Moving Checklist

Moving Day



I personally love to move, but I’m told it doesn’t rate high on most peoples lists of things to do. If you’re not a fan, the best thing to do is make a plan and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is wake up on moving day un-prepared.

Moving Checklist:

a few months before the move….

  • Start calling movers! Moving day will be here before you know it.
  • Create a moving binder to keep track of all the necessary paperwork, include contracts and contact information. Just don’t pack this away, you’ll want to keep this handy so you have it the day of the move.
  • Start sorting and purging. If you’re not going to take it with you, get rid of it. Decide what should be donated and what should be thrown away.
  • Order or start hoarding boxes. You’re going to need a lot of them.

a month before the move…

  • Start packing. Make sure you clearly label each box with what’s inside and where it goes. Example: Blankets/Master Bedroom. Do not wait until the week before to pack. There are a lot of items in your home that you do not use on a daily basis and can be packed this far in advance.
  • Go to the post office or to your online to and change your address. Call your bank, credit cards, all the important people and let them know your new address.
  • Arrange to be off work and if necessary child care. It’s good to have the kids involved in the process but trust me they will get tired and bored of this way before you do.
  • Call your insurance agent. Do you need to make any changes to your policy?
  • Call the utilities. Let them know your moving. Set up utilities for your new home. (Electric, Gas, Water, Trash, TV and Internet)

a few weeks before the move…

  • Start planning your meals, the goal here is to use up everything in your freezer and your cupboards so you don’t have to move it.
  • Measure furniture and doorways, you’re going to want to make sure everything will fit.
  • Get rid of all the extra paint cans, etc., that you will not be taking with you or leaving for the new home owners. If you live in Minneapolis, visit this site to find a location near you.
  • Cancel your paper, let the cleaning people know you’re moving.

a few days before the move…

  • Defrost the freezer.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Clean, showers and bath tubs. Dust. This will make it easier for you on moving day.
  • Make sure you have cash to tip the movers and bribe your children.

the day of…

  • Get up early and have a nice breakfast, or better yet, go out for breakfast so you don’t have to clean the kitchen.
  • Help, direct movers and anyone that is assisting you in this process.
  • Clean the home before you leave.
  • Start unpacking the boxes that hold what you will need immediately; kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.



A great idea about wine!

140205_MEG_Post2Ideas.  Some lose steam while others gain momentum.  Our last idea was to blog about half price bottle of wine nights in Minneapolis. I could do a little research online, call and confirm with restaurants and put together a nice list for all the wine lovers out there. People will love it! What a great idea! Turns out, we were right, they do love it but as I found out it’s already been done.  And I should add that it’s been done really well. So I see no reason to recreate the wheel. I’m just going to share with you what I’ve found.

I hope you’re as excited as I am to have found this list. Carrie, you are amazing. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. You are an inspiration. Thank you for putting this together and for maintaining it.


Please note; The Matt Engen Group does not maintain or update this list and as Carrie states on her website, 1/2 price wine night may change at anytime so always call ahead to confirm.


Southwest Minneapolis Houses

The following 9 neighborhoods are part of the overall community of Southwest Minneapolis; Linden Hills, East Harriet, Kingfield, Fulton, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, Armatage, Kenny, and Windom. Each neighborhood is as vibrant and unique as the people who live there and the houses they live in. In Southwest Minneapolis most of the homes were built between the 1900′s and the 1940′s and can be categorized as; Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial, Tudor, English Tudor, Craftsman, Bungalow, Cape Cod, Victorian and Ranch or Rambler depending on where you grew up. Each home has a variety of key features that help identify what type of home it is; year built, roof line, prominent features; center hallway, fireplace, stained glass, porch; stories or levels and materials used. With all the remodeling and new construction done over the years not every home in Southwest Minneapolis is easily identifiable or fits one style but most homes will still for the most part fit one style or another.  Learning about the different styles of the homes in Southwest Minneapolis is a highlight for us and many people who live here. The unique qualities these homes bring to our neighborhood add charm and value and keep the neighborhood a desirable place to live.



Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s already the 6th of January. It’s amazing how quickly the years and days can pass by. 2014 was a good year for us, full of ups and a few downs, but overall we have a lot to be thankful for. Friends and family top the list but so does home. Matt and I have been home owners for over 17 years. There’s not a day that I look back and regret that decision. Yes it’s not all fun, a new roof or furnace is definitely not fun but inviting friends and family over to celebrate the holidays or just a random Friday night is fun, for us very, very fun.  We love to entertain and gather with our friends and family and because of that our house has become a gathering spot of sorts, where friends and family know that they are always welcome. If entertaining in a new home is on your list for 2015 we would love to help you achieve that dream. Till then, Happy 2015.

Happy Holidays

Wishing you all the simple pleasures of the season. Happy Holidays!IMG_2037

Staging your Home

Staging your home for sale is not decorating or interior design. It’s preparing your home for sale by de-cluttering, depersonalizing, cleaning and making your home appeal to as many buyers as possible.

If your Realtor has suggested that you stage the home the first thing you need to do is take yourself out of the picture. Although many elements of staging can be done on your own, making your house appeal to as many buyers as possible may require additional furniture, accessories and paint colors to help potential buyers envision themselves using the space and give your home what we like to call the ‘wow’ factor. If you’re having problems pulling it all together or seeing past the way you live in the home you may need to consider hiring a professional stager.

A professional stager will work with you to put together a plan and decide what you can do and what they can do for you. They have the knowledge and the resources to help you get your home ready for sale in the quickest amount of time and as stress free as possible. Staging should be fun and ultimately sell your house at top dollar in the quickest amount of time.




Decorating for the Holidays

Decorating for the holidays can be a challenge especially if your house is listed for sale.  If you find yourself in this situation it’s a good idea to keep things simple, with a few minor adjustments to your holiday decor, your decorations won’t negate all the work you just did to get your home ready for sale and it will still feel festive.

Create a warm welcome. Place a beautiful evergreen holiday pot next to your front door, be careful not to block the entrance, you don’t want to create a tripping hazard.  Place a wreath on the door.

Decorate your mantle. Fireplaces rate high on the list with many buyers. Use this opportunity to transform your mantle into the focal point, use candles, greenery, pinecones and a mirror to capture the season.

Place the tree in and out of the way corner.  Make sure not to block the flow of the room or add back the clutter you just worked so hard to remove. If the room feels small with the addition of the tree, think about removing a chair or end table to re-open up the space.

If possible try to keep the religious elements to a minimum and keep the decorations to one room of the house. And most importantly please try not to feel guilty if you don’t put out everything you have. You want your house to feel holiday ready but you still want it to appeal to buyers.


Shop Local, Shop SW Mpls

Shop Small

There are so many reasons we love living and working in Southwest Minneapolis. The amazing number of small businesses, local shops and restaurants are one of them. These establishments increase the demand for our homes and our overall quality of living. November 29, is Small Business Saturday, show your support to the Southwest community and shop local, shop small.
The following nine neighborhoods make up Southwest Minneapolis; Armatage, East Harriet, Fulton, Kenny, Kingfield, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, Tangletown and Windom.

Preparing your Home to Sell

Does your house feel too small, too large? Are you dreaming about moving to a warmer climates? Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about moving it’s a good time to start thinking about your home differently. Every homeowner tends to overlook things in their own home. When you start thinking about selling your home try to start thinking about your home as a potential buyer would and get ready to prepare your home for sale.

Clean. Cleaning your house for sale goes above and beyond, dusting and vacuuming the rugs. You must clean every square inch of your house and make it appear new, it must sparkle, it must smell and feel clean because buyers can feel clean and clean makes people good. It makes them feel like you have taken good care of the house. If you don’t have time to clean as deeply as recommended hire a professional. It’s worth it.

Declutter. This is important. You want and need the buyers to be able to visualize living in your home, you want and need your home to feel spacious to the potential new buyer, if your stuff doesn’t fit, how will theirs? Our ‘stuff’ tends to get in the way and buyers can’t look past it. As home owners we can look past the ‘stuff’ because we’ve become used to it and simply don’t see it anymore, but trust me buyers do.  Almost every client we’ve worked with have actually thanked us for having them declutter,believe it or not, it makes moving easier.

Make the necessary repairs. Like cleaning your home, fixing that leaking faucet, or scraping and painting the peeling paint on your front door shows the buyer that you’ve taken good care of your home and this makes them feel good. You will often hear buyers express enthusiasm and excitement that they won’t have to do anything, they can move right in! We can help you decide which repairs are necessary.

Stage. We only have so many seconds to make a first impression. Staging your home will help you show off your homes potential to buyers. Always remember that the way you live in your home and the way you stage your home are two different things.

Only after you’ve cleaned, decluttered, fixed the necessary repairs and staged will your home will be in the right condition to sell.

Buying a Home

So you’ve decided to buy a home, congratulations! We believe you’ve made the right decision. The key now is finding the right home, and we’re here to help you do just that.  But before we begin we believe that the following information will help keep this process manageable and as stress free as possible.

Secure Financing

This is an important step in the home buying process and needs to be done before you do anything else. With a pre-approval status, you’ll be able to seriously look at homes within your price range and be ready to make a legitimate offer.

Find Your Home

There are a lot of homes out there, we’ll help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. When you find a home you like, call us, we’ll set up a showing and walk you through the home.

Make an Offer

Once a property has been selected, a purchase agreement is written. We present the offer with your pre-approval letter and earnest money check and start negotiations.

Get your Home Inspected

Once you’ve made an offer and the seller has accepted your purchase agreement, it’s common to get a home inspection.  A home inspection is a good way for you to get an understanding of the overall condition of the home.  Most purchase agreements are written to make the purchase agreement’s final acceptance contingent upon the results of a home inspection.


Most lenders require a professional appraisal to determine the value of the property before they will approve a loan.  Since the home you’re financing is collateral for the loan, the lender won’t want to loan you more money than the property is worth.  The lender orders the appraisal shortly after the buyer and seller accept the purchase agreement.  At this time you will be asked to pay for the appraisal.

Final Approval of Loan

After receipt of appraisal and title work, the lender submits the complete file to the Underwriting Department for final approval.  Once they receive final approval, the lender provides the homebuyer with the final figures and upcoming closing final checklist.  The loan “closing package” is created and is sent by courier to the title insurance/closing company.

Final Walk Through

Before you close on your new home it’s common to take a walk through of the property to assure them that the property is in the same condition as when we wrote the purchase agreement. This is generally done 1 to 2 days before closing.


The buyer and seller meet at the buyer’s title insurance/closing company. This is where the deed is transferred, final loan application is signed and checks are disbursed.  You typically take possession of the property, possession can be immediately or 24-48 hours after closing, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement.