Buying or Selling…

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, you will receive quality service when you work with a realtor. 

Do you know that almost 95% of people claim to search for home via the internet even before they speak with an agent or a mortgage lender?  Do you want your home listed with a brokerage firm that can’t offer you the vast internet exposure your home deserves?

Are you thinking about buying a home? Do you know that if you work with an agent t hat represents the seller also, it is called Dual Agency? Is this agent working for your best interests or the sellers? 

Make sure you work with someone who has your best interests in mind when helping you find the home of your dreams!


Vickie Gylling  RE/MAX Advantage Plus

Septic Systems and Freezing Weather are they friends?

Many people own homes that have septic systems with them.  However, if you do not properly take care of the system from the connection to the home all the way out to where the tank is located the cost can be astronomical not to mention the hassle it can cause in your family.

Did you know that lack of snow coverage can cause a problem? If there is not enough snow to cover the tank the frost can be driven deep into the ground and cause a freezing issue as well.  A path of any sort whether it be from human, snowmobile, ATV or even livestock moving across the tank or lines may also cause freezing issues.  So to protect yourself from having issues post signs indicating where the lines or tank or located at for all to stay clear of these areas.

Lack of plant cover could also cause a freezing issue for a septic system.  Most companies will recommend allowing vegetation cover to go un-cut after mid-September as it will add some insulation to the system.  The vegetation will also catch additional snow to help insulate the system.

Not a plumber? Higher a professional to come in once a year to check for leaks in the plumbing fixtures or condensation from a furnace or humidifier.  Slow moving water through the discharge line is enough to cause ice to build up and eventually plug the line.  If you find a leak, make sure it goes into a pail that is dumped often may help in avoiding a frozen septic.  You can also look into the use of heat tape or a small condensation pump may be helpful in some situations.

Irregular use of a septic system may cause freezing as well.  Insufficient temperatures may occur in homes where there is long periods of in use such as people who go south for the winters.  Some of this may be avoided with a little planning.  Schedule laundry to be done a load a day and use the warm/hot setting, use your dishwasher daily or even a hot bath can help.   Thinking of leaving the water run all the time? This will cause anther issue of hydraulically overloading the system.  If you own a cabin or hot water use is not an option, then a SSTS professional should be contacted to discuss the best remedy or options to keep your system from freezing. 

Landscape of the pipes also plays a big part of keeping a freezing situation from happening.  If  your pipes do not have the correct slope, which can occur from settling, roots, new vegetation planting or maybe they have just sagged from time-lapse sewage can collect and freeze.  If your system has a pump line, the sewage needs to be able to drain from the drainfield back to the pump tank each time the pump turns off.  Be sure also to check for any broken or damaged inspection pipe caps and maintenance hole covers. 

So this leads us to a couple commonly asked questions:

1.) What if my septic system freezes?

               CALL ON ON-SITE PROFESSIONAL!! There are no if’s ands or but’s about this.  Do not add anything to the septic such as antifreeze, salt     or septic system additives.  You by law can not pump sewage onto the ground surface.  Do NOT start a fire over the system or run water to try to thaw the freeze.

2.) Can I prevent my system from freezing in the first place?

            Yes, there are things that may possibly help.  Try to put extra 8-12 inches of mulch over the pipe lines & tank which will act as extra insulation.  There are many versions of mulch that can be used and any landscape company or professional company should be able to best indicate which type would work best for your personal situation.  BE SURE THIS IS DONE TO A NEW SYSTEM WITH  THAT DOES NOT HAVE ANY VEGETATION ON IT.

The best prevention you can do is to watch for signs that you may be or will soon have issues with your septic system.  Indicators may include, but limited to, seeping or ponding.  If you see anything, contact a professional immediately to discuss the issue & what remedy will work best in your situation.

When does the Spring Housing Market begin?

Before I got into real estate as a consultant, I to believed the Spring Market for home sales began in May.  Do you know that the Spring Market really begins in late February? Well, it does.  With the holiday season being over & the decorations have been put away, people realized over the past month or so things have changed in their lives or THE SPIRITS TO MOVE just settle in.  Our home maybe too big, too small or we need to be closer (or sometimes even further) away from the rest of the family.  

This thought process & conversation will usually happen over the month of January and then I will get a call that they would like to know what their home is worth.  The situation may also play out something like this, if you are in the Northern part of the country, say like Minnesota, you know that you can be locked up in your home if you’re not a winter lover for what seems like a lifetime, but actually ends up to be about 5 months.  Come February when the Spring Parade of Homes starts, people will go looking at homes just to get out of the house.  Once they start to see some of the new innovations, locations or lay outs they decide they must have a new home.  This means a great opportunity for the person looking to move up and not deal with the stresses of building a home.

So with this said, what to do now?

First, take the time to look around and see if your current home is meeting all your needs.  If you are renting talk to someone or you can even play around on the mortgage calculators found on most mortgage web sites, you will be amazed that in some situations what you are paying in rent you could be paying towards your own home creating a tax break each year & gaining equity on your investment.  NOW THERE’S SOMETHING POSITIVE TO START THE NEW YEAR OFF WITH! 

Second, be sure to talk with a mortgage person to make sure that your credit is in check & that you qualify for a home loan.  Most agents these days will not begin to show you homes until they have the pre-qualification letter from your lender with a maximum dollar amount you can afford.  This is for your own good and well as to manage the agents time as well.

Third, find an agent you like, trust and want to work with.  It seems to me that everyone I know seems to know at least 50 other agents as well.  Whether it be family members, friends, someone at work or a referral from a friend.  Just remember, during this process things can get heated and you need to be able to separate relation ties & be able to get down to business even when the boxing gloves come out.  So be sure that your connection to your agent if it is family or friend is strong enough to withstand a few arguments or disagreements that may happen.  You will also need to feel absolutely comfortable with this person as you will be spending LOTS of time with them whether it is via email, phone or personal contact.  Many agents these days have web sites that can allow you to get a feel for how they work, their background and their mission & goals when working with you.

Have THE SPIRITS TO MOVE touched you yet? If so, now is the time to start getting ready to make the move.  Here’s to happy house hunting in the NEW YEAR.

Preparing to list

With the holidays about over, now comes the time to take down all the holiday cheer and put up the day-to-day decorations.  THE SPIRITS TO MOVE can get you through this project.

Are you thinking of listing your home soon?  If so, plan ahead to making your listing easy. 

When you list your home, remember these helpful hints:

1.) LESS IS MORE  time to de-clutter your home if you are planning on listing.  Don’t forget to do the storage area, closets and even the garage.

2.) FAMILY PICTURES  even though we all love to show off our kids and families, now is not the time to do this.  Take down all personal photos especially those of your children.  You want your potential buyers to look at your home and all it has to offer not your family photos.

3.) THE APPLIANCES  when potential buyers come into your home they will be looking at all possibilities, including how much work with will have to do just to get through the door.  Take the time to clean the stove, inside of the microwave, and the shelves & drawers in the fridge.  What could take you little time, may also bring more dollars to your pocket.

4.) CABINETS  make them sparkle! Got a Tupperware one? Clean it out so that when the potential buyer opens the door, they don’t have a flood of Tupperware fall out at them.  Remove pieces that are not used and store them.  Make the cabinets look roomy & spacious.

5.) THE MAN CAVE  Yes men, you to have to do your part to help in getting your home sold.  Take some time to clean the garage. Put some of the kids toys away, take and remove the blower/mower if you don’t  need them at the time, box up some of those tools that you don’t use daily or will not need until you move.

6.) THE KIDS ROOMS/PLAYROOMS  We just saw the holidays go and do your realize with the economy as it is, do you realize that many children did not even get a toy this year?  How is your child stacking up on toys?  Do they have so many that you can’t close that closet door or are embarrassed at how they lay all over the home and you child doesn’t even play with them? Why not take this time to donate the toys that your child no longer plays with, has out grown or just doesn’t even realize they have it anymore.  Your home will show better and you will feel good in helping a child that would love to just have a new toy, even though it is used it will put a sparkle in their eyes!

So now that THE SPIRITS TO MOVE maybe making you think of moving, we hope these suggestions of a few things will help aid in your sale.

It’s Time!



Merry Christmas to you & yours.

May your travels be safe & time with your family & friends memorable.

The Spitits To Move You.

Dear Santa…

Do you think this young man still thinks the same?

Holiday Traditions continued

Today, I got to once again with my mom do one of my favorite holiday traditions.  We take one day a year and spend it doing the last-minute holiday shopping for the special people left on our lists.  Along with those last-minute gifts that need to be bought, we have a long lunch, watch all the people scamper around looking for their perfect gifts and of course just enjoy the holiday cheer and decorations at the mall.

Since the Mall of American is one of the largest in the US, how can we say we couldn’t find just the perfect gift? Well sometimes that does happen, but mainly just because the person we are shopping for has everything they need, want or could think of.  The mall has brought in many new stores such as Ed Hardey, the MAC store and so much more.  There are also many of the old-time favorites such as Victoria Secrets, Sears, and Macy’s.  The holidays are such a wonderful time to give, but don’t forget the ones that have had to break family traditions due to financial & other stresses our recent economy has brought on many. 

People have many different holiday traditions from which day is spent with which family, Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  What the meal will consist of; prime rib, ham, lasagna or some other cultural food.  How the family will open presents; youngest to oldest or oldest to youngest, all at one time or many very different ways.  Also, I have heard lately that some families take the time to serve a meal in the food kitchens, go to an elderly home and spend some time with an elder that doesn’t have anyone to come to see them on this very special day.

It amazes me when THE SPIRITS TO MOVE get in the souls of some people what they can actually do to brighten another persons holiday.  Isn’t that really what  this season is really about? How we as good people can help a person less fortunate than us? I do believe that this is what the holiday is about and that there are lots of good people in this world that look to make others smile as well.

With the holiday dancing closer minute by minute, take a moment to reflect on some of your own family traditions and maybe how some new ones could also be added to brighten someone elses holiday.

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