Things To Do in State College Pennsylvania – December 2013

Mt. Nittany Dog Training Club Dog Agility Trial

When: December 1, 2013

Times: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Snider Agricultural Arena

AKC Dog Agility Trial held at the Snider Agricultural Arena on November 30 and December 1 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.


Twas the Week Before Christmas

When: December 4, 2013

Times: 9am-Noon

Location: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

Children ages 5-12 are invited for a morning of holiday fun and a visit from the big man himself! Little ones will delight in having their picture taken with Santa, participating in holiday games, and crafts, and enjoying some sweet treats. To top off the event, we’ll be showing the classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Pre-registration is required; only $15 per child!


Stocking Stuffer Preview Party

When: December 5, 2013

Times: 6:30-9:00pm

Location: Centre Furnace Mansion

Get the exclusive first peek at the Stocking Stuffer Antiques, Art & Fine Craft Sale, while enjoying wine, and hors d’oeuvres and desserts donated by the area’s finest restaurants. Shop local and choose from hand-crafted work and fine antiques from 50 local vendors on display in a festively decorated historic house museum. Party attendees will be able to purchase items before the event is open to the public. The Preview Party will be held on Thursday, December 5th from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Proceeds from this annual fundraiser help the Centre County Historical Society further its mission in helping people understand, experience, appreciate, and preserve our county’s cultural and natural heritage.


$30.00 per person ($25.00 for CCHS members). RSVP by December 2nd to Megan at 814-234-4779, or online at


Philipsburg Holiday Parade

When: December 7, 2013

Times: 1:00 PM

Location: Downtown Philipsburg

A community celebration of it’s past and future including entertainment, food, events for children and much more!

Mannheim SteamrollerChristmas

When: December 13, 2013

Times: 8:00 pm

Location: Bryce Jordan Center

Get a jump on the holidays when America’s favorite holiday celebration, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis brings the best the holiday has to offer to the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m.


School of Music Feature Mosaic

When: December 8, 2013

Times: 4:00 pm

Location: Eisenhower Auditorium

Now in its seventh year, Mosaic promises ninety minutes of surprises and delights. The popular School of Music concert features an array of Penn State bands, choirs, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists situated throughout Eisenhower Auditorium. Large ensembles give way to individuals. Jazz follows seventeenth-century masterworks. Voices resound in the balconies, while instrumentalists take the stage. Think of it as a wonderful gift to give to yourself. It’s sheer enchantment as you experience an eclectic mosaic of performances by amazingly talented students.

17th Annual Holiday Lights on the Lake at Lakemont Park

When: December 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013

Recurring daily, open 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Times: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: Lakemont Park

This drive through tour features 51 acres of holiday lights and animations, plus a holiday gift shop filled with delicious refreshments, holiday decorations and gifts, and photos with Santa Claus. The Alto Model Train Museum presents its annual model train display each night.

Bellefonte Victorian Christmas

When: December 13, 2013 – December 15, 2013

Recurring weekly on Sunday, Friday, Saturday

Times: Call for time

Location: Bellefonte

Bellefonte Victorian Christmas offers a taste of Christmas past, with our historic homes tour, an arts & crafts show, concerts, horse-drawn buggy rides, gingerbread house contest, railroad rides, strolling entertainment, breakfast with Santa, a Victorian tea party and musical presentations.


For more ideas of what to do near State College, visit the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

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How To Sell A Home When You Have Pets

Selling a home with pets is by no means impossible, it just means you have a couple of different factors to pay attention to while trying to sell.  Pet owners’ staging process looks slightly different and there are a few things to keep in mind during showings. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can help remove any distractions from a potential buyer and give them a lasting impression your home deserves.


1. Remove the evidence

When a buyer walks into your home, let them focus on your home and not how many dog toys there are or the water spots around the water bowl. Make sure to clean up after your pets before a showing. This includes inside and outside of the home.


2. No more hair

We’ve all been there, right? If you have a pet that sheds, make sure to stay on top of the situation even more than you normally would while showing your home. Vacuum and sweep daily because you never know when someone will call to show your home.


3. Only good smells

Not every home that has pets has a pet smell. But just in case, make sure to freshen up your home for showings. This does not mean spraying massive amounts of air freshener throughout your home. Try airing out your home by keeping the windows open if the weather allows. Keep fabrics, carpets, curtains and cushions clean and freshly washed. When you clean your carpets, clean your furniture as well.


4. Don’t leave your pet at home

This might be tricky since you might be at work during the day during a showing. When you can, try to remove your pet from the home during a showing. You do not want to prevent a potential buyer from viewing a room because your pet is there. You might be thinking, “I will just keep them in the cage.” This is not always the solution either. The potential buyer might be more focused on your cute pet locked in the cage then the room they are in.


5. Clean it up

When it comes to a litter box, hamster cage or “pooper scooping” in the back yard make sure you stay on top of it. Don’t let the smell take away from the buyer focusing on your home. Especially if they are walking in the back yard, you don’t want them to track in any surprises!


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What Are the Responsibilities of a Co-Signer?

Are you considering being a co-signer for someone’s home loan?

Many people need a co-signer on a home loan. If someone has poor or no credit, an unsteady job, a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, or other credit issues, it can be nearly impossible to be approved for a home loan. In these cases, a person can have a mortgage co-signer who “agrees to back up your loan, guaranteeing the lender that the loan will be repaid”, according to The National Association of Realtors®. Having a co-signer greatly increases your credibility as a borrower and makes it more likely that you will be approved for a loan. However, picking the right co-signer is vital.

Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities of a co-signer:

If the main owner of the loan fails to make payments, the co-signer is financially responsible for the loan and their credit score could suffer.

Co-signers should be:

  • A trustworthy person

  • Have good credit/someone who will be approved by lenders

  • Willing to be part of a long lasting agreement

  • Have a good income

  • Be 18 years or older

  • Be willing to have their income, credit history, credit score, assets, and debts scrutinized by the potential lender

Agreeing to be a co-signer for a home loan is a very serious agreement, so it is best to draw up a formal contract that both parties will have to sign. “A real estate lawyer can help you and your co-signer draw up an agreement that specifies who will pay the bills, who will occupy the residence, and contingencies, like what happens if the main mortgage holder cannot make the payments”, according to the National Association of Realtors®. This contract can help protect both the main owner of the loan and the co-signer against any fall-outs or worst-case scenarios.

Who would make a good co-signer?

  • A lot of people ask friends or family members to co-sign for them because these types of relationships are often built on trust.

  • Younger people, perhaps someone purchasing their first home, may ask their parents to co-sign on the mortgage.

  • With married couples, typically a spouse will be the co-signer for a home loan.

  • Siblings

  • Aunts or uncles

  • Grandparents

  • Business partners

  • Long-time friends

The National Association of Realtors® says that in an ideal agreement, “the co-signer should never have to hear from the bank after the papers are signed”. Before you ask someone to co-sign for you, be sure that you are ready for the responsibility that is owning a loan.

To read more on the responsibilities of a co-signer, check out this article.

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20 Helpful Painting Tips

Painting can make a world of difference in  a room – as long as you do it right! Check out these 20 helpful painting tips to make sure you get the most out of your painting project.

  1. Go for the more expensive, better quality paint. Cheaper paint will need to be touched up more often, which negates any money you saved in the first place. The best quality paint has a higher percentage of titanium dioxide, which determines covering ability, and other additives that increase durability.

  2. Shine. Generally, the higher the gloss, the better the finish will stand up to stains, abrasions, and cleaning. Easier-to-wash satin or semigloss paints are good choices for bathrooms and kitchens. Use high-gloss paints for trim, cabinetry, and doors that are in perfect condition.

  3. Color. Light colors tend to open up a room, making it seem lighter and larger while dark hues can add depth and warmth. Before painting a room white, pay attention to how surrounding elements will reflect light and alter the color. For example, green furniture or carpeting might make white walls look light blue or green.

  4. Test before buying. Invest in some sample sizes of the paint color(s) you’re considering and try them out on small sections of the wall. Be sure to look at the color during different points in the day and under different lighting conditions to make sure you like it.

  5. Equipment. Brushes with long, dense bristles are best for latex/water-based paint (nylon) and oil-based paint (natural). A 2-inch angled sash brush, a 3-inch trim brush, and rollers are enough for most jobs.

  6. Prepare. Paint sticks better to and looks better on clean, dry, non-glossy surfaces. So, if you want the best results, do the prep work. Scrape off flaking paint, fill holes with spackling compound, and sand your walls before doing anything.

  7. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom of the wall for best results. That means start with the ceiling, move to any crown molding and/or trim around windows and doors, then the baseboards, and finally, paint the walls.

  8. Apply Painter’s Tape in no more than 8-10 inch sections at a time to be certain of a straight edge. Smooth the edges with a putty knife, wait until paint is dry to the touch, and remove the tape slowly at a 45-degree angle.

  9. Use High-Quality Brushes. Just as with choosing your paint, it’s important to invest in your brushes. High-quality brushes apply paint in a thick, smooth film. Examine a brush for a good taper, with bristles in the center slightly longer than those at the edge.

  10. Mix for uniform color. If you’re using more than one gallon of a certain color paint, mix all of it together in a larger bucket. This is the best way to make sure that all of the paint is the same color.

  11. Store extra paint successfully by adding a gasket between the cover and the can using a circle cut from a heavy-duty trash bag. Spray vegetable oil on one side of the bag and set it on the can with the lid on top of the plastic, then tap the lid to seat it in the well. Store the can upside down in a room that maintains a fairly consistent temperature.

  12. Primer first. Primer makes the best surface for paint and allows for the paint’s true color to shine through.

  13. Know how much you need. Professionals recommend one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet of wall/surface.

  14. Don’t save this for a rainy day. High humidity and moisture in the air prevents water-based paint from drying properly.

  15. Tape off doorknobs and other fixtures that you don’t want to get paint on before you start.

  16. Stop painting once an area is dry. Going over it again can leave marks and color streaks.

  17. Cover your floor with a drop cloth before starting to paint.

  18. Remove wall plates (over electrical outlets and light switches) before painting.

  19. Paint as much as you can with a roller and save the brush for small spots.

  20. Be patient. Don’t ruin the paint job by not allowing for things to dry completely before touching.

For more painting tips, check out this DIY Network article and this one from BHG.


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