Holidays Tag

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Tips for Amazing Outdoor Holiday Lights

Who doesn’t love piling the family into the car and driving around to view the holiday lights? For many of us, it’s an annual tradition. But when it comes to installing your own decorations, it can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation! (Especially when it’s -20 outside and the snow is falling.) We’ve put together a few tips that ought to make things easier this year!

Test your lights before you get started.


It might seem like common sense, but sometimes people are so eager to get started that they start hanging lights and hours later find out that the one of the strings they’ve been working with doesn’t work. Do yourself a favor and do a plug-in test before you begin. Although no one likes doing the prep work of untangling huge clumps of twinkle lights, you’ll save yourself time in the long run.

Use outdoor-rated supplies outdoors.

Make sure you’re using lights rated for outdoor use. Otherwise you might find yourself with decor that fizzles out halfway through the season. It’s important to make sure your extension cords are intended for outdoor use as well.

Safety first.


If you need a ladder to complete your decor, be sure to use one that’s sturdy. Don’t be tempted to risk life and limb by getting creative when it comes to reaching new heights. Be careful on roofs that might be icy or slick too. And when stringing those lights, don’t use nails or staple guns. The best way to hand electrical wires is with light clips or even electrical tape.

Start Small.


It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season. But don’t get ahead of yourself when planning your decor. It’s better to finish your decorating plan in stages than to try to do everything at once. Otherwise you might run out of steam or supplies and end up with a house that looks half done.

Be Creative.


With all of the options available on the market, shoppers aren’t limited to simple strings of lights. There are inflatables, LED lights, net lights, icicle strands, and so many more choices. It’s easy to get carried away! Just make sure you’re not overloading your circuits. No one wants to pull a Clark Griswold.

Clean Up After Yourself.

By the time the holidays have passed it’s tempting to yank the lights down and toss them in a box until next year. But if you spend the extra time to organize things as you put them away, you’ll be ready to go next year. Strings of lights can be wrapped around a piece of cardboard or an empty paper towel roll. Mark things clearly so they’ll be easy to find and you’ll be ahead of the game when next November rolls around.

How about you? Do you have any tips on holiday lights to share?

We hope your holidays are filled with a little extra shimmer and shine this year!


How to Make Your House Smell Delicious Over the Holidays

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. Cold temps and winter weather mean we’ll be spending more time indoors. With our homes sealed up against the elements, that means we could be at the mercy of pet odors, lingering cooking smells or something even worse.

Whether your home is for sale during the holidays or you just want a breath of fresh air, the following tips and tricks will make sure your house smells delicious over the holidays.

Pop Something in the Oven

If you have friends or a scheduled showing, whip up a batch of cookies and pull them out of the oven right before your guests arrive. You don’t even have to make them from scratch. Keep a tube of refrigerated cookie dough on hand or better yet, make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it so you can toss it into the oven at a moment’s notice. Chocolate chip is always a favorite, but around the holidays you might want to try a little gingerbread.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Essential OilsEssential oils not only smell great, they can also be therapeutic. With a minimal investment in a diffuser and a few oils, you can keep your home smelling fresh all season long. Many companies sell essential oil blends that are already mixed and ready to use. If you decide to blend your own, there are recipes online or you can use one oil at a time. Some of our favorites for the holiday season are scents of wintergreen or pine. Peppermint is always refreshing and also can help boost your energy and concentration.


Simmer Something on the Stove

Simmer PotpourriIf you’re short on time and need to work with what you’ve got on hand, you can toss a few aromatic ingredients in a saucepan full of water and simmer any odors away. Traditional blends include oranges, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. You can also try slices of lemons with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Infuse new life into potpourri by adding water and letting it heat up on the stovetop. And if your fridge is empty and your pantry is bare, you can always mix some vanilla extract in water. Bring it to a boil then turn it to low and pretty soon your whole house will smell like the inside of a vanilla bean.

Decorate with Scented Pine Cones

Scented Pine ConesIf you’ve walked down the aisle of a craft store this time of year, you’ve probably smelled the cinnamon-y, spicy scent of holiday pine cones. Pick up a bag of those and spread them throughout your seasonal decor for an instant boost of holiday cheer. Or you can make your own scented pine cones by adding pine cones and 20-30 drops of essential oils to a gallon-sized bag. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, although several days is even better. For scents, you can use a mix of cinnamon, evergreen, pine, clove, or anything else you’re drawn to.

With the tips above your home will smell delicious through the holiday season and beyond. Do you have any tips we haven’t mentioned? Share them in the comments below!




5 Tips for Selling Your Home Around Thanksgiving

The majority of people think the best time to sell a home is during the summer. Children are out of school which makes it much easier for parents to relocate and start a new life in their new home. In actuality more than half of homebuyers do not have children or have children that are out of the house. There are far less numbers of homes for sale during the holidays which makes the demand for a quality home that much higher.

1. Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority.

By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, trees have started to lose their leaves. This makes maintaining the exterior of your even more of a priority. Bare trees result in a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of leaves.

2. Avoid Clutter at All Costs.

Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add quite a bit of clutter to the home. In the case that a potential buyer wants to view the home, eliminating this clutter couldn’t be more important. If family has taken over a bedroom that’s usually used for storage, it can be wise to invest in a storage unit. These are not expensive and can be rented for a month or two while the home is on the market. Clutter decreases the perceived size of the home which could be a deciding factor whether a buyer puts an offer in or continues their search.

3. Appeal to the Buyer’s Imagination.

Creating a warm atmosphere during Thanksgiving and the holidays when your home is being sold can do a couple of things. The potential buyers could imagine themselves celebrating their own Thanksgiving in the home. This isn’t the time to put up huge amounts of decorations but rather enough to get into the spirit of the season. Warm colors should be abundant and those quirky holiday decorations that some families put up in their homes during certain holidays should be kept in the attic.

4. Price The Home To Sell.

Pricing the home to sell during the holidays is extremely important. If you accepted a new job and need to relocate by the end of the year this multiplies in importance. Many buyers if in the same situation will want to put an offer in around the Thanksgiving holiday. This will reduce the stress of trying to find a home during the Christmas holidays when many people travel for extended periods. Closing quickly will also allow you to write off closing costs during this year’s tax season.

5. Select an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Picking the right agent is important regardless of what time of year that it is. During the holidays it’s more important as many facets of selling a home can be impacted by the holiday breaks. We’d love the opportunity to earn your business!

Remember: Selling your home during the Thanksgiving and holiday season isn’t impossible. Taking care of the small details leading up to the sale will only increase your chances of considering offers with your turkey dinner. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck selling this holiday season!

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

We have so much to be thankful for this year! So we decided the whole team needed to share what they are grateful for as we wrap up 2017 and race toward a new year…

Hannah - Thankful



Hannah: “I’m thankful for my tiny but fierce Anora, the crockpot, and all of the supportive people in my life rooting for my success.”







Thankful - Sarah


Sarah: “I am so very thankful for my husband. We’ve been together since we were teenagers, which means we have done a lot of growing together. He supports me when I try new things, makes me laugh when I need it most, and goes along with most of my crazy ideas. Oh yeah – I am super thankful for his handyman skills too!! New carpet on the stairs, paint, trim, and railing! (Just one of my crazy ideas…) He gives to others whenever they are in need, stays very calm through tough times, and is an amazing dad to our kids. I’m also thankful for my steering wheel heater – something I never knew I needed but couldn’t live without. ”






Theresa: “As I ponder and reflect on the many things I am thankful for, one of the most recent changes for our family comes to mind. In early spring we moved to Lakeville! We were immediately warmly welcomed to the neighborhood by many amazing families bringing treats and cards. I am thankful each and every day for the opportunities our children have by being a part of such a wonderful school district, and community. My hope is for our family to give as much love and acceptance back to the community as we have received.” #lakevillelove



Thankful - Karla2

Thankful - Karla


Karla: “I am thankful for my 3 happy, healthy, capable children. They are grateful for all they have, and show it by sharing their time and gifts with others. I am thankful that after hanging out with the same guy for 29 years, we continue to have a lot of fun together. He continues to surprise me, support my crazy ideas, and makes me laugh every day. I am thankful for crossing paths with Sarah this past spring. She lead me to The Property Geeks, undoubtedly the BEST real estate team! I am thankful for their friendship, patience and willingness to share their knowledge with me. I am thankful that Blake Shelton was named the Sexiest Man Alive. Oh, and for coffee.”






Nekeya: “I am thankful for so many things! I love being able to travel with my family and friends. And I’m grateful for my incredible network that has helped me grow into the person I am today! Plus internet, hot water, friendship, family, having a chance to experience different cultures, getting to work in real estate and last, but not least, Thai iced coffee. ”







Julian 2



Julian: “I am thankful for my family, friends and coworkers who believe in me. I am thankful for the Vikings and Timberwolves being amazing this season as well! I am thankful for my clients who trust me with their real estate needs. I’m also very thankful for my girlfriend. She listens to all of my crazy ideas and is very supportive of me!”







Kim: “I’m thankful for so much this year… my family (especially my ever-patient husband), my supportive network of friends, the opportunities I’ve had this past year to further my dreams while I still try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I’m especially thankful for my morning cup of coffee, the creation of flavored creamers and my discovery of mashed potato bars. Who knew that was a thing?”




And since no one wanted to go after Caarin, we saved hers for last!

Thankful - CaarinCaarin: “I am eternally thankful to my amazing parents. You see… I am one of the lucky ones. I truly have two of the most amazing parents a girl could ever ask for. They were extra strict in all of the “right ways” that made me angry with them as a teenager, and love and understand them as an adult and mother myself. They have worried more hours, dried more of my tears, and continue to be more supportive than I could ever imagine. Not only did they fulfill their job duties as parents, but they are even more amazing as grandparents. For that I am eternally and forever grateful. So today I am thankful for being so lucky to have been blessed with Dan and Carla Hagen as parents.”



So what are YOU thankful for this year? We’d love to know!