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Lantern Snowshoe Hike

Powell Township Parks and Recreation has announced the Thomas Rock trail can be used for snowshoeing! They are holding a kick-off Lantern Event on Saturday, January 18, 2020 from 6:00PM-8:00PM. They are having a bonfire and will have hot dogs and hot chocolate in the parking lot. Lanterns will light up the trail up to the overlook for a mid-winter night-time excursion! The trail is about a half mile round trip and should take about a half hour to complete. This is a family-friendly trail and event and a great way to get your entire family enjoying the winter outdoors!

Moving with Pets


For most people, their pets are a part of their family. It's important to take care of them when moving also! If you own pets and your house is listed for sale, it is most likely going to be recommended that you get the pets out of the house during showings. This sometimes can be easier said than done depending on work schedules, but communicate with your agent the times that would be easiest for you to accommodate showings. Agents will understand and will hopefully encourage their buyers to view your house at a time that is most convenient for you.

In terms of actually moving with pets, sometimes pets can get anxiety when they see boxes or things changing around their current house. New environments can be scary for pets also. Here are five tips for success when moving with pets:

  1. Prepare an "overnight kit" that has enough dog food, kitty litter, toys, or whatever is needed to sustain your pet and keep them comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.
  2. If you are moving out of the area, contact your vet and take your pet's records with you. Perhaps they can even recommend a new vet in the area you are moving to.
  3. Try to keep your pets away from the action as much as you are able. Check in on them regularly and keep their eating schedule on track. Having a sense of routine in the midst of changes will help significantly.
  4. Take your pet in your vehicle. If your pet is used to traveling with you in your vehicle, don't change that routine! If they are moved in a different vehicle it can increase their anxiety.
  5. Update their info! After you move, make sure their tags or microchip information is set to your new address and phone number.
Taking care of your pets will help make your move smoother and easier!

Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors


Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? If so, have you checked the batteries recently? Just like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors are important to have in your home. Here are some myths and facts to help you understand why it is so important.

MYTH: Carbon monoxide can be smelled when the furnace is on.

FACT: Carbon monoxide is actually colorless, tasteless, AND odorless. 

MYTH: Carbon monoxide is heavier than air, so CO detectors should not be placed on the ceiling or high on the wall.

FACT: CO is slightly lighter than air. However, studies have shown no significant difference in measurements based on what height CO detectors are mounted.

MYTH: Carbon monoxide is not dangerous.

FACT: CO poisoning is the most common type of fatal indoor air poisoning in countries where cooking and heating is still dominated by fires. More than 500 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.

MYTH: Carbon monoxide poisoning is like any other kind of poisoning.

FACT: CO bonds to hemoglobin, and instead of carrying oxygen the hemoglobin is then occupied with CO - creating carboxyhemoglobin. CO poisoning is actually the result of the head and heart not receiving sufficient oxygen... or asphyxiation.

MYTH: Carbon monoxide detectors are in perfect working order if they beep when the test button is pushed.

FACT: Gas sensors in CO alarms have a limited lifespan, generally less than 6 years. The test button on common CO alarms only tests the battery, not the CO gas sensor.

Installing a CO alarm is a low-cost way of significantly reducing your risk of CO poisoning. Protect yourself and your family today! For more information, visit

Do You Know How to Spot Fake Emails?


Just because an email has the look and feel of a company you're familiar with, it doesn't mean it is legitimate. Here are some things to check before you click:

  1. From: Is the sender's email from a suspicious domain or have an odd spelling? Does the sender appear to be from a company or service you have no business relationship with? Is the email unexpected or unusual? Do you have an uncomfortable gut feeling?
  2. To: Was it CC'd to multiple people that you personally don't know or an unusual mix of people?
  3. Subject: Does it use a subject line that is irrelevant or inconsistent with the message content? Is it a reply to something you never sent or requested?
  4. Content: Does the seller ask you to click on a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence? Does the email contain odd grammar or spelling errors?

Resist the urge to click! Instead of clicking on links, hover over them to see the actual URL, then switch to your browser and go to a company's website directly. All attachments can potentially be dangerous! Make sure any attachments you open are from someone you know and trust. Also, be careful not to trust an email's display name, logo, or graphics, even if it is from a trusted company. It's easily spoofed. Instead, check the actual email address.

Student Loan Debt Crisis


While debt is a problem facing many Americans, student loan debt is the biggest factor holding millennials up in their ability to purchase a home. Mortgage debt is still the vast majority of overall consumer debt, but it is not growing nearly at the rate that student loan debt is growing at. According to, since 2009 mortgage debt increased 3.2% while student loan debt grew 102%. That is an astronomical increase! 

Many millennials desire to purchase homes but are delaying home ownership in an effort to pay down, or pay off, student loans. We have many lenders in the area who work with buyers wishing to purchase a home but need to maintain an appropriate debt-to-income ratio. If you or someone you know desires to purchase a home but is struggling with student loan debt, give me a call today and I will help direct you to lenders who might be able to help. In the meantime, we can start looking for the home you desire!

Identity Theft is a Real Concern!

The new, fast growing threat: Account Takeover. Thieves trick victims into revealing account information on a fraudulent website in order to install malware on their computers or mobile devices. They gain access to a victim's account and pilfer money through transfers and withdrawals. To keep your accounts safe:
  • Never click on links inside unusual email or text messages. Instead, open your browser and go to a company's home page directly.
  • Don't be fooled by well-crafted emails or text messages. Thieves and hackers are now more sophisticated than ever.
  • Watch for text message requests to update your app or account information. Always update your app through a vendor's website or app store. 
Here are some additional tips for securing your identity and information:
  • Review the privacy and security settings on financial and shopping sites.
  • Install security features on your computer to protect against viruses, spyware, and malware.
  • Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Avoid using the same password across multiple sites or relying on cloud-based password manager apps, which could expose all of your information at once.
  • Store physical documents with your personal information in a locked filing cabinet. Shred what you don't need (including bills and receipts).
  • Never leave mail inside your mailbox for long periods of time.
Identity theft is a real concern and it is important to take this steps to safeguard yourselves and your loved ones! 

Top Reasons to Sell Your Home in Spring!

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether or not it is a good time to sell. There are fewer buyers out there in the middle of winter right after the holidays or sometimes even in fall after summer vacations, but the question is: When should you sell? Spring has statistically shown to be a great time to sell. Here's why:
  1. Buyers are ready to purchase!
    Spring brings in an influx of eager buyers. Winter in the U.P. can be long and we certainly have had a lot of snow this year! As the weather slowly warms and the snow melts, buyers often start actively looking for houses in the spring. Also keep in mind: Many sellers decide to put their house on the market in the spring - we recommend getting your property up for sale early to get a lead on the competition!
  2. Everyone wants to get settled before summer's end!
    Homebuyers are anxious to get through the homebuying process in the spring. Relocating and getting settled takes time, especially if they have a family. Buyers often hope to move in their new home between late spring and early summer so they are well settled in before the upcoming school year.
  3. Homes sell faster and for more!
    According to researchers at Zillow, springtime is the best time to sell your home. Their studies show that homes listed between mid-March and mid-April sold about 15% quicker than homes listed during any other time. Granted, those are nationwide statistics. Yet here in the U.P. we definitely see a similar advantage to getting your home on the market in early spring. 

There are other potential advantages as well. If you would like a free comparative market analysis of your home to determine what your home might sell for in today's market, please call me today! I would be happy to help you understand the current market so you can make a decision if now is the right time for you to sell. Call me anytime at 906-236-3750. My licensed assistant, Karen Bruce, and I are happy to help you out!

Downtown Marquette Restaurant Week

March 3-10, 2019 is downtown Marquette's Restaurant Week! This is a great opportunity to check out and support local restaurants! Many places have $10 lunch items and select dinner specials for $25. To check out the participating restaurants and the deals they are offering, go to

Winter Driving Emergency Kit


Wow! We really have a lot of snow this winter! So frequently we hear the advice of having a winter emergency kit in our vehicle and with the weather we have been getting, this is so crucial! Here is a list of recommended items. Hopefully you'll never need them, but if you do, I'm certain you will be glad you were prepared.

  • A full tank of gas (or close to it!)
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Flashlight
  • Ice scraper/brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Warm hats, mittens, etc...
  • Water and snacks
  • Flares
  • Music/games (if you are traveling with children this may really help)
Drive carefully when you go out this winter!

Things To Do This Weekend!


The sub zero temps look like they will be breaking soon, and just in time for some awesome winter activities this weekend. On Saturday, February 2, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is hosting guided snowshoe hikes. A guided snowshoe hike from 2:00-3:00 through the forests of the Upper Falls is the perfect Saturday activity for the whole family. You will learn tips and tricks for staying upright in your snowshoes, while also learning about winter ecology during this fun one mile off-trail excursion. No pre-registration is required and there will be snowshoes available to borrow. The fun begins at the Upper Falls Fact Shack near the bonfire. Another option is in the evening from 6:00-8:30 with a lantern lit hike/snowshoe. Kick off Michigan State Park's centennial celebration with a hike/shoe on the one mile lantern-lit trail at the Upper Falls! The trail is illuminated with over 70 kerosene lanterns and loops through the beautiful winter forest. The trail begins and ends near the Upper Falls trail head located at the end of the Upper Falls parking area, there will be a limited number of snowshoes available to borrow and there is no pre-registration required. 

While the events will be canceled if the wind chill is -10 or below, it does look like we'll be in the clear by Saturday! You can visit their Facebook page at for more information.

The beauty of Tahquamenon State Park extends way beyond the falls. The hiking trails there are amazing! Having had the opportunity to camp and explore the park for a week this past summer, I know how wonderful it is and there is still so much more I would love to see. The opportunity to see it in the winter would be fantastic! Take your family or a group of friends and take advantage of this opportunity this weekend!

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