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AC Units will be Cranking Soon – Are you ready?

May 22nd, 2018 · Comments Off

We’re coming off the coldest and snowiest April on record. We’ve had a couple tastes of spring and summer, now tonight I’m typing on a cool damp night with the current temperature at 52 degrees.  Hard to believe I’m drinking my hot chocolate to stay warm just days before Memorial Day weekend.  To get caught up, I got all my flowers potted up and a big thanks to Greenwood Plants for all your help.  Be sure to check out my videos on Facebook (more videos to come).  My yard is all cleaned up and I’m enjoying all the green and the tress are awake.  I also enjoy seeing the farmers hitting the rolling fields in Olmsted County.  May they have a great growing season!  Problem in the short term.  Where’s that huge globe of light in the sky to warm us up.  Well it looks like summer weather will come in full stride by the end of the week, so end to my rant.  Bring on the summer weather, thunderstorms and fun on the Honkers deck.
Many of you may have started up your air conditioners with a brief touch of summer temps, and I believe looking at the forecast, all of us will be cranking them up very soon.  Having an AC is one of those things we all take for granted.  Homeowners need to take great care of the their heating and cooling units.  You should get a yearly inspection to make sure all the moving parts are in good working order and that you have proper levels of coolant.  Check your compressor outside.  Last year I learned that so many lawn clippings had collected in my compressor that they literally could be peeled off. Imagine the stress on the unit!. Be sure to check your air filters and make sure they are clean.   A dirty filter will make your system work harder and that will cost you money in the long run. Be sure to check that filter more frequent if you have pets.  Fur and pet dander can really add up.  According to the US Department of Energy, replacing your filter can lower your AC consumption by 5 to 15%.  Save big bucks too by switching to a smart thermostat. Repair or replace any damaged pipe insulation.  Clean the supply vents and return grills.  These are just a few tips to keep things cool while trying to save your money.
Lets cheer on the up coming summer blast!  Be sure to lather up on the sunscreen.  That’s the mom in me :)
Until next time…

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Curb Appeal – Still Hoping for Spring

April 10th, 2018 · Comments Off

Well let’s just simply clear the air right away. I know my previous blog was a bit ambitious talking about spring and what I love about a season that seems so far away. I heard on the local news tonight that a man hunt is on for that darn groundhog that predicted a longer winter. State patrol in Pennsylvania are investigating.

I will continue to believe eventually spring will arrive even though chances for more snow and cold are in the forecast. With that said, in between seasons it’s obviously too early to get going on any yard work. You can start doing a few things now and make plans down the road to make your home have better curb appeal. A house with great curb appeal looks loved and well taken care of by the owner/owners. A property that has gorgeous landscaping, a well maintained think green lawn, manicured trees and shrubs will really ramp up the wow factor for any potential buyer, or you simply taking pride in the biggest investment in your life.

Until the mounds of snow leave, you can start by getting a lot of clutter off your property. Get rid of any items laying around from the winter or even piles of leaves still from last fall. Anything you deam as an eyesore; pitch it. Old planters, hoses, tree branches, to old cars. If it isn’t attractive or neccesary just thin it all out.

It’s too early to discuss lawn care due to our current state of said snow mounds and the frost depth is still very deep. On a few of the recent mild days we’ve had I’ve seen people raking their yards getting debris up from the winter. It’s too soon for that and you’ll do a lot of damage to the lawn. Be patient.

The area around your front door is key. It’s the first thing people see and the last. Make a big impression! Clean the area down when possible and start thinking of ways to make it look very inviting like planters with gorgous flowing flowers. Maybe some solar lights along the walkway to the front door for added light at night. This is still the down time to plan and organize. Go to some home and garden stores, look around online and brainstorm new fresh ideas to take your look to a new level.

Are your trees in need of some love. Healthy trees are very important for your curb appeal and the added shade cuts down on AC costs and watering of the lawn during those warm months. Call a local arborist for proper trimming and most well trained crews will look your trees over for the overall health of your trees. Speaking of health, Emerald Ash Borer is a growing problem in our area. Beautiful trees are being destroyed by the insects. Some arborists can inject fluids into your trees to protect them otherwise the trees will become a threat due to weakening and could crash onto your home. If you need a local arborist, I can refer to you one of the best in town.

I closing, these things I mentioned will keep you and your mind busy until we can truly break ground to give your home that extra curb appeal. It truly matters and it can make or break a deal.

Think warm thoughts my friends…



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Thinking Spring!

March 9th, 2018 · Comments Off

While at work I’m thinking spring as we set our clocks ahead this weekend.  I can’t truly wrap my head around the seasonal  change as I see piles of snow everywhere and veering out my window I can see deer tracks (and also coyote tracks!) in the snow heading into the woods.  There are lots of ideas spinning in my head that I want to look forward to in the up coming weeks.  I look forward to my seasonal pilgrimage to Greenwood Plants in Rochester.  Seeing Nancy McGinnis and her daughter Molly, the owners, is always a joy.  The greenhouses are big, warm and full of wonderful smells and colors.  As I walk around, my mind floats to a world of peace and excitement as I start filling my home with wonderful arrangements and potted veggies for my deck.  I always plant petunias every year in memory of my mom.  Such found memories of spending precious time with her planting those pretty flowers.

So, as we move our clocks up one hour be mindful there’s light at the end of the winter tunnel.  Start thinking of landscaping ideas for your home, new outdoor lighting, deck furniture to breaking ground on a firepit.  I invite you to visit my Facebook page as it has several spring DIY ideas.  Chat soon…Sylvia.


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Go Make Some New Memories

February 10th, 2018 · Comments Off

Hello friends – I just poured my 4th cup of hot chocolate this morning and I’m gazing outside watching the birds and my neighboorhood kids playing in the snow.  It made me reflect on my earlier years of enjoying such adventures.  Sledding with my friends and family brings back very fond memories; regardless of how cold it was (well kinda).  I hold near and dear to my heart building huge snow forts with my brother and sisters.  We had different sizes, odd kinds of designs, and hidden rooms. Looking back we were not only building walls, we were building memories that would last a life time.  We couldn’t wait until our local ponds started to freeze over and waited in anticipation for it to get thick enough to lace up my ice skates and glide across.  After hours of skating it was always good to walk through our front door to be met by the smell of mom’s homemade hot chocolate.  It warmed my body and soul.  In this modern day of being stuck in front of your electronics, put them down.  Go build some memories regardless of your age and enjoy today’s 5-degree temperature.



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Quickly Catching Up

January 13th, 2018 · Comments Off

The whirlwind of Christmas and New Years has come and gone and more fabulous memories have been made with my family. I finally have a little free time and I wanted to connect with you while I sip a little hot chocolate. Might as well get it right to it and complain about the cold weather. It doesn’t really do any good, but it really gets a little old after the past month and a half. On the other side of the coin, this bitter cold is what defines us as hardy Minnesotans. This frigid weather can put quite a stress on your home and your wallet. Be sure to check out my Facebook page for tips to avoid ice dams, water pipe breaks, keeping heating down and much more. We’ll trudge ahead with a happy spirit with only 65 days until spring, but who’s counting.

Speaking of a whirlwind, 2017 was crazy busy at work. Homes continue flying off the shelf and inventory continues to be low. Thanks to all my clients for doing business with me and I foresee 2018 remaining steady and staying a sellers market. Remember I always encourage referrals. You’ve also probably noticed all the construction going on in our Edina building near TJ Maxx. I’m excited to finally start moving into our renovated building on Tuesday. With so many new upgrades it will feel like Christmas all over again. It will nice to settle in and I truly miss looking out my window watching all the creatures stirring in the woods.

Finally, besides the cold weather, the buzz around town and our state is the BIG playoff game at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with the Vikings playing the Saints tomorrow. As you know I bleed yellow and green with the Packer faithful so take that for what it is.

Well I have to go refill my hot chocolate (cup number 6) and go snuggle with my two favorite pooches. They are comfortably wrapped up in my Packer blanket on our couch. Wonder if they will let me squeeze in.



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Change of Seasons Coming

September 14th, 2017 · Comments Off

Date 9-13-17

As I write this we’ve had a nice stretch of late summer weather with temps approaching the upper 80s.  I’m fine with that since August was so cool.  Plus showing homes are a lot easier than dealing with the cold and snow.  Now that I brought that up my mind was wondering today looking out my window at work enjoying the creatures running around in the woods.  I’m seeing something that makes me happy and sad.  The leaves are turning and we’re losing more precious daylight!  Such a beautiful time of year though with the fall colors and harvest time begins.  It pains me to say that Old Man winter will showing his head soon and another long winter season will be upon us.  SO…with that said, this great stretch of nice weather will give you time to start doing those big and little things before he shows up.  Preventative maintenance for your home is crucial and will save you money in the long run.  I’m going to list a few things that you might want to start working on to stay ahead of the curve.

1) After the leaves fall, pick them up so they won’t be an issue in the spring, especially in your gutters.  Also, disconnect all garden hoses and get that final winter fertilizer in so the grass has plenty of nutrients for the spring.

2) Check your windows and doors for leaks.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household spends more than $1,000 on heating and cooling costs annually. One way to lower your energy bills is to ensure that your heat doesn’t leak out as cool temperatures arrive.

3) Add insulation and close off the attic.  Still not sold on the benefit of attic insulation? Consider this: When hot air escapes from your attic, you put your home at risk for ice dams, which can be costly and nearly impossible to fix.

4) Upgrade to a smart thermostat. These devices can learn when it’s safe to lower the temperature and when to boost the thermostat because everyone is at home after a long day.  Also, have your furnace cleaned and inspected and be sure CO detectors are no older than 5 years

I know some of this sounds pretty common for us Minnesotans, but in our crazy busy lives these simple things can really add up dollar wise.  Your home is THE biggest investment you will ever make.  So take great care of it.  Now back to enjoying this great weather.


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Clients – Lasting friendships

August 13th, 2017 · Comments Off

Last night I hosted my annual client appreciation night on the Honkers patio. I always love this event because it’s a time when we’re not talking business, but we’re sharing stories of kids growing up, new babies (I love those!), vacations and even job changes. The atmosphere was full of joy and lots of laughs as the the boys of summer played their hearts out right down to the last out. While taking in all the food, smiles and great conversations I took some time out to pause and realize how truly thankful I am for all these people in my life. The perfect evening ended with the the best fireworks display yet to celebrate the end of summer.

Over the last 14 years I’ve had so many loyal clients become great friends. Selling a home is stressful and I understand this and I empathize with my clients because of the emotional attachment. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases people will make and is truly an exciting time. I honestly love guiding buyers and sellers through what sometimes can feel like a maze of paperwork, decisions and questions. Through all of this, I grow close to my clients and they become friends. Getting together like we did last night, outside of business I hope I am able to convey to these wonderful friends just how much I truly cherish and appreciate them. I’m honored that they think of me when their friends and family ask them for a Realtor as it truly is my honor to serve them.

Thank you all for trusting me with something so important in your life and in the lives of your families. You’re all a blessing to me.

We’ll do it all again next year! In the mean time I’d love to see you for coffee, a round of golf, or just meet to catch up.

See you next year!



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Why You Need Pre-Approval Before Home Shopping

July 29th, 2013 · No Comments

 Mortgage Application Approved Stamp Shows Home Loan Agreed

I get a number of calls each week from potential buyers wanting to see homes. One of the first things I ask is, “Have you talked to a lender?” Many times the buyer tells me they are waiting to find the house they like before they meet with the lenders. They may feel confident that the price range they want to see is what they can comfortably afford. With so many online mortgage calculators that is understandable that they feel that way. But, what if you don’t check your credit score every few months and what if you have had a recent job change or divorce? Just one situation can drastically change your ability to buy. On the other hand, with rates at historic lows you may qualify for more than you think!

So what does a lender do to get you pre-approved? Well, first the lender will ask you to bring them any documents that they ask for, such as a pay stub. Then, she will verify your income and assets and check your credit score. Once that is complete she will talk with you about how much you can afford for a mortgage payment and give you a pre-approval letter to share with your Realtor.  I always tell my buyers that I don’t care how much they can afford, I care about how much they are comfortable paying each month. There is a significant difference!

Once you find a house and have an accepted offer, the Realtor will give the lender a copy of the purchase agreement and you can start discussing interest rates. At that time the lender will order title work and an appraisal. They will also clear any conditions- for example they would verify the source of a large deposit in your checking. Was it a gift from a parent that wasn’t disclosed or a loan paid back?

You will lock in on your interest rate to make sure it doesn’t go up. Within 72 hours of doing that your lender will give you a Good Faith Estimate. That will tell you how much you need to close and what your monthly payments will be. Right before closing the lender will go through the final closing numbers with you. If the closing date has changed your taxes will change as well as they are prorated to the date of closing.

On the date of closing you will come to the Title office to sign the paperwork. Your lender and your Realtor will accompany you. The lender will have already told you that you need to bring a cashiers check for the amount they specify. From there you sign the paperwork and the Realtor hands you your keys! Always feel free to contact your lender or your Realtor any time after closing with questions. A good Realtor and Lender will always be willing to help.

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Get your house ready for spring!

March 4th, 2013 · No Comments

Spring Blog Pic

Even though we are in the midst of another snowstorm here in Southern Minnesota, spring will be here before we know it.  Spring will bring the melting of the snow, and everything will green up and blossom once again. Spring also means spring cleaning!

Here are some tips for getting your house ready this spring. Taking care of these small tasks will have a big impact in giving your house a face-lift:

Change Outdoor Light Bulbs

Clean out your light fixtures, and replace your burnt-out bulbs with energy-saving bulbs.

Upgrade your front door

Make your door look new again by polishing the hinges and knobs. Paint or stain the door with a color that stands out, but also complements the trim and siding. Put out a clean, new welcome mat…and make sure the doorbell works too.

Fix your front sidewalk

Snow and cold can really mess up your sidewalk. With warmer weather approaching, take this time to patch cracks and replace loose bricks. Rent a power washer or purchase a chemical treatment to clean up stains in concrete, stone or asphalt.


Strategically placed plants can conceal those undesired aspects of your house or yard. Place large pots or hanging baskets around your porch. Bushes or hedges can hide air-conditioners and flower beds and window boxes will add style.

Prune and Mulch

Prune those dead branches, trim back overgrown shrubbery and remove any plantings that are in the way. Spread mulch or bark around trees and flowers for a well-kept look.

Freshen Up Outdoor Furniture

Put a fresh coat of paint on furniture and replace the cushions. Fill up those empty spots on the porch with a bench or porch swing.  And get your yard ready for summer!

Keep It Clean

Sweep your sidewalk and clear away cobwebs. Also repaint your posts.

Clear Out Gutters

Inspect your downspouts and gutters to be sure they’re clear of leaves, tree limbs and other debris that might cause problems later on. Clogging usually occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. Take off this elbow and inspect for any clogging.



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Fall 2012 Checklist

November 10th, 2012 · No Comments


  • Drain the gas from your lawn equipment before storing it for the off season to ward off the harmful effects that spoiled gas can have on engines and other parts. Make sure to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions and safety measures when draining any fluids.   Make sure you dispose the the fluids carefully.


  • Turn off all exterior faucets to avoid freezing and damage to pipes during those chilly winter days…Minnesota isnt the warmest place to live!


  • Schedule an inspection for your heating system with a local professional. You should make certain your furnace is in top-notch shape and that all of your ducts and air filters are clean before frigid temperatures set in. The last thing you want is a problem on a day with a record low temperature. By doing this you can make sure your furnace is in good shape to run and save you money!


  • Inspect all windows and doors for leaks. Replace any damaged weatherstripping and caulk leaky areas to keep the cold out and heat in.


  • Make sure gutters are clean of any debris as they tend to get clogged with falling leaves and branches during fall months.


  • Just as in spring, now is a good opportunity to check the batteries in all of your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to make certain they are in working order.


  • Check around the outside of your home and cover up or fill in any holes you discover to protect against rodents. Mice can squeeze into holes less than one inch, so play it safe and plug up any holes you find.  They want to stay warm too!!


  • Prune trees and shrubs that are growing near your home, roof, deck or patio to avoid damage to the exterior. 

  • Have your fireplace inspected… Make sure it is ready to go for those cold nights. Along with the furnace! 

  • Make sure you get the snow blower, shovels, boots, mittens, and hats ready! Before long you will be using them daily! 

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