Our Review of Heather’s

We love the newest neighborhood restaurant. It’s that simple.

But if you’d like a little more info, here you go.

First we’re just so happy this place is no longer sitting empty, for those of you that don’t know this building sat empty for 15 years. And we’re not fans of empty buildings, they do absolutely nothing for the neighborhood. Unlike neighborhood restaurants.

Second, it’s adorable inside. For the most part the restaurant is white and full of natural light so the green tile wall behind the bar and all the gold accents easily steels the show.

Our review of Heather's in Minneapolis the latest neighborhood restaurant | Matt Engen Group

Next we should probably talk about the food. You place your order at the counter. Which as you can see in the picture is filled with so many delicious options it was hard to narrow it down. So we didn’t, we ordered what we wanted and then some, including a chocolate chip cookie, because why not?

Beautiful bowls of food behind the counter at Heather's in Minneapolis the latest neighborhood restaurant.
The options are fresh and tasted as good as they looked
Orzo salad with greens and pine nuts at Heather's in Minneapolis the latest neighborhood restaurant.
The Orzo Salad
A plate of food featuring a pesto grilled cheese sandwich, french fries and ketchup at Heather's in Minneapolis the latest neighborhood restaurant
Pesto Grilled Cheese and Fries
A chocolate chip cookie on a plate at Heather's in Minneapolis the latest neighborhood restaurant
A Chocolate Chip Cookie

The food did not disappoint, over all we were very happy with everything we ordered. A few highlights, the tuna salad (not pictured) had artichokes instead of noodles, the french fries are fantastic (seriously do not skip these) and that chocolate chip cookie was to die for. We were suppose to share it but I accidentally ate it all.

In short we will be back. Next time I think I’ll order the fries and a glass of wine because life is short and why not get exactly what you want. Hope to see you there!

My Favorite Home Accounts

For pretty houses in the Twin Cities

By now I’m sure you all know I have a thing for pretty houses, especially the ones in Twin Cities. Part of me is madly in love with the house and the other part of me wants to show everyone just how pretty the Twin Cities can be in every season.

I also enjoy social media, for me connecting with others and meeting new people is fun. Instagram though is quickly becoming my favorite for finding all the prettiest local houses. So I figured it was time for me to share my favorite accounts, ones I think you would enjoy following too, so I rounded them up here.

@domesticconjecture – She finds and photographs the most interesting houses and then she writes a fictional story about what is happening in the house. The stories are equally as beautiful as the houses.

@historicminnesota – A fellow Realtor she focuses mainly on exterior shots in towns across Minnesota. She’s featured a few housese from New Ulm and St Peter, towns I remember from when I was younger as well as Stillwater, a local favorite for pretty houses.

@summit_avenue – The bio reads America’s longest stretch of beautifully preserved Victorian era homes. But it’s so much more than that, you really have to experience this feed to appreciate the beauty of these homes. Full of different angles, landscaping and vibrant colors it brings me so much joy.

@rabenson76 – This is a new to me account but I’ve been enjoying the history lesson he shares with each exterior shot.

Now go show these accounts some love and if I’m missing an account please feel free to share.

3 Winter Activities To Do This Weekend

It’s suppose to be in the 30’s this weekend. Cue the celebration! (If you knew how cold it’s been here in Minnesota you’d be celebrating too.) But all kidding aside when we see temps in the 30’s it’s time to get outside and experience the joy of winter. That’s right, I said outside. Not sure what to do? Here are our top picks.

The St. Paul Winter Carnival: This event runs through Feb 2 so technically you have some time but it’s going to be in the 30’s this weekend so why not. There are Ice Sculptures, Ice Bars, Parades and so much more.

Lake Harriet Kite Festival: This one is open from noon to 4 on Saturday. Go see kites of all shapes and sizes, colors and themes flying over a frozen lake. Other fun things to do include ice fishing, snowshoeing, and a marshmallow roast. This is a free event. Including a free ride from Metro Transit.

Minnehaha Falls: I saved the best for last, I’m not sure how many of you have seen a frozen water fall but it’s pretty amazing. I highly recommend that you dress warm, wear your warmest and sturdiest winter boots and go explore. When we went we went followed the creek and enjoyed a beautiful long walk. My last piece of advice, don’t forget your camera, this place is very Instagrammable.

Love the Home You’re In!

As Realtors we believe in home ownership, we also believe that you should love the home you’re in and if not well you really should consider moving. Not because we’re in the business of helping people buy and sell real estate but because we really do believe that being happy at home is important. It doesn’t matter where you live or how big your house is what matters is how your home makes you feel. 

For some people a home provides security, belonging, privacy. For others it’s where they gather with friends and family it’s a place to start and end their day. 

We live in a 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom colonial home in the Kenny neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis and living here brings us much joy. We find joy in entertaining our family and friends, we love watching movies in the family room, playing games in front of the fire, playing ping pong in the basement, relaxing outside, (in the summer only) and I personally find much joy in laying my head on my pillow every single night. 

Love the Home You're In | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
This is a picture of our home covered in snow.

Nevertheless we don’t see ourselves living here forever. At some point our boys will graduate from high school, move out (fingers crossed) and this will simply be more house than we want. We talk a lot about downsizing to something much smaller, an updated rambler with an open floor plan and a pool in the back yard sounds pretty fantastic, don’t you think? 

But that’s for some day, for now we’re going to love the home we’re in. It really is perfect for our family, it fits our needs and makes us happy and that’s what it’s all about.

New Requirements for Minneapolis Home Sales

Starting today (Jan 16, 2020) the City of Minneapolis is requiring an Energy Disclosure Report to be included with the Truth in Housing report which is required by the City of Minneapolis to be completed prior to selling your home.

Backing up for just a minute just in case you’re not familiar with the Minneapolis Truth in Housing Report. This report, commonly called the TISH is required by the City of Minneapolis for any sale of a single family house, duplex, townhouse and first time condo conversions in the City of Minneapolis. This report was put in place to ensure the quality of housing available in the city.

Over all it’s a fairly easy process to complete. It requires making an appointment with a licensed evaluator prior to listing your home. They come out and evaluate your home, it typically takes less than an hour but there is a cost involved for the home owner, prior to this change the cost of this inspection at Structure Tech, a company in Minneapolis that performs these types of inspections was $200 going forward the cost will be $300.

After you’ve scheduled your appointment an evaluator comes to the home, evaluates the property and files a report. A full list of what they evaluate can be found on the City of Minneapolis’s website. A copy of the report is required to be at the property while it’s for sale so potential buyers can see it. A copy is also given to the buyer at closing. If there are any required repairs they need to be taken care of and completed prior to the sale or the buyer has to accept responsibility for the repairs. If the buyer accepts responsibility these repairs need to be completed within 90 days of closing.

Going forward in addition to the normal list of things they evaluate they will be evaluating 4 key area’s and giving your home an Energy Score. The 4 areas are; attic insulation, wall insulation, single pane windows without storms and the heating system. But unlike the rest of the Truth in Housing report, there will be no required repairs related to the energy disclosure. The primary goal of the report will be to educate home owners and potential buyers on the energy costs related to the home.

To test wall insulation the TISH evaluator will drill a small 2″ hole in your wall to determine the amount of insulation in the walls. This will only happen if your home was built prior to 1980 – which is 90% of the housing stock in the City of Minneapolis. The TISH evaluator will find a discreet location that has an exterior facing wall, typically in a closet. A colleague recently had this done and had them do it behind the stove. Once the inspection is complete, the hole will be sealed with a plastic cap.

The new Energy Disclosure report was adopted by the City of Minneapolis in an effort to make home buyers and renters more aware of their potential energy costs before they buy or rent a home. The City of Minneapolis hopes that sharing this information will help the city reach its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 by inspiring home owners and landlords to make the necessary changes to be more energy efficient.

The Nokomis Nest

We did it! We converted one of our three rental properties to an Airbnb and it’s now available for bookings.

I promise to share more on our decision and the process but for now let me introduce you to The Nokomis Nest, our sweet little 3 bed, 2 bathroom home in the City of Minneapolis.

Located within blocks of Lake Nokomis and so many fantastic restaurants and fun shops. It’s also close to the airport, Mall of American and both downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul.

When you stay at The Nokomis Nest you will have the entire house to yourself. That’s 1600 finished square feet of space.

There are two bedrooms on the main floor; one has a queen size bed and one has a full size bed. The third bedroom occupies the entire top floor and has a queen size bed.

Main floor bedroom with queen bed
Main floor bedroom with full bed

Upstairs bedroom with queen bed

Both the living room and the downstairs family room are equipped with High Speed Internet and 4K 55 inch TV’s and have Xfinity/ Comcast Cable.

If you’re headed to Minneapolis anytime soon we would love to be your host. We truly love this house and our beautiful city and can’t wait to welcome you.

Our Favorite Sold Listings of 2019

As 2019 draws to a close we’re looking back at a few of our favorite listings. These are the homes we personally loved for one reason or another and if we weren’t in the business we would have moved right in.

Let’s start with 3837 22nd Avenue South. This 3 bed, 1 bath house was built in 1960 and was simply charming. It sold prior to hitting the market and when you take a look at the pics I’m sure you’ll see why.

The exterior view of 3837 22nd Avenue South, Minneapolis MN
The updated and gorgeous kitchen was filled with everything today’s buyers want. White cabinetry, marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Open to the kitchen this dining room is the perfect spot for dinner parties or game night.
The living room was light and bright and the most beautiful welcome
to the home.

Next up is 5734 Garfield Avenue South. It’s a mid century rambler with a fantastic backyard and an even better 3 season porch. When you live in Minnesota and the mosquitos are as big as your head you appreciate a screened in porch.

See what I’m talking about?
Fireplace, a large picture window, what more could a girl want?
Turns out she wants a dining room with the same window. Just imagine all the natural light.
And finally the 3 season porch. I can see myself here enjoying a glass of wine without having to slap a mosquito every 10 seconds.

And finally I give you 3215 Wellington Lane another mid century dream with an updated kitchen and a 3 season porch. I’m sure you’re starting to see a trend here.

The exterior shot of 3215 Wellington Lane. What you can’t see from this picture is that it sits on a quiet cul-de-sac.
The best part of this gorgeous kitchen is oh who am I kidding it’s all so good!
I could invite all my friends over to enjoy a bottle of wine and no mosquitoes here. Plus the view is completely wooded and private.
I have two very active boys with a lot of friends and this space would be perfect for them.

And there you have it my favorite listings of 2019. Looking forward to 2020 and the opportunity to continue doing what we do best, selling houses and helping buyers find their dream home.

What To Do WhenYour House Smells Bad

I’ve been going on quite a few staging appointments lately. Helping our clients get their homes ready for the market is one of my favorite things to do.

Most of the advice I give out is easy for me to give, declutter, remove the personal pictures and paint that red wall please. But I often find one piece of advice hard to give and that’s when your house smells.

Everyone’s house smells to some extent and that’s normal but what’s not normal is when the scent is overwhelming. It’s that strong scent that greets you at the door and doesn’t leave until well after you leave.

There’s never an easy way to tell a client their house smells. Even when I can pinpoint what the scent is; pet smell, a cooking scent or smoke. It’s always hard to broach. It’s also not so easy to eliminate.

It’s usually a several step process to truly rid the home of the smell, not mask it, because air fresheners don’t work. (They actually create another problem for the scent sensitive.)

First thing you need to do is stop what’s causing the scent. If you smoke inside the home go outside. If the kitty litter needs to be cleaned clean it.

Next you need to air the house out and clean. I guess you could consider these two steps but I like to do them simultaneously. Open all the windows and start scrubbing. You may have to leave the windows all day or maybe for a few days but it’s worth it. Sometimes we get lucky and that’s all it takes.

But sometimes we don’t get lucky and we have to try a few more things. A product that we’ve found that works wonders for most cooking and pet related scents is called DampRid – it’s promoted to get rid of musty scents but it works for so much more. If you’re local you can pick it up at your local ACE Hardware.

And finally if all else fails it usually means that the scent has been absorbed by your furniture and carpet and that means we need to deep clean those items. That usually requires hiring a professional carpet and furniture cleaners to do the work. In extreme situations we also suggest paint because believe it or not even the walls absorb scent

Now this may feel like a lot of work for a scent you may or may not notice but the bottom line is this strong scents can and do turn off buyers so it’s worth your time and effort.

Paint Colors to Sell Your Home

When you’re selling your home you want to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Which is why Realtors have been asking their sellers to paint their walls for decades when getting their home ready to sell.

Why? You always ask since paint is so cheap and personal can’t the buyer just do it after they move in? Here’s why.

First a coat of fresh paint goes a long way in making your house feel fresh, clean and updated.

Neutral walls don’t offend. They don’t become that thing that gets stuck in a buyers head. You don’t want to be that awful house with the red walls. Because that’s what starts to happen. It’s the one thing that set them off, now they’ll find more and soon they don’t want your house.

Buyers want to move right in. In addition they want the house to look like all those houses they’ve been saving on Instagram and drooling over on HGTV.

So how do you select the right paint colors to sell your home? The first thing you need to do is take a look at your current decor and existing woodwork. If you have a lot of brown tones in your home I typically recommend Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. And before you start to tell me that beige went out in the 90’s let me explain. This beige is different. But seriously trust me it’s not the same. Accessible Beige is a soft neutral that leans gray without showing any yellow or orange and works beautifully in almost every room. (You should always test it first.)

Paint Colors to Sell your Home | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog
In this kitchen because of the wood tones we used Accessible Beige.
5734 Garfield Avenue, Minneapolis

Another neutral color I highly recommend if I don’t have to worry about existing woodwork is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. This is a very popular color at the moment. It’s a light gray that does’t overwhelm and it looks great against white trim.

Paint Colors to Sell your Home | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog
In this living room we used Revere Pewter
1204 Jefferson Avenue St Paul

One final tip I always recommend when it comes to painting your home for sale is to paint the whole main floor one color. It improves the flow of the home. It’s also faster and cheaper to paint with fewer colors because the painters can be more efficient.

Your Fall To Do List

  1. Rake and bag the leaves.
  2. Clean the gutters.
  3. Prune/trim/care for your plants and trees.
  4. Store hoses, turn off the water. If you have a sprinkler system blow out the lines.
  5. Empty and store your outdoor containers.
  6. Put away your outdoor furniture.
  7. Get your furnace serviced so it’s ready to go.
  8. Get your chimney cleaned, fire season will be here before we know it.
  9. Stock up on wood for the fire.
  10. Check the batteries in your fire alarm and CO detectors.

#fallcleanup #todolist #fall #home #mattengengroup