Kenny neighborhood

Kenny is one of nine neighborhoods that make up Southwest Minneapolis. Kenny is largely made up of single-family homes, the typical story and a half home dominates the neighborhood but there are also two-story homes in addition to a growing number of remodeled homes. Kenny residents are within walking distance to popular restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores, schools, Kenny Elementary and Anthony Middle School, parks and the library.

The demographics of the Kenny community are changing, it used to be once you were ready to settle down and have children you left searching for a bigger house and better schools. That no longer seems to be the case, we’re experiencing it first hand, our schools are growing, some even have waiting lists and let’s not even talk about the restaurants.

Another indicator of it’s increasing popularity is evidenced by the number of homes for sale or lack thereof. According to the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota as of today, 2/9/2016 there are currently only 7 homes for sale in the Kenny neighborhood of Minneapolis. 2 of the 7 homes currently have offers pending inspection.

As the spring market heats up there may be opportunities for those thinking about selling. Understanding the local market, specifically your neighborhood and how it differs from other local markets is more important than ever.






Paint colors that sell

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in getting your home ready to sell. The colors that appeal to today’s buyers are soft, neutral grays and greiges (gray + beige).

I don’t think anyone would argue their popularity but finding the perfect gray or greige can be hard. Depending on the undertone, grays can quickly go too blue or too green, and beige can be so boring, anyone remember the days of real estate beige?

We found the colors below through our own trial and error, professional stagers, designers and friends and we’ve used them time and time again, they give every home a fresh, more current, updated look.

Understated by Behr 

Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams

Backdrop by Sherwin Williams

Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore


 The picture above provides a beautiful example of Repose Gray

Preparing your home for sale

People say to us all the time; We’re thinking of moving soon, what should we do to get our house ready?  The answer is simple but it’s not easy.

Clean your home. Not just surface clean your home, deep clean your home. Wash the windows, clean under the bed, couch, the big items you never move, the oven, the refrigerator, the storage room, I think you’re starting to get the point.

De-clutter. Go through your home, every room and every closet, don’t forget storage rooms and the laundry room. If you’re not planning to take it with you to the new house, it’s time to throw it away or donate it. Put the items in a box immediately, and take that box right to the car. Trust me doing it all at once will make it easier. Don’t delay, just do it!

Paint. Nothing freshens up a new home better than paint. Find a nice neutral color. Soft grays and greige (a combination between beige and gray) are very popular right now. If you need help with this, just ask!

Finish all unfinished projects. Yes, they need to be done. You can’t sell your home without completing them. End of story.

Get rid of all that ‘stuff”; old paint cans, cleaning supplies, things that were left by the previous owner and get rid of them. If you happen to live in Minneapolis it’s easy, they have hazardous waste drop off sites. You just need your drivers license and some time. Trust me when I say it’s easy, you don’t even have to get out of your car!

If you commit to doing this your home will be ready to go when you are.

New Years Goal; buying a home.

Is buying a home one of your 2016 New Years goals? Following these simple and easy steps will help you achieve your goal.

1. Get pre-approved for a home loan. This is important, it’s good to know exactly how much you can spend before you spend hours looking and falling in love with a home you may not be able to afford. You will also need this before you can make an offer. In a fast moving market like Minneapolis, if you don’t have a pre-approval letter the sellers won’t take your offer seriously.

2. Now that you know a little more about your finances, start saving! For your down payment, closing costs or the new furniture you’d like to buy after you move in!

3. Do a little research on where you want to live. Talk to friends, family and co-workers. What do they like /not like about their city or neighborhood? What’s the commute like? Who lives there? Ask about schools, even if you don’t have or plan to have children, ask how the homes near them are selling. Both are good indicators of how desirable the neighborhood is.

4. Contact the Matt Engen Group. It’s time to start the search. Having someone on your side who is familiar with the area, who understands the process and is an expert negotiator is critical. Buying a home is a major financial and emotional undertaking, having someone on your side will make this process more manageable and fun for you.

5. Start looking at houses. For most people this is the fun part!

6. Fall in love with a home and make an offer. There are many steps, decisions to make and forms to fill out to make this happen. Good thing you’ve decided to work with a REALTOR. Having someone on your side walking you through how to make an offer and what to include will make putting in an offer less stressful and more manageable.

7. And now the fun starts. Once the offer is accepted there are home inspections, appraisals, home owners insurance to buy and a variety of other tasks that need to be completed to get you to the closing table. The closing table is where the deed is actually transferred, you get keys and the house becomes yours. Look for more on this in our next blog post.



Holiday To Do List

I see this everywhere, it floods my Instagram feed so I’m not sure who to give proper credit to but I had to share it here. It’s a great reminder to be kind and present this holiday season.

1. Buy Be Presents

2. Wrap gifts. someone in a hug.

3. Send cards. peace.

4. Shop for Donate food.

5. Make cookies love.

6. See Be the lights.


Getting ready to move

I think moving is fun. Most people don’t. I see moving as an opportunity to start new, reduce the clutter and start fresh in the new house. If this is your goal too, follow these steps.

1. Start early. I encourage people to start this process before their house even goes on the market. You can’t pack up the living room but you can remove the items you no longer love.

2. Tackle one room at a time. Don’t forget closets and storage. These are very important. In fact, I like to start here.

3. Ask yourself, do I love it? Yes it’s that simple, no need for multiple questions if you don’t love it, even if grandma gave it to you when you were newly married, don’t take it with you, throw it out or give it away.

4. Measure your new home and make a plan. Will your couch fit through the door? Knowing this ahead of time will save you time and money on moving day.

5. Label everything.

Yes it is that easy. The hard part is getting started.


A few of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes; reminding us all that this holiday is about gathering around the table with friends and family and giving thanks for what we have.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
- Oprah Winfrey

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Happy Thanksgiving!

Neighborhoods Matter

We didn’t realize how important our neighborhood would become when purchased our home. Then we moved in,  had children and realized that we got lucky, we moved into an awesome neighborhood! Our neighbors threw us a party when we moved in. Our kids really could go outside at any minute and run into a playmate. When we walked to school on our first day of kindergarten, 7 years ago, 14 kids from the neighborhood walked with us. We participate in yearly chili cook offs, progressive dinners and the neighborhood block party.

I’ll never forget that first day of school, I often repeat that story to others when they ask what I love best about my neighborhood. Why am I telling you this? Because neighborhoods build strong communities and strong communities lead to higher home values, where homes sell quickly. And this matters to you because if you find yourself looking to move one day, you will want your house to sell quickly at the right price. So before you buy your next home take a look around the neighborhood, visit it often; Are people outside? Do the neighbors take care of their homes, their yards? Is there a park nearby? Where are the closest local establishments? Ask questions because these are the things that will tell you if the neighborhood will make you happy.



Marketing your Home Online

An online presence is essential for today’s REALTORS, because 92% of all home buyers use the internet to search for a home. RE/MAX Results and the Matt Engen Group understand the needs of today’s home buyer, we have the features and the capabilities they’re looking for. Did you know that RE/MAX Results sends its listings to over 900 national websites every day and displays up to 50 high resolution images of your listing. Good pictures of your home can make the difference between scheduling a showing and never knowing they were interested. The pictures are then converted into a video which is uploaded to  In addition to the work RE/MAX Results does to market your home online, the Matt Engen Group showcases your home on,,, and we continuously promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +. We’re meeting the buyers where they are and that’ s important in today’s real estate market.


Your role in Selling your Home.

Agree to a Six Month Listing Contract

By committing to a defined and reasonable time frame, you allow us to commit to the efforts and expenses listed in the Marketing Plan.

Market Your Property at a Reasonable Price

Even the best home will languish if not priced competitively.  “Fishing” for a higher price is a strategy that can backfire and result in a seller accepting a lower price than necessary.  With true comparable and honest counseling, we will help you determine a price that is both winning and competitive.

Keep Home Clean and Orderly for Showings

Potential buyers can be immediately turned off by dirty dishes, cluttered rooms or unmade beds.  It is important that the home be made ready for every showing.

Follow Through on Minor Repairs

All appliances, light switches, door handles, etc. should be in working order.  Minor paint touch-ups should be completed.

Be Flexible with Showing Times Between 9am & 8pm

This is crucial.  Perhaps the one mistake made most often by sellers is that they are inflexible about showings.  Many relocation buyers may only have a day or two for their home-finding trip.  Being turned down for a showing may mean no showing at all.

Vacate the Home for All Showings

Buyers expect to view the home without the seller present.  This allows the buyer to visualize themselves living in the home – a feeling not cultivated by the seller’s presence.