If you want to stay on top of things in 2022, make sure you add these home improvement resolutions to your list.

Owning a home can mean a constant stream of projects, but it's important not to overload yourself to the point where you get overwhelmed and put off doing any of it. If you are falling behind on home improvement and maintenance, take advantage of the boost in motivation that can come from making goals for the new year. If you only focus on a few projects this year, here are the ones our real estate agents recommend.

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January
10

A new color in your home can make all the difference. In 2022, consider some of the top paint manufacturers' colors of the year.

Every year, the big paint companies and interior design experts choose their colors of the year. This is about more than just decor and what you'll see in the trendiest South Bend homes for sale. The colors of the year also tend to reflect societal forces and changes. Here are the top colors for 2022, and everything they are intended to represent.

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December
27

It's hard to enjoy winter if you can't cozy up inside your home. Here's how you can make your living room a winter retreat.

Many of us associate wintertime with being cozy: warm blankets, evenings by the fire, and hot cocoa. Looking for ways to maximize your comfy factor this winter? Here are five ideas our real estate agents recommend for making your living room winter-ready.

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December
13

Fireplaces can be challenging to decorate since they're all different and it's easy to decorate too much. Here's how you can decorate your's like a pro.

The fireplace is a focal point of many homes. We like to imagine a fire crackling in the fireplace, even when it's not. We arrange our furniture around the fireplace and hang our flat-screen TVs over it, so it's only natural that it should be well-decorated. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for how to decorate your fireplace like a pro.

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November
11

Once Thanksgiving arrives, you probably won't have much time for home improvement projects. Here are some you should complete now before the holidays.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, now is an excellent time to start getting your home ready for the holidays. Whether you are having company or want to be thankful for a clean, restive home, here are a few home repair and improvement projects our real estate agents recommend doing before Thanksgiving.

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September
27

Winter can take its toll on your home, but with the right prep, the cold weather maintenance will be a breeze.

Right now is the perfect time to start winter-proofing your home. Fall weather is currently pretty mild, which gives you the chance to get the work done before winter temperatures set in. But what should you spend your time on first? Here are the top winter-proofing tasks to focus on, according to our real estate agents.

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September
20

Before you take a hammer to that wall, make sure your renovation will be worth it. Here are renovation trends you should definitely avoid.

South Bend homes for sale have the chance to command a premium price under virtually any market condition. One of the biggest tools a seller has in maximizing their home's value is the ability to upgrade, improve, and renovate in the weeks before a listing goes live. Our real estate agents are there to advise sellers every step of the way. One aspect of that is by helping them decide on the best home renovations to fit their budget. Naturally, it's important to choose things that can get done within the right timeframe and yield a return on investment.

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September
2

Feel like you're short on space? Use these ideas to optimize your storage.

Finding enough storage in a small home can be challenging, but a little creativity and out-of-the-closet thinking can help make the most of your space. Here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents on maximizing your storage when you have limited space to work with.

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August
16

Struggling to find decor that's right for your home? Here's how you can tap into your inner style.

Do you feel like your decor is a mishmash of different styles? Or have you not really given much thought to your decor at all until now? Whether you're staging your home for sale or just looking to upgrade your decor, you'll be surprised at the difference it can make to settle on a specific style. Here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents for pulling together a winning style.

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July
26

Love the sight of hummingbirds in your garden? Here's how you can attract them more often.

There's nothing more rewarding than keeping a beautiful garden. It boosts your home's curb appeal to have a well-landscaped yard with lots of beautiful flowers, of course, but even better is when you can share the bounty by attracting wildlife such as hummingbirds to your garden. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents on boosting your curb appeal by planting a hummingbird garden.

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July
12

The breakfast bar can often be overlooked as a great spot for a little design expression. Use these tips to make your breakfast bar stand out.

Cooking can be a lot of work, but it's rewarding. Sometimes it can take some motivation to make full use of your kitchen, which is why you should spend time making sure the design and decor are exactly how you want them. After all, you won't want to spend time in a room you think looks disjointed. Our real estate agents love breakfast bars, but what they love even more is decorating them! If you're looking at South Bend homes for sale, pay extra attention to the kitchens and imagine how you might utilize these breakfast bar decorating tips.

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June
28

Photo displays can be a challenge to put together, but with these tips, they'll be showstoppers.

When you move into a new house, one of the first priorities — after setting up the kitchen and bathroom, of course — is taking care of the little details that really make it feel like home. Putting up family photos is a great way to do that.

But wouldn't it also be nice to create something new with those old photos? Our real estate agents have a few ideas about how you can breathe new life into your pictures by hanging them in unique and innovative ways that really take your decor to another level.

Go Big or Go Home
Blowing up photos into poster-sized art is a fun way to give your living space a simple, yet dramatic flair. It works best with photos that are more scenic and landscape-oriented (close-up portraits at that scale can be a little overpowering). Try hanging just one oversized photo on a wall, and keep the frame simple. Creating oversized prints works best if you still have the film negatives, but it can also be done with digital photos if you have high-resolution files.

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June
14

If your home feels a little cluttered, some minimalism tips may be helpful. Here are some ideas to test in your home.

Whether or not you consider yourself one, decorating like a minimalist can help you take your decor to the next level. Minimalism means less clutter, less feeling crowded in your own home, and more clean, open spaces that encourage relaxation. Minimalist decor is great for selling your home, too! Homebuyers love neutral decor in South Bend homes for sale, as it enables them to better imagine their own lives in those spaces.

Here are five tips for improving your home's decor with minimalist ideas.

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April
12

Use these tips to make your spring cleaning manageable and efficient!

Warm weather, blooming flowers, serenading birds — spring is all about putting behind the dark days of winter and embracing new beginnings. But before you bust open your windows to let in that fresh air, gather your cleaning supplies and give your home a much-needed refresh. Yes, we're talking about spring cleaning! It can feel like a daunting task, but there are many ways to make the process easier. Here are our real estate agents' spring cleaning tips to get you started.

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March
15

Don't let your home get cluttered with rarely used items. Here's how you can make your attic an optimal storage space.

Looking for more storage space in your home? You may have overlooked a surprising amount of storage, right over your head! Your attic can be an excellent place for long-term storage if you set it up correctly. If you're not sure how to go about doing that, our real estate agents recommend talking with a contractor to get you started. In addition, here are a few tips to give you a general idea of how to turn your attic into a usable storage space.

  1. Check for leaks. First and foremost, make sure there aren't any leaks in the roof that could potentially damage the things you store in the attic. Check the underside of the roof for stains or signs of rot, especially around things that go through to the outside, such as chimneys and vent pipes. And speaking of vent pipes, make sure your bathroom vents go all the way through to the outside, rather than ending in the attic. You don't want your storage space to be filled up with warm, moist air.

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March
1

Don't neglect your bedroom's layout and design the cold shoulder. Use these easy tips to instantly upgrade your bedroom.

Is your decor ready for a new look? You may not spend the most time in your bedroom, but it's some of the most important time since it's where you go to wind down and rest up for the following day. The most popular South Bend homes for sale stage their bedrooms to look and feel like the relaxation center of the home. Here are a few tips for turning your bedroom into a haven.

  1. Rearrange your furniture. If your bedroom's look seems tired and uninspired, a fresh new layout could make all the difference. Better yet, it won't cost you a thing! Move your furniture around and see if you like it better in a different way. Remember that your bed is the focus of the room, and find the best place for it first.

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February
22

Want to spruce up your landscaping this year? Stay on the lookout for these landscaping trends.Our world has changed dramatically, and the way we view and use our homes has been deeply impacted. As we continue to spend more time at home, outdoor spaces are suddenly high on people's lists of improvements. Many people want to redesign their gardens, care for their plants, and create their own lush retreat. Here are some of the landscaping trends our real estate agents expect to become even more popular in 2021.

  • Vegetable Gardens
    Veggie, herb, and fruit gardens will continue to be in high demand in 2021. Staying cooped up at home and going out can add to stress, so there has been a renewed interest in food gardening. Watching your plants grow and getting bountiful results can be incredibly satisfying. The trend is expected to continue with thought-out gardens, potted herbs, and raised beds.

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January
25

Each year, color pros single out shades that perfectly capture the moment. Here are the colors you can incorporate into your home in 2021.

After a turbulent 2020, we're looking forward to a fresh start, and if you're anything like our real estate agents, you need ways to add color to your life. Each year, paint giants and color pros single out shades that perfectly capture the current moment. For 2021, the needle seems to be moving in a more subdued direction. The color choices are inspired by nature and the sense of calm, comfort, and wellness we've been craving the past year. Here are some of the colors you can incorporate into your home decor in 2021.

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January
11

Some people like the gym for the bustle and activity, the burst of motivation, and the cutting edge equipment. You're probably paying more for the pumped-up atmosphere than you realize, though. Over time, that low monthly payment adds up.

A home gym offers safety, convenience, and one less bill each month. Think you don't have the money to put together a home gym? Think again! Our real estate agents have seen some pretty sweet setups, and many of them have been installed on a budget. Here are a few tips for designing a home gym you'll love to work out in — while keeping the cost down.

  1. Work with the space you have available.
    The garage is a frequent choice for a home gym because it's out of the way and doesn't take away from limited square footage inside the home. Garages also have higher ceilings to accommodate taller equipment. If you have money to install some nice mirrors and flooring, you could consider converting an unused room, part of the basement, or third-floor space into your home gym. But if you're on a budget, look for spaces that can be easily converted into what you want and save your money for the equipment.

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November
9

Budget Home Upgrades - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're staying home to oversee online learning or to work remotely, your mood may be sagging from looking at the same, tired surroundings day after day. But maybe right now is not the time for a big home renovation or for buying a whole houseful of furniture. Still, no need to fret. Who said bigger is always better? There are some pretty cool projects you can do on a budget that will enliven your mood while giving your home the upgrade you've been longing for.

Who knows? Some of these little upgrades are bound to catch a potential buyer's eye if your home's listed among South Bend homes for sale.  Our real estate agents have plenty of tips to get you started. 

Let's start outside and work our way indoors.

  1. Copper mailbox.
    There's just something about copper. Warm and rich in hue, copper manages to be classy and understated at the same time. You're certainly welcome to go online and find the real deal, but if you're watching your bank balance these days, then go for a can of copper-colored Rustoleum (under $5) and spray paint your box. Then spiff up the post with a coat or two of shiny black. Follow up with some fall flowers planted around it to boost your curb appeal.

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June
8

Easy Kitchen Reno - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're preparing to put your house on the market among other St. Joseph homes for sale, you know the kitchen is a vital part of daily living. From preparing meals, entertaining, or helping with homework, your kitchen sees a lot of traffic. If your kitchen cabinets desperately need a makeover, but your budget is tight, renovate to provide an instant lift.  

Easy Ways to Renovate Your Outdated Kitchen

Every homeowner has a personal vision for every room in the house. New kitchen cabinets, upgraded appliances, and a complete makeover can cost thousands of dollars. When you cannot afford your dream kitchen, implement easy, low-cost changes to refresh and upgrade the area. Small changes can make a significant impact on your kitchen's overall appearance.

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May
11

Gardening Tips & Supplies - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Mother Nature isn't the only one who can make things grow. Our real estate agents enjoy using the bounty of their gardens to enrich their dinner plates and decorate their homes. Read these tips for starting your own garden and order supplies from these gardening centers offering delivery or curbside pickup near South Bend homes for sale.

How to Start a Garden

  1. Pick Your Spot
    The Beatles had it right: follow the sun. Most plants need direct sunlight for at least six hours per day. The garden should also be close to a garden hose or other source of water. You may find the optimum spot is covered with sod that needs to be removed first.

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May
4

Low-Cost Home Improvements - Home Sellers - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're planning on adding your house to the inventory of South Bend homes for sale, you can benefit from sprucing things up a little bit. Potential buyers will appreciate the updates, and you can enjoy the improvements while your home is on the market. Here are a few of our favorite inexpensive home improvement updates that you can easily do right now.

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April
13

Landscaping Prep - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

When it comes to landscaping a yard, preparation is important to make sure everything is done efficiently and effectively. It helps you determine the project's budget, creates an ideal environment for introducing additional or new features, and lessens chances of delays when the project commences. Here's a guide from our real estate agents on things you can do to plan, organize and prepare for landscaping:

  • Evaluate Your Yard
    Start with an evaluation of your yard and make an inventory of the permanent structure it and their placement. This helps you to focus on areas that will be most affected by the project and understand their preparation needs. For example, if you want to add a water feature, you need to know the proximity to an electrical power source or locations of hidden hazards. Also, mark hardscape and softscape features that do not fit into your landscaping plan.

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March
16

Home Office - Homeownership - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

With so many people choosing to work from home, it's no surprise that a home office is becoming one of the most desirable upgrades found among South Bend homes for sale. The good news is, you can create a home office of your own, even if you don't have a spare room. 

In fact, our real estate agents have seen many super-creative solutions when it comes to creating a home office space. Here are a few of our favorites. 

  1. Convert a Closet
    A walk-in closet is the perfect spot to create a quiet home office. Consider storing your clothes in a free-standing wardrobe in your bedroom. Then, you should easily be able to fit a desk, shelving, and whatever else you need in the former closet space. The walls will likely already be bare, so you can get really creative with your paint colors and other decor.

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July
13

Greenhouses & Nurseries - St. Joseph, MI - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

It's not too late to boost your curb appeal with beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees. Greenhouses and nurseries around St. Joseph, MI offer plenty of options as well as advice on how to improve your landscaping and add interest to your yard.

Our real estate agents suggest visiting one or more of the following greenhouses around St. Joseph, MI to make your landscaping eye-catching.

  • Grapevine Nursery, 5871 Hagar Shore Road, Coloma, MI
    Grapevine Nursery, which is convenient to many Coloma homes for sale, grows much of what it sells, so you'll know that what you buy hasn't been shipped from afar only to struggle to live by the time it arrives in Michigan. You'll also be assured that the plants grow well in this area's climate and soil. Interesting shrubs and trees are available, including several types of butterfly bushes that will help attract them to your yard.

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March
2

Curb Appeal Projects - Sell a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Warmer weather will be here before you know it, making now the perfect time to start planning your springtime home improvement projects. Whether you're thinking about adding your home to the list of South Bend homes for sale or you just want to spruce things up, boosting your curb appeal is always a good idea. 

The good news is, you don't have to take on a major project to make a huge difference. Here are five small, but effective projects that you can easily tackle over the weekend. 

  1. Paint Your Front Door
    When our real estate agents visit a seller's home, one of the first things they tell them is to pay attention to the entryway. Potential buyers have an emotional reaction when they walk into a home for the first time, and you want it to be a positive one.

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December
30

Living Room Staging - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Selling your home means you want to display everything at its best. You'll want to highlight your best features both inside and out, creating an inviting and welcoming space ready for the next owner. That task can be difficult in winter when so much feels less inviting than sunnier months. During winter focusing on important parts of your home interior can help, and one of the most noticeable features is the main living room of your home. Staging this living room could definitely help you to sell your home, which is why our real estate agents are here to help. 

Here are three reasons why staging your living room is the right choice.

First Impressions Matter

In many home designs, the living room marks the entry to the home area or the initial walkthrough to other parts of the house. When touring a home, the living room is the first impression of the interior. If you give your buyer a bad first impression, it may color the entire tour experience limiting your offers and final sale.

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December
9

Holiday Home Sale - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

For many buyers and sellers, the Holiday Season is generally a time for friends, family, and gathering together with one another, and often times buying or selling a home is not high on your priority list. However, savvy buyers know that they can find deals during the Holiday real estate "offseason", and our real estate agents know how to sell a home during the holidays. 

There are great ways to sell homes during the holidays, but it requires a certain bit of preparation, some smart marketing, and some consideration about pricing. Let's take a look at how you can sell a home during the holidays.

Prep for Winter, Show for Spring

The winter months in much of the United States bring cold temperatures, dormant foliage, and generally yucky conditions for home shopping, but there are some ways you can make your home much more appealing to prospective buyers.

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November
25

House Features Millennials Want - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Successfully marketing your South Bend homes for sale to millennials requires understanding what features they want to see in your listing. When you want your home to stand out in the marketplace, the following are features that are most appealing to millennial homebuyers. 

  • Sustainable Design
    Eco-friendly is more than a watchword for millennial buyers; it's a way of life. The core tenet of sustainable design is the use of renewable and recycled materials such as bamboo, fast-growing woods, Timbercrete, Ferrock, plastic, etc. If you plan to remodel your home, it's a wise investment to include these materials in your design plans.

  • Low-Maintenance Landscaping
    The 21st-century workplace is fast-paced and that leaves little time for trimming trees and pruning bushes. Millennials want beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes to tend to at home. Landscapes that feature xeriscaping, low-water plants, shrubs, etc. are attractive and easy to maintain.

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June
25

Energy Efficient Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're in the housing market as a seller, you should know what features buyers are looking for in a new home. Our real estate agents are accustomed to selling homes in the South Bend area and know a thing or two about what buyers really want. Chief among them is energy efficiency, but does your home deserve that label?

Energy Efficiency: What's the Big Deal?

Maybe you've lived in your home for a few years, or perhaps you've been there for decades. In either case, the chances are you've grown accustomed to paying your energy bills at roughly the same clip year after year; however, like most of us, shopping around for better rates or, better yet, improving the energy efficiency of our homes isn't on our radar.

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