Category Archives: Home

5 Housewarming Gifts

I feel like we’re always searching for the perfect housewarming gift. One that’s unique, says to the new home owners, hey I actually gave this some thought and one they’ll actually use. It’s hard. Am I right? So I decided to round up my favorite 5 housewarming gifts and share them with you here. These gifts are unique but still practical and sure to get used.

  1. A welcome mat. With so many options to choose from I’m positive you’ll be able to find the perfect one for the new home owners. If you need a little inspiration I have a board dedicated to welcome mats on our Pinterest page. They can be personalized, funny, traditional or all of the above.
  2. A bottle of wine and gift certificate for your favorite local pizza delivery. Because let’s face it when you’re busy moving boxes or cleaning up after a rocking party who wants to think about cooking? And taking the time to introduce them to everyones favorite local pizza delivery is an invaluable service. One they will appreciate for years to come.
  3. Your favorite home design book. My current favorite is Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines.  You can also get this one at Target. Which makes it super easy to cross off your to do list.
  4. A marble or wood cutting board. This gift is as pretty as it is practical. And beautiful cutting boards are enjoying a moment right now. I dare you to find a kitchen on Instagram without one.
  5. A framed map of their city or local icon. I love giving these as gifts, people love them. They’re a perfect addition to a gallery wall. We have a map of Minneapolis as well as a print of Lake Harriet and the Foshay Tower as part of our gallery wall. I found ours here on Etsy.

And there you have it our favorite housewarming gifts of the moment. If you’re reading this and have a great housewarming gift idea we’d love to hear from you.

5 Unique Housewarming Gifts | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group

Are we in a Balanced Real Estate Market?

Balanced Real Estate Market | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group

We’ve experienced quite a few years of a strong sellers market here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area but the tides seem to be shifting back towards a balanced real estate market. We think that’s a good thing. What are we seeing to make us think a shift is coming? Well let me explain. We typically see a bit of a slow down in the fall and winter months but we’re seeing more and more listings than previous years and they’re staying on the market a little longer than a day. Buyers in the entry level price point where multiple offers and homes selling over list price can finally breathe because the listing inventory is rising which translates to more houses to choose from.

On the sellers side we’re seeing more and more price reductions on currently listed homes. This means that the price of homes isn’t growing as quickly as it had been, it’s balancing out, bringing us back to a balanced real estate market.

And finally interest rates are rising, they’re currently around 5% for a 30 year fixed loan and while this may feel high for some of us, this is still historically low. Unemployment is low and the economy is doing well so despite how you may feel when you hear the current interest rate this a normal and healthy practice.

So don’t panic when you hear about the market shifting because a balanced real estate market is not a bad thing, it’s just different from what we’re used to. Now really is a good time to buy and sell a home. We understand that there are pros and cons to every situation but if you’ve been considering making a move now may be a really good time for you to sit down and evaluate your goals and consider making that move sooner rather than later.


3 Things You Can Do To Make Clutter Stylish

Decluttering continues to be the number one thing Stagers and Realtors recommend when you start getting your home ready for sale. If the buyer feels like you don’t have enough room for your stuff they won’t either. So once you rid yourself of all the mis-matched cups and things you don’t need. It’s time to organize what’s left and make it look pretty.

Here are 3 really easy and fairly inexpensive things you can do to beautify your clutter.

  1. Add shelves to your garage or your basement and purchase matching clear bins. Clear bins make it easy to see what’s inside and matching bins are pleasing to the eye. Mis-matched containers look messy.
  2. Purchase pretty baskets to gather all the loose items in your closets like your mittens and hats. Pretty baskets are also great in the bathroom, use one as a catch all under the sink for your cleaning products or hair products/tools.
  3. Matching hangers. I really didn’t think this would have as big of an impact as it did but it works. Matching hangers are kind of like the matching bins, they are easy on the eye they also help you save space by eliminating bulky and inefficient hangers.

Where can I take old paint cans to dispose of them?

This is a very common question. Especially when you’ve just sold your home and you’re moving out because everything must go. Yes, all those old paint cans need to go, even if the previous owner left them for you. The only way they can stay is if you ask your new buyers Realtor if they would like them and they say yes. If they don’t want the old paint cans it is your responsibility to remove them from the home prior to moving out. Do not assume the new buyers will want them. This will almost guarantee a last minute stop to the old house to remove them prior to closing.

So where can you take your old paint cans to dispose of them? If you live in Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington counties you have two very easy options. All you need is your ID or a utility bill to prove you’re a resident.

Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station
8100 Jefferson Highway, Brooklyn Park,
(612) 348-6500 or (612) 348-6509

South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-off Center
1400 West 96th Street, Bloomington,
(612) 348-6500 or (612) 348-6509

Both facilities listed above accept household hazardous waste like paint cans, automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that I’m guessing you don’t want or know what to do with either. For additional information on items accepted, like old TV’s and computers etc., visit Hennepin County’s website.

If you live outside of Hennepin County I just found a great new website that can help you figure out what to do with your leftover pain cans. It’s called Earth 911 All you need to do it enter the material you’re trying to recycle, your zip code and click search.


5 steps to instantly refresh your home

Updating your home can seem like a big undertaking, especially if it’s been awhile. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

If you’re thinking about refreshing your home, these 5 easy updates will go a long way.

  1. Paint. A Fresh coat of paint will make the room feel clean and give it a whole new feel. Consider what each room is used for and if you’re having problems picking out a color, head to Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. Gray and white walls remain popular with todays home buyers.
  2. Buy some new pillows. They’re an easy way to add a pop of seasonal color or pattern to a room.
  3. Bring in some plants. A personal favorite of mine. Like pillows they’re an easy way to update and add some interest and contrast to a room. And their popularity has exploded in recent years making them a very easy way to stay on trend.
  4. Purchase new window treatments or simply remove what you have and let the view speak for itself.
  5. Shop your home. Move the rug from the family room to the living room or vice versa. Repurpose everyday items, use a stack of books as an end table or an old map as wall decor. Get creative with what you have.

#home #refreshyourhome #mattengengroup #realestateblog

Homes for the Holidays

I’m a huge fan of the freshly fallen snow and the twinkling lights but most of all I love to see how everyone decorates their beautiful homes for the season. Today I’m going to share a few homes I’ve found on Instagram, each one is as different and beautiful as the next. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Homes for the Holiday | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog

I’m not sure where this one came from, I save so many houses I occasionally lose track.

Homes for the Holiday | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog

Instagram @northern_vernacular

Homes for the Holiday | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog

Instagram @patticakewagner

Homes for the Holiday | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog

And this is our house, it’s not as decorated as some but this is where our heart is.

You can find it on Instagram too @mattengengroup


#homefortheholidays #home #mattengengroup #mnrealestate


We all take vacations for a variety of reasons. Some of us need a break from work or kids or life in general and some of us truly just like to explore and experience new things. I take vacations to admire the different architectural home styles around the world.  I’ve always loved to see how people live and experience the culture but more importantly I like to see what they live in, I like to see their homes. For me there’s nothing better than wandering the streets, with no destination or purpose, I just take picture after picture of the beautiful homes I see and I take it all in. I post a few to our Instagram page @mattengengroup but mostly I take them because they speak to me. Each and every home has a story to share, the more homes I see, the more I learn to appreciate my surroundings and enjoy the simply beauty of home, including my own.

The canal houses of Amsterdam.


The Moorish-style architecture of the houses in Positano Italy.


Our classic colonial in Minneapolis, MN.


#home #architecture #homestyles #howwehome #amsterdam #italy #minneapolis #mn


Fall Clean Up

It’s time to prepare your home for the upcoming season. And Fall is the best time of the year to get that done, it’s still fairly warm out so your fingers won’t freeze.

  1. Inspect and clean your gutters.
  2. Drain water and winterize outdoor faucets.
  3. Replace your furnace filter.
  4. Clean your fireplace or call the guy to come clean your fireplace.
  5. Test the fire alarms and CO detectors.
  6. Rake the leaves and bring in your flower pots.
  7. Drain and store the lawn mower and get the snow blower ready, like it or not, it’s coming.
  8. Clean and organize the garage.

#fall #home #homemaintenance #todo #mattengengroup

Front Yard Patio’s


Creating a front yard patio with a couple of Adirondack chairs and a small table is a simple and easy way to add curb appeal to your home. Taking advantage of this valuable real estate is also a great way to get to know your neighbors and get in on a growing trend.

Outdoor Living Spaces


Creating an outdoor living space not only allows you to enjoy your yard and these warm summer days it can also add value to your home.